Despite its efforts to regain mass support, the junta is facing a backlash for cracking down on anti-power plant protesters and a series of ham-fisted statements. Southerners used to play an active role in the anti-election movement, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), that paved the way for the 2014 coup. However, over the past three years, the ruling junta has put in place various policies that have affected the livelihood of southerners, such as regulations on fishing and plans for coal-fired power plan
The police are preparing to issue arrest warrants for 20 more protestors against the coal-fired power plant in Songkhla. On 30 November 2017, Thai PBS reported that police of Mueang District of Songkhla Province are preparing to issue arrest warrants for 20 people who joined 15 key leaders of the network from Songkhla and Pattani provinces in a protest against the planned coal-fired power plant and deep sea port in Songkhla.
The authorities have arrested 16 southern environmental activists after brief clash with the protesters. At 4:30 pm on 27 November 2017, military and police officers arrested 16 key leaders of the network from Songkhla and Pattani provinces protesting against the planned coal-fired power plant and deep sea port in Songkhla. Those detained include Direk Hemnakhon, Somboon Kamhaeng, and Ekachai Isarata.
People in Songkhla and Pattani have rallied against plans for a coal-fired power plant and deep sea port ahead of a cabinet meeting. On 26 November 2017, a network from Songkhla and Pattani provinces protesting against a planned coal-fired power plant held a rally in Songkhla ahead of the coming cabinet meeting in the province on 28 November. The group plans to submit a petition to Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, asking the government to cancel plans for a 2,200-megawatt power plant and deep sea port in Thepha District, Songkhla.
Unknown group of men has abducted a school director in the restive Deep South. At night on 14 May 2017, a group of men abducted Daho Ma-taworn, director of Ta-Deeka School of Tung Po Village in Saba Yoi District of Songkhla Province while he was on his way home. At around midnight, Daho called his wife and told her that a group of masked men put a gun against his head before blindfolding him and took him to an unknown location.
In a bid to lure investors, Thailand’s junta plans to evict some 300 citizens from their homes to construct a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the southern province of Songkhla. While the military’s development plans could boost a stalled economy, the country’s poor are paying the price.
The junta’s draft charter referendum faced an epic struggle over the past weekend as the voter lists across the country were spoiled by kids, monkeys and rain.
Fully armed soldiers guarded state electricity executives during their visit to a controversial coal-fired power plant project in Thailand’s restive Deep South amid opposition from the local community. On Wednesday, 13 July 2016, armed troops and Humvees were sent to guard executives of the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) during their visit to the site of a coal-fired power plant project in Thepha District, Songkhla Province.
Civil society and student activists have rallied at military bases in Bangkok and the southern province of Songkhla after the military recently asked a university to silence academics who oppose a coal-fired power plant. Southern civil society also accused the military of being biased in favour of investors. The Commander of the 42nd Military Circle recently submitted a letter asking the President of Prince of Songkla University to ‘educate’ opponents of a controversial coal-fired power plant under construction in the southern province of Songkhla.
The fishery authority in the southern province of Songkhla concealed the existence of illegal fishing from European Union officials out of fear of that fishery exports would be cut.