Military intimidates anti-mine activist

Military and police officers intimidated a key anti-mine leader in northern Thailand, telling her not submit a petition against a gold mining operator.

The Manager Online, reported that on Tuesday at 7 pm, 1 March 2016, 20 military, police, and other officers visited Tanyarat Sintathammatat, key leader of an anti-mine activist group in the lower northern province of Phichit.

The officers arrived to the house at night in Khao Ched Luk Subdistrict in Tap Khlo District of Phichit without presenting any document and warrant.

The activist said that the officers told her not to travel to Bangkok to submit a petition to Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, against the mining operations of Akara Resources Pub Co., Ltd, a gold mining operator.

Earlier, Tanyarat and other members of the anti-mine group in Phichit were collecting signatures of the locals for the petition against Akara Company.  

The activist said that she and her family felt intimidated by the visit, adding that the officers told her that their superiors ordered them to visit her.

She pointed out that Akara Company is also collecting signatures from their supporters to send a letter to the junta leader in an attempt to the renew the mining concession, claiming that the mine workers will be affected if the mine closes down.

In the petition, the anti-mine group urges the authorities not to renew the mining concession for Akara Company as the current concession will be expired on 13 May 2016 and to investigate the enlargement of the company ore processing plant, saying that it was constructed before the Environmental Assessment Impact (EIA) was conducted.

The anti-mine villagers recently filed a lawsuit against the company for the allegedly unlawful construction of the plant to the Administrative Court of the province.

In the petition of the group adds that in the last 10 years, people living in areas surrounding the mine have been affected by pollution and contamination resulted from the mining activists.

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