Southerners rally against coal-fired power plant and deep sea port

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.

The group states that the two projects will bring about irreversible environmental damage and severely affect the livelihood of local communities.

Although the power plant has been heavily opposed by local residents, the Environmental and Health Impact Assessment was approved in August.

Meanwhile residents of Chana District have strongly opposed a second deep sea port for Songkhla as it could result in the eviction of 400 villagers of Hat Son fishing village.

According to Rungrueng Ramanya, 44, a community leader and president of the Chana Sea Conservation Group, the Environmental Impact Assessment on the port project was conducted without the participation of local residents whose lives will be affected.

The rally against the proposed coal-fired power plant in Thepha District of Songkhla (Photo from Stop Coal Songkhla)