16 Southern environmental activists arrested

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.

According to the Facebook page of Stop Coal Songkhla, the 16 were taken to Mueang Songkhla District Police Station. At press time, the police had not yet filed charges against them.

Several protesters were injured during the clash as the security officers used force to arrest the protest leaders.

On the same day, Panawat Pongprayoon, the leader of a group called Thepha Development, accompanied by about 20 supporters, handed a letter to the military at the 46th Military Circle in Pattani Province.

The group stated that together with 67 associated local organisations whose total membership numbers about 50,000, they support the Thepha power plant project, adding that it should be constructed as soon as possible.

The network opposing the coal-fired power plant started their rally on 24 November. They aimed 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.

The clash between anti-coal fired power plant protesters and security officers on 27 November 2017 (Photo from  Stop Coal Songkhla)