15 anti-coal fired power plant protest leaders sleep behind bars

15 of the southern environmental activists protesting against the controversial coal-fired power plant in Songkhla have spent the night behind bars as they failed to obtain 1.35 million baht bond for bail request.

On 28 November 2017, the court granted to the police the custody permission to detain 15 key leaders of of the network from Songkhla and Pattani provinces protesting against the planned coal-fired power plant and deep sea port in Songkhla, according to Khaosod.

Another detainee is still 16 years old. Therefore, he was sent to the Juvenile and Family Court of Songkhla Province.

The Provincial Court of Songkhla demanded 90,000 baht bond as bail for each of the 15 detainees and they could not find enough bail money. They were later sent to Songkhla Central Prison.

About 100 protesters who joined the protest with the 16 have now agreed to dispersed peacefully.

One the same day, Mara Patani, an umbrella network representing insurgents in the Deep South of Thailand, issued a statement on its webpage expressing the organisation disapproval of how the government deal with the problem.

“The government has again failed to demonstrate its openness to listen to the plight of its people . Thailand is a free country , a land of free people. As guaranteed by the constitution , the people has every right to determine what they want or do not want for themselves. The people of Thepha [District of Songkhla] have repeatedly voiced their opinion against the coal power plant being set up within their community . The government should respect that opinion and comply accordingly,” reads part of the group’s statement.

Similarly, the Federation of Patanian Students and Youth (PerMas), issued a statement demanding the government to halt the projects and the locals should have been allowed to participate in the decision making process of the projects.

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.

Some of the detained 15 activists opposing the coal-fired power plant and deep sea port projects in Songkhla