Anti-Coal Power Plant Protest Called Off as Govt Scraps Plans

Originally aired on Channel NewsAsia on February 20, 2018

Local environmental activists form the South of Thailand have scored a victory as the Thai Ministry of Energy has signed agreement with them guaranteeing that the plans to build a coal power plant in Krabi have been officially shelved.

TRANSCRIPT

Local environmental activists form the South of Thailand have scored a victory as the Thai government has guaranteed that the plans to build a coal power plant have been officially shelved.

About 100 protesters have camped out in front of Bangkok’s United Nations building, even some of them going on hunger strike until the Thai military government would agree to their demands.

The proposal to build coal powered power plant in the southern provinces of Krabi on the andaman sea, which is a famous tourist spot famed for its beaches and underwater nature. Obviously a coal plant would have not only severely affected the region’s nature, but also the heath of the locals.

The government has previously insisted that additional power plants are necessary to keep up with rising energy demands in the south.

Now, there were plans by to march on government house earlier today but the situation has been ultimately defused as the Ministry of Energy and the protesters have come to an written agreement to ultimately scrap the plans for a coal power plant in the south.

It is a rare display of compromise by the Thai military government, which has outlawed public assemblies and protests ever since they took over powers in a coup. This protest coincides with other small but vocal protests against what could be yet another delay of democratic elections.

Among the protesters here, the mood is evidently jubilant and they are planning disperse and return to their homes in the south of Thailand knowing that the air and nature will be clean and free of a coal plant for the foreseeable future.

Saksith Saiyasombut, Channel NewsAsia, Bangkok