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Concern Over Pipe Line Rally
The Nation (July 3rd)
Concern over pipeline rally
CONSERVATIONISTS yesterday accused Kanchanaburi Governor Kwanchai
Wasawong of planning to mobilise local administrators to prevent
villagers from protesting against the Yadana gas pipeline.
Environmental groups and local people have voiced concern about the
environmental impact of the pipeline, which will pass through lush green
forests from Kanchanaburi to the power plant in Ratchaburi.
Villagers of Tambon Jorakhae Phuank, in Kanchanaburi's Dan Makham Tia
district, have planned a rally to express their opposition to the laying
of the gas pipeline, which would pass through their village, student
leader Chanakarn Pandermwong said.
Chanakarn claimed that the governor plans to rally local officials to
disperse the protest tomorrow in a bid to project an image of full local
support for the pipeline project. She called on the prime minister and
the Interior minister to force the governor to drop his plan as it would
disrupt a public gathering to express the people's legitimate opinion.
Seri Ratanaseri, Dan Makham Tia district chief, said he has met
protesting families in order to forge a better understanding of the
villagers' complaints about the gas pipeline. ''I will try to solve the
villagers' complaints regarding construction work related to the gas
pipeline," he said, adding that protesters were mostly concerned about
the inconvenience that would be caused by the construction.
"THERE WILL BE NO REAL DEMOCRACY IF WE CAN'T GURANTEE THE RIGHTS OF THE
MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLE. ONLY UNDERSTANDING THEIR SUFFERING AND HELPING
THEM TO EXERCISE THEIR RIGHTS WILL ASSIST PREVENTING FROM THE
DISINTEGRATION AND THE SESESSION." "WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THEIR
STRENGTH, WE CAN'T TOPPLE THE SLORC AND BURMA WILL NEVER BE IN PEACE."
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