HRDs being interviewed by journalists


Intimidation against villagers who oppose coal-fired power plants must stop

30 May 2016

Press Statement:

The Bamnet Narong Conservation Group

The military must stop intimidating villagers opposing the ASEAN Potash Chaiyaphum PLC’s coal-fired power plant.

A Story of Struggle and Resistance

For over a year, the villagers of Bamnet Narong District in Chaiyaphum, Thailand, have been locked in a battle against the construction of a coal-fired power plant. The project, proposed alongside a potash mine, sparked initial hope for employment but quickly turned into a nightmare of environmental concerns and government intimidation.

Broken Promises and Environmental Fears:

Initially, residents welcomed the potash mine, hoping for economic opportunities. However, the addition of the coal-fired power plant shattered their trust. Memories of health problems and land displacement caused by coal plants in Mae Moh and Rayong fueled their anxieties. They feared not only air and water pollution but also a potential increase in the power plant’s capacity, leading to even greater harm.

Fighting for Their Voices:

Undeterred, the villagers formed the “Bamnet Narong Conservation Group” and began voicing their concerns. Petitions to government agencies, embassies, and even investors fell on deaf ears. The company pressed ahead, while the group faced harassment and surveillance. They were denied permission for public events, even traditional ceremonies, and threatened with punishment for dissent.

Military Intimidation and Suppression:

The situation escalated with military involvement. Officials visited the home of a prominent activist, Mr. Samoe Thernmongkhon, searching for him and taking photos of his family. This blatant intimidation reflected a wider pattern of suppression, with villagers treated as “troublemakers” and accused of jeopardizing national stability.

A Call for Justice and a Sustainable Future:

Despite the hardships, the Bamnet Narong Conservation Group remains resolute. They demand an end to government suppression, justice for Mr. Thernmongkhon, and respect for their fundamental rights. They stand firm in their commitment to a toxic-free and peaceful future for their children and their land.

A Symbol of Resistance:

The fight in Bamnet Narong transcends a local struggle. It stands as a symbol of resistance against environmental injustice and government oppression. Their story compels us to question the true cost of development and the importance of protecting communities and our planet.

Key Points:

  • Villagers initially welcomed potash mines but opposed coal-fired power plants due to environmental concerns.
  • Bamnet Narong Conservation Group was formed to fight the project.
  • Government agencies and companies ignored villagers’ concerns.
  • Military intimidation and suppression tactics were employed.
  • Villagers stand firm in their fight for a clean and peaceful future.

Let their voices be heard. Stand with the people of Bamnet Narong!

With the power of faith and unity

The Bamnet Narong Conservation Group

22 May 2016