Thai authorities summon environmental activist for talks over dam forum

The police summoned an environmental activist for talks over a planned public forum on the controversial Pak Mun Dam in northeastern Ubon Ratchathani Province.

The Special Branch Police, the police unit responsible for national security intelligence, on Tuesday summoned Kritsakorn Silarak, the coordinator of People’s Movement for Just Society (P-Move), for talks with the Ubon Ratchathani Governor and local national security officers about a public forum entitled ‘Two Decades of the Pak Mun Dam’ scheduled to be held in March.

The Pak Mun hydroelectric dam is a controversial 240 million USD project that was completed in 1994 on the Mun River (a tributary of the Mekong River). The dam displaced around 3,000 families and affected 25,000 villagers in Ubon Ratchathani Province of northeastern Thailand. It continues to affect the livelihoods of locals who largely depend on the fishing industry.    

Kritsakorn said forums on Pak Mun Dam are held regularly every year.  “This activity is normally held every year, no matter what kind of government we have, civilian or military. Therefore, it is not very related to politics. It’s a total mix up. It seems as if [the authorities] don’t want the villagers to do anything at all,” said Kritsakorn.

He mentioned that the event will still be held. However, it might be subjected to limitations and controls by the authorities.    


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