|

Opponents of the Xayaburi Dam Submit Lawsuit in Bangkok Court

The Xayaburi dam’s approval may pave the way for seven others that Laos plans to build on the Mekong.

 

Chiangrai Times – Thai opponents of a planned multi-billion dollar dam in Laos submitted a lawsuit to a court in Bangkok on Tuesday seeking to prevent their country buying power from the hydropower project.

Fifty Thai villagers representing communities along the Mekong river filed the suit against the state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, the energy ministry and the Thai cabinet at the Administrative Court.

“The river is our life. A dam will definitely affect our lives,” said 52-year-old Niwat Roykaew, who lives alongside the Mekong in the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai with his family and relies on it for water and fish.

Communist Laos, one of the world’s most under-developed nations, hopes the Xayaburi dam will help it become “the battery of Southeast Asia”.

Thailand has agreed to buy most of the electricity generated by the project, but Cambodia and Vietnam fear the dam could decimate their farming and fishing industries.

Laos has promised not to start construction of the actual dam structure until the concerns of its neighbours have been answered, although it says preparatory work has begun.

Environmentalists fear the proposed 1,260 megawatt dam will have disastrous environmental effects and harm the livelihoods of millions of people.

Opponents hope that a court ruling in their favour will cause Laos to rethink its plan.

“We are confident if there is no demand, there will be no supply,” said Pianporn Deetes with International Rivers, a campaign group involved in the legal challenge

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Short URL: http://www.chiangraitimes.com/?p=8883

Posted by on Aug 7 2012. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
Photo of White Beach in Boracay, Philippines

In Loving Memory of His Majesty the King

Photo of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Learning Thai with Jen