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Mekong dam objectors deliver a protest letter on Phuket today

Phuket Protest: Dammed if They Do, But Undammed if They Don't

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
PHUKET: The Mekong River rises on the Tibetan Plateau and after flowing through China forms the border at various points between neighbors Burma, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Phuket doesn't have a river of any kind but today it did have a Mekong River protest, which only goes to show how important some issue are, even when people think they so far away that they're not going to be affected.

Protesters from eight northern Thai provinces travelled to Phuket to make their feelings known today when representatives of the Mekong River Commission joined the International Conference on Transboundary River Basin Management at Movenpick Resort and Spa in Karon, on Phuket's west coast.

The protesters, about 30 in number, were demonstrating against the Xayaburi dam project, which they argue will have a devastating impact on those who live and work downstream.

The officials say it will do no such thing, but the dam will benefit thousands by containing water that would otherwise flow to the sea. The protest and the meetings involving the Mekong River Commission are likely to continue until Thursday on Phuket.

Thai company Chor Karnchang has signed a 51-billion baht contract with a Laotian company, Xayaburi Power to build the dam.

Whether a dammed Mekong will produce more food, water and energy or whether the dam will merely cause pain to those downstream may not be resolved, with so many principles and so much money at stake, between now and Thursday.

The protesters are, it seems, not going to be put off simply because the Mekong River Commission chooses to join international meetings a long way downstream.

The next meeting of the International Conference on Transboundary River Basin Management is, we believe, in Rio.

Comments

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Please Google '10 ways dams damage rivers' for a frightening array of impacts on environment, flora, fauna, culture, etc. This has been studied in great deal in the US, where the Corps of Engineers has catalogued an incredible 75,000+ dams of 6 feet or higher & the damaging impact they have had over time. That is only one of many such web sites. The world needs to stop and think over putting one issue above many others for corporate gain. Sadly, Asia is not well renowned for such foresight.

Posted by Logic on May 1, 2012 20:58

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The construction of this particular dam in Laos was halted after the Mekong River Commission intervened. The Thai companies building it together with the Lao Goverment had bypassed proper channels necessary for such developements. Fully agree with that.

I doubt there are any VIABLE energy sources with no negative impact but the problem is that we need energy and compared to nuclear or fossil fuels, hydropower is 100% clean.

I understand the negative consequences but those who object even to hydropower WITHOUT offering a viable option get dismissed by me.

@ Logic - where do you expect the electricity to come from that powers your Computer and Modem to post here, not to mention to run your AC ?

If even hydropower should be banned, then where is all the electricity supposed to come from ?

Would you rather have a Thai-operated nuclear power plant as a neighbor ?

Posted by Steve C. on May 2, 2012 00:43


Saturday June 6, 2020
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