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NEWS IN BRIEF: Kalasin villagers stopped from protesting petroleum drilling

2015 August 15
by The Isaan Record
Caption: Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, Thailand’s Minister of Energy, visits a potential petroleum-drilling site in Kalasin province. A group of villagers protesting the project attempted to deliver a demand letter to the Minister, but were stopped by the military.

Narongchai Akrasanee, Thailand’s Minister of Energy, visits a potential petroleum-drilling site in Kalasin province. A group of villagers protesting the project attempted to deliver a demand letter to the Minister, but were stopped by the military.

KALASIN – On August 9 at 9:00 A.M., Thailand’s Minister of Energy, Narongchai Akrasanee, visited the Dong Mun petroleum-drilling site (DM-5) in Krung Kao sub-district, Tha Khun Tho district, in Kalasin province. Around 100 villagers from three community organizations waited on the road to the drilling site, hoping to deliver a letter asking for the project to be stopped.

At 10:00 A.M., over 300 police officers and military personnel formed a blockade to prevent villagers from obstructing the road, allowing the minister to pass. After Minister Narongchai safely reached the mining site, an undercover official approached the protesters and asked for two volunteers to deliver the letter to the minister. Villagers refused and asked that the minister come to them instead.

At 11:00 A.M., officers pushed the protesters aside to make way for ministry vehicles to depart. As the minister prepared to leave, villagers called out to him, entreating the minister to exit his car and accept the letter.

At 11:00 A.M., officers pushed the protesters aside to make way for ministry vehicles to depart. As the minister prepared to leave, villagers called out to him, entreating the minister to exit his car and accept the letter.

After he left without reviewing their request, the protesters went to Na Kham Noi village in Kalasin province – a potential site for the petroleum gas factory – where the minister had been scheduled to visit that afternoon. The protesters waited until the afternoon but the minister never arrived. A representative from the group commented that the organizations will go to Bangkok to deliver the letter at the Ministry of Energy and will continue to protect the community from the petroleum-drilling project.

 

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