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Finally, compensation for Klity Creek victims

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Karen villagers from the Klity Creek area are one step closer to receiving compensation for the lead poison they have suffered since the 1990s. 

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Karen villager Yaseu Nasuansuwan, second left, and environmental advocate Surapong Kongchantuk, right, stand outside a courtroom at Kanchanaburi Provincial Court where they were about to hear the verdict in a lawsuit against Lead Concentrates Co. PIYARACH CHONGCHAROEN

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Finally, compensation for Klity Creek victims 

It was a colourful sight outside the Kanchanaburi Provincial Court yesterday as a group of Karen villagers arrived to hear an Appeal Court ruling on their complaint against a lead-mining firm they accused of polluting the Klity Creek in Lower Klity village in Thong Pha Phum district.

In their complaint, lodged with the Provincial Court in 2007, the villagers demanded 1 billion baht in damages as well as an injunction ordering the company to remove lead from the creek.

Altogether 151 villagers, including Jisa Nasuansuwan, 64, who died of cancer in 2008, were exposed to toxic substances in the creek, the sole water supply for the village, for 14 years.

The Appeal Court said yesterday it agreed with the Kanchanaburi Provincial Court which ruled in 2010 that the lead-mining firm was responsible for polluting the Klity Creek. It also upheld the lower court’s ruling that the company must pay 36 million baht in compensation.

But, the court threw out the request for the clean-up, saying the 1992 Environmental Protection Act does not authorise plaintiffs to ask the court to order polluters to clean up their pollution.

The victims of lead contamination, led by Moo 3 assistant village head Yaseu Nasuansuwan, were satisfied with court's compensation order. But the villagers also want a remedy for the environmental problem the company has caused.

Mr Yaseu, who is among the lead-poisoned villagers, told the court yesterday the villagers need the creek restored so that "we can return to live a normal life".

The lead contamination first came under the media spotlight in 1998.

Since then, the villagers have won a series of lawsuits against the company and the Pollution Control Department, but they have all been appealed.

Yesterday’s verdict gave the villagers hope that slowly but surely they would receive the compensation they believe they deserve. 
Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by Piyarach Chongcharoen. You can read the original story here:

environmental – involving the place in which people live and work, including all the physical conditions that affect them เกี่ยวกับสภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม
advocate – someone who strongly and publicly supports someone or something ผู้สนับสนุน
verdict – a decision by a court of law คำพิพากษา
lawsuit – a case that a court is asked to decide involving a disagreement between two people or groups คดีที่ยื่นฟ้องต่อศาล
lead – a chemical element. Lead is a heavy soft grey metal, used especially in the past for water pipes or to cover roofs สารตะกั่ว
compensation – money that someone receives because something bad has happened to them  เงินชดเชย
creek – a narrow stream; a very small river  ลำธาร โกรกธารเล็กๆ
victim – someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
Appeal Court (Court of Appeal) – a court that decides requests that a decision made by a lower court be changed ศาลอุทธรณ์
ruling – a decision by a court of law คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด
complaint – when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
mining – the process of getting minerals from under the ground; the industry involved in this การทำเหมือง
firm – a business or company บริษัท
accuse – to say that someone has done something wrong or committed a crime กล่าวหา
lodge – to formally make something such as a complaint or a claim  ยื่นคำร้อง ยื่นฟ้องต่อ
injunction – an order form a court that prevents someone from doing something or requires them to do something  คำสั่งคุ้มครองชั่วคราว
cancer – a serious disease in which growths of cells, also called cancers, form in the body and kill normal body  cells. The disease often causes death มะเร็ง
exposed – not protected and in direct contact with something harmful ได้รับสารผิด
toxic – poisonous and harmful to people, animals or the environment  เป็นพิษ
substance – a particular type of liquid, solid, or gas สาร
sole – only เดี่ยวๆ
responsible – deserving to be blamed for something that has happened มีความรับผิดชอบ
uphold – to say that a decision by a lower court or a government agency is correct พิพากษายืนตามคำตัดสินหรือวินิจฉัยของศาลชั้นต้น
Act – a law passed by a country’s government พ.ร.บ. พระราชบัญญัติ
authorise –  to give official permission for something, or to give someone official permission to do something ให้อำนาจ, มอบอำนาจ, ให้สิทธิ
plaintiff – someone who makes a legal complaint against someone else in court โจทก์
contamination – the process of making something dirty, polluted, or poisonous by adding a chemical, waste, or infection การปนเปื้อน
satisfied – pleased because you have achieved something or because something that you wanted to happen has happened  พอใจ  ถูกใจ
remedy – a way of dealing with or improving an unpleasant or difficult situation วิธีการแก้ไข
restore – to bring back to good condition ฟื้นฟูสภาพ
normal – typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect ภาวะปกติ
media – newspapers, television, radio, etc. สื่อ
spotlight – the centre of public attention จุดสนใจของผู้คน, เป็นที่สนใจ
series – several events or things of a similar kind that happen one after the other  สิ่งที่ต่อเนื่องกัน, อนุกรม, ลำดับ
deserve – of something that you earn or are given because of your behavior or qualities สมควรได้รับ

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