Big reception for Mae Wong marchers
- Published: 22/09/2013 at 07:54 PM
- Online news:
The 388-kilometre protest march by the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation against the construction of a dam in Mae Wong National Park received overwhelming support from the public on Sunday as members walked the final stage in Bangkok, from Kasetsart University to the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre.
Thousands of supporters turned out on Sunday to welcome the environmental campaigner Sasin Chalermlap, who arrived in Bangkok after a 388-kilometre walk to protest plans to build a dam in Mae Wong National Park in Nakhon Sawan province. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)
Sasin Chalermlap, secretary general of the foundation, and other members, accompanied by several thousand supporters, arrived at the BACC late in the afternoon and were met by a huge crowd, many of them wearing white T-shirts bearing a no-dam logo.
Mr Sasin and the environmentalists set off on the 388km journey from Mae Wong National Park in Nakhon Sawan on Sept 10 with BACC being the destination. The march took 13 days and increasingly garnered support from the general public after exposure on the social media such as Facebook.
The crowd gave Mr Sasin a big round of applause when he took to the stage to thank his fellow environmentalists and members of the public for their support.
He said work relating to the conservation of natural resources and the environment could not be done by just one person, but required all sides to work together.
Mr Sasin read a statement detailing reasons why the Mae Wong construction project should be banned. The statement was endorsed by 28 environmental groups, including the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation, and has been submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
The Mae Wong Dam project was initiated almost 30 years ago. It met resistance from conservationists because of the location in Mae Wong National Park, considered one of the richest forests in the country.
The current government revived the project as part of its 350 billion-baht water management plan. The government planned to complete the project within eight years. On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi told dam supporters that the government would complete the project.
Mr Sasin shrugged off the statement.
"I think Mr Plodprasop just said these words to appease those dam-supporters and I wonder if there is any truth in what he said," Mr Sasin said.
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Writer: Chaloempong Phanthupo and Anchalee Kongrut