Chana Hearing: Declining to Engage in a “Illegitimate” Public Hearing After Being Barred from Participating

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The legally needed public hearing on the 18.7-billion-baht project was conducted on Saturday by the Southern Border Provinces Administration Center (SBPAC), in Songkhla province’s Chana Wittaya School district of Chana. The SBPAC is responsible for directing the process.

Officials also recently toured the homes of at least eight individuals who had protested a coal-fired power plant in the South in the past. Police closed traffic and roads to the school on Thursday, Internet Law Reform Dialog (iLaw) allegedly to preserve peace.

The legally needed public hearing on the 18.7-billion-baht project was conducted on Saturday by the Southern Border Provinces Administration Center (SBPAC), in Songkhla province’s Chana Wittaya School district of Chana. The SBPAC is responsible for directing the process.

Officials also recently toured the homes of at least eight individuals who had protested a coal-fired power plant in the South in the past. Police closed traffic and roads to the school on Thursday, Internet Law Reform Dialog (iLaw) allegedly to preserve peace.

People from the nearby province of Satun who had traveled to Songkhla to show solidarity with the dissidents were also stopped along the way.

The meeting opened in the morning and went well, with opportunities offered to individuals on all sides of the proposal controversy to share their opinions.

But several critics, headed by the party Chana Rak Tin, were not able to make it to the meeting. They subsequently announced that they would not participate because they did not want to be part of a process that would legitimize a proposal that they did not support. The SBPAC held a parallel forum at the Chana district administration organization Taling Chan Tambon on the same day. 1,000 people participated in it.

The group Chana Rak Tin also held an activity with 100 attendees at the same time. Speakers held the stage for around 30 minutes, while officials took a photo of them before giving them out flyers with material close to the Covid-19 prevention announcement from the department.

The leaflets, signed by Songkhla police chief Pol Maj Gen Tivatawat Nakornsri, asked for cooperation to avoid assembling in a manner that risked spreading the disease. They also listed misconduct civil and criminal punishments, which included incarceration under the Criminal Code, emergency order, and other regulations.

The Chana Rak Tin party then read a statement before going to school but 50 uniformed officers, SBPAC and administrative officials stopped leaders. Instead, the party agreed to travel to the Chana Market because the school was 3 km away and they felt they might be prevented once more.

Chana is the fourth and has been named a “progressive region for the future of manufacturing.” The proposed projects include the second Songkhla port, a port-linked railway, further power plants to help production, and the Chana industrial estate to produce products from local resources and process products from imported materials to be exported from the ports.

Proposals for natural coal, biomass, solar and wind have been created for the power plants and others have even attracted criticism.

Overall, the Chana project comprises 16,753 rais in three tambours — Nathab, Taling Chan and Sakhom. It costs baht 18.7 billion, which is projected to generate 100,000 workers.

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Juicer Reviews
1 year ago

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