The government of Prime Minister Prayut must assume its commitment on the ill-advised industrial estate project in Songkhla province’s Chana District

Chana Rakthin Network’s statement (No.1)

Thai Prime Minister Prayut’s government signed the MoU with the Chana Rakthin Network on December 14, 2020. In order to address concerns over an ill-advised industrial estate project in Chana district of Songkhla Province, the MoU attempts to address three primary issues:

1) As part of the investigation, officials will look into how the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) is handling the ill-advised Chana District industrial estate project.

2) As part of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) process, the government plans to design a mechanism that will be acceptable and accountable to all stakeholders, including the public.

3) For the time being, a controversial industrial estate project in Chana will be put on hold until the first and second actions are completed.

A year ago, we attempted to keep a cool head and observe the Government’s actions with a sense of serenity. Politicians and government employees under the administration of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, who claimed to be a military man devoted to working for the country under the slogan “leave no one behind,” have been deceiving and filthy tricksters. 

As the “Chana Rakthin Network,” we must once again travel to the Government House because of your bogus promises at the time. What SBPAC has been doing is only for the benefit of big business CEOs and unscrupulous politicians. SBPAC was completely uninterested in the agreement we adhere to. False development discourse is used as a weapon to oppress us as if we are not the people of the country, and SBPAC still enjoys doing so. They are also disrespecting our sense of belongings to our homeland as a hindrance to our country’s progress. They consider our local fisherfolks to be backward and unproductive, and therefore they disdain them. Your government has allowed SBPAC to divide us and leave us in the dust.

Because of our unexplainable aggravation at your repressive activities, we decided to return to the Government House this time. Our anger is morphing into a force for good. Strength and courage to face our adversaries without fear. We will not allow you to fool us further. Government must fully fulfil the promise it made last time if we are to return home. In case of doubt, we’d like to make our proposition very clear so that you don’t misinterpret it as follows: 

1) The Chana industrial estate project should be investigated by the government because of the irregularities that have occurred. Public engagement, land surveying policy, and SBPAC budget spending must all be scrutinised as part of the examination of the project’s commencement to current implementation. Accountability, reliability and public participation must be incorporated into the investigation process. The results of the examination must be made public as soon as possible after the investigation is over.

2) Participatory strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is a government effort to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the process. The SEA Committee should not be under the control of the SBPAC. 

3) While action 1 and 2 are being implemented, the Government must suspend the ill-advised industrial estate project at Chana district.

There must be an executive order from the Prime Minister and/or a Cabinet Resolution to implement these proposals. 

-Announced on December 6, 2021 at the Government House-

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