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This country needs a 34th dam?




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Someone used to tell me that the young generation is now intolerant, living without dream and addicted to the technology. After that Sunday afternoon, I have to admit that I agree with them.

It was last Sunday that I have to wake up so early, well, than usual, to catch the sky train. Reaching the Mor Chit station at around 11:00 AM, some people were grouping, some selling white T Shirt, some carrying paper board, some with animal hats, some on the pickup truck, they were marching toward the Victory Monument and Siam Square. They seem came from different institutions but written in the common phrase: “NO DAM”.

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They were marching against the Mae Wong Dam’s project in Nakhon Sawan province. It’s sound reasonably and they seem so mean to protest the dam that could prevent flood in the central plain as it was in 2011. But the facts are so scary than that.

Even the Mae Wong area is located in Nakhon Sawan province but geographically it’s connected to Tak province and who have the idea of preventing the possible flood from the west mountain?

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Moreover, according to the environmentalist groups, the Mae Wong dam will be one of the least worthy project this country always inspiring to. Considering many facts that the dam could probably contain the water about 1% of those flooded in 2011;

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www.siamensis.org

the project will destroy the Mae Wong forest that connected to Huay Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary (World Heritage and one of the last sanctuary in Thailand); the project didn’t past the environment studies since 1994; this dam cannot generate electricity; Thailand have already 33 dams and some of them not functional.

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The dry Tab Salao’s dam, doors closed for 2 years already. www.thailowernorth.com

The some nice reasons that they wanted to keep going with this dam are that it’s worth around 430 million dollars and the construction last for 6 fiscal years. No one can assure that the 8 years “construction” process wouldn’t destroy the forest “nearby”, who would prevent the hunting in the most dripping area for hunters? A tiger body and its organs could make about 80,000 baht in the black market. How about some nice teak wood? See an example of one National Park I visited last year.

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More importantly, according to the Sueb Nakhasathien Foundation, this area is the lower plain for wild animals living in the mountains, even it’s “just” 18 square kilometers in the project but so vital for the sanctuary’s system and for elephants sake! it’s one of the last 33.44% of forest this country could claim.

Some local seems to happy with the worthy project and didn’t even know most of them have to be relocate…with the animals!

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Mae Wong forest

The groups are not just protest to the environment impact report (EHIA) that seem weird enough to gave a green light to the project, but they also propose the better choice with local water barriers with local management.

Simple, cheap, less impact and less corrupted, damn!

Around 4:00 PM we reach Siam Square, the Secretary of the Sueb Nakhasathien Foundation, Mr. Sasin Chalermlarp terminated with joy his 388 kilometers rally from Mae Wong to Bangkok. It was some couple of people on the start and he received with thousands at the end.

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I found that most of the participants were young generations; some from the universities’ environment groups, some were TV celebrities, some collected signatures and some made a performance art.

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That day and the next days, I found many post and forward post in facebook about the manifestation. Some didn’t came along the road but were rather active on their keyboard: the Keyboard Gangster (usually used in the political comments).

Now you can understand why I told that the modern young generation is addicted to the technology, they are intolerant and living without dream…

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but they act and hope for a better country, aren’t them?

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