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online protest re Thai people's land submerged

The Dam-Reservoir Working Group Online would like to ask you to 
participate in this online event:

Please help the submergence victims in Thailand by signing
the following letter and forwarding it to aviva@irn.org
by Oct. 26th.

Thank you!

dam-reservoir working group coordinator

Forwarded message:
> From owner-irn-mekong@igc.org  Tue Oct 19 14:53:14 1999
> Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 11:36:06 -0700
> From: Aviva Imhof <aviva@irn.org>
> Subject: LS: Sign-on letter: Rasi Salai Dam in Thailand
> Dear friends
> South-East Asia Rivers Network (SEARIN) and the Committee for Save Tam Mun
> have asked IRN to coordinate an international open letter to the Prime
> Minister of Thailand, regarding Rasi Salai Dam. Currently 1850 people are
> facing submergence due to the rising waters in the reservoir, which has
> already flooded four homes and destroyed more than 80% of their farmland.
> The villagers are demanding that the government reexamines the impacts of
> the project and compensate the 1800 families affected by the dam who have
> still received nothing. The protesters, who are affiliated with Assembly of
> the Poor, were inspired by the Satyagraha conducted by the Narmada Bachao
> Andolan this year and are prepared to stay until their demands are met. The
> irrigation dam was completed in 1994, but is effectively useless as the
> irrigation network has not been built. The government is currently filling
> the reservoir in an attempt to cover the villager's farmland, so the
> villagers cannot prove how much land was affected.
> As of tomorrow there will be more information about this project on IRN's
> website www.irn.org, including photos of the flooded village and protesters.
> Please send your endorsement of this letter to aviva@irn.org by Monday
> October 26, US Pacific Time. Include your name and organization name.
> If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
> Thanks very much,
> Aviva Imhof
> South-East Asia Campaigner
> International Rivers Network
> ______________________________ 
>  October 1999
> The Hon. Mr. Chuan Leekpai 
> Prime Minister of Thailand
> Fax:
>  Dear Mr. Chuan
> We write to express our support for the 1850 people currently facing
> submergence at the Rasi Salai dam on the Mun River in North-Eastern
> Thailand. These people intend to stay in their village, Mae Mun Man Yuen
> Village #2, and face the rising waters, until their demands are met. 
> The Department of Energy Development and Promotion is currently filling the
> reservoir and the water level is at 116.8 meters above sea level. Already
> four houses and 80 per cent of the village's rice fields and vegetable
> gardens have been flooded. If the level reaches 117.5 meters, the village
> will be entirely submerged and people will drown.
> We are writing to urge you to direct the DEPD to immediately stop filling
> the reservoir, and to give due consideration to the people's demands. The
> villagers are demanding that the government reexamine the impacts of the
> project, drain the reservoir, determine the exact number of people affected
> by the dam, pay compensation to all affected peoples, and correct the
> environmental problems caused by the dam. If the government refuses to pay
> compensation, the villagers demand that the dam be removed.
> These people have been demonstrating for over six years, yet the government
> has refused to listen. On April 20 of this year, more than 1000 villagers
> affected by Rasi Salai dam occupied the dam site. Still the government did
> not listen. Now 1850 people are prepared to die in order to get the
> attention of the government. They have lost everything and they feel they
> have nothing more to lose.
> Rasi Salai has been plagued by problems and deceit ever since it was first
> conceived. DEPD failed to release any information to the public prior to
> construction, and stated that they would only build a small rubber weir 4.5
> meters high, not a concrete dam 9 meters high. More than 100 square
> kilometers were inundated, yet no Environmental Impact Assessment was
> conducted, contrary to the Environment Act. Even though the dam was
> completed in 1994, and DEPD is currently filling the reservoir, the
> irrigation system is not operational, so the dam is effectively useless.
> The dam destroyed the fresh water swamp forest along the banks of the Mun
> River and blocked the migration of fish. The reservoir has been plagued by
> salination problems because it is located on top of a big salt dome. More
> than 3000 families have lost their farmland to the reservoir, and
> compensation was paid for private property only, not for lost customary
> land rights.  After a long struggle General Chawalit's government paid
> compensation to 1154 families, yet more than 1800 families remain
> uncompensated.
> Please act now to protect the lives of these people and respect their
> demands. Thank you for your consideration of these important matters.
> Yours sincerely
> *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*
> Aviva Imhof
> South-East Asia Campaigner
> International Rivers Network
> 1847 Berkeley Way, Berkeley CA 94703 USA
> Tel: + 1 510 848 1155 (ext. 312), Fax: + 1 510 848 1008
> Email: aviva@irn.org, Web: http://www.irn.org
> *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

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