Yadana Pipeline Project

This action request came to us from the Asian Cultural Forum on Development (ACFOD). It calls for letters of concern about the controversial Yadana gas pipeline project.The 649 km pipeline, constructed to move gas from Burma to Thailand, has almost been completed. However environmental and human rights groups, with the support of international organisations, have successfully delayed the last section through a National Park in Thailand. The pipeline has caused widespread human suffering and environmental damage. Profits from the sale of the gas will be used by Burma's corrupt SLORC regime to buy arms to maintain its hold on power.

Pipeline Urgent!

A plea to help save conservationist's lives
in the case against the Yadana gas pipeline

Dear friends,
Warm Greetings! Please consider to take action on the appeal below. Thanks for your concern.
Best regards,
Boonthan T. Verawongse
Peace and Human Rights Program,
Asian Cultural Forum on Development (ACFOD)

The controversial Yadana gas pipeline project has caused much suffering to both the Thais and Burmese minorities along the border, as well as rendered much destruction to the bountiful forested area. The construction of this 649 kilometers long to bring natural gas from the Moutaban Bay, off-shore of Burma , has been almost completed both of the sections in Burma and Thailand. However, due to opposition of environmental groups and human rights groups in Thailand, as well as from international organizations, the construction of the section that will destroy a large part of a National Park in Thailand to pave a road of 8.4 Kms with 20 meters wide has been delayed since last 21 Dec., when 50 activists and locals camped out there to guard the forest.

The conservation groups asked the government and the Petroleum Authority of Thailand to review the projects for both the environmental and human rights reasons.

First, researches have confirmed that the forest is so important to the surrounding environment. Many rare animals have been found living in the area including wild elephants, smallest bats, and a special kind of crab. Second, the project has been known to involve gross human rights abuse by the SLORC against the minorities living along the pipeline route, who have been forced to be labour in the project. Moreover, the pipeline was intentionally routed to pass to through strongholds of the minorities as the Burmese troops expected that the Thai officials will help them in the ethnic cleansing operation since the project is a joint venture between the Thai and Burmese authorities. Most importantly, the huge revenue from selling natural gas from the biggest sources ever found in Burma, will eventually be used to buy arms to strengthen SLORC's armies which have categorically prevented democracy from taking place in Burma.

It was reported today (21 Jan.98) that the delay of the construction of the pipeline in Thailand caused by the blockade of the conservationists has prompted the officers to "hire" and mobilize villagers from the area and elsewhere to confront with the campers. Once violence breaks out, some 200 security officers deployed in the area can justifiably intervene and arrest the campers. Moreover, it was reported that they proponents of the pipeline are masterminding the kidnap of two prominent leaders of the opposition group, namely, Ms. Bhinand Jotiroseranee, and Mr. Pibhop Dhongchai.

Several years ago a Thai worker union's leader, Mr. Thanong Bo-arn, disappeared during the rule of a military regime. Sources confirmed that he was killed in order to suppress the worker movements.

What You Can Do

Please write, using the above information, and mail/fax to:

1. The Prime Minister of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand. fax +662-2801443, 2812536, 2825131

2. The Governor of Petroleum Authority of Thailand, Vibavadi-Rungsit Road,
Bangkok 10900, Thailand. fax +662-5373498-9

and ask them not to use violence against the peaceful protesters, and suspended the pipeline project due to the above reasons.

The Kalayanamitra Council
60/2 Tiwanond 34, Muang,
Nonthaburi 11000,
fax 5803711 email :pipob@ksc.th.com

Spirit In Education Movement
60/2 Tiwanond 34 Muang, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand

Tel +662-9506601-3 Fax +662-5803711
email : pipob@ksc.th.com