Prayut threatens protesters with prison

politics February 15, 2017 01:00


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Opponents of Krabi coal-fired power plant pledge Bangkok rally.

 THE prime minister warned yesterday that people planning to march to Bangkok on Friday to protest against the Krabi coal-fired power plant would be arrested.

After yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said he wanted to warn members of the group opposed to the plant to not stage a protest in the capital because it would be against the law and protesters would be arrested. 

“I ask them not to go to Bangkok [to protest]. Such movements are forbidden and they will be arrested if they go ahead. If there is anything to be concerned about, please discuss it in your area,” he said. 

He added that the coal-fired power plant in Krabi was needed, which was why he had ordered the Energy Ministry to hold a meeting on Friday to determine the fate of the project. 

“I promise that by Friday we will know whether this project will be allowed or not. So I ask them [the protesters] to not protest at this time because it will cause a legal problem,” he said. 

“I also want to ask them if they have sought permission to stage a protest, because according to the National Council for Peace and Order’s order, protests are prohibited at this time. And I want to ask, what will we do if we don’t build a new power plant and there is a power shortage?”

He added that the project was part of the Power Development Plan and that his government had already improved its plan to increase the proportion of renewable energy. However, he said, a proportion of fossil-fuel energy generation should also be considered. 

Meanwhile, leading activist Prasitchai Nu-nuan said in a Facebook post that the plan to protest in Bangkok would go ahead. 

“The lives of people living in Krabi is in your hands now, prime minister. You can use the law or guns as you wish. We have been fooled twice and will not allow this to happen again. Please don’t cite democracy, because you are using military power to shut people’s mouths and force them to do what the government wants,” the post read.