Re: “Mekong River survey begins despite opposition: Field survey by Chinese company begins in Chang Rai”, The Nation, April 20.
The Chinese do pretty well what they want – look at the South China Sea. It truly amazes me, all the “charades” governments go through to impress their populations when the final decisions are already cut and dried. Thailand being no exception.
“Suranart stressed that this survey was only a part of the Mekong River development study and there was no plan to blast the rapids.”
Yeh sure, and we all know that the deal is probably cut and dried, backhanders paid, and contracts safely locked in a drawer.
In case this beautiful river is straightened, we will see the stream velocity significantly increase leading possibly to drought upstream, and likely flooding downstream. (See River Rhine management.)
“China’s CCCC Second Harbor Consultant Co Ltd had informed the department that they would begin the survey on the Mekong River project.”
It is protocol in respect to a nation’s sovereignty that a foreign company must request permission to enter the country to perform. Unless the Prayut government is passively allowing this de facto invasion of the nation’s sovereignty, it must have otherwise given advanced permission for such entry. In either case the Thai government would have denied the Thai people within the project area any voice in their future.
The river between the Golden Triangle and Chiang Saen has already been denatured with concrete banks and tourist development. No small pratincoles on the sandbanks last time I was there – in fact, the sandbanks were overgrown, now the flow of water is evidently no longer natural due to dams higher up.
All I can suggest is that conservation bodies need to promote Thailand’s natural heritage far more effectively.
Only by changing popular attitudes can anything be done to protect what’s left.
The Chinese takeover continues and Thais do not see what is coming, even here in the UK they try it on with Chinese restaurants now switching over to Thai food served the Chinese way – greasy yesterday’s leftovers, and that is what many will be in 10 years time. Enjoy your Chinese Thai takeaway.