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Thai islanders oppose oil exploration


7/28/2010

Published on Jul 28, 2010

Three island communities in Thailand have banded together to oppose oil exploration in the waters off Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Hotel, Tourism and environmental associations have formed a new activist organisation called Siam Gulf Preservation Network Group (SGPNG), which opposes any oil exploration and drilling concessions in the area.

The 300-strong SGPNG has called for the government to revoke exploration grants in favour of alternative energy production that would not threaten the island’s tourist industry. The group, headed by local mayor Samui Mayor Ramnet Jaikwang, will rally against the proposal 31 July along with up to 35,000 supporters. The plan is for protestors to link arms, forming a continuous human chain along the 52km ring road that runs around Koh Samui.

Speaking to local press a group spokesman said; “The purpose of this huge collective expression of solidarity is to inform the government, the Thai people and other countries that the overwhelming public opinion in the southern region is fully against the Department of Petroleum granting permission for oil exploration and drilling in the territory of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, which could have a disastrously negative impact on the entire region’s tourism and fishing industries.”

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