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17 Oct 2014

Pianporn Deetes, International Rivers

Thai Mekong Communities Take Further Legal Steps to Stop Xayaburi Dam

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…[A] number of villagers…travelled to the Administrative Court in Bangkok on Wednesday to request an injunction calling for the suspension of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the Xayaburi Dam, the first dam now under construction on the Lower Mekong River mainstream.  The injunction follows on from the decision by the Supreme Administrative Court on June 24th to hear a case brought forward by Thai villagers against the five government bodies responsible for signing the agreement to purchase power from the Xayaburi Dam.  The case argues that the PPA is illegal under Thai law…and that it should never have been signed, as the project’s environmental and social impacts in Thailand were not studied and communities in Thailand were not meaningfully consulted…[T]he injunction’s objective is to prevent further construction…before it’s too late for the people in Thailand…The case itself is groundbreaking in recognizing and articulating the transboundary impacts of the Xayaburi Dam, which the government of Laos and project developers have continued to deny.  It is also the first case to require a Thai state-owned company building a project overseas to comply with Thai laws.