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Thai Citizens’ Group Submits Evidence of Impact of Laos’ Xayaburi Dam to Court

Author: Eugene Whong, Radio Free Asia, Published on: 15 February 2020

14 February 2020

A group of concerned Thai citizens...submitted additional evidence regarding the impact of Laos' Xayaburi dam to the Thai Supreme Administrative court, describing damage to fisheries and dramatic changes to an ecosystem that sustains millions of lives.

In an ongoing lawsuit concerning Laos' first of five planned large-scale Mekong river dams, the Network of Thai People in Eight Mekong Provinces is challenging the legitimacy of a power purchase agreement between Laos and Thailand, saying that the project has failed to properly assess the environmental impact of the dam in Thailand.

"The submission of additional evidence comes after half a year of project operations. During this period, downstream of the dam, stretches of the Mekong in seven Thai provinces experienced sharp and unusual water fluctuations, and 'clear blue water' - a phenomenon that signals an absence of the nutrients and sediment that are critical to aquatic lives, fisheries, and agriculture in the lower Mekong basin," said the International Rivers NGO in a press statement about the submission.

"The timing and location of the dramatic ecosystem changes indicate that they are linked to the operations of the Xayaburi dam," the statement said.

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...[T]he Network is also asking the court to suspend the Power Purchase agreement until their evidence can be properly assessed.

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