DIGITAL MEDIA & ADVENTURES
On the night of May 15th 2014, 300 armed men alllegedly beat and bound fourty villagers in Na Nong Bong community. Villagers were held captive while their wall was destroyed and 13 truckloads of materials out of the mine. On the morning of May 17, police came for the initial investigation of the attack on the community at Tungkum Ltd. mining site.
Isaan Record - http://isaanrecord.com/2014/05/20/gold-mine-protesters-hurt-by-armed-mob-and-shady-deals-3/
Aljazeera - http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/5/16/armed-men-attackthaivillagerstogettocontroversialgoldmine.html
Human Rights Watch - http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-073-2014
The Nation - http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Loei-villagers-claim-armed-mob-attacked-them-over--30233872.html
If you are interested in trying to help you can send appeal letters to the Asian Human Rights Commissions here - http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAU-018-2014
or Amnesty International here - http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA39/006/2014/en/afc518bf-d267-4544-a991-6bf5da0d605b/asa390062014en.html
On Saturday, June 6 2014 the Thai milliary summoned Khon Kaen student activists and forced them to sign an agreement to stop political activities, including their support for Na Nong Bong
Prachatai English - http://www.prachatai.com/english/node/4100
In 2013, in September, villagers blocked again by 600-strong force from attending public hearing. Six affected villages decide to take action, on September 7th villagers come up with Community Ground Rules and a plan to ensure their own rights, such as no transportation of chemicals between villages and no more than 5 ton trucks passing through. They also build their first blockade to prevent access of public roadway through villages from mineral ores to mine processing plants. TLK responds with criminal and civil lawsuits against leading villagers for 50 MB, and 10 million baht/day. The blockade is taken down by maksed men in the middle of the night. The following morning villagers build a second blockade and set up a watch schedule. TLK adds 70 million baht to charges. This blockade was destroyed early one morning by the local elected government. That afternoon the villager built a third blockade. The third lawsuit for TKL is 150 million baht. Video from the construction of the 3rd blockade.
Video from the construction of the 3rd blockade -
In 1991, Tungkum Limited Mining Co. (TKL) is founded in 1991 as a subsidiary of Tungkah Harbour Public Company Limited out of Hong Kong.
In 1998,TKL does EIA (environmental impact assessment) on land designated for mine & collects Na Nong Bong villagers’ signatures for unclear purpose.
In 2002, Thailand Mineral Act amended- further stipulates “villagers …entitled to preliminary discussion of proposed mining projects, opinion hearing 60 days after mining license granted” (upholds Thai Constitution guaranteeing citizens voice in industrial projects)
In 2003, TKL gets 6 gold mining licenses (2.07 sq. km) In 2004, TKL begins mine construction In 2006, mine operations begin on the 2 mountains (Phu “Thap Fa” & Phu “Sam Pa Bon”) In 2007, People Who Conserve/Love Their Hometown (Kloom Khon Rak Ban Koet) is formed mainly by Na Nong Bong villagers to demand water from the government. In 2008, PWCTH gets over 1,000 village members In 2009, Loei public health offices warn villagers about water quality in tambon Khao Luang due to extreme levels of arsenic, cadmium, & manganese. PWCTH begins protesting at Loei governor’s office several times to demand sustainable water solution and investigate water pollution source. In March the provincial government begins supplying water, but stops shortly after due to budget. The Municipality tried to supply water, but then fails to do so adequately. In 2011, province health authorities test residents’ blood and 124/758 people have excessive levels of cyanide and mercury. The cabinet orders TKL to delay expansion plans or apply for new licenses until contamination problem fixed and economic returns for the state are re-assessed. In 2012, in October, the wall of the gold mine's tailings pond collapsed not once but tree times releasing it's contents into the local water sources. The tailings pond holds the waste water used to dissolve the gold from the ore, and contains extremely high levels of cyanide and other chemicals used in the extraction process. Despite this and the Cabinet resolution, TKL applies for new license to expand to 2 other areas. Requires EHIA. In December, mining opponents are blocked by 1,000 police, volunteers, company security guards at a public hearing (part of the EIHA process) organized to be an open forum.