Thais ask court to stop Xayaburi dam project

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Bangkok Post  8 August 2012

By Apinya Wipatayotin

Thai villagers who fear their livelihoods will suffer from the Xayaburi dam in Laos petitioned the Central Administrative Court yesterday to stop the project.

They demanded the power purchase agreement between the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) and Laos' Xayaburi Power be scrapped, as they believe the dam project is unlawful.

The 50-strong group, which represents the Network of People in Eight Mekong Provinces, previously petitioned Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on July 23 to postpone the power purchase agreement until an environmental impact assessment on the project is completed.

Under the agreement, Egat will buy 95% of the electricity generated by the dam once it is completed.

The villagers also said they were considering legal action against banks which are funding the project, and compensation for the suffering caused by the environmental impacts.