Cabinet to Reconsider Industrial Zone; Chana Protesters Head Home

Chana protesters camping out in front of Government House on Dec. 14, 2021.

BANGKOK — Dozens of protesters from Chana community left Bangkok for home in Sonkhla early Wednesday morning after the Cabinet pledged to restart the environmental impact assessment process for an industrial zone to built in the province.

The Cabinet on Tuesday afternoon assigned the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to conduct a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for the project per protesters’ demands. The protesters, who arrived a week ago, say the proposed Chana Industrial Zone would destroy their livelihoods and the environment.


No time frame has been specified but a leader of the movement said Wednesday on the phone he’s welcomed the decision from the government.

“I am satisfied. Having the NESDB instead of the Interior Ministry in charge of the process is more impartial,” said Bunjong Nasae, a key leader of the Chana protest group. “The process may take between a year and a half to up to two and a half years so it may be the new government that will have to deal with the issue. We hope that by then, the new administration may scrap the project altogether.”


Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha also thanked the protesters for understanding the government and deciding to end the protest. He said the administration will adhere to the laws in solving the dispute associated with the proposed industrial zone.