Kraisak Choonhavan, conservationist, human rights activist
Thai conservationist and human rights activist Kraisak Choonhavan has long campaigned against hydroelectric dams. Dr Kraisak, an academic for 20 years before he entered politics with the Democratic Party, was a member of the Thai Senate from 2001 to 2006 and served as chair of its foreign relations committee. Dr Kraisak is president of the Bangkok-based Freeland Foundation, which campaigns against wildlife and human trafficking in Myanmar and the region, and is a senior advisor to Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission, which has been investigating the role of Thai companies in plans to build dams on the Thanlwin (Salween) River. Mizzima Weekly’s Geoffrey Goddard sat down with Dr Kraisak for a wide-ranging discussion about dams and Thailand’s energy policy.
|The Salween River seen at the first bend in Northern Yunnan, near the border with Tibet Autonomous Region, China, July 9, 2005. Photo: Marc Goichot/EPA|
In open letters to Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power and the Thai and Chinese embassies in Yangon, the Burma Rivers Network appealed January 19 for an end to controversial plans to construct dams on the Salween or Thanlwin river.