Several groups are calling for the ASEAN summit to address the regional discord caused by the Xayaburi dam, which Laos began constructing earlier this month despite opposition downriver from neighbours Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as from conservation groups.
On Friday, the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia and the NGO Forum announced that they had sent letters to the prime ministers of Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand and to the ASEAN administration asking for a halt to the construction of the dam, which they say would negatively affect 60 million people.
The letter also urges Thailand to cease making plans to buy electricity from the dam.
Today, civil society consortium Save the Mekong Coalition is releasing a letter stating that the dam’s unchecked construction “has called into question the purpose of the MRC [Mekong River Commission]” – the body intended to regulate such development in the region. Laos’s lack of consultation with affected nations sets a “dangerous precedent”, the letter says.
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