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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NGOs urge PM to raise dam issue on Laos trip

NGOs urge PM to raise dam issue on Laos trip

Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a delegation to Laos over the weekend to meet his counterpart Thongsing Thammavong, although officials yesterday were silent on whether concerns surrounding the controversial Don Sahong hydropower dam would be raised.

“On Saturday and Sunday, I will lead a senior delegation to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the visit will focus on the discussion of strengthening bilateral ties,” Hun Sen wrote on his Facebook page yesterday.

Asked whether Don Sahong was on the agenda, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry said: “I have no detailed information about the bilateral meeting.”

Further calls to the Prime Minister’s spokesmen went unanswered yesterday.

In October of last year, Laos Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad and Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong discussed the Don Sahong in a meeting.

According to Namhong, Lengsavad cited studies which found the dam would have “no environmental impact” to which Namhong said he would push for more research into the matter.

Tek Vannara, executive director of the NGO Forum, said the project being built by Malaysian developer Mega First will harm the Mekong’s hydrology and ecology, and affect the livelihood of millions of Cambodian people.

“We hope that this is an opportunity for Prime Minister Hun Sen to set a clear agenda for discussion about the hydro dam with his Lao counterpart,” Vannara said.

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Don Rennie's picture

Dear Sokheng,

The PM is neither smart enough nor educated enough to understand the impact of hydropower development and ways and means to mitigate the effects of this type of development.

The government has been weak in developing sustained electrical power to supply Cambodia, hence the reliance on electrical power from Vietnam and Thailand. Forty per cent of the rural people in Cambodia do not have access to reliable electrical power.

How long has the PM been the PM? Too long. He has done little to help the people of Cambodia for the last 30 years.

The PM and the CPP do not care about the people of Cambodia. This is a clear and undeniable fact of life.

DR

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