The Legend of Kang Sua Ten Dam
It had been more than ten years since I heard aboutthe struggle of people against a dam called Kang Sua Ten in Phrae province, Northern Thailand. This is a firsttime that I got a chance to visit one of the strongestpeople’s movements in Thailand since they have beenstruggling in 1980s. To protect their communities andthe last golden teak forest of Thailand.We got up in an early cold morning on 28 November2009 to travel by a pickup truck from Chiang Mai toKang Sua Ten in Phrae province. To join a treeordination ceremony that local people there organizefor media and people from other places to learn abouttheir struggle and their way of life. I traveled togetherwith Karen youth from Youth Training for DevelopmentProgram (YT), all of us were 11 people.
is the coordinator of thisorganization and
is one of the YT staff. It was exciting for me to visit
’shome since I have known him for a long time. The young Karen also exited forvisiting another people movement besides their land and forest movement inChiang Mai. Their parents and communities also have been struggling for theircommunity rights to live and protect their forest for more than 15 years.Finally, we arrived Sa- iab community at about 11o’clock. Unfortunately we missed the tree ordination inthe morning so later on
brought us tovisit some other places around the communities. We tooka rest for lunch at the learning center of
sediment of Yom River
) Youth Group where located rightin the middle of community. I was impressed with all of colorful flags and signs around the center andcommunity. Big signs painted with the strong words toshow their oppositions against the dam such as “Theforest alive-the people alive, build a dam-people die”,“Our River, Our Lives”. There are also several flags of other people’s movement that they have been a membersuch as Assembly of the Poor and La Via Campesina, thenational and international peasants’ movement in Thailand and other countries.