Target: Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
Goal: Accurately inform the public about the consequences and dangers of the oil spill affecting Koh Samet
Off the coast of Thailand is a resort island by the name of Koh Samet. The nation depends on tourism when other economic activities decline, so when a pipeline filled with crude oil burst by the island, the clean up was immediate. Two major rescue operations, which included military units, were sent in to clean up the spill. Recovery for any oil spill can take years and yet the Thailand prime minister says that all is fine in the ocean.
Military units have spent three weeks scrubbing and cleaning up the shores of the island. To remove trace amounts of the crude oil, they used brushes and dish washing liquid on the rocks. However despite their tireless efforts, marine biologists say it will take years for a full recovery. The oil company PTT who owns the burst pipeline stated one day after the incident that “everything was restored to normal.” Even when a black tide washed along the shores of the island, the same executive stated that all was well, the oil would naturally decompose, and it would have no effect on the environment. This is a blatant lie, as oil spills have a huge negative impact on the environment. The deputy prime minister – to prove to the public that the waters were normal – swam in the worst affected area. Six days later, the pollution department issued a report stating that the area was too polluted to swim and was filled with potentially cancer causing hydrocarbons . The levels of carcinogens were six times higher than permissible levels.
These announcements from the government are extremely concerning. The deputy prime minister accuses the nation’s own pollution department of misinforming the public. The public doesn’t dare to test the waters for themselves, for fear of chemicals and dangers they do not see. Relations between the Thai government and the PTT oil company are too comfortable and cozy. Because PTT is so profitable, they are pressuring the government to release positive data about the spill. It also unsettling that the minister of natural resources and the environment used to be chairmen of the board on PTT.
Sign this petition and ask the Prime Minister of Thailand to rethink his officials’ announcements and accurately warn the public about the dangers of oil spills.
Dear Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra,
There is great concern over how your governmental officials are handling the burst oil pipeline in Koh Samat. I commend you for your prompt efforts in cleaning up the spill. I am grateful that your military was a part of the efforts as well. However it has come to my attention that officials, including the Deputy Prime Minister, are lying to the public about the safety of the beach and the water. Oil spills require a great deal of manpower to clean and the areas affected take years to recover. A PTT executive stated a day after the incident that all was well and there was no negative impact on the island.
It is greatly distressing that the deputy prime minister denies the pollution department’s data concerning the amount of carcinogens in the water. Despite stating that levels of hydrocarbons are six times higher than their permissible levels, the deputy prime minister is not supporting their findings. I ask that you issue an accurate statement to the public about the dangers of the water.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Marina Photobank via wikimedia