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Wang Saphung District

Wang Saphung
วังสะพุง
District
District location in Loei Province
District location in Loei Province
Coordinates: 17°18′6″N 101°46′6″E / 17.30167°N 101.76833°E / 17.30167; 101.76833
Country Thailand
Province Loei
Area
 • Total 1,145.0 km2 (442.1 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total 109,424
 • Density 94.6/km2 (245/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+7 (ICT)
Postal code 42130
Geocode 4209

Wang Saphung (Thai: วังสะพุง; IPA: [wāŋ sā.pʰūŋ]) is a district (amphoe) in the central part of Loei Province, northeastern Thailand. The district has been the site of a long-standing dispute between the villagers of Ban Na Nong Bong and its environs and Tungkum Limited, a subsidiary of Tongkah Harbour PCL. Tungkum extracts gold from an open pit mine in district and has been charged with environmental destruction by many of those living nearby.[1][2]

History

Khwaeng Wang Saphung was a satellite city of Mueang Lom Sak. It was assigned to be under Mueang Loei on 4 January 1907.[3]

Geography

Neighboring districts are (from the north clockwise), Mueang Loei, Erawan, Pha Khao, Nong Hin, Phu Luang, and Phu Ruea of Loei Province.

The important water resource is the Loei River. The Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary is in the west of the district.

Administration

The district is divided into 10 sub-districts (tambons), which are further subdivided into 141 villages (mubans). Wang Saphung is a sub-district municipality (thesaban tambon) which covers parts of tambons Wang Saphung and Si Songkhram. There are a further 10 tambon administrative organizations (TAO).

No. Name Thai Villages Pop.[4]
01. Wang Saphung วังสะพุง 13 15,821
02. Sai Khao ทรายขาว 20 13,877
03. Nong Ya Plong หนองหญ้าปล้อง 20 16,006
04. Nong Ngio หนองงิ้ว 09 05,067
05. Pak Puan ปากปวน 11 07,784
06. Pha Noi ผาน้อย 19 13,010
10. Pha Bing ผาบิ้ง 06 04,564
11. Khao Luang เขาหลวง 13 09,672
12. Khok Khamin โคกขมิ้น 20 14,505
13. Si Songkhram ศรีสงคราม 10 09,118

Missing numbers are tambon which now form Erawan District.

Conflict with mining interests

The Khon Rak Ban Kerd Group (KRBKG) is a community-based group committed to defend the local environment from the negative impacts of the open-pit copper-gold mine operated by the Tungkum Company in the district. On 30 March 2016, the Loei Provincial Court dismissed a civil defamation lawsuit brought by six KRBKG members who live in communities near the open-pit copper-gold mine, for erecting signs in 2015 at the Na Nong Bong village entrance gate and along the main road in the village, calling for the closure of the controversial mine and rehabilitation of the local environment. Tungkum sought 50 million baht in compensation from the six KRBKG members for alleged damage to the company’s reputation. Tungkum has brought at least 19 criminal and civil lawsuits against 33 members of the KRBKG and other villagers in the past seven years, including the case dismissed yesterday. Using lawsuits, the company has sought a total of 320 million baht from villagers who oppose the mine.[5] Following a three-year investigation, the NGO Fortify Rights found that the company and the Thai government had "...targeted environmental defenders...journalists, and others with costly lawsuits that infringe on basic rights."[6] Their findings are documented in a 90-page report issued in October 2018.[7][8]

References

  1. ^ "Mine operator in Isan threatens to sue high school student". Prachatai English. 2015-09-10. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Gold Mine Protesters Hurt by Armed Mob and Shady Deals". The Isaan Record. 2014-05-20. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  3. ^ แจ้งความกระทรวงมหาดไทย เรื่อง ให้ยกอำเภอวังสะพุงมาขึ้นเมืองเลย (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai). 24 (3): 51. 1907-04-21.
  4. ^ "Population statistics 2008". Department of Provincial Administration.
  5. ^ "Thailand: Judicial harassment against members of the Khon Rak Ban Kerd Group for opposing gold mine". World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). Geneva. 2016-03-31. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  6. ^ Wannasiri, Sutharee; Smith, Amy (2 October 2018). "Score gold by protecting rights, not mine operations" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Fortify Rights. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  7. ^ 'We Fight to Protect our Home'; Reprisals Against Environmental Defenders in Loei Province, Thailand (PDF). Fortify Rights. October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Thailand: Protect Environmental Defenders, Ensure Remedies" (Press release). Fortify Rights. 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2 October 2018.

External links