Hundreds of fishermen in Thanh Hoa Province's Hoang Hoa District gathered at the district's office at night to protest the development of Hai Tien seaside eco-tourism area, claiming that it would drastically change their way of life.
The burnt raft taken to Hoang Hoa District People’s Committee
On the evening of April 14, a raft owned by Truong Ngoc Phong, a fisherman from Dai Long Village, Hoang Thanh Commune, in Thanh Hoa Province, was burnt. Local people suspected that the fire was set intentionally by someone related to the project. Hundreds of people gathered in protest in front of the offices of Hoang Hoa District’s People’s Committee.
The next day the protestors hired a lorry to carry the burnt raft to Thanh Hoa Province’s People’s Committee office building. But after police were deployed, the protestors returned to their homes.
The district People's Committee held a discussion about the project with the protestors after they returned on April 15, which started at 10pm and lasted into the early morning.
The Hai Tien Seaside eco-tourism area has been approved by the provincial People's Committee. However the local population is against it, particularly because of the planned road leading to the port would disrupt fishing activities.
While local people’s propositions are being considered by Hoang Hoa District’s authorities, the unfortunate incident happened.
Representatives of the local protestors asked that the project to be reconsidered. They wanted a 40 metre-long strip of protective forestland included in the project. They also requested that young people in the area be employed by the resort and that the person responsible for burning Truong Ngoc Phong's boat be found and brought to justice.
They claimed that there are often gangs at the port who harass local fishermen. They demanded that authorities deal promptly with the situation.
District authorities agreed with the protestors positions and admitted that the Hoang Thanh Commune’s People’s Committee hadn't adequately considered the interests of locals.
Dinh Thanh Liem, Office Manager of the district People’s Committee, urged communal authorities to carry out measures to ease the concerns of the protestors in a timely manner.
Chairman of the district People’s Committee, Pham Ba Oai said, “The public order has been established again. After having discussed with district’s authorities, local people agreed with our solutions for these problems.”
Truong Ngoc Phong, the owner of the burnt raft, said, “An inspection group will be sent to Hoang Thanh Commune. I hope they will reconsider the building of the port and roads so that local fishermen can continue their lives. The current design will make life much harder for us. I also hope they will find whoever burned my boat.”
Hundreds of people gather in front of the building
Long discussion between district authorities and local people