Prominent Environmental Activist Killed in Thailand

Shortly after testifying before a parliament subcommittee on corruption about attempts by “influential locals” — a common Thai term for corrupt officials and business owners — to build a private resort on public land, prominent Thai environmentalist Charoen Wadaksorn was killed this week by two gunmen on a motorcycle. Wadaksorn was well known in Thailand for forcing the government to scrap plans to build a coal-fired power plant in his province. His relatives, as well as a host of enviros, NGOs, and parliamentarians, called for the investigation into his death to be taken out of the hands of local police and instead handled by the country’s federal Special Investigation Department. Wadaksorn is the latest in a string of Thai activists kidnapped and killed — and a tragic reminder to western enviros that some things are worse than foot-dragging bureaucrats and editorial-page ridicule.