HANOI Fish­er­men sue Tai­wan firm over mass fish deaths

The Myanmar Times - - World -

HUN­DREDS of fish­er­men in cen­tral Viet­nam have filed law­suits de­mand­ing more com­pen­sa­tion from a Tai­wanese firm ac­cused of dump­ing toxic waste in the ocean that killed tonnes of fish.

The mass fish deaths rav­aged liveli­hoods in com­mu­ni­ties along the cen­tral coast, where fish­ing is the main source of in­come.

In a rare case of civic ac­tion against big busi­ness in Viet­nam, large crowds of fish­er­men have swamped a court­house in Ha Tinh prov­ince since Septem­ber 26 to file 506 law­suits against Tai­wanese con­glom­er­ate For­mosa.

The com­pany says it has al­ready paid US$500 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion af­ter Viet­namese of­fi­cials blamed its multi-bil­lion-dol­lar steel plant in the area for the fish deaths.

But the fish­er­men said they have yet to re­ceive any money and are de­mand­ing For­mosa close its plant and pro­vide pay­outs.

Se­cu­rity forces have been widely de­ployed in the area, ac­tivist Tran Minh Nhat told AFP, but no clashes were re­ported.

State me­dia said ear­lier that com­pen­sa­tion would be paid out from early Oc­to­ber af­ter the fi­nal tranche was re­ceived last month.

It was not clear how much would be dis­bursed to af­fected fish­er­men.

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