Monday, June 25, 2012

Rival rallies held over Lynas plant

POLICE stopped about 800 anti-Lynas Himpunan Hijau protesters from marching towards the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng here yesterday.

They had earlier gathered at the entrance of the Gebeng Industrial Zone at 10.30am and held a sit-in under the watchful eye of policemen, who had set up a roadblock 50m away.

As the gathering slowed traffic along the busy road, district police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Jasmani Yusoff approached the protesters and gave them some time to finish their speeches and disperse.

The group, however, marched towards the industrial area, forcing Jasmani and his men to stop them at the roadblock.

After a brief stand-off, the organisers agreed to disperse at 12.30pm.

Jasmani expressed regret that the organisers had violated the Peaceful Assembly Act as the rally was carried out without a permit.

"The organisers are supposed to apply for a permit 10 days prior to the gathering, but they only informed us two days ago.

"The venue is also not suitable as it is located in a busy industrial area," he said, adding that some protesters also brought children to the rally.

Among those present were Pas deputy president Mohamad Sabu, state DAP chairman Leong Ngah Ngah and national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said.

Meanwhile, a rival group with 10,000 people came out in support of LAMP at a gathering in Teluk Cempedak.

The Pahang Federation of Non-governmental Organisations in Support of the National Agenda (Daun) planted saplings named "Lynas" as a gimmick to support the LAMP project.

Its coordinator, Wan Emril Nizam Wan Embong, said the gathering was held in support of the project.

"The main reason for organising the gathering was to provide support towards the construction of the plant, which had been certified to be safe by experts.

"The majority present are young people.

"Daun is not backed by any political party."

Wan Emril said Daun would also visit schools and Rukun Tetangga areas to explain, hold lectures, as well as distribute pamphlets, on the operations of LAMP.

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