Thailand: More Trouble in Paradise

More Trouble in Paradise

Tourists on Thailand's idyllic Phuket Island, where more than 300,000 visitors annually enjoy palm-lined beaches and seaside restaurants, were hard put last week to find much serenity. The peace was shattered by some 50,000 rampaging residents, angry at the projected opening of a tantalum factory near downtown Phuket. Protesters feared that pollutants from the refining of tantalum, a tin by-product used in the production of electronic equipment, might poison both the island's water supply and its blossoming tourist trade.

Industry Minister Chirayu Isarangkun arrived in Phuket to announce that plans to open the hated factory would be shelved, but he was...

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