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Peace Rally to Protest against the New Naval Base in Ganjeong Village, Jeju
2011년 11월 01일 (화) JaeHee Kim, Reporter jhkim@worldyannews.com

‘People demand to quit building the naval base’


A rally against the new naval base in Gangjeong Village, Jeju has been held in front of the Jeju City Hall on Oct. 29. The rally joined by the Joint Strategy Committee of the Civil Society Organization, Response Committee of Gangjeong Village, and National Response Committee to opposite the Naval Base and had been held in three different areas including Ildodong, the gate of Jewon Apt. and around the Jeju City Hall at the same time from 3PM, under the theme ‘People demand to quit building the naval base!’.

The first session was the rally and street march from City Hall to Tahpdong, the second session was the concert and screening of the film ‘Jam Doc. Gangjeong’, an invitational film to the 2011 BIFF and DMZ Korean International Documentary Festival.

   
   

Despite of the rain, about one thousand people including the villagers of Gangjeong Village, citizens of Jeju, and people from other areas who flew in by the ‘Airplane of Peace’. All of them deeply wishe that the construction of naval base be stopped so that the beautiful nature of Gangjeong Village be preserved and the villagers could keep living their lives in harmony as they used to be.

The construction of naval base is now about 10% completed but the villagers, the Peace Committee, the religious circles and 5 of the opposition parties are against it. This project is even violating the related regulations.

Even Jeju City is demanding to stop the construction but the government and the navy are keep pushing, saying it is the national project. Mayor of Jeju GuenMin Woo is demanding the compensation for accepting the project but the citizen never did any protest to demand the compensation. All citizens want from the government is to cancel the whole project.

The area is selected as the absolute preservation area by the special development law of Jeju and is also selected as the natural monument ‘Yeonsanho colony’ by the Cultural Heritage Administration. The village that has to be preserved and protected by the law is being destroyed to build a naval base, by the government.

   
 

People’s wish to inherit the beautiful village with clean water and soil,
the beautiful sea and the land to the descendants are now brutally destroyed.


Jeju Island rarely has the stream where fresh water flows but Gangjeong has two, Gangjeong steam and Ahkguen stream. 90% of Seoguipo area depends on the source of water supply of Gangjeong stream. Gangjeong is known as ‘the village of water’ for it has many spring water.

Rice cropping in Jeju is nearly impossible for it is an island but it is possible to do rice cropping in Gangjeong. When people went through the period of spring poverty eating only cooked millet and barley, Gangjeong villagers could eat rice. The land produced twice more than other area. Gangjeong Village had another nickname ‘The Best Gangjeon’ for it was the best village to live in Jeju.

The area had restricted appraised value of land for 20 years for it was a land worth to preserve ecologically and was selected as the best eco village. When it was selected as the naval base area the restriction was forcefully cleared and was purchased by legal force according to the land value of 20 years ago. People’s wish to inherit the beautiful village with clean water and soil, the beautiful sea and the land to the descendants are now brutally destroyed.

For the last 5 years, Gangjeong Village has been suffering enormous pain and damage while protesting against the construction of naval base. About 60 villagers including the chief of the village are going through the damage suits about 200 million KRW and about 100 villagers are going through the judicial action. No family is free from those events.

   
 

YoungWoon Lee, the director of Korea Federation for Environmental Movement of Jeju says “The villagers of Gangjeong are not being treated as the people of Korea by the present government. The government authority is using illegal force and violence, and this must be corrected.”

To the people who think the naval base is necessary for the country, that the people should agree to the government with patriotic mind, he asked to pay more serious attention to the matter saying “Please come to Gangjeong Village and see if the area is fit to have a military base. Please meet the villagers and listen to what they say. Then you will have the right to have your claims.”
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