1. Villagers vote ‘No’ to the military residence housing project in the village
In the villagers’ general meeting that was held from 8 to 10 pm, April 10, the villagers made a decision on the two: 1. To have the Life and Peace Pilgrim throughout the Island during this summer (concrete time and details will be talked later), 2. Not to invite military residential house in the village.
Regarding the 2, the matter of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the invitation of the project was decided by vote. The voting result was 114 people for ‘no,’ 3 people for ‘yes’, 1 abstention, of total 118 seated electorates. The total number of the present people in the meeting was 145. The villagers have already fiercely dissipated the navy’s presentation on the navy’s military housing project within the village three times. Those were May 29, June 15, 2012 and March 26, 2013.
At the time of 3rd presentation when Yoon Seok-Han, navy captain and director of the construction management said that he would drive for another hearing by sending the village an official letter that the villagers claimed that it was not mailed, Kang Dong-Kyun, mayor of the Gangjeong Village Association said that the village would decide the matter on the drive for presentation through the village’s temporal general meeting.”
The Gangjeong Village Association said on April 11, after the vote result: “The vote is based on the village regulation that the numbers of the seated have to be more than two third and the resolution has to be approved by more than half. Therefore the vote this time is effective.” The village also stated that, “The general meeting on the day was a temporal general meeting with the prior process of 7 days’ public notification term, constant announcement broadcasting that encourages villagers’ participation, mailing of the correspondence that explains the agenda content. We declare that it is an official result that represents the villagers’ collective opinions.”
The village emphasized that “we strictly warn the navy that there should not be its words and actions that it is to drive for the building of military housing in the Gangjeong village saying that Gangjeong villagers hope installation of it. The navy should be responsible for all the conflicts and social ripples following such.”
Regarding the atmosphere of the voting date, dir. Cho Sung-Bong delivers one villager’ remark in the general meeting on April 10: ‘A villager stood up and talk to the others,
“Since the blast of the Gureombi Rock, not to mention dust, mixed muddy water and oil are floating on the underground water. There has been no such things by now. [..]
Even though I have reported it to the Water Resource headquarter, its officer dropping by here, left only words that there is no problem for farming. I appeal you to decide your vote after thoughtful consideration.”
The navy was told that it would build the military residence in the new town of the Seogwipo city if the Gangjeong villagers do not agree on the project. It is questionable what the navy and Island government would make their next decision after the result of the villagers’ vote. It was a general meeting with the atmosphere of heavy silence and tension.’
April 10_ Opening speech by mayor Kang Dong-Kyun (Video by Pang Eun-Mi)
April 10_Villagers vote on the matter of yes or no on the invitation of military residence housing project
(Video by Pang Eun-Mi)
April 10_Villagers count ballots (video by Pang Eun-Mi)
April 10_Mayor Kang reports the result of vote and people cheer (Video by Pang Eun-Mi)
2. On April 10, the Jeju court(Judge: Kim Kyung-Sun) sentenced mayor Kang Dong-Kyun with 300,000 won fines for the charge of installing structure two years ago in the coast of the village where the naval base building is enforced
The judge applied to him with the charge of violation on Public Waters Act(the law on the reclamation and landfill on the public water and its vicinity surface). Mayor Kang was charged that he had installed artificial structure of wooden cross with an artifact of ‘red-feet crab,’ on the coast within the naval base construction area without permission of jurisdiction office in April 2011.
The structure had been set up to protest to the destruction of the habitats of the red feet crabs during the time when opposition struggles were being done centered around the Joongdeok coast (of which most part we call as the Gureombi Rock).
Judge Kim reasoned her court decision saying that she “referred to the fact that the area of wooden cross is narrow and it is not installed any more.” However, mayor Kang expressed his will for appeal saying that, “at the time, the [navy and companies] were destroying rock floor without permission to work on the public water and its vicinity surface. Further the so called witness cannot even say exactly where it was. I am no guilty.” (Source)
3. New chief of the Jeju Prosecutors’ Office
Lee Myung-Jae(53), new chief of the Jeju Prosecutors’ Office who was inaugurated on April 10 expressed his tough position on the opposition struggle against the Jeju naval base project, emphasizing so called ‘law and principal.’ He was born in Choonchungnamdo province and has worked in Choonchun, Incheon, Seoul, Chungjoo. The people have strongly denounced on the abuse of the prosecutors’ power on March 21.