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3 Governors Have Slight Change of Heart over 4-river Project

3 Governors Have Slight Change of Heart over 4-river Project

Posted August. 03, 2010 10:08,   


Governors of three provinces opposed to the four-river restoration project began Monday to emphasize “careful consideration” after receiving an official ultimatum on if they oppose the parts of the project handled by their regions.

The three expressed discontent over the central government’s abrupt mailing of an official letter, but then spoke of “changes in their positions.” Analysts say that after their inauguration about a month ago, the governors have directly sensed the sentiments of their constituents, mayors and county chiefs who generally support the project.

On the letter sent by the Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry Friday, South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Doo-kwan said, “I felt perplexed because the notice was delivered like a unilateral ultimatum.”

“We cannot give an answer by Friday since we don’t hurriedly conduct activities (like the incumbent administration does),” he said. “We will adequately hear experts’ opinions before making a judgment and could continue the project if the (central) government accepts our demands.”

Kim’s provincial government sent an official letter Monday afternoon to the chief of the Busan regional land management office requesting an extension for the response.

South Chungcheong Gov. Ahn Hee-jung openly expressed anger on his Twitter account Sunday afternoon. “The government is asking if the province will conduct the four-river restoration project. I demanded dialogue but the government has replied with an ultimatum. It was rude for the government to send an official letter to a working-level director at the provincial office. The president’s reply to our suggestion for dialogue -- and he promised to hold dialogue -- has proven futile,” Ahn said.

He showed a different mood in a news conference Monday, however. He said he would reply to the letter after discussion with a “special review committee on the four-river restoration.”

On his Twitter post, Ahn said, “I just showed how I felt personally,” adding, “We cannot live life based only on emotion. I will seek to responsibly handle this issue as a governor.”

North Chungcheong Gov. Lee Si-jong said Monday, “My province will continue to implement the four-river project in principle and seek to adjust certain elements that require correction.”