Ancient pagoda exist rock mountain blow up by mine for Shwe gas project

Kyauk Pru: A company and the Burmese army has blown up a rock mountain in Kyuak Pru, where famous ancient pagodas existed, by dynamite to produce rock for the Chinese Shwe Gas project, said local residents and a lawmaker.

 

The Kyauktalone pagodas in Kyauk Prau.

A local resident in Kyuk Pru, U Thanda Maung, told Narinjara over the phone that the MGC company and LIB 543 battalion has been mining (exploding) the rock everyday to produce rock for the Shwe gas project.

“On the mountain, there are 54 ancient cave pagodas built by Arakanese King Minba in the 15th century. The pagodas are threatened due to the production of rock by mining. Young organizations in our town complained to the District Chairman about the matter but have not received any reaction or response up to now,” he said.

The rock Mountain is locally known as Kyauktalone, 3 and half miles away from downtown Kyauk Pru.

Local residents have sent information to U U Ba Shin who is a lawmaker in parliament in Kyauk Pru Township to immediately thwart the production of rocks from the mountain by mining.

Replying to Narinjara, U Ba Shin who is now attending in parliament in Naypyidaw said that he received information from residents from Kyauk Pru and he is trying to take action in accordance with present law.

“We can sue them with religious law if they actually produce the rocks from the ancient pagodas by mining. We told our fellows to collect data as to who ordered and who are involved in the production of rocks in the mountain,” U Ba Shin said.

Local residents surrounding area of the pagodas are disappointed and will be preparing to protest against the company and the army battalion if they continue to  produce rocks from the mountain by mining.

“We all are ready to take to streets in our town to make demonstrations against the plan of the MGC company and battalion No 543 for producing rocks from the rock mountain where many ancient pagodas are. We officially notified the authorities to stop the mining in the mountain. If not, we will carry out our plan to demonstrate against the authority,” said U Thanda Maung.

Kyauk Pru is the heart of the Chinese owned Shwe Gas project. There are many problems like confiscations of land, forced relocation of homes and damaging many ancient sites in Kyauk Pru Township since the Shwe Gas project started in the area.