Anti-CNPC protest: Ten Arakanese produced for second time

(Kyauk Pru, 14 May 2013) : Ten Arakanese, who led a recent protest programme against the Chinese National Petroleum Cooperation (CNPC) last month were produced before the court on Monday. The residents and community leaders of Madae Island were produced in Kyauk Township court for the second time after the local police accused them of disobeying the authority.

Residents in Madae Island work as day laborers.

Residents in Madae Island work as day laborers.

The primary allegation against the 10 leading villagers was that they led a mass protest against the Chinese petroleum company on 18 April in Madae without the government permission. The anti-CNPC protest demonstration was attended by over 800 villagers.

The Kyauk Pru township police station in-charge officer U Kyaw Htay confirmed that those ten villagers were indicted under section 10 act as they led the protest without the permission from the concerned authority.

“Initially the date of second hearing was fixed on 16 May, but the court advanced the date to 13 May,” informed U Tun Kyi, one of the ten accused villagers.

Besides Tun Kyi, who hails from Wra Ma village, the other community leaders, who were produced in the court include U Maung Maung Myint, Ko Myo Naing and Ko Yin Hla hailing from Kyauk Tan village, Ko San Aye, Ko Mg Mg Soe and Ko Aung Myint Soe from Praing Wra, U Maung Pru Thee and U Tun Khaing Nu from Wra Ma village, and U Tin Oo Kyaw from Pan Htain Say village.

Madae Island emerges as a central place where the CNPC is operating for the Shwe gas project and engaging in the constriction of oil tanks, deep sea port for oil tankers and other relevant infrastructures under the project.

The residents of the island have been raising voices against the Shwe Gas project as they continue facing various problems like confiscation of agricultural lands, environmental damages and prohibition in fishing. They have already placed a nine-point charter of demands to the Chinese company during the 18 April protest demonstration.

Earlier, all those accused villagers were brought to Kyauk Pru township court by the police on 6 May last. However the police were compelled to release all of them on bail when nearly 600 agitating villagers from Madae marched to the courtroom protesting the police actions.

The next date of hearing, as informed by U Tun Kyi, is fixed on 27 May by the township court.