Authorities reject application of protest against CNPC on Madae Island

Maung Aye

Kyauk Pru: Burmese authorities have rejected the application of local residents for a peaceful protest planned to be held on 26th of December outside the office of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) that is working for the Shwe Gas Project on Kyaukpru’s Madae Island in Arakan State.

Gas pipeline is being constructed in Arakan. ( Photo- Narinjara)

Gas pipeline is being constructed in Arakan. ( Photo- Narinjara)

Ko Tun Kyi, an organizer of the protest, told Narinjara that the authorities have rejected their application promising that they will try to meet some of their demands that are included in their application to be made during their protest.

“The district administrator called me to his office just after we submitted our application for the protest. I found the township police in-charge and other officers were waiting for me in his office. They told me not to protest and that they would try their best to meet the demands included in our application. As I was then alone among them, I had to sign it and take back the application”, said Tun Kyi.

The application that asked permission for 300 local people to protest and make seven demands outside the CNPC office is said to have been submitted to the authorities on the 14th of December.

“The officials told me that they would meet five of the seven demands included in our application. They said the demand of compensations for the confiscated farmlands and fruit orchards as per international standards and another demand are concerned with the central authorities and they would take considerations of those demands”, said Ko Tun Kyi.

The local villagers on the island are said to have planned the peaceful protest in order to make their demands that are— (1) To give compensation as per international standards for the confiscated farmlands and fruit orchards, (2) To provide employment to them in the project, (3) To construct (already promised) roads that will connect to villages near Madae Island, (4) To pay wages as per international standard to the local workers, (5) To provide electricity to all households on Madae Island, (6) To scrutinize the workers coming from outside for their security and (7) To allow them to freely fish around the island.

They said they are now planning to meet the local authorities including the district administrator as their application for the protest was rejected.

According to them, most of the farmers on Kyaukpru’s Madae Island have been suffering from the loss of their livelihood and joblessness, as two thirds of their paddy farms were confiscated for the Chinese companies for their projects related to the Shwe Gas Project.

They said the parliamentary commission designated for investigating confiscations of arable lands has investigated only two cases of farm confiscations reported by U Maung Lu Gyi and Daw Ma Khin Aye in its recent mission on the island even though many other farmers from the island have reported their respective cases of farm confiscations to the parliament.