(Myadae, 22 May 2013): China has vowed to develop the islands of Myadae in Arakan State of Burma, where a massive oil and gas project is under construction by the Chinese petroleum authority.
The Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar, Yang Houlan has disclosed about it during his visit to the Island on 19 May last to look over Shwe gas project.
The Chinese Ambassador was accompanied with 20 officials when he came to Myadae Island and met over 50 village leaders at Prin Wra village monetary in the Island, a community leader of the island named Ko TunLwin informed.
In the meeting, the Chinese ambassador promised the villagers about his mission ‘to help the Myadae residents in several sectors like health, education, power and communications’.
The Chinese diplomat’s visit to Myadae Island was realized following a series of protests by the local villagers against the CNPC on 18 April last year. Around 500 villagers marched to CNPC office in the Island on that day to demonstrate their grievances against the oil and gas project there.
The villagers demanded nine point charters during the protest programme including a) to compensate for the confiscated lands with international standards, b) to construct all connecting roads among the villages, c) to employ all villagers living in Island at work-sites of the Shwe gas project if they have workers registration, d) to supply electricity to all villages located on the island, e) to scrutinize all workers from outside in order to avoid crimes in the island, f) to allow villagers for fishing in the surrounding offshore areas of the island, g) not to confiscate lands on the island without the people knowing, h) to build a broken embankment on the Island immediately and i) to compensate those who have been suffering from the project.
After the protest, 10 community leaders were charged by the authority as they led the protest rally without the permission from the government.