( Kyauk Pru, 4 June 2013) : Kyauk Pru township court in Arakan has postponed the hearing of 10 villagers who have been charged by the police for leading a protest demonstration against Chinese National Petroleum Cooperation (CNPC) recently in the State of Arakan.
Ko Tun Kyi, one of 10 villagers facing charges by the police, informed that the judge of Kyauk Pru court yesterday postponed their hearing to 13 June as they could not arrive in the court all together on the last hearing on 3 June 2013.
Nearly 600 villagers of Mradea island marched into CNPC’s office there on 18 April 2013 to express their angers against the Chinese petroleum project in Shwe gas field.
The villagers organized the protest programme against the CNPC without obtaining the permission from the local authority. Before the demonstration, the villagers however requested the authority to grant the permission, but they were denied which compelled the agitating farmers to do so without the valid permission.
Afterward, the police sued 10 villagers for leading the protest programme illegally (read without permissions from the authority).
The local sources inform that the CNPC is now constructing a connecting road among the villages of the island. The demand for a road was included in the charter placed by the agitating villagers during the 18 April demonstrations.
The villagers placed a nine point charter during the protest programme including a) to compensate the farmer against the confiscated lands with international standards, b) to construct connecting roads among the villages, c) to employ all villagers living in the island at work-sites of Shwe gas project if they have workers’ registration, d) to supply electricity to all villages located on the island, e) to scrutinize all workers coming 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’s consent, h) to repair a broken embankment on the Island immediately and i) to compensate those who have suffered due to the oil & gas project.