Indian Workers Evicted from Urban Kyauk Pru

Kyauk Pru: Authorities in Kyauk Pru in Arakan State have directed Indian workers to evacuate the downtown areas of Kyaukpru and move out from their rented homes to their work sites due to social problems among the residents of Kyauk Pru, the second largest city in Arakan and the main location of the Shwe Gas Project.

A foreign project in Kyauk Pru.

A chairman from a ward administration council said that U Ran Lin Aung , Chairman of Kyauk Pru District, made the directive after local residents complained of Indian workers causing social problems in the town.

“I received last week a copy from the district chairman where the chairman directed me to disallow Indian workers to stay in the downtown area after 19 January, 2012, because there are many social problems in Kyauk Pru after the Indian workers came to stay in downtown areas,” he said, declining to disclose his name in media.

There are many foreign workers on the Shwe Gas Project in Arakan State, including Chinese, Korean, and Indians, but most of the Indian workers are staying in rented housing in dowtown areas of Kyauk Pru.

The workers typically go to their projects in the early morning every day in vehicles and return to their homes in the evening.

The ward chairman said that more social problems started in Kyauk Pru when the Indian workers came to the town because unruly workers have engaged in unsocial activities by drinking alcohol and visiting local brothels after returning from their work sites.

U Thanda Maung, a social worker and member of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, said that clashes can occur at anytime between local residents and the Indian workers because some unruly workers have created social problems in the town after drinking.

“The dissatisfaction of our townspeople with Indian workers is increasing day after day due to their misbehavior. Some wards in Kyauk Pru are noisy and deafening every night because of Indian workers, because they go to the bar for drinking and go to sex workers’ homes,” he said, added that, “I really worry because a clash can take place anytime between residents and Indian workers if the Indian workers continue to stay in Kyauk Pru.”

The number of sex worker homes in Kyauk Pru is also increasing in recent years since many foreigners have come to the area for the Shwe Gas Project, he said.

The authority in Kyauk Pru has arranged a place for the Indian workers to stay after local residents complained about them staying downtown, but the Indian workers have refused to move, stating that the area is unsuitable.

Ko Than Kyaw, a junior engineer from Kyauk Pru, said that one local engineer, U Aung Naing, built some temporary houses at a place near their project, some 21 miles from downtown Kyuak Pru, on a contract with the Indian company for the Indian workers, but the workers refused to move to the place, stating that there were no facilities for them in that location.

In the directive from the Kyauk Pru district chairman, the Indian workers were instructed to leave for areas located outside town by 19 January, 2012, but the workers are still living in downtown Kyauk Pru against the authorities’ orders.