Than Min Htike
Kyauk Pru: The local residents said they are planning to stage a protest outside the office of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) that is in charge of projects related to the gas and oil pipelines on Kyaukpru’s Madae Island in Arakan State on 26th of December.
U Tun Kyi, an organizer of the protest, said they have already applied for the authorities’ permission for their protest.
“We have submitted our application for authorities’permission to the police office of Kyaukpru Township on December 14. We have applied for 300 people, but we do not know yet how many people will be allowed for our demonstration”, said U Tun Kyi.
He said the demonstration is planned to be held marching a one and half mile distance from the playing ground in Preinkyaun Village up to the CNPC office on the island.
U Tun Naing, a member of the Myanmar-China Pipeline Watch Committee as well as a member of the Kyaukphyu Social Network Group, also told Narinjara that the demonstration is demanding rights and benefits for the local residents who have suffered losses because of the Shwe Gas Project.
The local residents are said to have suffered from losses of their arable lands as the former army’s officers who served in Arakan State confiscated their land with the collusions of the land registration department and sold them to the Shwe Gas Project.
According to a report of Irrawaddy published on 12 December , the military officers who include the former commanders of Arakan State, Lt General Win Myint, Major-General Maung Oo, Major-General Thaung Aye and Brigadier General Thura Maung Ni and the former minister of transport Major-General Thein Swe confiscated and registered their lands under the names of their family members and received millions of kyat from selling those lands to the Shwe Gas Project.
The report said they have also found out that some plots of lands and coconut plantations confiscated by the military intelligence in Kyaukpru are still being registered under the name of Nan Yatanar Win, the daughter of Lt General Win Myint, who served as the commander in Arakan State as well as the Secretary (3) of the former SPDC regime.
U Tun Naing also said such unfair and forcible confiscation of their arable lands by those military officers have caused great sufferings to them in Kyaukpru, adding that they would make the following demands during their demonstration.
(1) To give compensation as per international standards for the confiscated farmlands and fruit orchards
(2) To provide employments to local residents in the project
(3) To construct (already promised) roads that will connect to villages near Madae Island
(4) To pay the 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 the security of local residents
(7) To allow the local residents to freely fish around the island
Those demands are also said to be included in their application submitted to the authorities for the permit of their demonstration.