Kyauk Pru:People in Kyaukpru, a town at the heart of the Shwe Gas project in Arakan State, showed their support for the RNDP’s plan for sharing benefits from the gas projects between the central and regional government, said RNDP Vice-President U Tin Pe, who chaired the rally.
The rally was held by the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, which won 34 seats from Arakan State in the last election in Burma, at the Independence Monument grounds in Kyuak Pru on 1 January, 2012.
“The Rakhine state election commission permitted only 500 people to attend the rally but over 1000 people attended the rally and showed their willingness to support our party plan to fight for sharing profits from our own gas that the government decided to sell to China,” U Tin Pe said.
The people in the rally cheered and cried out loudly to support the plan of RNDP when party leaders delivered speeches about Shwe Gas and how to fight for this by party candidates in parliament in Naypyidaw, he said.
In the rally, four RNDP party senior leaders, including party chairman Dr Aye Maung, delivered speeches on the gas project and also other issues like their activities in the upper and lower houses in Naypyidaw.
“Our party chairman Dr Aye Maung told people in rally that some of legislators from RNDP asked questions to concerned responsible ministers at the last parliament session on the Shwe Gas project but we could not get a satisfactory reply from those ministers. Because of this we arranged the rally to show how our people hope for revenues of our Shwe gas,” he said.
In the last sessions of parliament, the candidates from RNDP asked questions to government bodies on whether there is any plan to use gas from Arakan State for Arakan State’s development. The concerned ministers replied in the parliament that the government has no plans to use gas from the first quota for Arakan State.
Afterward, the Arakanese people were angered and demand the government use the gas for Arakan State’s development.
According to party sources, the RNDP arranged the rally in Kyaukpru to raise their voices for Shwe Gas sharing benefits for Arakan State.
“People support our party activities for Shwe Gas and we are going to request the government to share revenues from Shwe Gas to upgrade our state development. Our state is very poor in Burma and we should get some benefits from our own gas,” U Tin Pe added.
Party leaders and the attendees at the rally vowed to fight for equal rights in Burma, not only for national resources but also for political, economic, and social rights. The rally was peacefully ended that night, but the authority did not allow some party leaders to deliver a speech instead of some who submitted their names with the election commission but were absent from the rally.