July 24, 2017, by Kyaw Win
Farmers in Rakhine (Arakan) State’s Ann township said they have yet to receive compensation promised in return for land they allege was ruined by the construction of a controversial oil and gas pipeline.
U Myo Lwin, chair of the Ann township pipeline affairs watchdog group, blamed the state-run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) for the delay, claiming it has failed to pass on the list of farmers who have not received compensation.
“The local authorities are still unable to allocate the compensation money due to this failure,” he said. “In a letter signed by [Ann] Township Administrator U Ko Ko Myat, MOGE was again instructed on July 18 to send the list of farmers to the Committee for Calculating the Compensation by July 31,” he said.
Based on the field inspection group’s site visits to the farmlands, orchards, homes and cemeteries near the pipeline project, the Rakhine State government made a decision on May 16 that compensation would be provided.
The Ann Township Committee for Calculating the Compensation was established in June to determine the right compensation amount for each of the farmers. The 11-member committee is comprised of seven government officials and four farmers’ representatives.
The Ann township pipeline affairs watchdog group met with Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu in mid-June, pressing him to quickly allot compensation for farmlands and crops ruined by the pipeline project.
The pipeline passes through over 40 villages under nine village groups in Ann township. Pat Kway and Chaung Pauk villages had to entirely relocate due to the project.