Yangon, 17 August 2016
Arakan government has recently formed a screening committee to study the damages caused by the Chinese oil & gas pipeline project in Ann township of the State.
The committee will primarily focus on the ruined lands with growing paddies owned by the villagers. The initiative began when many local villagers threatened the Rakhine State government to stage a demonstration in the capital city of Sittwe, if the authority fails to compensate the affected farmers, said Ko Myo Lwin, a local leader.
“The committee started working since 13 August from a village in Ann Taung under Ann township. Around 165 farmers were reportedly deprived of compensation against the loss due to the oil & gas pipeline connecting to Yunnan province of China,” said Ko Myo Lwin.
He added that few villagers had however received the compensations. But most of them, who faced the loss in paddy & orchid land are yet to receive any compensation. Hence the authority and China National Petroleum Corporation should take initiatives to support them, asserted Ko Myo Lwin.
The scrutinizing committee comprises many government officials from the district and township levels with one from Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise and 12 representatives from local farming communities.
The Ann township administrator U Kyaw Htu informed that the MOGE and CNPC earlier used to compensate the farmers against the loss of crops. But now the farmers want to get the compensated against their damaged lands.
As the farmers in other parts of Burma have already received compensations from the same company against their damaged lands, the Arakan farmers raised voices for their shares. Following their demands the screening committee was formed by the government.
Talking to Narinjara over telephone, U Kyaw Htu only announced that the committee would submit the report to the government for compensation. However he did not guarantee any compensation prior to that.
The ultimate decision would be taken by the higher authority only, added the township administrator.