Locals prepare petition against Thai coal mine in Shan State

Residents of Monglet Village Tract in Shan State are preparing to present the Parliament a petition against a Thai coal mine project that is being carried out on disputed farmlands confiscated from local villagers who had been forced out.

Thailand-based Lumpoon Dun Co Ltd is planning a coal-fired power plant in Monglet Village Tract, Kengtung Township in the eastern state of Myanmar. The village tract includes 14 villages, among which five lie in the project site.

During a meeting with political parties on October 24, the villagers formed a 20-member committee to protest against the project. The committee is in the process of gathering signatures for the petition.

Myanmar’s key opposition party National League for Democracy (NLD), Shan Nationalities Democratic Party, National Democratic Force, Lahu Party, and Restoration Council of Shan State/ Shan State Army pledged their help to submit the petition to the Parliament.

“To implement a project, the government may have a lot of consideration. We also are not protesting every project. If the project is beneficial, it should proceed. In this case, the parliament will decide if it is really beneficial or not. We will collect opinions of the villagers and submit it to the parliament. If the parliament decides it should proceed, it can,” said Win Myint, central committee member of NLD.

“On October 20, some government officials came to us and asked for our signatures on whether we have any objection to the coal mine project. We counter-asked where exactly the mines will be dug, but they said they didn’t know. We replied we cannot sign their paper. None of us signed it. But to protest against the project, all the villagers will sign,” said a local named Nan Late from Wan Taung Village.

Another villager said they will collect signatures for the petition not only in the five villages in the project area but also in all the fourteen villages in Monglet Village Tract.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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