Facebook Campaign in Kayin State Against Coal Power Plant

KAYIN – Facebook users have been changing their profile pictures to be part of a mass campaign that says ‘‘In Karen State No Coal”.

Local people and civil society organisations oppose plans for a coal-fired power plant to be built beside the Thanlwin River near Thone Ein, Watgyi and Htonetaung villages in Hpa-an township, groups in the state have said.

Saw Thar Boe, from Burma Rivers Network, said: “Currently, we, Facebook users, launched a change-of-profile-picture campaign for ‘No Coal in Karen State’ that started at public meetings held from June 21.

“In Kayin State, the civil society organisations and friends shared the objections about coal power plants in Kayin State to the public and changed their profile picture to ‘In Karen State No Coal’”.

“And then, they also shared the speeches of experts concerning disadvantages of coal [power plants].

“We’re going to hold talks about the advantages and disadvantages of coal. We have a plan to hold a discussion where everybody can freely and openly participate in the talk after inviting the experts,” Saw Thar Boe said.

He said if the country favoured coal-fired power plants, it would cause more global warming and climate change. So, the government should not allow coal-fired power plants to be built. If they allowed them, there would be adverse climatic and environmental impacts.

Nan Myint Aung, from the Youth Learning Centre, said: “We are one of 147 civil society organisations that have issued a statement opposing a coal-fired power plant [being built] in Kayin State.

“Then we launched a campaign for a change-of-profile pictures to be written as ‘In Karen State, No Coal’ on Facebook.”

TTCL Plc held a meeting at Zwekapin Hall in Hpa-an on Wednesday as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment on the coal-fired power plant proposed to be built with an ‘ultra super critical method’.

After the meeting, some 33 civil society groups in Kayin State opposed the project, saying it lacks transparency. Their objection was later backed by 114 groups nationwide.

TTCL officials said they would build a coal-fired power plant beside the Thanlwin River. If completed, the plant would generate 1,280 MW of electricity – for Kayin State and sold to the Ministry of Electric Power and Energy.

TTCL got a go-ahead from the former government to build the coal-power plant in Andin village, which is part of Ye Township in Mon State, but the project was postponed due to objections by local residents.

Kayin State Chief Minister Nan Khin Htwe Myint, spoke at the meeting on Wednesday, saying the state would proceed with the plan to set up the coal plant despite objections, because everyone knows the region would develop if it could have a full electricity supply.


Source: Eleven Myanmar

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