University students demand respect for human rights in development projects
19 August 2013: Chin students from universities and colleges in Kalay urge Burma’s authorities to respect human rights in its development activities in Chin State.
In a statement released yesterday, the Chin students said priority must be put on the rights of local communities when dealing with extractions of natural resources in Burma’s northwestern state.
Eight townships out of nine in Chin State have been found to possess minerals and other natural resources, according to U Kyaw Nyein, Chin Minister for Forestry and Mining.
The students have also called on the government of Burma to engage in businesses that would directly benefit the local communities in Chin State, the poorest in the country.
A joint venture between Burma’s government and Chinese mining companies in exploration of nickel in Tedim Township of Chin State has seen protests as the local communities were not included in the decision-making processes of the project.
The need for transparency and accountability in extracting natural resources and making investment in Chin State is stressed in their statement by the Chin students.
About 4,000 Chin students are currently studying at universities and colleges in Kalay of Sagaing Division.#