Chin parties to visit Gullu nickel project in Tedim township
25 August 2013: Representatives of four Chin political parties are early next month to make a trip to sites of Gullu nickel mining project in an effort to assess the current situation.
Salai Ceu Bik Thawng, General Secretary of the Chin National Party (CNP), said the purpose of the trip is to listen to the voices of local communities who raise concerns regarding the project.
“Based on the results of our assessment and consultation with experts, we would put forward the issues to relevant bodies including the government of Chin State,” added Salai Ceu Bik Thawng.
He said preparatory meetings with expert and professional organizations who had experiences on various mega-projects were held in Rangoon.
It is vital that there is transparency and accountability if and when the project starts, according to the Chin parties including Chin Progressive Party (CPP), CNP, Ethnic National Development Party (ENDP), and Asho Chin National Party (ACNP).
“The project must be carried out in line with international standards and norms. The rights of indigenous people in the areas must be respected in accordance with the UNDRIP [United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples],” said Salai Ceu Bik Thawng.
Sources claim that ZCD (Zomi Congress for Democracy) will not be able to participate in the trip to Gullu Mual, aka Mwetaung Hill, in Tedim Township of Chin State.
Protests against the nickel extraction project were organized in recent weeks.
The nickel mining project in Chin State is a joint venture between the government of Burma and Chinese mining companies reportedly led by North Mining Investment Co Ltd of China.#