Survey finds communities distrustful of Chinese mining companies
17 September 2013: A survey report by four Chin political parties on the Gullu nickel project in Chin State shows that local communities are expressing a new level of distrust of the Chinese companies.
The report said villagers around the Gullu Hill in Tedim Township are aware of the China-Burma mining project but are not informed of the details of the plans and possible outcomes.
Khin Mar Lar, from Myalin village in Sagaing Region, said: “We read their flyer but it was very unclear. We don’t see transparency or accountability in their practice.”
Community representative Pu Tuai Cho said local communities should have been consulted with detailed documents and papers related to the project.
The report said the local communities prefer mining companies from a democratic country to those from China if the project must proceed, although the majority object to its implementation.
Pu Kam Za Hmung, retired university rector from Kalay Town, said: “The project should be implemented only after we have had a federal system and a clear picture of shares from it. This shouldn’t happen before 2015 elections.”
The Chin parties also met with the Chin State government in Hakha, presented their findings, and held discussions with cabinent members.
However, the Chin State government said they don’t have the authority to deal with the mining matter which should be discussed with the central government.
The statement by the Chin parties also said no contract had been signed between Burma and the North Mining Investment Company of China, citing sources from the government of Chin State.
Last April, the Chin State government informed the central government that local communities agreed with the mining project based on a survey result conducted with 20 villages.
Contrary to that, the Chin parties’ report indicates that at least fourteen villages, five from within Chin State and nine in Kalay of Sagaing Region, disapprove of the project.
Furthermore, it places stress on the importance of implementing the project in accordance with the international standards and norm should it go ahead.
The Chin National Party (CNP), Chin Progressive Party (CPP), Ethnic National Development Party (ENDP) and Asho Chin National Party (ACNP) had met with more than 700 people from 14 villages and over 10 organizations in both Chin State and Kalay Town of Sagaing Region from 2-9 September.
In Kalay town of Sagaing Region, the team also held a meeting with representatives of the National League for Democracy (NLD), Zomi Congress for Democracy, 88 Generation, MPs, universities students and youth groups.#