Calls for suspension of Dawei Project in Burma
26 September 2013: The Tavoyan Women’s Union (TWU) has called for an immediate suspension of the Dawei Deep Sea Port project, a joint venture between Burma and Thailand.
TWU launched a new video today exposing how the local villagers are affected, their rights abused, and their cultural heritage threatened by the port and industrial zone.
A TWU statement said 12,000 people from six villages are to be evicted after the rainy season to make way for the first stage of the project, and 30,000 people in total will have to move from 19 villages in the Nebule area.
Company construction vehicles are ruining local roads, blocking transport and preventing children from going to school, according to the statement.
Pleas to mend the roads have fallen on deaf ears, and villagers have had to repair them themselves. At the same time, new roads for the project are blocking existing waterways, causing flooding and destruction of rice fields.
A woman from Mayingyi village, who was promised compensation for loss of her cashew plantation, said she had never received it, the statement said.
Su Su Swe, General Secretary of TWU said: “We are not against development, but the Tavoyan people must be allowed to make decisions about our own development and our own natural resources.”
Meanwhile, Thura Shwe Mann, Speaker of Lower House of Burma’s Parliament, and Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra met in Bangkok reaching an agreement to speed up the Dawei project, media reports said.
Ms Yingluck was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying: “Thailand and Myanmar must work together to move this project forward and inform the public about the benefits of the Dawei deep-sea port.”
Key elements of the Dawei Deep Sea Port project include constructions of a port, cross-border road link, power plant, water-supply system, industrial park and telecommunications infrastructure.#