Kyauk Pru: Government officials in Kyaukpru in western Burma’s Arakan State have taken the compensation offered to local residents for whose lands were confiscated to make way for the corridor of the Chinese gas pipeline.
A resident of Kapaingchaung Village in Kyaukpru Township who received compensation for his lands confiscated for the pipeline told Narinjara in a telephone interview that the payment of the compensation has been altered by third parties, including government officials.
“Our villagers here are now quite busy receiving compensation. However most of them have not got the full amount owed due to exploitation by government officials. There are also some villagers who did not receive any compensation for their lands”, said the villager.
“So, some of the villagers have to go to court, and others to the land registration office to claim the compensation owed. The village administrator himself has gone to Kyaukpru for this matter so please contact him.”
U Tin Phay, an MP of the regional government from Kyaukpru, also said that the responsible departmental officials have exploited the villagers and taken the compensation owed to them.
“The officials include an assistant director and a clerk of the land registration department and the village administrator." said U Thin Phay.
“They have cut 1 million Kyat from the compensation of 4 million Kyat offered to U Maung Than Kyi, 1.5 million Kyat from 3.5 million Kyat to Daw Ma Win Nu, 5 lakhs Kyat from 1.5 million Kyat to Daw Ma Kyaw Thein, 1.5 million Kyat from 5.7 million Kyat to U Kyaw Thein and 4 lakhs Kyat from 1.25 million Kyat to Daw Khin Win Tin respectively.”
He said 24 villagers from Kapaingchaung Village have been compensated for the lands lost to the pipelines, but 23 of them have come to the RNDP’s Kyaukpru branch office to lodge complaints providing their own signatures and written accounts of their particular stories because the officials forcibly and unofficially cut their compensations.
“We also know from the villagers from the Kapaingchaung Village and other villages through which the pipelines will cross that the responsible officials have threatened them not to complain to their management or they will confiscate or stop all compensations for them”, said U Tin Phay.
“But the villagers are continuing to come to our office”, he added.
The pipeline that comes from the sea to export gas from the Shwe offshore gas reservoir to China has already arrived in Kapaingchaung Village, situated 10 mile east of Kyaukpru main town. It is also learnt that the authorities have already confiscated necessary lands owned by the 26 villagers from the Kyaukkhamaung Village for the pipeline, but no compensation has been offered to the villagers yet.
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