Kyauk Pru: Arakan state government authority has allowed the local people to hold a demonstration against the Chinese Company CNPC which is a major company working at the Shwe Gas project in Arakan, said an activist who is leading the campaign.
The activist U Tun Kyi, who is a resident of Madae Island where the Chinese National Petroleum Cooperation (CNPC) has been carrying out many projects, told Narinjara over the phone that the Kyauk Pru district police chief informed them the Arakan state government permitted them to stage a demonstration on the Island of Madea against the CNPC.
“We submitted an application last week to Arakan state government to allow a demonstration in Madae Island against the Chinese company. We did not receive the permission from the Arakan state government but we received information from the District police chief authority who told me the Arakan State government has allowed us to stage the demonstration,” U Tun Kyi said.
Local residents firstly submitted an application to Kyauk Pru district police station to stage the demonstration but the authority denied the issue permission. So the residents submitted the appeal to Arakan state government continually.
“The demonstration will be staged on 11 April in our island. The demonstrators around 250 will be gathered in front of Wra Ma monastery on the day; and we will march to the CNPC office from the monastery to stage the demonstration,” U Tun Kyi said.
The demonstration is to be staged after the livelihoods of many local residents in the island of Madae have been lost since the Shwe gas project was implemented on the island.
“There is compensation for farmers who lost their farmlands to the Chinese owned Shwe gas project but the compensation is very low; does not meet international standard. Meanwhile, the many freehold land owned by local residents were confiscated by high government officials in the name of vacant and virgin lands. After then, the officials sold the land to the Chinese company for their own interests. The local residents had not received any compensation for the lands,” he said.
The authority also does not allow local residents on the island to catch fishes offshore in the surrounding area of the island after the Shwe gas project come to the island.
“We have no land to carry on our survival as well as no water to cash fishes. We all are in a very difficult struggle currently for our survival. Because of this we decided to stage a demonstration against the projects conducted by the CNPC on our island,” he added.
Officials from CNPC and the government have also promised many times to the residents to support the island’s development but practically offer nothing. The officials promised to construct several connecting roads among the villages on island but the construction of roads are being neglected. Similarly, the electricity will be distributed to all villages on the island but nothing assists till now.
The local residents will also demand fulfillment of their needs like compensations, power and construction roads during the demonstration holding posters, signboards as well as shouting slogans against the CNPC Company, U Tun Kyi said.
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