Dawei project residents deny Ital-Thai claims that relocation is “almost done”

Press release by Tavoyan Voice

November 21, 2012

Dawei project residents deny Ital-Thai claims that relocation is “almost done”

Local villagers living in the planned Dawei deep sea port and industrial zone deny recent claims by the Thai project developer that most people have already been relocated from the area.

Over 30,000 villagers from 16 villages in the US$50 billion project area are slated for relocation, but community leaders insist that no one has yet been relocated.

In an interview with the Bangkok Post on November 12, 2012, Premchai Karnasuta, managing director of Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD), said that “relocation of residents in the project area has been almost done.”

However, ITD representatives are still negotiating compensation rates, and have failed to convince the majority of villagers to move.

“Most people in my village have said they will never move out, even if houses are torn down around them,” said U Awbartha, abbot of the monastery in Mayin Gyi village.

 

Construction of new houses in a relocation camp in Bawah village, north of the project site, is still underway, and only about 300 houses have been completed. Villagers are reluctant to move there as the site is remote and there is no agricultural land available to carry out their traditional farming livelihoods.

Villagers were shocked that the Ital-Thai managing director had falsely presented the project situation on the ground, for the sake of boosting investor confidence.

“Rather than focusing on international investors, the Thai developers should worry about growing community resistance to the project,” said Lwin Lwin of Tavoyan Voice.

According to the Bangkok Post article, construction of the project is expected to begin in April 2013.

 

For further details contact:

Lwin Lwin (Phone) (+66 85 250 2982)

Tavoyan Voice is a network of community based groups working to protect and promote human rights in the Dawei area, which disseminates information through its website:   www.tavoyanvoice.com

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