November 7, 2013
HURFOM: Thailand’s largest industrial conglomerate, Siam Cement Group (SCG), is reportedly collaborating with Pacific Link Cement Industries Ltd. to construct a 12.4 billion baht cement plant in Kyaikmayaw Township, southeast of the Mon State capital. But residents of Pyar Taung village, located on the eastern bank of the Attaran River that bisects Kyaikmayaw, have alleged that the fledgling project has been accompanied by rampant unjust land acquisition and numerous “broken promises” made to villagers by the companies.
“We already submitted letters [detailing the] damage to both local people’s livelihoods and the environment from constructing the cement project to the president, administration office and state governments,” said Nai Maung Ngo, a field researcher from the environmental and human rights watchdog Pyar Taung Watch. “Although we submitted the letter many times to the government, there are no solutions for us yet. The companies always give false statements to the residents saying that they will prevent hardships to local livelihoods, the environment, and wild animals when they call a meeting.”
A total of 30 workers from SCG and Pacific Link reportedly met with landowners last month in four villages along the Attaran River. According to meeting participants, company representatives made a number of promises about the value and benefits of the project and concluded by asking attendants to sign a paper without describing the significance of the document. Continue reading “Myanmar-Burma: “Broken promises” at Pyar Taung cement project”
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