Compensation for land flooded by Toh Boh Dam operations in Toungoo District, August 2013

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Published date:
Thursday, July 31, 2014

This News Bulletin describes the details of compensation provided by the Shwe Shwun In Company to villagers from four different villages in Htantabin Township, Toungoo District. At a meeting in August 2013, the Shwe Shwun In Company provided a total of 18,400,000 kyat (US $18,891) as compensation to 15 villagers who lost their lands due to flooding from the Toh Boh Dam; the Karen National Union was present at the meeting. After this meeting, Saw Shway Way, a member of Than Daung Special Zone Peace Group requested a percentage of this compensation for his work in supposedly negotiating compensation for the villagers, which would be used to fund his organisation. 13 of the 15 villagers provided a total of 7,040,000 kyat (US $13,696) to Saw Shway Way.[1]

 

In a meeting on August 2nd 2013, some of the landowners from four different villages in Htantabin Township, Toungoo District received compensation from the Shwe Shwun In Company for their land which was damaged due to the construction of the Toh Boh Dam. The local Karen National Union (KNU) authorities joined the meeting as well. The KNU authorities had not been working with the Shwe Shwun In Company to implement the dam project, but were invited to serve as witnesses when the compensation was given to the villagers. The KNU authorities had tried to ensure that the villagers received compensation from the Shwe Shwun In Company. Villagers from the following villages received compensation: Htee Ta Poo, Hkaw Law Kah, Hkoo Thay Der and Thoo Gheh Der.

According to the KHRG community member who reported this information, construction of the Toh Boh Dam began in 2009 and was completed in 2012. During its construction, more than 100 households were relocated from the dam construction site.[2]

Table 1: Compensation for landowners whose lands were flooded by the dam (August 2nd 2013)

Village/villagers

Receipt of money status

Amount

Htee Ta Poo village

 

 

  1. Saw A---

Received

1,200,000 kyat (US $1,232)[3]

  1. Saw B---

Received

700,000 kyat (US $719)

  1. Saw C---

Received

500,000 kyat (US $513)

  1. Saw D---

Received

1,500,000 kyat (US $1,540)

  1. Saw E---

Received

1,500,000 kyat

  1. Saw F---

Received

1,500,000 kyat

Hkaw Law Kah village

 

 

  1. Saw G---

Received

1,500,000 kyat

  1. Saw H---

Received

1,500,000 kyat

Hkoo Thay Der village

 

 

  1. Saw I---

Received

800,000 kyat (US $821)

  1. Saw J---

Received

3,500,000 kyat (US $3,593)

Thoo Gheh Der village

 

 

  1. Saw K---

Received

500,000 kyat

  1. Saw L---

Received

1,200,000 kyat

  1. Saw M---

Received

800,000 kyat

  1. Saw N---

Received

1,000,000 kyat (US $974)

  1. Saw O---

Received

700,000 kyat

Total 18,400,000 kyat (US $18,891)

 

According to the KHRG community member, after the compensation was given to the villagers, Saw Shway Way, a member of Than Daung Special Zone Peace group,[4] demanded money from the villagers who received compensation and informed them that he organised the meeting and negotiated with Shwe Shwun In Company regarding providing compensation to the villagers.[5] He also told villagers that he would use that money to support the activities of the Than Daung Special Zone Peace Group.

Saw Shway Way defected from the KNU in Toungoo District and he is now working with Tatmadaw Intelligence and the Than Daung Special Zone Peace Group.

Table 2: Money provided to Saw Shway Way (August 2nd 2013)

Village/villagers

Amount given

Htee Ta Poo village

 

  1. Saw C---

100,000 kyat (US $ 103)

  1. Saw D---

1,000,000 kyat (US $1,030)

  1. Saw E---

700,000 kyat (US $719)

  1. Saw F---

700,000 kyat

Hkoo Thay Der village

 

  1. Saw I---

500,000 kyat (US $513)

  1. Saw J---

3,000,000 kyat (US $3,080)

Hkaw Law Kah village

 

  1. Saw G---

120,000 kyat (US $123)

  1. Saw H---

120,000 kyat

Thoo Gheh Der village

 

  1. Saw K---

200,000 kyat (US $205)

  1. Saw L---

200,000 kyat

  1. Saw M---

150,000 kyat (US $154)

  1. Saw N---

150,000 kyat

  1. Saw O---

100,000 kyat

Total 7,040,000 kyat (US $7,228)

Footnotes

[1] This News Bulletin was written by KHRG office staff and is based on information from a community member from Toungoo District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. It summaries information from one Short Update received by KHRG in August 2013 and one Photo Set published in August 2012. In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in eastern Burma, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s redesigned Website.

[2] See “Photo Set: More than 100 households displaced from Toh Boh dam construction site in Toungoo,” KHRG, August 2012.

[3] All conversion estimates for the Kyat in this report are based on the July 18th 2014 official market rate of 974 kyat to the US $1.

[4] The official mission and purpose of this organisation is not known by KHRG. Based on the details provided in this report, the organisation seeks to assist villagers in negotiations with commercial development actors.

[5] The KHRG community member does not know if this individual actually negotiated the meeting and compensation for the villagers. Even if his claim is accurate, it is not apparent why this would warrant that he receives a percentage of the villagers’ compensation for their land.