Short Update | K’ser Doh Township, Mergui-Tavoy District (June 2015)
The following Short Update was received by KHRG in March 2015. It was written by a community member in Mergui-Tavoy District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security. This report was received along with other information from Mergui-Tavoy District, including one other situation update.
Burma/Myanmar government, rich individuals, and head villagers were gathering together to conduct logging. [The groups involved are]
Tha Yet Chaung forest administrators [from the Burma/Myanmar government]
Village tract administrators [from the Burma/Myanmar government]
They started to conduct logging at the beginning of June 2015 and got permission from [parliament in] Nay Pyi Taw. The logging took place in Saw Lay [Khay] Toh Praw [Kyaw Khay Toh Praw large] area. The [villagers] live in [the following 20 villages]: Htee Hpa Doh, Pa Da Chaung Gyi, Law Moh Hpa, Gay Mi Ba, Ler Wah, Kyauk Pru, Saw Khay, Taung Zin, Ta Pru, Ta Pru Chaung, Kwee Lay, Kauk Aaing, Meh Kreh, Mel Ke, Toh Praw, Taung Prauk, Maw Koh, Yay Pu, Htee Khay, and Yay Pya. They are suffering because of logging [destruction]. Consultation and permission [for logging] were not asked [for] from the villagers. The villagers asked for compensation in the form of logs or money but none has been paid to them. They [the wealthy individuals] were moving the logs [by elephants] in the villages [and they] passed over the bridges and damaged the bridges and roads. The villagers asked for cement and steel framing as compensation to rebuild bridges and roads but they [the loggers] did not pay them. It caused problems for villagers [to travel] after the roads and bridges were damaged. The trees are getting fewer and it is very far to go to get them for constructing the houses and village [community] buildings.
Tha Yet Chaung forest administrators reserved the forest to do logging. The villagers were not allowed to work in the plantations and do logging [in the reserved forest]. Only responsible people [local officials] and Burma/Myanmar government [staff] are able to do logging. The trees, bamboos, betel nuts trees and five people’s lands were included [in the area marked as reserved forest]. They did not inform villagers about reserving the lands in the reserved forest. [Some] villagers’ lands and betel nut plantations were included in the place that they reserved. The reserved forest is located very close to Htee Khay village and Yay Pya village.
Ba Wa Pin Mountain Mineral mining
The mining was taking place between Taung Thon Lon and P’Gan Ri villages. The Ba Wa Pin River was polluted [due to the mining]. Ba Wa Pin River flows to Than Ga Ton River and Tha Ga Ton River [again] flows to P’Ka River. We have seen that Ba Wa Pin River flows beside Wa Koo village so villagers in that village have to dig a well [to access clean water] without receiving any help [from the mining company]. We are not sure whether other villages [also faced this same difficulty about water pollution]. [The mining] destroyed the river and polluted water until it [the water] went down. The company who conduct the mining is [an unknown] Chinese Company.