Mergui-Tavoy Short Update: K’Ser Doh Township, June 2015

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Mergui-Tavoy Short Update: K’Ser Doh Township, June 2015

Published date:
Thursday, July 14, 2016

This Short Update describes events occurring in K’Ser Doh Township, Mergui-Tavoy District in June 2015, including logging and gold mining.

  • Wealthy individuals, Tha Yet Chaung forest administrators, village tract administrators and village heads started to conduct logging in Kyaw Khay Toh Praw large area in June 2015 permitted by the Burma/Myanmar government from Nay Pyi Taw without consulting with local residents.
  • Tha Yet Chaung forest administrators reserved forest nearby Htee Khay and Yay Pya villages and then started logging. Some villagers’ lands were marked as reserved forest land but administrators did not consult with them before the project was implemented.
  •  An unknown Chinese Company conducted mineral mining at Ba Wa Pin Mountain causing water pollution.     

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.[1] This report was received along with other information from Mergui-Tavoy District, including one other situation update.[2]

[Logging]

Burma/Myanmar government, rich individuals, and head villagers were gathering together to conduct logging. [The groups involved are]

                     Wealthy individuals

                     Tha Yet Chaung forest administrators [from the Burma/Myanmar government]

                     Village tract administrators [from the Burma/Myanmar government]

                     Village heads

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. 

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeast Burma/Myanmar to document individual human rights abuses using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar.  When writing situation updates, community members are encouraged to summarise recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important, and present their opinions or perspective on abuse and other local dynamics in their area.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in southeast Burma/Myanmar, 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 website.