Villagers raise concerns regarding proposed stone mining and cement production in Win Yay Township, Dooplaya District

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Villagers raise concerns regarding proposed stone mining and cement production in Win Yay Township, Dooplaya District

Published date:
Thursday, January 18, 2018

This News Bulletin describes villagers’ concerns about the testing of Khonkhan rocky mountain in A--- village, Sin Pyay village tract, for potential limestone mining for cement production. The testing is being done by the Asian Falcon Company. When the Asian Falcon Company began to test the stone of rocky mountain in their area between March and December 2016, villagers in Sin Pyay village tract, Win Yay Township reported that they did not receive clear or transparent information about what was happening. Although they have raised their concerns about the potential negative impacts, villagers express that the local Karen National Union (KNU) authorities have ignored their voicse by permitting the company to conduct its business activities for the proposed cement production.[1]

Footnotes

[1] This News Bulletin was written by KHRG office staff and is based on information from a community member from Dooplaya District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor local human rights conditions. It summarises information from one other document, one complaint letter, one situation update and two interviews received by KHRG in within 2017. 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.

[2] The place of the Asian Falcon company site visit is a mixed controlled area. Therefore, the visit site area was mentioned with two townships name according to the KNU and Myanmar-government defined territory. 

[3] This company name is also translated as the Asia Eagle Company. For previous KHRG reports regarding the company’s involvement in stone mining in Dooplaya District, see “Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik Township and Win Yay Township, November 2016 to January 2017,” August 2017.

[4] Although there is a lack of transparency regarding the details of the testing, it is likely that the company is testing the quality of the limestone to assert that it is of suitable standard for cement production. According to the internationally held standard for natural resource governance, exploration and licensing of potential mining sites should be allocated to companies in a transparent process, and closely monitored by the government. For more information see Precept 3 of ‘Natural Resources Charter Benchmarking Framework’ NRGI, 2017.

[5] This information is taken from unpublished report from Win Yay Township received in November 2017.

[6] This information is taken from an unpublished interview from Win Yay Township received in September 2017.

[7] This information is taken from an unpublished interview from Win Yay Township received in September 2017.

[8] This information is taken from unpublished report received in November 2017.

[9] This information is taken from an unpublished interview from Win Yay Township received in September 2017.

[10] P’Doh is a Karen title used for a government or military governor or officer.

[11] “Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik Township and Win Yay Township, November 2016 to January 2017,” KHRG, August 2017.

[12] “Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik Township and Win Yay Township, November 2016 to January 2017,” KHRG, August 2017.

[13] The international standard of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) relates to the rights of indigenous persons in relation to decisions which affect their community. It is enshrined in Article 32, “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” 2007, and expanded on in “Free, Prior and Informed Consent of Indigenous Peoples,” OHCHR, September 2013.

[14] On January 12th 2012, a preliminary ceasefire agreement was signed between the KNU and Burma/Myanmar government in Hpa-an. Negotiations for a longer-term peace plan are still under way. For updates on the peace process, see the KNU Stakeholder webpage on the Myanmar Peace Monitor website. For KHRG's analysis of changes in human rights conditions since the ceasefire, see Truce or Transition? Trends in human rights abuse and local response since the 2012 ceasefire, KHRG, May 2014. In March 2015, the seventh round of the negotiations for a national ceasefire between the Burma/Myanmar government and various ethnic armed actors began in Yangon, see “Seventh Round of Nationwide Ceasefire Negotiations,” Karen National Union Headquarters, March 18th 2015. Following the negotiations, the KNU held a central standing committee emergency, see “KNU: Emergency Meeting Called To Discuss Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement And Ethnic Leaders’ Summit,” Karen News, April 22nd 2015.

[15] The National League for Democracy (NLD) was elected in November 2015 and officially took office in March 2016. The State Councillor of Myanmar and de-facto head of the NLD is Aung San Suu Kyi, whilst the President is Htin Kyaw.