Thaton Interview: Saw N---, June 2017


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Thaton Interview: Saw N---, June 2017

Published date:
Friday, September 28, 2018

This Interview with Saw N--- describes the perceptions of the local community about the development of a limestone quarry and cement factory in Min Lwin Mountain, in Thaton District.

  • In June 2017, Karen National Union (KNU) Thaton Township leaders held a consultation meeting about the development of a limestone quarry and cement factory. They only invited local leaders from Min Lwin village tract, Thaton Township. During this consultation meeting, they did not provide adequate information about the impact of this factory on the local community. Instead, they distributed assessment survey forms to all local community members. The lack of adequate information led to disagreements among the local community.
  • The process of gaining the consent of the local community has been controversial. Households that live far from the Mountain were included in the process, even though they are not directly impacted by the limestone quarry and cement factory. Many households who signed their names did not realise this would constitute consent to the development project. The names of people who have emigrated to Thailand were also found among the signatures of people agreeing to the development of a limestone quarry on Min Lwin Mountain.
  • Local people predict that the negative consequences of the limestone quarry on Min Lwin Mountain are the loss of community forest, environmental damage and the loss of biodiversity, farm lands, plantations and potential displacement due to livelihood problems. 


[1] KHRG trains community members in southeastern 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 conducting interviews, community members are trained to use loose question guidelines, but also to encourage interviewees to speak freely about recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important and share their opinions or perspectives on abuse and other local dynamics.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in southeastern 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.

[3] Dtee is a familiar term of respect in S’gaw Karen attributed to an older man that translates to “uncle,” but it does not necessarily signify any actual familial relationship.

[4] For more information regarding the Maw Lay Cliff (also known as Min Lwin mountain) stone mining for cement project see “Thaton Situation Update: Thaton Township, January to June 2015”, KHRG, January 2016, “Thaton Field Report: January to December 2015,” KHRG, August 2016, and  “Thaton Interview: U A---, 2016,” KHRG, May 2016.

[5] Even though the KNU central authority had officially suspended the feasibility study for the cement factory being carried out by the Phyu Min Tun Company near Min Lwin Mountain, local authorities continued to meet with villagers, as confirmed by the following articles:"KNU Suspends Min Lwin Mountain Cement Factory Project," BNI Multimedia Group, April 2016 and "Residents Call on KNU to Scrap Contentious Cement Factory Plans," KIC, June 2017.