The party yesterday sent a petition to Thura Shwe Mann, Speaker of the People’s Assembly, to immediately take consideration on some 200 acres of lands in Shan State South’s Kehsi township seizing by an unidentified mining company to extract coal in the areas, said a SNDP representative from the township.
If the company started mining the said 200 acres of lands which are located upstream of the Nam Hin creek, the remaining 2,600 acres of downstream will also be destroyed.
“The proposed coal mining site will be set up at the upper part of the creek, where thousands of people and farmers rely for their farming and agriculture. Then it may surely cause lots of damage to the environment and to the land as well as the lives of people by toxic waste from the mining,” said an SNDP representative.
“Therefore we as representatives of the people are asking the government to instruct the company to stop their mining project. Every farmer wants immediate stop,” he said.
The said 200 acres of lands, owned by over 80 peasants and farmers from Mongnawng, Zawm Mawn and Maihoongkhio villages, were forcibly seized by the company in July 2010 with the help of local authorities.
“They said they were going to extract coal. We don’t know what they are really going after. They paid the farmers Kyat 24,018 (US $ 30) per acre as compensation. Everyone was forced to sign to sell, otherwise they would seize without compensation,” the member said.
According to the current price, an acre of land costs at least Kyat 700,000 (US $ 875), according to local farmers.
“No one dared to complain as they didn’t know who really owned the company. But now they (the people) are coming to the party to ask for help,” he added.
Now, the company is cleaning and constructing roads to carry the coals, according to local sources.
The case of land confiscations has been happening in Shan State as well as other ethnic states since State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) came into power, which has been forcing thousands of people to flee into neighbor countries like China and Thailand for their survival, after losing their lands.