Res­i­dents ob­ject to devel­op­ment of Dawei beach, is­lands

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News - EI EI THU eiei­[email protected]­times.com

RES­I­DENTS, civil so­ci­ety groups and a lo­cal po­lit­i­cal party have sub­mit­ted their ob­jec­tions to pro­pos­als by four com­pa­nies for the devel­op­ment of three is­lands and a huge stretch of beach in Dawei, the spokesper­son of the po­lit­i­cal party told the Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day.

U Maung Maung Aye, a Dawei res­i­dent and vice chair of the Dawei Na­tion­al­i­ties Party, said a pe­ti­tion has been filed with the Land Man­age­ment and Statis­tics Depart­ment of Dawei Town­ship.

He said the three is­lands, which the com­pa­nies ap­plied to de­velop un­der the Va­cant, Fal­low and Vir­gin Land Man­age­ment Law, are Pae Zin Is­land, Pa Nyit Is­land and San Hlan Is­land. The beach, which is also be­ing pro­posed for devel­op­ment, is the Sin Htaung Aw Beach.

Ex­cel­lent For­tune Devel­op­ment Group Co Ltd, Yada­nar Sai Kaung Myat Kyaw Min­ing Co, Soe Naing Phyo Co Ltd, and First Golden Dragon Con­struc­tion Co Ltd are be­lieved to be plan­ning to de­velop the is­lands and the beach into re­sorts, com­plete with ho­tels and other ameni­ties.

U Maung Maung Aye said that the devel­op­ment, if per­mit­ted, would ad­versely af­fect the liveli­hoods of the fish­er­men and res­i­dents in the area. He added it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the gov­ern­ment to pro­tect and con­serve the is­lands and the beach.

“If they are a peo­ple’s gov­ern­ment, they should not act with­out the sup­port of lo­cal res­i­dents. Also there is no trans­parency in the ap­pli­ca­tions for the devel­op­ment of the is­lands and the beach,” he said.

U Maung Maung Aye said if granted per­mis­sion to de­velop the is­lands and the beach, the fish­er­men and the peo­ple would not be able to ap­proach the is­lands.

U Aye Min, Dawei Na­tion­al­i­ties Party chair, warned that even by just cut­ting the trees on the is­lands the com­pa­nies would al­ready make a lot of profit.

“The forests on the is­lands pro­tect us from bad weather dur­ing the rainy sea­son. If the forests are gone, what will hap­pen to us?” he said. “The Tanintharyi re­gional gov­ern­ment should pro­tect the right of res­i­dents and their liveli­hoods.”

The Myan­mar In­vest­ment Com­mis­sion (MIC) said it has yet to re­ceive pro­pos­als from the four com­pa­nies to de­velop the is­lands and the beach.

“We have not re­ceived any pro­pos­als to de­velop the is­lands and the beach from the com­pa­nies,” Dr. Tun Tun, sec­re­tary of MIC’S arm in the Tanintharyi Re­gion gov­ern­ment told the Myan­mar Times.

U Maung Maung Aye warned that if author­i­ties ig­nored their plea, they would launch protests.

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