Residents object to development of Dawei beach, islands
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.