Stop all attempts to build a coal-fired power plant against the wish of local people

24 August 2014  Letter from Parlain community to Myanmar Investment Commision

To Members Policy Affairs Committee, Myanmar Investment Commission

Date:  24 August 2015

Subject: Stop all attempts to build a coal-fired power plant against the wish of local people

  1. This petition has been addressed to the esteemed members of policy-making team in the Myanmar Investment Commission by local people and stakeholders, namely Sayadaws, village and town elders and local social organisations on TTCL Corporation PLC’s attempts to construct a coal-fired power plant near Andin Village, Ye Township, Mon State.
  2. People residing and native to Andin Village Tract and community of Parlain are mostly native Mon nationals who have been earning a living through environment-friendly means such as farming, orchard growing and fisheries dependent on the natural environment since times immemorial. We have lived in fear from armed conflicts for decades. It is not until a few years ago that we get a brief respite through the recent peace processes and have enjoyed peace and tranquility.
  3. Meanwhile, it was found that the MoU was signed in the early 2014 between the Government of the Union of Myanmar and TTCL to build a coal-fired power plant near Andin Village and initial measures taken to start the project.
  4. We have consistently expressed our objection to the construction of the coal-fired power plant because of its negative impacts on traditional ways of life, damages to the natural environment, threats to the perpetuation of sustainable livelihood and serious consequences to our health.
  5. Public trust and confidence in the coal-fired power plant project have diminished due to a lack of transparency and employment of dubious means to gain public consent and to obtain permission for the implementation of the project. Our objection to the project has been made clear to several ministers of Mon State Government, Parliamentary representatives and responsible personnel from TTCL at a meeting in Andin Village on 24th April, 2014 (See records, video files and text of the meeting in Appendix A).

In the second meeting with public to obtain people’s consent, the native people to be directly impacted by the project were intentionally left out and only people outside the impact area of the project were invited to public meeting on the matter of generating power supply on 27th December, 2014 in Pupphawati Village, Ye Township. These shady practices are indicators of the company’s insincerity to implement the project.

  1. To express our objection to the project, elders of Andin Village representing the local populace sent a letter officially to TTCL actions on 9th January, 2015 explaining that there is a lack of transparency and sincerity in TTCL (Appendix B).
  2. Despite our objection, the Union Government and TTCL pushed the signing of MoA on 9th April, 2015 to allow TTCL to implement the project. We, represented by the Sangha and elders, sent a petition requesting that the project must be halted to the President on 30th April, 2015. Local representative also met and sent the petition directly to Mon State Government on 4th May, 2015. On 5th May, 2015, a public rally with over 6,000 people and natives of the 6 villages of Parlain region was held in the football field of Andin Village to call for a termination of the project (Appendix 3).
  3. In spite of the above public measures, TTCL and Win Yaung Chi Oo, a local company, still continue to work together to buy land for the power plant and making measurements which bring concerns of undesirable conflicts in the region.
  4. Therefore, we, represented by Sanghas, elders and social organizations, would like to request the Myanmar Investment Commission to prevent the attempts by TTCL Company to build a coal power station near Andin Village because it cannot guarantee sustainable livelihoods, public health and conservation of the natural environment; it also lacks commitment and does not respect international human rights norms.  

Signed by

Baddanta Cando, Sanint Krate Monastery, Sanint Krate Village
Baddanta Jagara, Sanint Janu Monastery, Sanint Janu Village
Baddanta Sila, MahaVihara Pariyatti Andin Monastery, Andin Village
Nai Maung Shin, Administrator, Andin Village
Naing Aung Lin, Village elder, Andin Village
Nai Thein Naing, Farmer Association, Andin Village
Mi Nandar Aung, Youth Association, Andin Village

Cc to

1.       U Thein Sein, President, Republic of Union of Myanmar, Nay Pyi Taw
2.       Thura U Shwe Man, Chairman, Phyithu Hluttaw, Nay Pyi Taw
3.       Chairman, Union Investment Commission, Nay Pyi Taw
4.       Chairman, Investment and Technological Development Committee, Pyithu Hluttaw, Nay Pyi Taw
5.       Union Minister, Ministry of Electrical Energy, Nay Pyi Taw
6.       Union Minister, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Nay Pyi Taw
7.       Chairman, Environmental Conservation Committee, Pyithu Hluttaw, Nay Pyi Taw
8.       Chairman, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Committee, Pyithu Hluttaw, Nay Pyi Taw
9.       Chairman, Public Affairs Management Committee, Pyithu Hluttaw, Nay Pyi Taw
10.    Chairman, National Human Rights Committee
11.    Prime Minister, Government of Mon State, Mawlamyine
12.    Chairman, Pyithu Hluttaw, Mon State, Mawlamyine
13.    Ministry of Electrical Energy, Chief Engineer Office, Mon State, Mawlamyine
14.    Media
15.    Social and Charitable organisations
16.    CC

Link to news covered by Eleven Myanmar, 26 August 2015

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