Myanmar: Kyaukphyu residents complain lack of transparency in CITIC-funded projects
"Farmers Fear Myanmar Junta Will Confiscate Their Land", 5 November 2021
Farmers in Rakhine State’s Kyaukphyu Township fear that the military regime will confiscate their land in the China-backed special economic zone (SEZ) in the township without giving them any compensation.
The junta has appointed former deputy rail transportation minister U Myint Thein as the chairman of the Kyaukphyu SEZ implementation committee, which has been making field surveys of the farmland in the project area, according to locals. [...]
U Ba Shein, who is a Kyaukphyu resident, met local farmers in late October. “There is still no transparency about land compensation. U Ba Shein said that an acre of land would be compensated with 1.8 million kyats (US$1,000). That amount is too low,” farmer U Hla Thein told The Irrawaddy.
Local farmers said that they had demanded between 50 million kyats (US$27,700) and 90 million kyats (US$50,410) per acre, depending on the type of land, plus rehabilitation benefits.
Some 250 acres of farmland are in the project area, according to local farmers. However, some say that their farmland on which they have traditionally worked has been found to be registered to another owner. [...]
The China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) won contracts for a proposed deep-sea port and SEZ projects in 2015. CITIC took an 85 per cent stake in the project, according to the initial agreement signed with the former U Thein Sein administration.