Laos: Villagers refuse relocation compensation offer by rock-blasting Chinese company, calling payout too low

Author: Sidney Khotpanya & Richard Finney, Radio Free Asia, Published on: 14 March 2020

"Lao Villagers Told to Move Refuse Compensation, Calling Payout Too Low", 11 March 2020

Lao villagers told to relocate from an area used for rock-blasting by a Chinese company are refusing to move, saying the compensation they are being offered is much less than what was originally promised, sources say.

Ten families in the Naheung village of Vientiane province’s Hin Heup district were initially told they would be paid 250 million kip (U.S $28,237) each for moving away from the blast zone and a road used by the company to transport rocks, village sources say.

But the offered payout has now shrunk in the hands of local authorities to 80 million kip (U.S.$9,036)...adding that only one of the 10 families has accepted the lower amount so far.

[...]

RFA attempts to contact the Chinese Rock Grinding Company, which breaks up rock for use by construction firms and other business concerns, for comment...were unsuccessful.

Laos often comes under criticism for land grabs in which authorities seize land from people for development projects without paying them fair compensation for lost crops, property, and livelihoods.

Rights groups say the illegal appropriations violate basic human rights and that such land grabs are a major cause of social tensions in Laos and in neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.

Read the full post here