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17 Mar 2016

Lee Kyung-min, Korea Times

Myanmar: Kyaukphyu residents to file case in Korean court against Posco Daewoo over insufficient compensation for land used for gas terminal

“Law students put twist on POSCO Daewoo-Myanmarese dispute”, 17 Mar 2016

A group of Korea University School of Law students are helping Myanmar citizens file a compensation suit…[in Korea] against POSCO Daewoo involving the construction of an onshore gas terminal (OGT)…[in Myanmar] in 2009.

The school's Clinical Legal Education Center (CLEC) said…that its 20 members would file the suit soon with the Seoul Central District Court representing 20 Kyauk Phyu residents seeking 10 million won ($8,500) each in compensation, alongside local law firm Yi Gong Lawyers, jointly representing the case.

This is the first time for a Korean law firm to represent clients in a foreign country who have allegedly suffered damage by a Korean company, CLEC said.

According to CLEC, POSCO Daewoo, formerly known as Daewoo International, paid a combined 800 million won in compensation to 126 residents to purchase land from them to build the terminal there.

The group claims the amount was insufficient, given the subsequent environmental damage directly caused by the OGT and other facilities, including contaminated water and industrial waste.

It said the deal between the company and the residents was heavily influenced by a group of former high-ranking military officials, who had de facto control over the land ownership…

POSCO Daewoo said the deal was sealed without violating any local regulations. The company said many of the contracts were written both in English and Burmese. It also said it had held several information sessions about the land purchase and received signatures from the residents in their own handwriting…