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4 Oct 2016

Steve Gilmore, Myanmar Times

Myanmar: Resettlement & livelihood issues around 1st phase of Thilawa economic zone remain unresolved as 2nd phase nears start

"Protests dog Thilawa SEZ as second phase nears start", 3 Oct 2016

Over 70 companies across 14 countries have invested more than US$700 million in the Thilawa special economic zone, but local residents affected by the project are still campaigning to have the next phase halted until issues around resettlement, compensation and environmental impact are resolved…

…[R]epresentatives of six villages affected by the SEZ travelled to Tokyo to ask the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and other Japanese investors to help make sure the development of the 700-hectare Zone B does not continue until serious problems affecting residents’ livelihoods are dealt with.

The visit was only the latest in a series of complaints from local residents stretching back to the project’s inception. Some 68 households were resettled during development of Zone A, which began in 2013, but villagers were moved to “substandard” living conditions, which lack reliable sources of clean water, waste management systems and farmland, said NGO EarthRights International, which has supported the village representatives in their meetings…