Myanmar: Fishermen protest against access restrictions at Kyaukphyu seaport; fishing not allowed where China National Petroleum Corporation's ships dock

Author: Moe Myint, Irrawaddy, Published on: 23 May 2017

"Fishermen Protest Against Kyaukphyu Seaport," 22 May 2017

Fishermen aboard 120 boats protested along the Thanzit River against the Maday Island deep seaport in Arakan State..., as authorities have banned them from fishing in a stretch of water now reserved for international cargo ships docking at the port.

...Nine fishermen...were granted a permit to demonstrate, under the restrictions of keeping distance from parts of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC)-owned seaport, including the jetty and crude oil storage area... 

 Chinese-owned oil tankers began docking at the seaport in early May to transport the oil through Maday terminal to the China-Burma border. Local fishermen have been restricted from catching fish near the mouth of the river where the ships dofick.

U Tun Kyi, coordinator of the Kyaukpyu Rural Development Association (KRDA), said protesters demanded CNPC, owned by the Chinese government, and Burma’s state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) address the needs of local fisherman. In addition to a maximum of three ships docking at the port every week, locals want the firms to build a new jetty, phone tower, embankments, and a ring road for the island.

They also demanded the firms provide electricity to three villages, plus financial and technical assistance for agricultural and livestock businesses.

According to the Global New Light of Myanmar, China will annually transport more than 22 million metric tons of crude oil via the seaport’s terminal to the Chinese border town of Ruili. Burma would receive US$6.905 million dollars per year and $31.56 for every ton sent through the pipeline.

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Related companies: China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE)