Myanmar: Activists calls Govt. to halt developments in Rakhine state; decries negative impact on environment & livelihood

Author: Radio Free Asia, Published on: 27 November 2018

"Activists Stage Protest to Demand Right to Control Resources in Myanmar's Rakhine", 27 November 2018

More than 1,000 activists from 17 townships in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state demanded the right to control the impoverished region’s natural resources — most notably oil and gas....

The Arakan Natural Resources and Environmental Network (ANREN)...ANREN sent an open letter to President Win Myint calling for the halting of all development projects in Rakhine state, including the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, until the country’s constitution can be amended.

...The letter also asked the president to suspend the development of offshore reserves in two blocks of a gas well until the country’s leaders are able to sign a nationwide peace agreement in which all ethnic armies and Myanmar forces would agree to stop fighting.

...Local residents have complained about the lack of benefits from the U.S. $2.5 billion Shwe pipeline project....

Rakhine residents have also decried the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project....

They say they have been kept in the dark about the project and excluded from its potential benefits, while activists have called attention to its negative impacts on the environment and on local livelihoods.

The exploitation and control of land and other natural resources, such as copper, jade, and amber mines, in peripheral minority-inhabited areas of Myanmar has fueled some of the country’s internal conflicts between ethnic armed groups and the national military.


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