Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mon Youths Oppose Coal Burning Power Plant in Ye Township

Mon youths will join with local residents to oppose the construction of a 1280 Mega Watt coal burning power station by the Toyo Thai company near Aun-den Village in ye township, Mon State.

The decision to oppose the project and demand it be stopped was made at the Mon Youth Conference on 3rd May according to Min Nyan Selk Rehman, the General-Secretary of the Mon youth Forum (MYF).

He said: “The Mon Youth Forum have organized a meeting at Aung Myinthar Monastry at Thar-pa-don for 15th May to select new committee members who will plan the protests calling for a stop to the power station.”

He also said that companies who want to start large projects or set up in Mon State should only start work after getting local people’s consent. If they start their businesses without consent political party members, Mon Buddhist monks, Mon youths and civil society organizations will oppose them.

Min Soe Thein, a Mon youth from the Mon Literature and Culture Association said: “The plant will not just produce electricity. It will produce ash that will damage the soil and crops. It will also use 4.4 million gallons of seawater an hour. When this is pumped back into the sea nearby marine animals will not be able to survive.”

The majority of locals near the village are Mons who earn their living from fishing or growing rice, rubber, coconut, betel nut or seasonal fruits.

Min Soe Thein said: “The project will take 48 months and during that time over 10,000 workers will come to work here. When they come we will not hear our Mon language being spoken anymore. When they marry with local women there will not be a new generation of Mon [in that area].”

He has analyzed BOT’s 30 year business plan which states that they will occupy 500 acres of land just one mile away from Aun-den Village. It will also have an effect on businesses, society and people’s health in seven other surrounding villages and it may cause local culture and traditions to disappear.

He said that the plant will cause serious environmental and health problems. These include higher temperatures, acid rain, damage to surrounding rivers, lakes, aquatic animals and crops, which could lead to locals having to abandon the area.

U Mya Than, the chairman of the Ye Social Society (YSS) told IMNA that they will continue to oppose Toyo Thai’s proposed coal-fired power station.,