Sunday, January 11, 2015

NMSP Backs Locals Opposed to Proposed Coal-Fired Power Plant


Residents Meet with the New Mon State Party
The New Mon State Party (NMSP) has announced that it will back locals in objecting the proposed coal-fired power plant in Aunden Village, Ye Township, Mon State.

The NMSP announced its stance at a recent 30th December meeting held with locals from the area in which the power plant is to be constructed.

According to Nai Aung Ma-ngae, Chairman of the NMSP’s Tavoy District, during the meeting held at the Aunden Village monastery, an NMSP representative spoke about the party's views on the project.

He said: “The NMSP, has analysed this case. This project should not be constructed. [The Toyo-Thai Company has] not given details, nor stated clearly how it will take responsibility."

He added that since the government has not reached a nationwide ceasefire agreement with the ethnic armed groups yet, it is too early to construct such a project in Mon State.

He said: “It has already been 56 years that our party has been fighting for equality and self-determination and it has also sacrificed for the people very much. Now, it will oppose this project that the public does not want, and it will stand firm with the public. It will take responsibility for, and continue to take any action that the people are unable to do themselves."
Previously, on 22nd December more than thirty local residents and several monks from the Parlain region had been to the NMSP headquarters in the Ye-Chaung Payar area and met with the NMSP’s chairman and other executive committee members to find out details of the NMSP’s opinions regarding the proposed power plant.

More than 20 NMSP representatives were present at the 30th December meeting, including Nai Kyi San, secretary of NMSP’s Tavoy District and Nai Nyan Htun, the 2nd Colonel Battalion Commander of the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) No 2. Also attending were more than 600 local residents from the Parlain region, including people from Aunden, Hnee-Karot, Hnee-Hnuu, and Thar-Karat villages. representatives from the United Parlain Region Group, the Ye Social Society Group, and the Ahlin Eain [Youth Book-reading] Association also attended.

The abbot of Hnee-Karot monastery said: “The Parlain region has been maintained by our ancestors, from generation to generation. When they go up to the mountain, they will find food up there. When they go to the sea, they will find food down there. When they go to the farm, they will find food at the farm. Please, maintain this environment. If it is only destroyed in our time, we will be the criminals. Please, do not be greedy for a life of piled-up gold which will destroy our future.”

Local residents’ concerns have increased since Win Yaung Chi Oo Co. Ltd bought 400 acres of land near the proposed site for the coal-fired power plant, and then decided to cooperate with the Toyo-Thai Group on 27th December.

Daw San Shwe, 63, from Aunden Village said: “The land is not very broad in our area. We have the sea on one side. If they [Win Yaung Chi Oo and Toyo-Thai] have taken all the land, how can we find somewhere to work for a living?”

The Parlain Regions United Group is currently collecting signatures door-to-door from local residents in opposition to the coal-fired power plant project; so far the group has collected signatures from more than 500 households.

At the 28th December Mon Youth Day’s third anniversary, held in Hnee Padaw Village, Mudon Township, announcements were also made opposing the power plant. Many youths attended the event and many signatures opposing the proposed project were gathered.