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First Village Ordered Out for Construction of Dawei Deep Sea Port

By Tavoyan Women's Union  •  March 27, 2013

A seaside fishing village of over 15 houses was ordered to move out last week to make way for the planned Dawei Deep Sea Port.

Residents of Charkhin Beach village, which has been declared an “illegal” settlement, received an official order on March 20 to move out within three days or face prosecution. However, most of the villagers are refusing to move, as they rely on fishing in the sea as their main livelihood.

Charkhin Beach village is the first to be forcibly relocated for the Dawei Deep Sea Port and Industrial Zone project, which will displace over 30,000 people. The Charkhin Beach residents are being forced out without compensation. They are extremely poor, and fish in the dry season, but migrate elsewhere to do wage labour during the rainy season.

The written order from the Htein Gyi village tract authorities cited existing laws as a basis for the eviction, on the grounds that the Charkhin Beach residents are not “permanent” residents, even though they have lived there for over 20 years.

“It’s shocking that this multi-billion dollar project is starting by forcing out the poorest villagers without any consideration for their future,” said Su Su Swe of the Tavoyan Women’s Union. “This is a clear warning of how the project will proceed. It is completely unfair, without free consent of local people, and in violation of indigenous rights.”

The Dawei Special Economic Zone is being developed under an agreement between the Thai and Burmese governments. Italian-Thai Development Plc (ITD) has been granted a 75-year land lease to develop a deep sea port, industrial estate and transborder corridor link.

Contact persons:

Su Su Swe ( General Secretary)
+ 668 2742 3045

Lwin Lwin Hlaing (Joint General Secretary 1)
+ 959 45099 4980

Download the press release in Burmese here.

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This post is in: Business and Human Rights, Environmental and Economic Justice, Press Release

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