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Burma’s Plans to Expand Mawchi Tin Mines Risk Derailing Karenni Peace Process

By Molo Women Mining Watch Network  •  July 11, 2013

The Burmese government’s plans to expand the Mawchi tin mines are in violation of its latest ceasefire agreement with the Karenni National Progress Party (KNPP) and should be stopped immediately.

In the past few months, new roads and housing have been built by a Chinese company, in preparation for large-scale expansion of the Mawchi mines around Saethongon village. The villagers were told last year they must leave their homes when the expansion begins but have been given no other information.

182 villagers signed a petition to the KNPP last week calling for the expansion to be halted, citing the social and environmental impacts, and saying they did not want to leave their homes.

In its latest ceasefire agreement with KNPP on June 21, the government agreed that any “new major projects” in Karenni State should be accountable and not cause local people to “suffer loss.”

The Molo women therefore call on the government to stop the mining expansion immediately, and urge that political negotiations ensure constitutional reform guaranteeing Karenni people the right to decide on the sale and use of their natural resources.

“If the government lets Chinese interests destroy our mountains and homes before political talks even begin, they are directly sabotaging the peace process,” warned Maw Thoe Myar of the Molo Women Mining Watch Network.

The Molo Women Mining Watch Network works for women throughout Karenni State who are facing social and environmental impacts of mining. For further details of the impacts of the Mawchi tin mines, please see our December 2012 report “Lost Paradise” here.

Contact persons:

Maw Thoe Myar Phone 085 721 3860

Download the press release in Burmese here.

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This post is in: Business and Human Rights, Peace and National Reconciliation, Press Release

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