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Thai Oversea Investment on Coal Mining in Myanmar: The Private Business Violating Human Rights and Causing Environmental Impact on Ethnic Communities along Tenasserim Border

June 29, 2014


Tanintharyi Hills or Tanintharyi Range is the geographical name of a roughly 1,700 km long mountain chain, part of the Indo-­‐Malayan mountain system in Southeast Asia. The Tanintharyi Range covered with lush green forest and is a natural border line between Thailand and Myanmar. Across the hills in Myanmar side is Tanintharryi Region. The capital of this administrative region is Dawei which consists of diverse of ethnicity such as Dawei or Tavoy, Karen or Khayin and Mon. The local languages spoken by majority of the population are Tavoyan and Karen. In the past, the area in which bordering near Kanchanaburi province of Thailand was a former war zone between Karen ethnic group and Burmese junta government. It was intense conflict war zone during 1996‐1997 until cease fire agreement between the Burmese junta and the Karen National Union (KNU) was signed in 2012.

Although the war has calmed down in the present, people living in the area and recovering from the war are now encountering a new challenge coming with so-­‐called “Economic Development Project”. Coal mining concession by Thai companies’ investment is encroaching human rights and causing environmental impacts. The mining activity has violated people’s rights to participation, to voice their opinion regarding economic development plan in coal mining industry. There was no transparency in the process of the mining operation; no disclosed of studies report of the mining project for public to review, critique or voice opinion based on democratic process prior to proceed decision making about the project. Furthermore, there was no monitoring mechanism to address and hold accountability of the under construction coal mine project.

According to recent survey of local organization in the area, it is found that the Thai mining companies investing on coal mine has violated people’s right to land. The mining companies confiscated people’s land by claiming permission of the coal mining concession. Whilst, affected villagers were never prior received or informed of information on details of the coalmine project information. Besides, the mining company pushing forward the mineral extraction in the area is highly concerned by the people on potential negative impacts on environment in the future […]

Download the full report  in English Thai here.

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

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