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Indigenous local Nabule Residents Call Responsibility and Accountability for the Damages Caused by the Dawei Special Economic Zone Project

By Nabule Indigenous Youths  •  January 31, 2015

Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is located in southern Myanmar (Burma) and it would be one of the largest petrochemical estates in South-East Asia. Dawei SEZ project was signed MOU between Governments of Myanmar and Thailand in 2008 and a 60 year concession was granted to ITD (Italian-Thai Development Pcl) in 2010. Max-Myanmar Company Limited Ltd withdrew its investment in July 2012. In November, 2013 concession right of the project were transferred to Speical Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is joined owned (50:50) by the governments of Myanmar-Thailandbut the project has been delayed.

Within four years of project implementation, the indigenous local residents have been seriously affected in various sectors such as in loss of livelihood, land confiscation, resettlement as well as compensation and the environmental impacts which are the main problems occurred.

Only very few number of local residents were employed within 4 years of project implementation period and it is well-known with bad reputation including protest against the companies due to discrimination, lack of secured job availability and other uncertainty situation face by local workers.

The affected ethnic residents of SEZ earn their living relying on natural resources. Likewise, the 71) % depends on orchard farming, 41% earns from livestock and 36% earn from farming. The 94% of people affected by the SEZ project own farmland and fully rely their survival on land resources. The land confiscation was occurred following project implementation and about 70% families in Ngapidat village have already lost their land. Because of their lands have been taken away, the local ethnic residents have lostnot only livelihood and generated income as well as the access to food as consequences.

It is found that 15% of households received compensation payments and only 3%out of 15% were fully compensated. In the compensation process, it is only 9.3% received compensation were issued with official documentation and 30% received some unofficial piece of paper 59 percent of those who received compensation received no documentation of the compensation payment. .There was no establishment of a standard pricing structure for the determination and allocation of compensation and the fragile local ethnic have been double up suffering.

The 480 houses were built in Ba-Wa relocation village but they were collapsed by the storm and people were afraid of moving to those houses and the quality of the buildings become critical to live in.

Although no one takes accountability and responsibility to solve those problems,the project will be revived. The demands of local indigenous people to solve the problem first were being igorned. Therefore, Nabulae indigenous youths demand SEZ project proponents to answer the following questionsofficially before reviving the project:

  1. To conduct and disclose environmental and social impact assessment which is supposed to be done before the project starts?
  2. To take responsibility of solving problems related to compensation to those who have not received yet and when it will be given?
  3. To make sure  resettlement and livelihood restoration program are in line with international standard
  4. To take responsiblity if anything related to environmental impact occurred in Dawei area including Nabulae due to SEZ project?

We, Nabule Indigenous Youths confidently release this statement that riving the project without solving problems will bring new sufferings and problems to local indigenous people.

Originally signed by

Nabulae Youth Group

Contact – (Myanmar language)

Aung Zaw Tuu – 09422202446

Zaw Htwe Oo – 09425026192

Kyaw Thu Mg – 09250466836

Phoe Yoke – 09450540623

Min Min Naing – 09254848246

Organizations that endorsed the statement of Nabulae Youth Group on Dawei Special Economic Zone

1 . National League for Democracy – NLD (Dawei District)

  1. Dawei Nationalities Party – DNP
  2. Tavoy Woman Union – TWU
  3. Dawei Farmers Union – DFU
  4. Tarkapaw –TKP
  5. Dawei Development Association –DDA
  6. 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (Dawei)
  7. Dawei Lawyer Group – DLG
  8. Dawei Youth Fellowship – DYF
  9. Tavoy Youth Organization – TYO
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