Myanmar: Run Myaing Galay cement plant opposed

Myanmar: Run Myaing Galay cement plant opposed
Published: 14 October 2016


Local residents and community leaders met with local press at Zayat Phyu village on 8 October to protest against the proposed cool power plant to supply electricity for the No 2 Myaing Galay cement plant near Hpa-an, Myanmar.

The Myaing Galay Cement Plants are owned by the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC), which is a major conglomerate and holding company operated by the Burmese military under the Defense Ministry. The Ministry of Energy and the cement plant informed villagers in mid-September 2016 about the intention to change the plant's power generation from gas to coal firing. 

However, the villagers are opposing the plans on environmental and health grounds. U Kaindasara, the abbot of Zayat Phyu temple, told Karen News: "There must be a clear accountability in any work to be done. There must be public consultation about the plan." U Kaindasara said, "Coal power plants are very dangerous. You can’t tell villagers only about the benefits, you should also tell them about the negative consequences." He also added that the authorities made promises to locals that they still have not met. "Villagers affected by the cement factory were promised compensation. Many villagers had to move away and the authorities said they would compensate, but they failed to do so. This time, we will not let them do this to us again," he said.

According to village sources, they have submitted a petition letter to the chief minister of Karen State about their grievances.