27 Oct Dawei residents’ losses are a problem for Myanmar, not Thailand

Written by Zar Ni Tun Published in Dawei Read 7567 times
Dawei residents negatively affected by land grabs for the Dawei Special Economic Zone are seeking justice and compensation. Excavation work underway at the Dawei site. Photo: Mizzima Dawei residents negatively affected by land grabs for the Dawei Special Economic Zone are seeking justice and compensation. Excavation work underway at the Dawei site. Photo: Mizzima

The Thai Human Rights Commission claims the Italian-Thai Development Company and the Thai authorities have washed their hands over any loss suffered by local Dawei people caused by the Dawei Special Economic Zone project claiming responsibility now lies with the Myanmar government, according to an NGO spokesperson.

U Ye Lin Myint, a member of the Dawei Development Association, told Mizzima on October 26 that responsibility for any problems associated with the Dawei Special Economic Zone, which looks set to become the largest special industrial zone in Southeast Asia, is now in the hands of the Myanmar authorities.

At a meeting in Bangkok on October 21 that included Thai department officials, Dawei residents and social organizations, the Thai Human Rights Commission attempted to seek clarity over this joint Myanmar-Thai project.

During the meeting, Dawei locals discussed the lack of information, failure to deliver appropriate compensation, and the uncertainty over livelihoods and future of local people with the Thai Human Rights Commission, said U Ye Lin Myint.

“The Italian-Thai company sent a letter to the rally saying that as it has withdrawn from the project, the losses incurred by local Dawei people is a concern of the Myanmar government only. All Thai organizations refuse to take responsibility for the loss, saying the Myanmar government should solve the problems,” he said.

He said that the Thai Human Rights Committee will send a message to Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha about the case. Meanwhile, Dawei locals and social organizations plan to ask the Myanmar government about responsibility and accountability for the project.

Officials of the Italian-Thai Development Company were notable by their absence from the meeting.