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NMSP Stands with Locals in Opposition against the Proposed Coal-Fired Power Plant

Reported by: > The New Mon State Party (NMSP) has announced that it will stand with the locals in objecting the proposed coal-fired power plant in Aunden Village, Ye Township, Mon State. The NMSP announced its stance at a recent December 30th meeting held with locals from the area in which the power plant is to be constructed.

According to Nai Aung Ma-ngae, Chairman of NMSP’s Tavoy District, during the meeting held at the Aunden Village monastery, an NMSP representative spoke about the facts surrounding the project as it stands with locals, as instructed by the NMSP.

“About this case, we, the NMSP, have made [an] analysis. This project should not be constructed. [The Toyo-Thai Company has] not given [many] details, [nor] stated clearly how it will take responsibility,” said Nai Aung Ma-ngae.

Nai Aung Ma-ngae continued that since the government has not reached nationwide ceasefire agreement with the ethnic armed groups yet, it is too early to construct such a project in Mon State.

“It has already been 56 years [that] our party [the NMSP] [has been] fighting for equality and self-determination, and it has also sacrificed for the people very much. And now, it will oppose the project that the public does not want, and it will stand along with the public. It will take responsibility to do, and continue to do, any matters that the people cannot do and are unable to do,” said Nai Aung Ma-ngae.

On December 22nd, more than thirty local residents and several monks from the Parlain region went to NMSP headquarters in the Ye-chaung Payar area to meet with NMSP’s chairman and other executive committee members, requesting details of the NMSP’s opinions regarding the proposed power plant.

More than 20 NMSP representatives were present at the [December 30th ] meeting, including Nai Kyi San, secretary of NMSP’s Tavoy District, and Nai Nyan Htun, the 2nd Colonel Battalion Commander of the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) No 2., as well as more than 600 local residents from the Parlain region, including Aunden, Hnee-karot, Hnee-Hnuu, and Thar-karat villages. The United Parlain Region Group, the Ye Social Society Group, and the Ahlin Eain [Youth Book-reading] Association were also in attendance.

“The Parlain region has been maintained by our ancestors, from generation to generation. When they go up to [the] mountain, they will find food up there. When they go to [the] sea, they will find food down there. When they go to [the] farm, they will find food at the farm. Please, maintain this environment. If it is only destroyed in our time, we will be the criminals. Please, do not be greedy for a life of piled-up gold, but dying in the future,” said Sayardaw (head monk) of the Hnee-karot monastery.

Local residents’ concerns have increased since the Win Yaung Chi Oo Co. Ltd bought 400 acres of land near the proposed site for the coal-fired power plant, and then decided to cooperate with the Toyo-Thai Group on December 27th.

“The land is not very broad in our area. We have the sea on another side. If they [the Win Yaung Chi Oo and Toyo-Thai] have taken all the land, how can we find the place to work for a living?” said Daw San Shwe, 63, from Aunden Village.

The Parlain Regions United Group is currently collecting signatures door-to-door from local residents in opposition to the coal-fired power plant project; so far the group has collected signatures from more than 500 households.

At the December 28th Mon Youth Day’s third anniversary, held in Hnee Padaw Village, Mudon Township, announcements were also made opposing the power plant. Many youths presented at the event, as well as providing their signatures against the proposed project.

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