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Investigation to be Launched into the Misrepresentation of Signatures in Support of Coal-Fired Electric Plant

Reported by: > Misleading facts have been released regarding signatures in favor of the Toyo-Thai Company’s proposed coal-fired power plant in Ain Din Village; misrepresentations which will be investigated and revealed to the public, according to the Ye Social Society Group (YSS).

“We will disclose those lies and misleading facts. We will go to [the] field and investigate, then we will submit our investigation with complete evidence,” said YSS Vice-Chairman U Myo Win.

In late January, early February, a group of local residents in support of the coal-fired power plant quietly gathered signatures from Ye Township residents in favor of the plant. However, a number of locals who provided their signatures said that they were not informed that the group was gathering signatures for anything to do with the proposed project.

“When they came to gather signatures, they said we would get electricity, but they did not say anything about a coal-fired power project. I just nodded my head and they requested to have a look at our household membership report. Then, they just wrote [something] down and signed by themselves. Only now do I know that that was a signature for the construction of the coal-fired power plant,” explained local resident Daw Myint Oo, from Aung Myinthar New Quarter, Ye Town.

According to U Aung Naing Win, secretary of YSS, a letter in support of the coal-fired power project was mailed to the President’s Office in Nay Pyi Taw on February 11th. Although four people were in charge of submitting the letter to the President’s Office, and the mailing address on the letter was from Ain Din Village, two of these individuals were not Ain Din villagers.

“Those two individuals who used a home address from Ain Din Village to submit the letter to the President are from Aung Myinthar New Quarter of Ye Town and Shwe Pyi Thar Village. This is a type of crime since they lied about their address when submitting a letter to the nation’s president,” said U Aung Naing Win.

Within the letter sent to the President, with copies also sent to various government departments, facts were stated that about 6,265 local residents, including their names, were in support of the Toyo-Thai proposed coal-fired power plant to produce electricity out of a site near Ain Din Village, Ye Township. The letter went on to state that the locals were in support of the plant because it would use a USE highly-standardized technical system, guaranteeing the prevention of environmental damages and health problems, as well as citing the fact that the plant will provide adequate electricity for local residents with affordable costs. The letter further stated local support because the project would provide locals with employment opportunities and local development.

In reality, however, the letter provides only ten local Ain Din Villagers on the list of supporters, with the rest of the individuals from as far as eighteen villages away, located in southern and northern Ye Township.

“No matter how many signatures there are [in support of the project], for me, I will continue to oppose the project. In Ain Din Village, about 95% of the population is in opposition to the project,” said Mi Ni Mar Oo, a youth from Ain Din Village.

According to Ashin Nanda, Sayardaw at the Ain Din Monastery, in a petition led by the Parlian region’s Sayardaws, only fifteen Ain Din households declined to provide their signatures in opposition to the coal-fired power plant.

The Toyo-Thai Company’s proposed coal-fired power plant is a USD 2,700 million investment which will be capable of producing 128- megawatts of electricity. Locals from Parlian region, the YSS and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) all oppose the project and have stated their wishes and desires to stop the construction of the power plant.

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