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Advocacy groups monitor Gov’t, Toyo-Thai

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Mon State advocacy groups will continue to monitor the activity of the state government and Toyo Thai Corporation Public Company Limited (TTCL) after representatives met recently to discuss the gas energy investment options, according to groups in opposition to the coal-fired plant.

Mon State Chief Minister shakes hands with a representative of Toyo-Thai Company (Photo: Min Min Oo’s Facebook).
Mon State Chief Minister shakes hands with a representative of Toyo-Thai Company (Photo: Min Min Oo’s Facebook).

The groups will keep an eye on the gov’t and TTCL due to increasing concern that the meeting will lead further implementation of TTCL’s proposed coal-fired plant project in Inndin Village.

On June 10, the representatives of TTCL, led by its chairperson, met with the state chief minister and government officials at the chief minister’s guest hall. At the meeting, they discussed the potential for a LPG Bottling Plant, which would provide gas for cooking instead of firewood.

“We, locals from the Inndin area, are worried that the meeting between the Mon State government and Toyo-Thai would guarantee the company’s operation of the coal-fired project. We do not know the finer points of the meeting yet. We would like the government to consider the people’s concerns regarding the coal-fired project,” said Min Poe Zaw, of Inndin Youth Group.

The TTCL signed a momentum of agreement (MoA) with the Union Government and Electric and Energy Ministry on April 9, 2015, to implement its coal-fired power plant. The plant, with a 2700 million USD investment, was planned to be constructed on 500 acres of land, in Inndin Village, Ye Township, Mon State.

“They (Toyo-Thai) already signed the MoA, so they won’t renege on the deal. At their meeting on April 9, they also decided that they would proceed to implement the project. Therefore, the recent meeting with the government seems like the company is coaxing the government to re-start the project of Inndin coal-fired plant,” said U Aung Naing Win, secretary of Ye Social Society group.

“We, YSS group, will keep monitoring the potential coal-fired plant in Inndin Village, and we will continue to protest against any issues rising from the project,” said U Aung Naing Win.

The meeting covered the TTCL’s gas bottling project, land for the factory, the factory’s projected production dividends, environmental concerns and TTCL’s warranty, according to a Facebook post by U Min Min Oo, the state Chief Minister.

The post went on to state that the government is interested in the proposal presented by TTCL because over 70% people in the state primarily used wood[en sticks] for cooking. This project can create job opportunities in the state and will also reduce the use of firewood. The government will think about the proposal deeply and then inform the company in accordance with the law next time they meet.

The TTCL signed Monument of understanding (MoU) with the government in early 2013, to start its coal-fired plant project in Burma. In late April, 2014, the company went to Inndin Village, Ye Township, and informed the locals that it would implement its coal fired project in the area.

In opposition to the coal-fired project, about 500 locals staged a protest, led by YSS, in Ye Town, on December 14, 2014. Additionally, they sent opposition letters to the company on January 1, 2015.

On May 5, 2015, over 6,000 locals staged a protest after the Union Government and TTCL signed Momentum of Agreement (MoA), on April 9, 2015.

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