Cement factories in Kyaikmayaw force villagers off their land

A Mon human rights group accused a cement company of confiscating land belonging to villagers without paying the owners adequate compensation for their land.

Burma’s state run Kyaymon, newspaper reported last week that two more cement companies will be built near Kaw Pa Naw village in Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State.

The two private companies; John Company and PAC Link Trading Company, will receive grants from the government’s Industrial Minister Department. The two companies will build two cement-making plants in Kyaikmayaw Township, will each have a daily capacity of making a 1,000 tonnes.

According to the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM), local villagers have complained that their farms and plantations around the proposed industrial sites have been taken and the company has not offered villagers acceptable compensation.

Nai Aue Mon, coordinator with HURFOM said that villagers lands are been taken against their will and the compensation being offered falls short of market value.

“As far as we are aware, an acre of land is being compensated at an average of 350,000 Kyat [approximately half of its true value] and not everyone will get that. If we compare with the current price of land, villagers will suffer a big loss.”

Nai Aue Mon explained that villagers in the area have lost as much as 800 acres of farm lands.

Local villagers were also reported in the Irrawaddy saying that 600 acres of paddy and 140 acres of rubber plantations were appropriated by the John Cement Company.

At the time of writing cement companies granted concessions by the government include Max Myanmar, Htoo, Kanbawzat, Shwedaung, G-4, Asia World, Jade Land, IGE, Yuzana, Hsan Lin International, Myanmar Kaungton, Myanmar Naing, YIG, Shan Yo Ma Inn Mine, Min Anawyahta, Ngwe Ye Pale, Tun Thwin Mining, Than Taw Myat and PAC Link Trading.

Currently, there are 14 cement plants up and running in Burma and initially were operated by private companies such as Max Myanmar, Htoo, Kanbawzat, Shwetaung and G-4.

Burma’s cements supply is mainly imported from Thailand. According to the state run newspaper Kyaymon, cement will also be produce not only by state companies, but by private companies given government concessions to build cement making-plants in areas where raw materials are easily accessible such as in Shan State, the Madalay region and Mon State.

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