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Locals plan Shwe Gas pipeline protest

Residents on the island of Madae off Burma’s Arakan coast say they are planning to stage a protest on December 26 against the oil and gas pipelines that are scheduled to be built there next year, according to a report this week in local news agency Narinjara.
A 771-km pipeline that will transport oil and natural gas from Kyaukphyu, Burma, to Yunnan Province in China is expected to be completed in 2013. Photo : SGM
The report said a local group plans to protest outside the office of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which is the main contractor on the project.

“We have submitted our application for authorities’ permission to the police office of Kyaukphyu Township on December 14. We have applied for 300 people, but we do not know yet how many people will be allowed for our demonstration,” group spokesperson Tun Kyi is quoted as saying.

He said the demonstrators plan to begin a march from Preinkyaun Village and walk one and a half miles to the CNPC office on the island.

Many local landowners are demanding compensation saying their lands were seized by military officers in Rakhine State who in turn sold them on to the Shwe Gas Project.

Though not calling for a suspension of the project, the residents however plan to issue a list of demands to CNPC and the local authorities, including a guarantee of employment for locals, roads, electricity and fishing rights.

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