YSS Collect Signatures in Opposition to Coal-Fired Power Plant

September 3, 2014

On August 23, 2014 the Ye Social Society (YSS) began collecting signatures from local residents in opposition to the coal-fired power plant, which is planned to be built in Ain Din Village, Ye Township, Mon State.

After holding discussions with local residents living throughout potentially affected areas, the YSS began its campaign to collect signatures from local residents in opposition to the project; the YSS will collect signatures until the end of September.

According to reports from the Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA), the collected signatures will be submitted to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s office, Mon State government, the Mon State Minister of Electric Power and Industry Nai Lawi Oung, and to Tokyo-Thai company representatives.

On June 1, 2014, about 120 local residents, led by the YSS, visited Ain Din and neighboring villages to distribute pamphlets, written in both Mon and Burmese, in efforts to inform residents of negative effects the power plant will have on the environment and villagers’ livelihoods. The YSS is campaigning for local residents to oppose the construction of the power plant.

In April of this year, residents of Ain Din Village voiced their frustration with the Ministry of Electricity and its partner, the Tokyo Thai Group, because neither group sought the residents’ opinion, nor made any efforts to inform villagers of their plan to build a 1280 Megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in the area. Neither the Ministry of Electricity, nor the Tokyo Thai Group provided any communication or information with the local people regarding plans for construction or potential environmental impacts on the community. (http://rehmonnya.org/archives/3145)

A member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) states that, “if this plan succeeds, local people will encounter more harmful effects, than positive ones. The positive aspect of the power plant is that the local people will be able to use electric power, and those who want to sell their land will get a good price. If we look back at its harmful effects, marine creatures will become extinct, and people will be exposed to different diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, as well as skin cancer due to gas emitted from the coal-fired power plant.”

According to the Tokyo-Thai Group’s project pamphlet, $2,700 million USD will be invested in the power plant; the plant will be built on 500 acres of farmland near Ain Din Village, and will begin operating in 2018.

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