Threats, trickery, and administrative misconduct over proposed stone mining project by Excellent Fortune Development Group Company in Ye Township

December 27, 2017

Conflict is brewing between local villagers and Excellent Fortune Development Group Company Ltd. (EFD) over a planned stone mining project in Khaw Zar Sub-township, Ye Township, Mon State. EFD is planning to buy land near Mount Bleh Patoi located between Dani Thakyar and Magyi villages.

We, the villagers of Dani Thakyar and Magyi villages, dont want to sell [the land near] the mountain to the company. We dont agree [to sell the land]. We dont want the mountain to be destroyed. If we sell the [land near the] mountain to the company, the plantations, farmland, and natural resources [nearby] will be destroyed and the local farmers will be in trouble,” said Nai Seik Chan, a Magyi village resident.

Even though most of the villagers who reside in Dani Tajar village have agreed to sell their land to EFD, villagers who reside on the outskirts of Dani Thakyar, as well as Magyi village residents have refused. On December 12th 2017, approximately 100 villagers signed a petition opposing the sale of land to EFD.

We havent sold the land yet. But the company has been negotiating with the Abbot U Sanda Tarra and as far as we know, the Abbot has agreed to sell,” said U S—, a young monk from the Magyi Monastery.

According to him, the villagers from Dani Thakyar who agreed to sell their land for the local project did so out of respect for Abbot Sanda Tarra, who was born in Dani Thakyar.

Not all villagers in Dani Thakyar have agreed to sell the land, but they have to because their venerable Abbot has decided to sell the [land near the] mountain to the company. They are also afraid of the Abbots brother who was a bandit and former member of a Mon splinter group. He has threatened the villagers, so they have to agree to sell their land,” continued U S—.

Previously, on November 28th 2017, Dani Tajar resident Nai Tun Saung, organized local villagers to construct a road into the village. However, in reality, the volunteers were tricked into clearing land that is slated to be sold to EFD. An argument erupted between the villagers and Nai Tun Saung. One local villager who argued with the Dani Thakyar village administrator over the use of village labor for the benefit of EFD was forced to apologize and fined 100,000 kyat (US $73.86).

Local villagers in this area rely on betel nut and coconut plantations for their livelihoods. The outskirts of Dani Thakyar consists of 15 houses, while Dani Thakyar proper has approximately 100 households. Magyi village has more than 200 houses. As the disagreement between the villagers regarding the land issue heats up, local villagers are worried about possible conflict amongst them.

On December 20th 2017, local villagers sent a petition letter to Daw Tin Ei, the Speaker of the Mon State Parliament, requesting a stop to the misconduct in the wake of EFD’s proposed stone mining project.


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