Local woman dies after being hit by vessel hired by MCL

October 3, 2018

HURFOM: On September 19th 2018, Daw Myo Tha Dar Shwe, aka Ma Pae Pae, a local fisherwoman, died after having an accident with the “MV Kaung Hein” vessel of the High Mix Company that was hired by the Mawlamyine Cement Limited (MCL) to transport coal to their coal-fired cement factory in Kyaikmayaw Township, Mon State.

“According to U Ohm Tun, a local fisherman, his boat was behind Ma Pae Pae’s. Upon seeing the vessel, Ma Pae Pae rowed her boat to the [Ataran] riverbank. But the vessel tried to avoid the fishing net and also came near to the riverbank. After that, the rear part of the vessel hit Ma Pae Pae and she fell into the river. U Ohm Tun tried to save Ma Pae Pae, but he had to row back to the riverbank as another vessel reached the scene of the accident. After the [second] vessel left, U Ohm Tun tried to search for Ma Pae Pae, but he found nothing.” said U Aung Tin Oo, the Chairperson of Kyaikmayaw Fisheries Department.

Ma Pae Pae lived in the 3rd Shin Saw Pu Ward and earned her livelihood from farming, livestock, and fishing. But during the growing season, she stayed in Kha Now village on the opposite side of Ataran River.

“She lived in Kha Now village during the growing season. On that day, she went to her home to send fish and prawns caught by her father to sell in the Kyaikmayaw market. She had an accident during her way back to home,” said Daw Than Shane, the mother of Ma Pae Pae.

According to the Kyaikmayaw Police Station, the body of Ma Pae Pae was found at 6 am on September 21st.

The MCL gave 500,000 kyat [US $326] to our family to provide food for those who helped with searching for the body [of my elder sister],” said the sister of Ma Pae Pae.

An official and two interpreters from MCL also visited the victim’s family again during her funeral on the 7th day of Ma Pae Pae’s death, September 21st, and publicly gave two envelopes with MCL logos to her father.

“The MCL said that they gave money in order to offer their sympathies, and that the death of Ma Pae Pae wasn’t related to their company, but to the company who directly owned the vessel. The envelopes included 300,000 kyat [US $195],” said U Nyunt, the father of Ma Pae Pae.

U Nyunt continued that no officials from the (MCL) company visited them to make a formal negotiation, and they had been waiting for state lawmaker Daw Khin Myo Myint, a sibling of U Nyunt, to start a negotiation with the companies.

However, on September 22nd, a vessel manager from High Mix Company visited the victim’s family and said they would pay for a “Rangoon-style”[1] funeral.

Lawmaker Daw Khin Myo Myint said, “Our tradition doesn’t like Rangon’s tradition. We don’t just offer noodles [Moke Hin Garr] at the funeral.[2] We didn’t request anything from them but we’ve been monitoring them. If they do something wrong [or unfair], we’ll take legal action against them.”

According to the Kyaikmayaw Police Station, the skipper of the vessel of MN Kaung Hein was charged under Penal Code No. 303 of culpable homicide and No. 280 of navigating any vessel to endanger human life which can sentence the perpetrator up to ten years and six-months imprisonment, respectively.

“This case is related to Penal Code 303, so that as a prosecutor, I have to follow the legal procedure. I’ll sue him at the court. Now, I’m investigating the witnesses. The perpetrator has been held on remand,” said Sub-Inspector Ei Phyo Aung.

After the MCL started its project in Kyaikmayaw Township, the fishermen and farmers who rely on the Ataran River have faced lots of livelihood challenges.

“This is the first time that a person died of a vessel accident, but the fishing net has been destroyed by vessels very often. The fishermen are in trouble [as their fishing materials have been destroyed by the vessels],” said U Kyaw Oo, a local fisherman.


[1]      Just provide “Noodle – Moke Hin Garr” to visitors and it cost just small amount of money.

[2]      Usually in Mon funerals, the visitors are provided with three meals for seven days. It costs a lot.


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