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Narinjara News

Kyauk Pru: Dissatisfaction with the Daewoo Company has been growing amongst local residents in Kyaukpru, the main hub for international oil and gas projects in western Burma’s Arakan State, as roads in the town have been damaged by the company’s over-weight vehicles.

“We are now getting angry with Daewoo because every road in our area which is used by it's overweight vehicles has become badly damaged, yet they continue to ignore the weight limits or repair the roads in response to our complaints," said one of the residents.

He said the company’s vehicles have been carrying large and heavy pipes. All roads in the Katthapray Village Group and the road that leads from the village to the Kantkawtaw Pagoda are now heavily damaged by those vehicles.

“The company’s trucks used to carry no more than three pipes before, but now they have been driving with loads of up to five pipes, even after we complained of the road damages to the company. The road that goes to the Kantkawtaw Pagoda has been completely ruined and become twisted by those vehicles”, he said.

He said that it is now very difficult to travel on the road, not only for local residents but also for the pilgrims who come to make devotional offerings at the pagoda.

Moreover, the Kyaukpru-Rangoon road has also been damaged by the heavy and overweight vehicles used for the Shwe Gas Project and local residents who are traveling by road are facing many risks and troubles as a result. Far from recieving benefits, local residents have been suffering from land confiscations, rights violations and exploitation since the multi-billion dollars Shwe Gas Project started in their area. The project is run by the Burmese military regime and Korea’s Daewoo.

The resident said that they would try every avenue to get help if the roads and the need for repairs continue to be neglected by the project partners.

“We have already written to every department office in our town about the roads and we are now organizing all the residents so we can complain of the matter to the president U Thein Sein. We are also discussing whether or not we can carry on with our current jobs while we wait for the road to be properly repaired by the responsible company," he said.

He said the residents are also very unhappy about the difficulties of making a pilgrimage to the Kantkawtaw Pagoda, the famous ancient pagoda in Kyaukpru. The coming full-moon day which marks the end of Buddhist Lent will see a large amount of traffic on the now badly damaged roads.
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