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Myanmar: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Arbitrary taxation by KNLA soldiers and local watchmen, and gold mining activities resulting in livelihood difficulties in Mone Township, January to August 2019

Source: Karen Human Rights Group Country: Myanmar
This Situation Update describes events that occurred in Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District between January and August 2019. Gold mining activities have been conducted in Thaw T’Koo village tract since 2017, including by KNLA Battalion #8 and Company Commanders. These activities have damaged villagers’ farms and crops, resulting in livelihood difficulties. Local people are also worried about the potential environmental impact of a sand extraction project along the Ko Plah Lo Kloh river. In several village tracts, villagers were subjected to arbitrary taxation by KNLA soldiers and local watchmen for not respecting logging limitations set by the KNU. Gold mining activities damaging farmlands in Mone Township Gold mining activity has been occurring in Haw Hkoh Wah Hkee (along the K’Law Myaw river), which is between S---, L---, and K--- villages, Thaw T’Koo village tract, Mone Township, since 2017. It is still on-going in 2019. Some of the Township leaders, along with local Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Battalion and Company commanders, are engaged in this gold mining process, which has impacted the local villagers’ farms and has also damaged rivers. The gold mining activity expanded to S--- village, Thaw T’Koo village tract, damaging lands in Tha Loo Plaw and Kyee Kya Leh Plaw fields. A villager from S--- said that the gold mining process was being conducted across 346 acres located in Tha Loo Plaw and Kyee Kya Leh Plaw fields, as well as in farms. S---’s villagers also explained that this gold mining process does not benefit villagers. Instead, it has negatively impacted the villagers’ livelihoods and the environment. Excess soil from the gold mining process was carried by the river into the farms in S--- village, destroying paddies. The villagers shared information about these damages and expressed their difficulties in a village tract meeting and a Township meeting [KHRG was not able to find out the exact date].
Local authorities came to take photos of the gold mining place but the gold mining process is still on-going. Despite villagers expressing their worries about the potential damages of this gold mining process and reporting the case, the situation has not changed.


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