Villagers displaced by the controversial Tamanthi hydro-power project on the Chindwin River are demanding adequate compensation and re-possession of their seized land.
At a press conference held at the Myanmar Journalist Network on September 23 in Yangon, the villagers expressed their wish to return to their old villages, since the project has been suspended in June.
Boinu, Spokespersons of the Kuki Women Human Rights Organization (KWHRO) said, “The lives of the villagers have been ruined due to the Tamanthi dam project.”
The project was a joint undertaking of the Myanmar and Indian government.
The villagers said that they would demand compensation from the Myanmar government as well as the Indian government through the Indian Embassy.
Boinu, said that around 200 signatures have been collected in support of the petition for compensation.
In 2007 about 300 families in Laywayyan and Tazone villages in Homalin Township, northern Sagaing Region, were resettled about 40 miles away from their villages for the Tamanthi hydro-power project.
According to the residents, they received MMK 5000 as compensation for their seized land.
Aung Htein Lin, a resident said, “If I say, I did not get compensation, it will be a lie. When we were resettled, each family received MMK 5000 and a bag of rice. And the lands they gave us as compensation are not arable.”
The villagers said that they will demand monetary compensation for more than 1400 acres of seized land, and negotiate the amount to be compensated with relevant officials.
In June, the Indian and Myanmar government suspended the Tamanthi project citing adverse environmental and social impact that might occur if the project proceeds.
The Tamanthi dam would have generated 1200 MW of electricity and 80% of the power generated was supposed to go to India.