KySDP candidate promises to reconsider construction of protested lead refinery

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Naw Dway Eh Khu

Kayah State Democratic Party (KySDP) parliamentary candidates have vowed to reconsider the construction of a lead refinery in Loikaw, which the civil society and the public are protesting, if they win the 2020 election.

“We promise to work hard for greenery and environmental conservation. We see that we need to re-evalutae the impact of factory like the lead refinery plant; how much the it would benefit our citizens or how much it would impact to our citizens by reviewing the lead refinery. That is why if the people vote for us and we will be to the Hluttaw and in government. Then at that time we can check whether they really do EIA / SIA forms to review these projects. In fact, everything is not done just with EIA and SIA. There are a lot of things like CRA and HIA. We believe that we will have to do a lot of testing and research to see how well these plants are trying to operate, and then we should decide whether or not to shut down it. We want to make a commitment to do that systematically,” said Steven (nickname) Tun Tun.

Steven (nickname) Tun Tun, who will contest in the State Hluttaw constituency No. 1 in Loikaw Township, spoke it during their campaign at Kone Thar Village Tract, Loikaw Township, October 21.

Lead refinery plant is being built on 113 acres of land in the western part of Industrial Zone-2, Nwa La Woe Village Tract, Loikaw Township, Kayah State, and if they win in election, they said they will reconsider the status of the factory.

The lead refinery is a joint venture between Global South Industrial Co. Ltd and local Yardana Kaday Thike Co. Ltd, and that refinery plant is being built to process black ore, tungsten, and alloys.

Global South Industrial Co. Ltd will provide US $ 45 million (90% of the total investment) for the project; Yadana Kaday Thike Co. Ltd has invested US $ 5 million (10% of the total investment) for a total of US $ 50 million.

The project has been approved for 50 years by the Myanmar Investment Commission with permission order (168/2019) on July 6, 2019 and is being implemented.
However, Karenni State in charge of Civil Alliance for Myanmar’s public transparency and accountability, criticized that the public have not known whether the company have conducted the impact of lead refinery in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (IEE) and the Environmental Impact Assessment (IEE).

“People neither know nor understand about these factories. The Global South Industrial Co.ltd, which is currently affiliated with Win Maw, also haven’t done any SIA. And they also have not conducted any HIA health assessments. So I’m worried about how the MIC allowed the plant to operate without these process.”

The Karenni Mega Investment Watch (KMIW) held a press conference on the construction of the plant and criticized the company for failing to identify the pros and cons.

When we interviewed via phone to Win Maw, the Director of Global South Industrial Co. Ltd, he replied that the EIA, SIAs have been conducted by cooperating with relevant departments while they are building that plant.

The Karenni civil society group has received more than 4,000 votes against the construction of the plant, and local candidates are campaigning for it to be submitted to Vice President Henry Van Thio if it receives more than 10,000 votes.

The Kayah State Democratic Party (KySDP) is a state-based ethnic party that will contest 30 of the 34 constituencies in seven townships in Kayah State.

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