Press Conference Held due to Lack of Transparency in Lead Processing Plant

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Kantarawaddy Times

A press conference was held in Loikaw Township, Kayah State, due to the fact that the the responsible person from lead processing plant, in industrial zone-2, has not yet revealed the pros and cons of this plant’s construction work, Khoon Angelo, Kayah State in-charge of Myanmar Alliance for Transparency and Accountability (MATA), said.

“They are keep building it. But they do not disclose it to the public. That’s why we held a press conference. You have to unfold what the pros / cons of building a factory are when you build it. Now I have done filed visit more than 10 villages. None of the villagers and local people from more than 10 villages know about it,” said Khoon Angelo.

The Karenni Mega Investment Watch (KMIW) held a press conference in Yangon today, August 28, with a joint report on the conspiracy.

According to the summary of the report, it pointed out about the high centralized land administration mechanisms in support of joint ventures and foreign direct investment in the mining sector in Kayah (Karenni) State; transnational projects of capitalist countries; consequences of human rights and environmental impacts; failure to promote and protect human rights at all levels of government; human rights abuses in business; and failures to to protect the environment.

Although the company has said it will give priority to local people in implementing the project, in reality, only 15 locals are involved, according to Khoon Angelo.
When we contacted to Global South Industrial Co. Ltd., which is building the plant, the Director of the company, U Win Maw, said it had hired more than 70 percent of the locals.

“Between 70 and 80, this is our local ethnic people. Only the local people are working in the field, and we have statistics of their daily work record,” U Win Maw said.

An environmental and land activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the construction was carried out without any initial steps of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and that there were weaknesses in the law and that environmental issues should be identified in this situation.

“The main thing we want to know is about the companies who will invest on it, including the amount of investment, and the waste management. We want them to adress especially the issue of environmental impacts, social and health impacts first, then conduct the construction process later.”

Win Maw, the company’s director, said that since the company had tried to obtain the permit in accordance with the laws of the country, they would fulfill their promises given in accordance with the law before the permit was issued.

U Win Maw said, “We are all in accordance with the law. This is not just a metal refinery plant, but also our factory. The refinery process will be just done in the designated zone. So what we are doing is fully in accordance with the law. We are working with full responsibility and accountability. There is nothing special to say. You can see how we are implementing,” he said.

A total of 562 employees, including 539 local and 23 outside workers, are employed in the factory, according to the Kayah State government’s 2019 project report.
Although we contacted to U Maw Maw, the Minister of Planning and Finance of Kayah State, about the project, we could not be reached for comment since he was on trip.
The refinery has been in operation since 2018, with a 50-year investment permit issued by the Myanmar Investment Commission under Permit No. (168/2019), and it was received on July 6, 2019.

After obtaining the permit, it is being built on 113 acres of land in Industrial Zone No.2 at Nwa La Woe Village Tract.

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