Suspension of pipeline project urged

Dhaka, September 11:

Myanmar nationals self-exiled in Bangladesh are urging Dhaka and New Delhi to suspend the proposed tri-nation gas pipeline project involving Yangon. The Myanmar nationals under the banner of the Arakan National Congress (ANC) said the proposed project would harm their struggle to re-establish democracy in Myanmar. The ANC — a political group of Myanmar banned by the Myanmar military junta — will make an official request to the governments of Bangladesh and India and the companies concerned not to go ahead with the project.

The group asked Bangladesh and India to suspend the gas pipeline project, expected to run through Arakan state in Myanmar, until a democratic government was established in Myanmar. Kyaw Mra Than, ANC director in Bangladesh, explained the exiles’ stance regarding the proposed tri-nation gas pipeline project at an opinion exchange meeting here in Dhaka.

The ANC denounced the proposed pipeline project, claiming that the gas belonged to the people of Arakan state and they would not enjoy the profits from the sale of gas. “The project would damage the environment, and the Burmese military junta will subject the

people to forced labour, forced relocation of their villages and other human rights abuses,” they added, “The military junta plans to export gas to India collaborating with its consortium to import more arms and weapons to suppress the democratic movement,” he said. “So we request all of our international friends to wait until a democratic government in Myanmar was established,” he said.