Friday, 10 June 2011

Thai-backed port to displace 10,000

DVB,  9 June 2011
Location of Tavoy, where the port project is being built (DVB)

The Thai industrial giant behind a controversial deep-sea port project in Burma said on Wednesday that 10,000 people would have to leave their homes to make way for the development.

Ital-Thai Group is in charge of building and attracting investors to the Tavoy Development Project, which is set to transform a sleepy strip of southern coastline with a deep-sea port and 250 sq km industrial estate.

The company confirmed the project would uproot local people, but insisted the villagers would be well catered for with new settlements.

‘There is a population of only a little more than 10,000 people that have to be relocated,’ said Premchai Kanasuta, president of Italian-Thai Development, the subsidiary in charge of the project.
Concerns about human rights and the environment have been raised about the scale and nature of the port plans because of a lack of regulation in Burma, which remains military-dominated despite a new nominally-civilian parliament.

The 10-year, US$8 billion (S$9.8 billion) project will include a steel mill, fertiliser plant, a coal-fired power station and oil refinery.

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