Asia Highway link could push farmers off their land: NGO

01 April 2015
Asia Highway link could push farmers off their land: NGO
Farm girls plant paddy as they work in a field near Kawkareik Township of Kayin State, Myanmar, October 3, 2014. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

The Karen Human Rights Group says a road planned by the Myanmar government with funding from the Asian Development Bank threatens villagers’ ability to earn a living, according to Karen News on March 30.
The NGO claims that if the Asia Highway link between Eindu and Kawkareik in Kayin State goes ahead the “construction would result in the confiscation of villagers’ land posing a threat to their basic livelihoods.”
The NGO in its latest bulletin says “the Asia Highway is a large-scale, regional project funded in part by the Asian Development Bank or ADB. The section of the highway under consideration in southeastern Myanmar will connect Eindu to Kawkareik Town and will cross through 17 villages and one town in Hpa-an, Kyonedoe and Kawkareik townships in Dooplaya and Hpa-an districts.”
The highway construction would “affect many villagers’ plantations, paddy fields, shops and houses along the route, resulting in a number of possible negative impacts.”
The Karen Human Rights Group said the Myanmar government often undertakes such projects without respecting the rights of local people or considering the benefits they may gain from the project.