Forced labor used to build a new camp near a coal mining site in Nam Sang

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More than 100 people were forced to build a security camp near the coal mining project in Nam Sang township in southern Shan state.

Around March 29-30, 2022, 106 villagers in Nong Mo Village, Nong Hee Sector, Nam Sang Township were forced to build a new security base located about one mile from the new coal mine project.

“The reason for the construction of the new security camp could be related to the new coal mine project. They usually do this when dams are built or when the environment is damaged. They do it to keep the sites safe, it was done in the past. Therefore, this new camp could be due to the new mining project,” said Sai Hor Hseng, spokesperson for the Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF).

According to the spokesperson, the new camp was built on agricultural land belonging to Long Sar who lives in Nam Mo village, and the military junta did not inform or obtain permission from the landowner. Additionally, the villagers were forced to dig bunkers, chop wood, and build the fence for the new camp.

“More than 30 soldiers from the 553 light infantry battalion are there. They weren’t based here in the past. They arrived here at the end of March. They stay in public schools and they force the natives to build the base for them. These are clearly human rights violations,” added Sai Hor Hseng.

According to the list of permits announced by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conversation under the military government in November 2021, five permits of coal mining projects in 500 acres of land in Nong Hee tract, Nam Township Blood were included.

According to the statement released by SHRF, the five mining project permits were granted to Mandalay Distribution and Mining Company, a subsidiary of Ngwe Yi Pale Company.

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