As Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-Ocha visits Myanmar to revive the stalled Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the governments of Thailand and Myanmar should cooperate to establish a legal framework protecting the human rights of the area’s residents, said the ICJ.
The multi-billion dollar Dawei development, strategically located along the Thai-Myanmar peninsula, will be one of Southeast Asia’s largest industrial complexes, with a 250 sq km deep-sea port, petrochemical and heavy industry hub. After the project failed to attract sufficient investment, it was taken over directly by the Dawei SEZ Development Company, jointly owned by the governments of Thailand and Myanmar.
“This massive project has faced vocal opposition from some of the residents of the area, who allege that they have forcibly been deprived of their land, and that the development has damaged their farms, their livelihoods and their way of life,” said Daniel Aguirre, ICJ’s International Legal Adviser for Myanmar. “Any effort to revive the development now has the chance to avoid the mistakes of the past and to ensure that the rights of the residents of the area are protected.”
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The press release was also picked up by local media at Mizzima News: