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  • Myanmar to probe controversial China backed City project

    Published on June 17, 2020

    The government of Myanmar has set up a tribunal to probe the construction of a mega city project being undertaken by Chinese support in the Karen state about 15 km north of Myawaddy. Stating this in Naypyidaw on Monday, the Deputy Minister of Union Government office U Tin Myint said that he has been selected to Chair the committee to investigate the Shwe Kokko city Project, reports Irrawaddy.

    The project is being implemented by the Yatai International Holdings group of China along with the BGF which is reportedly supported by the Myanmar military.

    The project was started in 2017 at a small scale involving  22.5 million dollars for construction of 59 villas at Shwe Kokko.

    However, later it was reported that Construction was being carried out at a much larger scale than was approved to construct a ‘small international city’.

    The company planned to cover 30 thousand acres spread over 19 kilometers across the border of Myanmar and Thailand at a projected cost of dollar 15 billion,reports Irrawady. The project intended to construct hotels, casinos,airport and tourism related places.

    The project was temporarily halted in 2019 for breaching investment regulations.

    Media reports indicate that the project has displaced local families, material for the project is being sourced from China or Thailand, and thousands of Chinese workers have been brought into Shwe Kokko instead of utilizing Myanmar’s skilled labour workforce.

    Allegations of illicit activity and lack of transparency, have also been levelled against the project.
    U Tin Myint said that the Myanmar government has not approved any plan to set up casinos as part of the project.

    Karen state of Myanmar has faced ethnic unrest with several armed groups active in the area.