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Myanmar Pongpipat lawsuit (re environmental & health impact of Heinda tin mine)

Dawei distrcit Myanmar photo by Go-MyanmarIn May 2014, villagers from the Myaung Pyo village in the Dawei District in Myanmar filed a lawsuit against Myanmar Pongpipat and the state-owned Mining Enterprise 2.  The plaintiffs are asking for compensation for damage allegedly caused by the nearby Heinda tin mining project.  They claim that the wastewater from the mine damaged their houses, plantations and farmlands, and affected their health due to a contamination of water sources.

The plaintiffs filed their claim in the Dawei District Court on 9 May 2014.  The court accepted the plaintiffs’ claim on 14 May 2014.  The first court hearing took place on 29 May 2014.  On 17 June 2016, Myanmar's Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that it should have been filed within one year of the damage occurring.  On 30 September 2016, the plaintiffs appealed arguing that the time limitation does not apply as the harm is continuing. 

- “Ex-Official Says Heinda Miners Neglecting Environmental Obligations”, Yen Snaing, Irrawaddy (Thailand), 27 May 2014
- “Lawsuit Against Heinda Mine Accepted by Dawei Court [Myanmar]”, Yen Snaing, Irrawaddy (Thailand), 19 May 2014
- “Dawei Village to Sue Thai Mining Firm Over Environmental Impacts [Myanmar]”, Paul Vrieze, Irrawaddy (Thailand), 17 Mar 2014

Dawei Development Association:
- Myaung Pyo Villagers Continue to Fight for Justice against Heinda Mine, 21 Dec 2016 [Available in Myanmar]
- [DOC] “Dawei Court Accepts Lawsuit for Damages Caused to Myaung Pyo Villagers by Heinda Mine”, 25 May 2014.  Available in Myanmar here.
- [PDF] "Villagers from Myaung Byo to File Court Case Over Damages Caused from Mining Project", 16 Mar 2014
- [DOC] “Background on Heinda Mining Project”, 2014. Available in Myanmar here.

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Article
22 December 2016

Myanmar: Villagers to sue companies over destructive effects of Heinda tin mining project on livelihoods & environment

Author: Saw Yan Naing, The Irrawaddy (Myanmar)

"Locals in Dawei Seek Justice After Impact of Destructive Tin Mining", 21 Dec 2016

Villagers from the economic development-driven Dawei District in Tenasserim Division say that they have not received proper compensation after a tin mining project began negatively affecting their livelihoods...[L]ocals from Myaung Pyo village in Dawei District...had been fighting for two years to be compensated by the Myanmar Pongpipat Company’s Heinda tin mining project due to its negative physical and environmental impact...The Heinda project, conducted by Myanmar Pongpipat Company and No 2. Mining Enterprise, has caused severe flooding and sedimentation, destroying villagers’ houses, plantations, sanitation infrastructure and making the water toxic, according to a statement released by the Dawei Pro Bono Lawyers Network...The legal case is currently pending...Nine plaintiffs from Myaung Pyo village first filed a lawsuit against the Myanmar Pongpipat Company in March 2014...However...the plaintiffs were barred from pursuing the case further as the courts decided it should have been filed within one year of the damage...The Dawei Pro Bono Lawyers Network...argued that the time limitations relied on by the Union Supreme Court are inapplicable...

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Article
27 May 2014

Ex-Official Says Heinda Miners Neglecting Environmental Obligations

Author: Yen Snaing, Irrawaddy (Myanmar)

A former government official has accused operators of the Heinda mine in Tenasserim Division of ignoring Burma’s existing law on mines, and has urged those responsible for alleged environmental destruction due to mining activities to step up and address locals’ grievances…[The retired deputy director of the Department of Mines] said he supported a lawsuit brought by local villagers…[against] the Thai firm Myanmar Pongpipat Company and Burma’s state-owned Mining Enterprise 2…[The civil suit] was accepted by the Dawei District Court…with the plaintiffs claiming to have suffered years of negative environmental impacts from mining activities in the area…

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Article
19 May 2014

Lawsuit Against Heinda Mine Accepted by Dawei Court [Myanmar]

Author: Yen Snaing, Irrawaddy (Myanmar)

A civil suit by villagers in Tenasserim Division has been accepted by a local court, with plaintiffs claiming to have suffered years of negative environmental impacts from the activities of a Thai company and a Burmese government firm operating in the area. The tort is seeking compensation for damages to houses and farmlands allegedly caused by wastewater from the Heinda tin mine, and the legal action was accepted…by the Dawei District Court, according to Tin Tin Thet, a lawyer representing the complainants. “...The defendants, Myanmar Pongpipat Company and Mining Enterprise 2, are asked to appear [in court] on the coming 29th [of May],” Tin Tin Thet told The Irrawaddy…

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Article
17 March 2014

Dawei Village to Sue Thai Mining Firm Over Environmental Impacts [Myanmar]

Author: Paul Vrieze, Irrawaddy (Myanmar)

Villagers in Tenasserim Division’s Dawei District announced they will file a legal complaint against a Thai company and a Burmese government firm operating the Heinda tin mine, in order to seek compensation for severe environmental damage to their farmlands caused by the mine’s wastewater. In a press release…residents of Myaung Pyo village said they would complain to Dawei District Court over the operations of Thailand’s Myanmar Pongpipat Company and state-owned Mining Enterprise 2, which falls under the Ministry of Mining…“[C]reeks and rivers got shallow, many species of plants and animals went extinct and many of our plantations, houses, wells and religious buildings were destroyed due to waste and sediment,” villagers said in a release…[refers to PT Timah]

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Article
16 March 2014

Villagers from Myaung Byo to File Court Case Over Damages Caused from Mining Project

Author: Dawei Development Association

The Heinda mining project, located in Myitta Township, Dawei District in Tanintharyi Region, operated by Myanmar Pongpipat company Ltd. has had many negative social and economic impacts on our community…[W]hen Myanmar Pongpipat started to operate the Heinda mining project, creeks and rivers got shallow, many species of plants and animals went extinct and many of our plantations, houses, wells and religious buildings were destroyed...In 2012, there was more flooding causing further destruction of houses, plantations and water sources along the Myaung Byo creek, which is now filled with waste and sediment from the mining project…[W]e, the villagers of Myaung Byo will try to seek justice and ask that our rights be respected in a peaceful way by filing a court case to No.(2) Mining Enterprise and Myanmar Pongpipat company Ltd. who are responsible for damages in our village…

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