Press Release We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the plan of degradation of Chin State’s natural resources due to unadulterated

large-scale off-shore and on-shore mining operations. Gullu Mual/Mwe Taung Hill is characterized by a vast area of agricultural land in Chin State and is one of the nation’s surviving ecological frontiers and it remains as a cradle of biodiversity. It is also home to one of the largest population of indigenous peoples. It is a big treasure chest of both metallic and non-metallic minerals such as nickel, uranium, copper, magnetite, iron, ore, limestone, sand and gravel to name a few. To date, the Chinese mining firm NMI and the Burmese-military-backed Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings have been extracting mineral resources specifically in Burma for decades respectively and are still planning to expand. The experiences felt by the operations of these two large companies and brought about destruction to the mountainous areas of Sagaing division and displaced thousands of people along with their livelihoods. Almost all of the provinces in the Sagaing division and Rakhine are almost entirely covered by overlapping mining applications at present. Such are also the cases in the Chin State. In addition, residents in mining areas are put in health risks such as respiratory and skin diseases due to water and air pollution. Being a major supplier of agricultural products, the destruction of Gullu Mual/Mwe Taung Mountain and many parts in Chin State also poses an impact to food security to its peoples in the long run. The entry of large, foreign-dominated mining companies goes beyond environmental issues. It is primarily a glaring face of land grabbing.

Thousands upon thousands of peasants and their families are being displaced from their homes and sources of livelihood. Indigenous groups are being deprived of their rights to their ancestral land and self-determination. The government actually peddles mineral-rich areas of the country to foreign mining companies and has failed time and again to protect the people from the perils and irreversible damages brought about by large scale mining operations. In addition, the mining companies resulting to widespread militarization and human rights violations in the communities. We persist in our call to repeal the Mining Act of 1994 and to change the national mining policy by passing the new mining bill. The bill promotes a mining industry based on the principles of social justice, respect for peoples’ rights and welfare, environmental conservation, defense of national sovereignty and patrimony, national industrialization and agricultural modernization. We urge the government to cease its program of liberalizing the mining industry. It is high time to extend our support for the peoples of Chin State. This fight is not only theirs but our as a nation. It is during these times of danger that we must stand side by side regardless of our land of origin. It is only through our collective action that we may find victory. People, unite! Defend our land, life and resources! Mining moratorium on Large-scale Mining Projects and Operation! No to foreign mining plunder! Junk the Mining Act of 1994! Pass the new mining bill! Long live the struggle for a prosperous and better life, now and in the future We urge you to protect the rights of our inhabited land and stop this mine. Together we can. Thank you. Ms. Lian LA-KWHRO CC: The Kuki Students Democratic Front

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