A group of youth in the Mongmao region have urged all citizens in Shan State to protect the state’s natural resources and environment.
“We urge all youths in Shan State to oppose every group that is destroying our forests, mountains, rivers and other natural resources,” said a young man in Mongmao region who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Since April 8, 2015 the youths in Se Lant town, Muse township have organized a protest to stop mining company trucks carrying silica rocks through the town.
The silica mine is located on the Loi Te Mong (Te Mong Mountain) just 2 miles east of Se Lant town.
According to a news source; the roads in Se Lant town are damaged because about 20 silica trucks pass through the town daily. Residents are often hit by the trucks.
The silica mining company has used different routes to transport silica rocks from Se Lant town to the Burma-China border. Routes across the Mao (Shweli) River include from Mai Sak village to Nong Mon village, and from Nong Mo village to Ta Jarng village. Another route is through the forest from Mai Sak village to Nong Seng village into China. Some companies have paid a bribe to village heads to pass through rice fields before entering China.
A resident in Nong Seng village said, “About 20 six-wheel trucks carrying silica rock pass through our village every day. Each truck carries about 8 tons of silica rock. These vehicles are trucks from China. We can see Chinese text written on the front of the vehicle.”
On 24-26 April 2015, the youth group will organize a walk up Te Mong mountain aimed at raising awareness about the damaging impacts of natural resource extraction.