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International airport and port near Mawlamyine, Myanmar

Myanmar military seized 1872 hectares of land for the construction of an Airport and Port incurring alleged corruption and human right abuses. It was reported that people with ties to the military council were selling land near the project.


Plots of land seized for an airport

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:International airport and port near Mawlamyine, Myanmar
State or province:Mon State
Location of conflict:Mawlamyine District
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Ports and airport projects
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

On 10th December 2021, the Military Council announced it had formed a Central Committee for Project Implementation, comprised of the Union Ministers, to build an international airport and port near Mawlamyine. Already, the junta had instructed local authorities to work on land acquisition, access to electricity, construction of roads and budget allocations for the projects [3]. In June 2022, it was announced that the construction of an international port near Mawlamyaing (Mawlamyine), Mon State, would be implemented in the 2022-2023 financial year. It was stated that the international port and construction of an international airport were under the guidance of the Chairman of the State Administration Council. Tenders were invited for construction of the international port, made available from 25th May to 3rd June 2022 at the office of Myanmar Ports Authority [2]. Following the development of the airport and port, the Military Council plans to boost tourism and the local economy [4]. In August 2022, it was stated that the airport and port projects would be implemented on 4,626.29 acres (1,872 hectares) of land [5]. In December 2022, Than Lwin Times reported that Military Council had allocated over 4,300 acres of land for an international airport and over 360 acres for the port project [8]. In December 2022, Myanmar ruler Min Aung Hlaing said plans were underway to relocate the existing Mawlamyine Airport to a new place in Mon State. He said the current airports’ proximity to the city and university limited increasing flights and extending the runway. He said a new airport for all types of planes would develop Mon and Kayin states [11].

Project area:1,872
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:20/03/2022
Relevant government actors:Mon State Government
Mon State Military Council
Mon State Hluttaw Representative Committee
Ministry of Transport and Communications
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation
Myanmar Port Authority
Mon State Interim Coordination Committee (MSICC)
Central Committee for Project Implementation
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) -
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage)
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsIllnesses caused by air pollutants emitted by aircraft and ships
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Land dispossession, Violations of human rights
Potential: Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Land plots were confiscated for the international airport project, and some people also lost their houses. Mon Human Rights (Rehmonnya) stated that the compensation offered by the military was much lower than the current market rate. Than Lwin Times reported that individuals tied to the military council were selling land near the proposed airport and port; as of March 2023, only one month remained for payment of land compensation that U Aung Kyi Thein, spokesman for Mon State Military Council, had stated in December 2022 would be paid within three months.
Sources & Materials

[1] Military junta seizes plots of land for airport construction, Rehmonnya, 20/05/2022
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[2] Int’l Port Tender Bidding: Port To Be Constructed In Mudon Township Of Mon State, MITV - Myanmar International Television, 01/06/2022
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[3] Military council confiscates land for airport project in Mon State, Than Lwin Times, 11/07/2022
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[4] Junta allocates 4,600 acres of land for airport, port projects, Than Lwin Times, 07/08/2022
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[5] Infrastructure Development: Int’l Airport and Port To Construct in Mon State, MITV - Myanmar International Television, 09/08/2022
[click to view]

[6] MPU will work to make sure communities don't suffer from junta's airport, port projects, Than Lwin Times, 11/08/2022
[click to view]

[7] Military council’s land compensation offer does not meet farmers’ expectations, Rehmonnya, 11/10/2022
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[8] People close to military regime selling plots of land near proposed Mawlamyine airport, port, Than Lwin Times, 07/12/2022
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[9] Mon State’s military council to pay land compensation for airport, port projects within 3 months, Than Lwin Times, 15/12/2022
[click to view]

[10] Implementation of the Mawlamyine International Airport, Port project is impossible: Analysts say, Than Lwin Times, 20/10/2022
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[11] Junta leader plans to move Mawlamyine airport, Burma News International (BNI), 22/12/2022
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[12] Military council’s Mawlamyine Airport, Port project remain in limbo for more than a year, Than Lwin Times, 04/03/2023
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Rose Bridger, Stay Grounded, email: [email protected]
Last update22/02/2023
Conflict ID:6293
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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