By Mark Inkey
Namhkam Township, Northern Shan State, August 2, 2015
A bomb blew up a truck loaded with silicon mineral stone in Aung Myittar Ward, Namhkam Township, Northern Shan State at 7.20pm on 10 March according to Sai Ye, a local resident.
He said: “When the bomb exploded under the engine at the front of the truck some parts of the engine were destroyed but no one was injured in the accident. The truck driver is Sai Pe from Aung Myittar Ward and the explosion happened in front of his home. The explosion was very big, it caused the ground to shake. The whole town was silent after the explosion and there was almost no one on the street.”
The destroyed truck belongs to the Ngwe Kabar Kyaw mining company and is a Chinese made six-wheel truck according to Sai Ye.
On 26 February about 300 local residents blocked Ngwe Kabar Kyaw mining company trucks loaded with minerals in Namhkam Township for one and a half hours. The residents stopped the trucks because they are angry that the mining company had never discussed with local residents about carrying out further excavations for minerals at Namseri Stream.
Previously the company had been mining mineral stone from the Namseri Stream, but they stopped their activities after complaints from the villagers and promised to consult them before resuming excavations.
Recently, the company angered the villagers by resuming excavations without consulting them, which led to them blockading the trucks.
The excavations already carried out at Namseri Stream by the company have caused the deterioration of nearby farmlands, which have not yet been addressed according to Sai Hseng Moon, a farmer leader.
He said: “The deterioration of the farmlands along the Namseri Stream due to the mining project, in Phan-Khar Village, have not been repaired yet [for a long time] and now they are going to excavate stone at Hway-Oh Village after getting permission from the Naypyidaw Government, which they never should have given.”
The truck that was blown up was one of the trucks blockaded by the villagers on 26 February, but no one yet knows what group set off the bomb said a source close to the police.
The source said: “The bomb was made of mining explosives and was the same type of bomb that exploded in the house of U Aung Win last year in Namkhan Township. U Aung Win is a township supporting group member and executive committee member of the Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD) party of Namhkam Town.
According to local people there have been several bombs exploding in Namhkam Town, but no one has ever been arrested over the explosions.
Translated by Aung Myat Soe English version written by Mark Inkey for BNI