Thirty Kachin State civil society organisations (CSOs) called for a permanent halt to all dam projects in Kachin State due to a lack of transparency, negotiations and communication on 14 March, International Rivers’ Day.They said that the Burma Government has been carrying out dam projects on natural rivers and creeks in Kachin State and that there has been a lack of transparency. The government has not been properly informing people who will be affected by dam projects about their plans and they have not been consulting or negotiating with the public and CSOs.
The CSOs also criticised the government for continuing with such projects whilst being unable to solve the political issues that have arisen from its breach of the 1947 Panglong Agreement.
Despite objections from the public the previous military government had attempted to build the Myitsone Dam project in collaboration with the Chinese state owned company China Power Investment Corporation. After a nominally civilian Burmese government was elected under President Thein Sein in 2010 he temporarily suspended the building of the Myitsone Dam in 2011.
But, at a conference in Beijing on 14 March the Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr Wang Yi, said that there were plans to re-start the Myitsone Dam Project under the new National League for Democracy (NLD) administration.
Translated by Thida Linn
Edited in English by Mark Inkey for BNI
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