Petition Seeks Halt to Chinese Dam Projects in Burma – Saw Yan Naing

From the Burmese exile publication Irawaddy:

A petition signed by more than 50,000 people and 24 international organizations has been sent to the Chinese government calling for a halt to the construction of dam projects in Burma to allow full inquiries to first of all take place.

Burma Rivers Network said the petition was being sent by fax to Chinese embassies. Signatories included villagers from Burma’s Kachin, Karenni, Shan and Karen states who would be directly affected by the projects.

…The Network called on the Chinese government to follow its environmental laws when constructing the planned dams in Burma. Aung Ngyeh said it was feared the projects would lead to human rights abuses, such as land confiscation, forced labor, and troop deployment, as well as deforestation and the destruction of livelihoods.

Local people would not benefit from the projects, which would produce power for China and Thailand, said Aung Ngyeh.

He said some 20 dams are to be built in Burma’s Kachin, Shan and Karen states. Most of the companies involved in the projects were from China. [Full text]

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