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en/myanmar-myitsone-dam-project-faces-widespread-opposition-due-to-displacement-environment-concerns#c183494

Myanmar: Possible resumption of Myitsone dam project sparks widespread protests

Author: Chan Thar, Myanmar Times, Published on: 10 February 2019

"Thousands protest against Myitsone dam in Kachin," 08 February 2019

Thousands of people...gathered...to call for a complete halt to the China-financed work on the Myitsone dam on the Ayeyarwady River.

Over 7000 Kachin people...denounce attempts by China and others to restart the project, which has been mothballed since 2011 when strong opposition from residents forced its cancellation.

The protesters said that 90 percent of the electricity that will be produced by the dam will be exported to China and will not benefit the country.

“We are protesting against the project not because we hate Chinese people. We don’t hate the Chinese. We are doing this only because we don’t want this project,” said Daw Lura, a local resident who was displaced by the project.

Police arrested one of the protest leaders, Daw Ja Gaung, who had secured the demonstration permit, for failing to follow the terms of the permit. Police charged Daw Ja Gaung with violating the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law.

Myint Moe, chief of No. 1 police station in Myitkyina, said that among the violations by the protesters was their use of a loudspeaker and headbands printed with “No to Myitsone dam.”

U Aung Hkam, chairman of the Kachin Democratic Party, urged the government to take decisive action and stand with the people in opposing the dam. 

The dam project was signed with China under the administration of president U Thein Sein. Its construction began in 2009, but it was suspended in September 2011 after widespread public protests.

 

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