Renewed fighting, refugee influx a wake-up call to Chinese dam-builders

0
no views

The Burma Army clashes with Kokang at the site of the planned Upper Salween Dam, the Shan Sapawa Environmental Organisation reports.

 

Shan activists are calling on China to immediately halt all investment in dams on the Salween River following the recent heavy fighting between the Burmese military regime and the Kokang ceasefire army near the site of the Upper Salween Dam planned by Chinese companies in northern Shan State.

Heavy clashes have taken place just east of the town of Kunlong, about 15km from the planned dam site. Fighting broke out on 27 August 2009, after the regime deployed thousands of troops to seize control of the Kokang territory, shattering the 20-year ceasefire and causing over 30,000 refugees to flee to China. Kokang forces have sought to repel the Burma Army troops.

Plans to build the Upper Salween Dam, also known as the Kunlong Dam, were announced in April 2007 by two Chinese companies, Hanergy Holding Group (formerly Farsighted Investment Group) and Gold Water Resources Company. Since then a team of Chinese and Burmese technicians have been conducting feasibility studies for the 2,400MW dam, 25km from the Chinese border.

The Kunlong Dam is one of five mega dams being planned on the Salween in Burma by the SPDC and Chinese and Thai companies to produce electricity to be sold to China and Thailand. The Shan Sapawa Environmental Organisation, together with the Salween Watch coalition of environmental groups from Thailand and Burma, has been monitoring the controversial dam plans for ten years and advocating their immediate halt.

READ MORE:  As China’s Red Curtain spreads over Malaysia, questions arise

“The renewed fighting and the flood of refugees into Yunnan should be a wake-up call to China about the risks of investing in Burma,” said Sapawa spokesperson Sai Khur Hseng.   “Not only is there no free and informed consent to these dam projects, but they are being built over the dead bodies of our people.”

The other mega dam being planned in Shan State is the giant 7,110MW Ta Sang dam, 100km from the Thai border. In early August, the regime renewed a scorched earth campaign in townships close to the Ta Sang dam site, torturing and killing civilians and driving 10,000 villagers from their homes.

For further information on the Salween dam plans, see www.salweenwatch.org

Contact persons: Sai Sai +66 81 031 0481; Sai Khur Hseng       +66 84 224 3748
 

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments