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Construction of Burma's Myitsone Dam continues: Kachin NGO

Work at the Chinese-backed Myitsone Dam in northern Burma is continuing despite a presidential statement last September suspending its construction.

 

This was revealed by the Kachin Development Networking Group.

"The Myitsone dam project continues," the KDNG said in a press release. "An electric transformer is being built in Nawng Hkying village of Waimaw Township. Some CPI workers are still at the dam site and in Myitkyina, and there is still equipment at the dam site. Road and bridge construction to deliver supplies to the seven dam project also
continues."

Located at the confluence of the Irrawaddy River, the 6,000-megawatt project is financed by state-backed China Power Investment Corporation at an estimated cost of some US $3.6 billion. However, following a massive grassroots campaign opposed to the dam, President Thein Sein announced last year that the project would be suspended for at least his tenure as president.

"The president has not mentioned the other six dams planned for the May Hka and Mali Hka [rivers] which will have the same impacts to the Irrawaddy River and downstream people as the Myitsone dam," said the KDNG. "Massive gold mining and logging is going on upstream of Myitsone. These destructive activities are also threatening the future of the Irrawaddy River."

The KDNG statement coincides with reports from Kachin State that CPI has launched a campaign of its own—to quell opposition to the megadam and to enlist support for its restart from among residents living near the site
and in state capital Myitkyina.

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