Rai Maroah – Despite the announcement by Burma’s military-dominated government that the Myitsone dam project in Kachin State would be suspended, there is evidence that work on the dam is currently continuing, says the Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) in new statement.
“Because of the rainy season, some construction has been stopped, but we are seeing that some work has not stopped and is still going on continuously,” Ah Nan from KDNG said.
The KDNG stated that equipment and supplies for the project remain in place and security restrictions continue. Moreover, the destructive gold mining in the planned Myitsone dam reservoir area is ongoing.
As recently as 11 October, Chinese workers were still carrying out land surveying work south of the dam site and were continuing construction of a supply road linking the Myitsone dam project area to the Chinese border town of Tengchong.
Ah Nan said,“The President should announce the order if the President really wants to stop it. And he should announce to the public how they should discuss with the Chinese.”
Despite President Thein Sein’s suspension announcement, China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) has told local project staff not to move any equipment as work on the project will continue after the rainy season.
KDNG also urged an official and full announcement of complete suspension from the government. They also call for local villagers to be allowed to return to their homes after the complete withdrawal of dam project equipment and staff.
KDNG will continue to resist all dam projects in Kachin State until they are all officially and completely cancelled, rather than just ‘suspended’, according to the statement.