|Over 50,000 affected people petition China to regulate dam projects in Burma|
|Sunday, 02 December 2007 05:00|
Over 50,000 individuals, 98 organizations from Burma and 24 international organizations have signed a petition submitted today urging the Chinese government to regulate the activities of Chinese dam-builders in Burma.Within the last five years, at least 10 Chinese companies have become involved in an estimated 20 major hydropower projects in Burma, with an installed capacity of around 30,000 megawatts, costing well over US$30 billion. This includes the massive 7,100 megawatt Tasang dam on the Salween River, which will be the largest in Southeast Asia.
These projects are being conducted with a complete lack of transparency, no environmental or social impact studies, and no notification of intent to local communities.¬†¬† Many are located in conflict areas where ethnic peoples have suffered for decades from systematic abuses by the troops of Burma's military regime.
The petition, authored by the Burma Rivers Network, recognizes the commendable legislation governing dam-building inside China, but urges China to impose similar standards for its companies operating abroad.
"These Chinese dams will cause huge environmental and social damage for the peoples in Burma, and will damage China's international image," said Aung Ngyeh, spokesperson of the Burma Rivers Network.
The submission of the petition coincides with the release of the report Under the Boot, by the Palaung Youth Network Group, describing the implementation of the Shweli Dam near the China-Burma border, China's first Build-Operate-Transfer hydropower project with Burma's junta. The report details how Chinese investors use Burma Army troops to secure dam projects.
Contact :¬†¬† Aung Ngyeh, Secretary, Burma Rivers Network¬†¬†¬†¬† 084 363 6603
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sai Sai,¬†¬† Coordinator, Salween Watch Coalition¬†¬† 089 755 7354