Villagers protested against Chinese Dam projects

San Latt / May 26, 2021

Anit-Dam protest / CJ

Many residents of Myitsone Dam area and Chipwi town of northeastern Kachin State today staged protest against the dam projects, demanding to leave the Chinese company and scrap the dam projects permanently.

“Cancel all dams on May Hka, Mali Hka and Ngo Chang Hka” stated in the placards which were holding by the anti-dam protesters, “Cancel all dams on the Irrawaddy and its tributaries.” The demonstration took place near the Irrawaddy confluence.

We want State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) to leave from our territory, and return our land back to original owners, a Myitsone villager Lashi Tang Gun told The Kachin Post. SPIC is also known as Chinese Power Investment Corporation (CPI) which is responsible to propose the construction of seven dams projects in Kachin State, including Myitsone Dam and other smaller dams along the Irrawaddy upriver May and Mali Rivers.

Lashi Tang Gun said the anti-dam protesters also informed the SPIC office in Shatapru ward in Myitkyina that the residents will go back to stay in the dam project areas.

The Myitsone Dam at the Irrawaddy confluence began construction in December 2009 and it was suspended in September 2011 by the Burmese government unilaterally. The 6,000 MW Myitsone Dam is located at the mainstream Irrawaddy river and 40 kilometres north the Kachin State capital Myitkyina.

The Chipwi Dam near the Chipwi town was started construction in December 2010 and the project was suspended in April 2012 due to the armed conflict. The 3,400 MW Chipwi Dam is located 150 kilometres northeast of Myitkyina.

The billion dollar Myitsone Dam project is expected to flood almost 500 square kilometres, including 60 villages near the construction site and more than 15,000 people would be relocated, according to the Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG). The dam would submerge the historical temples, Churches and culture heritage sites important to Kachin’s history and identity.