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Four Killed, 12 Injured in Bomb Blasts in Irrawaddy-Myitsone Dam Site

Originally appeared in Kachin News Group

April 17, 2010

Four people died and over 12 people were injured when exploding bombs for the first time rocked the Myitsone dam project in Irrawaddy River in Kachin State, northern Burma, said local residents. Most of the dead and injured were Chinese workers.

At least three bombs exploded in quick succession in front of Asia World Company’s office, one of the implementing agencies of the dam project in Lungga Zup, 18 miles north of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, at about 4:45 a.m.  Burma Standard Time, residents said.

The explosions also resulted in severe damage to the company’s two-storey office, said residents in the dam project site. Several company-owned cars trucks and bulldozers were also destroyed in the blasts.

Over 300 Chinese workers employed with the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) were evacuated in four buses to Myitkyina soon after the explosion.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the first ever bomb explosions in the Myitsone dam project, said the sources.

Significantly, the bomb explosions occurred one day after the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) took pains to apprise the Kachin public about the latest situation of disagreement on transforming the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the armed-wing of KIO to the junta-proposed BGF.

Naw Awng, leader of the anti-dam movement and All Kachin Students’ Union (AKSU), an underground Kachin students’ organization based in Kachin State told Kachin News Group, “We harbour no policy of violence.  The explosion may have been triggered by anti-dam civilians or secret groups or organizations”.

The dam for the hydropower project at the confluence of the Irrawaddy River, or Mali Hka in Kachin, which is formed where the two major rivers— Mali Hka River and N’Mai Hka River meet, is being implemented by the Asia World Company, Ministry of Electric Power-1 in Burma and Chinese state-owned China Power Investment Corporation (CPI).

Inspection activities for the project were started in late 2006 however the joint-dam construction began in December 21, last year.  The construction cost, technicians and equipment are provided by the Chinese government.

The project will generate 6000 MW of electricity, which is to be sold to neighbouring China’s Yunnan province for it is under construction industrial zone.

Kachin people, organizations and churches have urged the military supremo Snr-Gen Than Shwe to halt the Myitsone, or Mali-N’Mai Zup dam project and are into demonstrations and anti-dam movements at home and aboar

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This post is in: Business and Human Rights, Environmental and Economic Justice

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