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Junta Adamant About Continuing Dam Project Despite Blast

Originally appeared in Kachin News Group

April 18, 2010

The Burmese military junta is adamant about continuing with the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam project in Kachin State despite the serial bomb blasts at the site yesterday, which killed four Chinese workers and injured 12.

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after the explosion.

Maj-Gen Soe Win, Commander of Northern Regional Command told people in the dam project sites that the project would continue. He was addressing a public meeting in Chyinghkrang village, 25 miles north of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State today between 11 a.m. and noon local time, said participants.

Yesterday at about 2:45 a.m., a series of bombs exploded in the main offices of the dam construction company in five different places in Lungga Zup and Chyinghkrang Villages. The explosions were triggered by unknown groups or organizations and nobody has claimed responsibility.

Four workers were killed and at least 12 injured, sources at the project site said. The affected buildings housed Chinese technicians and engineers of the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) which is implementing the project along with a Burmese company.

The bodies of the Chinese, the injured workers along with over 300 workers were brought quickly to the China border in four large buses along Myitkyina-Waingmaw-Kambaiti Road yesterday morning, said local eyewitnesses.

Meanwhile, Commander Soe Win addressed the people and asked them to protect the dam site from any further attack with the cooperation of military authorities, said meeting participants.

Hundreds of Chinese workers employed with the Burma-Asia World Company, the other implementing firm, have fled to Myitkyina and Waingmaw towns and are trying to return home in China through the border, said villagers in the project site.

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

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