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Open Letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao Calling to Stop Myitsone Dam

By Kachin Development Networking Group  •  May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010

His Excellency President Hu Jintao
Zhongnanhai, Xichengqu, Beijing
People’s Republic of China

cc: Mr. Lu Qizhou
President China Power Investment Corporation (CPI)

OPEN LETTER REQUESTING CHINA TO HALT DESTRUCTION OF VILLAGES OPPOSED TO CHINA’S MYITSONE DAM IN BURMA

Dear President Hu,

On behalf of the communities suffering from the Myitsone Dam project in Kachin State, we appeal to you to immediately halt the forced relocation and destruction of the villages of those opposed to this project by China’s state-owned China Power Investment Corporation.  The construction of this dam is against the will of local people and violates China’s own dam construction guidelines as well as international standards.

Recently Burma’s military government has ordered over 1,000 civilians from our capital Myitkyina to forcibly relocate all the residents of Tanghpre, the main village at the dam site, before the end of May 2010. If villagers refuse to leave, these civilians have been ordered to immediately tear down Tanghpre’s houses, schools and churches.

These brave Tanghpre villagers, who have been peacefully resisting illegal orders to leave their homes and farms, are not only defending their lands, but also Kachin State’s most treasured cultural landmark, the Myitsone confluence, and Burma’s main waterway, the Irrawaddy River. If the dam goes ahead, not only will 15,000 villagers lose their homes upstream, but millions downstream will face reduced water flows affecting fishing, farming, shipping and other vital economic activities. All of the profits from the dam will simply enrich Burma’s military government, while your country will receive the electricity.

By forcing Kachin State residents to destroy Tanghpre, Burma’s military government is cruelly forcing our people to destroy their very heritage and economic lifeline. China should not be complicit in this extreme form of collective punishment against people peacefully protecting their lands.

We have previously sent letters to CPI requesting a halt to the Myitsone project as it was clear CPI would be unable to follow its own Corporate Social Responsibility standards as well as China’s Nine Principles on Encouraging and Standardizing Foreign Investment.

The order by Burma’s military government to destroy the village of Tanghpre again proves it is not possible build this dam according to China’s own laws and standards.

We therefore appeal to China to halt the Myitsone Dam project.

Yours sincerely,

KDNG
Contact: (66) 084885415
Email – kdngchn@gmail.com

Read the letter in Burmese.

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

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