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Three More Villages Being Shifted from Myitsone Dam Site

Originally appeared in Kachin News Group

June 9, 2010

The Burmese military junta in its relentless effort to continue with the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam project in Northern Burma, Kachin State is forcing three more villages to relocate from the site, said local sources.

Over 100 villagers from Dawng Pan, Sut Ngai Yang and Shoi Ba villages near the dam project site are being forcibly relocated by the regime since early June, said the sources.

This is the second move at relocating villages after Mazup village was shifted on May 28 by the junta.

“People (workers) came from downtown and pitched into relocate the villages,” said the source.

When the first village Mazup was relocated there were more than 200 people pressed into service by the junta like those from the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), Burmese Army officers, soldiers and civilian workers.

Since May 1, the junta’s Kachin State Administrative Office (Ya-Ya-Kha) has ordered over 1,000 civilians from Myitkyina and Waingmaw townships to help to relocate villages around the dam construction site.

At least 40 families were forcibly shifted from their homes, where they have lived for decades. They were moved to a new place called Lungga Zup village about 18 miles from Myitkyina the capital of Kachin State, where small new houses have been constructed by the regime for the villagers.

The junta prohibited the villagers from taking along their cattle and other domestic animals to the new place, said the villagers. However, a few families with farms in the mountain side are still left in the villages.

Irrawaddy Myitsone dam is being constructed by the state-owned China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) jointly with Burma’s Asia World Company and junta’s No.1 Ministry of Electric Power. The project got off the ground in December 21, 2009 despite vehement protests by Kachin people and environmentalists, who fear a severe ecological impact.

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

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