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Home > Main Library > Water, including dams > Water bodies (global. regional) > Human activities in, on and around Burma's water bodies > Threats to Burma's water bodies and their communities > Dams and other hydropower projects in Burma/Myanmar

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Dams and other hydropower projects in Burma/Myanmar

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Hydropower development on the Irrawaddy river basin above Myitkyina
Date of publication: October 2009
Description/subject: This dossier contains the full text of the environmental impact assesment (EIA) done by Chinese and Burmese experts and published in October 2009. The title is: "ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (SPECIAL INVESTIGATION) ON HYDROPOWER DEVELOPMENT OF AYEYAWADY RIVER BASIN ABOVE MYITKYINA, KACHIN STATE, MYANMAR". The dossier also contains links to other documents on the project including the EIA commissioned by the CHINA POWER INVESTMENT CORPORATION (CPI).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Biodiversity And Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) and other sources
Format/size: pdf (105K)
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2011

Title: Mekong Watch Japan
Date of publication: 1993
Description/subject: "Mekong Watch is the Japanese NGO established in1993 to monitor and research social and environmental impacts of the Japanese development initiatives in the Mekong region, and to advocate more sustanable and people-centered ways..." It appears to be a consortium of NGOs, largely Japanese, which aims "...to create channels for local people in the Mekong region to participate in each decision-making process of development initiatives affecting their livelihoods, cultures and ecosystems. We will foster a deeper understanding of them and their impacts, and support local people for benefiting their own development paths based on their local resources and rules. Strategies 1.Information gathering and analysis on problematic development plans. 2.Understanding social and environmental situation in Mekong River Region. 3.Feedback of relevant information both to Mekong region and Japan. 4.Developing ideas on information disclosure, participation and civil society. Critical, in particular, of Japanese-funded dams.
Language: English
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Arakan Rivers Network (ARN)
Description/subject: Background of Arakan Rivers Network (ARN): "The Arakan Rivers Network (ARN) was founded in July 2009 by the All Arakan Students' and Youths' Congress (AASYC) as an emergency response to the challenging calls to sustain the use of water resources vital for the livelihoods of waterside dwellers. Spurred by profit motive alone, transnational corporations have been vigorously seeking to exploit our natural resources. This is done with the backing of Burma's notorious dictators who in turn enjoy the opportunity to expand their military and entrench their power with the revenue generated from foreign investments. Thus, the potential implications of such projects are manifold, affecting important social, cultural, and economic aspects of local people"curseâ€� for the Burmese people. The ARN"developmentâ€�. ARN is open to the participation of all Arakanese people, regardless of their sex, colour, religion, or political affiliation; it is dedicated to the common good of humanity."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Arakan Rivers Network (ARN)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2009

Title: Burma Rivers Network (BRN)
Description/subject: Salween, Irrawaddy, Chindwin, Mekong, Sittaung, Kaladan, Estuaries including "Burma Dams map"... * Home * News o News Archives * Rivers o Irrawaddy o Salween o Chindwin o Mekong o Sittaung o Kaladan o Estuaries * Burma Energy o Hydropower o Oil and Gas o Bio-fuel * Dam Projects o Salween Dams + Upper Thanlwin + Tasang + Weigyi + Dagwin + Hatgyi + Downstream Impacts o Irrawaddy/N'Mai/Mali o Yeywa Dam o Paunglaung Dams o Shweli Dams o Tamanthi Dam o Dapein Dam o Kengtawng Dam o Lawpita Hydropower o Mekong Development * Concerns o Transparency o Social Impacts of Dams o Environmental Impacts of Dams o Dam Safety o Militarization o Mining o Mangrove Loss * Investors o Chinese o Thai o Burmese o Others * Resources o About Dams o Hydropower Guidelines o Burma's River Law o China's Dam Industry o BRN Publications * Actions o Press Releases o International Campaigns o Local Action o Tools * Photos o Salween River o Mekong River o Shweli River o Irrawaddy River o Paunglaung River o Downstream Impacts * Videos "Large dams are being constructed on all of Burma's major rivers and tributaries by Chinese, Thai and Indian companies. The dams are causing displacement, militarization, human rights abuses, and irreversible environmental damage, threatening the livelihoods and food security of millions. The power and revenues generated are going to the military regime and neighbouring countries. There is complete military control of energy development in Burma and no processes that allow for information disclosure, public participation or implementation of proper standards for dam-building. Neighbouring countries benefit from this situation by gaining electricity without bearing the social and environmental costs. To ensure transparency and accountability, the recognition of rights, and social justice in energy development projects, a democratically-elected government is needed in Burma. All investments in large dam projects in Burma must be stopped until that time, when sustainable energy policies can be developed. The Burma Rivers Network invites you to join us to protect the health and biodiversity of river ecosystems, and to protect the rights of communities negatively impacted by large-scale river development. Please contact us at burmariversnetwork@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit this website for updates on current campaigns."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Burma Rivers Network (BRN)
Format/size: html, pdf, Adobe Flash
Date of entry/update: 30 January 2009

Title: Google search results for "Myitsone Dam"
Description/subject: 92,100 results (May 2011)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Google.com
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 May 2011

Title: Hydro-electricity
Description/subject: Link to the OBL section on hydro-electricity
Language: English
Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 July 2012

Title: International Rivers Myitsone page
Language: English
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2011

Title: Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam
Description/subject: "The Irrawaddy River flows from north to south through the center of Burma. Since 2005, Burma’s military junta in partnership with the China Power Investment Corporation have been preparing plans to build a 3,600 - 6,000 megawatt Irrawaddy Myitsone dam on the river. China Gezhouba is the main dam builder. Located a mile below the confluence of the Mali and N’Mai Rivers in Kachin State, the source of the Irrawaddy River, the Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam is the largest of seven dams now proposed for these three rivers. If built, the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam would create a reservoir the size of New York City and displace 10,000 people, mostly from the Kachin ethnic group. The dam will also submerge historical churches, temples, and cultural heritage sites that are central to Kachin identity and history. The dam site is located within the Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin rainforest region, which is recognized as one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots and a global conservation priority. If built, the Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam would inundate approximately 766 square kilometers of this pristine rainforest and cause irreversible damage to its river systems. The dam would also disrupt transportation of nutrients to the Irrawaddy’s delta, which provides nearly 60 percent of Burma’s rice. Local communities oppose the dam not just because of its environmental impacts, displacement, and threats to cultural sites, but also because the dam is located less than 100 kilometers from a major fault line, posing a risk to basin inhabitants should an earthquake weaken the dam structure or cause landslides in the reservoir. If the Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam were to break during an earthquake, it would endanger the lives of hundred of thousands of people by flooding Kachin State’s largest city, Myikyina. In May 2007, twelve respected leaders from Kachin State sent a letter at the request of local communities to Senior General Than Shwe and the junta’s Ministry of Electric Power calling for the project to be cancelled. In December 2007, the Burma Rivers Network also sent a letter to the Chinese government calling on Chinese companies operating in Burma to conduct environmental and social impact assessments, publicly release information, and include affected communities in the decision-making process. Neither letter has yet received a response. In Burma, the Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) is working to protect the Irrawaddy River and its communities in Kachin State. International Rivers is working to support local groups’ efforts against the Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam and is also challenging CSG’s involvement in dams in Burma..."
Source/publisher: International Rivers
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2011

Title: Irrawaddy/N'Mai/Mali Dams
Description/subject: Burma’s military government signed an agreement with China Power Investment Corporation in May 2007 for the implementation of seven large dams along the Irrawaddy, Mali, and N’Mai Rivers in Kachin State. The largest of the seven, the Myitsone Dam, is located at the confluence of the Mali and N’Mai Rivers at the creation of the Irrawaddy. The dam would destroy the confluence, one of the most significant cultural heritage sites for the Kachin people and an important landmark for all of Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Rivers Network
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2010

Title: MekongInfo
Description/subject: A dozen or more useful reports on Burma. "MekongInfo is an interactive system for sharing information and knowledge about participatory natural resource management (NRM) in the Lower Mekong Basin. In addition to over 2,000 documents (full-text and abstract) in the Library, MekongInfo provides: a Contacts database of individuals, projects and organisations, news and Announcements of events, relevant Web Links, a Gallery of useful resource materials, a Forum for online discussions, and a free Web hosting service. Please take a moment to Register and/or Login to enjoy full access to MekongInfo."
Language: English, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Laotian, Thai
Format/size: Free registration for full access, but the contact details you enter are then visible to the world.
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Myitsone Dam
Description/subject: "The Myitsone Dam (Burmese: မြစ်ဆုံ တာတ​မံ​, IPA: [mjɪʔsʰòuɴ tàtəmàɴ]; lit. the Confluence Dam) is a large dam and hydroelectric power development project currently under construction on the Irawaddy River in Burma (Myanmar).If completed as planned in 2017, it will be the fifteenth largest hydroelectric power station in the world. The dam, planned to be 500 feet wide and 500 feet high, is being built by agents of the State Peace and Development Council and the China Power Investment Corporation. It is estimated that it will provide between 3,600 to 6,000 megawatts of electricity for Yunnan, China..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Wikipedia
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 May 2011

Title: TERRA (Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance)
Description/subject: "Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance/Foundation for Ecological Recovery (TERRA/FER), believe that public debate on, and participation in, decisions concerning environment and development is a crucial first step in forging paths towards a more equitable and sustainable future for all people in the Mekong region. This means that civil society must play a strong role in shaping national and regional development policy process. In supporting the work of civil society groups in the region, we have undertaken a range of activities, including participatory research, internships, field studies and exchange. We also engage in campaign and monitoring activities to address development projects, programmes and policies that have negative implications for local people and the environment..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: TERRA
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 17 September 2014

Individual Documents

Title: The government plans to build 32 hydropower projects as joint ventures with foreign companies, most of which are Chinese firms, according to a report from the Ministry of Electric Power.
Date of publication: 22 September 2014
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Eleven"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 September 2014

Title: Myanmar's dams may be no show
Date of publication: 14 March 2014
Description/subject: "Myanmar urgently needs to increase its electricity generating capacity to meet ambitious economic development targets and accommodate rising power demands from new foreign and local investment projects. Yet harnessing Myanmar's hydropower potential will be a perilous process, as seen in the controversies surrounding current planned dams along the Salween River as well as the geopolitically fraught and suspended Myitsone dam. Many of Myanmar's rivers are suitable for hydroelectric dams, which currently contribute the base load to the country's energy supply. At the same time, dam construction alters the natural environment and usually requires the controversial relocation of local populations. Moreover, with the country in the midst of a tentative national ceasefire process, dam sites have the potential to stir latent or resurrect suspended conflicts..."
Author/creator: Elliot Brennan and Stefan Doring
Language: English
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 May 2014

Title: Mergui-Tavoy Photo Set: Dam, logging and mining operations negatively impact communities in K'Ser Doh Township, January to April 2012
Date of publication: 16 July 2013
Description/subject: "This photo set includes 49 still photographs selected from images taken by a KHRG community member between January and April 2012. They were taken in K'Ser Doh Township, Mergui-Tavoy District, and show images of a dam project in A'Nyah Pyah, logging in A'Nya Pyah, U Yay Kyee and Htee Ler Klay villages and mining operations in Hkay Ta Hpoo that have caused a variety of problems for the villagers in the in the areas, such as loss of land from flooding and water pollution. The mining company prevented villagers from protecting themselves from further damage from the chemical flows when they sought to drain a contaminated stream. This photo set was originally published in the appendix of KHRG's thematic report, Losing Ground: Land confiscation and collective action in eastern Myanmar..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (633K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b46.html
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013

Date of publication: 23 March 2013
Description/subject: "On March 14, 2013, about 2,000 internally displaced people and villagers from the Wei Gyi area gathered at Ei Htu Hta Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp on the Salween riverbank to mark the International Day of Action for Rivers and Against Dams in an event organized by Karen Rivers Watch (KRW) and its local member Salween Eyes (SEE). The event, organized to raise local voices about current and future impacts, was joined by environmental activists from other areas. The ceremony was also attended by community leaders from Dawei, who are resisting massive development projects in their area, including dams. As part of the ceremonies, Christian, Buddhist, and Animist religious rituals were conducted. Afterwards, participants shouted the following slogans: -Our priority need is: Peace, Peace, Peace! -What we want is: No dams on the Salween River! -Why we are calling for this: our Salween River must flow free -All planned dams on the Salween River must be stopped!..."
Language: Karen, Burmese (English subtitles)
Source/publisher: KESAN via Youtube
Format/size: Adobe Flash
Date of entry/update: 26 March 2013

Title: Current Status of Dam Projects on Burma’s Salween River
Date of publication: 13 March 2013
Description/subject: "In late February 2013, Burma’s Deputy Minister of Electric Power informed Parliament that six dam projects on the Salween River in Shan State, Kayah State (Karenni) and Karen State had gained approval. With a combined installed capacity of 15,000 MW, the projects will include the Upper Salween or Kunlong Dam, Mai Tong or Tasang Dam, Nong Pha Dam, Mantawng Dam (on a tributary), Ywathit Dam, and Hatgyi Dam. The investment will come from five Chinese corporations, Thailand’s Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT) International Co. Ltd and three Burmese corporations. Originating in the Tibetan Himalayas, the Salween River fl ows for 2,800 kilometers through China’s Yunnan province, into Burma and Thailand, and down to the Andaman Sea. One of the last largely Current Status of Dam Projects on Burma’s Salween River free- fl owing rivers in the world, the Salween River boasts one of the richest ecological hubs in the region and is home to at least 13 indigenous groups including the Nu, Lisu, Shan, Karen, Pa-o, Karenni and Mon. Over the past decade, numerous dam projects have been planned on the Salween River: thirteen in the upper reaches of the Salween in China, and six along the lower reaches in Burma and along the Thailand-Burma border. The projects in Burma are proceeding in areas where conflict is continuing between ethnic resistance forces and the Burmese Army, and are shrouded in secrecy. Salween Watch has compiled available information about these projects in this brief update..."
Language: English, Thai
Source/publisher: Salween Watch
Format/size: pdf (609K-English; 718K-Thai)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/salween_dams-2013-03-th-red.pdf
Date of entry/update: 24 March 2013

Title: Ban lifted on controversial Nu River dam projects
Date of publication: 29 January 2013
Description/subject: "Beijing has decided to reopen controversial plans to dam the Nu River in Yunnan province - eight years after Premier Wen Jiabao suspended the plans out of environmental concerns..."
Author/creator: Li Jing jing
Language: English
Source/publisher: "South China Morning Post" (SCMP)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2013

Title: Hydro dams could jeopardise 'Grand Canyon of the east', say green groups
Date of publication: 29 January 2013
Description/subject: "Dams on China's last free-flowing river could harm ecosystems, displace people, and cause catastrophic seismic events...Scientists warn that building new dams in seismically active south-west China could expose residents to increased risks of landslides, mudslides and earthquakes. Photograph: Qin Qing/Corbis Chinese environmental groups warn that government plans for a slew of hydroelectric dams on the pristine Salween (Nu) river – often called the Grand Canyon of the east for its deep valleys and sweeping views – could jeopardise biodiverse ecosystems and indigenous cultures, and lead to potentially catastrophic seismic events..."
Author/creator: Jonathan Kaiman
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Guardian"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2013

Title: China Moves to Dam the Nu, Ignoring Seismic, Ecological, and Social Risks
Date of publication: 25 January 2013
Description/subject: "In a blueprint for the energy sector in 2011-15, China’s State Council on Wednesday lifted an eightyear ban on five megadams for the largely free-flowing Nu River [Salween], ignoring concerns about geologic risks, global biodiversity, resettlement, and impacts on downstream communities. “China’s plans to go ahead with dams on the Nu, as well as similar projects on the Upper Yangtze and Mekong, shows a complete disregard of well-documented seismic hazards, ecological and social risks” stated Katy Yan, China Program Coordinator for the environmental organization International Rivers. Also included in the plan is the controversial Xiaonanhai Dam on the Upper Yangtze. A total of 13 dams was first proposed for the Nu River (also known as the Salween) in 2003, but Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao suspended these plans in 2004 in a stunning decision. Since then, Huadian Corporation has continued to explore five dams – Songta (4200 MW), Maji (4200 MW), Yabiluo (1800 MW), Liuku (180 MW), and Saige (1000 MW) – and has successfully lobbied the State Council to include them in the 12th Five Year Plan..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rivers
Format/size: pdf (71K)
Date of entry/update: 26 January 2013

Title: The New Great Walls: A Guide to China’s Overseas Dam Industry
Date of publication: 26 November 2012
Description/subject: "Chinese dam builders have come to dominate the world market. Civil society groups have expressed concerns about the social and environmental impacts of numerous Chinese dams in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This NGO guide published by International Rivers presents the lessons of past experience and informs interested NGOs how they can best influence the projects and policies of Chinese dam builders and advocate for social and environmental interests. This guide provides useful information for groups concerned about dam projects in which Chinese companies and financiers are involved, including: *A "who's who" among Chinese companies and financiers; *Laws and standards in the Chinese dam building sector; *A map of China's major overseas dam projects; *The new environmental policy of Sinohydro, the world's largest dam-builder; *An action guide for how to address problematic dams built by Chinese companies and financiers, and who to reach out to for help; *Case studies of how NGOs have influenced Chinese overseas projects; and *A sample letter to a Chinese dam building company... Translations into Chinese and Spanish are planned for early 2013. Please contact us if you would like to organize a civil society training with the new guide, or suggest translations into other languages.
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rivers
Format/size: html, pdf (4.6MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.internationalrivers.org/files/attached-files/intlrivers_newgreatwalls_2012_0.pdf (the full report)
Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013

Title: Situation Update | Moo, Ler Doh and Hsaw Htee townships, Nyaunglebin District (January to June 2012)
Date of publication: 17 October 2012
Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in July 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Nyaunglebin District between January and June 2012. Specifically discussed are Tatmadaw demands, including new gold mining taxes imposed by Light Infantry Battalion #264 and their demands for sentries, and the construction of a bridge inside Na Tha Kway village, which has displaced many villagers without providing compensation. This report also includes information about 400 villagers who gathered together on March 12th to protest the construction of Kyauk N'Ga Dam on the Shwegyin River in Hsaw Htee and Ler Doh townships; the opening of a Karen Nation Union (KNU) liaison office in Ler Doh town on April 9th, during which over 10,000 villagers awaited government officials; the arrival of representatives from the Norwegian government to the internally displaced persons (IDP) area in Mu The; and a visit by a United States Senator on May 29th in Ler Doh town and subsequently in Nay Pyi Daw. The report also describes work and food security problems in Nyaunglebin, where some villagers have migrated to neighbouring Thailand and Malaysia for employment, or to work in Yangon's growing entertainment industry. The community member spoke with villagers in the area who expressed overall satisfaction with the peace and ceasefire process, and they hope that it will continue to be stable.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (438k)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/KHRG-2012-10-17_Situation_Update_Moo_Ler-Doh_and_Hsaw_Htee_towns...
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012

Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw H---, April 2011
Date of publication: 05 September 2012
Description/subject: This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during April 2011 in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed a 37 year-old township secretary, Saw H---, who described abuses committed by several Tatmadaw battalions, including forced relocation, land confiscation, forced labour, restrictions on freedom of movement, denial of humanitarian access, targeting civilians, and arbitrary taxes and demands. Saw H--- provided a detailed description of three development projects that the Tatmadaw has planned in the area. Most notable is Toh Boh[1] hydroelectric dam on the Day Loh River, which is expected to destroy 3,143 acres of surrounding farmland. Asia World Company began building the dam in Toh Boh, Day Loh village tract during 2005. The other two projects involved the confiscation of 2,400 acres, against which the villagers formed a committee to petition for compensation and were met with threats of imprisonment. Saw H--- also described how 30 people working on the dam die each year. Also mentioned is the Tatmadaw's burning of villagers' cardamom plantations, and the villagers' attempts to limit the fire damage using fire lines. It is also described by Saw H--- how some villagers have chosen to remain in KNLA/KNU-controlled areas and produce commodities for sale, despite the attendant increase in the price of goods purchased from Tatmadaw-controlled villages, while others have fled to refugee camps in other countries. For photos of the Toh Boh Dam taken by a different community member in March 2012, see "Photo Set: More than 100 households displaced from Toh Boh Dam construction site in Toungoo," published by KHRG on August 23rd
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (225K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg12b72.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 November 2012

Title: Photo Set: Villagers register concerns about proposed Hatgyi Dam
Date of publication: 26 June 2012
Description/subject: "This Photo Set includes 28 photos taken in two villages in the southern area of Bu Tho Township in Papun District, and in three villages in the northern area of Lu Pleh Township in Pa'an District, all of which are located in the Salween river valley near the site where the Hatgyi dam will be constructed. These photographs depict villagers throughout these townships pursuing their livelihoods and children attending school. According to the community member who spoke with villagers in the area and took these photos, as well as local media,[1] the villagers will be displaced by flooding near the dam site if construction at Hatgyi goes ahead as planned. This Photo Set also includes evidence of an earlier meeting in Myaing Gyi Ngu regarding intended forced relocation of villages in the proposed Hatgyi dam site prior to flooding. The photos depict a pamphlet on the dam, as well as solar panels, LED lights and batteries that were given to villagers in the areas that will be affected. In order to pre-empt forcible relocation or flooding, some villagers in the area have chosen to close schools in preparation for moving."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/KHRG-2012-06-26-Villagers_register_concerns_about_proposed_Hatgy...
Date of entry/update: 13 July 2012

Title: Leaked document says CPI “planning to restart” Myitsone dam project
Date of publication: 04 April 2012
Description/subject: Environmental activists concerned that the controversial Myitsone dam project was never in fact halted say that a recently leaked document proves that construction is indeed moving ahead as previously planned.
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Kachin News Group
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 05 April 2012

Title: Behind Myanmar’s suspended dam 1/3
Date of publication: 28 March 2012
Description/subject: After the decision to shelve a China-funded hydropower plant on the Irrawaddy River caused uproar in Beijing, Qin Hui set off south to learn about the project and its opponents. He opens a three-part article.
Author/creator: Qin Hui March 28, 2012
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chinadialogue
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 April 2012

Title: Behind Myanmar’s suspended dam 2/3
Date of publication: 28 March 2012
Description/subject: China’s resolve not to interfere in its neighbour’s “internal affairs" rings hollow: the country has played a formative role in Burmese history, writes Qin Hui.
Author/creator: Qin Hui
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chinadialogue
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 April 2012

Title: Behind Myanmar’s suspended dam 3/3
Date of publication: 28 March 2012
Description/subject: In a region scarred by violent conflict and rife with distrust of China, the investment risks are plain. Qin Hui concludes his three-part analysis of the fate of the Myitsone dam.
Author/creator: Qin Hui
Language: English
Source/publisher: Chinadialogue
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 April 2012

Title: Stop Damming the Chindwin (Burmese, English, Kuki)
Date of publication: December 2011
Description/subject: "The Burmese military government, together with the government of India, is planning to build a giant hydroelectric dam near Tamanthi on the Chindwin River in northwest Burma’s Sagaing Division. The dam’s fl ood reservoir will be almost 1,400 sq km, the size of Delhi, and will permanently displace over 45,000 people, including the entire town of Khamti. Already over 2,400 people have been relocated at gunpoint from the dam site, without fair compensation. The Tamanthi dam will adversely affect the biodiversity and ecological balance of the entire Chindwin River, which, as the largest tributary of the Irrawaddy, acts as a major watershed for the whole country. Although the dam will bring about massive changes to the Chindwin, the entire dam building process has been shrouded in secrecy, and there has been a complete lack of public participation in decision making. Local indigenous Kuki people have been nourished by the Chindwin for generations, and are determined to protect the river from this destructive project. We therefore urge the Burmese regime and Indian government to immediately cancel the Tamanthi dam."
Language: English, Burmese, Kuki
Source/publisher: The Kuki Women’s Human Rights Organization (KWHRO)
Format/size: pdf (English, 603K - OBL version; 804K - original)
Alternate URLs: http://burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/english/Stop%20Damming%20the%20Chindwin%2...
Date of entry/update: 03 January 2012

Title: BRN responds to interview on Myitsone dam by CPI president
Date of publication: 05 October 2011
Description/subject: "The following quotations come from an interview with the president of the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) Lu Qizhou about Burma’s Myitsone dam project. The interview appeared in the Chinese media on October 3. The umbrella activist group Burma Rivers Network (BRN) here releases its response to key points made by the CPI president. Burma’s president Thein Sein announced a halt to the controversial Myitsone Dam project on September 30. Thein Sein also said that discussions would follow with China. LU-Qizhou-cpi CPI chairman Lu Qizhou. Photo: eng.cpicorp.com.cn Lu Qizhou: “I also learnt about this through the media, and I was totally astonished. Before this, the Myanmar side never communicated with us in any way about the ‘suspension’.” BRN: The villagers at the dam site, numerous political and community organizations, and international human rights organizations have attempted to contact CPI and discuss the concerns about the impacts and process of the project. Even though CPI never responded to these attempts at a dialogue, they cannot claim to be unaware of the feeling about this project by the people of Burma. It is impossible that CPI could not have been aware that Burma is in the midst of civil war and that the Irrwaddy-Myitsone dams project is in an active conflict zone. The armed ethnic group in this area, the Kachin Independence Organisation, had directly warned the Chinese government that local people were against the project earlier this year and that proceeding with the dams could fuel further fighting. Without national reconciliation and peace, all investments in Burma face these types of risks. Lu Qizhou: “Ever since CPI and Myanmar Ministry of Electric Power No. 1 MOEP (1) signed the MOU in December 2006, CPI has always followed the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win result” BRN: Up to now all major investment projects in Burma are negotiated by Burma’s military government and the main benefits have gone to the military. Any win-win result has only been for the military and this is resented by the people of Burma. The lack of transparency by the military and foreign investors increases this resentment. The role and share of the Burmese companies should also be disclosed, including the benefits to Asia World Company and whether military holding companies, the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. (UMEHL) and the Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) are involved. Lu Qizhou: “We hired topnotch hydropower design institutes, research institutes, consultancies and authoritative experts in China to carry out planning, design, specific study, consultation and supervision for the upstream-Ayeyawady hydropower project.” BRN: The impact assessment jointly carried out by the Chinese Changjiang Institute and the Burmese BANCA stated very clearly that the Myitsone dam should be scrapped and that the majority of the local people were against this project. Why did CPI hire “topnotch” institutes and then not follow their advice? The original EIA was completed in October 2009, which was only leaked earlier this year. CPI has just released an edited version of the EIA and dated it March 2010, which has deleted the key findings and recommendations. Although it was recommended, the original assessment did not include a social impact assessment or an assessment of the impacts on the entire river, particularly downstream. In the current political context, where there is civil war and where communities fear retribution by Burma’s military government, assessors are unable to genuinely access affected communities or collect reliable data. Lu Qizhou: “In February this year, Myanmar's Prime Minister (Thein Sein) urged us to accelerate the construction when he inspected the project site, so the sudden proposal of suspension now is very bewildering.” BRN: Thein Sein should explain his actions if he indeed wanted to accelerate the project. In addition, the Burmese military government must disclose all agreements signed with CPI so that this is a transparent process for everyone to see. Lu Qizhou: “The upstream-Ayeyawady hydropower project is located near the China-Myanmar border, developing hydropower resources here not only can meet Myanmar's power demand for industrialization, but also can provide clean energy for China. It is based on this consideration that we decided to invest in this mutually beneficial and double winning hydropower project.” BRN: We understand that this is a double winning project for China as it can receive 90 per cent of the energy from the dam while Burma has to bear all the social and economic costs. Lu Qizhou: “The Myanmar government will gain economic benefits of USD $54 billion via taxation, free electricity and share dividends, far more than CPI's return on investment during our operation period.” BRN: Over the past several years, Burma’s military government has received billions in revenues from the sale of natural gas to Thailand, yet the country remains impoverished with some of the worst social and economic indicators in the world. The “economic benefits” therefore do not reach the broader public and do not contribute to the genuine development of the country. Lu Qizhou: “As far as I know, in the more than 100-year history of hydropower development, no flood or destructive earthquake has ever been caused by dam construction. We are able to ensure the safety of dam construction.” BRN: Given the increasing frequency and severity of earthquakes, there cannot be a guarantee of safety. No studies about the safety of the dam or about disaster preparation have been disclosed to the public. The world’s worst dam disaster occurred in Henan Province in central China in 1975. Twenty years after the disaster, details started emerging that as many as 230,000 people may have died. Lu Qizhou: “It has become a common consensus that hydropower is the only renewable energy suitable for large-scale development now.” BRN: Rural communities in Burma and Kachin State are utilizing the appropriate technology of small hydropower to realize their electricity needs on their own. The Kachin capital of Myitkyina is one of the few cities in Burma that currently receives 24-hour electricity due to an existing small hydropower project. Decentralized management and the right of local people to manage and utilize the electricity generated by small hydro needs to be promoted in Burma, not large scale projects that are environmentally destructive and export electricity rather than using it domestically. Lu Qizhou: “The Myanmar government attaches significant importance to resettlement for the upstream-Ayeyawady hydropower project, and has effectively led and organized the planning, design and implementation of resettlement… According to the agreement, we assisted in the resettlement work and proactively fulfilled our social responsibilities and obligations, while fully respecting local religion, ethnic customs and the wish of migrants.” BRN: Villagers fear for their lives if they complain or resist relocation at the hands of armed military personnel and have thus been forced to give up their farmlands, accept inadequate compensation, and be herded into a relocation camp where there is not enough farmland and water for livelihoods. People now either have no jobs or low-wage temporary jobs and they cannot continue cultural practices linked to their original homelands. Villagers living in the relocation camp are restricted in movement and are constantly under military surveillance. Over 60 villages, approximately 15,000 people, will eventually be permanently displaced from their homelands due to the Irrawaddy Myitsone project. This dislocation will cause many secondary social problems including conflicts over jobs and land, and an increase in migration and trafficking to neighboring countries. Women will be particularly impacted. Lu Qizhou: “When Myitsone Hydropower Station is completed, it will effectively control and reduce the flood peak, raise the anti-flooding standard in downstream area, and reduce life and property losses caused by downstream flood on people living on both banks.” BRN: Water releases from hydroelectric dams are entirely dependent on the electricity generating needs of the electricity buyer. In this case, all seven dams of the Irrawaddy Myitsone project will serve China’s electricity needs, not the downstream agricultural, transportation or health needs of Burma. Chinese engineers running the dams will decide how much water to release downstream according to orders from Beijing, not Naypidaw. As seen with the Mekong, this can cause unexpected and devastating water surges and shortages..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima News
Format/size: html. pdf (64K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs12/Mizzima-BRN-Dams.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2011

Title: "The government is elected by the people, and it has to respect people’s will" (speech by President Thein Sein to the Hluttaws 30 September 2011)
Date of publication: 01 October 2011
Description/subject: Deals mainly with energy policy and announces the suspension of the Myitsone dam..."...As our government is elected by the people, it is to respect the people’s will. We have the responsibility to address public concerns in all seriousness. So construction of Myitsone Dam will be suspended in the time of our government. Other hydropower projects that pose no threat will be implemented through thorough survey for availability of electricity needed for the nation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The New Light of Myanmar" 1 October 2011
Format/size: pdf (185K)
Date of entry/update: 01 October 2011

Title: Pragmatic comments by EMG and Ludu U Sein Win on Hydropower Project
Date of publication: 17 August 2011
Description/subject: The Eleven Media Group and veteran journalist Ludu U Sein Win have explicitly made realistic comments on the article written in the state-owned newspapers issued on 9 August 2011 by “A Service Personnel of Electric Power” about the Hydropower Project being implemented in Myanmar... Now, experts from home and abroad, observers, journalists are writing and airing on Myitsone dam hydropower project based on reliable facts and figures that is sure to bring negative impacts likely to trigger from the project.
Author/creator: Win Htut
Language: English
Format/size: pdf (65K)
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2011

Title: Irrawaddy Appeal
Date of publication: 11 August 2011
Description/subject: "...To conserve the Irrawaddy is to protect our economy and our environment as well as to safeguard our cultural heritage. Most important of all, uniting in conservation efforts would carry dividends in the way of better understanding and practical cooperation. Many individuals and organizations have done valuable research on the Irrawaddy and there will surely be no lack of information and practical suggestions that could serve as a basis for a conservation scheme. Much can be achieved simply by the strict application of already existing laws and regulations pertaining to the conservation of forests and rivers. We therefore appeal to environmental experts, to conservationists and to lovers of nature, peace and harmony everywhere to join us in a campaign to create a worldwide awareness of the dangers threatening one of the most important rivers of Asia. Together we can find solutions to problems, ecological, economic, technical, and political, related to the Irrawaddy."
Author/creator: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Language: English
Source/publisher: 54-56 University Avenue, Rangoon
Format/size: pdf (59K)
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2011

Title: Perpetual natural heritage relayed with good volition
Date of publication: 09 August 2011
Description/subject: "...All the hydropower projects the government has been implementing across the nation including the ones on the confluence of the Ayeyawady River, upstream the Maykha River and the Malikha River in Kachin State are prudent ones for all-round development of the regions, and creating job opportunities. So, they are the facilities of national heritage. To sum up, the government has been investing heavily in generation of electric power and building national grids and power houses to supply electricity to the people. It indicates that the government is taking measures in all sectors, utilizing natural resources and aquatic and terrestrial resources across the Union most effectively, in the long-term interests of the democratic nation and the generations to follow. In its drive for improving the infrastructures with benevolent attitude, the government aims to narrow the gab of the rich and the poor and accelerating the development momentum of respective regions in order to hand down the perpetual natural heritage."
Author/creator: A Staff Member, MEPE (Ministry for Electric Power?)
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The New Light of Myanmar"
Format/size: pdf (192K)
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2011

Title: KIO warns China: Myitsone Dam could spark ‘civil war’
Date of publication: 20 May 2011
Description/subject: "In an open letter sent to Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) has asked China to stop the planned Myitsone Dam to be built in Burma’s northern Kachin state, warning that the controversial project could lead to civil war. The English-language letter dated March 16 but only recently made public and obtained by Mizzima states that the KIO ‘informed the military government that KIO would not be responsible for the civil war if the war broke out because of this hydropower plant project and the dam construction’..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mizzima
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 May 2011

Title: Concern over Myanmar's Irrawaddy dam China investing billions into hydroelectric scheme, which is set to displace many. (video)
Date of publication: 22 April 2011
Description/subject: "Chinese companies are funding a multi-billion dollar project to dam the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar. The river, the longest one left undammed in southeast Asia, is important to the Kachin people, and millions of people up and down its length would be affected by the changes, experts say. When it is dammed, it will leave an area the size of New York City submerged. There are now concerns over who is to benefit from the river's riches. Our special correspondent in Myanmar, who we cannot name for security reasons, filed this report."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Al Jazeera
Format/size: Adobe Flash (2 minutes, 18 seconds)
Date of entry/update: 16 May 2011

Title: KIO Open Letter to the People's Republic of China
Date of publication: 16 March 2011
Description/subject: Text of the open letter sent to Chinese President Hu Jintao, in which the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) asks China to stop the planned Mali Nmai Concluence (Myitsone) Dam Project to be built in Burma’s northern Kachin state, warning that the controversial project could lead to civil war
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)
Format/size: pdf (878K)
Date of entry/update: 21 May 2011

Title: Karen Villagers Against Dam (video)
Date of publication: 2011
Description/subject: Protests against a proposed dam on the Salween
Language: Karen, English,
Source/publisher: Burma Issues
Format/size: Adobe Flash (duration 4 ml9ns 27 secs)
Date of entry/update: 04 October 2011

Title: High and Dry - The cross-boundary impacts of China’s Longjiang dam
Date of publication: 14 December 2010
Description/subject: Summary: "A recently built dam on the Longjiang (Nam Mao or Shweli) river in Yunnan Province of China has severely disrupted the livelihoods of about 16,000 villagers living in the Mao Valley along the northern Shan State border in Burma. The Ruili-Muse border crossing, in the Mao Valley, is the main border trade point between China and Burma, and local communiti es rely principally on income from ferrying goods across the river on either side of the crossing. However, in early 2010, when the reservoir in the Longjiang Dam started to be fi lled, the river dried up, falling to unprecedented low levels and bringing boats to a standsti ll. Since the start of the rains in May 2010, there have been huge daily fl uctuati ons in the river levels, causing not only grounding of boats, but also fl ooding of goods, cutti ng ferry workers' incomes by up to two-thirds. The numerous ferry operators have thus had to drasti cally reduce the numbers of their trips. The resulti ng drop in trade is not only cutti ng the income of the riverside communiti es, but also that of many of the 30,000 people living in the town of Muse, who rely on the border trade. These communiti es were never informed by either Chinese or Burmese authoriti es about the dam and its impacts. They are urgently requesti ng the Chinese authoriti es to modify the dam’s operati on so that the river’s environmental fl ow can be restored, and the disrupti on to their livelihoods minimized. This case study provides evidence that builders of hydropower dams on transnati onal rivers in China have neglected to consider the trans-boundary environmental and social impacts of these projects. There is an urgent need for transparent, comprehensive and parti cipatory assessments of the environmental and social impacts of these projects on the enti re length of the rivers."
Source/publisher: Shan Women’s Action Network, Shan Sapawa Environmental Organisation
Format/size: pdf ( 3.62MB - English; 1.1MB - Chinese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.shanwomen.org/pdf/high&Dry_report_chinese.pdf
Date of entry/update: 15 December 2010

Title: The Threat to Burma’s Environment
Date of publication: 17 September 2010
Description/subject: More than 20 mega-dams are being constructed or planned on Burma’s major rivers, including the Salween and Irrawaddy, by multinationals without consulting local communities, a wide range of NGOs charged in a statement Friday. In addition, the group charged, mining, oil and gas projects are creating severe environmental and social problems. Several papers are to be delivered on Sept. 18 in an all-day seminar in Bangkok on the impact and consequences of overseas investment in large-scale projects in Burma that say as many as 30 companies from China alone are investing in dam projects on the two rivers.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Sentinel
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=129&Itemid=125
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2010

Title: Bangladesh in Deal to buy Burma Hydro Dam Electricity
Date of publication: 04 September 2010
Description/subject: Energy starved Burma has reportedly agreed to build two hydroelectric dams in southwestern Arakan State to supply Bangladesh with electricity. The projects at Michuang and Lemro will have power generating capacities of 575 megawatts, according to the Financial Express newspaper in Dhaka quoting Bangladeshi energy ministry officials.
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Irrawaddy Weekly Business Roundup
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2010

Title: Karenni people oppose new Salween dam plans by SPDC and Chinese investors
Date of publication: 09 August 2010
Description/subject: Statement by the Karenni Development Research Group (KDRG) Karenni people oppose new Salween dam plans by SPDC and Chinese investors
Language: Burmese, English
Source/publisher: Burma Rivers Network
Format/size: pdf (28.46 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/petition_press_release/kdrg%20statement%20in%20eng...
Date of entry/update: 20 September 2010

Title: Before the Deluge
Date of publication: April 2010
Description/subject: Kachin villagers and exiles hope they can stop plans to build a dam that will flood an area they consider their ancestral homeland
Author/creator: David Paquette
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010

Title: Dam Nation
Date of publication: April 2010
Description/subject: "Burma and China prepare to build seven hydroelectric dams in Kachin State that will not provide the people of Burma with jobs, security or even electricity Large-scale hydroelectric dams have long been decried for the immense damage they do to the environment and rural communities. Not everyone agrees, however, that the problems associated with mega-dams outweigh their benefits. After all, say pragmatists, dams are a reliable supply of electricity, without which no country can hope to survive in the modern world. (Illustration: Harn lay / The irrawaddy) But in Burma, such arguments fall flat. Not only do massive dam-building projects take an especially high toll on people’s lives—besides destroying villages and the environment, they result in intensifying human rights abuses and make diseases such as malaria more prevalent—they also come without a payoff for the general population. At the end of the day, the electricity they generate—the only benefit the Burmese people can expect to get from them—remains as scarce as ever..."
Author/creator: David Paquette
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010

Title: When Rivers Cease to Flow
Date of publication: April 2010
Description/subject: The environmental impact of mega-dams is increasing the potential for disaster in Burma... "The complexity of hydropower development in Burma might be smothered by state propaganda, but hard science-based questions remain about the safety and economic viability of the country’s mega-dam projects. Floodwaters overrunning the Washawng Dam in Burma in may 2006 shortly before it broke. (Photo: KDNG) How badly will the flooding and construction of the dams affect the watershed? How vulnerable is the area to earthquakes? How would rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers or radical fluctuations in rainfall, as a result of climate change, affect reservoir recharge and electricity generation? Are the dam builders in Burma asking any of these questions?..."
Author/creator: Rudy Thomas
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010

Title: Resisting the Flood: Communities taking a stand against the imminent construction of Irrawaddy dams
Date of publication: October 2009
Description/subject: Message from KDNG: "As a network of residents of Kachin State, we, the Kachin Development Networking Group, have been monitoring plans by the stateowned China Power Investment Corporation and Burma’s military regime to build seven dams on the Irrawaddy River and its two main tributaries. In 2007 we published the report, "Damming the Irrawaddy" which surveyed the environment and peoples in the affected area and analyzed the negative impacts of these dams. Today construction of the 2,000-megawatt Chibwe Dam on the N’Mai River is already underway. The forced relocation of 15,000 people to clear out the flood zone of the Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam has also begun. In August 2009 villagers were informed that they must begin to move out within two months. There have been no public assessments of the projects, no consultation with affected people within the flood zone or downstream, and no consent from local residents or the larger population of Burma. As a result, public resistance to the dams is growing. Despite the risks of arrest, torture or death for dissent in military-ruled Burma, brave people are demanding a halt to the dams. Mass prayer ceremonies calling for the protection of the rivers have been held along the river banks and in churches up and downstream. Posters, open letters, and graffi ti from students, elders and prominent leaders have objected to the dams. In a face-to-face meeting with the Burma Army’s Northern Commander, local residents made it clear that no amount of compensation will make up for the losses these dams will bring to their community and future generations. We stand with the people of Kachin State and throughout Burma who oppose these dams. The demand to stop this project has been made clear to our military rulers and now we specifically appeal to China Power Investment Corporation and the government of China to stop these dams..."
Language: English, Burmese, Chinese
Source/publisher: Burma Rivers Network
Format/size: pdf (1.37MB - English; 2.42MB - Burmese; 1.21MB - Chinese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/burmese/ResistingtheFlood-Burwebsite.... (Burmese)
http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/chinese/ResistingtheFloodChinese.pdf (Chinese)
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2009

Title: Roots and Resilience - Tasang dam threatens war-torn Shan communities
Date of publication: July 2009
Description/subject: 'The report “Roots and Resilience” by the Shan Sapawa Environment Organization focuses on the ecologically unique area of Keng Kham, a community of 15,000 that was forcibly relocated over ten years ago; the majority have fled to Thailand. Today the estimated 3,000 that remain are managing to maintain their livelihoods and culture despite the constant threats of the Burma Army and the impending Tasang dam. Indigenous Shan cultural practices, river-fed farms, sacred cave temples and pristine waterfalls are depicted in photos from this isolated war-zone, together with updated information about the dam project, which has been shrouded in secrecy. The 7,110 MW Tasang Dam is the biggest of five dams planned on the Salween River; the majority of the power from the dam will be sold to Thailand. Project investors include the Thai MDX Company and China’s Gezhouba Group Company. Thailand’s support for the controversial dam was recently reiterated when the project was included in its national Power Development Plan. Military tension has escalated in recent months in Shan State as the Burmese regime has been putting pressure on the United Wa State Army to transform into a “Border Guard Force.” Abuses linked to anti-insurgency campaigns are also on the rise.'
Language: English, Thai
Source/publisher: Shan Sapawa Environmental Organization
Format/size: pdf (4.68MB - English; 6.58MB - Thai)
Alternate URLs: http://salweenwatch.org/images/PDF/rootsandresiliencethai.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 October 2009

Title: Drowning the Green Ghosts of Kayanland - Impacts of the Upper Paunglaung Dam in Burma
Date of publication: 2008
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Twenty six miles east of Burma's new capital Naypyidaw, a fertile valley with a population of over 3,500 is soon to be flooded to boost power to Burma's military leaders. The Upper Paunglaung dam, being built with Chinese investment in the Pyinmana Hills of southern Shan State, will produce 140 MW of electricity and store water to increase the generating capacity of the Lower Paunglaung Dam, completed in March 2005, which currently powers Naypyidaw. The reservoir of the 99-meter-tall dam will flood twelve villages and submerge over 5,000 acres of fertile farming land. The villagers, comprising some of the few remaining indigenous Kayan Lahta people, were never consulted about the dam plans, and have been offered no compensation. Instead, since 2004, when the dam construction began, they have faced an encroachment of Burma' Army troops, and accompanying forcec labour and other abuses. The deployment of Burma Army troops along the Paunglaung River is in direct contravention of the ceasefire agreement reached between the main Kayan resistance army, the Kayan New Land Party (KNLP), and the Burmese military regime in 1994, which had granted the KNLP control of this area. The regime has now seized most of the former KNLP territories in the Pyinmana Hills. Ironically, the KNLP was first set up ir 1964 in protest at the building of Burma's first major hydropower project, the Mobye Dam, which flooded 114 villages, and the electricity from which was mostly sent to the capital Rangoon. Over forty years later, the Kayan people's rights are being abused in the same way, as they find themselves dispossessed of their' lands and their resources being siphoned off at gunpoint, this time to the military regime's new capital Naypyidaw. The Kayan Women's Union calls on the Burmese military regime and Chinese investors to immediately stop construction of the Upper Paunglaung Dam. There has been no transparency in the planning and implementation th project, and no informed consent by affected villagers. We also demand an end to the Burma Army invasion of Kayan territories and the grave human rights abuses being inflicted on our people."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Kayan Women's Union
Format/size: pdf (3.79MB - Burmese; 4.38MB - English)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/burmese/drowninggreenghostsburmese.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2009

Title: Under The Boot - A Village's Story of Burmese Army Occupation to Build a Dam on the Shweli River
Date of publication: 03 December 2007
Description/subject: "At night the Shweli has always sung sweet songs for us. But now the nights are silent and the singing has stopped. We are lonely and wondering what has happened to our Shweli?" ... "Exclusive photos and testimonies from a remote village near the China-Burma border uncover how Chinese dam builders are using Burma Army troops to secure Chinese investments. Under the Boot, a new report by Palaung researchers, details the implementation of the Shweli Dam project, China's first Build-Operate-Transfer hydropower deal with Burma's junta. Since 2000, the Palaung village of Man Tat, the site of the 600 megawatt dam project, has been overrun by hundreds of Burmese troops and Chinese construction workers. Villagers have been suffering land confiscation, forced labour, and restriction on movement ever since, and a five kilometer diversion tunnel has been blasted through the hill on which the village is situated. Photos in the report show soldiers carrying out parade drills, weapons assembly, and target practice in the village. "This Chinese project has been like a sudden military invasion. The villagers had no idea the dam would be built until the soldiers arrived," said Mai Aung Ko from the Palaung Youth Network Group (Ta'ang), which produced the report. Burma's Ministry of Electric Power formed a joint venture with Yunnan Joint Power Development Company, a consortium of Chinese companies, to build and operate the project. Electricity generated will be sent to China and several military-run mining operations in Burma. As the project nears completion, plans are underway for two more dams on the Shweli River, a tributary of the Irrawaddy..."
Language: English, Burmese, Chinese
Source/publisher: Palaung Youth Network Group
Format/size: pdf (4.76MB - English; 1.35MB - Chinese; 4.41MB - Burmese)
Alternate URLs: http://www.salweenwatch.org/images/stories/downloads/brn/underthebootchinesewithcover_2.pdf (Chinese)
Date of entry/update: 04 December 2007

Title: Damming the Irrawaddy
Date of publication: 22 October 2007
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The Irrawaddy, one of Asia's great river systems which flows through Burma's heartlands, is about to be dammed. Burma's military junta is allowing Chinese companies to build a giant 152-meter-tall hydropower dam and transmit the electricity back to China. The dam is one in a series that the junta has planned involving the export of power to neighboring countries. While the regime will gain new revenues, Burma's ordinary citizens, who have no say in the process, will bear the costs. A project-launching ceremony for the dam at the confluence (or Myitsone in Burmese), where the Irrawaddy begins, was held in May 2007 in Burma's northernmost Kachin State. The dam will generate 3,600 MW of electricity, most of which will be transmitted to China, fitting into the Chinese Central Government's 'West to East Power Transmission Policy' The power will be worth an estimated US$500 million per year. The Irrawaddy Myitsone dam is the first in a series of seven large Chinese dams to be built along this waterway. Deeply concerned about the dam's potential impacts, elders, community leaders and villagers from across Kachin State have sent protest letters directly to Senior General Than Shwe and the military's Northern Commander to stop the project, but the objections have so far fallen on deaf ears. An estimated 47 villages will be inundated in a region recognized as one of the world'seight "hottest hotspots of biodiversity." Approximately 10,000 people will be displaced, losing their livelihoods, and exacerbating the existing problems of unemployment, drug addiction and HIV/AIDS in the area. Roads that are the link betweenmajor towns in theremote state will be cutoffby the floods impacting communication, transportation, and trade. Recent dam breaks in nearby rivers in 2006 have swept away houses and bridges, causing fatalities and destroying power stations and dam structures beyond repair. Northern Burma is earthquake-prone, and the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam site is less than 100 km from the major Sagaing fault line. Dam breakage or unnatural flood surges would be disastrous for Myitkyina, the capital city of Kachin State that lies only 40 kilometers downstream of the dam. The well-documented negative impacts of large dams on fisheries, flood plain farming and river bank cultivation will impact the millions that rely on the Irrawaddy. Health concerns that include an increase in malaria and the release of toxic methyl-mercury from the dam's reservoir will endanger Burma's people, further burdening a healthcare system that is ranked as one of the worst in the world. The critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin may become extinct in its namesake river. Human rights abuses by the military have been extensively reported, including the junta's use of troops and landmines to secure large development projects, resulting in forced labor, land confiscation and threats to life. There is no reason to expect that the communities living at the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam site will not suffer the same consequences. Women are particularly susceptible to sexual violence by troops. In addition to these risks, women face pressures to participate in the sex trade once construction sites are set up and livelihoods are lost, and are increasingly vulnerable to human trafficking. For centuries, the Myitsone has been the source of songs, poems and legends which are not only the heritage of the Kachin but all the people of Burma. If this dam were to go ahead, a national cultural landmark would be permanently submerged and lost to future generations. The Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) joins those who have already spoken out to call for an end to the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam project. The ruling military junta is promoting mega-development that places all the costs and risks on disenfranchised peoples while fortifying military control. Small-scale alternatives that recognize the rights of local communities and empower them to participate and manage resources are possible. China is an important neighbor that can be a positive influence in the region. KDNG calls on China to abide at least by its own standards when operating in Burma and to heed the voices of affected peoples."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Kachin Development Networking Group
Format/size: pdf (2.55MB and 1.6MB - English; 2.68MB - Burmese)
Alternate URLs: http://burmalibrary.org/docs4/Damming-the-Irrawaddy-bur.pdf (Burmese)
http://burmalibrary.org/docs4/Damming-the-Irrawaddy-eng.pdf (English, 1.6MB)
Date of entry/update: 22 October 2007

Title: In the Balance: Salween dams threaten downstream communities in Burma
Date of publication: May 2007
Description/subject: Summary: " The Salween is Southeast Asia's longest free flowing river and one of Burma's most important waterways. For the half a million people living where the river meets the Andaman Sea, the Salween is a way of life interlinked with its seasonal flows and daily tides. However, Burma's military dictatorship, together with Thai and Chinese investors, is moving ahead with plans to dam the Salween. The communities living downstream have not been informed or consulted about the dam plans or their potential impacts, even though their lives stand to be permanently altered. This report describes the unique geography and ecology of the downstream estuary, where salt water meets fresh and the mainstream Salween and its two main tributaries are tidal for up to 75 kilometers inland. Numerous islands, some of them seasonal and some of them culturally sacred, are rich with fertile sediment that flows down the Salween each year. The delicate mix of salt and fresh water created by the seasonal flow of the river and the rise and fall of the tides determines daily life. Local people collect fresh water at high tide and store it in community pools for drinking and household use, and manage a system of canals to irrigate fields with fresh water and protect crops from salt water. In this way, villages subsist and provide farm produce to the capital city of Mon State and the five townships at the mouth of the Salween. Natural seasonal floods irrigate and replenish fields, and support the migration of fish species that use flooded habitats as spawning grounds before returning to the sea. Fisher folk carefully follow the migration patterns of countless species to make their catch and provide fish paste, one of the essential ingredients of Mon food. Wild plants that grow in the unique mix of salt and fresh water of the estuary are used as medicines and food. If the dams are built, the downstream effects, as studied elsewhere in the world, stand to alter the lives of over half a million people. These effects include altered river flows that cause higher concentrations of salt water to travel further inland. Changes in water quality, salinity, or seasonal flows are likely to make community water pools undrinkable and affect agricultural crops. Sudden and unnatural water surges increase erosion, destroy islands, and make the river dangerous to local communities. In addition, the decreased amount of sediment reaching downstream damages agriculture. A decline in fish catches due to interrupted migrations will impact the protein source of the local diet. Any one of these changes to the river would tip the balance fine-tuned over generations between self-reliant communities and their environment. Lastly, the proposed dams lie on active earthquake fault lines; dam breaks would be a disaster. Yet, despite all these concerns and potential problems, those living downstream have not even been informed of the project and unknown to them, their future is left hanging in the balance. The suppression of free media and arrests, beatings, and extra-judicial killings of anyone that challenges the regime in Burma make it impossible to access adequate information or to question the projects. Any dam project needs to take into consideration the social and environmental impacts on those living downstream and, most importantly, allow for their informed consent. This is impossible under the military dictatorship in Burma. The Mon Youth Progressive Organization therefore calls on all parties to halt their investments and stop the Salween dam projects."
Language: English, Burmese, Thai, Chinese.
Source/publisher: Mon Youth Progressive Organization
Format/size: pdf (English, 743K; Burmese, 1.2MB; Thai, 1MB; Chinese, 83K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/burmese/inthebalanceburmese.pdf (Burmese)
http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/thai/inthebalancethai.pdf (Thai)
http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/chinese/in_the_balance_cn_final.pdf (Chinese)
Date of entry/update: 07 May 2007

Title: Salween - Extracts from WWF Rivers report, 2007
Date of publication: 22 March 2007
Description/subject: "The Salween river basin is more than twice the size of England, the second largest river basin in southeast Asia and one of the last free-flowing international rivers in Asia..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: WWF
Format/size: pdf (38K)
Date of entry/update: 22 March 2007

Title: Staudämme in Burma gefährden Mensch und Umwelt
Date of publication: January 2007
Description/subject: Staudammbauten Salween-Fluss, Hatgyi-Damm, Thailands Investitionen, Tasang-Damm, Thailändische Invstitionen, Gefahr für Mensch und Umwelt, Salween Watch Dams along the Salween river, threats for people and environment, Salween Watch Coalition, Thai investment
Author/creator: Ulrike Bey
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Pacific News
Format/size: pdf (315k)
Date of entry/update: 16 January 2007

Title: Unterdrückung durch die Militärjunta
Date of publication: January 2007
Description/subject: Mindestens 82 000 Angehörige von Minderheiten flohen in 2005 vor den schrecklichen Menschen-rechtsverletzungen in Burma. In Thailand sind mehr als 150 000 burmesische Flüchtlinge registriert, wobei sich dort Schätzungen zufolge mindestens 1,5 Millionen illegal aufhalten. Allein die Zahl Hilfe suchender Karen-Flüchtlinge ist um fast 60 Prozent auf 900 Neuankömmlinge pro Monat gestiegen. Zwei Drittel dieser Flüchtlinge sind Kinder. In Burma selbst leben nach offiziellen Angaben 500 000 Binnenflüchtlinge; die tatsächliche Zahl dürfte in Millionenhöhe liegen. Salween; Staudämme; Salween-River; dams
Author/creator: Anna Bucur
Language: German, Deutsch
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2008

Title: Warning Signs - An update on plans to dam the Salween in Burmas Shan State
Date of publication: 15 September 2006
Description/subject: A new report “Warning Signs: An update on plans to dam the Salween in Burmas Shan State” by the Shan Sapawa Organization launched today details how preparations for a giant hydropower dam at Tasang on the Salween River in southern Shan State have been continuing. Among the four dams being planned on the Salween River, preparations for the Tasang Dam, 130 kms north of Chiang Mai, are the most advanced. The report, reveals how, despite a dearth of public information about the dam plans, the Thai contracting company MDX has been building roads, staff buildings and local power generating facilities near the site of the 228-meter-high dam, which will have the largest installed capacity as well as being the tallest in Southeast Asia. The dam site is located in the main area of conflict in Shan State. In the past ten years, the Burma Army has tripled the number of battalions around Tasang, and over 60,000 villagers have been forcibly relocated from areas adjoining the dam site and the projected flood zone. Villagers found in hiding have been tortured, raped and killed. The majority have fled to Thailand. In lieu of consultation with the remaining villagers in the flood zone, MDX have simply been hiring doctors to provide health services to villagers south of the dam-site along the proposed route of the electricity transmission lines to Thailand. MDX signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Burmese Department of Hydroelectric Power in April 2006 for joint development of a 7,110 megawatt dam at Tasang at an estimated cost of US$6 billion. Sapawa is urging an immediate end to the Tasang dam project. “We want the Thai government and Thai investors to stop supporting a project which will permanently displace thousands of our people, including Shan refugees in Thailand who will have no home to return to,” said Sapawa spokesperson Sai Sai.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Sapawa Environmental organisation (Sapawa) via Burma Rivers Network
Format/size: pdf (884K)
Date of entry/update: 21 September 2006

Title: A Damming Indictment
Date of publication: August 2006
Description/subject: "More than 30 dams planned across mainland Southeast Asia will bring electricity, population upheaval, food shortages and ecological destruction... Strange things are happening along the mighty Mekong, Southeast Asia’s longest river, which sustains 60 million people on its 2,610-mile (4,200-km) journey from Tibet to the Vietnamese coast. The river’s flow has begun fluctuating wildly as it courses through the borderlands of Thailand and Laos, washing away fertile farming land and scores of homes. The cause is not global warming-induced weather change, nor glaciers melting in the Himalayas, but China’s steamrollering economic growth, say environment protection campaigners. Chinese engineers are building eight hydroelectric dams along the Mekong in China, where it is called the Lancang, blasting away rocky rapids in order to tap the river’s energy for electricity generation and transport..." These alarming developments are just a small segment of a multibillion dollar region-wide effort to harness rivers, threatening to unleash enormous human and ecological problems which will far outweigh the benefits, say environmentalists. Tens of thousands of people—mostly ethnic minorities living in isolation—face forced displacement, and the ecological damage could be unprecedented, undermining food supplies..."
Author/creator: William Boot
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No.8
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2007

Title: Undercurrents -- Monitoring development on Burma's Mekong - issue 2
Date of publication: July 2006
Description/subject: Articles on mining (including gold, manganese, coal), logging, opium, rape... Unhindered Prospects - Remote areas of Shan State a convenient place to mine for neighboring countries... Bigger, not Better - Despite its expansion, the Burma Army rests on shaky foundations... Deadly Changes - Unpredictable water surges and unprecedented low water levels on the Mekong have human costs... An Order is an Order - The junta's zeal for castor oil causes hardship for villagers... The En people... Still no signs of outlawing license to rape - Burma Army expansion impacts women... Gun-toting monks - Militarization leaves nothing sacred in Burma... Even the Last Tree - Unrestricted logging leaves the hills of eastern Shan State bare... What Opium Ban? - Despite UN claims of reductions, poppy cultivation and trade continue in territories under the control of ceasefire groups and the SPDC... Anything for Gold - Desperate gold mining continues even after deadly accident... Chameleon Moves his Capital - Leader of NDAA survives political shake-up and continues to develop his new center of action.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Lahu National Development Organization (LNDO)
Format/size: pdf (1.25MB)
Date of entry/update: 05 July 2006

Title: Dammed by Burma's Generals -- The Karenni Experience with Hydropower Development, from Lawpita to the Salween
Date of publication: 14 March 2006
Description/subject: " Threatened with plans by Burma’s generals to dam the Salween River and submerge vast tracts of their homelands, the Karenni are releasing a new report today which exposes the parallels between the devastating impacts of Burma’s first large scale hydropower project, built in their state, and those of the planned Salween dams. The report highlights the destructive mix of development and military rule in Burma. The report by the Karenni Development Research Group (KDRG), Dammed by Burma’s Generals, chronicles the impacts of the Lawpita hydropower project since the early 1960s. Promised abundant electricity and irrigation, the local population instead suffered from forced displacement, water shortages, increased militarization, human rights abuses, and thousands of landmines planted to secure the project. Most of the power was sent directly to Rangoon; still today 80% of the Karenni are without electricity. One of four dams planned for the Salween, the Weigyi Dam, will flood over 640 square kilometers in Karenni State, submerging an area three times the size of the Lawpita reservoir. The report details how twenty-eight towns and villages, including a historical capital of the Karenni, will be inundated, impacting approximately 30,000 people. An entire tribe – the Yintalai, who now number a mere 1,000 – will permanently lose all their homelands. Irreversible environmental damage will be caused by inundation of forests internationally recognized for their outstanding biodiversity. Under an agreement signed in December 2005 between Thailand and Burma’s regime, construction on the Salween dams is slated to begin in 2007. With likely investment from China, the dams will provide electricity for Thailand and revenue for the ruling military regime. As Pascal Khoo Thwe, the Karenni author of From the Land of Green Ghosts says in his foreword to the report: “There is no better way to destroy a country than by the combined power of bulldozers and guns.” Civil war continues in Karenni State, leaving an estimated one third of the population internally displaced and over 22,000 Karenni refugees registered in camps in Thailand. If the Salween dams go ahead, many of these people will never be able to return home. The report urges that the Salween dam projects be scrapped. As KDRG researcher Aung Ngeh states: “We know from bitter experience what hydropower development means under a military dictatorship. It is not about electricity or irrigation for the people. It is about subjugation and control. The Salween dams will mean more soldiers, more landmines, and the gradual annihilation of our people.”"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karenni Development Research Group
Format/size: pdf (2.64MB) 80 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.salweenwatch.org/downloads/Dammed.pdf
Date of entry/update: 14 March 2006

Title: VerDAMMT in Burma
Date of publication: February 2006
Description/subject: Der Salween entspringt in Tibet und durchfließt auf seinem 2.400 Kilometer langen Weg zur Andaman-See China, das thailändisch-burmesische Grenzgebiet und verschiedene Bundesstaaten Burmas. Seine Tage als ungebändigtes Gewässer sind jedoch gezählt: Vier große Dämme sollen gebaut werden und über 12.500 Megawatt Strom erzeugen. Jahrelang wurde unter Ausschluss der Öffentlichkeit zwischen der burmesischen Militärregierung und dem Hauptinvestor, der thailändischen Elektrizitätsgesellschaft EGAT, verhandelt. Nun sind die Vorbereitungen, wie zum Beispiel der Bau von Zufahrtsstraßen und Baracken für die Arbeiter, in vollem Gange. Ethnische Minderheiten; Menschenrechte; Flüchtlinge in Thailand; Dam at Salween River; ethnic minorities; human rights; refugees in Thailand
Author/creator: Iris Stolz
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Terre des Hommes
Date of entry/update: 23 August 2007

Title: Eine kostbare Ressource mit Konfliktpotential
Date of publication: 01 January 2006
Description/subject: Wasser in Südostasien, Konflikte um Wassernutzung, Pak Mun Staudamm, Nam Theun II Damm, Salween Staudammprojekt; Water in Southeast Asia, Salween Dam
Author/creator: Yvonne Klöpper
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Südostasien Informationsstelle Asienhaus
Format/size: Pdf/ 2708K
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2006

Title: Toungoo district: Civilians displaced by dams, roads, and military control
Date of publication: 19 August 2005
Description/subject: "...Burma’s State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta claims to be implementing peace and development in Karen regions, but civilians in Toungoo District of northern Karen State say they are facing instead brutal treatment aimed at asserting military control. An example of SPDC-led ‘development’ is a new dam project on the Thauk Yay Ka (Day Loh) river in western Toungoo District. Villagers in the area of this proposed dam say that it has brought a new military access road to their area and that large SPDC military columns now patrol their villages, looting their belongings and forcing them into labour. Security checkpoints along all roads in the area have proliferated, restricting the movements of villagers and extorting heavy ‘taxes’ on all goods they try to take to market. Increased military presence along the roads has occurred throughout the district, from the Than Daung Gyi – Leit Tho road in the north to the Kler Lah – Bu Sah Kee road in the southeast, and close to 300 acres of villagers’ farmland has been confiscated for the establishment of a large military base at Leit Tho in the north. This continues the campaign of control already exposed in KHRG’s March 2005 report from the district (see ‘Peace’, or Control?, KHRG Report from the Field #2005-F3). SPDC troops burn farmfields and plantations adjacent to vehicle roads for military security, while destroying the villagers’ food security. People who have been forced from the hills into SPDC-controlled villages struggle against disease, food scarcity and restrictions on their movement, while those who have chosen to evade SPDC control in the hills must remain mobile to evade SPDC patrols who destroy their rice fields and landmine the pathways. In the relocation villages and in the forests, people are facing a difficult struggle against food scarcity, deteriorating health conditions, and SPDC human rights abuses..."...Dam security; Road security; New Army base at Leit Tho; Destruction of villages and livelihoods; Relocation sites and roadsides; Villagers in hiding; Health; Children and education
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F7)
Format/size: html, pdf (58K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05f7.html
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05f7.pdf (without maps)
Date of entry/update: 20 August 2005

Title: Flooding the Future: Hydropower and Cultural Survival in the Salween River Basin
Date of publication: 02 May 2005
Description/subject: "...After years of speculation, the Royal Thai Government and the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the military regime ruling Burma, appear poised to begin major construction on a series of large hydro-powered dams in the Salween River basin. In April 2004, Thailand’s Energy Ministry and Burma’s Ministry of Electric Power agreed to develop four of the proposed projects. Joint feasibility studies began this past fall, prompting representatives from several different Burmese ethnic groups to urge Thailand to reconsider. Their concerns emphasized the environmental costs of these dams and the fact that electricity produced from them would be exported abroad instead of supplying local populations who endure serious energy shortages.Their pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Fortunately, the arrest of Khin Nyunt in October 2004 has fomented rather than ended the power struggle between different factions within the SPDC. As a result, the ongoing political turmoil inside the country has created a brief window of opportunity. But constructive action is needed quickly...While hydropower projects have brought economic benefits, they have also adversely affected millions of people worldwide who depend upon rivers for their survival. These projects have irreversibly damaged ecosystems and led to the loss of livelihoods, cultures, and the rights of populations displaced by dams. All of the dam projects proposed for the Salween River basin in Burma fail to meet the standards established by the World Commission in Dams, particularly those related to open and transparent decision-making.27 In every instance, advocates for the dams have failed to include the affected communities in the decision-making process, which raises concerns that profits are again being put before local interests and needs. The projects also fail to meet the basic principle of distributive justice, which is embedded in the notion of sustainable development and other rights-based approaches. Sustainability, according to the 1980 World Commission on Environment and Development, cannot be achieved if policies do not consider the ramifications of resource accessibility and the equitable distribution of benefits and burdens across all affected stakeholders, including non-human ones.28 Current conditions inside Burma do not permit any of the above principles to be honored. For these reasons, further construction should be halted until other, less destructive options, can be explored, discussed, and agreed upon by all the stakeholders..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: EarthRights International
Format/size: html (104K)
Date of entry/update: 03 May 2005

Title: Undercurrents -- Monitoring development on Burma's Mekong
Date of publication: January 2005
Description/subject: Contents: Letter from LNDO; Blasting the Mekong - The navigation scheme is making trade easier - but for whom? Sold down the river - one Lahu girl's story; Lord of Burma's Mekong - A profile of the shadowy drug kingpin who controls the eastern reaches of Shan State; Sop Lwe – the next Mong La? Drug lord Lin Ming Xian stakes Sop Lwe as his next casino resort - with uncertain consequences for the local population; Road Construction in Shan State: A Lucrative Way to Turn Illegal Drug Profits into Legal Revenues; Eastern Shan State Erupts Again - Movements by the SSA-S prompt increased persecution of civilians by the regime; New bridge planned across the Mekong - Big changes come to Keng Larb as a new bridge linking Burma and Laos is considered; No Place Left for the Spirits of the Yellow Leaves - Intensive logging leaves few options for the Mabri people; Living in a War Zone; 20 Lack of Education – Is Development Really Coming?
Language: English
Source/publisher: Lahu National Development Organization (LNDO)
Format/size: pdf (2.52MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Undercurrents.pdf
Date of entry/update: 17 December 2004

Title: Damming at Gunpoint (Burmese)
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: BURMA ARMY ATROCITIES PAVE THE WAY FOR SALWEEN DAMS IN KAREN STATE... "As Thailand proceeds with plans to join Burma’s military regime in building a series of dams on the Salween River to gain “cheap” electricity, this report reveals the atrocities being inflicted on the people of Northern Karen State to pave the way for two of the planned dams. The Upper Salween (Wei Gyi) Dam and Lower Salween (Dar Gwin) Dam are planned to be built on the river where it forms the border between Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province and Burma’s Karen State. Together they will produce about 5,300 MW of electricity. It is estimated that the reservoir for the Upper Dam will stretch for 380 kilometers inside Karen and Karenni States of Burma. Both dams are located at the eastern edge of Papun district in Karen State. Once a Karen liberated area, during the last decade Papun has been the site of repeated military offensives and anti-insurgency campaigns by the regime’s troops to crush the Karen resistance. Before 1992, there were only ten Burma Army garrisons in Papun district. Today there are fifty-four garrisons, including twelve along the Salween river bank, fortified with heavy artillery. The military campaigns have decimated the local population. 210 villages have been destroyed, and villagers forcibly relocated to 31 relocation sites, where movement has been strictly controlled, and villagers are subject to forced labour and other human rights abuses. Tens of thousands of villagers have fled to Thailand as refugees; others live in hiding in the jungle, where they live in constant fear of being found and tortured or killed. In 1992, there were estimated to be about 107,000 people in Papun district. Now this has been halved to about 54,000, of whom about 35,000, or 60%, are internally displaced in the jungles. The rest have fled to Thailand or other parts of Burma. Out of 85 original villages in the mountainous area of Eastern Papun directly adjoining the planned dam sites, only a quarter remain. Most of the communities who had farmed and traded along the Salween River have fled to Thailand, and many farms in the fertile tributary valleys have been lying fallow for over a decade. Over 5,000 villagers remain hiding in the jungle, facing severe food shortages and health problems. Roads to the planned dam sites have been built using forced labour, and landmines have been planted alongside the roads. There has been no consultation with local communities about the dam plans. If the dams are built, the floodwaters will permanently displace many of the communities currently in hiding or living as refugees in Thailand. The increased military security for the dam sites will also inevitably mean further abuses against local populations. The Salween dams fit into the ongoing strategy of the Burmese military regime to use “development” projects to gain funding and collusion from neighbouring countries to subjugate ethnic resistance movements, and exploit the natural resources in the ethnic areas. Karen Rivers Watch makes the following recommendations:..."
Language: Burmese
Source/publisher: Karen Rivers Watch
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB - OBL version; 3.23MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/burmese/dammingatgunpoint.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012

Title: Damming at Gunpoint (English)
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: BURMA ARMY ATROCITIES PAVE THE WAY FOR SALWEEN DAMS IN KAREN STATE... "As Thailand proceeds with plans to join Burma’s military regime in building a series of dams on the Salween River to gain “cheap” electricity, this report reveals the atrocities being inflicted on the people of Northern Karen State to pave the way for two of the planned dams. The Upper Salween (Wei Gyi) Dam and Lower Salween (Dar Gwin) Dam are planned to be built on the river where it forms the border between Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province and Burma’s Karen State. Together they will produce about 5,300 MW of electricity. It is estimated that the reservoir for the Upper Dam will stretch for 380 kilometers inside Karen and Karenni States of Burma. Both dams are located at the eastern edge of Papun district in Karen State. Once a Karen liberated area, during the last decade Papun has been the site of repeated military offensives and anti-insurgency campaigns by the regime’s troops to crush the Karen resistance. Before 1992, there were only ten Burma Army garrisons in Papun district. Today there are fifty-four garrisons, including twelve along the Salween river bank, fortified with heavy artillery. The military campaigns have decimated the local population. 210 villages have been destroyed, and villagers forcibly relocated to 31 relocation sites, where movement has been strictly controlled, and villagers are subject to forced labour and other human rights abuses. Tens of thousands of villagers have fled to Thailand as refugees; others live in hiding in the jungle, where they live in constant fear of being found and tortured or killed. In 1992, there were estimated to be about 107,000 people in Papun district. Now this has been halved to about 54,000, of whom about 35,000, or 60%, are internally displaced in the jungles. The rest have fled to Thailand or other parts of Burma. Out of 85 original villages in the mountainous area of Eastern Papun directly adjoining the planned dam sites, only a quarter remain. Most of the communities who had farmed and traded along the Salween River have fled to Thailand, and many farms in the fertile tributary valleys have been lying fallow for over a decade. Over 5,000 villagers remain hiding in the jungle, facing severe food shortages and health problems. Roads to the planned dam sites have been built using forced labour, and landmines have been planted alongside the roads. There has been no consultation with local communities about the dam plans. If the dams are built, the floodwaters will permanently displace many of the communities currently in hiding or living as refugees in Thailand. The increased military security for the dam sites will also inevitably mean further abuses against local populations. The Salween dams fit into the ongoing strategy of the Burmese military regime to use “development” projects to gain funding and collusion from neighbouring countries to subjugate ethnic resistance movements, and exploit the natural resources in the ethnic areas. Karen Rivers Watch makes the following recommendations:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Rivers Watch
Format/size: pdf (617K - OBL version; 1.82MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/english/dammingatgunpointenglish.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012

Title: Environmental concerns an issue as dam projects continue
Date of publication: 03 October 2004
Description/subject: "‘ONE month, one dam,’ a slogan often repeated by the Department of Irrigation, is an indication of its zeal for projects aimed mainly at benefiting the agricultural sector. The completion of each new dam is a milestone for a country as dependent upon agriculture as Myanmar. It is a sign of development and a herald of prosperity. Between 1989 and 2003, the government built 160 dams at a cost of K70 billion. Another 29 dams are planned for completion between 2004 and 2007, the most powerful of which will be the Yeywa Dam in Mandalay Division, which will generate 700 megawatts of power. Most dam projects are planned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. The Department of Irrigation says water from dams irrigates about 2.1 million acres of farmland. The Myanma Electric Power Enterprise under the Ministry of Electric Power has also been involved in building dams..."
Author/creator: Ba Saing
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Times
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 October 2004

Title: The Salween Under Threat: Damming the Longest Free River in Southeast Asia
Date of publication: October 2004
Description/subject: CHAPTER 1: Livelihoods and Ecosystems along the Salween; CHAPTER 2: Politics and Power Behind Dam Building; CHAPTER 3: Conditions in Burma; CHAPTER 4: Tasang Dam: CHAPTER 5: Wei Gyi and Dagwin Dams: CHAPTER 6: Salween Water Diversion Projects; CHAPTER 7: Avoiding Tragedy..."...This book calls for efforts to prevent destructive large scale hydro-power development on the Salween, and also to find low-impact models of development that can ensure a rising standard of living for the communities it supports. Our hope is that the international community will support the campaign to protect the Salween and its peoples in both Thailand and Burma...Among the major river systems in mainland Southeast Asia, the dam-building industry has successfully promoted construction of numerous dams on the Mekong River and its tributaries, causing the destruction of the environment and loss of livelihoods for millions of people. By contrast, the Salween River, which like the Mekong originates in the Himalayas and runs parallel to the Mekong for several hundred miles, remains the longest river in mainland Southeast Asia that flows freely, uninterrupted by dams. 3 This does not mean that the Salween River has been free from efforts to construct dams in its basin. In fact, hydro-power developers and dam builders from countries such as Japan, China, Australia, and Thailand have long been attracted to the Salween River basin, along with public institutions that have a history of financing hydro-power development and dam construction such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Feasibility studies already have been conducted at many sites, and the promoters of the dams are geared to start construction at any moment without either consulting the local peoples or considering the social and environmental impacts the dams will have. If current trends continue, it is only a matter of time before the Salween will forever cease to flow freely. As with dam building in any other part of the world, the drive behind the plans to build dams on the Salween River does not necessarily stem from the quest for social or public welfare. While hydro-power may generate needed electricity, much of the push to dam comes from the ambitions of dam builders who stand to benefit from the consultancies, provision of equipment and building contracts. Chapter 2 examines the political and economic motives behind the plans to dam the Salween River. Dams’ Harmful Impacts Construction of large dams in any part of the world is known to inflict severe, negative effects on the environment and the livelihoods of the local people, and the planned dam and diversion projects in the Salween River system are no exception. Moreover, the current situation in Burma will certainly further aggravate such impacts for those communities living in the project areas in Burma. Chapters 1 and 3 describe the situation along the Salween where the dams are proposed. Given the negative impacts that are certain to occur, alternative energy and water management options should be considered before final decisions are made to dam the Salween River. Chapter 7 examines the alternative options that are available, and presents recommendations to the international community..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Salween Watch, Southeast Asia Rivers Network, Center for Social Development Studies, Chulalongkorn University
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB)
Date of entry/update: 16 December 2004

Title: Hydro-powering the Regime
Date of publication: June 2004
Description/subject: "Burma’s government has initiated a massive dam-building program. Yuki Akimoto details the projects and examines the possible ramifications. [also see table for complete details] The military junta that rules Burma, the State Peace and Development Council, or SPDC, has a strong predilection for hydro-power plants. Council chairman, Sr-Gen Than Shwe, who hails from Kyaukse, through which the Zawgyi River flows, is widely rumored to believe himself a reincarnation of King Anawrahta (r. 1044-1077). The long-dead Pagan-era monarch was a prolific dam- and canal-builder, particularly along the Zawgyi, where he supervised the building of a series of weirs and canals to atone for killing his foster-brother Sokka-te..."
Author/creator: Yuki Akimoto
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 07 October 2004

Title: Hydropower Projects in Burma (Map)
Date of publication: April 2004
Description/subject: Map on Hydropower Projects in Burma
Author/creator: Yuki Akimoto and Tetz Hakoda (Burma Information Network -Japan)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Information Network -Japan
Format/size: JPEG (361KB)
Date of entry/update: 31 March 2004

Title: Damning the Salween
Date of publication: November 2003
Description/subject: "...The Lower Salween Dam is part of the Asian Power Grid, a joint venture between eight Asean countries that will increase power distribution through the construction of hydroelectric dams along the Salween River. The upper and lower Salween dam projects are proposed for construction on the section of the Salween River that is the border between Thailand and Burma, from the Salween Wildlife Sanctuary in Mae Sariang district to the Moei River in Tak Province. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is expected to fund and construct these dams. A joint Thai-Burmese government venture is also expected to be established to oversee the construction of these two dams. Environmental and social impact studies are expected to draw heavy opposition from human rights activists and environmentalists. Communities and conservation areas are both likely to be heavily affected by the construction of these two dams, their impact felt both in Thailand and Burma. EGAT are currently surveying the construction site for the Upper Salween Dam but have yet to start any feasibility studies for the Lower Salween Dam. It is unlikely that Burma will carry out any such studies on their side of the border..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Issues" Newsletter Volume 13 , Number 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2003

Title: Verbrannte Erde und Überflutungen: Staudammprojekte am Salween in Burma
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: Ein Artikel über die Aktivitäten der ADB in Burma, Staudammprojekte am Salween, Umweltkatastrophen, ölkologische Folgen der Staudammprojekte. activities of the ADB concerning Burma; environmental, ecological and sicial consequences of dam-projects
Author/creator: Daniel Apolinarski
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Burma Initiative Asienhaus
Format/size: pdf (99K)
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2003

Title: Swimming Against the Tide: Asian Development Bank Considers Supporting Burmese Dam Despite Unrest
Date of publication: August 2003
Description/subject: "At a time when the Burmese military regime has come under increasing international pressure following a violent attack on pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters, the Asian Development Bank is promoting a massive power grid fueled by hydropower dams in Burma, China and Laos - all places where public opposition is stifled. The power grid plan was unveiled just weeks after at least 70 people, mostly youth activists, were killed in the May 30 attack on Suu Kyi''s motorcade, according to eyewitness accounts. While the attack has drawn sharp criticism from around the world and threats of additional economic sanctions, the Asian Development Bank's grid plan would support one of Burma's most controversial dams..."
Author/creator: Susanne Wong
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rivers Network (World Rivers Review, Volume 18, Number 4, August 2003)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2003

Title: Trading Away the Future: The Mekong Power Grid
Date of publication: 20 June 2003
Description/subject: September 25, 2006 International River’s briefing paper outlines threats arising from the Mekong Power Grid scheme, proposed by the ADB, that would facilitate the construction of numerous hydropower schemes in Laos, Burma, and China’s Yunnan province to feed the power–hungry cities of Thailand and Vietnam. The briefing paper identifies alternative sustainable solutions that would satisfy the region’s energy needs, including the promotion of renewable energy technologies and the adoption of energy efficiency measures...."A quiet threat is brewing in the Mekong region. The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank are planning a regional power grid and electricity trading system that would undermine the fragile Mekong River ecosystem that millions depend on for their livelihoods and survival. Over 60 million people depend on the Mekong’s muddy waters for fish, irrigation, drinking water and many other critical human needs. The river is a symbol of life and fertility, considered the lifeblood of mainland Southeast Asia. But for institutions like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank, the river is a tempting resource that must be exploited. Their plans to create a regional power grid would lay the groundwork for an ambitious program of hydropower development. Power from some of the most controversial dam projects in China, Burma and Laos would be transmitted through the grid to the energy-hungry cities of Thailand and Vietnam. The ADB, World Bank and other institutions are eagerly promoting the regional power grid despite mounting evidence against hydropower. Internationally, hydropower projects have caused tremendous social and environmental problems and have often failed to produce as much power as predicted. In the Mekong region, many projects built during the last decade have left a legacy of damaged livelihoods, cultures and ecosystems in their wake. This devastation will increase if the Mekong power grid goes forward. This paper outlines the threats posed by the regional power grid, the poor experience with hydropower in the basin, and opportunities for sustainably and equitably meeting the region’s energy needs..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Rivers
Format/size: pdf (626.47K)
Date of entry/update: 15 July 2003

Title: Fatally flawed - The Tasang Dam on the Salween River
Date of publication: 07 May 2003
Description/subject: "Far from the public spotlight in northeast Burma lies Shan State, home to indigenous groups, diverse forests and animals, and Southeast Asia’s longest undammed river, the Salween. In this remote zone of civil war and conflict over resources, the Burmese military and an energy company from Thailand are developing the Tasang Dam, slated to be the tallest dam in Southeast Asia. Given the Burmese regime’s predilection for violence and disregard for human rights and environmental standards, the Tasang Dam, if built, would provoke forced labor, forced relocations, environmental destruction, and suppression of dissent. To date, public participation has been absent surrounding the project, and forced labor and portering have already been linked to the project and its security. The Tasang Dam project would be not only destructive but entirely unnecessary, a boondoggle that would benefit the Burmese generals and a few private companies while doing nothing to provide for the needs and aspirations of the people of Burma or Thailand. An inspiring resistance to the Tasang Dam in Burma is active, if underground, despite the notorious repression of the Burmese military regime. It is not too late to stop the Tasang Dam. It is not to late to save the Salween..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: EarthRights International
Format/size: pdf (460K)
Date of entry/update: 11 July 2012

Title: Tasang Dam Update (World Water Forum version)
Date of publication: March 2003
Description/subject: Current updates of hydroelectric power projects on the Salween River. Mainly based on wired reports in English.
Author/creator: Yuki Akimoto
Language: Japanese
Source/publisher: BurmaInfo
Format/size: html (20K), pdf (43K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmainfo.org/env/tasangupdate-3wwwf.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Tasang Dam Update #2
Date of publication: 29 January 2003
Description/subject: Current updates of hydroelectric power projects on the Salween River. Mainly based on wired reports in English.
Author/creator: Yuki Akimoto
Language: Japanese
Source/publisher: BurmaInfo
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmainfo.org (home page of publisher)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Tasang Dam Update #1
Date of publication: 23 December 2002
Description/subject: Current updates of hydroelectric power projects on the Salween River. Mainly based on wire reports in English.
Author/creator: Yuki Akimoto
Language: Japanese
Source/publisher: BurmaInfo
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/show.php?cat=2976&lo=d&sl=1
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: MDX plans dam on Salween
Date of publication: 13 December 2002
Description/subject: "MDX Plc, a local major construction group, is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Rangoon for the construction of a 3,600-megawatt hydro-power dam on the Salween River..."
Author/creator: Yuthana Praiwan. Translator Tetz Hakoda (BurmaInfo)
Language: Japanese, English
Source/publisher: Bangkok Post (Business News)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://journal.probeinternational.org/2002/12/13/mdx-plans-dam-salween/
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Zwangsumsiedlung für Staudammbau in Burma
Date of publication: December 2001
Description/subject: Für den Energieexport nach Thailand will Burmas Militärregierung einen Großstaudamm bauen, für den Tausende Angehörige der Shan umgesiedelt werden sollen. Der Tasang Staudamm soll am Fluss Salween im zentralen Shan Bundesstaat entstehen. Teile des Gebietes sind bereits entvölkert. Überblick der Geselschaft für bedrohte Völker über die Pläne zum Bau des Tasang-Staudamms und die Konsequenzen für die einheimische Bevölkerung und die Umwelt. key words: Tasang-dam, forced relocation, consequences for local population, environment
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker
Format/size: html (6,5K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.gfbv.de/fset_druck.php?doctype=inhaltsDok&docid=323
Date of entry/update: 08 January 2004

Title: DEADLY ENERGY (Mya Yadana Report)
Date of publication: September 1993
Description/subject: This report by Green November 32 in 1993 was the first ever NGO perspective report written on the Yadana gas pipeline and on the border dams as they were first discussed by Thai and Burmese governments around that time. It was actually one of the first detailed reports on any of the post 1988 environmental issues by any Burmese- or border- based organisation, and is of particular interest in the light of the current opposition to the Irrawaddy dam projects... "Officials of the Thai government and the SLORC military regime have for some years now been planning a series of huge energy joint ventures to be undertaken in some of the most fought over territory in Burma. The energy projects, if they are endorsed by the Thai Government - and implemented with the participation of Japanese and Western corporations - will have extremely serious, possibly even terminal repercussions for the Burmese pro-democracy movement which is based in these same areas of the Burma -Thai border. Indeed, this seems to be what a number of the proponents of the development projects intend to achieve, particularly the generals in Rangoon. The SLORC, as well as politicians, military men and businessmen in Thailand and abroad would garner great benefit from the destruction of the Burmese opposition groups along the border, and the opening of the way to even more unrestrained natural resource exploitation than is currently taking place. There are ten planned energy development joint ventures, comprising two offshore natural gasfield developments and eight hydro-electric dams. These are: •The Martaban Gasfield developments led by Total CFP of France •The Yetagun Gasfield exploratory program led by Texaco of the US •The Upper Salween Dam, •The Lower Salween Dam •The Nam Kok Project •The Nam Moei 3 Project •The Nam Moei 2 Project •The Klong Kra Project •The Nam Moei 1 Project, and •The Nam Mae Sai Project... The energy projects will lead to environmental and social havoc on a scale comparable to the largest development projects in the world. Indeed, the Upper Salween Dam will be among the largest in the world. Altogether the projects will directly result in the flooding and deforesting of thousands of square kilometers of the forests bordering Burma and Thailand. The projects will displace many thousands of indigenous peoples, some of them already refugees from the forty-five years of bloody civil war in Burma. Many have already been affected by military operations of the SLORC and Thai armies, operations which can easily be seen in the context of clearing the way for the development of the 820-1,000 kilometre gas pipeline or the construction of the eight dams... The energy projects will put billions of dollars into the control of an ultra-nationalist military regime that is one of the world's worst human rights violators and that is rapidly building up a large and extraordinarily aggressive army which poses a significant threat to the stability of the region. The massive input of funds from the Western and Japanese multinational oil and energy development companies, combined with the cheap sale and presents of Chinese weaponry, and the profits from the heroin traffic that the SLORC is alleged to control, has funded this huge expansion of the SLORC armed forces... The energy joint ventures will, if signed, mark the second and higher level of engagement in the much criticised ASEAN policy of "constructive engagement" towards the SLORC regime, which through the activities of the logging, oil and fishing companies have already caused untold damage to Burma's environment. The multinational corporations, the Keidanrens and the Thai state oil and electricity institutes PTT and EGAT are therefore amongst the most powerful influences supporting the SLORC in its brutal and undemocratic suppression of the peoples of Burma."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Green November 32
Format/size: pdf (1.3MB)
Date of entry/update: 24 September 2011