Ethnic Armed Groups, Locals To Enforce Relocation Of Irrawaddy Myitsone Villagers

Adopting an aggressive posture on relocation, the junta has ordered the militia and local people to force villagers to shift from near the Irrawaddy Myitsone dam project site as of May 1.

The Kachin State Peace and Development Council (KSPDC) based in Myitkyina the capital of Kachin State, released an order on May 1 telling all 58 quarters in the city to help out. Ten people from each quarter will work on the relocation of the villagers.

The order stated that People’s Militia group also known as Lawyang and Gwi Htu Militia groups transformed from former Lasang Awng Wa peace group, and the Border Guard Force, which is transformed from the New Democratic Army Kachin (NDA-K) led by Zahkung Ting Ying and the northern commander of the military junta will be responsible for the security of these workers.

The workers are tasked with forcing the resident to relocate and if they refuse they will pull down houses and churches.

More than 15,000 people are to be relocated for the dam project, said environmentalists.

The leaders of two Kachin ethnic armed groups, which transformed to the People’s Militia and BGF, Lasang Awng Wa and Zahkung Ting Ying have been granted several business permits after they accepted the junta’s proposal to toe its line on the transformation.

They are now permitted by the junta to plunder all natural resources, including gold and timber from Myitsone to Shang Ngaw as of February this year.

The two leaders signed agreements on February 8.

The junta has made new plans to relocate villagers after fresh Chinese dam construction workers arrived after the serial blasts.

At a meeting on May 16 in Tang Hpre village near Myitsone, 27 miles north of Myitkyina it was decided to forcibly relocate residents, who refuse to budge from their villages. The meeting was attended by the administrators of Myitkyina and Waingmaw townships, villagers said.

Four Kachin villages close to the dam site --- Tang Hpre, N-gan, Dawng Pan and Gwi Htau are to be forcibly relocated but the regime is yet to announce the deadline, said residents.

At least 27 bombs exploded in Myitsone Irrawaddy dam construction site on April 17 killing four and injuring more than 12 Chinese workers. The workers fled to mainland China in the wake of the blasts.

There was severe damage to the main office of the Asia World Company.

The junta arrested and interrogated hundreds of people including almost all villagers from Tang Hpre village after the blasts.

On May 1 the regime in Kachin State released Red Posters announcing rewards to anyone providing information about the perpetrators of the blasts. It offered 5 million kyats (US$5,102), a CDMA phone and plot of land.

A sketch of the bomb blast suspect was released by No. 1 Police Station in Myitkyina on April 20 and at least 48 people with similarities to the sketch were detained.

The Myitsone hydropower project officially got off the ground on December 21, last year and is being jointly implemented by Burma’s Asia World Company, Ministry of Electric Power 1 of the junta and China owned China Power Investment Corporation (CPI). It will produce an estimated 6,000 MW of electricity to be sold to China.

Source: Kachin News

Map location of the Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam, Burma/Myanmar

Tags: Burma  Myanmar  dams  hydropower  relocation  

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