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Stop Damnable Damming of Salween River


Today, 28th of February 2007, is the Global Day of Action to protests against Salween River Dams can seriously damage environment as well as cause damage to the lives of ethnic people living in the locality.

(People protesting against Salween River Dams)

(People praying for stopping of Salween Dam Projects)

As groups of Thai academics, with armed Burmese military escorts, continue to survey the planned Hat Gyi dam site on the Salween River in Karen State, Karen Rivers Watch urges the Thai government to immediately call off its plans to build dams on the Salween River.

(Salween River)

Two groups of professors from Thailand's Chulalongkorn University traveled to the dam site in the last week of January 2007, to conduct environmental impact assessments, under the guard of Burma Army troops. The area has been under increased security since May 2006, when a Thai employee of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) stepped on a land-mine and later died of his injuries.

(Salween River Dams map)

The Hat Gyi dam lies in the middle of a war-zone, where the Burmese regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has launched a renewed military offensive since late 2005. The regime has been using scorched earth tactics to seize control of Papun District, formerly a Karen-controlled territory, which lies in the flood zone of the planned Hat Gyi dam. Over the past 15 years, 210 villages have been destroyed, and half of the population, about 50,000 people, driven into Thailand or other parts of Burma. About 35,000 people, 60% of the remaining population, live in hiding in the jungles.

«The Thai professors surveying at gunpoint are just getting a taste of the reality of damming in a war-zone. Building the Hat Gyi dam is going to mean even more soldiers, more guns and more land-mines. Does Thailand really want to be part of this?» said by Saw Karen the member of Karen Rivers Watch.

EGAT signed a memorandum of understanding on 26th June, 2006 in Beijing, together with China's Sino hydro Group to jointly develop the Hat Gyi hydropower dam.

Karen Rivers Watch is urging Thailand's EGAT and China's Sino hydro to immediately stop their plans to jointly develop the Hat Gyi dam in Karen State.

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