Fri 18 Apr 2014
Filed under: Human Rights,Inside Burma,News,Protest
A group of protestors who left Yangon for the confluence of the Ayeyawady River have continued on their protest march north after breaking for the Thingyan new year.
The march, which will cover hundreds of miles, aims to end the Chinese-backed Myitsone dam project which was suspended during President Thein Sein’s term in office.
Despite the suspension, government contractors and the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) have been busy lobbying to restart the project which is expected to export between 3,600 to 6,000 megawatts of electricity to Yunnan, China.
“Although the President said the termination of the project during his five-year term, we students and the people know CPI and companies are taking steps to continue the project,” said protest leader Ye Htut Khaing.
The protestors resumed their march from Myingyan on April 17 with two groups heading for Mandalay walking on both sides of the river.
Throughout their journey they have explained their cause to local residents shouting slogans calling to demolish the dam project and by singing folk songs which evoke historical and cultural ties to the river.
“Myanmar people by no means accept the continuation of this project,” added Ye Htut Khaing.
“But as our country is sitting at the door of a big nation [China] it is in some measure militarily, politically and economically dependent on it. This is adding pressure during this time of transition and reformation. Our march wants to see the end of the project and have internal peace.”
The protestors left Yangon on March 23 and arrived Myingyan on April 12, stopping for medical treatment before their departure in two groups on either side of Ayeyawady River on April 17.