TAUNGGYI- The locals coming from northern Shan State protested against the meeting with some CSOs and governmental departments at the Taunggyi Township, southern Shan State for explanation of research into construction of dams on the rivers, according to sources.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) hosted a meeting at Mountain Star Hotel in Taunggyi Township on September 12th with the relevant departments and some CSOs concerning planning and management and feasibility assessment about the development of renewable energy in river basin areas .
While the meeting was held, locals from Northern Shan State staged a protest against dam construction on the Namtu River because no one get the local approvals for construction dam project on Namtu River.
The protest was led by locals from northern Shan State, Namkhon Students’ Network, Than Lwin Brotherhood Group, Mong Pan Youth Team and Shan State Peace Task Force.
“We supported the protest because the construction of dams on the rivers damaged the natural environment and farmlands. IFC is one of the organizations which had invested in the dam construction projects. Even an organization like the World Bank has opposed the dam construction project,” said Myo Min Latt from Mong Pan Youth Team.
“Everybody knows about the offensive clashes took place in northern Shan State. Meanwhile, the development tasks are in need. Surly, it is needed to hold the discussion and to meet with the locals. Now, they don’t hold the meetings but they research into feasibility study in Taunggyi with the approval of locals. They[organizations] knew about the rules and regulations concerning the research. Their actions impact upon the peace activities. The current time is vulnerable to the political and military affairs. Moreover, they ignored the local interest and nation’s peace process. The locals came to Taunggyi Township from northern Shan State with the aim to protest against the dam construction in their region. If they love the Shan State and nation as well as if they want to get the peace, they must be avoided above the acts. Don’t sell the Shan State for their interest. All have responsibility for defending and maintaining the peace process in the Shan State,” said Director Wint Hte Kaung Myat from Shan State Peace Task Force.
Concerning the protest, Dr Lwin Lwin Wai from Stakeholder Consultation Specialist also said that it was a misunderstanding. The IFC can’t make the decision so they can’t give the permission to implement the dam projects. But, they showed their research and findings about the dams to the public and then they collected the remarks from the Shan State-based departments and CSOs. Moreover, they were going to submit their research and findings.