August 19, 2016

An outstanding issue that can’t wait

It goes without saying that governance is considered to be democratic only when its institutions are transparent and accountable to the people, with no discrimination on the grounds of religion, race and gender. Accordingly, a government is clean only when its cabinet members avoid corruption and interference in legal procedures and trust an independent judiciary with the responsibility to administer the laws, interpret them and translate them into practice so as to ensure the rule of law across the country.
On the other hand, lack of transparency and accountability will undermine the government’s efficiency. Weaknesses in governance will give rise to corruption, which is often seen as the root cause of deficiencies in development projects. A glance at history is adequate enough to notice that violence reigns where poverty prevails.
No doubt that many outstanding issues await the new government in such a manner to challenge its leadership. It is, therefore, absolutely vital to discriminate between problems that require urgent attention and those that can wait.
One sensitive issue is none but the controversial Myitsone dam project at the confluence of the Maykha and Malikha rivers in Kachin State, which President U Thein Sein shelved in 2011 as he could not afford to be indifferent to a storm of protest from the public and environmental activists. The project is a joint venture between the outgone government and Beijing-based China Power Investment Corporation (CPI).
Given the importance of the country’s riverbed and the environmental destruction the project may trigger, we cannot afford any more delays in protecting our beloved River Ayeyawady against commercial exploitations.


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