Following is an unofficial translation of the press release of the commission.
1. The President’s Office formed a commission under Order 58/2016 on 12 August 2016 to review and scrutinise the hydropower projects at the confluence of the Ayeyawady river.
2. The commission held its first meeting on 22-23 August, its second on 29-30 August, its third on 5-6 September and its fourth on 9 September. The facts related to the projects were discussed and coordinated.
3. The commission is still engaged in the review and scrutiny of the documents related to the hydropower projects at the Ayeyawady confluence from different perspectives. In this respect, the commission will collaborate not only with local experts but also foreign experts, as necessary.
4. The commission visited Myitkyina on 15 September to conduct a field survey at the Myitsone hydropower dam project.
During the field trip, the commission discussed project-related issues with officials of the Kachin State government, followed by a coordination meeting among the members of the commission.
5. The members of the commission visited the Myitsone hydropower dam project on 16 September and were given briefings by officials of China Power Investment Corporation on the undertakings of the project. The members of the commission went to the project-affected villages of Aungmyintha and Maliyan, where they met village elders and villagers and asked them about their opinion of the dam project.
6. The members of the commission visited the Chiphwenge hydropower project on 17 September, which was constructed to supply power to the projects at the Ayeyawady confluence, where officials of China Power Investment Corporation briefed them on the arrangement for power supply for the hydropower project.
7. The members of the commission kept complete records of the attitudes expressed by the elders, officials and residents of Myitkyina on 19 September.
8. The commission is striving to prepare a report of its findings, which is scheduled to be submitted to the President on 11 November this year. Its report will reflect the impact of the implementation of the projects on the social environment and the ecosystems, the sustainability of the Ayeyawady river and the risks of its water resources; it will review whether or not the projects should continue, seek to coordinate ways to enjoy mutual benefits between Myanmar and the foreign investor, and encompass the sentiments and attitudes voiced by local residents and social organisations.
9. In addition, the commission will arrange for an initial report for submission to the President, if need be, prior to the submission of its first report.—GNLM