AROUND 50 residents in Myitkyina township staged a protest against Chinese Ambassador Hong Liang over attempts to negotiate the controversial dam project in the state.
The protest comes a day after a Chinese delegation comprising the ambassador and members of the China Power Investment (CPI) corporation visited residents who were relocated due to the dam project.
The protest took place around 9 am outside the Palm Spring Resort in Myitkyina while the delegation is holding discussions at the resort with local authorities comprising Kachin State Chief Minister Dr Khet Aung and Chair of Kachin State Democracy Party Dr Tu Ja.
“The Chinese ambassador visited Aung Myay Thar Model village where residents who were relocated for the Myitson Dam project. At meeting with the residents, he told them that they would negotiate the objections to the dam project and the project would be carried out in line with the will of the local people,” said Daw Jor Khawn, a local.
“However, the residents did not get a chance to have their voices heard at the meeting. That’s why they have come here and staged the protest”, she added.
Following the protest, Liu Zhan, General Manager of the State Power Investment Corporation-SPIC of China, who participated in the meeting yesterday morning, said the company has urged the authorities concerned to settle the issue as soon as possible. The project should not be delayed any longer due to the huge level of investment, he said.
He also called on the government to make the facts in the contract public ensuring transparency.
State-controlled SPIC is the product of a merger last June between the China Power Investment Corporation and the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation. Wearing headbands that read ‘No Dam’ and carrying banners that said ‘No more destruction of our home land” “CPI, get out of Kachin State” and “stop killing the Irrawaddy”, staged the protest standing side by side on a platform outside the resort.
Dr Tu Ja told The Irrawaddy after the meeting that he urged them to do what residents wish, but CPI would stick to the contract and that if Myanmar wanted to terminate the project, it would have to pay a large amount of money as compensation.
Mang Ngai, Zaw Gyi