» 09/06/2014, 00.00
CHINA - MYANMAR - THAILAND
Chinese dams on Thanlwin River threaten livelihood of Burmese villages
The alarm raised by Chinese, Burmese and Thai scholars at seminar in Mon state. The dams already present in the upper part of the river, in Chinese territory, have altered the course of the river and caused an increase in salt water. Fishing at risk as well as the survival of entire villages.
Yangon (AsiaNews /
Agencies) - A group of Chinese, Burmese and
Thai scholars currently holding a seminar in Mon State, southern
Myanmar, have raised the alarm about plans - under
development - to build six
dams on the Thanlwin River. Over 200 researchers and academics are attending a seminar at Moulmein University, to
share the latest discoveries in
the social and environmental impact of mega structures.
In particular, attention has focused on the consequences for the inhabitants of the communities living along the river, the longest in Indochina after the Mekong.
They also traveled to
nearby villages to ask how local residents have been affected by dams already
built upstream in China.
The workshop was organized by the Renewable Energy Association Myanmar (Ream), the Mekong Energy and Ecology Network (Mee Net) and Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance
academics said the livelihoods of farmers were being threatened not only by the
dams, but also by the chemical industries and hydropower industries developed
Meanwhile, the construction of dams in the upper part
of the Thanlwin River, in China, has already resulted
in a change in the current, which has led to an increase of the salt water in the main river and
its tributaries. The increased salinity of the water has caused soil erosion and, over
the years, resulted in the
disappearance of entire villages and islands in the delta
of the Gulf of Martaban, at the
mouth of the river (which rises in the
highlands of Tibet) in the
South Myanmar, together with large
tracts of agricultural land.
Min Min Nwe, a
coordinator for a Mon development group who helped organize the workshop, notes that waste from chemical
industries has seeped into the river, harming fish and prawns while affecting
the growth rate of insects and sails, which are damaging crops. He says "at farms along the Thanlwin River, large snails are
destroying the rice paddies".
Of the six dams
planned for the river, two would be in Shan State (construction has already
begun on one of these), while one would be in Kayah State and three would be in
Karen State. Experts say once the Thanlwin river is dammed
upstream, the people living downstream, will see a rise in tide and
deforestation, while animals like fish and birds will perish. The researchers would like to "avoid" such a
scenario and have delivered a
comprehensive report to Parliament
on the effects of dams.
Bangkok, activists and citizens file suit to stop Xayaburi dam
The inhabitants of the eight provinces file injunction suit with Administrative judge. They aim to stop construction of the controversial mega-plant, to be built in Laotian territory. For the Court, the people "have the right" to defend the environment and their livelihoods, which must be "balanced" with economic development.
30/06/2006 MYANMAR - THAILAND - CHINA
Myanmar: Karen oppose dam that will benefit government and hit people hard
The Hat Gyi dam in Karen state will be constructed as a joint venture between Thailand, Myanmar and China; the three countries are keeping project details secret. Thousands of Karen villagers have already been displaced with the help of the Burmese army.
06/04/2010 THAILAND – CHINA – VIETNAM
Mekong nations meet after 15 years
The second summit of the Mekong River Commission, which includes Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, ended yesterday with a joint statement on a common action plan to develop the river. Delegates from Myanmar and China attend the meeting as ‘dialogue partners’. Beijing rejects accusations that its hydropower development is harming the river basin.
Three Gorges Dam inaugurated
After 13 years of work, the "most imposing public work in the country after the Great Wall" has been completed. To build it, the government displaced around two million people, destroyed valuable architectural works and risks flooding with refuse those cities touching the river .
More than 312 million farmers have no drinking water
The water contains fluorine, arsenic, and other chemical substances, according to the Minister of Water Resources. Sugai, a small village flooded by the chemical waste of two mills, is a case in point.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
13/02/2017 CHINA - VATICAN
14/02/2017 UNITED NATIONS - SYRIA
15/02/2017 LEBANON - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.