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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 10/02/2008 13:47
MYANMAR - CHINA
Myanmar, Kachin rebels oppose dams on Chinese border
The pro-independence group denounces the population's lack of involvementin the construction of new hydroelectric plants. They have blocked the work, but have withdrawn their militias after the payment of a "tax". Environmentalists fear possible damage to the ecosystem.

Yangon (AsiaNews) - The Kachin pro-independence movement is opposing the construction of a series of hydroelectric dams along the northern border between Myanmar and China. This is revealed by sources close to the ethnic rebel group which, despite signing a peace agreement with the Burmese junta in 1994, exercises substantial control over the area and frequently engages in armed clashes with government troops.

The Kachin denounce their lack of involvement in the agreement, signed in 2007, between the ruling dictatorship and executives of the multinational China Datang Corporation; the agreement provides for the construction of nine hydroelectric plants along the Chinese border.

Tension broke out two weeks ago over the refusal on the part of Chinese authorities to pay a sort of "construction tax" to the leaders of the ethnic rebels; in response, the rebels sent militia groups to the construction sites to block work on the dams. Tarpein 1 and Tarpein 2 are the first two in a series of nine dams planned by the Burmese energy ministry, in collaboration with Chinese companies. They take their name from the river that runs through the northern city of Momauk, and once they begin functioning, they will provide 240 and 168 megawatts respectively.

Sources close to the pro-independence movement confirm that the work resumed a week ago, after the payment of 1.5 million yuan (a little more than 220,000 dollars) by executives of the construction companies. The agreement was overseen by the new commander of the northern brigade, General Soe Win, who mediated between the parties, permitting work to resume.

In addition to the economic interests and control of the territory involved, the Burmese-Chinese project has unleashed protests from environmentalists who are afraid of serious repercussions for the environment. "The fear", reveals environmental expert Naw La in interview with the Irrawaddy, "is that the local population is not being involved in the project, and must pay the consequences. The benefits will go only to the Burmese government and to the Chinese companies, while the inhabitants of the villages will suffer serious damage from deforestation and flooding".

The most important of the nine hydroelectric plants being built is the one in Myitsone: it will be located 42 kilometers north of Myitkyina, capital of the state of Kachin, and will produce about 3,600 megawatts of electricity.


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See also
03/25/2011 VIETNAM
Damming the Mekong: water and food at risk for millions of people
by Thanh Thuy
09/22/2009 CHINA
China to build its first foreign nuclear plant
02/15/2008 THAILAND - MYANMAR
Leader of Burma’s biggest rebel group killed
02/09/2009 RUSSIA - CENTRAL ASIA
Moscow having trouble maintaining role of "hegemony" in Central Asia
04/03/2008 INDIA - MYANMAR
India and Myanmar: economic cooperation in the millions

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I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
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FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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