PRESS RELEASE: Save the Mekong Coalition Calls on ASEAN Leaders: Cancel the Xayaburi Dam

[6 May 2011]

As ASEAN leaders meet for the 18th ASEAN Summit inJakarta, Indonesia, the Save the Mekong coalition calls on ASEAN leaders to act immediately to cancel the Xayaburi Dam in Lao PDR. The call is made in close cooperation with the ASEAN Civil Society Conference (ACSC)/ASEAN People’s Forum (APF) 2011 held from 2-5 May, where 1,300 people have gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Save the Mekong coalition and its alliances have called on the Government of Lao PDR to immediately halt construction activity at the dam site and for the Government of Thailand to cancel its plans to purchase the dam’s electricity. This call has received strong support from many civil society organizations at the ACSC/APF 2011 who have also been demanding since 2009 that ASEAN adopt a Fourth Pillar on the Environment.

Two weeks ago, the inter-governmental Mekong River Commission (MRC) helda Special Joint Committee meeting to decide whether to approve theproposed Xayaburi Dam, located on the Mekong River’s mainstream in Northern Lao PDR. At the meeting, whilst Lao PDR proposed to proceed with the dam, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam called for an extension to the decision-making process citing concerns about transboundary impacts and knowledge gaps that require further study and public consultation. The four governments agreed to defer the decision to a future Ministerial-level meeting. Yet, the Save the Mekong coalition fears that the project is in fact continuing to move forward given a recent investigative report by the Bangkok Post on 17 April, which revealed that preliminary construction work had already started at the dam site and the process for further regional discussion remains unclear.

Joining a public hearing on Corporate Social Responsibility and ASEAN organized at the ACSC/APF 2011 on 2 May, Sodsai Sangsok of Thailand’s Northeastern Environmental Network stated to the public forum that “ASEAN’s Human Rights Mechanism should acknowledge the fact that the Xayaburi Dam is the main threat to the livelihoods of Mekong people, and take action upon it.”

Furthermore, at a forum at the ACSC/APF 2011 on the ASEAN experience ofprotecting rivers and people’s livelihoods, Nguy Thi Khanh, the Coordinator of the Vietnam Rivers Network stated “The Mekong mainstream should never be used as a test case for proving and improving large dam hydropower technologies. Rather, ASEAN should play a role in facilitating development partners to promote alternative solutions for the region’s water and energy needs, thus helping to ensure sustainable development and the prosperity of the region.”

Another key issue discussed at the ACSC/APF 2011 was the need to reviewnational power development plans and strategies, especially the proposedASEAN Power Grid. ACSC/APF 2011 participants suggested that the ASEAN Power Grid plan should focus on the sustainability of ASEAN states and ASEAN as a whole, rather than only serving the private sector’s benefit.

Many groups from around the Mekong region have called for the Xayaburi Dam to be cancelled and for ASEAN to play more of a role in resolving differences between Mekong countries. Continue reading “PRESS RELEASE: Save the Mekong Coalition Calls on ASEAN Leaders: Cancel the Xayaburi Dam”

Thai coal mining in Burma considers handing over its products to China

Thai-Burma Relations
A Thai coal mining company, Saraburi, a subsidiary of Ital-Thai that was granted a 30 year coal concession in Shan State East’s Mongkok sub-township, Monghsat township, 70km north of Thailand’s Chiangrai border, told a meeting held in Chiangrai province yesterday that it was considering passing on its coal products to China if people in Thailand continued opposing the project, according to Thailand’s Manager Online.Thai officials together with the company held the meeting on at Mae Sai’s custom department building over the company’s plan to transport coal shipments from the Mongkok mine through conflict zones inside Shan State and through unaffected areas in northern Thailand to the city of Saraburi in central Thailand where it will be used as fuel in cement factories.The Burma Army had made a condition for Saraburi to construct a new route across the border despite the existence of a shorter 70-80 km route inside Burma’s Tachilek to Thailand’s Maesai, in exchange for the coal concession. Continue reading “Thai coal mining in Burma considers handing over its products to China”

In honour of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) is recalling Aung San Suu Kyi’s dictums.

In honour of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) is recalling Aung San Suu Kyi’s dictums.

10.May 2011

1: “Words need to be back up by Action”

“There have been many words supporting democracy, and we are duly grateful for them, because we do not underestimate the power of words. But words need to be backed up by action — by action that is united and that is focused on essentials. Only by such action will we be able to realize our democratic aspirations”. (Aung San Suu Kyi)

2: The results of the 1990 General Elections must be implemented 

“That the results of the 1990 General Elections must be implemented is a resolution already taken by the United Nations. We already know that the General Assembly of the United Nations has accepted the notion that the will of the people has been expressed in the 1990 General Elections. This is something we can not abandon. It will be to the detriment of our country if after an election has been held the results are not honoured and we do not resist attempts to trivialise it.”

3: Aung San Suu Kyi on United Nations Role in Burma 

“United Nations in Burma, as elsewhere, is to promote the articles of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and, through establishing the universality of human rights, to bring peace to the world.”

4: Aung San Suu Kyi’s Vision On People Of BURMA

Here is what I want most for my people: I want the security of genuine freedom and the freedom of genuine security. I would like to see the crippling fetters of fear removed, that the people of Burma may be able to hold their heads high as free human beings. I would like to see them striving in unity and joy to build a safer, happier society for us all.  Continue reading “In honour of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) is recalling Aung San Suu Kyi’s dictums.”

အၿငိမ္းစားယူခဲ့သည့္ DKBA တပ္ဖဲြ႕၀င္ေဟာင္းမ်ားအား အသက္အႏၱရာယ္ ၿခိမ္းေျခာက္ခံရ

ေမလ ၉ရက္။ ေစာသိန္းျမင့္ (ေကအုိင္စီ)

အၿငိမ္းစားယူခဲ့သည့္ DKBA တပ္ဖဲြ႕၀င္ေဟာင္းမ်ားအား အသက္အႏၱရာယ္ ၿခိမ္းေျခာက္ခံရ

နယ္ျခားေစာင့္တပ္ (BGF) မဖဲြ႔စည္းခင္ အသက္အရြယ္ေၾကာင့္ အၿငိမ္းစားယူခဲ့သည့္ တုိးတက္ေသာ ဗုဒၶဘာသာ ကရင္အမ်ဳိးသား တပ္မေတာ္ DKBA တပ္ဖဲြ႕၀င္ေဟာင္းမ်ားသည္ ယခုအခ်ိန္တြင္ အသက္အႏၱရာယ္ ၿခိမ္းေျခာက္မႈမ်ား ႀကံဳေတြ႕ေနရေၾကာင္း လြတ္ ေျမာက္နယ္ေျမသို႔ ယေန႔ ထြက္ေျပးေရာက္ရွိလာသည့္ DKBA တပ္မွဴးေဟာင္းတစ္ဦးက ေျပာသည္။

ယခင္ DKBA တပ္မဟာ(၉၉၉) လက္ေအာက္ခံ တပ္ရင္း(၃)မွ ဗုိလ္မွဴးေဟာင္း ေစာမုဆုိး (ေခၚ) ထာကလယ္က နယ္ျခားေစာင့္ တပ္ ေျပာင္းလဲဖဲြ႕စည္းၿပီးေနာက္ပုိင္း သတ္မွတ္ထားသည့္အရြယ္ေက်ာ္လြန္ကာ အနားယူခဲ့သည့္ တပ္မွဴးတပ္သားမ်ားႏွင့္ ကိုယ္ လက္အဂၤါခ်ဳိ႕တဲ့သူမ်ားမွာ လက္ရွိ BGF တပ္မွဴးအခ်ဳိ႕၏ မယုံသကၤာမႈျဖင့္ ေစာင့္ၾကည့္ခံရသည့္အျပင္ အသက္အႏၱရာယ္ကိုပါ ၿခိမ္း ေျခာက္သည္အထိ ကိုယ္တိုင္ ႀကံဳေတြ႕ခဲ့ရေၾကာင္း ေကအုိင္စီကို ယခုလို ေျပာသည္။

၎က “က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ေတြ အသက္ျပည့္လို႔ အနားယူၾကေပမယ့္ သူတုိ႔ေတြ မယုံၾကည္ၾကဘူး။ ဗုိလ္ႏႈတ္ခမ္းေမႊးအဖဲြ႕ထဲကို သြားမ လား။ KNU နဲ႔ သြားေပါင္းမလားေပါ႔။ အၿမဲတမ္း ေစာင့္ၾကည့္ခံရတယ္။ ဒါေတာင္မကဘူး။ လူကိုယ္တုိင္လာၿပီး ခင္ဗ်ားတုိ႔ ေကာင္း ေကာင္းေနၾကေနာ္။ ေကာင္းေကာင္းမေနရင္ ေတြ႕ၿပီးသာမွတ္ဆိုၿပီး လာၿခိမ္းေျခာက္တယ္။ အခန္႔မသင့္ရင္ သတ္တဲ့အထိလုပ္ ၾကေတာ့ က်ေနာ္လည္း ဒီဘက္ကို ထြက္ေျပးလုိက္တယ္ေပါ႔။”ဟု ေျပာသည္။

အဆိုပါ ဗိုလ္မွဴးေဟာင္း ရည္ၫႊန္းသည့္ တပ္မွဴးမ်ားမွာ ယခင္ DKBA တပ္မဟာ(၉၉၉)ေအာက္မွ တပ္ရင္းမွဴးအခ်ဳိ႕ျဖစ္ၿပီး ၎ႏွင့္ နီးစပ္ခဲ့သည့္ လက္ရွိ နယ္ျခားေစာင့္(၁၀၁၆) တပ္ရင္းမွဴးျဖစ္သူ ဗိုလ္မွဴးျမတ္ခိုင္မွာလည္း သူ၏တပ္ဖဲြ႕၀င္မ်ား ေကအဲန္ယူ (သုိ႔မ ဟုတ္) ဗိုလ္မွဴးခ်ဳပ္ေစာလားပြယ္၏တပ္ဖဲြ႕ထံသုိ႔ သြားေရာက္ပူးေပါင္းခဲ့ပါက ထိုသူမ်ား ပိုင္ဆုိင္ရာပစၥည္းမ်ားကို သိမ္းဆည္းသည့္ အျပင္ ဦးစီးကြပ္ကဲသူကိုပါ သတ္ပစ္သည္ဟု ေစာမုဆုိးက ေျပာသည္။

“ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့လတုန္းက ျမတ္ခုိင္ရဲ႕အဖဲြ႕ တပ္ခဲြ(၃)က လူေတြ တပ္ခဲြတစ္ခဲြလုံးနီးပါး ေကာ္သူးေလဆီကို လက္နက္ေတြနဲ႔ သြားပူးေပါင္း တယ္။ ဒါနဲ႔ ကိုယ့္လူကိုယ္မထိန္းရေကာင္းလားဆုိၿပီး တပ္ခဲြ(၃) တပ္ခဲြမွဴးသိန္းေရႊကို သတ္ပစ္လုိက္တယ္။ ထြက္ေျပးသြားတဲ့သူ ေတြနဲ႔ နီးစပ္တဲ့သူေတြကိုလည္း လက္နက္သိမ္းပစ္လုိက္တယ္။”ဟု ေျပာသည္။

အသက္ ၅၃ႏွစ္ရွိ ေစာမုဆုိး (ေခၚ) ထာကလယ္သည္ ယခင္က ဒီေကဘီေအ တပ္မဟာ ၉၉၉မွ တပ္ရင္း(၃)တြင္ ဒုရင္းမွဴးအျဖစ္ တာ၀န္ယူခဲ့ၿပီး နယ္ျခားေစာင့္တပ္ မေျပာင္းခင္ကတည္းက တာ၀န္မွ အနားယူခဲ့သည့္ေနာက္ပိုင္း ၎ကိုယ္တိုင္လည္း ဗုိလ္မွဴး ျမတ္ခုိင္၏ ႀကံစည္သတ္ျဖတ္မႈကို မၾကာခဏ ႀကံဳေတြ႕ခဲ့ရသည္ဟု ေျပာသည္။

နယ္ျခားေစာင့္တပ္ဖဲြ႕၀င္မ်ား၏ အသက္အႏၱရာယ္ ၿခိမ္းေျခာက္ခံရမႈ၊ ခက္ခဲၾကပ္တည္းမႈေၾကာင့္ ထြက္ေျပးေရာက္ရွိလာသည့္ ဒီေကဘီေအ တပ္မွဴးတပ္သားမ်ားကို အၿမဲႀကိဳဆိုေၾကာင္း ကရင္အမ်ဳိးသားလြတ္ေျမာက္ေရးတပ္မေတာ္ KNLA တပ္ရင္း(၁၀၁) တပ္ရင္းမွဴး ဒုဗုိလ္မွဴးႀကီးေစာေဖာဒိုက ထုတ္ေဖာ္ေျပာဆိုသည္။

DKBA တပ္ဖြဲ႕၀င္မ်ားသည္ ၿပီးခဲ့သည့္ ၂၀၁၀ခုႏွစ္ ၾသဂုတ္လအတြင္း နယ္ျခားေစာင့္တပ္ ေျပာင္းလဲဖြဲ႕စည္းသူမ်ား၊ အနားယူသြားခဲ့ သည့္ သက္ႀကီးရြယ္အိုမ်ားႏွင့္ ကိုယ္လက္အဂၤါပ်က္စီးသြားသူူမ်ား၊ ႏိုင္ငံေရးပါတီတြင္း ပါ၀င္သြားသူမ်ားအျပင္ စစ္တပ္ကို ျပန္ လည္တိုက္ခိုက္ေနသည့္ ကလို႔ထူးေဘာ အေျခစိုက္ ဒီေကဘီေအတပ္ဖဲြ႕ဟူ၍ ကြဲျပားသြားခဲ့သည္။

WAR_Updated Shan News 10.may

10 May 2011
A business woman, Ma Ngwe, over 40, shot to death by unknown gunman, at 19:00, 6 May, at her home quarters in Maekhao, Tachilek City. She was a well known “mamasan” and reputed to be a go-between between “Golden Triangle Godfather” Naw Kham and the local police force. (SHAN)


10 May 2011
A tolaji (farm tractor) commandeered by Light Infantry Battalion 422 commander and troops ambushed by Shan State Army (SSA) “South” in Hsadaw tract, Mongkeung township yesterday evening, 16:30-17:00. 11 killed, including the civilian driver, and 8 wounded, according to Thai-Burma border security source. No confirmation or denial by the SSA. (SHAN)

Name of groups providing assistance to the quake victims in Shan State


II. Others include:
1. World Vision Drinking water
2. Taiwan Tzuchi Foundation Buckets, blankets, mosquito nets, K 100,000 for each dead victim and K 50,000 for each unliveable house
3. Shan Nationalities Democratic Party Food and kitchen tools
4. Shan Literary and Culture Society Food and Kitchen tools

10 May 2011
Name of groups providing assistance to the quake victims

I. Myanmar authorities
1. Dr Sai Mawk Kham Vice president #2 K 400,000 for each house totally destroyed and K 200,000 for each “unliveable” house
2. Government K 100,000 for each dead victim over 18 and K50,000 for each under 18
3. Myanmar Red Cross Kitchen tools, tents, knives and blankets
4. Union Solidarity and Development Party Food