By Myo Thu Aung
myitsone, May 13, 2016
Residents in the Myitsone Dam project area have urged President Htin Kyaw and the new government to end the Myitsone project so that relocated villagers can return to their villages
“If the new government does not end this project, how must we, the residents, live? Our hearts are pounding. I want to cry. We have suffered repeatedly from troubles. If the project is not cancelled, I am sure that I will die there,” Ja Hkaung, whose farmland in Tan Hpe village was confiscated due to the project, said in a press conference.
1,080 residents sent a request letter on May 10 to President Htin Kyaw, urging the government to stop the Myitsone project immediately, to arrange for residents to return to their villages, and to immediately revoke section 144 of the Penal Code.
437 households (2,575 people) from Ma Zwak, Tan Hpe, La Hpae, Daung Pan, Aung Ja Yan and Dainguzuak villages in the project area were forced to move between 2009-2010.
Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited set up a new village named Aungmyintha Sanpya for the villagers who had to move. But people cannot work farmland there so they have to struggle to secure their livelihoods, according to residents.
“We believe that the new government will solve our problems,” said Lu Ra, who currently lives in Tan Hpe village.
The Myitsone Dam project was agreed between China’s CPI company and the previous military junta. The project was postponed under the previous government led by Thein Sein.
This story was produced in collaboration with The Mekong Eye and Mekong Matters Journalism Network, with full editorial control to the journalist and their outlet.