Kachins demand to stop damming the Irrawaddy

The most recent war between Kachin Independent Army and Burmese Military broke out in the pretext of dam security by Burmese Military. KIA sent an appeal letter to Beijing to stop dam construction in Irrawaddy river’s Myitsone confluence (Malizup in Kachin). In its letter to China’s president, KIA made it clear that if dam construction continued at Malizup, civil war would break out inevitably. China Power Investment and Burma’s Asia World Company is building a massive 3,600 MW hydropower plant with the permission of Burmese Military without listening to the voices of local Kachins and environmental experts.

Malizup is an important culture landmark for Kachin people and regarded as cultural and natural heritage. Many Kachin legends originated from Malizup including the story Dragon and his two sons Hkrai Nawng and Hkrai Gam.

Because of dam construction in Malizup, Kachin villagers from surrounding areas were forced to relocate to infertile lands. 60 Kachin villages and 15,000 villagers were relocated so far.

Many Kachins say that they are glad to see growing China’s economy as local Kachins in Burma and China benefited from China’s rise as a global power. But the rise of China’ economic power also made Kachin people to become deeper into suffering. Kachins around the world  are demanding China to be a more responsible power and maintain stability and harmony in the border areas.