Burma: Foreign investment is a catalyst for conflict

Foreign investments are causing increasing conflict and abuses in northern Burma, despite recent ceasefire agreements and talk of reform in the country, according to a briefing paper released today by an ethnic Ta’ang group.

Catalyst for Conflict by the Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO) documents how Burma Army soldiers deployed to secure Chinese mega projects, including oil and gas pipelines and hydropower dams, have been threatening, extorting money from, and killing local villagers since January this year. I

In March, two villagers coming back from fishing near a Chinese dam site were interrogated and killed by Burmese soldiers patrolling the site, says the report.

Since December 2011, oaccording to TSYO over 1000 men, women and children have become internally displaced, sheltering in Nam Kham and Mantong. Many have also fled to China to escape the war.

“Foreign investors are cold-bloodedly fuelling war in Burma” said Mai Khroue Dang of TSYO. “All mega projects should be suspended until Burmese troops withdraw and political dialogue leads to a meaningful resolution of conflict.”

The Ta’ang, also known as Palaung, are an ethnic group numbering an estimated one million living in the hills of Burma’s Shan State and China’s southern Yunnan province.

Click on the link below to download TSYO's Catalyst for Conflict report

Photo: Burma Democratic Concern

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Date: 23/05/2012




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