On Monday, 9 March 2015, about 50 organizations which campaign for the Salween River, including Shan, Karen, and Karenni community-based organizations, met in Taungyi, Shan State. Their purpose was to solidify a campaign strategy against the Mong Ton (Tasang Dam) Hydropower Project in Shan State in preparation for joining the consultation meeting on Tuesday, March 10. This consultation was organized by the project developers: China Three Gorges Coporatioin (CTG), China Southern Power Grid (CSG), Power Construction of China (Sino Hydro), Electricity Authority of Thailand International (EGATi) and International Group of Entrepreneurs (IGE).
According to the invitation letter, SMEC International Pty Ltd, an international consultancy firm from Australia, has been engaged by the dam developers and approved by the Myanmar Government to prepare an independent Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) for the Mong Ton Hydropower project (Tasang Dam). Local people in the area, as well as other interested civil society, were invited to the consultation to discuss the proposed Mong Ton Hydropower Project for the purposes of undertaking the EIA and SIA studies.
Community-based organizations who are part of the Salween community contend that the Salween Dam projects will bring more harm than benefits to the citizens of Burma/Myanmar. There is no law to guarantee the well-being of the people, corruption is ongoing, and conflict is still occurring in different areas, even while peace talks are taking place. All the dam projects are located in conflict areas. Therefore, in order to engage with the dam developers and investors during the March 10 consultation, the group met yesterday in Taungyi. At the end of the meeting, the group came up with questions to be raised with the dam developers and investors. The group also released the following statement to express their position on the Salween Dam Projects.