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Suu Kyi joins fight against China dam construction in Myanmar

August 14, 2011 - Washington

Myanmar's pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has joined chorus of alarm over China's plan to build dams on the nation's most important river.

Suu Kyi had recently released a letter calling on backers of the Myitsone hydropower project to 'reassess the scheme,' citing concerns that dams on Myanmar's Irrawaddy River would degrade the environment, the Wall Street Journal reports.

She said the dam construction would disrupt rice production, displace minorities, hurt livelihoods and risk unleashing devastating consequences during earthquakes.

"We believe that, keeping in mind the interests of both countries, both governments would wish to avoid consequences which might endanger lives and homes," Suu Kyi wrote.

The Myitsone project is a 6000-megawatt cascade-style hydropower station being built as a joint venture by government-run China Power Investment Corp.

The project is a major symbol of China's deepening political and economic relationship with the military regime in Myanmar, the Journal said.

China Power Investment Corp has commented on the matter.


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