Thousands protest Chinabacked mega-dam in Myanmar
Thousands of people in northern Myanmar took to the streets on Monday to protest against the proposed reinstatement of a Chinese-backed mega-dam they say will cause huge environmental damage and bring little benefit to the country. The protest came just days ahead of a trip by civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to Beijing for a summit on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Myanmar’s former military junta signed a 2009 deal with Beijing to construct the Myitsone dam in Kachin state.
But public anger rose to the surface as the country started to transition towards democracy and the $3.6 billion project was mothballed two years later. If the 6,000 megawatt dam were built on the country’s famed Ayeyarwaddy River, it would flood an area the size of Singapore, displacing tens of thousands.