Hatgyi Dam update and consultation concerns, December 2011 to May 2013

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Hatgyi Dam update and consultation concerns, December 2011 to May 2013

Published date:
Friday, June 27, 2014

This News Bulletin provides an update on the Hatgyi Dam project in Bu Tho Township, Hpapun District between December 2011 and May 2013. During this period, the company in charge of the dam’s construction held consultation meetings with the affected community to explain the benefits of the project, such as the provision of electricity generated by hydropower, but also explained that approximately 300 or 400 villagers in certain areas would need to be relocated due to the flooding that would occur during construction. This bulletin highlights local concerns related to the consultation process carried out by the company. In one meeting that had been facilitated by a local Border Guard Force commander, a presentation about the project was delivered by representatives from the dam construction company in Burmese, which could not be fully understood by the Karen-speaking attendees. One villager also stated that, if necessary, they would relocate downriver of the dam in Hpa-an District, while the company designated a different area in Bago town for relocation. Villagers reported that they felt they could not oppose the KNU’s approval of the project, while the BGF commander informed KHRG that the consent of the local community is necessary.[1]

Footnotes

[1] This News Bulletin was written by KHRG office staff and is based on information collected in Hpa-an and Hpapun districts from a community member and a KHRG staff member who have been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. It summarises information from two incident reports received by KHRG in July 2013 and one short update received in June 2013. In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in eastern Burma, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s Website.

[2] This information was collected by a KHRG community member on February 7th 2013 in Hpapun District, and remains on file with KHRG as an unpublished Incident Report.

[3] This information was collected by a KHRG community member on February 9th 2013 in Hpa-an District, and remains on file with KHRG as an unpublished Incident Report.

[4] Border Guard Force (BGF) battalions of the Tatmadaw were established in 2010, and they are composed mostly of soldiers from former non-state armed groups, such as older constellations of the DKBA, which have formalised ceasefire agreements with the Burmese government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry or light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers.  For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard ForceDemocratic Voice of Burma, August 2010, and, “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.