China's increasing pressure over the suspended Myitsone dam project in Kachin state has highlighted Myanmar's dilemma in choosing environmental protection and safeguarding the great Irrawaddy River, and its political and economic dependence on Beijing. It was suspended in 2011 as a result of public opposition.
This dam, if ever built, would inundate the ancestral birthplace of the ethnic Kachin people. The dam would erode the lifeblood of the nation that sustains agriculture, fisheries, and livelihoods for millions. The scientific overview carried out by independent scientists warned that "if constructed, Myitsone dam would break river connectivity, trap sediment, and alter the river flow on a wide scale. The plan for five large dams on the main stems of Irrawaddy and Salween rivers would completely alter the river system's hydrologic, sediment transport, and geomorphic functioning. The research was conducted by ICEM, an Australian environmental assessment group, and approved by the Myanmar government's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation as well as the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE).
It is time the Myanmar Government has to stop the project once and for all. The ruling party NLD has been voted by the majority of people in the last elections as they believe the present government will not give in to China by letting them destroy the land of Myanmar and its people's livelihood.