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Protestors demanding the complete shutdown of the Myitsone dam project will march from Rangoon to the confluence of the Irrawaddy River — where the N’mai and Mali Rivers meet in Kachin State — a distance of 800 miles.
The project, backed by Chinese state-owned firm China Power Investment (CPI), was postponed by President Thein Sein’s government in 2011, in a decision not to be reconsidered until the end of his tenure in 2015.
The march will be lead by the Former Political Prisoners Society (FPPS). FPPS member Ye Htut Khang said that the march would stop at towns and villages along the Irrawaddy to educate locals on the impacts the dam project may have.
The announcement comes as CPI has redoubled PR efforts surrounding the US$3.6 billion project. The firm, which supplies 10% of China’s 1.3 billion-strong population with energy, referred to the ‘wonderful work’ of resistant NGO Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) as they took aim at CPI’s corporate social responsibility report. CPI expressed its interest in ‘face-to-face’ talks with KDNG.
Participants in the march also plan to erect a monument at the confluence of the Irrawaddy River, the potential site of the Myitsone dam.