February 1, 2000
Burma’s military junta has forced hundreds of thousands of people off their land to make way for the first in a series of massive hydrodams planned for the Salween river near the Thai-Burma border.
Hydro developers in Thailand, Germany, and Japan are designing the 3300-MW dam with the hope of financing from the Asian Development Bank. Tasang, as the dam is known, would export electricity to Thailand. If built, the US$3-billion dam would flood more than 640-square kilometres of central Shan state, where the Burmese army has already forcibly moved at least 300,000 Shan villagers, many of whom now languish in makeshift camps along the Thai border. Citizens groups have urged the Asian Development Bank not to consider financing any Salween dams, at least until democracy is restored in Burma and all people’s rights are respected.