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Shan NGOs call for halt to pipeline

A group of Shan community-based groups and NGOs have called on Myanmar President Thein Sein and the Chinese investors to halt the trans-Myanmar pipeline project in view of recent government forces’ attacks in northern Shan State which have led to the displacement of more than 3,000 villagers.
The route of the pipeline that will transport oil and natural gas from Kyaukphyu, Myanmar, to Yunnan Province in China is expected to be operational in 2013. Photo : SGMThe Shan organizations claim that the assaults are directly linked to the pipeline project which is scheduled to launch next month and which is due to pump natural gas from the Bay of Bengal to China’s Yunnan Province.

In a joint statement dated May 22, the Shan Human Rights Foundation, Shan Sapawa Environmental Organisation, Shan State Development Foundation, Shan State Organisation, Shan Women’s Action Network, Shan Youth Network Group and Shan Youth Power called for the project to be halted immediately before violence escalates even further.

“On May 9, Burmese [Myanmar] troops launched a fierce artillery assault on a Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) base only one kilometer from where the pipelines cross into China, causing over 3,000 people from 32 villages to flee their homes. About 2,000 crossed into China, and 1,000 fled to the town of Namkham,” the statement said.

The Shan groups also noted that on May 13, two civilians were killed and three injured when an “unidentified armed group” began shooting at a pipeline vehicle depot south of Namkham.

On May 20, China’s new Ambassador to Myanmar Yang Houlan said that the Myanmar-China Oil and Gas Pipeline Project should be developed into a “model project of mutual benefit between the two countries”, and said it would bring socio-economic benefits to the local communities.

For more background:
  1. Hostilities resume in Shan State
  2. Shan farmers urge gas pipeline project to be moved
Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 May 2013 14:19 )  

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