Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Singh, Indian head of State, arrives Thursday

Tuesday, 08 May 2012 16:36 Mizzima News

(Mizzima) – Two Indian groups urged Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmaohan Singh to press for further democratic reforms during his three-day visit to Burma starting Thursday.

The Indian Parliamentarians’ Forum for Democracy (IPFDB) in Burma released a statement calling on Singh to push for the release of all political prisoners.

Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh Photo: pmindia.nic.in

The Burma Centre Delhi released a statement backed by 27 civil society groups calling for Singh to call for an end to “the atrocities targeting ethnic areas particularly in Kachin State, the restoration of the civil and democratic rights of the Rohingya, the end of atrocities in Arakan and safe repatriation of the Rohingya refugees.”

The statement said the construction of the Tamanthi Hydroelectric Power Project (THPP) on the Chindwin River in northwest Burma’s Sagaing Division is a serious concern. The construction of the proposed dam poses a danger to an area of approximately 1,400 square kilometres, displacing over 45,000 people living nearby.

“Over 2,400 villagers have already been forcibly evicted in 2007 from the dam site, with a mere compensation of US$ 5,” the statement said.

Another concern, it said, is the Kaladan Multi-Modal Project, developed by India in 2008 to improve connectivity between the two countries.

“It has raised several concerns in border areas of Burma and India,” said the statement. “The project requires an estimated 196.75 hectares of forest land to be cleared. The development along the port and river will displace thousands of people from their homes and livelihood.”

It said environmental and social impact assessments have not been conducted, and communities inhabiting the border areas in Burma and India have no information about the proposed project.

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