Participation in decision-making
Participation in public decisions in Burma is impossible
The 2007 peaceful protests against drastic increases in fuel prices and the subsequent violent crackdown on monks demonstrate that there is no possibility for public participation in decisions around energy policy or projects in Burma while it remains under military rule. The suppression of free media, arrests, beatings, and extra-judicial killings of activists make it impossible to access information or question projects, therefore pre-empting any meaningful participation.
Informed consent  
Local residents that will be affected by dam projects have not been informed or consulted about dam plans. Local populations have no free access to information regarding dam projects and know next to nothing about dams or their potential impacts. According to the advice of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) and other guidelines, it is not only important to make a feasibility study at the site of dam construction but it is also essential to consult with all impacted peoples, including local residents downstream.

Villagers like these near the Upper Paunglaung dam will not benefit from the electricity produced but will instead have to move
The majority of the power produced by dam projects in Burma will be for export to neighboring countries even though Burma does not produce enough electricity for domestic consumption. The sale of electricity from these dams will provide significant long-term income to the military regime. Dams planned for the Salween, the Irrawaddy and its tributaries alone have a combined capacity of over 30,000 MW representing an investment of at least US$30 billion with an unknown amount annual income.
While the military ruling the country will benefit from foreign direct investment dollars and export earnings, there is no guarantee of improved standard of living for average citizens in Burma. Even if Burma receives some electricity, it will likely be sent to urban areas, leaving rural communities in the dark. Nearly all of the proposed large dams are in ethnic areas and these populations will have to bear the burden of negative social and environmental impacts while receiving little or no benefit.

Voices of the Dammed

Development in Burma

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