|Chinese Dams at High Human Cost|
|Monday, 27 October 2008 10:24|
At least 66,000 members of ethnic minorities have fled their villages in the east of Burma since June 2007 in the face of severe violations of human rights.This figure was published this week by a consortium of human rights organisations working in the border area between Thailand and Burma. 142 villages of minorities have been destroyed since June 2007 or the villagers have been forcibly moved from their homes. "A further 18,570 members of the peoples of the Karen, Kachin and Kayan are threatened by eviction incoming months because Chinese investors are building new dams”, said the Asia consultant of the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV), Ulrich Delius in Göttingen. "Systematic eviction, forced labour, rape, torture politically motivated murder and the theft of land by government troops and allied militia have reached a point where one can only speak of crimes against humanity”, said Delius.
About 451,000 Karen, Kachin, Shan, Mon and members of other minorities have been struggling for survival day by day as displaced persons in the rural areas of eastern Burma. The situation is particularly difficult for 101,000 people who have fled their villages in the face of attacks and military offensives and who are hiding in the forests and inaccessible mountainous regions. Another 126,000 members of minorities have been forcibly moved by the army to facilitate the fight against armed resistance groups or the construction of dams and other large development projects.