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Damming at gunpoint(English Version)

Rationale Introduction This report examines the tactics used by the Burmese military to take control of the northern Karen State border, and the sites where the Thai government and the Burmese military regime are planning to build dams on the Salween River, and aims to highlight the atrocities committed by the regime’s troops in this area. It also aims to show how the regime is using the pretext of “development” to justify its subjugation and militarization of the ethnic-controlled areas, in order to delude the public both at home and abroad, and mask the root causes of the civil war in Burma. Ever since it took power, the regime has been using various strategies to gain control of the ethnic areas, and neutralize the ethnic armed groups operating there. This has included not only the use of direct military force, but also the strategy of making ceasefire agreements with some ethnic armies. Under these agreements, the regime allows the armies limited opportunities to conduct business, thereby distracting them from their political struggle. At the same time, the regime utilizes ceasefire agreements to proceed with mega development projects from which it can reap direct benefits. For example, the regime reached a ceasefire agreement with the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and at the same time managed to demobilise some of the KNU units in the area to pave the way for the Yadana Gas Pipeline Project in 1995. This report aims to expose the strategies used by the regime and their links to development in the Papun District area. Methodology The research incorporated a study of relevant literature and fieldwork. Literature reviewed included “The Tragedy of Two Lands” 1 on the Salween 1 Southeast Asia Rivers Network (SEARIN), 2003, Tragedy of Two Lands 3

4 DAMMING AT GUNPOINT 1inch = 25 miles Map 3: Research Area in Papun District

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