Society for Threatened Peoples LogoHOME | INFO | -> NEWS <- | DOSSIER| BACHECA / TERMINE | EDICOLA / KIOSK | LADIN


Europe shows the cold shoulder - Solidarity with Burma at the "Burma Day"

Bolzano/Bozen, 18. September 2006

The EU member states Italy and Germany seek trade agreements with Chinese state owned enterprises. The communist "People's Republic" is considered the most lucrative market to be conquered. Human rights, therefore, are ruthlessly sacrificed. China oppresses its own population, and, over and above that, people living in other countries as for instance in Burma. In the mid of September, GfbV Germany joined up with Tibetans, Uygurs and members of the "Tibet Initiative Germany" in order to protest against China's predatory exploitation of the resources belonging to these peoples. Without looting the forests and rivers, the mining, oil and gas deposits in Tibet and East Turkestan (Xinjiang), China's economic boom would be inconceivable. The catastrophic consequences for Tibetans and Uygurians, owing to the People's Republic's exploitation of their natural resources, are by no means mentioned at the German and Italian business negotiations with China.

Due to China's boom, the traditional life of the Tibetan Nomads and hundred thousands of Uygurs in the neighbouring East Turkestan is doomed. In order to secure itself the raw materials, the Chinese government systematically promotes the settlement of Han Chinese in these strategic regions, and, beyond this, the construction of huge dams, gas and oil pipelines, as well as railways. Many Tibetian and Uygurs living in rural areas will lose their basis for life due to the predatory exploitation of their nature. Contemporaneously, the local authorities in both regions intensify the repressions against the entire population that traditionally resides there, in order to secure themselves the control of the raw materials over the long-run. Also in Burma or Indonesia, the eradications being induced by the Chinese boom pose similar threats for the native peoples of these countries. Owing to China's hunger for raw materials, more than thousand hectares of Burman and Indonesian forests have been slashed, in order to establish Palm oil plantations or something similar.

China is planning the construction of four large dams on the Salween river in the East of Burma. More than 100,000 members of the Karen, Shan and Karenni are living in this area. They will be expelled. Due to this mega project, the survival of the Yintalai, a small ethnic group of about 1,000 people, is highly threatened since their entire habitat will be destroyed. 96 villages of the Salween have already been forcibly evacuated and destroyed. The dams are going to provide up to 16,000 megawatts of energy which, among other things, will be used to supply Thailand with electricity. These dams will be built by the Chinese state owned construction company Sinohydro in cooperation with the Thai state energy office EGAT. Sinohydro also plays a major part in the construction of the controversial Merowe dam in Sudan.

For years the army has already been systematically carrying out compulsory resettlements. As a result, almost three quarters of the previous 85 villages within the construction area of the Weigyi dam have already disappeared. 28 villages are still to be flooded and 30,500 people to be driven out. On the lower stretches of the 2,400 km long Salween river the presence of military forces has drastically increased. In earlier times, the Burmese army maintained only ten military bases there, but now there are 54 military camps equipped with heavy artillery. The Karen people were forced by the soldiers to build roads in those areas which were covered with land-mines. Out of fear of the army's terror initiatives, most of the Karen living in this fertile area have already fled to the neighbouring country of Thailand. Yet, about 5000 Karen are still hiding in the woods. They are suffering because they lack food and medicine. The Christian Karen, and other nationalities within the multi-national country have been struggling since 1948 for autonomy that they once were promised. In spring 2006 a new Burman military offensive started the displacement of 15,000 Karen.

On September 30, the aid organization "Help without borders" takes the opportunity of the Burma day (, an event taking place in the European Academy at Bozen, to advertise the requests of all Burmese nationalities. The emphasis lies on the "silent genocide" of all the minorities in this country.

See also:
* | | | | | | | | | |

* www: | | | | | |

Last Update: 19.9.2006 | Copyright | Search Engine | URL: | XHTML 1.0 / CSS / WAI AAA | WEBdesign: M. di Vieste; E-mail:

HOME | NEWS | ARCHIVO NEWS | NEWS 2005 | NEWS 2006 | Deutsche Fassung | Versione italiana