Untitled Document Untitled Document
Untitled Document
Myanmar Catholic Church

Statement of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar to all the Stakeholders on Myitsone dam in Kachin State

As the Catholic Church, we constantly engage in constructive dialogue with the government and all the stakeholders, firmly holding the belief that peace is possible and peace is the only way to effective nation building. In this spirit of cooperation to promote durable peace in Myanmar, we make this statement hoping that our plea may help in greater peace in our Mother Land.

            River Irrawaddy runs through the heart of our nation nourishing of our people, flora and fauna with water for livelihood and life. To the people of Myanmar, the history of River Irrawaddy is intertwined with our long history of joys and sorrows.

            Scientists have identified serious fault lines below the rivers’ course and building a dam might expose the lines to greater pressure and consequent mega disasters. A dam would drive millions without a sustainable life and provoke a humanitarian catastrophe of distress migrations of thousands. International agencies also have pointed out that Myanmar is the third most vulnerable area of natural disasters.

            The plan for the dam has received strong resistance from the civil societies and the people of Myanmar. Charles Cardinal Bo, Archbishop of Archdiocese of Yangon, also has already released two statements, poignantly pleading to treat River Irrawaddy as the sacred mother of Myanmar people. For a lasting peace in the region River Irrawaddy needs to be left intact.

            The promised economic benefits that are thought to come from the dam are no match to the social and ecological disturbances that will certainly come. Peace will become a distant dream. After decades of conflict, Myanmar deserves to rise to a new life that is greatly enriched with creative opportunities to greatness rather than to life that is deprived of the abundant life-giving waters of the Irrawaddy.

            Our plea is for all our brothers and sisters in the whole of Myanmar whose life story is the life story of the sacred mother, River Irrawaddy. Therefore, we, Catholic Bishops of Myanmar representing the Catholic Christians of (16) dioceses, earnestly request all the stakeholders to seriously reconsider the ill-conceived conception regarding Myitsone dam in Kachin State and to stop the plan completely.

2019-06-13 00:26:56