Over the past 25 years we have met 106 times to call on the United Nations to create a declaration, guaranteeing the protection of the rights of all indigenous peoples. On 13th September 2007, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was finally created. In this declaration, there are 46 recommendations and 144 countries have signed up to it. Myanmar is one of those countires, however until now they have not fulfilled their obligations in implementing it.
Indigenous people live in their territories according to their traditional customs and practices, without causing any harm or damage to the natural environment. Greedy people, however are trying to colonize the territories of us indigenous people, by establishing large-scale projects that will violate the rights of indigenous people and destroy the environment. If the natural environment has been destroyed, so will our traditional customs, knowledge and languages.
These people have started their projects in our territories without the Free, Prior and Informed Consent of indigenous people. We, as indigenous people, are not against development, but it must be sustainable and should be in line with international standards and avoid unwarranted damage to the environment.
If large-scale dams and conservation projects go-ahead in our territories, then our rights will be violated and our future and safety will be threatened. In our territories we have our own history and culture, if these projects go ahead then these will be lost.
We don’t need this dam. This dam is not necessary for development. But it is a project that will cause immense damage and irresolvable problems. This project also presents an obstacle to achieving a federal democracy through this period of national transition.
Since this project is not in line with international standard and poses many harms to the rights of indigenous peoples, we believe that this project will not provide for the sustainable development of our region.
Chaung Ma Gyi and Kain Mya Thi Zar Committee
Natural resource conservation committee.
Saw Alfred 09771001475
Sayama Naw Bu Lah 09769024436
Naw De Dah 09794572134
Naw The Sein Nyo 09769738362
Daw Da Nyi Way 09781783605