Tag Archive for 'Jinsha river'

Riots over forced migration at Chinese dam project leave 50 hurt

Photo retrieved from: treehugger.com

“Thousands of people clashed with police in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province over compensation for being forced to resettle for a dam project, a human rights watchdog and the government confirmed Wednesday.

“The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said thousands of people blocked major traffic routes in Suijiang County from Friday until Tuesday when 1,500 paramilitary police, led by an armored vehicle, forcibly dispersed the crowd, leaving 30 protesters and 20 police injured.

“The Hong Kong-based center said an ambulance was wrecked after paramedics in it took care of injured police and ignored protesters.

“About 100,000 people in the region are to be moved to make way for the construction of a dam and power plant on the Jinsha River, but disputes over payment for grave removal and resettlement remain unresolved.

“The center said the government offered people 1,000 yuan ($152) for grave removal that cost more than 5,000 yuan and that the people are dissatisfied with the quality of resettlement houses that are located in an earthquake zone.”

Read more: iStockAnalyst

For the Freedom of Rolling Rivers

Wang Yongchen on her 10th journey to the Salween River. Photo retrieved from: www.china.org.cn

“In order to gain a better understanding of the Salween River issue, Wang set out on a nine-day expedition with volunteers and media reporters in February 2004. This first trip to the Salween River produced a large number of pictures and written and audio records. When the voyagers returned to Beijing, they financed the “Love Salween River” photography show.

“We just want to introduce the beauty of the Salween River to more people and gather more support from them,” they said. “Even if the power station goes on to be built, we still need to tell the public and later generations what the river was once like.”

According to Wang, there are options available in choosing potential sources of energy, but there is no way to turn the clock back once the natural eco-environment has been destroyed. “A lot of people will be displaced in order to develop hydropower in the government’s poverty relief effort. But will they gain prosperity once removed from their roots? From their traditions? How many generations did it take to form their customs and culture? And it could all be destroyed in the blink of an eye.”

On February 18, 2004, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao wrote in his instruction on the Salween River dam project that: “A scientific decision will be made through cautious discussion on such a large-scale hydropower project that has generated widespread public concern and provokes different opinions from environmental groups.” When the instruction was issued, Wang and her friends were still wandering in the valleys of the river. When she read the news on her cell phone, she couldn’t help but cry aloud.”

Read more: China.org.cn