India Urged for Transparency in Kaladan Project in Burma
22 December 2012: A five-day protest staged in New Delhi during Thein Sein’s visit to India called on the government of India to respect human rights and standards of democracy in its development projects in Burma.
The protest campaign organized by the Burmese Democratic Forces in India said the Kaladan Multi-Modal Project, funded by the Indian government, is implemented without conducting social and environmental impact assessments.
“What is worst is that local people in the project areas were not informed about this project,” said a statement released yesterday.
The sit-in protest-cum-photo exhibition campaign took place in New Delhi from 17-21 December as Burma’s President Thein Sein arrived in the Indian capital to attend a two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-India Commemorative Summit on Thursday.
The protest called on the government of India to ensure that both ongoing and future investments in Burma are fair, transparent and accountable.
India’s government must make sure that there is full local participation in any Indian-supported developmental projects in Burma, according to the statement.
The Kaladan Multi-Modal Development Project, signed in 2008 between both governments of India and Burma, has seen its three-phase constructions initiated since 2010, with no impacts assessments conducted in Burma.
More than 50 activists from Burma joined the peaceful protest, calling on the government of India to stick to its democratic and non-violent principles by ensuring that no arms and ammunition are supplied or sold to Thein Sein’s government.
The protest condemned the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters against the Letpadaung copper mine project in Burma last month as it also called for an end to military offensive in Kachin and other ethnic areas.
Van Biak Thang