|SSA says Chinese engineers released by unknown group|
|Friday, 12 August 2011 00:00|
An unidentified armed group active in Kunhing township, between the township seat and Takaw Bridge on the Salween, had released the 3 Chinese engineers and 1 interpreter detained since May, according to Shan State Army (SSA) South.
The 4 were:
Lu Maolin (engineer)
Li Shu (engineer)
Yang Huaping (engineer)
Li Jianzhong (interpreter). All were working with Changjiang Water Resources Commission (CWRC) and Changjiang Survey, Planning Design and Research Co. Ltd.
The unknown group had demanded that Chinese companies concerned suspend their operations at the Tasang hydropower project, located between Mongpan township in the west and Mongton township in the east, and evacuate the area immediately, said Maj Lao Hseng, spokesman for Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), popularly known as SSA South.
“The company had accepted the group’s terms,” he told SHAN.
Several armed groups are active in the area, apart from the SSA South and the Burma Army, such as: Mahaja’s Homong militia, Lern Hsai’s Markkieng militia and Gai Fah’s Kali militia, to name a few.
The 7,110 megawatt, 228 meter high Tasang Dam, on completion, would be the highest in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s MDX had initiated the project in 1997. Ten years later, it was taken over by China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) taking in a 51% stake, MDX, 24% and Naypyitaw, 25%.
Following the disappearance of the said 4, the company had approached the SSA South for assistance.
Human Rights and environmental activists, both at home and abroad, have been against megam dam projects on the Salween right from the beginning. As for the SSA, it has so far taken a non-committal stand: We will listen to