July 7, 2015

Statement of Save the Salween Network

The Salween/Thanlwin River is the second longest river in Southeast Asia, invaluable for the survival of the ethnic people who live along it. It not only has great historical significance but is also a vital lifeline nourishing a wide range of biodiversity.

We strongly believe that the efforts of the Myanmar government and some foreign companies to carry out the Salween/Thanlwin dam projects will further fuel armed conflict, as they are causing increased militarization, thereby threatening the prospects for sustainable peace desired by the ethnic peoples.

Not only will the Salween/Thanlwin dam projects destroy the livelihoods of the ethnic people living along the river, they could also lead to the extinction of entire ethnic peoples, such as the Yintalei, who are already very few in number.

The majority of the electricity obtained from the Salween/Thanlwin hydropower projects will be exported, showing that the power produced is not intended to meet national or local needs. The plans to divert the Salween/Thanlwin river water to other regions will also have serious environmental consequences.

According to studies made by meteorological and seismic experts, the Salween/Thanlwin river is located along a large earthquake fault line. The dams could therefore be destroyed by earthquakes at any time, which would lead to devastation downstream.

As the Salween/Thanlwin River is an international river,passing through China, Myanmar, and Thailand, unless there is a trans-boundary water resource management agreement, the implementation of the dam projects could also fuel hostility between these three countries.

We therefore totally oppose the dam construction projects along the Salween/ThanlwinRiver and request assistance from all in keeping the Salween/ThanlwinRiver flowing freely forever.

Save the Salween Network


To contact for further questions:

  1. Dr. AungNaingOo 0949803154 (Myanmar, Mon, English)
  2. Saw ThaPhoe 09791607890 (Myanmar, Karen, English)
  3. OattraAung 09252171819 (Myanmar, Karenni)
  4. Nang Kham Naung 09428367849 (Myanmar, Shan)
  5. U KyarPhet 0861984832 (Myanmar, Lahu)
  6. SaiKhurHseng 0808476538 (Thai)


Supporting Organizations:

  1. Save the Salween Network
  2. Burma Rivers Network
  3. Burma Environment Working Group
  4. Ethnic Community Development Forum
  5. Karen Environment and Social Action Network
  6. Shan Sapawa Environmental Organization
  7. Mon Youth Progressive Organization
  8. Lahu National Development Organization
  9. Thousand Island Foundation
  10. Karen Rivers Watch
  11. Salween Watch
  12. Burma Campaign UK
  13. MATA working group
  14. Green Network စိမး့ေရာငးစို
  15. Mee-Net (Myanmar)
  16. MATA Working Group
  17. Our Future Initiative
  18. Health Network of Myeik District
  19. Youth Doctor Network of Myeik District
  20. Karen Women Empowerment Group

A full list of the 122 organisations that have signed the statement is available here:
Save the Salween Network – English Statement

The statement is available in Burmese here:
Save the Salween Network – Burmese Statement


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