June 11, 2013
Chiang Mai: The multi-million dollar Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project - slated for completion in 2015 - will see the construction of a combined inland waterway and highway transportation system connecting Mizoram State in Northeast India with a Bay of Bengal deepsea port at Sittwe, Rakhain State in Western Burma. The Project, classified as development aid to Myanmar, is a cornerstone of India's "Look East Policy" aimed at expanding Indian economic and political influence in Southeast Asia. It is currently being constructed in Rakhain and Chin States - Myanmar's least-developed and most poverty-prone states - where improved infrastructure is badly needed. Yet it remains an open question whether the Kaladan Project will be implemented in a way that ensures the people living along the project route are the principal beneficiaries of this large-scale infrastructure development.
"One cannot step into the same river twice" provides an update on the progress of the Kaladan Project, and assesses the potential Project-related benefits and negative impacts for people living in the project area. It also provides an overview of the current on-the-ground impacts, focusing on the concerns and hopes of the local people, and makes a series of recommendations to the governments of Myanmar and India.
The Kaladan Movement believes that the implementation of the Kaladan Project should be fully transparent, and should ensure full local public consultation and participation; the benefits of the project go to the least advantaged communities; and accountability for ALL stakeholders involved in the project. Unless and until these essential elements are fulfilled, the Kaladan Project should be suspended.
For more information, please visit the press conference at the Foreign Corrospondents Club of Thailand in Bangkok at 11.00 o'clock on 11 June 2013.