Damning the Yin Ta Lai

by September 20, 2008

Damning the Yin Ta Lai is a short, 13-minute video that provides a rare glimpse into the heart of Karenni State in eastern Burma, and the lives and environment of the Yin Ta Lai.

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Living along the Salween river, the Yin Ta Lai are facing extinction from the Weigyi dam, one of five controversial dams that are planned for the Salween. Once completed, the dam’s reservoirs would submerge the entirety of the Yin Ta Lai’s homeland.

“The Yin Ta Lai will become extinct if this dam goes ahead. While Burma’s regime gains profits from selling electricity, we will bear the costs” says Aung Ngyeh, a spokesperson of the Karenni Research Development Group (KDRG), who produced the movie. “We urge all parties to suspend plans for the Salween dams.”

“The military junta ruling Burma is planning to build five dams on the Salween River with financial backing from Thai and Chinese companies. In addition to the Yin Ta Lai, the Weigyi dam will permanently displace an estimated 30,000 people in Burma’s smallest state. The series of dams will adversely affect well over half a million people living along the river in Burma,” adds the Salween Watch Coalition.

The film includes some interviews with Karenni farmers who were displaced by flowing from the Mobye dam in 1966.

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