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Updated on February 1, 2019 From Daily Eleven

Myitsone project is a death sentence to the people of Myanmar: Cardinal Charles Bo

Archbishop of Yangon Cardinal Charles Bo had called for a total halt to any attempt to destroy the Ayeyawady River, saying that Myitsone dam, with its grim prospect of millions of farmers losing their livelihoods, is a death sentence to the people of Myanmar.
       The remark was made in a statement written by Cardinal Charles Bo in the English language on January 28. The statement was also translated into Myanmar language by Lawrence Jangma Mung Song.
       Myitsone dam is a death sentence to the people of Myanmar. The grim prospect of millions of farmers losing their livelihood, the abuse of sacred sites along the rivers, the death and destruction of the precious flora and fauna of our dear nation, is becoming a nightmarish reality. This dam project will be an environmental disaster, said the Cardinal.
       "For the peaceful future, Myitsone dam project must be stopped. The former President U Thein Sein took the courageous step of stopping it. We believe all those inside Myanmar will support the move to abrogate any treaty that abuses Mother Irrawaddy. Those who support the restart of the Myitsone dam are like sons and daughter who commodify their parents for monetary gains. History will never forgive those that sell out our mother Irrawaddy. On behalf of all the people of Myanmar, especially the poor farmers, we earnestly request all stakeholders to stop their attempts to abuse our mother Irrawaddy. We earnestly request the people of Myanmar to join hands in protecting the dignity of our mother Irrawaddy. We are hopeful that our leaders will resist all efforts to destroy our nation’s destiny and dignity", he said.
       Cardinal Bo said: "Irrawaddy (Ayeyawady) is not a river to us, she is not a commodity to be bartered. She is the sacred mother of every Myanmar people. Her history is intertwined with the history of Myanmar. Like the jewel around the neck of our nation, Irrawaddy traverses through the whole nation crossing thousands of miles. She is witness to our sorrows, joys and wounded history. She is our hope, she is our destiny. For a nation of agriculture, where 80 percent of the people live by farming, Irrawaddy is an unfailing accompanier in their livelihood. Her Majesty, her dancing down the mountains, her mystic meandering through the soul of the nation, her generosity to the poor farmers, make Irrawaddy the nations’ sacred identity. For thousands of sacred sites along the banks of Irrawaddy, this river is the most sacred symbol of our nation."
       He also said this sacred mother is now open for trade. Big and powerful countries need everything from this nation. For decades, they abused its strategic position for threatening Myanmar. They commodified our girls and women through human trafficking in the northern states of Myanmar. The same sad fate now falls on our Mother Irrawaddy.

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