US Praises Burma’s Suspension of China Dam Project

Posted September 30th, 2011 at 5:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States is hailing Burma's decision to suspend construction of a hydroelectric dam that had been widely protested.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland Friday called the decision significant because it showed the Burmese government was listening and responding to the concerns of its people.

Nuland said the U.S. hopes this kind of positive progress in respecting the interests of all Burmese people, including ethnic minorities and the opposition pro-democracy movement, will continue.

In a note read to Parliament Friday, President Thein Sein said construction of the Chinese-backed hydroelectric dam would be shelved during the term of his government.

The announcement was a rare gesture to environmentalists and the opposition.

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said the Myitsone dam in Kachin state would force the relocation of thousands of villagers and threaten the ecology of the Irrawaddy River.

The dam was Burma's largest hydroelectric project.