March 19, 2021: Info Birmanie and Justice For Myanmar welcome the decision by Électricité de France (EDF), the French power giant, to suspend its giant Shweli-3 dam project in Myanmar on human rights grounds in the wake of the brutal and illegal February 1, 2021 military coup. EDF, a publicly listed company majority owned by the French state, leads a consortium to build the Shweli-3 dam along with a 671-megawatt power plant in Shan State, where there is ongoing civil war, and the Myanmar military has been committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Japan’s Marubeni and Myanmar crony company Ayeyar Hinthar are also investors. The project is reported to cost US$1.51 billion.
Yadanar Maung, Justice For Myanmar spokesperson says: “We welcome EDF’s decision to suspend the Shweli-3 hydropower project, which would have involved business with the military junta, who are criminals and are deliberately killing peaceful protesters in what amounts to crimes against humanity. The Shweli-3 mega-dam should never have got to this stage. It is located in Shan State, an ethnic region where there is ongoing conflict and systemic grave human rights violations. We call on all companies to end their business with the Myanmar military. Total, whose gas payments will bankroll the junta if they continue business as usual, should now follow the example set by EDF and cut ties.”
Sophie Brondel, coordinator of Info Birmanie says: "EDF's decision to suspend the Shweli-3 hydropower project is a milestone and indicates the way forward for French companies in Myanmar. We especially call on all companies with ties to the junta to cut those ties. Businesses have a responsibility to stand on the side of democracy and to make sure they are not fuelling the junta. Status quo is not an option."
In February, the head of the military junta, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, said that the regime will “continue to implement” existing hydropower projects. EDF’s decision to withdraw from Shweli-3 places that statement into considerable doubt.
Note to editors
See EDF’s letter online here.
Info Birmanie is a French NGO based in Paris which campaigns for human rights in Myanmar and conveys Myanmar civil society's recommendations to French authorities.
Justice For Myanmar, a group of covert activists campaigning for justice and accountability for the people of Myanmar, is calling for an end to military business and for federal democracy and a sustainable peace.
For more information please contact:
Sophie Brondel, coordinator at Info Birmanie
Phone: +33 7 62 80 61 33
Yadanar Maung, Justice For Myanmar spokesperson