June 24, 2016
International Rivers Day in 2016
Mong Pan Youth Association organized International River Day event in Wan Sala village (19 km away from Mong Ton dam site) on 13-14 March 2016 in collaboration with Than Lwin River Citizens from Kayah State, Mon State, Kayin State, Save the Salween Network and local communities to promote the value of the river and the raise awareness the impacts of the dam on the Than Lwin River Basin as collection action.
The significance of the even
In the past, the local communities in Mong Pan and Mong Ton Townships were not interested in the social and political movement, as they have been living under the oppression for more than six decades and almost their lifetime. In addition to that, Wan Sala village is in a very remote area where has very limited phone line access and the transportation routing also very difficult. In the raining season, the car can’t commute easily, sometimes had to stay one or two overnights on the way to wait until the muddy road dried up. In the past few years, just to across Tasang Bridge before reaching to Wan Sala village is a big threat to local people because the checkpoint at the Tasang Bridge was so meant and arrogant. Except emergency case, the local people do not like to travel across from one to another village especially on the car and motorbike. The people’s ID was being checked and questioned by police at the bridge. Wan Sala village is the closest village to Mong Ton dam site, which is only 19 miles away from the dam site. With many challenges in the history, most CSOs and Save the Salween River network stated that it was very successful event, which is the first time ever-hosting International River Day event/ International Day for Action against the dam, nearby military bases. Out of many risk and obstacle it is very obvious that we have seen more public participation and the local people itself expressed their concerns in public, which had never seen in the past. Culture exchange activity also a good strategy to bring all people in a loop to find common ground. All ethnic groups participated in the event performed in the stage. Some were singing, some were dancing on the stage. The local youth groups from Wan Sala village and Mong Pan also performed with Shan traditional dances, Mon, Kayah, Kayin, we all sang together to show our solidarity on the International rivers day event.
International Rivers Day event in Wan Sala village, Mong Ton township, Southern Shan State: