French firm pulls out of Myanmar dam project

Yangon: The French multinational energy company Engie has pulled out of a controversial dam project in Myanmar following pressure from a campaign aimed at discouraging foreign investment in the South-East Asian country’s conflict zones, the rights advocacy group Burma Campaign UK (BCUK) announced Wednesday.

In December, London-based BCUK released a “Dirty List” of 49 companies that were allegedly linked to human rights violations and environmental destruction in Myanmar.

The list, which includes Facebook, Toshiba, and Visa, calls on the companies to stop doing business with the country’s military, which is being investigated by the International Criminal Court for the 2017 expulsion of more than 720,000 Rohingya Muslims as a potential crime against humanity.

Engie, whose other projects include providing energy infrastructure to Britain’s National Health Service, was previously an investor in the Upper Yeywa dam project in Shan state through its subsidiary Lahmeyer Inter­national.

The project has been widely condemned by local residents, who say it would stoke conflict over energy resources, damage the environment as well as displace hundreds of villagers. ­— dpa

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