Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 30, 2011


Question: Was the Myitsone Dam discussed with Burmese officials during Special Envoy Mitchell’s recent trip? Was it discussed during yesterday’s meeting with Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin?

Answer: Special Representative and Policy Coordinator Ambassador Mitchell traveled to Burma September 9-14, where he held 35 meetings and exchanged views with over 80 interlocutors from government officials to pro-democracy, ethnic, and civil society leaders. Several groups conveyed concerns regarding the Myitsone Dam project including its harmful environmental impact.

While we will not discuss the specifics of private conversations, during their September 30 meeting Special Representative Mitchell and Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin discussed political prisoners, national reconciliation, violence in ethnic areas as well as the role of civil society and critical components of open, democratic governance.

The United States welcomes President Thein Sein’s announcement to suspend construction of the Myitsone dam based on an assessment that it is against the will of the Burmese people. This decision marks a positive step by the Burmese Government toward responding to the concerns of its people and toward national reconciliation.



PRN: 2011/1649