The Burma government’s doing it’s best to keep quiet about a new iron mine  project in the war-torn state of Shan, fuelling suspicions among local villagers that there may be more going on than meets the eye.

As it stands right now, the project will “decimate” Mount Pinpet, and  possibly lead to the permanent displacement of  7,000 people from 25 villages. Another 35,000 people who rely on the Thabet watershed on the eastern side of the mountain, may also be negatively impacted once the mine becomes fully operational.

Examined in a new report by the Pa-O Youth Organization (PYO) — these and a host of other concerns are being trumped by fears that we might not be talking about a simple iron mine.

Several villagers have reported servicemen telling them that the processing plant — which comes comeplete with underground bunkers and two cement walls standing ten feet high — will be used to process both iron and URANIUM . A military camp was set up on the mountain.

Adding to the speculation, two years ago Russian Atomic Energy Agency announced it had “reached a deal for ‘cooperation
in the design and construction in Myanmar of a centre for nuclear research… including a nuclear reactor.” The announcement came one year after the “iron”  factory gained financial backing from Tyazhpromexport (TPE), a Russian-based  company.

Compounded by rumors, there is also “growing evidence that Burma is strengthening its ties with North Korea, who last month successfully tested a nuclear bomb,” notes the Democratic Voice of Burma.

While none of this has been verified, it certainly warrants some investigation – if only to ease tensions among the villagers, who are already extremely concerned about their future.

On top of their own displacement, the poisoning of their waters, and the loss of thier culture and economy: will they also face that invisible monster called URANIUM?

You can find more articles by Ahni at his blog,

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