The Arakan Rivers Network (ARN) was founded in July 2009 by the All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress (AASYC) as an emergency response to the challenging calls to sustain the use of water resources vital for the livelihoods of waterside dwellers.
Spurred by profit motive alone, transnational corporations have aggressively sought to exploit our natural resources. This is pursued with the backing of Burma’s notorious dictators, who in turn enjoy the opportunity to expand their military and entrench their power with the revenue generated from foreign investments.
Thus, the potential implications of such projects are manifold, affecting important social, cultural, and economic aspects of local people’s lives. This will take place as ecosystems are adversely changed and the junta’s oppression of democratic forces is intensified. Summarised in one word, these projects amount to a “curse” for the Burmese people.
The ARN’s information collectors, researchers and report writers have been monitoring the progress of so-called development projects along Arakan’s rivers since early 2007. We endeavour to inform both local and international communities about the detrimental impacts of these projects on the powerless people whose lives are affected but not improved by such “development”. ARN is open to the participation of all Arakanese people, regardless of their sex, colour, religion, or political affiliation; it is dedicated to the common good of humanity.
Vision of ARN,
We envisage a future where the people of Arakan have the knowledge and the right to protect their rivers from destruction, enjoying total sovereignty over their main source of food and means of travel.
Mission of ARN
- To educate and inform local and international communities about development projects with seemingly negative impacts on the local people and environment
- To ensure that the voices of affected people are heard by establishing systematic networks, and endeavouring to secure as much media coverage as possible on relevant themes
- Prevent the exploitation of Arakan’s Rivers for profit motive alone, by ensuring that all responsible parties are held to internationally recognised labour and environmental standards
- Provide concrete evidence of the Burmese military regime’s incompetence and mismanagement of natural resources, and failure to pay any heed to public well-being