The Hatgyi Dam project is one of five hydropower dams planned by the Joint Committee on Hydropower Development between the Governments of Thailand and Myanmar on the Salween River. Hatgyi is proposed to be the first dam constructed, located near Myaingyingu in Karen State, Myanmar. The project would be 50 km downstream of the Thai border, and the reservoir would stretch to the Thai border. Initial project plans in 1999 recommended the construction of a low height, 300 MW run-of-river dam. However, a new feasibility study published in November 2005 showed the project's capacity could be increased to 1,200 MW with 33m high dam. The project will affect mostly the Thai Karen ethnic group and the Shan ethnic group. In 2009, tension over the impending dam escalated into an attack on the Karen National Union (KNU) by the Myanmar Army and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) 17 km from the proposed dam site resulting in approximately 3,500 villagers being forced to flee across the Thai border . This was the largest influx of refugees from Karen State into Thailand that decade . Increased militarization around the dam site has led to human rights abuses, which includes forced labour, illegal taxation and rape (13). Most villages along the Salween River rely on local border trade, fishing or agriculture for their livelihoods, which will be greatly impacted by the dam. The proposed dam site includes plans to inundate two official wildlife sanctuaries in the Karen State as well. The project threatens the river's freshwater ecosystem and increases the risk of natural disasters such as earthquakes as the site is within a major fault zone. Controversies over the dam include incomplete environmental impact assessments that claim many riparian communities will not be affected; however, the study is disputed as the assessment in Myanmar is incomplete and it did not consider the potential impacts on Thailand at all. Also, in December 2005, EGAT Plc signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Department of Hydroelectric Power, Myanmar for the Hatgyi Dam stating that all project information will be strictly confidential and not given out without proper written consent of all involved groups.