News / Asia

Burma Mine Protesters Attacked Ahead of Suu Kyi Visit

Buddhist monks who suffered burn injuries when security forces cracked down on protesters are treated at a hospital in Monywa town shop, northwestern Burma, Nov. 29, 2012. Security forces used water cannons and other devices to break up the rally hours before opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was expected. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
Buddhist monks who suffered burn injuries when security forces cracked down on protesters are treated at a hospital in Monywa town shop, northwestern Burma, Nov. 29, 2012. Security forces used water cannons and other devices to break up the rally hours before opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was expected. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
VOA News
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi visited Letpadaung mountain in upper Burma today to talk to villagers where a Chinese copper mine has caused a land rights dispute between farmers and the Burmese government. The government attacked protesters at the proposed area of expansion of the mine, leaving several monks injured.

Riot police early Thursday moved in to disperse protesters at three camps at the Letpadaung copper mines, near Mandalay in upper Burma. Injured monks and villagers who retreated to a nearby monastery the following morning were seen with singed robes and skin. But the president's office issued a statement denying it used chemical weapons.

A witness on the scene, says at least 23 monks were injured, one critically. Ten are missing and six were arrested.

"Security forces raided the camp," reported the witness. "A lot of Buddhist monks they throw first with the water cannon and then they throw with the smoke bomb. So they burned down the whole camp, six camps, and so the Buddhist monks and other local activists, they dispersed."

Aung San Suu Kyi, a member of the parliament's rule of law committee, had planned a visit to the mine after parliament passed a motion to investigate the impact of the mines on villagers. Her spokesperson, Ohn Kyaing, says she plans to meet with protest organizers as well.

"They suffered economically and socially and other environmental disasters for that project so our leader would like to see the depth of that impact and she wants to hear from the villagers the real situation from the villagers and then she will, she is the chairman of the rule of law and peace committee of parliament she will make some recommendations to the committee what to do," said Ohn Kyaing.

Myint Twin is a lawyer who has been working with the villagers in Monywa to navigate their demands through the courts. He says every member of parliament should know the difficulties of the civilians, so they can bring this case to parliament where there is hope to seek some sort of satisfying resolution.

In the past, grassroots efforts have successfully stopped Chinese joint venture infrastructure projects such as the Myitsone dam. But Beijing has pressed on with the project, despite protests at its embassy in Rangoon.

In a media briefing this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei confirmed the government had no plans to halt the expansion of the mine.

He says the relevant copper mine is a mutually beneficial cooperation project between China and Burma.  The relocation compensation, benefits distribution and environmental protection involved in this project have been jointly decided by the two sides.  He says these decisions are also in compliance with Burma’s laws and regulations. And he hopes that all sectors of Burma will create favorable conditions for the successful operation of the project.

Other protesters connected to the mine protest were arrested earlier in the week, and are awaiting trial.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid