News / Asia

Burmese Copper Mine Protest Grows

Burmese monks take part in a protest march against a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa Burma, November 21, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
Burmese monks take part in a protest march against a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa Burma, November 21, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
VOA News
Hundreds of Burmese villagers and monks are defying government orders to end a 10-day protest against the expansion of a Chinese-backed copper mine in northwestern Burma.

Protesters remained in several camps near the Monywa mine, ignoring a warning to vacate by Tuesday or face unspecified action.  A VOA reporter says the number of protesters is growing.

Activists reported no police action against the encampments.  The protesters appear to be testing the limits of new freedoms introduced by the Burmese government that took office last year, ending decades of military dictatorship.

Burma's Home Ministry says mine operations were suspended November 18 because of the protest.  It said the occupation must end to allow a parliamentary commission to make a fact-finding visit.

  • Burmese protesters at a camp site outside a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa Burma, November 23, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
  • Monks and protesters at a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa, Burma, November 22, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
  • Protesters at a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa, Burma, November 22, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
  • Protesters at a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa, Burma, November 22, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
  • Protesters at their camp at a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa, Burma, November 22, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
  • Monks and protesters at a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa, Burma, November 22, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
  • Monks lead a protest march against a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa, Burma, November 21, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
  • Monks take part in a protest march against a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa, Burma, November 21, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)
  • Monks and protesters march in a demonstration against a Chinese-backed copper mine, Monywa, Burma, November 21, 2012. (VOA Burmese Service)

Villagers say mine expansion will cause environmental, social and health problems, and also accuse authorities of unlawfully seizing land for the project.

Protesters say they will remain until the government agrees to scrap the joint venture between a Chinese weapons maker and a Burmese military-backed corporation.

Burmese military officials say canceling the project would discourage much-needed foreign investment.

Earlier this year, Burma relaxed laws against public protests.  But activists still risk a year in jail if they do not go through the proper channels to get permission for demonstrations.

Burmese activists have been emboldened since President Thein Sein stopped construction of a Chinese-funded hydropower dam in the northern state of Kachin last year.  Environmentalists opposed that project due to similar concerns about its social and economic consequences.

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is due to visit the copper mine on Thursday to hear protesters' grievances.  Her National League for Democracy party is calling for an independent commission to investigate the situation.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tom from: Birmingham
December 01, 2012 3:32 PM
Suu Kyi visited the copper mine site and talked to the locals. Her party is also setting up independent commission to investigate the situation.
She seems to show interest in ethnic Buddhist (Myama) and doing everything she can. Where was she when ethnic Kachin have problems with Chinese building hydro- power station? Why didn't she visit Kachin state and see what's happening up there? She didn't care because they are Christians? Please put these questions to her. I don't think she reads our comments on here.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid