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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More