News / Asia

Troops Disperse Burmese Mine Protest

Activist known as Ko Kyaw, left background in blue pants, gestures during a meeting with protesting Buddhist monks who occupy the office entrance to the Chinese copper mine company Wan Bao Co. Ltd in northwestern Myanmar, Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012.Activist known as Ko Kyaw, left background in blue pants, gestures during a meeting with protesting Buddhist monks who occupy the office entrance to the Chinese copper mine company Wan Bao Co. Ltd in northwestern Myanmar, Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012.
x
Activist known as Ko Kyaw, left background in blue pants, gestures during a meeting with protesting Buddhist monks who occupy the office entrance to the Chinese copper mine company Wan Bao Co. Ltd in northwestern Myanmar, Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012.
Activist known as Ko Kyaw, left background in blue pants, gestures during a meeting with protesting Buddhist monks who occupy the office entrance to the Chinese copper mine company Wan Bao Co. Ltd in northwestern Myanmar, Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012.
VOA News
Burmese government troops have dispersed protesters, including Buddhist monks, who were camping outside a copper mine in a northwestern region demanding that an expansion project be halted.
 
A reporter for VOA's Burmese Service said the security forces moved in about 3 a.m. Thursday local time and dismantled and burned the encampments.  The reporter (Thein Htike Oo) said several monks have been injured, with at least one suffering facial burns.
 
Hundreds of Burmese villagers and monks defied government orders to end a 10-day protest against the expansion of a Chinese-backed copper mine near the town of Monywa.   Authorities ordered protesters to leave the area by the end of Tuesday or face unspecified action.  
 
The protesters stayed beyond the deadline, apparently testing the limits of new freedoms introduced by the Burmese government that took office last year.  The new government ended decades of military dictatorship and instituted some democratic reforms.  
 
There was no police action against the encampments Wednesday after the deadline passed, but the troops were sent in early Thursday. 
 
Villagers say mine expansion will cause environmental, social and health problems, and also accuse authorities of unlawfully seizing land for the project. 
 
Burma's Home Ministry said mine operations were suspended November 18 because of the protest.  It said the occupation must end to allow a parliamentary commission to make a factfinding visit. 
 
Burmese officials have said 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 because of similar concerns about its social and economic consequences. 
 
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was 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.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs