Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Myanmar police break up copper mine protest
by Staff Writers
Yangon (AFP) Nov 29, 2012

Myanmar police fired water cannon and tear gas at protesters against a Chinese-backed copper mine Thursday, the government said, injuring dozens in a crackdown hours before Aung San Suu Kyi visited the area.

The demonstration was the latest example of long-oppressed Myanmar citizens testing the limits of their new freedoms after the end last year of decades of authoritarian junta rule that saw protests routinely stamped out.

Demonstrators, who say farmers have been evicted to make way for the mine near the town of Monywa in northern Myanmar, recounted being shaken from their sleep in the early hours of the morning as police moved in to disperse them.

Several monks were arrested and around 30 others "suffered burns to their body", a monk called Yaywata, who goes by one name, told AFP.

It was unclear exactly what kind of device caused the burns.

President Thein Sein's office said in a statement that water cannon, tear gas and smoke bombs were used against the protesters, but a spokesman denied allegations by local media that a form of chemical weapon had been deployed.

"It's not true at all that chemical weapons were used in the crackdown," Nyan Tun, a director of the presidential office, told AFP.

As criticism of the police mounted, opposition leader Suu Kyi arrived in the area where she met officials from the Chinese mine operator Wanbao near the scene of the crackdown and later delivered a speech linked to the dispute.

In her public address, Suu Kyi "promised to try her best to find a peaceful solution" to the mine row and to look into how the crackdown happened, according to her spokesman Ohn Kyaing.

Villagers, monks and students had been warned to vacate protest camps near the mine -- a joint venture between Wanbao and military-owned Myanmar Economic Holdings -- by Tuesday, but had vowed to defy authorities.

The government is being closely watched, with activists warning that the use of junta-style security tactics could undermine Myanmar's reform process.

"These kind of old habit solutions should not happen," said Kyaw Min Yu, a member of the '88 Generation movement, born during huge student-led demonstrations in 1988.

"The government should be more patient in this transition period. If it (violence) is again used in the future, we cannot continue forward."

Protesters are demanding work is stopped until environmental and social impact studies are carried out.

During a September protest activists said 8,000 acres (3,200 hectares) of land had been confiscated from local farmers without consultation, and in some cases without compensation.

Chinese-backed projects to tap Myanmar's abundant natural resources have sparked resentment among residents, who have been testing the new reformist government's proclaimed tolerance of freedom of expression.

An editorial in Chinese state newspaper Global Times said the protesters were standing in the way of development. "It will be a lose-lose situation for China and Myanmar if the project is halted," the editorial said.

The mine demonstration echoes fierce opposition to a Chinese-backed mega-dam which saw Thein Sein order the scheme's suspension last year in response to public anger.

The former general's government earlier this year approved a bill allowing authorised peaceful protests but demonstrators must seek permission five days in advance.

Several demonstrators in Yangon were charged Tuesday with defaming the state after they called for a halt to the project.


Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Algerians vote in local election, FLN eyes landslide
Algiers (AFP) Nov 29, 2012
Algerians headed to the polls on Thursday for local elections that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's ruling party is widely expected to win but which the authorities are hoping will see a strong turnout. Many of the parties and lists competing for the 1,541 municipal and 48 regional assemblies have in recent weeks suggested the outcome of the vote is already known, after claims of widespread ... read more

Fed official sees only slight GDP hit from Sandy

Haiti opts for ID security program

Chernobyl shelter construction reaches key landmark

CCNY Landscape Architect Offers Storm Surge Defense Alternatives

NASA Technologists Test 'Game-Changing' Data-Processing Technology

UTC Aerospace Systems Selects Headwall Hyperspectral Imaging Sensor For SYERS-2 Program

Samsung launches new Internet-connected camera

20 workers injured as tornado hits Italy steel plant

Seas rising 60 percent faster than UN forecast: study

World Bank to spend $6.4 mn on Gaza water project

Ocean acidification affecting live marine creatures in the Southern Ocean

Water Resources Management and Policy in a Changing World

Definitive study highlights polar ice melt

Canada, Denmark settle Arctic territorial dispute

Embracing data 'noise' brings Greenland's complex ice melt into focus

Beware of permafrost peril, climate talks told

Human transformation of land threatens future sustainability?

Bread wheat's large and complex genome is revealed

Sequencing the Wheat Genome in a Breakthrough for Global Food Security

Chinese industrialist buys top wine estate in landmark deal

Renewed flooding threatens Niger capital

NASA Study Could Improve Hurricane Strength Forecasts

How does a volcanic crater grow? Grab some TNT and find out

Woman dies as hundreds flee homes in flooded Welsh city

Ethiopia to stay in Somalia until AU takeover: PM

Algeria's ruling party eyes landslide in local elections

Madagascar to probe rights abuses by security forces

Trial of army mutineers begins in Burkina Faso

Long-held memory tenet challenged

A 3-D light switch for the brain

Scientists improve dating of early human settlement

Oldest home in Scotland unearthed

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement