Latpadaung Copper Conflict
This week the Roadies visit Monywa area, where the controversial copper mine Latpadaung is located. DVB’s Roadshow lets many villagers have their say and show new perspectives on the long standing conflict.
Context: the Latpadaung mine project claimed its first life on 22 December when local villager Khin Win was shot dead during a protest. A local reporter filmed it and was aired on DVB TV. The Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) has insisted on January 15th that local Salingyi police investigate the December shooting, saying her killing breached international rights standards.
In addition to the death of Khin Win, more than 20 other villagers were injured in the two days of standoff at the site. The MNHRC also reserved criticism for the protestors themselves, accusing them of “violent’ or ‘terrorising” conduct.
Hundreds of local villagers and their supporters have been protesting the Latpadaung copper mine since its inception more than 10 years ago. Many have been displaced to make way for the project, which was originally contracted to a Canadian firm, Ivanhoe Mines.
The controversial mine was temporarily suspended when activists and Buddhist monks staged a mass sit-in protest in 2012. The protest was broken up brutally by riot police on 29 November that year when some 80 protestors were injured, including several monks, many with horrific burns that experts have attributed to white phosphorous.
A subsequent investigation headed by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi failed to pronounce anyone guilty for the violent crackdown, and to many villagers’ dismay, recommended to the government that the project be resumed.
Watch the 10th episode of Doh Pyay Doh Myay this Saturday first on DVB TV at 17:30h.