Security forces in Letpadaungtaung copper-mine project area clashed with the local people on the road connecting Moegyo Pyin Village and Setel Village in Sarlingyi Township, Sagaing Region on November 13.
The conflict started around 9am as the security forces put barricades across the road just outside Moegyo Pyin Village, which is located beside Pathein-Monywa Highway. Then, nearly 150 locals gathered and demanded the security for stopping and removing the barricades.
“Since 8pm on the night of November 12, the police came to the road. They built the barricades during the night and closed the road. On the morning, they did not allow us to pass it,” said Kyaw Myint Lay from the central part of Moegyo Pyin Village.
“The road they blocked has always been used by the villagers. It is not also on the compensated land, and it is far from the project site. When I went there to get some grass for the cows, my cart wasn’t allowed to pass. They said I have to sign to go in,” said a woman from the southern part of Moegyo Pyin Village.
There were arguments between the villagers and the police. A large number of police were sent there to contain the clash.
Sarlingyi Township’s chief official Kyaw Thaung also came to the place and said “Blocking is because the area falls in the project land. It is also because there is a protest camp on Ingyin Mountain.
These farm-lands are actually state-owned. These villages are also not legal ones. So, they can be confiscated anytime.”
A total of 200 security people were there that afternoon, trying to manage the conflict situation that was still going tense by 1 pm.