#Myanmar #National #Human #Rights #Commission (MNHRC) #Letpadaungtaung #REPORT

The cause of death and injuries in Letpadaungtaung copper mine project is due to the police force failed to abide by the rules for using the riot gear,  Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC)’s report released on January 14.



Letpadaungtaung mining project to resume pending govt decision – Wanbao


Operations on the controversial Letpadaungtaung copper mine project are to resume pending the Myanmar government’s decision, according to Wanbao company officials.

“The construction, environment and social management survey for the mining project is finished and it is ready to submit to the government,” said Deputy General Manager for Myanmar Wanbao.

“The government decision is required to resume the project,” he added.

The Letpadaungtaung copper mine project is run by the Chinese company, Wanbao Mining Ltd. together with the military-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holding Limited (UMEHL) and Myanmar’s Ministry of Mines.

Protests against the project’s environmental and social impact in November 2012 were heavily repressed leading to dozens of arrests. The authorities were blamed for using excessive force.

The project was put on hold after a report was released by the Letpadaungtaung Special Investigation Commission, led by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The report called for the project to be halted until land compensation disputes were settled. Local residents have also insisted not to move a Pagoda and other religious sites in the project area.

Some villages that are included in the project area have refused to move since the report came out and are still protesting against the project. Villagers from these communities have not asked for compensation for their land, which is now included in a revised agreement between the government and Wanbao Mining Ltd.

Officials from Wanbao have said the deadline for compensation is September 30 and insisted they would not compensate villagers after the deadline. The villagers who have agreed to compensation amount to about half of the entire village, which comprises of more than 6,000 acres in the project area.

“It is nonsense that they refuse to give compensation if we didn’t take it before September 30. When we move our belongings, we didn’t know about anything,” said a local who has to relocate all his house and belongings.

According to the revised agreement, Wanbao will use two percent of the profit in corporate social responsibility projects and keep US$2 million per year as an environmental preservation and protection fund during mining exploration.

Moreover the company will use environmental preservation techniques right from the start as well as make a monthly environmental and social impact assessment, according to deputy general manager.LADPADAUNG BUDDHIST TEMPLE

New Letpadaungtaung deal- Wanbao and Ministry of Mines


Myanmar’s Ministry of Mines and the Chinese Wanbao Company operating the controversial Letpadaungtaung copper mine project are planning to finalise signing a new contract on July 24, according to the reports of Ministry of Mines.

The Ministry of Mines will submit a newly amended contract to parliament and hold a press conference.

Last year, police responded to demonstrations against the project’s environmental and social impacts with a brutal crackdown on November 29, using phosphorous against protesters.

A probe led by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for the contract to be reviewed, and for fair compensation to be provided for farmers of land confiscated for the project.

The old contract allowed Wanbao Mining Ltd. and Union of Myanmar Economic Holding Limited (UMEHL) to share 96 percent profit and the Ministry of Mines under the No.1 Mining Enterprise would only charge four percent as a mineral tax. According to the newly-amended contract, the No.1 Mining Enterprise will gain 51 percent profit, Wanbao get 30 percent and the Union of Myanmar Economic Holding Limited (UMEHL) 19 percent.

In Letpadaungtaung, copper production costs US$ 3,600 for one ton of copper. If exported, one ton price is between US$ 6,500 and US$ 7,000. Moreover, Yang Tse Mining Ltd. under the control of Wanbao Company and the UMEHL are jointly cooperating Sabeitaung and Kyaysintaung copper mine projects.

While operating Sabeitaung and Kyaysintaung copper mine projects, the UMHEL had taken over 50 percent shares of No.1 Mining Enterprise with US$ 100 million and Yang Tse Mining Limited also took over 50 percent of Ivanhoe Myanmar Holdings Limited ( IMHL) with US$ 100 million.

Chinese Wanbao Company has been granted five years of tax exemption. Moreover, the company was also given different kinds of tax exemption for its imported heavy machineries including various types of vehicles. The Letpadaungtaung copper mine project is a giant project which can triple to profits compared with that of Sabeitaung and Kyaysintaung copper mine projects.

Ko Ko Gyi Says We’ll Mediate in the Letpadaungtaung Disputes;

88 generation at crime scene
88 generation at crime scene

It is learnt from the 88 Generation Students that to solve the problems regarding to the protests against the Letpadaungtaung Copper Mines, there are two different issues, first is the Emergence of the Optimal Decision on the Future of the Mines and the second Using of Extreme Force on the Dispersion of the Demonstration Camps. In solving the problem it is vital to base on wisdom.

“ In our opinion, it is enough Daw Aung San Suu Kyi participating as the Chairperson, We declined to participate in the commission. We will talk with the local people as well as the activists and forward their needs and suggestions to the commission and the responsible personnel as mediators.” Said Ko Ko Gyi, a leader of the 88 Generation Students.

The 88 Generation Students issued a 5- points press release in the evening of December 3, on the day the Office of the President made announcement on the reformation of the investigation commission and met the media at their office in Wayzayantar Street.

“ The locals and the activists prefer meeting us informally. So taking this opportunity , we will coordinate with the commission led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the responsible persons.” said Ko Ko Gyi.

Although they have no right to enter the curfew area issued under section 144 unless they were in the commission, the authorities already agreed to grant the access, it is known.

Min Ko Naing also said that they will take the role of mediator forwarding the voices of the peoples and help the commission because they believed that it is good enough as Daw Aung Sa Suu Kyi serving as chair.

It ie learnt that the 88 Generation Students went to Nay Pyi Taw to see the Union Minister, U Aung Min and gave words to do their best in assisting the commission’s investigation.

It is also known that they are asking for the immediate release of arrested protesters and no more arrest of the protesters.

Ko Htay Kywe, an 88 Generation Student said,” It is necessary to release all ( who are arrested ). The commission chaired by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will need meeting with them. With regards to the commission’s process, public’s desire and the national cause, we will try our best to stop the arrests and release all  the arrested protesters.


photo credit lotusman