Over 150 locals in central Burma’s Monywa staged another round of protests against the controversial China-backed Latpadaung copper mine on Wednesday after police and security guards began bulldozing their farms on the project site.
Over 120 local farmers from 12 villages in Latpadaung on Thursday held a meeting to discuss the issue of compensation, and decided to call for negotiations with more senior figures of authority.
President Thein Sein said yesterday the government will help conserve Phahtama Laldi Sayardawgyi’s Monastery and Stupa, a historical religious place at Lapadaungtaung area in central Myanmar.
The president said this is in response to an earlier request made by monks from 100 Buddhist monasteries in Monywa Township, Sagaing.
The announcement was made as monks demonstrated in various places around the country including Yangon, Mandalay, Monywa, Pakokku and Sittwe against the violent crackdown on protesters at a copper mine in Lapadaungtaung.
“Over a hundred monasteries in Monywa together made the request since Thidingyut Full Moon day. It is strange that the government granted it only on the day of the demonstrations. Government should have done it earlier if it is their true intention. Demonstrating monks are now requesting the President to apologise to them for the Lapadaungtaung crackdown and to identify the officials behind the brutal action,” a monk said.
Phahtama Laldi Sayardawgyi’s Monastery and Stupa is situated in Lapadaungtaung project area, Sarlingyi Township in Sagaing Division, and it is where a Buddhist religious figure Venerable Laldi Monk lived in his lifetime.
Monywa Cooper Mine Project is a joint venture between business
communities of China and Myanmar that will bring benefits to both sides.
Issues such as relocation, compensation, environmental protection and
profit sharing regarding this project were jointly settled through negotiations
by the two sides and meet Myanmar’s laws and regulations. We hope all
levels of Myanmar society can create a favorable environment for the
project’s smooth operation based on respect for laws and regulations of
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson of the National League for Democracy Party, said on November 29 that she would like to intervene in the disputes between the locals and investors on copper mine project while she met with the people in Kan Kone Village, Salin Kyi Township of Monywa district.
Many prominent persons from various sphere criticized that it is totally unacceptable that the riot police crack downed on protest camps by using tear bombs and water cannons before the daybreak on the holy and sacred day of the Buddhists, the full moon day of Tazaungmone month on November 29.
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