Saturday, October 22, 2016
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Letpadaung residents vow to keep up anti-mine campaign

Residents of villages near the Monywa copper mine agreed last week to accept the findings of Aung San Suu Kyi’s Investigation Commission – provided it recommends to cancel the planned expansion at the centre of the unrest.

About 500 residents from 26 villages met on January 6 and also agreed to continue their peaceful protest campaign, Ko Thaw Lin, second officer of the Myanmar Arts and Sciences University Network told The Myanmar Times.

“If the commission decides that the company shouldn’t keep [developing the mine], that won’t be a problem … all of the local people just want the project to end, they are not interested in additional compensation,” he said.

Residents said they also understood that the commission could advise to continue the project against their wishes.

“Daw Suu said at the press conference on December 6 that [not everyone] will like the final result. If [the mine continues], the company has to be fair and not hurt the interests of the people. If not they will regret it,” said U Maung Maung from Sae Taie village.

The commission was formed in the first week of December and will submit its finding by the end of January.

The Letpadaung project is a joint venture between China’s Wanbao Mining and army-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (UMEHL).

Following the formation of the investigation commission, China’s ambassador to Myanmar Li Junhua said at a press conference that the Chinese government would accept the decision of the investigation commission if it impartial.

UMEHL project officer U Myint Aung told The Myanmar Times that he could not discuss the investigation until the results are released.