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Police move in to disperse Latpadaung protesters


A thousand police officers and security forces moved in on Wednesday to disperse protesters, including Buddhist monks, at the Latpadaung copper mine project.
lptphoto9
While security forces beat their shields with batons and shouted threats, authorities gave orders via amplifiers for the protesters to vacate the sites around Latpadaung Mountain.

The authorities announced that a curfew was being imposed under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, according to Min Min, a Mizzima correspondent who is present at the site.

“Security forces told the Buddhist monks to leave the area around the Wanbao mining company beside the Pathein-Monywa Road, telling them that ‘Section 144 has been imposed’,” said Min Min. “However, I have seen no violence or force being used to enforce the demands.”

Despite the order, about 100 Buddhist monks from Monywa reinforced the main protest camp, he said. Likewise, the security presence was beefed up at the main site on Wednesday.
“There are now more than 400 monks and 200 laypersons at the main site,” he said. “The number of security staff has been increased to about 1,000.”

Ma Aye Nat, one of the camp leaders, said, “Sabel Hill [nearby copper mine] was totally destroyed. Now people living in Kankon Village cannot get clean drinking water. If Latpadaung Mountain is destroyed, the residue will flow into the Chindwin River and then into the Irrawaddy. Those who drink the water will get diseases.”

The Ministry of Home affairs previously issued an order that all six protest sites should be closed and vacated by midnight on Tuesday, November 27. Otherwise, it said, action would be taken.

A spokesperson for the protesters said they would defy the order and would not leave the protest sites where they are campaigning for a suspension of the local copper mine project.

For more background:
http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/8451-suu-kyi-speaks-out-on-monywa-copper-mine-project.html
http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/8444-monywa-copper-mine-protesters-lack-supplies.html
http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/8025-sagaing-region-government-cannot-stop-copper-mine-project-minister.html


Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 November 2012 10:00 )  

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