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Monywa crackdown due to a lack of rule of law, says local MP


NLD MP Khin San Hlaing, who is one of the 16 members of the Monywa Inquiry Commission, says that the priority of the Commission should be to investigate the extent of the violence by police in the crackdown on protesters at the Latpadaung Mountain copper mine site last Thursday.

NLD MP Khin San Hlaing helps escort an injured protester to medics in Monywa on Thursday morning following a crackdown by riot police. (PHOTO: Hein Htet/Mizzima)
NLD MP Khin San Hlaing helps escort an injured protester to medics in Monywa on Thursday morning following a crackdown by riot police. (PHOTO: Hein Htet/Mizzima)
“Though this matter is not in the mission statement of the Inquiry Commission, it must be our priority,” she said. “The issue is the rule of law. We must be prepared to speak out on this issue in our recommendations.

“The fact is that peaceful demonstrators were brutally attacked because of a lack of rule of law,” she told Mizzima.

Khin San Hlaing, a High Court advocate and former political prisoner, is a Lower House MP representing Pale Township, an area close to Monywa and the copper mine in question.

When the President’s Office in Naypyitaw first announced it had appointed a 30-member Commission on December 1, the original mission statement said that the inquiry was “to evaluate whether the Monywa copper mine project should be continued or not; and to reveal the true facts surrounding the protests at Latpadaung Mountain and the extent of force used to control these demonstrations.”

However, on Monday that statement was amended, and the latter half of the mission statement was dropped. The number of members on the Commission was also reduced—from 30 to 16.

But Khin San Hlaing told Mizzima that the reduction in numbers will not affect the functions and performance of the Commission.

“The Commission has become leaner, and therefore our work will be more efficient,” she said. “We can invite experts, both Burmese and international, for consultation if needed.”

The Inquiry Commission has been asked to submit its report within one month. Mizzima has learned that the Commission is to issue a statement on state-run TV and radio next Tuesday evening.

“We, the members of the Commission, will do our best and work in collaboration with each other for the sake of the entire nation,” said the NLD MP.


For more background on the crackdown at the Monywa copper mine site:

http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/8471-80-injured-in-monywa-crackdown.html
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:08 )  

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