Monday, 18 November 2019

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UNFC condemns govt handling of Latpadaung crisis

The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) has slammed the Burmese government for its handling of the situation in the wake of a violent crackdown on protesters at the Monywa copper mine site on November 29.

UNFC General-Secretary Nai Hong Sar (Photo: Mizzima)The ethnic bloc said that the authorities completely neglected the welfare and well-being of its citizens, but instead protected the welfare and well-being of a military-owned business and a foreign client.

UNFC General-Secretary Nai Hong Sar said that the government’s reaction in forming an investigation commission and appointing Aung San Suu Kyi as its head was indicative of Naypyitaw’s insincerity.

Speaking to Mizzima this week, he said, “The government should handle the matter by itself. They have appointed Aung San Suu Kyi to chair the commission, which means that the government is ducking out of its responsibility. In other words, the government has borrowed Aung San Suu Kyi’s hands to catch a poisonous snake. If something goes wrong, it will be her who faces the consequences.”

The UNFC statement, dated December 10, said that the government is only interested in protecting the above-mentioned two bodies—the Chinese Wanbao Company and the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd—and is completely neglecting the welfare of those at a grassroots level.
In using Suu Kyi as a de facto mediator, the government is in fact, “just playing volleyball” by passing the ball to the other side of the court, the statement said.

Nai Hong Sar noted that the authorities have taken legal action against the protesters, including Buddhist monks, but dare not address the issue directly.

“It’s unnatural,” he said. “And it is dishonest.”

In its statement, the UNFC suggested forming assistance groups including legal advisers for Suu Kyi in her capacity as chairperson of the inquiry.

But it also warned the Commission to “be aware of Thein Sein’s government’s tricks—alternately coaxing and then threatening.”

Nai Hong Sar said that the government needs to analyze the benefits and disadvantages of each foreign investment before making a decision.

The UNFC urged Burma’s citizens to pay more attention to activities that could influence genuine nationwide changes rather than only paying attention to the Latpadaung copper mine project.

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