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Burmese in India Launch 5 Day-Long Sit-in-Protest in New Delhi

By Burmese Pro-democracy Groups in India  •  December 17, 2012

Burmese sit-in-protest-photo-show 17-Dec-2012----Beginning of the “5-day long peaceful sit-in-protest cum photo exhibition at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi” today, over 40 Burmese activists in India condemn the Burmese government’s brutal crackdown on  peaceful protesters who demanded the suspension of Letpadaung copper mine near Monywa, Sagaing Region in Burma last month.

The Burmese peaceful protestors were demanding that the Letpadaung copper mine project be suspended until the crisis was resolved and local people can participate in decisions making process on the use of natural resources and to stop arresting peaceful protestors and release all those who were arrested in connection with the protests.

The protestors also condemned the pre-dawn crackdown on peaceful protestors on 29 November 2012 by the police. The protestors also stated that reforms in Burma cannot be called genuine if such brutal act continues in the country.

For several months, local farmers, human rights activists and Buddhists monks have been protesting against the copper mining project and its damaging impacts. In the early morning of 29 November 2012, police attacked the make shift camps that were set up near the Letpadaung mine, with water cannons, smoke bombs and tear gas. Fire burns through the camps, burning monks and laypeople, most of whom are now seeking medical attention in makeshift hospitals.

The Letpadaung copper mine project is a joint-venture between China’s Wan Bao Company and the military-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. The two parties signed a contract in 2010 to produce copper in Burma. Under the terms of contract for the Letpadaung expansion at Monywa, Wanbao invested US$1 billion. Chinese Wanbao Company is a subsidiary of the state-owned arms manufacturer the China North Industries Corporation, also known as Norinco.

In view of this recent incident over the brutal crackdown on protesters in Saigang divisoion , the Burmese pro-democracy forces in India are organizing a solidarity relay sit-in-protest cum photo-exhibition for 5 consecutive days. Beginning from today December 17 and will continue till December 21, 2012.

Our demands :

To the Burmese Government

  • To apologize to the monks and affected communities
  • To suspend the Letpadaung copper mine project until present crisis are resolve and local people can participate in decisions making process on the use of their local resources
  • To stop arresting peaceful protestors and release all those who were arrested in connection with the protests

To the Chinese Government

  • To apologize to the monks and affected communities
  • To suspend the Letpadaung copper mine project until present crisis are resolve and local people can participate in decisions making process on the use of their local resources
  • To withdraw Wan Bao Company from the Letpadaung Copper Mine Project until present crisis are resolve and local people can participate in decisions making process on the use of their local resources
  • To ensure Chinese corporations operating in Burma follow Chinese laws as well as international laws and guidelines

See more photos from the protest here.

For further information & request for interview, please contact:

Mr. Kim at +91-8800414483
Ashin Panya Zawta at +91-8130811264

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This post is in: Press Release

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