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People's Voices

The people of Burma continuously find ways to take action on issues that matter to them, despite restrictions and the threat of retaliation or imprisonment. These actions may include expressing opposition to a development project or protesting against human rights violations such as land confiscation.

Read on to hear about their courageous actions.

Hundreds Demand Probe of Burmese Mine Crackdown Five Months On

Security Forces Stop Letpadaung Protest 25 April 2013 Photo © RFAHundreds of villagers held a protest Monday to back their persistent calls for a government probe into a harsh crackdown on protesters against a controversial China-backed copper mine in northern Burma’s Sagaing division that left more than 100 injured and was strongly condemned by rights groups.

More than 500 people marched from Ton village in Sagaing to the office of the Letpadaung mine developer, demanding an end to the project and calling on authorities to prosecute those responsible for a Nov. 29 pre-dawn raid […]

April 29, 2013 | Tags: , , , | Read more >>

Hundreds Protest Pipeline in Burma’s Rakhine State

Protest Against Shwe Gas Project Maday 18 April 2013 Photo © NarinjaraHundreds of residents protested Thursday against a China-backed petroleum pipeline project in western Burma’s Rakhine state over inadequate compensation and demands that the project developer provide better transportation infrastructure and higher salaries for local workers.

Around 400 people gathered to protest the Shwe Gas Project in Maday Island off the coast of Kyaukpyu town in the Bay of Bengal, also complaining that the project had polluted rivers which fishermen in the area had depended on for their catch […]

April 18, 2013 | Tags: , , | Read more >>

Hundreds Resume Letpadaung Mine Protest

Letpadaung Copper Mine Protestors 22 Aug 2012 © Open Society MonywaMore than 300 farmers in northern Burma’s Sagaing Division have resumed their protests against a controversial Chinese-backed copper mine, saying they will refuse compensation and continue to push for the mine’s complete closure.

“No matter how much compensation they give, we won’t accept it, because all we want is for the mine to be shut down completely,” said one of the farmers from the Letpadaung area near Monywa […]

April 1, 2013 | Tags: , , | Read more >>

Love Salween Group Condemns Blocking of Free Expression in Karenni State

We, the Love Salween Group, condemn government authorities for denying local villagers their democratic rights by blocking them from organizing a prayer ceremony to mark the Global Day of Action for Rivers on March 14, 2013 at Wan Awn village, Pasaung township of Karenni state […]

March 20, 2013 | Tags: , , , | Read more >>

Fate of Salween Dams Remains Unclear

Karen protest Salween Dams 14 Mar 2013 © Karen Rivers WatchSome 2,000 internally displaced people and villagers from the Wei Gyi area gathered on March 14 by the Salween riverbank to protest continued plans to construct six hydroelectric dams on the river.

The ceremony, which included prayer services by a Buddhist monk and a Christian pastor, was also attended by community leaders from Dawei, who themselves are resisting massive development projects in their area […]

March 18, 2013 | Tags: , , | Read more >>

2,000 Karens Gather on the Salween to Call for a Halt to Dam Plans

About 2,000 internally displaced people and villagers from the Wei Gyi area gathered yesterday at Ei Htu Hta Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp on the Salween riverbank to mark the International Day of Action for Rivers and Against Dams in an event organized by Karen Rivers Watch […]

March 15, 2013 | Tags: , , | Read more >>

Rangoon Car Dealers Protest Eviction from Hanthawady Market

Yangon Car Market Protest 1 Mar 2013 © Steve Tickner / The IrrawaddyUsed-car dealers opposed to local government efforts to shut down Burma’s largest car-trading market held protests on Friday after municipal authorities sealed off the compound.

On Feb. 16, the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) ordered all businesses at the Hanthawady car-trading market to relocate by the end of February. The market sits on an 8.6-acre plot of land owned by the YCDC, which is planning to set up a housing project there […]

March 2, 2013 | Tags: , , | Read more >>

Burmese Mine Activists Hold Hunger Strike

More than two dozen villagers staged a hunger strike in northern Burma Thursday over the lack of progress in an official investigation into the feasibility of a controversial Chinese-backed copper mine they say has occupied their land and is polluting the area.

The 26 representatives of 26 villages situated around the site of the Letpadaung copper mine project at Sarlingyi township in Burma’s Sagaing division said the fast was also to protest inaction against police who launched a brutal crackdown on protesters at the site exactly three months ago […]

February 28, 2013 | Tags: , , | Read more >>

Land Protest Leaves One Dead, Dozens Injured

Farmers Protest in Maubin Township 26 Feb 2013 © JPaing / The IrrawaddyOne policeman is dead and dozens of police and protesters were injured following clashes that broke out on Tuesday over efforts to end a demonstration by farmers demanding the return of confiscated farmland.

According to local officials in Maubin Township, Irrawaddy Division, 27 police and 15 farmers were injured in the melee that erupted after police moved in to break up the protest at around 6 pm on Tuesday […]

February 27, 2013 | Tags: , , , | Read more >>

Seven Charged Over Inle Lake Hotel Zone Protest

Inle Hotel Zone Protest 20 Feb 2013 © Khine Sabei Nyein/The Myanmar TimesVillagers who say the government confiscated their land to build a hotel complex in Nyaungshwe township, Shan State, have been charged with obstruction following a protest demonstration. If convicted, they face up to six months in prison or a fine.

Seven local residents face charges in Nyaungshwe township, near Taunggyi and the major tourist destination of Inle Lake, where land is being cleared for the hotel zone. They are U Zaw Min, U Thein Tun Oo, Daw Khin Win, U Kyaw Sein, U Aung Myint, U Chway Gal and U Aung Kyaw Myo from Inngyinkon and Kanbe villages. Nyaungshwe township administrator U Soe Win Maung accused them of incitement to impede administrative tasks […]

February 25, 2013 | Tags: , , , | Read more >>