Saturday, December 1, 2012

1-12-2012 Burma Center Delhi Press Release on Letpadung Crackdown

December 1, 2012. New Delhi A hundred Burmese in India hold a demonstration in New Delhi today condemning the Burmese government’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters who demanded the suspension of Letpadaung copper mine near Monywa, Sagaing Region in Burma. On 29 November, police fired the camps of protesters with water and tear gas near the Letpadaung mine. The fires tore through the camps, burning dozens of protesters, monks and laypeople, most of whom are now seeking medical attention in makeshift hospitals. Earlier six other key organizers in Rangoon have also been arrested in this connection. Since August 2012 hundreds of local farmers, human rights activists and Buddhists monks have been protesting against the copper mine and its negative impact for the people. The Letpadaung Copper Mine Project is a joint venture of China’s Wan Bao Company and the Burmese military-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. It has resulted in land confiscations, environmental degradation as well violating the rights of the peaceful protesters. More than 7,800 acres of land from 26 villages were already confiscated for this Letpadaung copper mine project since 2011. The demonstration called for immediate suspension and thorough assessment to ascertain the impact of the project. To ensure appropriate measures to mitigate future negative impacts. Demonstrators also demanded for an adequate compensation for damages caused to local community. The Burmese pro-democracy forces in India submitted a memorandum to the Burmese President Thein Sein and Chinese President Hu Jintao through the respective Embassies in New Delhi. The following were the demand to the Burmese Government: • To conduct an independent investigation with international experts into the crackdown on 29 November and provide justice for the victims; • Immediate suspension of the Letpadaung copper mine and • Immediate release of all those who have been arrested in connection with the protests. The memorandum called upon the Chinese President to • Conduct an independent investigation with international experts into the crackdown on 29 November and provide justice for the victims; • suspend the Letpadaung copper mine • 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 • ensure Chinese corporations operating in Burma follow Chinese laws as well as international laws and guidelines For further information & request for interview, please contact: Mr. Kim at +91-8800414483 Burma Centre Delhi (BCD) WZ 110-A, (1st Fl), Bodela, Vikas Puri, New Delhi -110018, India Ph: (O) +91-11-45660619