Myanmar police arrest activists over latest copper mine protest

November 29, 2012 - 1:48:39 am

YANGON: Police in Myanmar have arrested six leaders of the latest protest against the planned expansion of a Chinese-run copper mine, with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi planning to visit the area to hear grievances.

In September, thousands of villagers near the Monywa mine in northwest Myanmar protested against the $1bn expansion project, taking advantage of new, if fragile, freedoms granted since the end of military rule last year. 

The villagers say that under the project in the Sagaing region more than 7,800 acres (3,160 hectares) of land have been unlawfully confiscated.

In the latest protest, activists led a demonstration in the commercial capital, Yangon, on Monday to highlight the plight of villagers and were arrested the next day, supporters said.

“They were taken to Insein Central Prison yesterday and charged with creating public mischief. The hearing was adjourned to December 3,” activist Win Cho said yesterday.

The authorities are now moving to end the protest at the Monywa site.