Monks rally across Myanmar over mine crackdown

December 13, 2012 - 7:16:58 am


Yangon: Hundreds of monks staged demonstrations across Myanmar yesterday demanding further apologies for injuries sustained in a police crackdown on a protest at a Chinese-backed copper mine last month.

Around 500 maroon-robed monks walked through the streets of Yangon reciting Buddhist verses, according to a reporter at the scene, in the latest display of public discontent over the incident at the mine in Monywa, northern Myanmar.

Hundreds more marched in the country’s second-biggest city Mandalay and in Monywa, local witnesses said, asking the government to apologise to dozens of monks who suffered injuries, including severe burns, in the pre-dawn raid on protest camps at the mine in November.

“We want them to apologise to the monks who were burnt during the crackdown at the Latpadaung mountain copper mine,” Thuzana, a protest leader who gave only one name, said.

Last week religious Affairs Minister Myint Maung apologised to some of the country’s most senior clerics, saying the incident, in which at least 99 monks and 11 others were hurt, was a “great grief” to the government, state media reported.

About 100 police also apologised to a group of monks in Monywa soon after the crackdown.

But the efforts have failed to dampen anger over the raid, the toughest clampdown on demonstrators since a reformist government came to power last year, and there has been a string of protests in recent weeks.