Protests against Letpadaungtaung project continue in Mandalay

Mandalay residents staged a second protest on January, demanding the controversial Letpadaungtaung copper mining project be shut down and those who killed local protestor Khin Win be punished.

The protestors, including the Buddhist monks, students, political activists and farmers, marched around Mandalay, denouncing the recent violent crackdown on protesters at the mine site, in which  Khin Win was killed and and around 40 others were injured.

The protesters called upon authorities to act in accordance with the Letpadaung Taung Investigation Commission's final report on the copper mine, to penalise those who killed Khin Win and to lift Emergency Act 144, which was recently enacted in the Letpadaungtaung area. 

"[Myanmar] Wanbao [Mining Copper Co Ltd] is of no assistance to the people. It's only beneficial for the Economic Holdings Ltd. They seized farmlands from local farmers and even killed one farmer. This is too much. President Thein Sein's administration is fully responsible for that. The president had given no comment on it yet. There has still been no action taken against the violent crackdown, which used smoke-bombs against protesting monks. And there is still no action taken against the recent killing," said protestor Amar Ni.

Organiser Thein Aung said he sought official permission for the protest from Chanayetharzan Township Police Station in Mandalay on December 31, which denied the request. 

Around 300 people, including members of civil society organisations and democracy groups, marched in Yangon from City Hall to the Chinese embassy on December 29, calling for a probe into the death of Khin Win. 

Three activists, named Nay Myo Zin, Naw Ohn Hla and Sein Htwe, were arrested the next day for organising protest in front of the Chinese embassy. Six charges were filed against each them.