Myanmar appoints Suu Kyi to investigate protest crackdown

Breaking News December 02, 2012 00:00

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Yangon - Myanmar appointed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to investigate a police crackdown on protesters at a copper mine that left 50 people injured, reports said Sunday.

Riot police on Thursday used water cannon, tear gas and smoke bombs to disperse hundreds of protesters who had camped outside the mining project near Monywa, 827 kilometres north-west of Yangon.

The protesters alleged that their land had been illegally confiscated and said an environmental impact study had never been conducted.

President Thein Sein appointed Suu Kyi to head the 30-member investigating panel.

It will probe the "causes of protests that demanded shutdown of the copper mine project," and conduct a "review on controls of protests and injuries of members of Sangha (Buddhist monkhood)," the president's order said.

The Latpadaungtaung Copper Mining Project is a joint venture between a military-owned company and two Chinese firms, the New Light of Myanmar reported. It won the concession in March 2010 from the former ruling military junta.

The current government elected in November 2011 has carried out political and economic reforms and tolerated public expression of political views.

Thein Sein last year shelved a 3.5-billion-dollar Myitsone hydropower dam in the northern state of Kachin after villages and environmentalists protested that it would adversely impact the Irrawaddy River.//DPA


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