Thursday, March 14, 2013

Se Tel villagers protest against Suu Kyi


Thursday, 14 March 2013 16:45 Khine Khine

Following her confrontation with villagers at a Buddhist chapel in Se Tel, near the Latpadaung copper mine in Sagaing Region, Aung San Suu Kyi finally left the village at about 2:15 pm on Thursday and was taken to another site at nearby Lakekhun Mountain, a resident living in Se Tel told Mizzima.

Villagers shout slogans as they protest against Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's stand on a Chinese-backed copper mine project, in Monywa northern Myanmar on March 14, 2013. Suu Kyi urged protesters to accept a controversial Chinese-backed mine that was the scene of a violent crackdown last year, or risk hurting the economy. AFP PHOTO

“All the villagers came out to demonstrate against her,” he said. “Then they followed her shouting slogans.”

Suu Kyi had angered many of the Se Tel residents by telling them at a town meeting in the local Buddhist chapel that they would need to resettle and that jobs would be created for them at the new site, the local source said.

Despite being blocked in the chapel for an hour by angry residents, Suu Kyi and her small entourage eventually left on foot. An estimated 300 villagers who had attended the meeting continued to follow her and shouted slogans such as: “We don’t want someone who protects the UMEHL!” [Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Co. Ltd—one of the two copper mine contractors]

The crowd also called for those responsible for firing phosphorous-filled smoke bombs at activists on November 29 to be held accountable.

More protesters are expected to confront Suu Kyi at Lakekhun Mountain, just three miles from Se Tel Village, the local source said.
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