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YNS Statement regarding Recent Tensions between Local Communities and Government-backed Mining Projects in Mongwa district

14 September 2012

YNS extends the strongest possible support to the protesters who have been active since the 23rd of August and have faced stern repression from state security forces. YNS is concerned to see that:

  • The government has failed to listen to the concerns of the local communities affected by mining developments.
  • The government of Thein Sein has employed tactics typical of the former military regime, using the armed forces, police and internment in jail to silence protesters. Families have not heard from members who have been arrested.
  • The government has not restricted cronies who enriched themselves under the former military regime and foreign businesses from profiting at the expense of local communities in resource rich areas.
  • The government has been all too quick to resort to the use of force to silence protesters who have been arrested, subjected to torture and beatings for peaceful protest.

These are examples of the nature of abuses committed against civilians by the government. YNS strongly condemns the government of Burma for these violations of protester’s rights.

YNS considers that the government’s rhetoric of ‘democratisation’ and ‘transition’ will be hollow without assurances that protesters can organise and demonstrate without fear of such severe reprisal from the state.

We hold the slogan ‘Adherence to the people’ – the suffering of the people is our own suffering. For the sake of the people, we, YNS make the following demands:

  • That the government release protesters from internment immediately
  • That adequate compensation be provided to farmers displaced by land seizures
  • That there be inclusive negotiations with communities affected by mining projects

We issue these statements with the purpose of extending our solidarity to the local farmers and their communities, ABFSU and other NGO workers involved in the fight for the rights of the protesters in Mongwa.

“The struggle for the rights of the farmers will triumph!”

 

Executive Committee

Youth for a New Society (YNS)

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