Burma police use incendiary weapons against protestors

Activists in Burma want action against officials who used incendiary weapons against peaceful protestors at a copper mine.

It is claimed police used shells containing white phosphorus to disperse protestors, causing serious burns to dozens of people including Buddhist monks, The Guardian reported.

Lawyers who investigated the clash at the Letpadaung copper mine in November, called for the president to step in and ensure the guilty were charged.

One hundred protesting Buddhist monks and a group of local villagers had set up protest camps near the mine in order to demand the project was halted.

Authorities have acknowledged using teargas and smoke grenades in the crackdown.

Protestors say the mine, a joint-venture between a Chinese mining firm and a military owned holding company is causing environmental, social and health problems.

Thwe Thwe Win, an activist from a village near the mine said if a commission headed by the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi did not call for ending the project, they would resume protesting.

Activists say that as the project expands villagers have been forced from their land with little compensation.

The Australian reported that China defended its joint mining project with Burma.

"The relocation, compensation, environmental protection and other issues involved with this project were jointly settled through negotiations by the Chinese and Myanmar sides and meet Myanmar's laws and regulations,"

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during a regular press briefing in Beijing.

"We hope all levels of Myanmar society can provide an environment beneficial to the project's development."

Image: The Australian

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