Woman stages solo protest in Sittwe against violent crackdown of demonstration in Let Pan Daung

Maung Aye

Sittwe: A woman in Arakan State’s Capital Sittwe has staged a solo protest denouncing the authorities’ violent crackdown on Buddhist monks and local villagers who demonstrated peacefully calling to stop the copper mining project at Let Pan Daung Mountain in Sagaing Division.

The solo protester is known as Daw Nyo Aye, a female activist from Sittwe. She took to the streets from Loka Nandar Pagoda to the office of the Women Network of Arakan State in downtown Sittwe carrying a signboard from 2:30 pm to 4 pm on Sunday.

“I have staged this protest to show my support to the monks and villagers who are campaigning to stop the copper mining project at Let Pan Daung Mountain and to condemn the authorities’ violent crackdown on those campaigners as well as to make our Arakanese people aware about the problems resulted by that project”, said Daw Nyo Aye.

She added that she was warned by the police for her protest.

“The police took me to their station and warned me not to do such protest again without the official permission. I replied to the police that I did not need to apply for official permission because I protested alone and did not violate the section 144”, she said.

The Buddhist monks and local villagers had been peacefully demonstrating against the copper mining project at Let Pan Daung Mountain, which is being implemented by Burma’s Economic Holdings Company and a Chinese company, as the authorities have forcibly grabbed and evicted many acres of arable lands, villages and Buddhist religious monuments for the project.

Several Buddhist monks and villagers have been severely wounded as the police violently cracked down on them on the evening of November 28 using excessive forces and the firearms that are supposed to have used the incendiary chemicals.

The Buddhist monks have held peaceful demonstrations in the cities including Yangon and many organizations have issued their respective statements denouncing the brutal crackdown of the authorities.

A 30-member committee led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was formed on 1st of December to investigate the crackdown after the consequent protests against the crackdown have emerged all over Burma. The committee is assigned to submit its findings to the President U Thein Sein on 31st of December.