Press Esc to close

Calls grow for probe into Myanmar riots

MONYWA, Myanmar, Dec 1, 2012, Reuters: 23:55 IST

Buddhist monks marched in Myanmar’s two biggest cities on Saturday to protest at police violence during a crackdown on demonstrators at a copper mine, while Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and a rights group called for an official inquiry.

Activists said at least 50 people had been injured on Thursday, including more than 20 monks who had ended up in hospital, after riot police raided camps set up round the Monywa copper mine by villagers protesting against their forced eviction to make way for an expansion of the project.

Police used tear gas, water cannon and, according to activists, incendiary devices that local media described as “phosphorous bombs”. Many of the injured suffered serious burns.

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at US-based Human Rights Watch, called for a speedy, impartial investigation by the government.

“A hospital ward full of horribly burned Buddhist monks and other protesters deserve to know who attacked them while they were sleeping and what the government is going to do about it,” he said.

“The crackdown ... is a fundamental test case for the government's commitment to peaceful assembly and willingness to demand accountability for abuses,” he added.

Myanmar was ruled by a military junta for almost half a century until March 2011, but since then a quasi-civilian government under President Thein Sein has pushed through a series of political and economic reforms, leading Western states to ease sanctions.

Suu Kyi, who led the fight for democracy under the junta and is now a member of parliament, went to the Monywa area in the northwestern region of Sagaing to speak to locals on the day of the police raid. On Friday she also called for an inquiry.

“I think the people have the right to know why such violent measures were taken," she told a news conference. "I think it is needed to apologies to the monks.”

She said she had called on the authorities to release any monks who had been detained, but had been told there were no arrests. A police officer in Monywa, who declined to be named, said arrangements were being made for a formal apology but he declined to give further details.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteers taking...

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteers taking...

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff...

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff...

SUCI activists stage a protest rally against State...

SUCI activists stage a protest rally against State...

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones performs during the...

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones performs during the...

Mime artist Ujjal Kar gets ready to perform as Charlie Chaplin...

Mime artist Ujjal Kar gets ready to perform as Charlie Chaplin...

Acid attack survivor Mohi walks the ramp along with...

Acid attack survivor Mohi walks the ramp along with...

People buying Sugar Canes in a market for upcoming...

People buying Sugar Canes in a market for upcoming...

Britain's Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, arrives to speak at the Chatham...

Britain's Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, arrives to speak at the Chatham...

Actress Katerina Lehou as high priestess, passes the Olympic Flame onto...

Actress Katerina Lehou as high priestess, passes the Olympic Flame onto...

Tamil Nadu coach L Balaji with R Ashwin at BKC...

Tamil Nadu coach L Balaji with R Ashwin at BKC...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.