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Myanmar's Suu Kyi defends protest-hit mine project

Published on Mar 13, 2013 5:54 PM
 
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (centre) speaks during a meeting with villagers at a primary school during a visit to an area near the Letpadaung copper mine, in Monywa township, 760km north of Yangon, central Myanmar, on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Ms Suu Kyi urged protesters on Wednesday to accept a controversial Chinese-backed mine that was the scene of a violent crackdown last year, or risk hurting the economy. -- PHOTO:  AP

MONYWA (AFP) - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged protesters on Wednesday to accept a controversial Chinese-backed mine that was the scene of a violent crackdown last year, or risk hurting the economy.

The Nobel laureate, visiting villages near the mine in Monywa, northern Myanmar, said local people and the wider economy would suffer if the project was stopped, despite fears about the environment and land grabbing.

A parliamentary report overseen by Ms Suu Kyi - released on Tuesday - said police used phosphorus against demonstrators at the mine last year in the harshest crackdown on protesters since the end of military rule.

However, the probe into the November clampdown, which left dozens wounded including monks, recommended the mine project should not be scrapped, despite conceding it only brought "slight" benefits to the nation.

 
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