Monday, 24 September 2012

Striking gold miners charged

The Myanmar Times reports:
Seventeen workers from a restive gold mining region in Mandalay’s Yamethin township have been charged with committing an obscene act and criminal intimidation following an altercation earlier this month with security staff from Myanmar National Prosperity Public Company.
Ko Yae Yet Htun and 16 other miners operating independently in the Moehti Moemi area were charged under sections 294 and 506 of the Penal Code following the September 2 incident... the quarrel occurred when security staff from Myanmar National Prosperity Public Company, which recently won a tender for the Moehti Moemi mines, entered one of the 12 mining “zones” in the area with shield, sticks and handcuffs... Myanmar National Prosperity spokesperson Daw Na Di Lwin told The Myanmar Times that the company charged the 17 workers because they had tried to incite other workers and made them “obstreperous”. “They tried to incite the other workers [to protest]. They are not our workers – they are just outsiders who lead the workers. We charged them because they acted without discipline. They didn’t work and were just aggressive,” she said. However, one of the charged workers, Ko Youte Kyi, said that while they did not work for Myanmar National Prosperity, the group had been working their own mines in the Moehti Moemi region before the company won the tender in late 2011... In June, workers from the hundreds of small mines in the Moehti Moemi area began protesting after Myanmar National Prosperity reneged on an earlier verbal agreement to split all gold found in the area 50-50, The Irrawaddy reported on June 8.

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