Myanmar police on Wednesday detained two village women seeking to block eviction from their homes on land claimed by a controversial China-operated copper mine in the country’s Sagaing region, sources said. The two women, Ma San Hla and Thwe Thwe Win, had blocked police vehicles entering Old Wet Hmay village, a settlement of 30 households marked for destruction to make way for the Letpadaung copper mine, one villager told RFA’s Myanmar Service. Though ten of the village’s 30 households have agreed voluntarily to move, the rest are resisting efforts to force them out, the villager named Aung Zaw Oo said.
“We aren’t stopping anyone who wants to move out,” Aung Zaw Oo said. “We told them they can go wherever they want, but we won’t let police cars come into the village,” he said, adding, “We said this to the police, but they came in anyway.”
When at least 100 riot-equipped police officers forced their way into the village, one woman, Man Sa Hla, lay down in the road in an attempt to stop police vehicles from coming in, Aung Zaw Oo said.
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