Myanmar starts work for implementing copper mine project probe panel's report

2013-03-17 03:46:05 GMT2013-03-17 11:46:05(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

YANGON, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar is coordinating to start work for implementing the report of a probe panel with regard to the Letpadaungtaung copper mine project in Monywa, northwestern Sagaing region, official media reported Sunday.

The government-appointed Committee for Implementing the Report of the Probe Panel is forming groups for scrutinizing land, environmental conservation and socio-economic development, Chairman of the Committee and Minister at the President's Office U Hla Tun was quoted by the New Light of Myanmar as saying.

U Hla Tun stressed the need for settling issues related to compensation for land grab, reclamation of farmland, revising contracts, environmental conservation, healthcare and safety at worksite, getting international certificates, creating job opportunities for local people and socio-economic development of the local people.

He called on local authorities to reach out to the grass root and carry out tasks in accordance with the law.

Myanmar's government-appointed probe panel, led by opposition leader and parliamentarian Aung San Suu Kyi, proposed in its final report to the president, which was released on March 12, that the controversial Letpadaungtaung copper mine project should go on as the best choice for the economic benefit of the nation and the people especially for the full benefit of the future generation, while amending the weak points as pointed out in the report in consideration of various angles of economic, social and environmental impacts as well as international relations.

Shortly after the commission's final report was submitted to the president, the president formed a 15-member committee, led by Minister at the President's Office No.6 U Hla Tun, to implement the report of the probe panel.

A day after the probe panel's report was submitted to the president, the panel chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi visited the Letpadaungtaung copper mine project site and made village-to- village clarifications on the findings and proposals with regard to the project as contained in the report.

The Latpadaungtaung copper mine project has been undertaken by the Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd and China's Wanbao Mining Ltd under the approval of the Ministry of Mines in March 2010 after a Canadian company, the Ivanhoe, pulled out two years ago.

Since February 2012, demonstrations had been taking place intermittently against the continued implementation of the project interrupting the ongoing project and the protest escalated in November of the year.

After the incident, Aung San Suu Kyi visited the site, saying that the problem should be settled under rule of law and in a peaceful way that could bring dignity to the nation and that could maintain relations with neighboring countries without affecting foreign investment inflow.

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