The 88 Generation Students group on Monday issued a statement urging the Burmese government not to arrest protesters who oppose the Latpadaung Mountain copper mine project.
|Police in Rangoon arrest protester Aung Soe who they believe organized the rally on December 2. (Photo: AFP)|
At the rally, Rangoon police arrested two protesters—Moe Thway and Aung Soe of Generation Wave—in full view of hundreds of onlookers.
The two activists have been charged under Section 505(b) of the penal code for committing or inducing others “to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility.”
On November 26, the police in Rangoon arrested six other copper mine protesters, including Naw Ohn Hla, Wai Lu and Shan Ma.
“In the transition to democracy, citizens should be allowed to freely express their feelings, and freedom of expression is common in every democratic country. It is normal. It is the citizens’ right,” said Htay Kywe, one of the leaders of the 88 Generation group, speaking at a press conference on Monday. He reiterated that arrests should not be made.
The statement released by the 88 Generation group also called on the authorities: to provide adequate medical treatment to the Buddhist monks and people who were injured in the crackdown; to apologize to the monks; and to stop the project while the “investigation commission” examines the issues.
Initially, two leaders of the 88 Generation Students group—Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi—were appointed to the investigation commission by the president, but both declined the offer.
The 88 Generation Students’ statement said that they will openly investigate the Monywa issue, and request opinions and desires of the residents and the activists with a view to resolving the problem.
On Monday, the President’s Office issued a notification resizing the investigation commission by removing some members, including the 88 Generation students.
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