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Committee will probe Khamti jade mine conflict


Jade mining in Hkamti Township, Sagaing region. Photo: Aung Ko Oo/Mizzima

An inquiry has been launched to look in to the conflicts that happened on May 17 between the local police force and jade scavengers in Makyankha jade mine workplace, Khamti jade mine in Sagaing Region that led to the death of three scavengers.

Region Police Force Deputy Chief Pol. Col. Kyaw Kyaw Tun will act as Chairman in this inquiry committee and District Administrator Zaw Zaw will act as Secretary of this committee.

The members of this committee will be legislator Maung Tay from Khamti constituency (1) and another legislator Thein Hlaing Win from Khamti constituency (2), Director of Environment Conservation Department Thein Htay, Deputy Director of Mining Department Aung Naing, Director of Bureau of Special Investigation (BSI) Aung Myo Kyaw and Law Officer Kyaw Win.

Legislator Maung Tay from Khamti constituency (1) MaungTay said: “We will seek the truth. We shall do our best based on our observations and findings.”

Legislator Maung Tay told Mizzima that two legislators would visit the area where the conflict happened and meet with local people.

Maung Tay further said that the report of the inquiry committee shall be submitted to Sagaing Region government by May 31 at the latest.

Jade rag pickers who search for jade in the waste dump for their living - popularly known in Myanmar as ‘Yaymasay’ - allegedly forcibly entered the premises of jade mine owned by Myanmar Imperial Jade Co. in Nansipon area. They allegedly damaged a boundary wall, committed arson in the premises of the fuel storage company, and then clashed with police.

In this conflict, nine police personnel were injured and three jade rag pickers were killed and five more injured with 38 fuel storage tanks damaged.

The Inquiry Committee was formed under the directive issued by the Sagaing Region Government to ascertain the facts involved in the incident. 

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