Protesting miners in negotiations after being held in pagoda

Protesting miners in negotiations after being held in pagoda

After a government order closed down a gold mine in Mandalay divison, disgruntled employees are holding talks with representatives from the company that secured the mine’s tender at a pagoda in Yamethin district, where they’ve been confined since Monday.

The employees from Moehti Moemi gold mine planned to march to Naypyidaw where they would protest in front of the president’s office.

The protestors convened at Shwemyintin Pagoda in eastern Yamethin on Monday before setting off to the capital, but the group was surrounded by police and prevented from leaving the temple’s grounds.

A DVB reporter at the scene said the protesters were about to leave the pagoda around 10pm, but were unable to do so after police blocked the temple’s gates.

The miners are now meeting with Soe Phoe Shein from the Myanmar National Prosperity Public Company Limited, which secured the government tender for the mine.

The NPPCL’s general manager Htun Aung Soe held talks with protest leaders last week but failed to iron out a deal.

In early May, the NPPCL told the companies they were partnering with that the Ministry of Mining was halting all mining operations on 5 May in an effort to attract larger investments from international companies.

Residents from Yamethin and miners began holding mass demonstrations on 1 June in response to the MoM’s move.

Local National League for Democracy members and monks have been providing protestors with food and water since they’ve been holed up at the temple.

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