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Rescue Efforts Thwarted by Activists

Monday, 03 August 2015

We are shocked that a handful of activists attempted to thwart our efforts to rescue the flood-hit people nearby the Letpadaung copper project. At 2:30 pm this afternoon when Wanbao employees carried packed rice and drinking water to villagers who were anxious for aid, they were stopped by a handful of extremists who are active in the Toan villages to protest our Letpadaung copper project with political motivations. They blocked our vehicles driving to the flood-hit villages and trying to hit and intimidate our young translators. Because of the blockade, we had to withdraw and leave all of the food we cooked and also the drinking water in the nearby Sede-Zeedaw New Village.

We condemn the violent acts that took place at such a difficult time that over 5,000 flood-hit people need aid in the 10-plus villages nearby the Letpadaung project. At the same time, we are worried how the flood-striken people in the hardest-hit Shwe Hlay, Toan and Whet Hmay-Kantaw New Villages spent a day and night without any food and water, particularly those elder people and children? If such violent actions keep going and external aid is not allowed to come in, how can the flood-hit people embrace a bright tomorrow? We care about them a lot.

 

We know that the majority villagers in this community, who have become our family and friends, have not participated in violent acts against Wanbao employees; on the contrary, we know that our community deplores such actions, and that they deplore extremists are causing such disturbances and violence.

 

We strongly believe anybody is not allowed to stop the humanitarian assistance for any reason at a disastrous time. Also, we don't hope a handful of extremists kidnapped majority of disaster-hit people who are in urgent need of aid.