Myanmar Wanbao confirms that at 11am on the 18th of May, 3 of our contractors working for Norbenco , Mr. Lu Yuanhao and Mr. Miu Jie, both Chinese nationals and 23 years of age, and , Mr Khin Aung Moe, a 21 year old Myanmar National, were taken against their will by activists purporting to belong to the "Yangon Public service Network" and two monks from old Sede village.
The Norbenco team of 3 were going about their work of surveying the land in the Southern area of our mining project, to the northeast of Sede Old Village, when they were jumped upon by the activists and taken against their will.
Wanbao learned from local government officials who went to negotiate with the activist that they belong to the "Yangon Public service Network". The activist provided the following conditions in order to release our colleagues.
At 4pm they demanded the following 3 conditions;
1. The immediate release of an activist by the name of Aung Soe, who was arrested earlier in the same morning of the 18th May by Myanmar police. They said that Aung Soe should be "swapped" for our colleagues.
2. To take down all existing fencing work.
3. To stop erecting fencing on land whose owners have rejected to take land subsidy from the government.
Later the kidnappers called again and dropped their request for their activist friend Aung Soe to be released as a condition for the freeing of our colleagues and replaced this with the total halting of the Letpadaung project.
At 6.20 pm one of our colleagues, Mr. Khin Aung Moe was released. However, our other two colleagues are still being detained against their will.
At 8:20pm and 10:45pm, the activists called and said that if police come to rescue our colleagues, they will hurt them.
At 11:30pm, the activists called and said if any Sede villager injured, they would kill one of our colleagues.
Wanbao vehemently condemns this unprovoked attack on our colleagues.
Wanbao requests the immediate release of its contractors who have been kidnaped by individuals claiming to be from Yangon Public service Network.
Wanbao cares greatly for the people of Myanmar and we very much hope that this issue can be resolved peacefully as soon as possible so that our colleagues can return to their families. We ask the Student Network of Mandalay to intervene to release our colleagues, if the kidnappers are indeed who they say they are. Wanbao bears no ill will towards your organisation and we respect your right to express your opinions peacefully.
At this time, Wanbao is in contact with all appropriate parties as well as the families of the colleagues and is doing everything possible to release our colleagues.
Wanbao would like to take this opportunity to thank all the villagers from the many villages and village elders who have contacted us and offered their help to release our colleagues. At the difficult time we are heartened by the community support we are getting. We understand that it is only a small number of extremists and activists who are opposing our project.
For more information please contact Mr. Cao Desheng on +959259012318