YANGON: At least two people have been arrested at a rally in Yangon held to condemn a violent police crackdown on protesters at a Chinese-backed copper mine, an activist and the reporter said on Sunday.
The arrests come after Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was appointed by the government to lead a probe into the raid on protest camps at the mine, in northern Myanmar, in an apparent bid to assuage public anger over the crackdown, which left scores injured.
The reporter at the Yangon rally witnessed two men, including a protest leader called Moe Thway, being arrested by uniformed police.
The reason for their arrests was unclear and police could not immediately be reached for comment, but activists said they were picked out for organising the rally without gaining permission from the authorities.
Moe Thway and two other protesters were arrested, activist Nyi Nyi Lwin said, adding “we are expressing our feelings... I don’t think we need permission to express our desires.”
The dispute at the Monywa mine pivots on allegations of mass evictions and environmental damage caused by the project — a joint venture between Chinese firm Wanbao and military-owned Myanmar Economic Holdings.