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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Irene Pietropaoli and I have written an oped in the Myanmar Times this week addressing the ongoing human rights abuses at Letpadaung copper mine.

Many are questioning whether anyone be held accountable for the killing of Daw Khin Win, who was shot during a protest against the Letpadaung copper mine.

But what are the responsibilities of the mine’s investors in relation to the dispute? The Letpadaung mine is a joint venture between Chinese company Wanbao and the military-owned Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited.

The mine operator, Myanmar Wanbao, has made a public commitment to sustainable development and human rights inthe final draft of its comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), which was released on 25 June 2014. According to the company’s website, the Letpadaung project “will play as a role model in environmental conservation sector of the Union of Myanmar”.

But what kind of role model for responsible investment will Letpadaung really be? The answer will provide vital clues to the direction of Myanmar’s economic development, and whether the unlocking of the country’s enormous resources improves the lives of millions of people or prompts another “resource curse” – whereby powerful political and economic actors scramble for wealth over the backs of ordinary people.

The full article is here: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/opinion/12954-blame-game-at-letpadaung.html

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The media and civil society in Myanmar are beginning to take note of the burgeoning private security industry in Myanmar. A recent article in the Myanmar Times looks at their expansion. It notes that more security companies are likely as investors eschew working with the military due to its terrible previous human rights record as a security provider. When intervened for the article I explained that this is a dangerous situation for Myanmar as most investment will occur in areas prone to conflict often on disputed land. I noted that private security companies are hired as sub contractors and this can reduce the company’s liability if human rights abuses occur.  The full article is available here:

http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/12712-the-rise-of-private-security.html

Trainee security guards study in a basement classroom at Aspect’s Yangon headquarters. (Zarni Phyo/The Myanmar Times)

Trainee security guards study in a basement classroom at Aspect’s Yangon headquarters. (Zarni Phyo/The Myanmar Times)

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