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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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Myanmar National Human


Rights Commission Press
statement on the inquiry
of riots of 22nd December
2014 at Latpadaungtaung
Copper Mine Project in
Salingyi Township
15 January 2015

Unofficial Translation
Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

22nd

Press statement on the inquiry of riots of


December
2014 at Latpadaungtaung Copper Mine Project in Salingyi
Township

1. News was received on the 22nd of December 2014, of


riots between the villagers and the security forces

Recent posts
Myanmar National
Human Rights
Commission Press
statement on the
inquiry of riots of
22nd December
2014 at
Latpadaungtaung
Copper Mine Project
in Salingyi Township
Myanmar National
Human Rights
Commission to
investigate the
incidents at
Letpadaungtaung
Copper Mine Project
MNHRC Members
Participate in the
High Level Dialogue
on National Inquiries
Statement by the
Myanmar National
Human Rights
Commission on the
International Human
Rights Day, 10
December 2014
Training Workshop
on Human Rights
held in Hpa-an.

http://www.mnhrc.org.mm/en/2015/01/myanmar-national-human-righ4-at-latpadaungtaung-copper-mine-project-in-salingyi-township/

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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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resulting in the death of one Daw Khin Win, aged 53


years of Moe-Gyo-Pyin (middle) village, in Sagaing
Region, Salingyi township, during Latpadaungtaung
Copper Mine Project fencing activities. It also resulted
in the injury of 11 police force personnel as well as 11
villagers. Moreover, the Myanmar National Human
Rights Commission received complaint letters asking
the Commission to investigate into the truth of the
matter.
Formation of the Inquiry team of the Myanmar National
Human Rights Commission
2. With regard to the above-incident, to determine
whether or not there were violations of human rights,
the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission
formed an inquiry team consisting of Commissioners
U Zaw Win, Dr. Nyan Zaw and U Soe Phone Myint.
Activities of the Inquiry team
3. The inquiry team visited Monywa and Salingyi
townships from 30-12-2014 to 2-1-2015 and met with
the Chief Minister of Sagaing Region, Security and
Border Areas Affairs Minister, the Secretary of the
Sagaing Regional Government, the Commander of the
Sagaing Region Police Force and 12 members of the
police. The team also met the Medical Superintendent
of Sagaing Region, the Police Surgeon and Medical
Specialists, the General Manager of Myanmar
Investment Cooperation, the township administrator
of Salingyi township, the Township Health Officer,
Head of Township Police Force and 5 village members.
The team gathered information and statements from
them. The team visited the site of the incident on the
31st of December 2014.
Major incident during the riots on 22nd of December
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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

15.01.15 12:16

4. According to witness report, at 1 p.m on the afternoon


of 22nd December, in the area within the Latpadaung
Copper Project between Phaung Ta Kar village-tract of
Salingyi township near Ingyin Taung, map coordinate
GV-152402, Police Force No. (28) led by Police
Lieutenant Htay Win, encountered 70 villagers who
attacked them with slingshots and brickbats from a
distance of 30 feet. Police Lieutenant Htay Win warned
the villagers not to resort to violence. The villagers did
not heed the warning and continued attacking the
police force who took cover under their shields. Police
Lieutenant Htay Win suffered a head wound. The
villagers took advantage of the defensive nature of the
cover and steadily approached the police force.
Platoon no.(1) led by Police Second Lieutenant Kyaw
Aung from the Yin Mar Bin township police reserve
force approached Police Lieutenant Htay Win and
party to offer reinforcements.
5. A Platoon led by the deputy township police force
commander Police Major Soe Lwin Oo also
approached the force led by Police Second Lieutenant
Kyaw Aung from the right side of the fence and maize
fields to reinforce Police Lieutenant Htay Win and
Police Second Lieutenant Kyaw Aung and party.
When they reached the clearing in front of the maize
fields, they were attacked from close range by about 70
villagers with brickbats and slingshots. Police Sergeant
Chit Min Kos right eye was burst open and the police
force retreated back to the maize fields. During the
retreat of Police Major Soe Lwin Oo and party, the
reinforcing force of Police Second Lieutenant Kyaw
Aung and party were then attacked by 60 villagers
from the front and sides from close range using Dahs,
sticks, brickbats and slingshots. They then advanced
by waving their Dahs during which Police Second
Lieutenant Kyaw Aung sustained an injury to his right
jaw. It was then that Police Second Lieutenant Kyaw
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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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Aung fired 10 bullets from the point 303 rifle he was


carrying. Police Sergeant Ko Ko Oo also fired 6 rounds
using Police Lieutenant Kyaw Aungs rifle. Sergeant
Min Min Htwe fired 4 rounds, Private Min Wai Aung
4 rounds and Private Saw Kaung Mya Oo from the KaNi Police Station 3 rounds all using the same rifle. The
17 rounds that they fired were obtained from Private
Min Wai Aung. They all fired into the air according to
the orders of Police Second Lieutenant Kyaw Aung.
The crowd only dispersed when the police force used
the crowd dispersing weapons including point 303
rifle. The villagers then retreated.
6. During the dispersal of the crowd by Police Lieutenant
Kyaw Aung and party, it was not certain who was
injured but when the villagers retreated, it was found
out that of the 70 villagers who first attacked Police
Lieutenant Htay Win and party one Daw Khin Win,
aged 53 years, daughter of U Tin Maung of Moe-GyoByin (middle) village died of the head wound inflicted
by a bullet. While the security forces were making
arrangement to pick up the body, Daw Khin Wins
brother Ko Thaung Aye picked up the body and
moved the body to the house of Daw Khin Win in
Moe-Gyo-Byin (middle) village by bullock cart,
reaching the village at about 4:00 p.m. on the afternoon
of 22nd December 2014. On the night of 23rd December,
the body was carried to Salingyi township civil
hospital using the coffin carrier of Salingyi townships
Free Funeral Service. The body reached Salingyi
township mortuary at about 9:00 p.m. that night.
7. Daw Khin Win was hit by a bullet while standing and
not while sitting. The security police fired in a
standing position in front of Daw Khin Win and the
villagers. The security forces alternated between
standing up and firing and then sitting down behind
the cover of the shields according to the testimonial of
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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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the villagers. They were not able to ascertain which


policeman fired the shot.
Death and injuries
8. During the incident, one Police Lieutenant, two Police
Second Lieutenants, one Police Sergeant, two Police
Corporals, one Lance Corporal and four Privates
totaling 11 in all were injured. Nine Chinese nationals
from the Myanmar-Wangbao Company including a
Chinese engineer and 11 villagers also suffered
injuries. Among them Daw Khin Win from the MoeGyo-Byin (middle) village died of a headshot wound.
U Mhine from Moe-Gyo-Byin (south) village and U
Kyaw Myint Thein from Moe-Gyo- Byin (middle)
village suffered gunshots wound and were
hospitalized. One Police Sergeant suffered a burst eye.
All the rest of those who were injured were discharged
from the hospital before the 31st of December.
Post Mortem of Daw Khin Win
9. The body of Daw Khin Win was carried by bullock
cart to her home in Moe-Gyo-Byin (middle) village on
the 22nd of December 2014. On the evening of 23rd
December, the body was shifted to Salingyi township
civil hospital.
10. The body of Daw Khin Win arrived at Salingyi
township civil hospital on the night of 23rd December
and underwent a post mortem at about 10:30 a.m. on
the morning of 24th of December 2014. The post
mortem was carried out by the team led by Medical
Superintendent of the Regional Hospital Dr. Nyunt
Than, the Regional Police Surgeon Dr.Tin Nwe, the
Salingyi township medical officer Dr. Tint Lwin and
assistant medical officer Dr. Thidar Soe. After the post
mortem, the body was again carried back to the house
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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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of Daw Khin Win in Moe-Gyo-Byin (middle) village


and interred at Moe-Gyo-Byin (middle) village
cemetery on the 25th of December.
11. Although the body was examined by the post mortem
team after a lapse of a long period nothing suspicious
was noticed. The wound was not tempered with. The
findings of the results of the post mortem were as
follows:(a)

External Injuries
(i)

Gunshot wound measuring 20cm x 16

cm)
(ii)

The head was ripped open, starting from the right side

of the temple and 7cm under the hairline. (there were no


cordite burns around the wound)
(iii)
(b)

No other external injuries were detected.


Cause of death according to post mortem

examination no. (1/TL/14) 24-12-2014


(i)
Fracture of the skull bone and the tearing apart of the
brain together with the blood leakage both under and above
the membrane of the brain was the cause of death.
The case of manslaughter filed at the Salingyi township
police station
12. At 8 p.m. on the night of 23rd December, Daw Khin
Mar Aye, the sister-in-law of the deceased Daw Khin
Win and Daw Mee Mee, Daw Thandar Khine, Daw
Nilar Thein, U Nyan Lin from the 88 New Generation
Group and media personnel numbering about 20
persons came to the Salingyi police station to file a case
of manslaughter. The Salingyi police station opened a
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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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case of manslaughter under no.(4/2014). The police


station then filed a medical request form and sent it to
the Salingyi District Civil Hospital. On the evening of
24th December, the officer in charge of the police
station together with witnesses went to the scene of
incident. The clerk from the Land Records Department
drew up a scaled map of the area. According to the
map, Daw Khin Win died at the spot 1980 feet away
from Laik Khon Taung and 924 feet from the east
boundary fencing of Laik Khon Taung. This area falls
within the Latpadaungtaung Project area already
under Section 144 issued by the Salingyi Township
General Administration Department. It was learnt that
the

examination

of

the

witnesses

were

being

continued. The post mortem had been carried out, but


up to the 2nd of January 2015 there were no expert
opinions as yet on the type of gun, the type of bullet
and the distance from which it was fired.
The findings by the Myanmar National Human Rights
Commissions Inquiry team
13. It

was

learnt

that

Salingyi

township

General

Administration Department in Yin Mar Bin District of


Sagaing Region had issued Section 144 under the Penal
Code in areas of Latpadaungtaung Copper Mine
Project up till the 31st of December 2014.
14. According to the decisions laid down at the 32nd
Coordinating

Meeting

of

the

Implementation

Committee on the recommendations of the report of


the Latpadaungtaung Copper Mine Project Inquiry
Commission, Office of the Sagaing Region Police Force
drew up a Security Plan on 20th December 2014 to be
carried out during the fencing of the areas that fall
under the Latpadaungtaung Copper Mine Project.
15. In the case of the villagers not heeding the warnings
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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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given by the security forces, a 7 step Plan under the


Penal Code Section 127 and 128 would be carried out
by the security police as follows:(a)

dispersal of villagers by show of force

(b)

dispersal of villagers by noise

(c)

dispersal of villagers by using water cannon

(d)

dispersal of villagers by using tear gas


(e)

dispersal of villagers by using shields and

rubber truncheons
(f)

dispersal of villagers by using riots dispersal

weapons
(g)

dispersal of villagers by using anti-terror

weapons
16. During the disturbances of 22nd December 2014, it was
found out that although fire engines were attached to
the security forces for dispersal of villagers by using
water cannon, it was not carried out because the
villagers were scattered. There was also only one fire
engine. Dispersal by tear gas also could not be carried
out because no tear gas canisters were provided.
17. According to the Security Plan, the fencing that was
carried out on the 22nd of December was 10.6 km long
and it was divided into 3 parts. Simultaneous fencing
was attempted but the areas to be covered were too far
apart for proper scrutiny.
18. In examining the Security Plan to be carried out part
by part there were only 7 advantages and 19
disadvantages. The strength of the villagers to be
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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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disadvantages. The strength of the villagers to be


confronted were not estimated village by village but
only the number of leaders to be confronted was found
to be taken into consideration.
19. Although the last step to be followed in dispersal of
the rioters was by using anti-terror weapons under
strict supervision it was found out that a number of
established steps were not carried out in accordance
with the implementation plan.
20. The Monitoring Group was not able to fully provide
the necessary equipments according to the Security
Plan. A number of steps were also not followed out
during the dispersal of the villagers.
21. It was also found out that instead of step by step
coordinated dispersal of the villagers the security
forces simultaneously
measures.

used

up

all

emergency

22. The body of Daw Khin Win was carried to her


residence on the 22nd before being carried to the
Salingyi township Civil Hospital on the 23rd of
December.
23. According to the testimonies of the villagers it was
found that Daw Khin Win was hit while in a standing
position and not while sitting. Security forces were
directly in front of Daw Khin Win and while one
group fired the rifles from the standing position, the
other group was sitting down and alternately when
the first group sat down, the other group stood up and
fired.
24. The security forces also stated that the villagers carried
sticks, Dahs, slingshots, sickles and Jingalis and fired
upon them with Jingalis and slingshots. The shields
were also knocked upon with Dahs. Moreover as the
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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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were also knocked upon with Dahs. Moreover as the


villagers advanced waving their Dahs, the security
forces fired shots in the air to warn and frighten the
villagers.
Conclusion by the Myanmar National Human Rights
Commission
25. It can be concluded that the security forces and the
villagers were so close to each other that the security
plan could not be carried out step by step as the
villagers and security forces were within grappling
distance of each other.
26. Due to weakness in the supervision of the Monitoring
body the security forces were not able to use the water
cannon and tear gas to disperse the villagers according
to the plan, resulting in injuries to both sides.
27. It can also be concluded that the police personnels
failure to use anti-terror weapons according to the
disciplines laid down
unnecessary injuries.

under

the

Plan

led

to

28. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and
security of person. The death of Daw Khin Win by
gunshot can be construed as an infringement of her
rights as stated under Article 3.
29. The team also came to the conclusion that the validity
of the statements by both sides should be determined
according to law.
Recommendations of the Myanmar National Human Rights
Commission
30. The case filed under manslaughter case no. (4/2014) at
the Salingyi police station should be further pursued
according to law.
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Myanmar National Human Rights Commission Press statement on the it in Salingyi Township | Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

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according to law.
31. As there was dereliction in the supervision of the
implementation of the Plan drawn up by the Office of
the Sagaing Region Police Force concerning the
security during the fencing of the Copper Mine
Project, all responsible personnel of the Monitoring
body should be investigated and due action taken
against them.
32. As there was dereliction in the implementation of the
Plan drawn up by the Office of the Sagaing Region
Police Force concerning the security during the fencing
of the Copper Mine Project, all responsible police
personnel should have action taken against them in
accordance with the discipline law of Myanmar Police
Force.
33. The implementation of the security activities regarding
the Latpadaungtaung Copper Project should be
thoroughly reviewed to prevent loss and damages of
this kind from occurring again.
Myanmar National Human Rights Commission

Myanmar National Human Rights

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The Myanmar National Human Rights


Commission was established in September 2011

About
Commissioners

by Government of the Republic of the Union of


Myanmar with a view to promoting and
safeguarding the fundamental rights of the
citizens enshrined in the Constitution of the
Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

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