Determined to hang on to their land around the Letpadaung copper mine in northern Myanmar, farmers have re-ignited their protests despite a harsh government crackdown last November. The mine's expansion, coinciding with the new political era, has become a test case for the direction of Myanmar's future development.
CHANGING TIMES: This photo and below, women collect copper near Lashio, in Myanmar’s Shan State. The state government is keen to develop mining operations and move away from traditional agriculture.
Local farmers struggling to defend their ancestral lands from corporate seizure have been joined by activists from outside, creating a level of open opposition impossible until recently. The ongoing protest is testing the tolerance of Myanmar Yang Tse Copper Ltd (MYTCL), a joint venture between China's Wanbao Mining and the state-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (UMEHL).
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