Suu Kyi defends her role in a controversial copper mine project

YANGON - MP Aung San Suu Kyi said her role as the lead investigators in the Letpadaungtaung copper mine incident was motivated by regional and national interest.

The Lower House MP told reporters on the sidelines of a parliamentary session held on Tuesday, adding that she acted as the chair of the investigation commission to get a force for the development of the country and its dignity.

She did not prioritize the interests of relations between China and Myanmar or the military, Suu Kyi said.

"My involvement is not just for the region alone but for the whole nation. I acted after studying and assessing what the future of our nation should be. This is my aim and I will go on with this" said Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the opposition National League for Democracy.

She also said smoke bombs were only used in the police's crackdown on last year's protests and they were not incendiary bombs. She herself witnessed the testing of those bombs but unwanted incidents happened as the police lacked skills and practice to use the bombs, she said.

Saying about the ongoing protests against the project, Suu Kyi said: "All will be done in view of the rule of law. But, violence should not happen just because one cannot get what one wants. Protests can be staged within the framework of law. Our commission on its part has done everything within the framework of law."

She said she was satisfied with what the commission members had done dutifully for the probe into the Letpadaungtaung project. She also expressed her thanks to everyone who lent their support and cooperation in the commission's findings.

The Letpadaungtaung Investigation Commission with Aung San Suu Kyi as chairperson was formed on December 1 last year and it was reconstituted on December 3.

The commission submitted the project report to President Thein Sein on Monday.

However, local people living near the Letpadaungtaung project site criticise the commission report for not mentioning a complete halt to the project.

The copper mine project is being implemented by the military-owned Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd and China's Wanbao Mining Company in Monywa of Sagaing Region, central Myanmar.

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