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Amongst the news that Myanmar (formerly Burma) has sworn in its first elected civilian leader, Htin Kyaw from the National League for Democracy (NLD), after over 50 years of military rule there is another story to be told.

Documentary A New Dawn tells the story of Chinese mining company Myanmar Wanbao, located in Myanmar’s mineral rich province of Sagaing, and the people of the local community.

Back in 2012 Myanmar Wanbao had to stop construction of their copper mines because of local opposition. This resulted in demonstrations and activists barricading the mine site.

Mynamar police got involved and their actions and methods at the Letpadaung copper mine caused international outcry, resulting in the mine’s future being somewhat uncertain.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who is leader of the NLD but barred from this new presidency (she will, however, rule by proxy), chaired an investigation commission which concluded that the mines should continue. But the report also recommended that the company should go listen to the people.

“The company hard to learn the hard way, that a legal license from the government does not mean a ‘social license,’ the approval of the people.” the documentary makers say. “This short film charts how the company learnt to listen to its community, and both community and Wanbao come together to chart a new dawn together for themselves and for Myanmar.

This is ultimately a story of hope and the humbling power of dialogue based on mutual respect. With unparrelled access to both the community and to the Chinese company management, the film offers a glimpse of what happens when two conflicting groups come together for a better tomorrow.”

Share your views at #ChinaMeetsMyanmar

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