Narinjara news





Sittwe, 14th February 02:  Myanmar forces in Ponnagyun township which lies close to Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, in the western coasts of Myanmar, forced people to buy tickets of the snack shops run by members of the families of local Light Infantry Battalion, according to our correspondent.


The annual festival of Kuwa Buddhist cave temple  in the township began on the 28th of January this year.  On the 24th January the Myanmar forces of Battalion 550 called all the Yayaka village chairmen in the area to a meeting and ordered them to sell tickets of the buthigyaw (fritters of gourd) snack shops run by them in the festival at kyat 100 each to all the villagers of the township. In the meeting they also warned of dire circumstances to the village chairmen if they failed to meet the target of selling at least seven thousand buthigyaw tickets.  In an order verbally passed to the village chairmen the forces asked them to compel all the businessmen and young people in the region to buy the tickets.  The traders were barred from getting stalls in the festival unless each bought at least twenty snacks tickets.  Each of the young men  in all the villages was asked to buy at least one ticket. 


The army sold tickets amounting to a total of kyat 800,000 among the traders and young men of the township, our correspondent quoted a source in the local administration.  It is widely believed that, the constraints within the local infantry battalion forced them to resort to opening up snack shops.  In the festival members of the military intelligence also took bribe and permitted gamblers to run illegal gambling dens at night.  

The Kuwa temple festival is an annual affair held on the full moon day of the Rakhine month of Pratho (January-February) and is attended by people from all over Rakhine state. #