Narinjara news

Forced Collection of Money for the Members of the faction of AA that surrendered to the Burmese junta

Sittwe, May 23: 
On May 5th this year a sum of money, part of which was collected through the use of force, was handed over in a formal function to the surrendered outfit of the Arakan Army guerrilla faction at Kyauktaw State High School in the northern part of Arakan State in Burma.

In the function the Commander of the Western Command, Maj. General Maung Oo, with other state guests and general public including Deputy Ministers of Health, Education, Home Affairs, and Socio-welfare attended donating money for the surrendered members of the AA faction.

The Western Commander donated kyat one million, Ministry of Home Affairs kyat four hundred thousand, Ministry of Education kyat two hundred thousand worth of books and stationery,  Ministry of Health about kyat two hundred thousand worth of medicine,  merchants association of Sittwe kyat six hundred thousand, merchants association of Kyauktaw about kyat four hundred thousand, private collection from Sittwe about kyat five hundred thousand, MI 10 donated kyat one hundred thousand, and Socio-welfare Ministry about kyat five hundred thousand. 

A well-known merchant complained that, though the money was distributed under the supervision of the Western Command it was raised through forced collection drive.  “The Burmese junta has no scarcity of pretences to ask and order for forced collection of money from the businessmen and merchants in Arakan (Rakhine) State,” he added, “They come for money when there is a religious festival or a junta-staged state function, or simply because they need some money for vague reasons related to the ‘state ceremonies’ which is never clarified to those who they extort money from.”

The money donated by the Western Command itself was collected from the general public and from the border trade sector, said a businessman available at Sittwe.  Many of the established Arakanese businessmen have been compelled to move their business houses elsewhere to Rangoon and Burma Proper during the last couple of years.  “Due to rampant and wholesale illegal toll collection from the business community by the Burmese junta on the occasions of building roads, bridges, schools and holding of religious and other state functions, many  business houses have gone broke and forced to shut down shop,”  according to a top businessman forced to move to Rangoon as his business concern faced bankruptcy due to exorbitant toll collection by the Burmese military.    

The faction of the AA who surrendered to the Burmese junta was led by a Kra Fru Aung who, interestingly enough, did not join the AA faction members when they  surrendered on 29th April at Paletwa in the Southern part of Chin State.     #