Forced labour on the Sittwe
– Rangoon Road
Sittwe, 30th December 02: The repair
of the weather-worn Sittwe – Rangoon Road has been
conducted by the use of extensive forced labour in Ann, the southern town of
Rakhine State in the western part of Burma, according to our correspondent.
On the 8th this month at least
eighty villagers of Dalatt tract in Ann Township were conscripted for forced labour by Light Infantry Battalion 34
stationed at Kyaukpyu Township in the middle of Rakhine State. The repair and renovation of
the section of road extending from Ann to Mrebon has
been taken up by a contingent of troops headed by Major Thein Tun.
At Ponnagyun Township, situated to the north of Sittwe, township
junta chairman Than Aye Swe ordered the villagers to make fences around the
saplings and water them along the section of the Sittwe
– Rangoon Road by utilizing forced labour. The
chairman also ordered the villagers along the stretch of the road in his
township to plant bean seeds and red chilli seeds, “taking care not to leave an
inch of soil bare”, our correspondent quoted a village elder.
In Sittwe Township, forced labour has been newly used at and around the Narigan Bridge in repairing the embankments washed away in the monsoons. At least six villages in the area including
Kya-mathauk, Theindan, Radan, and Wabo have been engaged
in the forced labour drive.
Lieutenant general Maung Oo, commander of
western command called at Mrebon Township from 13th to 15th December for supervising the
construction and maintenance works of the road.
He told the people that as the road is meant for them and used by them
it is the bounden duty for them to look after and conduct renovation works of
the broken down sections as necessary.
He also added that he has a hobby of detaining and imprisoning people
who defy his orders, our correspondent added.