Narinjara News

Fishery industry being harassed

7 August  2003: The Riparian fishery industry of Kaladan River, Arakan - a western state of Burma - has to pay ransom to a collaborator of the Burmese military intelligence. 

High Gar Ree Kyaw Win attained a monopoly over the Jelly-Fish industry for the 2002-2003 season, by bribing fishermen with forty million Kyats ($ 40,000). However, after a poor fishing season the industry made a loss. 

High Gar Ree Kyaw Win used his connection to bully other fishermen, in demand of ransom money to the value of twenty to thirty thousand Kyats each.  A fisherman reported that the demand was to compensate his losses in the Jelly-Fish Permit, which has nothing to do with other species.

During the last season, the body of a fisherman called Ko Than Tun Sein, who was a member of the village-level civilian wing of the ruling junta, was dumped in the river.  He had had an argument over the blackmail of another Jelly-Fish Permit holder, but no one has been charged over that incident.

This season, the fishermen have to “bite the bullet” in fear of death and pay this illegal ransom.#