Narinjara News

Extortion from car owners as Burmese junta fail to repair roads

Sittwe, 14
th August 03:  The roads in Sittwe, the capital of the western Burmese state of Rakhine, have become unfit for use by motor vehicles as the heavy monsoons have washed them away, damaging very badly.

The Sittwe Municipality finding no source of revenue from which to maintain the roads in the town appealed to the Western Commander.  The western commander finding no other way issued an order to conduct the maintenance of the roads through a self-help basis, said an owner of the Sittwe  Rangoon bus service. 

In a bid to collect the fund for the maintenance work the commander has ordered the Municipality to collect kyat 10,000 as parking tax, and kyat 10,000 as wheel-running tax annually from each of the owners of the motor vehicles. 

Though regular road taxes, licence renewal taxes and bribes are realized from the owners of the automobiles the new taxes are but plain extortions, the source said. 

While western commander Brigadier Gen. Maung Oo came to see the maintenance work on progress at Minnbagri Street on July 28, he directed a group of people in the area to maintain all the broken streets and roads on a self-help basis.  Following the order officials of the Sittwe Municipality have been collecting money through extortion to repair the dilapidated roads and streets including Mayu Road, Minnbagri Road, Main Road, Strand Road, Merchant Street, and Singu Road#