Narinjara News



Increasing exhortation by the authority in Arakan State


Akyab, Dec 13: After the purge of General Khin Nyunt, the SPDC Prime Minister Soe Win, SPDC Secretary (1) Thein Sein, and Lieutenant General Shwe Mann promised that the junta’s first priority is to get rid of corruption and abusive use of power by military personnel. 


Contrary to the promise, there have been an increase in incidents of exhortation by the local authority and military personnel of the public through out Arakan State.


Checkpoints formerly controlled by the Military Intelligence are now guarded by military personnel and police, and they are not just asking for money from the smugglers, but also from the ordinary people.


“We were told that the soldiers are not to be bribed.  However, if we are to bribe them, we have to pay no less than what we used to pay to the MI. So we have to pay 50,000 kyats for our boat,” says an Arakanese trader who used the sea smuggling route.


The local authority made up out of Army, Navy, and Police demand 30,000 or 100,000 kyats for a smuggle boat.


In the southern Townships of Arakan, namely Kyauk Phyu, Rambree, Taung Goat, the Township Peace and Development Councils (TPDC) officials were making the people give money for the furniture and equipment of the TPDC offices.


The Democratic Voice of Burma based in Norway also reported that the president of Rambree TPDC, U Myo Tint, exhorted 5,000 kyats from each rice mill as a “donation” to the TPDC fund.


DVB reports that the local people complain that this exhortation was for U Myo Tint’s personal use.


Similar cases are reported from Ranmyo, Meegaunghtoo, Moung villages and Taung Goat Township. In Taung Goat Township, the TPDC president U Saw Aung collected 300 to 500 kyats per household for the furniture to be used in the Township office.


If the villagers failed to pay the first time, they will have to pay double for the second demand from the officials.


Under Khin Nyunt, the Military Intelligence used similar means of exhortation of money under the pretence of asking donations for many of the official projects funding schools, roads, and clinics.


During the purge of the Military Intelligence, from the head of Min Bya MI division Kyat 2 billion; from Maung Phone, the head of Paut Taw, 50 million kyats and 100 kyats of gold; from Aung Zaeya, the head of Maung Daw MI division, 30 million kyats and 47 kyats of gold; from Sergent Soe Won, the head of Pone Nar Kyan township, 75 acres of rice field, 50 millions kyat and a rice mill. From those MI stationed in Arakan State, billions of kyats were confiscated during the purge.


“We can estimate the magnitude of the authoritarianism of the Burmese junta over the Arakanese by looking at the amount of money confiscated from the MI,” says a citizen of Akyab.


After the purge, instead of reduction of exhortation, the people of Arakan are facing more hardship of demanding money with no legitimate reason from the local authority. #



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