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NLD Statement 65 (translation)

National League for Democracy
No:(97/B), West Shwegondine Road
Bahan Township, Bahan

STATEMENT 65 (5/99)(translation)

1.	Information received is that every individual of every household in 
Bogalay township, is required to give forced labour for the construction of 
a road linking Paechaung and Kadone Ka-ne villages in Bogalay township, 
Irrawaddy Division.

2. 	The car road will be 32 miles long. It will involves crossing six river 
tributaries with a span of approximately 600 feet, five chaungs (big creeks) 
with that of approximately 200 feet, and ten small streams. This road is to 
be imposing and massively constructed.

3. 	The residents of the town, villages and wards have been given notice 
that they will have to give personal or substitute labour.

4. 	Substitute labour will cost a household between five to ten thousand 
kyats. The road will cut across jungles and forests and mangrove swamps. 
Water under the surface is salty and drinking water is difficult to obtain. 
Road construction will be most arduous. Moreover, it being the beginning of 
the rainy season, the cultivators need to be working on their fields. Those 
who live in the towns have to work to live from day to day.  A lot of them 
sell their petty wares as hawkers (carrying goods on their heads or carting 
them around).  In no way can these people give their own labour or pay 
someone else as a substitute.

5.  	Our information is that this road has not been planned by the Central 
or Divisional PDC, but has been initiated by Sayadaw U Kawlatha assisted by 
the army and the township authorities. The reason given is to facilitate 
pilgrims to reach the site where the sayadaw has constructed the One 
Thousand Gangaw Pagoda. This car road is not really needed because it is a 
day's journey by waterway to and from Bogalay town to Kadone Ka-ne village.

6.  	U Aung Khin Bo and U Aung Myint (Chairman and member of the township 
NLD organising committee) who reported these circumstances to us have been 
illegally arrested and sentenced to 2 years imprisonment by those who hold 
power.  This action is downright unjustifiable. They were only performing 
their duty as required by the rules and regulations of a legally constituted 
political party.  This is a travesty and miscarriage of justice.

7.  We vehemently denounce such unfair inequitable practices.

Central Executive Committee
National League for Democracy

11 May 1999.

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