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NLD Statement 64 (translation)

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

STATEMENT 64 (5/99)(translation)

1. It has been reported to us that in Sagaing Division, Wuntho township, 
because of the practice of forced labour and illegal demands for money the 
people are overburdened and are deeply distressed.

2.  U Than Tun, the previous Chairman of the Peace and Development Council 
of Wuntho township demanded Kyats 300/- from about ten thousand households 
collecting a total sum of thirty lakhs allegedly to purchase a fire engine 
which was never bought nor has there been any accounting for the money.

3.  U Khin Maung Swe, the present incumbent claims that the thirty lakhs 
that the people was forced to pay is missing and no signs of a fire engine 
exists. No evidence exists relating to the collection of the money either.

4.  He now is demanding each household to pay Kyats 100/- each to repair an 
old fire engine which was a donation from the Katha township. The residents 
had been previously informed that the surplus money of four lakhs (money 
collected for the TV tower) would be appropriated to meet the cost of 
repairs of that old engine.

5. Right now, every household is being asked to pay Kyats three hundred for 
the erection of  a pagoda (162 ' high) in Magyibin village tract, Nankhan 
sub-township, Wuntho township. In lieu of payment, five days of labour on 
the site is required. This is a second demand because in 1998 a similar 
demand for payment of Kyats three hundred and forced labour for the erection 
of a pagoda in Magyibin village tract was made.

6.  These demands for money under present circumstances where people are 
facing difficulties to survive because of the high inflationary cost of 
every thing, to make people put aside their own business, and force them to 
work without wages is just too heavy a burden to bear.  Their poverty is 
both physical and mental.

7.  We urge those who are causing such distress and placing such unbearable 
burdens on the people to stop this practice. This utter lack of 
consideration for the physical and mental well being of the people cannot be 
condoned under any circumstances.

Central Executive Committee
National League for Democracy

7 May 1999

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