Ye – In spite of having permission from township authorities in Duya, a village festival was raided by the police force and cash estimated at over eight million kyat was seized.

According to an event organizer, about 15 policemen led by U Shein Linn, General Administrator of the Township, raided a festival in the village of Jawkanee in Duyar at about 9 pm on January 14. The main gamblers were not arrested, but over eight million kyats in cash were seized and 12 villagers were taken and the village headman was forced to testify as a witness.

A local source reported that the organizing committee and the village headman of Duya had already arranged for the festival by paying bribes to the Township Peace and Development Committee, the local Burma Army battalion, the Intelligence Branch and other persons of concern.

A government employee (civil servant) who spoke under condition of anonymity told Kaowao that village festivals are granted permit only when the local headman pays a bribe. But this time, Township Chairman U Thein Zaw failed to share the under-the-table money with Administrator U Shein Lin. In return, U Shein Lin ordered the police force to crack down on the festival.

Even though over eight million kyat (Burmese currency) and, the gold chain and gold ring of 5 kyat-tha (82 gram) were confiscated, the police force reported that only 110,000 Kyats had been seized.

“We were very disappointed because the village festival is very important where people of all ages gather and have fun. This robbery committed by the government shows the truth in rural Burma. We have nobody to ask for help in fighting this kind of corruption but we want outsiders to know what is happening in our area,” said Nai Kyaw from Duya.

TPDC Chairman Thein Zaw is notorious for his greed in taking bribes from the local villagers. Owners of karaoke bars also have to pay the Chairman upon demand for trips he makes to the capital and even for his vacation.

Jawkanee is in Duya (Durae community) of the Palean area. It was a strong hold area of the NMSP and visitors are attracted to the beauty of Palean. http://www.kaowao.org/index.php

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