March 31st, 2011
By Kyae Goe – The Electricity Township Engineer Office in Moulmein has accused the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU), of bombing the main electricity tower in Beelin, Mon State, which has subsequently cut off the electricity since March 25th.
The electricity authorities have blamed the KNLA and announced their accusations with loudspeakers throughout some quarter of Moulmein. The electricity cuts came amidst university exams, after which students conducted protests to get the electricity back.
Students started taking their exams on March 7th and have continued to take the exams. Electricity returned to the area today.
The KNLA, however, has denied accusations of a bomb blast at the central Moulmein electricty department tower in Beelin Township.
Speaking to the Independent Mon News Agency on Wednesday, Saw Phaw Doh, commander of KNLA’s Brigade 7, Battalion No. 101, in Myawaddy, Kaw-kareik Township, said, “It is not an area where we would bomb. And also, our people are not there.”
“When I heard the sound, I thought that a car wheel exploded, but I knew later that it was the electricity tower that exploded,” said a Beelin Town resident.
The bomb exploded around 2 am. “This is the first time that a bomb went off in Beelin Township,” said the Beelin Town resident.
Local observers said that KNLA Brigade No. 1 is active in the Beelin Township area.
After the bomb exploded at the electricity tower, which transfers power to Thaton, Poung, and Moulmein, the electricity was off until yesterday evening.
Due to the electricity cuts, Nai Ngwe Thein, the chairman of the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP), said yesterday that, “I did not have the chance to watch Thein Sein be sworn in as the new president of Burma on t.v.”
Also due to electricity cuts, around 50 students gathered together on March 8th to protest the electricty cuts at the Ngante electricity station in Moulmein.
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