recent bomb blast in the middle of Thanphyuzayart, and the fire set to passenger buses on the main motor road connecting Moulmein and Ye

June 30th, 2011

Independent Mon News Agency – Amid the authorities’ demand to members of armed groups to lay down their arms by 30 June, the recent bomb blast in the middle of Thanphyuzayart, and the fire set to passenger buses on the main motor road connecting Moulmein and Ye, local residents and travelers are experiencing anxiety about the unstable situation in Mon State.

Thanphyuzayart Twon ( Photo: IMNA )Thanphyuzayart Twon ( Photo: IMNA )

“We live in Aung Thar Yar section, and the explosion of the bomb blast was so loud. The ground was shaking. I think the war will be in the city; it no longer be only in the jungle,” said a local woman from Thanphyuzayart. Aung Thar Yar is about 350 meters from the location of the recent explosion.

The bomb exploded near the house of the township administrative chief, but residents throughout the entire town were in shock with the loud explosion at midnight of 28 June.

Again, around mid-day on 29 June, two buses belonging to Shwe-lee and Yazar Min transport companies were set afire by unknown armed groups after the companies failed to pay unofficial taxes to the groups. The buses were completely destroyed, and ten of the peoples were kidnapped.

A company staff member from Yazar-Min said, “We were wrong. We never thought they [the unknown armed group] would set a fire. We thought they had no ability. But we were totally wrong.”

A member of the transport company’s staff explained that representatives of the armed group asked the companies to pay 1 million Kyat (approximately $1,333 US) as a security fee or tax to the armed group. But the companies ignored the demand, and expected the Burmese Army in the area to protect them.

“It is lucky that they did not make any problem for the passengers. My heart was beating. I don’t know what buses I should use in the future. I felt I was not so safe,” a bus passenger told IMNA.

After setting fire to the buses, the members of the armed group allowed all passengers to travel with other buses, but kidnapped the drivers. The buses were burnt between Anin Village and Lamaw-chan Village.

The bus belonging to the Shwe-lee Company was traveling down from Rangoon to Ye, and the bus belonging to Yarzar-Min was traveling up from Ye to Rangoon.

Both companies are well known for their transport services from Rangoon to Mon State and Tenasserim Division. In addition, many travelers rely on their service.

Residents and travelers feel that Mon State has become insecure, as they feel the war is coming closer to them every day. Last month, a Mon armed group exploded the telecommunications office in Mudon Township. In addition, the road to the border has been blocked, and trading is stopped following the conflict in Three Pagodas Pass border town.

Local residents report having seen military trucks coming down from other parts of Burma to Moulmein, the capital of Mon State.

The authorities have set 30 June as the deadline for all armed groups to surrender. But the armed groups are not listening, instead using the new strategy of bomb attacks in towns and cities.

“Now I feel that it is not safe to go to the market. I don’t want my kids to go to school. I think nobody can protect us,” said a woman in Thanbyuzayat.


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