Local School Principal Accused of Corruption
20 December 2011: A Burmese High School principal, U Aung Min Oo, has been accused of siphoning off money collected from students in a small village near the Indian border in Chin State.
The students in Lungler Village of Thantlang Township complained that their new principal, who was transferred in the village in June this year, forcibly collected money for the so-called improvement of school facilities but has never done anything for the school.
One of the community leaders told Chinland Guardian: “Students from High and Middle schools were asked to contribute 2,500 kyats each and Primary 2,000 kyats, making a total of 500,000 kyats for repairing school furniture. We have learned that he spent only about 200,000 kyats and kept the rest for his own pocket.”
Last month, U Aung Min Oo collected 150 kyats from each student of the Middle school, saying it would be used for organizing a literary competition, which didn’t actually happen in the village, according to the local leader, who asked not to be named.
On another occasion, the Burmese principal also made a collection of 76,000 kyats from students for travel expenses of the Township educational inspection but he was known to have pocketed the money for his own personal use.
“Due to his rough behaviour and violent manner, many students have run away from the school and now we have only two students in the 10th Standard in our village,” said another local leader.
U Aung Min Oo is also reportedly cutting 500 kyats from salaries of the school teachers every month without giving reasons or obtaining the consent of the teachers.
“He [U Aung Min Oo] has been doing this by force and does not explain why their salaries are cut every month,” added the local leader.
“Since his arrival in June 2011, he had been travelling until last month. No one knew what he was doing and where he was going.”
Lungler, where Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion No. 89 is currently based, is one of the oldest military outposts in Chin State.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang