Chins forced to Contribute Money for Road Construction
01 April 2012: Chin residents in Kalaymyo of Sagaing Division were ordered to make financial contribution for paving the road with tar under the new government.
Each household in Tahan, Sanmyo, Taungzalat and Taungphila blocks where the majority are of Chin ethnicity gave 100,000 Kyats to the municipal department for fund to make a tar surface on the road in front of their houses, according to the Chin Human Rights Organization‘s source.
“The local authorities verbally threatened those families who were not able to finish the roads. Of course, some didn’t have enough money but there hasn’t been any further actions taken against them,” said a Chin local from Tahan, who asks not to be named.
Last week, Sagaing Division (Region) Chief Minister U Tha Aye, of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), opened the newly tarred road to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in Taungphila block.
Meanwhile, about 25 Chin locals from Thanphu village, Kale Township in Sagaing Division were forced by the administrative officer to contribute labour for construction of the government middle school in the last week of February 2012.
The population of Kalaymyo is estimated to be 400,000, comprising 55% Burmese, 35% Chin and 10% other nationalities and foreigners, according to unconfirmed sources.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang