Some pillars erected, wood planks piled and foundation blocks laid down in a plot where construction of a church building is planned by students of Government Technological College (Kalay Myo) were pulled out and removed by Tayawaddy villagers on 27 November 2008.
This ‘gruesome’ move came under the leadership of the village’s headman following an order issued on 24 November by Chairman of Township Peace and Development Council U Ko Ko Latt who is said to have summoned and interrogated leaders of University Christian Fellowship.
“The purpose of building this church is to have a worship service among students since it is difficult and far away from our college to get to Kalay Myo for going to church. At first, the authority did not give us permission by saying it is not Chin State. After proposing consistently and explaining the fact that a church is not to be built only in Chin State, permission was at last given to us,” said a Christian Fellowship member whose name is not mentioned intentionally.
“This effort has begun by saving a little out of our pocket money from our parents. We all are very sad that our church is destroyed like this and it is not good that religious and ethnic discrimination still exists in the country.”
All the materials removed from the plot owned by Technology Christian Fellowship based in Tayawaddy village, Sagaing Division are still kept in the compound of the village’s headman.
It is claimed that there has been an unofficial order issued in the village that no Chin students should be allowed to rent a house and that any house letting out to Chin students will be stoned to pieces.
Students of GTC (Kalay Myo) have started saving and contributing towards the construction plans since 2005. The church building foundation was laid down in 2005 and the activities delayed due to insufficient fund and Burma’s political unrest. It was only on 26 November 2008 that the students who re-started voluntarily clearing up the plot were ordered to stop their activities.
Student Union is said to have written a report, calling on Regional and District Offices, Principal of the College and Kalay Christian Churches to take appropriate action in this matter.
Van Biak Thang & Thang Pi
05 December, 2008