Villagers Forced To Contribute Wood Towards Pagoda Construction
The SPDC’s local authority has ordered villages in Thantlang Township, Chin State to donate 12-feet long wood planks for a pagoda being constructed at Lungler village near the Indian-Burmese border, sources disclosed.
One local traveller from Lunger village reportedly said the pagoda construction is going on now and other villages around Lungler including Tlangpi, Tlanglo and Lungding are forced to provide a total of 16 wood planks each.
The pagoda construction has started since March 2009, now nearing its completion and 7 Buddhist monks are said to be coming to the village late this month, according to an Internet-based newsletter yesterday.
Villagers from Lungler and nearby suffered much from a series of forced labour, portering and money-extortion to renovate a military camp of the Light Infantry Battalion (266) stationed at Lungler village, according to Khonumthung News last year.
The Chin people, mostly dependent on wood for cooking as electricity is not fully available, have faced an increasing shortage of wood throughout Chin State due to deforestation and a slash-and-burn farming system.
Van Biak Thang
26 April, 2009