ALP accused of extorting money from villagers in Paletwa
17 September 2013: Residents in Paletwa Township of Chin State said soldiers from the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP) forcibly exacted money from the villagers.
An ALP captain known as U Khaing Lin ordered local shop-owners and families in Myeik-wa Village Tract to provide large amount of money on 3 August 2013.
The villagers were threatened that they would face punishment if they failed to give the money demanded to U Aung Thar Oo, supposedly an ALP member.
According to the Khumi Media Group (KMG), the order was that bigger shops had to give 15,000 Kyats and smaller shops 6,000 while 3,000 Kyats was demanded from families.
A villager, whose name is not revealed for security reasons, said: “We have suffered from this kind of situation for a long time. They [ALP] would order us to give them rice and money, sometimes in the middle of the night.”
“We don’t want to give but we are afraid. On the other hand, the local authorities of Burma’s goverment warn us not to help ALP. So, we don’t know what to do at times,” the villager said.
Last month, the government of Chin State officially informed the head of Paletwa Township Administration Department that the locals should not pay money to ALP.
The official letter dated 21 August 2013 from the administration head said that, according to KMG, Burma Police Force would arrest and take necessary action against anyone providing money for ALP.
During his visit to Paletwa town in July this year, Pu Hung Ngai, Chief Minister of the Chin State government, was quoted as saying that ALP should not be provided with any money.
Chinland Guardian was unable to reach ALP for comments.#