Govt order employees to plant saplings in Hakha
13 June 2015 — The government of Chin State gave orders for department employees to plant saplings on Mount Rung today.
Civil servants from all government departments and soldiers from the Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion No. 266 based on Mount Rung planted about 1,000 young trees around 7am.
A government employee, who speaks on condition of anonymity, told the Chinland Guardian: “The government administration department called our office and asked us for a list of employees who would participate in the tree-planting activity.”
“They didn’t say that action would be taken if an employee didn’t turn up. But it was not voluntary but compulsory. In a way, it was an indirect way of forcible act.”
Hundreds of government employees turned up this morning on Mount Rung overlooking Hakha, getting involved in a window dressing programme, a rainy season all-department tree-planting ceremony.
A government source said that the programme was held across the country on the same day.
“This has been going on for years now but we have not seen any real progress. The main reason is that there is no maintenance programme and that it is purely symbolic,” said the Hakha government employee.
During his official visit to Chin State in February this year, President Thein Sein said that no government employees would be forced to provide ‘labour contribution’ on Saturday, Sunday and holidays officially designated by the Union government.
Salai Thang, a Hakha resident, said: “What the authorities said and did are different. What is written on the document and what has actually been implemented are almost all the time opposite. Now, they will start talking about planting trees to make our land green. But they are the ones who destroy our forests.”#