Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Burma: Security forces arrest villagers for helping UNDP

Burma's border security forces arrested 4 villagers in Rathedaung Township in Arakan State, Burma on October 15, alleging that they had joined hands with the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) in digging three wells in their village, said a close relative of Yakub Ali, a Village Peace and Development Council member who was among those detained.

The arrested were identified as Md. Amin (40), son of Kabir, the Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) Chairman, Yakub Ali, VPDC member( 35), son of Abdu Salam, Nur Mohamed (40), son of Seraz Ullah, the head of 10 houses ( in Burmese sainn gaung), and Nazim Uddin (35). They all belong to Razar Bill village in Rathedaung Township in Arakan State.

The UNDP offered to build a bridge and to dig three wells in their village to resolve the crisis of drinking water and pave the way for good communication. Villagers welcomed the proposal but Nasaka was not agreeable to the proposal, said a trader in the locality.

Nasaka asked the villagers why they agreed to the proposal of the UNDP, and the villagers, "We need a bridge and three wells in our villagers to get clean drinking water and for good communication as our children cannot go to school in the monsoons," according to a local elder.

The villagers were rounded up by Nasaka and taken to the Zedi Prang Nasaka camp. At the camp, Nasaka demanded 600,000 Kyat to release them. They are still in the Nasaka's detention centre because they are unable to pay such a large amount, said local villagers.

The UNDP has been helping in digging many wells in Rakhine villages of Rathedaung Township for a long time in Arakan State, a villager said.

Source: Kaladan Press Network