Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Over 70 cars impounded after distribution of relief material

Phanida - Mizzima News

27 May 2008 - About 70 vehicles were impounded on Sunday when they returned from the Irrawaddy Delta after donating relief material to cyclone victims.

The police force led by Police Maj. U Luu Win seized the cars at the entrance of Panhlaing Bridge on their way back to Rangoon. The exercise was on the whole of Sunday evening.

"There were about 50 cars lined up on the bridge. The cars were seized at about 8 p.m. yesterday. There were about 22 cars in the Government Technical College (GTC) campus. The car owners were summoned to the police department but their cars have not yet been returned," the in-charge of NLD Youth Information Department said.

The police said that the cars were seized for flouting the law. All these cars need to take permission from local authorities of the Township Peace and Development Council (PDC) of Dallah, Twante, Kunchankong, Kawhmu and Dadeye for making trips for donation to the cyclone victims. The police said that they had already announced on May 8 for donors not to throw relief supplies to cyclone victims lining the highway. This would weaken the victims and not allow them to be back on their feet.

"The authorities said that donating to victims is not a problem, but throwing the relief material on the road created a lot of problems. It would have a negative impact and jeopardize the government's relief efforts, they said. The victims are now objecting to the government's plan to house them in government relief centres, the authorities complained," Ko Zarganar (Tweezers), the renowned comedian into relief operations said.

The impounded cars are being kept in the GTC campus and car owners have been told to come back today. The policemen who are seizing the cars are from Kyaikkasan Interrogation Centre, U Kyaw Thu, actor and a leader of free funeral service, said.

"Many said that the cars were impounded by both the police and the army from Kyaikkasan Interrogation Centre. Last night about 100 cars were detained. Private donors with two Toyota Hilux pickups were arrested last night. But the donors were released late at night and but the cars are in police custody," U Kyaw Thu said.

"Impounding vehicles of Burmese people who are helping their fellow Burmese is not done Today they warned us and made a fuss about traffic rules and checked our cars to see if the lamps and indicators are working," he said.

The authorities have continued restrictions and arrests by stopping many cars going to the Delta in Dadeye and Maubin checkposts. Private donors had to leave their cars with a person to guard it and the goods. They had to come back from these check posts, Daw Myint Myint Mu, a member of 'Human Rights Defender and Promoters Network (HRDP) said.

The riot police was deployed today at the entrance of Panhlaing Bridge.

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