Friday, 6 June 2008

Four 'vote No' campaigners detained in Chin state

Khonumthung - May 31, 2008 - A vengeful Burmese military junta has detained four 'Vote No' campaigners in a military camp located in a remote area in southern Chin state, Burma in the aftermath of the referendum to approve the draft pro-military constitution.

The detained campaigners are Aung Be from Salowa village, Hla Myint Aung from Kinwa village and Tu Lin and Ko Htet from Leite village in Paletwa Township.

The quartet were arrested by Burma Army troops on May 7 while they were distributing pamphlets urging voters in Chinletwa village in Paletwa Township to reject the new charter drafted to perpetuate and legitimize military rule in Burma.

The villagers residing around Chinletwa villages tried to bail the detainees out. They are yet to be produced in the township court.

"We are approaching a commander of the military camp in Chinletwa and trying to bail them out with Kyat 300,000 for each detainee," a village headman from Chin state said on condition of anonymity.

In an initial attempt to bail the detainees out, the villagers paid the money they collected. The village headman did not mention how much was collected from villages near Chinletwa's. The money went to grease the palms of Captain Thang Cing Thang of the Light Infantry Battalion (20) from the military outpost based in Tura Ai village in Paletwa Township.

According to referendum watch groups in Chin state, voters from several areas in Chin state had overwhelmingly rejected the draft constitution in the referendum held on May 10.

However, the regime announced that 92 percent of the voters in Burma endorsed the military's new constitution.

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