Friday, 18 July 2008

Two Shrimp Factories Close Down in Arakan

Narinjara News

7/17/2008 - Two shrimp product factories owned by relatives of the Burmese military government in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State, closed down recently after the US government imposed further sanctions on Burma, said one worker who had been employed there.

He said, "The factories are Shwe Tharawan and Shwe Yamon, both shrimp product factories, located beside the Satro Kya Creek in Sittwe. Local Arakanese people called the factories Ah Ai Khan."

"Ah Ai Kan" translated literally into English means, "frozen-keeping room".

The two factories were owned by relatives of the Burmese military government, and the Shwe Tharawan factory was reportedly owned by the son of General Shwe Mann, the third most powerful man in Burma.

The factories were closed down after a Singapore company stopped buying shrimp from the factory for importing.

The worker said, "I heard that the Singapore Company faced a problem transferring money from Singapore to Burma after the US-government imposed sanctions on Burma. The company reportedly stopped the business due to a problem with the banking system."

A source from Sittwe said, the Shwe Tharawan factory has been transferred by General Shwe Mann's son to a government fishery department in Sittwe since the factory was closed down.

The worker said that 200 employees for the two factories were left jobless after the closures, but the owners of the factories had already paid three months' advance salary to the workers. #

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