Friday, 11 July 2008

Western Command Commander Asks for "Manpower Donation"

Narinjara - The new western command commander at a meeting on Thursday requested people to donate manpower to help reconstruct the Buthidaung and Maungdaw motor road, reported a townsperson.

He said, "Commader Major General Thaung Aye came to our town yesterday and met us in the Thiri Mingla hall. During the meeting, he asked for people to contribute manpower for road repair."

The motor road is the only link between Bangladesh and western Burma, and was severely damaged a few days ago by mudslides and bridge collapses in the heavy rain. The road is unusable currently, and transportation in the region has been brought to a standstill.

"The commander instructed the authorities in Maungdaw to complete the road construction by the end of this month with the help of the local people. But he organized people to work on the road construction politely by using the phrase 'manpower donation'," the local said.

The authorities in Maungdaw Township have used people for forced labor on the road reconstruction every day since the road was damaged, and at least 50 people from each ward and towns near the road have had to work without pay.

He said, "All people understand what the new western commander meant about 'manpower donation'. It was used by the western commander instead of saying 'forced labor'. The authorities in Maungdaw Township have now gotten permission from the new western commander to use the people as forced labor."

It was also learned that people in Maungdaw Township are now anxious about the new commander's request for donated manpower for the reconstruction of the Buthidaung - Maungdaw motor road. #

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