Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shwe Gas pipeline security soldiers demand money from locals

The Burmese soldiers, who take responsibility for the security of the Shwe Gas Pipeline from Namtu to Maimaw, are demanding money from local people travelling around the Pipeline. On April 28th 2012, three tea traders were threatened by soldiers of Lashio Battalion 68, who demanded money from them, on their way from Namtu to Takhalat village.

“The three of us were carrying tea back to Takhalet village by motorbike. When we arrived at the entrance of the village, the Burmese soldiers, who are responsible for the Gas pipeline security, demanded money from us for Alcohol, they were already drunk. We begged them to leave us be because we didn’t have much money and each of us only had 5oo Kyat but they didn’t accept our pleas. They said that if we couldn’t pay for their alcohol, we would not be allowed to pass. Finally, each of us had to pay our last 500 Kyat to the soldiers” said by the victim.
The soldiers are not only demanding money from the motorcyclists, but also from local people on foot and in cars. In Northern Shan State, local people are often subjected to being threatened and being stopped and checked without any reason and having to pay money under the intimidation of Burmese soldiers who take responsibility for Shwe Gas Pipeline security which pass across from Arakhan State to China.



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