Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Taunggok : 5 Mambers Forced To Disperse

23 January 2008
Original report by Aye Nai, DVB

A hundred strong, fully-armed junta militia group, forced 5 members of the National League for Democracy Party, to disperse as they were walking quietly, in Taunggok, Arakan, it is reported.

This morning, after the NLD members left the teashop near the central market in Taunggok and were walking along U Ottama road, heading for Saung Kauk area, they were chased by this fully-armed troop of security forces, led by chief police official, who ordered them to disperse.

"They were fully-equipped with batons and shields, a bit like riot police style with the violent and intimidating manner and ready to arrest us. They marched behind us, led by police chief Win Aung Ni. When they reached us they told us to disperse immediately", said Ko Moe Naing Soe, who was one of the 5 members walking back from town centre.

"We were told that,here in Taunggok, there is nothing we can do to make changes. They also told us that what we are trying to do is not going to make any difference"

Attempts were made to gather on 17 January to protest against forced labour and the badly managed economy . However, authorities managed to prevent the peaceful demonstration and since then, the security measures have been increased. Yesterday, the 2 Youth NLD members, who managed to shout out for democracy freedom and the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, under the scrutiny of the watchful security forces, have since been arrested and detained.

Presently, all the movements and activities of people in Taunggok have been closely monitored and the civilians have lost whatever freedom of movement they had, which was already severely limited.

"The town has been invaded and seized by security forces. At the pagodas, teashops, on the roads, whereever you look, it is full of security forces. It is just a most unpleasant, repulsive and disgusting scene and is, as intended, highly intimidating. What the public feel deep down in their hearts and what they desire is something that no rulers, no government and no weapons can stop."

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