Cyclone refugee charged after submitting petition

Sep 9, 2008 (DVB), Cyclone refugee U Nyan Win has been arrested in Naypyidaw where he was trying to secure the right for other survivors of Cyclone Nargis to remain at refugee camps 3 and 5, according to sources close to him.

Nyan Win, who is from camp 3, collected the names, signatures and fingerprints of 200 refugees and went to the capital to plead their case.

While he was there, three of his friends who had helped him collect the signatures were summoned to Laputta police station and ordered to collect the names, signatures and finger prints of 50 people on blank pieces of paper by the region's chief military strategist.

The three tried to refuse but were forced to carry out the orders by the police.

Once the papers had been collected, it was written in the space above the signatures that Nyan Win had been collecting fake signatures so that he could illegally profit from the allocation of plots of land to the refugees.

The letters were sent to the capital and Nyan Win was arrested at the Buddhist monastery where he was staying.

He is now being charged with dishonesty and forgery under articles 420 and 486 of the penal code, sources said, and could face a prison sentence of up to eight years.

The three people who were forced to collect the second round of signatures for the police are planning to report the incident to the relevant authorities.

A monk who joined the villagers of Yway in a signature campaign to protest against the plan to move them forcibly to Bokone village was also summoned to Laputta police station and interrogated five days ago, locals said.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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