Private aid trucks seized by police

May 27, 2008 (DVB), Forty-two trucks on their way back from taking private donations to cyclone victims in Daydaye and Pyapon townships on Sunday were seized on arrival at Hlaing Tharyar township’s Pan Hlaing bridge by police.

A private donor who went with the truck said traffic police stopped the trucks when they arrived in Hlaing Tharyar township the on evening of 25 May and asked the drivers to go to the Government Technology Institute compound in Insein township but refused to give an explanation for the hold-up.

"They only said they were acting on the orders of their superiors but they refused to tell us whether we were being arrested or not," said the donor.

"We then asked them to make us clear if they were arresting us for donating items to cyclone victims but they only told us to please understand them."

The truck drivers were released at around midnight that night and trucks were given back at around 2pm the next day, but the authorities refused to return the drivers' licenses, according to sources close to the drivers.

The private donor said the Pan Hlaing bridge crossing, which was the main route used by donors to travel to disaster zones, has been shut down by the authorities, causing a delay to the flow of relief supplies to victims.

"Now it is impossible for any helpers to reach to the victims," he said.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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