Sittwe students protest suspension of bus services

Jan 7, 2009 (DVB), About 70 students from Sittwe university in Arakan state marched to the university on Monday in protest at the bus companies' decision to stop services.

The buses stopped running after they were forced by local authorities to cut bus fares to one third of the original price, town residents said.

"The protest took place around 8.30 on Monday. Students were waiting for the buses but they didn’t arrive," a local resident said.

"They stopped running after being told by local authorities to cut bus fares from 150 kyat down to 50 kyat per student," he said.

"The bus companies said they would not make any profit if they only charged 50 kyat because of the high fuel prices."

The students decided to march to the university in protest at the suspension of services.

"There was a crowd of about 70 students who were disappointed after they learnt what happened and decided to walk down to the university as a protest," the local resident said.

"Not long after that, the government’s armed security troops showed up. They rounded up other buses running in the area and ordered them to take the students."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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