State cooperatives evict local businesses

Dec 31, 2007 (DVB), Private stores opened on space rented from the Burmese government’s cooperatives office in Pakokku have been ordered by the cooperatives headquarters to move out before the end of 2007.

A Pakokku resident said that government cooperatives in Magwe rented out space in front of their office to about ten private business owners about seven years ago as a means of raising funds for its employees.

"But the cooperatives headquarters has been pressuring the businesses owners to move somewhere else since about nine months ago, but they won’t provide any assistance or compensation for the relocation of the shops," the resident said.

"The businesses are going to lose a lot of money if they have to relocate because they have already spent so much on building their shops and renovating the space and so on."

One business owner said that the store owners had written a letter of complaint to the minister of commerce and the divisional Peace and Development Council chairman, but had so far received no assistance.

"We rented this space from the cooperatives with a proper contract," the owner said.

"It doesn’t say anywhere that have to move when asked. We have spent a lot of money on setting up our shop here."

Reporting by DVB

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