Storm victims arrested and driven out from shelters

May 15, 2008 (DVB), The police attacked and arrested a storm victim and member of South Dagon Township National League for Democracy today for attempting to meet UN officials in Rangoon.

At 4pm this evening, Daw Khin Win Kyi was arrested for attempting to tell the sufferings of refugees to senior government officials, diplomats and UN officials who were inspecting the living conditions of storm victims with 15 other women, a local resident told DVB.

"She wanted the senior officials to know the suffering of the people and wanted to tell them face to face and went to wait on the route of the official entourage. She told officials at Ward , 17 to let her see the senior officials, and the police told her that they could not let her in, and a shouting match followed. Then, the police sergeant punched her, dragged her away and handcuffed her."

South Dagon suffered severe damage caused by Cyclone Nargis that hit Rangoon on 2 May and homeless victims have been taking refuge in monasteries and schools, but they have had to rely on private donors for help and there has been no proper help from the government. The authorities placed refugees inside forty tents donated by the international community to try to show the foreign officials that efforts had been made.

There are thousands of refugees in Wards 55 and 26 of South Dagon sheltering inside monasteries and schools. The authorities have been trying to evict the refugees from these places in order to make way for the referendum for pro-army constitution which is to be held on 24 May, the resident said.

"Those who refuse to obey the order will be prosecuted by the Internal Affairs Ministry, I was told."

At nearby Daw Pon, refugees who were sheltering in a storehouse were also driven out into the rain, a refugee said.

"We told them that we have nowhere to live. They said, you can go anywhere you like. If you don't, we will ask the army to remove you tonight, the ward authority chairman Nay Lin Aung said to us."

Reporting by Aye Nai

Leave a reply