Students march to protest delayed buses

Sep 30, 2008 (DVB), Around 150 students from Sittwe technical college staged a silent march yesterday afternoon when buses failed to pick them up after their exams, according to local residents.

The students decided to walk to their homes in silence after they were told to wait for a later bus.

Classes at the college usually end at 4pm, but students were released at 2.30pm yesterday after finishing their morning tests.

One student said the teachers had intentionally not arranged for the buses to collect them when they finished school.

"As the tests were early in the morning, [students] hadn't brought their lunchboxes with them, and when it got to two they were hungry," she said.

"They went to the teachers and said, 'Please arrange the buses for us, they haven’t turned up' , they pleaded with the teachers."

A teacher told them that they should wait for the usual buses to come and collect them at the end of the day, but the students were angry and decided to walk home in silence.

The local township authority chairman came to the scene and asked the students why they were marching and whether they had a leader.

"One student said that we had no leader, and that we were just doing it spontaneously because we were feeling outraged," the student said.

Security has been tight in Sittwe around the anniversary of the monk-led protests last year.

Authorities stepped up measures even further after around 150 monks held a commemorative march on Saturday.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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