Voters and officials punished for 'No' votes

Aug 19, 2008 (DVB), Local officials in charge of areas that voted No in the constitutional referendum in May have been dismissed, while No voters have also faced retaliation from the authorities, local residents told DVB.

Officials in charges of some wards and villages in Katha, Sagaing division, where residents voted overwhelmingly against the military regime's proposed constitution, have been removed from their posts in the last month, according to local residents.

In Yenangyaung in Magwe Division, the authorities cut off the electricity supply and street lights in wards whose residents had voted against the constitution, while wards inhabited by the authorities and the pro-junta Union and Solidarity and Development Association members have been given 24-hour electricity.

Authorities have also been collecting lists of those who voted No to the referendum in other states and divisions.

The Burmese military government enacted its new constitution after referendums on 10 and 24 May which were marred by reports of intimidation, corruption and vote-rigging.

The regime claimed the constitution was approved by over 92 percent of voters, but is has been dismissed as a "sham" by pro-democracy groups and international commentators.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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