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Government to prosecute two administrators following school fire

Burmese authorities have defended earlier claims that the blaze at an Islamic school in downtown Rangoon in early April was caused by an ‘overheated voltage regulator’ and said officials would be charging two of the school’s administrators with negligence.

During a press conference in the country’s commercial capital yesterday, Rangoon division’s chief minister Myint Swe presented the seven-member commission’s official results.

“According to the latest confessions of the children, the two teachers and U Ye Naung Thein of Mawlawi Organisation, the fire was due to an overheated regulator stemming from high voltage,” said Myint Swe, according to a report published in the English edition of The New Light of Myanmar on Friday.

Myint Swe also noted that one of the school’s administrators, Zeya Phyo had already confessed, but made no mention of the second teacher who allegedly fled after the fire.

Officials from five major Islamic organisations were invited to the Rangoon division’s government’s office, where they listened to an official read out the report in a 45-minute address.

“After listening to the full detailed explanation, we have nothing to complain/argue with about the analysis that the fire was caused by negligence – the [mosque officials] failed to turn down the voltage regulator, which was turned on during [times of weak electricity], when the electricity went back to normal,” said Nyunt Maung Shein from the Islamic Religious Affairs Council.

“So we accept the result.”

The 2 April fire threatened to drive an even deeper wedge between the country’s Muslim and Buddhists communities after a wave of anti-Muslim rioting rocked central Burma in late March.


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