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Kyauk Tan villagers forced to work for aid

Jun 27, 2008 (DVB), Residents of Meepya village in Kyauk Tan township, Rangoon, have been forced to work on a reconstruction project in order to receive aid materials given by private donors.

The villagers were told they would not receive the supplies unless they contributed labour to rebuild a dam that was damaged in the cyclone.

About 500 households in Meepya village, which is located on an estuary, were damaged in the cyclone, leaving many people homeless.

The village received assistance from private donors, but village Peace and Development Council chairperson U Aye Kyaw Myint and other members of the council seized the items and forced villagers to work on the dam on 26 May in return for aid.

Villagers were angered by the demands, particularly as the PDC had already collected around 4.5 million kyat from local businesses and residents for the reconstruction of the dam but were not putting the funds to their designated use.

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet


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