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Naval soldiers dissatisfied with cyclone awards

May 26, 2008 (DVB), More than 20 soldiers from Burma's navy were dissatisfied with certificates they were awarded after they survived the devastating cyclone, according to a source close to the navy.

Four ships stationed at Hai Gyi Naval Base, southwest of the Irrawaddy Delta, sank when Cyclone Nargis hit Burma on 2 May.

The government-controlled media announced on 4 May that Hai Gyi island was badly affected, accounting for 109 deaths.

Of an unknown number of soldiers assigned to the island only a few more than 20 managed to return to their unit.

"They thought they would be awarded valuable prizes to honour their sacrifices but they were only given certificates so they became dissatisfied with their commander," the source said.

"I don't know what will happen next."

DVB has learned that soldiers in the navy were also unhappy that their votes in the recent constitutional referendum were counted as 'Yes' votes and they were not able to express their own preference.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew


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