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Wednesday, Apr 16th

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You are here: News Kantarawaddy Army extorts travel fee from farmers

Army extorts travel fee from farmers

Irate farmers of Nwalapoe, near Loikaw, the Karenni state capital have alleged that the Burmese Army is demanding 2000 Kyat.....

Irate farmers of Nwalapoe, near Loikaw, the Karenni state capital have alleged that the Burmese Army is demanding 2000 Kyat for a registration card, which will allow them travel to work.

The farmers work in pea and sesame fields around Nwalapoe and have to cross the eastern Pon River. They say the extortion started on August 24 when Infantry Battalion (IB) 72 ordered them to pay 2,000 Kyat for each person going to work.

“Each of us has to pay a fee for a travel card so we can go to the fields. The army was not clear and said it could be registration fees and added it might last a week or a month,” a farmer said.

A local resident said the registration card is to keep an eye on the movement of villagers and to pressure them to spy on that Karenni Army movement in the region.

Local sources in other townships said other Burmese Army units were also into extortion of fees from villagers. They said the Infantry Battalion 12  earlier camped in Shandaw Township had also demand 500 Kyat a person as travel fees from farmers and currently the LIB 517 is demanding rice from 12 villages in the Dawtanaw and Dawmule area. Villagers had to arrange for five sacks of rice each for soldiers in Shandaw Township.