ULFA Prepares to Generate Power in Western Burma
Maungdaw; Members from the United Liberation Front of Assam, who are living legally in the western Burmese border town Maungdaw, are now preparing to generate and distribute electricity in Maungdaw via a generator powered by spent paddy hulls, reported a town leader.
He said, "The group is now setting up the generator in Maungdaw and will start the distribution of electricity in the town from July or August. We heard that the generator will use paddy shells for fuel and will be generating electricity in Maungdaw for at least five or six hours a day."
The project is a joint venture of the ULFA members and local Arakanese car workshop owner U Than Kae from Maungdaw.
"We welcome the project of ULFA because we will receive the electricity from the project for five or six hours per day in our town. The government only gives two hours of electricity per four days in our town. We need more electricity in my house so I support the plan of ULFA," said a town elder.
According to a local resident source, there are about 20 ULFA members in Maungdaw, living in Aung Mye Dodi Ward, Bomu Ward, and Out Wra Ward in Maungdaw. They are also involved in a few business sectors in Maungdaw.
The elder said, "As far as I know, they have a cosmetic shop, a copy shop, a computer cafe, and a telephone shop for communications, and the shops are located on the ground floors of Nike restaurant in Maungdaw."
Another local source said ULFA members bought a big plot in Det Wra Ward and also recently opened a shrimp purchasing center on the jetty road in Maungdaw. "The relationship with the authorities is very good, including officials from the Army Intelligence Unit in Maungdaw. So they can do such kinds of businesses in Maungdaw," the elder added.
The Burmese military authority does not allow them to possess weapons in Maungdaw, but there is a report that many other ULFA members living in the border village of Ngaran Chaung near Bangladesh remain armed at the village.
Local people in Maungdaw Township call the ULFA members "Kathay", which is how Arakanese people refer to people who originate from Assam State in India.
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