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Military Council's Major seizes and sells iron materials for religious building construction in Buthidaung, Rakhine State

  • By: Web Master
  • | Date: 23 March 2023
  • | Viewer: 52

Narinjara News, March 21, 2023

A whistleblower who does not want to be named has reported that an army Major from the Military Council has unlawfully confiscated and sold around 7 tons of iron materials meant for the construction of an ordination hall at the Nwa Yoan Taung village pagoda in the San Go Taung village tract of Buthidaung township.

The whistleblower has also urged the relevant authorities to investigate the matter and take appropriate action against the Major for his alleged misconduct.

According to sources, Major Aung Moe Thu, along with some soldiers under his command from the Military Council in Nwa Yoan Taung, allegedly took possession of approximately 7 tons of iron materials that the villagers had purchased and gathered since 2019 for the construction of an ordination hall at the local village pagoda. The materials were reportedly stacked up on the east road of the Htate Htoo Pauk camp, witnesses said.

“These iron materials were found piled up near their camp, and it has been reported that these materials have already been sold. It is concerning that they have not only confiscated villagers' property but also items intended for religious purposes without hesitation. I urge the appropriate higher officials to investigate this matter and take prompt action to resolve it”, the unnamed villager told Narinjara.

He added that he had heard about the iron materials being sold to a businessman in Buthidaung for 1.5-million kyat per ton.

On March 18th, the Delta News Agency (DNA) reported that a donor in Yangon had sent iron materials imported from abroad to construct an ordination hall in a village, before locals were forced to flee due to the ongoing war. Then, the Military Council troops stationed near the village stole the iron materials and transported them using three-wheeled tuk tuks. According to DNA, witnesses also claimed that the soldiers sold each ton of stolen iron to a buyer for 1.5 million kyat.

Since 2019, the intense conflict between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Military Council has resulted in the displacement of the Nwa Yoan Taung villagers from their homes. They were forced to flee to Zay Di Pyin village, located in Rathedaung Township.

 As the Military Council is still stationed in the village, locals remain hesitant to return to their homes and continue to live as displaced people.

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