Thursday, June 4, 2009

Large stretch of embankments for barbed wire fences complete

Maungdaw (Narinajara): A stretch of over 200,973 feet of embankments for erecting barbed wire fences have been completed till 30 May 2009, according to an official report of Maungdaw. The project to fence the western border began in February this year.

The embankment is being constructed by 7,000 workers at the site everyday. So far over 200,973 feet of embankments have been completed along the Naff River in the western border township of Maungdaw. Construction began in February, the report said.

The Burmese Army authorities have built a lengthy embankment along the Naff River to erect barbed wire fences.

Among the 7,000 workers at the site there are 800 soldiers and 600 riot policemen. The rest are local Buddhists and Muslims.

A worker said he receives 2500 Kyats per day but a Muslim worker receives 2000 Kyat per day. However most of the Muslim workers are working at the construction sites with the lesser amount without any angst.

Though some workers are receiving wages, most workers in the northern part of Maungdaw Township do not receive wages regularly.

A worker from Aung Zay Ya village in northern Maungdaw said that the army pays between 2000 Kyat to 2500 Kyat to a worker but it is not usual and permanent. On some days army officials do not pay the money to workers even though they have worked from sunrise to sunset.

The Burmese military junta has been erecting barbed wire fences along the western Burma border with Bangladesh to prevent human trafficking and cross border smuggling from February 2009.

The military authorities are likely to complete fencing soon before strong objections are raised by the international community and the Bangladesh government. So the construction of fences is being done hurriedly by using many workers and a large budget.

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