Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Regional commander forcibly sells notebooks to schools in Shan State

By Hseng Khio Fah

(Shanland) -The Chairman of Shan State (North) Peace and Development Council and Commander of Northeastern Region Command Maj-Gen Aung Than Htut has been forcibly ordering all government schools in each township in northern Shan State to buy exercise books delivered by him saying that it is compulsory, according to sources from the Sino-Burma border.

Maj-Gen Aung Than Htut

The books were delivered to the schools since schools started at the beginning of June. He also set a deadline for the teachers to send the money by the end of June.

The money is now being collected by teachers in every school, said a source.

A dozen exercise book was sold at least for Kyat 3,600 (US$ 3.6) while the market price for good quality exercise books is just over Kyat 2,000 (US$ 2), a local source in Lashio said.

“The qualities of their books were bad and the pages were very thin,” he said.

A primary school in Si Aw village, Laogai (Laukkai) was ordered to buy 5 dozens and the price of the book was already cut in advance from teacher’s salaries. And teachers therefore have to recollect from the students, an INGO worker in Laokai told SHAN.

“The book doesn't have any logo. It is only written FUJI on the cover,” he said.

School days for the present academic year is different from previous years as there is only a day off in a week. “They [junta] are trying to complete all exams before the forthcoming 2010 general elections,” he added.

Junta authorities had just finished issuing national IDs cards for people in Laogai last month, according to him.

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