Over 100 Students Protest in Kyaukpru

Kyauk Pru: Over 100 students from Goonshein high school in Kyaukpru Township in Arakan State staged a protest Monday morning in anger of damage to their school road that has been caused by the Shwe Gas Project.

The students, wearing their school uniforms and holding placards, reportedly marched in protest along the road that connects the Ngalaykyaun and Goonshein Villages in Kyaukpru.

The offices of the foreign companies, including Daewoo, that are implementing the Shwe Gas Project in the area are situated on the sides of that road.

“The students held placards that read “Repair the Road” and “Fulfill the Students’ Need” in their protest march along the road around 7 am today”, said a parent of a student.

The road between the Ngalakyun and Goonshein Villages is the main road used by local students to travel to their schools by bike or other local transport. The road is now covered with knee-deep mud and is badly damaged after being used by the heavy vehicles from Daewoo and Indian companies working on the Shwe Gas Project.

“The road is now very badly damaged and everyone including students and teachers are troubled for their travels. The road was built on the self-help basis by the villagers of the Ngalakyaun Group. Now the road is completely destroyed by the companies’ vehicles, but it is still neglected to be repaired by the companies. That’s why the students have staged this protest”, said the parent.

The protestors are the students of high school, middle school, and primary level classes, and they are from Leikkhamaw Rwama, Leikkhamaw Rwahaung, Ngalakyaun, Goonshein and Prunrhay Villages in Kyaukpru Township.

The local residents also said the district administrator, military and police officers followed the protesting students and explained they should stop their protest.

According to them, 280 local villagers have recently submitted their undersigned appeal to the district administrator requesting to repair their road badly damaged by the companies’ vehicles. However, the authorities have still neglected their appeal and the students’ protest has occurred as a result.

Dissatisfaction is growing among the villagers, including the students, as the local authorities have still neglected to repair their damaged road between the Ngalakyaun and Goonshein Villages, even though the news is spreading in their area that the Daewoo Company has already paid 50,000 US$ to the local authorities for repairing the road, sources said.