Sitwe_ 19 July 2013
Six government workers have been fired from their jobs in western Burma following their refusals to join duties in rural worksite for the security reason.
The dismissed employees were working in the Agriculture Mechanization Department under Arakan Agriculture & Irrigation Ministry, said one of the drive-out workers.
U Aung Tun Thein, who was a senior tractor driver in the department with 28 years long service record informed that they were fired from their jobs on 23 June by an order of U Bo Bo Aung, director of Agriculture Mechanization Department based in the Arakan capital city Sittwe.
Besides U Aung Tun Thein, the other five dismissed tractor drivers are U Tun Win, U Tin U Latt, U Kyaw Myo Win, U Myo Min Tun and U Tun Aye Kyaw.
According to a source closed to the workers, all the six tractor drivers of the agricultural department were asked to harrow an area of 300 acres by their tractors in Pauktaw township. But the drivers refused to obey the order citing the reason that the plot was nearer to a Muslim refugee camp in Kyini Byint.
But initially the drivers went to the locality for ploughing the land and worked for one day. However they were later escorted by three soldiers apprehending unpleasant incidents there. Thus their mission in the first week of June came to an end because of the security reason.
The drivers revealed that during their working time, many Muslim refugees from Kyini Byint camps arrived in the location to confront with the drivers.
Next day, the soldiers left the place and a police team arrived in there to escort the drivers. However the police team also abandoned the place later.
“As there was nobody to escort us, we too left the farms for Sittwe, because it was impossible to continue working there without the escort. We had informed about the situation to the higher authority after arriving in Sittwe,” said U Aung Tun Thein.
But the Agriculture Mechanization Department director U Bo Bo Aung ordered them to return back to the work site. When the drivers denied his order and requested him to engage them in another place, the angry director fired them from their posts.
U Kyaw Myo Win, one of the fired drivers, argues that they were facing many problems in the work site because of the presence of Muslim refugees. He asserted that in many occasions, their tractors got damaged by the miscreants if those were left in the farmland during the night time.
Hence they started feeling a sense of insecurity while working there and finally decided to leave the worksite for Sittwe, added the sacked tractor driver.