Junta readies to open new border bridge
Burma is ready to open a new bridge on Nam Mao River, better known as Shweli, on the Sino- Burma border in northern Shan State, according to a local source.
By: Lieng Lern
On 21 January 2008, 3:00 pm in the afternoon, Nam Kham Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) official U Thin Hlaing held meeting in the TPDC office to collect the money from the villages. The money then will be used to buy clothes for people whose will attend the new bridge opening ceremony.
"If the quarter have fund they will use their fund to give the authorities. But if it doesn't have fund, the junta will collect the money from the people, Kyat 2,000 ($1.6) per household," one villager said.
The opening of the new bridge will be celebrated for two days, 9-10 February 2008. At least 15,000 people have to attend it. The junta will choose over 230 participants who are good looking to stand on the new bridge from groups such as Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA), Teachers group, Shan Culture, Women Association Committee, Mother and Children Organization, Lisu and Fire Brigade, the source said.
The money which they collect from the villages will be used to buy clothes for the 230 people who will participate on the new bridge. One suit is priced at Kyat 6,500 ($5.2). The sewing cost will have to be paid by the one who wears it.
"The official who presides over the opening of this new bridge will be coming from the new capital. His military rank will be Lieutenant General. Maybe PM Thein Sein but no one is not sure yet", he added.
The Shweli new bridge was built since 24 March 2003 by the Special Public Construction #16. The length is 600 feet, the height is 35 feet, and the width is 24 feet.
"Had it been the Asia World Company of Lo Hsing Han it would have been finished a long time ago but it was built by the Special Public Construction #16", one villager said. "Nam Kham has 16 quarters, one quarter at least over 100 houses and the biggest quarter is over 400 houses".