Villagers forced to call family members abroad back to support charter
Junta authorities in Mongpiang township, Eastern Shan State have been forcing villagers to call their family members from foreign countries back to support for the junta drafted charter in the upcoming May referendum, according to a reliable source.
By Hseng Khio
On 23 April, authorities from Mongpiang based Light Infantry Battalions (LIB) 360 and 528 and Infantry Battalion (IB) 43 called on the villagers of Narpha and Yawngpan, Wanphit village tract, about 10 miles northeast of Mongpiang, to call their family members in foreign countries back in order to support the upcoming May referendum.
There are some 40 households each village. The authorities made a deadline date for the villagers to recall the family members. If they do not arrive at the end of this month, April, the parents will be put in prison.
"Some villagers are so afraid that some are arriving on the Thai-Burma border to call their relatives, sons and daughters who are working in Thailand," said a source from Tachilek. "Today, 7 of them went back home with their sons and daughters. Because they have to be back inside 3 or 4 days."
On the same day, Chairman of Loilem District Peace and Development Council Colonel Kyaw Zwa called a meeting with officials from village tracts and quarters in Kunhing to urge the people to cast "Yes" votes in the May referendum, a source said.