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AASYC Statement on the Protest by Site-tway (Sittwe) Technological University Students Against the Increase in School Bus Fares

By All Arakan Students' and Youths' Congress  •  July 7, 2010

On the 5th July 2010, about (200) Site-tway (Sittwe) Technological University students took to the streets to call for their basic rights, which were being and continue to be deliberately neglected by the SPDC. The main reason that the students staged the protest was the fact that the fares of the school buses running from Site-tway to the university and (vice versa) had doubled. The government-controlled All– Bus Lines Control Committee (Ma Hta Tha) was fully responsible for this incident.

We, the All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress (AASYC), believe that the series of events that culminated in protest took place not because of the students and the bus drivers struggling for their daily survival but because of the government’s mismanagement. Recently, the Burmese military regime turned over the ownership of almost all energy-related businesses to private companies; since then the prices of diesel and petrol have been rising at an alarming rate. Consequently, the students and bus owners have been facing unprecedented difficulties.

We, the All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress (AASYC), moreover, strongly condemn the actions of the SPDC soldiers who pointed their guns at and intimidated the innocent student protesters, as they were making their demands entirely peacefully.

Previously in Sitw-tway (Sittwe), protests regarding a school bus shortage and other related student protests took place in January 2006, September 2008 and January 2009 respectively, but the government did not implement any effective measures to deal with these concerns whatsoever. Local authorities simply ignored the issues and, instead, exerted pressure on the students involved in the protests. It is in this very way that successive Burmese military regimes have persisted to violently handle all crises involving students in Burma.

We, the All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress (AASYC), thus, fully support and wholeheartedly welcome this justified and dignified protest by the university students. And we encourage them to boldly continue their struggle, remaining defiant over and disobeying all unjustified orders given by the military regime until their demands are granted.

Central Executive Committee
All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress (AASYC)
General Headquarters, Thai-Burma Border
Contact Phone Number: +66 (0) 816 808 934           +66 (0) 816 808 934

Download the statement in Burmese.

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This post is in: Press Release

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