Villagers ordered to pay for the polling booths
People who are over 18 year were quickly issued temporary cards by the local authorities and money are collected from villagers to prepare for the voting places for the coming May referendum at Namkhum village, according to residents of Namkham Township, on the Sino-Burma border.
By Hawkeye/ Lieng
On 5 April 2008 at 11:00, Namkham Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) secretary U Myo Thu ordered the headmen to inform the villagers who are over 18 year to get ID cards. He promised that if they were going to support the draft constitution the local authorities would issue the ID cards for them without delay and free of charge.
"No one gets the ID cards for free from the local authorities, every one has to pay at least Kyat 3,000 ($2.4). But, in the past, if people went to renew their ID cards they had to pay Kyat 30,000 ($24) and had to wait for a long time to get the ID cards," said the local source.
"The Burmese military is just luring the people to support the draft constitutional referendum in May by issuing the temporary cards to the people such as green and light red cards and by promising these things," said the source.
4 villages tracts from north of Muse, Namkhum, Wiangmai, Nampam and Toengkam were forced to prepare Namkun school as the voting place. One voting place is to accommodate for 1,000 voters for the referendum in May.
The source said, the Namkhun school consists of 10 polling booths. The booths are made up from bamboo and covered up with papers and there are 3 feet wide compartments enclosed on 3 sides. One side is covered with a plain cloth for entrance.
Every 5 villages have to collect Kyat 30,000 ($24) for the clothes, bamboos, papers and the place to build the polling booths. The total costs are about Kyat 150,000 ($120).
"The ballot boxes have not arrived yet. The draft constitutional booklets are being distributed to the public 2 or 3 days ago," added the source.