Authorities destroy 1,000 acres of paddy fields owned by villagers who refused to vote for the regime backed USDP in Arakan State/ရခုိင္ျပည္နယ္ တြင္ ၾကံ့ဖြံ႕ ပါတီအား ေထာက္ခံေမးပဲျခင္းမျပဳေသာ ရြာသားမ်ား၏ စပါးခင္း ဧက ၁၀၀၀ ခန္႔အား အာဏာပိုင္မ်ား ဖ်က္ဆီး
Officials of the irrigation department in Pauk Taw Township destroyed an embankment that was constructed to prevent salt water from entering paddy fields after the villagers voted for the Rakhine National Development Party in the recent election, said a town elder and villagers.
The village is Kan Chaung, 30 miles from downtown Pauk Taw, and it has over 200 households.
A villager said, "Some officials from the irrigation department destroyed the embankment after they came to the area from Pauk Taw by motorboat in the early morning of November 8, a day after the election. They destroyed the embankment because the villagers voted for the RNDP. Nearly 1,000 acres of paddy farms were damaged by saltwater after the embankment was destroyed."
Some days before the election, officials from the USDP and the irrigation department came to the villages along with the village chairman to mobilize villagers to support the USDP in the election. The officials intimidated villagers and threatened that they would face big problems if they did not vote for the USDP.
However, the villagers ignored the threats and voted for the Rakhine National Development Party.
"The authorities in Pauk Taw were angry with the villagers when they learnt that they had voted for the RNDP. The next morning the authorities sent some officials to the village by motorboat to destroy the embankment," he said.
On 9 November, a group of villagers came to Pauk Taw and complained about the incident to the township chairman, Khin Maung Lwin, but the chairman blamed the villagers rather than take action against the officials of the irrigation department.
"The chairman told us rudely to complain about the incident to the RNDP leaders because theirs was the party we voted for. He told us he cannot solve the problem," the villager said.
Villagers are now suffering from the damage to their crops after salt water entered their paddy fields.
According to local sources, many cyclone victims in Mray Bon and Pauk Taw have been neglected by government officials in terms of relief aid because the victims voted for the RNDP in the election against the government-backed USDP.