Mon 30 Jan 2006
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
January 29: Students at Sittwe (Akyab) University in western Burma’s Arakan State, staged impromptu demonstrations against the doubling of the bus fare to their campus from the town.
On 24 January, the authorities raised the bus fare from 50 Kyat to 100 without prior warning. 300 students boycotted their college buses by marching towards their university campus, situated four miles outside the town. On the following day, the number of protesters increased to 1000.
A local resident told DVB that the students are demanding the authorities to keep the bus fare at 50 Kyat and if their demand is not met, there could be more problems between the two sides in the near future.
Although there had been no arrest or interrogations of students by the military intelligence agents so far, in the past, they tended to arrest the ringleaders secretly once the situation settled down.
The incident is the second time Burmese students carried out such defiant action against the military authorities in 2006. The first occurred in Rangoon on 19 January when students at Ywathagyi Economic University in Dagon Township staged a protest after a clash between five of their friends and seven of policemen. The five were expelled from university forever.