Administrators extort villagers for letter permitting travel or transport of goods

February 28, 2024

HURFOM: Villagers from Kan Bauk area, Yebyu Township, Tenasserim now need “recommendation letters” to travel or visit other areas/townships or when transporting rice and food. Village and ward administrators have begun to extort money from those who need such letters.

We need recommendation letters from both the police station and the village administration office to transport rice. The authority is forcing us to seek these letters if we want to transport any goods,” said a Kan Bauk resident.

Since early January, 2024, Kan Bauk residents have had to apply for a recommendation letter when they want to travel or visit other areas/townships. They have to pay 15,000 MMK for each recommendation letter. They had to pay 5,000 MMK before but now, the fee has tripled.

The fee for recommendation letters is always increasing,” said a local woman.

In addition, riding a motorbike has been banned in the Kan Bauk area since January, 2023 and the military junta limits the transportation of rice and other basic food.

Here, every opportunity is blocked and we can do nothing. The junta has also banned villagers from riding motorbikes. Then, we have to apply for a recommendation letter if we want to transport something,” said a local resident.


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