University students forced to grow physic nuts in Moulmein

July 31, 2007

The Mon Forum

It was reported that on July 2nd, in Mon States’s capital city of Moulmein, professors from Moulmein University forced their students to plant physic nut plants. According to a reliable source close to a Moulmein University professor, the order was given by Major General Thet Naing Win, Chairman of the Mon State Peace and Development Council and the head of Southeast Command.

“The professors hung the order sheet signed by Mon State PDC Chairman Major General Thet Naing Win on the announcement board on June 28, 2007. The orders stated that every student currently studying at Moulmein University must participate in the Physic Nuts Growing Ceremony on July 2, 2007,” said Maung Win (not real name), a 20 year old science student currently studying at Moulmein University.

“Only about 200 stu
dents went to the celebration due to heavy rains. Also many students didn’t attend because they couldn’t understand the meaning of the celebration,” he added. Most of the senior students said that the Mon State PDC was trying to show the media that even university students are interested in participating in the government’s plan to solve Burma’s fuel problems.

A tutor and 40 students from each of Moulmein’s 14 majors were instructed to participate in the Ceremony, taking place at Thaung-Wine quarter, near the university campus.

The students had to sign in to prove they attended the celebration. Those students who were absent were punished by their professors. Before the Physic Nuts Growing Ceremony began, the teachers/tutors announced that students participating had been counted as attending class for the day.

“Who thinks the government projects will meet the aimed goals? The government should consider what they have been doing to the civilians. Many people think that this is just one of the government’s many false projects and is only aimed at earning extra income for them (the government’s servants),” Nai Thin (not real name), a 65 year old political observer from Moulmein, said when asked about his opinion regarding the government’s Physic Nuts project.

Since the beginning of the rainy season the Mon State PDC has been persuading the residents of townships, sub townships and village tracts all over Mon State and Karen State to participate in the Physic Nuts Growing Ceremonies.


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