Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Students’ protest leads to cut in school bus fare

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 20:14 Aung Myat Soe

Bangkok (Mizzima)––About 800 Burmese university students in Kalaymyo in Chin State demonstrated and commandeered buses on Wednesday morning in protest over a 100 percent increase in school bus fares. The authorities gave in to their demands later in the day.

School buses carrying students to the Kalay University, Technological University and Government Computer University increased their fares on January 1 to 400 kyat (US$0.45) from 200 kyat.

The students first gathered at Station Corner, a busy intersection, on Bogyoke Street in Tahan Ward at about 7:30 a.m. and stopped all university school buses, commandeered them, and went to the military regional command headquarters located in Aung Thitsa Ward.

The students stopped the buses at a yellow warning line in front of the headquarters and demanded that the authorities reduce the bus fare to the previous rate, add more buses, provide bus service at regular times and not to carry cargo on school buses.

Military officers led by garrison command commander Lieutenant Colonel Aung Yin met with the students. After they agreed to the students’ demands, the students returned to their universities.

A student told Mizzima that the authorities and the university administrative board promised not to take public action against the students.

Since January 10, students from Kalay University had collected more than 500 signatures opposing the hike in school bus fares.

More than 1,000 students are enrolled at Technological University in Tharyarwaddy village in Kalaymyo, more than 200 students at Computer University in Kyigone village and more than 4,000 students at Kalay University near Khai Kam village.

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