Friday, September 23, 2011

Three-Wheeler Driver Fined 65,000 Kyat for Playing Political Song

Sittwe: A three-wheeler driver who was arrested for playing political songs produced by an exile opposition group was reportedly fined 65,000 Kyat by the township court in Sittwe, the capital town in western Burma's Arakan State.

The driver was identified as Tun Tun Soe, and he was charged by SP Daung Winin from police station no. 1. He was produced in the court on 19 September 2011 and was fined 65,000 Kyat for his offense by the judge of the court.

"Actually his case is punishable with seven days in jail or a fine of 5,000 Kyat, and liable to both punishments, but the court has fined him 65,000 Kyat. It is unfair and is like kicking someone when they have fallen down," said a close friend of Tun Tun Soe.

Tun Tun Soe was arrested on 10 September 2011 by U Myo Swe, the in-charge of the police station for driving his vehicle while loudly playing the song known as "Napansan", a politically-motivating song produced by an exiled political opposition group.

The police reportedly interrogated him after his arrest to find out the source of the songs. He confessed that he received the songs from the Sulab Xerox and Computer Shop on the main road in Tarathisu Ward in Sittwe, and police subsequently arrested computer designer Maung san Kyaw and seized two computers from the shop.

Because no song was found in a search of the computer files that lasted until midnight on the day, Maung Zan Kyaw was released from the police station.

It was also learned that the police were unable to charge Tun Tun Soe for having the song, but they did charge him under legal section 46 on charges of drunkenness because they found him to be drunk when they arrested him.

Tun Tun Soe was released on bail from the police station on the night after his arrest after he paid 50,000 Kyat to the in-charge of the station, U Myo Swe, as a bribe. Three liters of petrol were also taken from his vehicle by the police at the station.

"He had to spend more than a lakh kyat for his case because he was fined 65,000 Kyat by the court and had to pay 50,000 Kyat for his release on bail from the police station. Actually, he was bullied by the authorities because he had played the son Napansan, a political song," said his close friend.

Tun Tun Soe has been threatened by police officer Myo Swe to not play such exile-produced songs on the streets of Sittwe in his taxi in the future.
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