Military and government authorities raided a Kachin Christian Bible school in the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina in the early hours of September 26, leading to charges against members of the school.
More than 20 people from Military Affairs Security, the police, and the township General Administration Department participated in the 3:00 a.m. raid on the school, located in Lawu Maw Hpawng village. Walkie-talkies were discovered on the premises, leading to criminal charges suggesting that the school violated Article 67 of Burma’s Communications Act.
Pungga Seng Hpa, who runs the school said that the five walkie-talkies taken by the authorities did not work.
“They checked the whole school. They also checked the CCTV, which has been installed in the school. They seized all mobile phones. They also investigated all of the students,” he told KNG.
Police officer Nyi Nyi Lin has opened a case against Lahkye Seng Awng, who is a trainer in the Bible school, because allegedly used the walkie-talkies illegally.
“He has been charged under the Communications Act because he used walkie-talkies without permission from authorities,” Myitkyina Township police commander Myint Moe told KNG.
Article 67 of the Communications Act states that anyone who is found to be using or keeping telecommunications equipment without a license can be sentenced to one year in prison and/or a fine. The possession of walkie-talkies by civilians is often perceived by the authorities as indicating a link to ethnic armed organizations; civilian groups deny this claim, and describe the devices as tools to organize events, communicate internally, and to use when other telecommunication networks are not reliable.
The Bible school in Lawu Maw Hpawng also functionKachin, Bible school, raid