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Kalemyo youths flee to Mizoram to evade military training

9 September 2009: A number of youths have been forced to flee to Mizoram state in northeast India to avoid being conscripted by the Burmese Army for military training from different areas in Kalemyo, Sagaing division western Burma.

It is learnt that army authorities want at least 10 persons from each village near Kalemyo to attend the military training programme in mid September.

Reluctant to join the training, 12 youths were apprehensive of staying in their villages. They fled to Mizoram. A youth from Tayakaung village said, “We have come here to escape from the army’s dragnet after they ordered village heads to send at least 10 youths from each village. If we had stayed back we would have been included in the military trainee list.”

In fact, the army authorities had drawn up a number of trainee lists for each village depending on its population. Some big villages have to give lists with 30 names for the training programme. On completion of training the trained have to serve as volunteer workers in the police, as firefighters and the USDA (Union Solidarity and Development Association).

Although there is no confirmation about how many youths have fled to Mizoram from Kalemyo areas, 12 have reached the Indian state on September 6.

Meanwhile, military personnel in Kalemyo have been arresting late night street walkers and drunks.

The military training programme has been completed in Matupi Township, southern Chin state in August, but it will be organized in Chikha Township this month.

The military junta is preparing for the forthcoming 2010 general elections in different ways. This military training programme is part of it and it is meant to strengthen block and village level security with the trained youths. – Khonumthung News.

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