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Sittwe: The members of the Action Committee for 24-Hour Electricity in Arakan State said they have upgraded their committee with the formation of sub-committees during a meeting held last Saturday in the head office of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party in the state capital Sittwe.

The 32-member committee is said to be strengthened with the inclusion of executive and legal advisory boards and other sub-committees on information, finance, and organizing. The committee was first tentatively formed on 19 November.

“We have finalized formation of our committee after forming different sectors with our aims to step up our activities especially to demand for 24-hour electricity in our state from the natural gas of our state. We will carry out our activities within the enacted laws and we believe this is the most fair and lawful movement for our rights in our state”, said a youth member of the committee.

The executive board of the committee was reportedly formed with senior members of the RNDP, including U Tin Win, U Oo Hla Saw, U Khine Pray Soe, and U Bo Munn, while the other sectors were formed with members of the general public, including town elders and youths.

“24-hour electricity is the basic desire of our Arakanese people and the enormous natural gas reserves that can fulfill the desire of our peoples are already found in our Arakan State. We must have the right to those natural resources in our state and so, we have founded this committee to demand our rights be ensured and our desire be fulfilled”, said the youth.

Ko Tue Tue, an Arakanese hip-hop singer, who is involved in the committee, when asked by Narinjara, said their activities are just for demanding the 24-hour electricity that is important for the development of their home region.

“We are not doing anything to stop the Shwe Gas Project in our state, but we are just demanding 24-hour electricity from the project in our native land because the electricity is very important for the development of our state and the project has the capacity to supply 24-hour electricity to all over the region as well”, said Ko Tue Tue.

According to them, Arakan State is the second poorest state in Burma and if the 24-hour electricity powered by gas from the project is distributed to the whole region, it will be also very supportive to the President’s moves for poverty alleviation in the nation.

The public campaign, featuring posters and T-shirts demanding 24-hour electricity from the Shwe Gas Project in Arakan State, has consecutively sprung up in recent months across the state and the authorities have cracked down on those campaigns by arresting the activists and confiscating the campaigning items.
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