About 100 sailors staged a protest yesterday against the Department of Marine Administration (DMA) in front of city hall in Yangon for failure to adequately respond to their requests, they claimed.
The DMA was accused by protestors of siding with companies. “We are protesting against the department because they never solve our problems and sided mostly with the companies,” said U Aung Kyaw, a sailor who participated in the protest. The protestors demanded that the DMA protect the interests of sailors, fix its out-dated bureaucracy, amend the exam system, take action against rule-breaking shipping agencies and reveal how the money they collect from sailors is spent.
“They are new sailors who express their feelings. No one listens to their troubles,” Capt U Kyaw Mya Oo said.
Sailors have to spend a lot of money to work on ships but often face a lot of difficulty once they are aboard.
“These agencies should be loyal to sailors who give them large sum of money. They should send sailors to ships that abide by international rules and regulations. If something goes wrong, they should solve the problem,” the ship captain added.
This is the second time the sailors have staged a protest against the DMA. —Ko Moe