Rakhine villages prepare to flee due to food scarcity in Paletwa Township

Narinjara News:  October 12, 2018

by – Thein Zaw (Maungdaw)

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Some residents of Rakhine villages located in upper Kaladan River in Paletwa Township, Chin State at India border are preparing to leave due to food shortage.

A local youth from Paletwa, who is doing charity work, told Narinjara News some Rakhine villages under Paletwa Township at the India border are preparing to leave their homes due to livelihood difficulties caused by restrictions against travelling, transportation of food, and search for food, and food shortage and communication cut-off since November, 2017 after fighting broke out between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army.

“I’ve learned that there are food shortage and cut-off of communication due to the clashes.  Myeik Wa Village had 190 households in the past but now it only has around 80 households. The villages that are facing difficulties after returning from India are Myeik Wa, Pa Kar Wa, and Khwe Laik Wa villages,” he said.

Clashes are the main reason. They said food ratio has been cut off. The general administrator doesn’t allow relief teams to travel to this area when they come. Respective organizations and armies don’t allow them. It’s quite bad that we are not allowed to transport rice along the stream in Paletwa. The residents have to seek permission before they go to gather vegetables. If there are five people in a house, only one person is allowed to do it. Communication has been cut-off so it’s difficult to seek help. They are facing difficulties in everything starting from livelihood, health, and education. Everyone has gone to India due to the difficulties. The rest of the people are preparing to go back there,” said a resident of Paletwa.

However, Paletwa Township Administrator U Koe Aung denied the news about the food shortage.

“Concerning the transportation, we haven’t restricted the transportation of food. We aren’t restricting them but respective township organizations check for permits to transport the items and inspect them to find out where they are from and where they are going to be transported to. The inspection is carried out to check whether they include items that oppose the State,”said Paletwa Township Administrator.

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