“Countryside Citizens Vs Myanmar Peace”

Maw Oo Myar

The Wan Ngord Village, Loilin Lay Township, is half an hour drive from Loikaw City and is under developing village till now.

The community has quite a few of educated and knowledgeable people since the trend of literate people is very low.

When we asked the local villagers about their knowledge related to state, region, and village’s peace process, they accept they currently have secure peace since they hear no more gunfire like before (1995-2000 war crisis/ according to local’s year prediction). Only some of the village elders and youths, who participate in national movements, are familiar about the peace process.

Wan Ngord Villagers

“We are kind of narrow minded, and we still have few literate people. We have a few concerns regarding to peace”, the village chief U Li Reh told about his little concern regarding to peace process.

In last year 2019, KNPP released their statement that there were obstructions upon their activities related to raising awareness of drug abuse prevention delivered by Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP).

The Village Chief said they still have poor transportation, and they have appealed for village development project to relevant government since the NLD government won the seat in 2015.

“In these four-five years, we started receiving the community development project only by this year. We didn’t get past years. It just started by this year.” said U Li Reh.

Those currently inhabited in Wan Ngord Village are displaced from remote, and they were originally from hillside. They had encountered with the four cuts, and the armed group often passed by their former hillside. Therefore, those nomads finally arrived and lived together at Wan Ngord Village after finding “fresh pasture and watershed”.

Most people living in Wan Ngord Village are Kayah ethnics, and they have traditional Tan Kon Tai (Kay Htoe Boe), and Christian. We have known by the locals’ saying that the whole village people had fled from village with fear and no intended places in 2000 as the number of four cut fugitives increased, and they returned to village only after the political situation is stabilized in 2002.

The local woman, aged 50, shared her difficulties and concerns of making her son and daughters living with a deep sigh and moan that the number of households has rose to 255 households after the war refugees returned home, and the land and farmland to make their living becomes very limited for them. In the past, the Wan Ngord villagers mainly relied on shifting cultivation, and now it is very difficult for them to make their living.
“As the number of villagers is increased highly, it becomes difficult to rely only on farming. It is worse for the sickly people like us. However, we have only this farmland to make our living”, she said.

The Wan Ngord villagers only rely on farming for their living. They cultivate corn, paddy and so on, and they have income only after they harvest and sell it out. The Village Chief said every household could not make adequate income for yearly sufficiency living yet.
Currently there are only over 10 youths who could completed their education and graduated from university. The number of staffs who employed at government office is very low.

The local people told about their difficulties that they are fine with community clinics and middle schools. However, they want to request to reconstruct the soil-laid road better within their village.
“What we need to request more is the center roads in village and the road to double room toilets at village hall; that is our first and second priority.” said the chief on behalf of his village.

The local people from Wan Ngord and most of the people living in rural areas have less interest and know about peace as they have to struggle for their living daily. They believe they already have peace since they experience no more fleeing under gunfire for survival. It is a big gap for them to know the peace which the Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups are negotiating.

It will be possible to get peace only if those local people know deeply and participate in this peace process, and the all-inclusive peace process requested by every community based organizations, national activists, and most people would also be achieved.

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