By Maw Oo Myar
The Par Pu Village is about two miles far from the city entrance of Pharsaung Town, three-hour drive (by car) from Loikaw City, and it has poor communication and development although it is located beside the Pyidaungsu main road.
It is known according to the local elders’ historical records that the small village existed since year 1900 before Myanmar got independence. The Liaison Office of ethnic armed group, Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), is located outside the village.
When we interviewed some Par Pu villagers about their feeling how much they have felt the essence of current peace in Pharsaung Township, the village accountant Daw Aye Kyi, aged about 40, responded her experience and feeling upon current peace process like this, “We are afraid of that the coming 2020-2021 year turns to the war-risk hazards like before. We worry about this. It is also fine for us if we could spend our live peacefully like right now and if it does not happen again like before.”
“Regarding to peace, we want everything done peacefully. Maybe does each party build only understanding? If we talk about peace, we do not know and understand well about it. What we want is everything to be done with compromising. I want the fighting no more. It causes trouble to civilians only. For now, I think we have peace. They (the ethnic armed groups) are helping what we need too.” said the Village Chief U Maung Cho about his perspective.
Most of the local people are relying mainly on farming for their living. Pharsaund Township is one of the townships with highest temperature in Kayah State. The Village Chief said currently the main difficulty for their village is water shortage, and although they have already appealed to related government department for long time, no implementation have done until today.
“We have Pon Chaung River below our village. We can get water if we pump from that river. However, we even have poor living crisis since our village is poor village. If we want to pump water to village, we will need to apply for village electricity. So, the cost for it would be very high like the monthly electricity bill. So we brainstorm deeply how we should do.” the Village Chief U Maung Cho explained about the current difficulty their village are encountering.
It mentioned on the webpage of General Administration Department that Pharsaung Township is organized with (2) wards, (8) village-tracts, and totally (56) small villages.
The 2018-19 academic year literacy rate of Pharsuang Township is 19.48%. Although Par Pu Village has primary school, their class condition is two different grades students learning in one classroom since they do not have enough classrooms.
Par Pu Village is also one of the villages which had to flee from war, experienced the four-cut in the past in 1996. According to village elders, we have known that they returned to the village only after the fighting becomes stabilized.
According to the statement of General Administration Department, Daw Aye Kyi said although the current the literacy rate is only over 19%, it could be higher if the village did not experience the war crisis.
“Current situation is like the local villagers were separated since some displaced to other areas, and it is not easy for them to restart their life as they lost their houses and farmlands. In case of education sector, the children also had to drop out from school, so they lost education opportunity. There are so many opportunity losses such as education or health.” said the lady with the eyes full of hope while chewing betel nut and holding her baby daughter and explained about hardship she suffered in the past, the dream for her little daughter and other children.
There are (1) public hospital, (1) regional (Tide Nel) hospital, (10) community clinics, and (9) sub-community health centers in Pharsaung Township. There is 1 sub-community health center in Par Pu Village.
“We have quite many difficulties; the main issue is the businesses. Most villagers are unemployed. Those employed people also have difficulties. The job opportunity is very hard in gender like no significant job available for women or men. We have only small enterprises which we struggle for daily food.” said Daw Aye Kyi about the hardship of their village.
The locals said the public who do not even got one third of support are hopeless to continue asking for water supply and community development to the related Hluttaw representatives. In 2015 election, the National League for Democracy won 3 seats, and Union Solidarity and Development Party won 2 seats in Pharsaung Township.
In Kayah State, there are also so many other villages who suffered the four cut war crises similar to Par Pu Village. They have desire to keep maintaining the current peace (no fighting condition) and expect a government who could give favor to the citizens neglected for many years.
On behalf of public, Daw Aye Kyi said with full of hope in bright eyes that they will be expecting the government, Hluttaw which represent and favor truly for public if the upcoming 2020 election is held.
“A kind of Hluttaw or government we are expecting is the representatives who care our citizens including the indigenous people. We want only better government.”