What do the locals in Kayan region want to say to the government?

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Khoon Clai Free

How do the locals in Kayan region, Pe’ Kon Township, Southern-Shan State, see the current National League for Democracy (NLD) government?

What do they expect in the upcoming 2020 general election? How do they respond to reduce the opium cultivation in that region?

Regard to these questions, the Kantarawaddy Times interviewed local people and shared their responses as below.

Khun Ya Kauk (La Ei Village, Renwe Village Tract, Pe’ Kon Township)

Khun Ya Kauk (La Ei Village, Renwe Village Tract, Pe’ Kon Township)

“Under the governance of NLD government who won in 2015, we did not see that much changes here. Only some roads have improved. One good thing is that they do more field observations and stand for us. At least they come and ask about our difficulties although they cannot do.What they should do for us is, for instance, they should support and provide alternative crops. The matter is that it is hard to manage when they provide the village only 3 or 4 hundred of plants while the village has about 500 to 600 households. If they really want to help us something like the crop, they should consider to provide us with enough support and the crops which is compatible with our region.I have a lot to request for. But I want to say only one thing that “don’t forget what you said before you win the seat,”. This happened in last one or two elections and we have experienced it often. What I want to add is please try not to deceive our people and avoid doing the same as I mentioned above.”

Mu Mi Nge (Han Po Village, Pe’ Kon Township.)

Mu Mi Nge (Han Po Village, Pe’ Kon Township.)

“It’s not that much different in our rural area. In urban area, like the road, it is improved when I have been there. For instance, the road from Loikaw to Sibu has improved. Nothing changed in this area. (How to vote) I think I still don’t know all. There are also quite less people come and talk about it to us. There are some who told me when the election is about to hold. I expect the candidate who care about us to enable to access electricity and transportation and to seek good market price for corn farmers. I want the one who can help us like this. It is useless if your corn has to be sold with low price.The main issue is electricity. I want electricity. It is difficult to find firewood. Therefore, it is very hard for those who own no forest. The forests here are belong to its owners. I hope the roads will be improved. If you look around the neighbor villages, the road of left-side village is good, so do the road from the right-side village. Only the road between them, our village road, left behind. I hope our village road will also be better.”

Sakhoon Aye Maung (La Ei Village, Pe’ Kon Township)

Sakhoon Aye Maung (La Ei Village, Pe’ Kon Township)

“There was nothing which is under the lead of the party in this five-year governance. The main ones are the district hospital and the paved road. This paved road, in 6 Mile, is constructed in the previous party government. The 100-feet long paved road is also constructed with the budget support by Department of Rural Development. That is one thing and there is nothing else we have received.The candidate which I am going to vote is, for example, the person who will always be in touch and negotiate with the people and listen to the voice of the people. I will give priority to this kind of candidate. In case the voted candidate wins the seat, I would like to present about the region’s issue like the road. And another thing is the illegal opium cultivation, which is the main business in this region. So, I want to request the alternative crops which are compatible with our region, and the reasonable market price for the crops.”

Mu Than Win (Han Po Village, Pe’ Kon Township)

Mu Than Win (Han Po Village, Pe’ Kon Township)

“The previous government seemed to pay more attention to our village. They constructed the road to our village. They also looked after the village school. Something like that. I do not mean to blame the current government. I would say the current government rarely has field visit to this village. The candidate I expect is like the one who can do development for our community, and in term of our local candidates, I want Kayan ethnic candidates. We want it to be with our ethnicity. Because they will be the one who know best about our local weaknesses. I expect the candidate like that.For the village, the water scarcity which we are currently facing. We could not access the water. Our priority is electricity. Some people can effort to buy solar power, while there are some who cannot effort. So those who cannot effort use only the candle for light. It costs a lot too since we do not have regular income. The crops which we grow also have no reasonable price. So, we really want to have electricity, and also the water access.”

Khoon Brueno (Pe King Village, Pe’ Kon Township)

Khoon Brueno (Pe King Village, Pe’ Kon Township)

“This current government has made promises during the election contest. However, I feel like their implementations are slow-moving. In case of our village’s water access project, they strategized with three-year project plan. So far nothing has come up. I also see this as slow-moving project implementation.Some of our substituted crops in the Kayan region such as the avocados or oranges, which are now bearing fruit. Another one is the corn price, where we also cultivate corns, nuts, and potatos including elephant foot yam tuber. Since we grow such crops, we want to have the market price for these crops. Besides, there are also so many villages which are still having issue with road and transportation. The main thing I want to add is to help support in the education.”

Samu Ohn Myint (La Ei Village, Pe’ Kon Township)

Samu Ohn Myint (La Ei Village, Pe’ Kon Township)

“What has changed is that the roads are better. Only the road. In health sector, they built hospital. It’s pretty good in this sector, like the health department. They also built hospital. That kind of thing is special one. Education has improved a lot also comparing to the past. I the past, we have only up to middle school, but now we could have high school.The other sectors I want to ask for is the road, electricity, and water. These are the main things. As there is no electricity, we only rely on solar power. We face with power shortage problem when it is in rainy season. So we have no electricity during this season. The main things I want to request for are electricity, road, and water.”

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