By Kantarawaddy Times
Since early March there have been frequent armed clashes between People’s Defense Force (PDF) and Burma army troops in Pekon and Pinlaung Townships in southern Shan State. People displaced from the area in early March are not yet able to return to their homes dues to the on-going fighting, and more people continue to be displaced.
Volunteers providing humanitarian assistance in southern Shan state report that there are now more than 6,000 IDPs in Pekon and Pinlaung Townships. These IDPs are from numerous villages including Nawng Mae Thinn, Lon Pyin, Pin Pon, Tawng Salong and Myauk Salong villages in Pekon township and Nam Neing village in Pinlaung township. Some IDPs from Demoso Township in Karenni State have fled to southern Shan State since being displaced.
“Some IDPs have taken shelter in Buddhist monasteries. Some IDPs are staying in their relative’s homes. Some IDPs are still hiding in the jungle,” a male volunteer told Kantarawaddy Times.
An officer from the Moe Bye PDF battalion-2 said that the skyrocketing price of basic food items has impacted food supply in the area.
“The Burma army is practicing the four-cuts tactic here. They have blocked vehicle roads in this area, disrupting the transport of food products. Burma army soldiers have seized rice and medicine at checkpoints. Basic food prices are dramatically increasing. Both local people and IDPs are facing many hardships because of food price inflation,” the officer from the Moe Bye PDF battalion-2 told Kantarawaddy Times.
The situation has been particularly violent in Nam Neing village in Pinlaung Township. The Burma army raided Nam Neing village and killed 28 people including 3 Buddhist monks. Burma army soldiers also burned down many civilian houses in the village. IDPs from Nam Neing village have not been able to return to their village.