Karenni IDPs Faces Challenges in Continuing to Shelter at Monasteries in Southern Shan State

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Monasteries in Southern Shan State are facing difficulties in continuing to shelter Karenni IDPs who fled the conflict, according to officials from the monasteries providing refuge.

A monastery official from Nyaungshwe Township stated they have decided to ask the IDPs to relocate, as the cost of providing accommodation and food has become increasingly burdensome after six months of hosting them.

“We welcomed the IDPs, but as time passed, social problems arose, and the cost of food and living became too high, leading to this decision,” said the official.

After the fighting in Loikaw, many locals sought refuge in monasteries in Nyaungshwe Township, Southern Shan State. Others sought shelter in Taunggyi, Ayetharyar, Kalaw, Aungpan, and other nearby townships, as well as with relatives.

Some monasteries have stopped accepting more IDPs and have given them one month to relocate. A Loikaw IDP at a monastery in Southern Shan State said he cannot afford to relocate and has decided to return home.

“If I can’t stay here, I’ll have to return to Loikaw. Rents here are expensive. Worse, the place is also overcrowded. So, I’ve decided to go back to Loikaw,” said the IDP.

In April, some government staff members encouraged IDPs to return to their homes in Loikaw.

“They told us to find houses for rent. They said it’s not convenient to stay at the monasteries anymore. Whatever they say, I’m grateful to the monks for providing us with free food and shelter for almost six months. Now, I’ll try to find a house, but if that fails, I’ll have to make other arrangements,” said an IDP from Taunggyi.

Currently, fighting continues in some areas of Loikaw. In some wards where there is no fighting, the Military Council conducts surprise checks, and government employees have been called to return home.

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