Thousands of residents have fled their homes in ethnic Ta’ang (Paloung) villages in the mountain ranges near Namhkam Township, Northern Shan State, due to troop movements by government and ethnic armed forces in the area.
According to a villager from Honar Village people who left their homes have been staying at relatives’ homes, the monastery in Honar Village, Namhkam Town and at a locally based literature and culture organisation. Some donors have also been supplying them with food.
She said: “They started arriving on 24 March. 130 people arrived on 24 March, 208 people on 25 March and 177 people on 26 March, so, in total [so far] 515 people have arrived in Honar Village Monastery. If we also add in the people staying at relative’s homes there are about 2,000 people. Our villagers are taking responsibility for feeding the people staying in the monastery.”
People did not run away because of fighting and some of them have been returning to their homes.
Mine Tun Tun who ran away from his home said: “We are not running away from our homes because of fighting. The government army is moving inside our village while the ethnic armed groups are outside our village. Because there is the prospect of fighting breaking out we villagers ran away from our homes.”
The villages people have fled are: Mant-Kaung, Mant-Kan, Kaung-Wine, Owel-Law, Mant-San, Pan-Khar, and Namseri.
The armed groups operating in the area are: Burma Army Brigade 88, a People’s Militia, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Shan State Progressive Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA).
Translated by Aung Myat Soe English version written by Mark Inkey for BNI