Narinjara News


Maungdaw, 23 June 2005

Villagers from Government's 'Modern' Villages Suffer Famine

Several villagers from the government's modern villages in
Northern Arakan state are now suffering from famine due the sky-rocketing prices of rice recently, said a village chairman from the region.

The villages facing famine are; Aung Thapray, Thupan Naga, Rankha Zadi, Mun Khamong, Nanra Gai, Bandu la, Tight Chaung and other Mro and Dainet  tribal villages. All villages are located in the northern part of Maungdaw, close to Bangladesh.

The village headmen from several villages complained about the problem to local army officials from LIB 538, asking them to take emergency supplies to the famine victims immediately, he said.

A battalion commander and local departmental officers visited the areas to look over the crisis in the last two days after they received information of the famine. But there has been no official action to help the famine victims.

There have been no deaths from starvation, but some are suffering illnesses and malnutrition due to the famine, said another villager.

According to local village sources, some villagers are now asking for rice from nearby army camps as well as nearer local villages for their daily survival.

Market sources said, in Maung daw, the price of Pawsan Mwe brand rice (high standard) has increased from 15,000 kyat to 18,500 kyat per bag (50 kg) while the price for normal rice has increased from 12,500 kyat to 13,500 kyat per bag (50 kg) within a week.

People from Maungdaw said that the prices may go up further in the rainy season.  The people from border areas must be able to face the famine crisis, said a trader from Maungdaw.

It was learnt that in the northern part of Arakan there are over 30 modern villages being built by the Burmese Military government. In the modern villages most people were brought from Burma proper by authorities to adjust the population ratios with local people. #



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