Farmers in Kyondoe Township Under Pressure: Restrictions on Rice Planting near Military Areas
During this year’s planting season, local villagers have reported that the Light Infantry Battalions 545 and 546, based in Kyondoe Township, have issued orders to halt rice cultivation in the farmlands surrounding the villages where the military is stationed.
Furthermore, it has been mandated that only a maximum of three individuals are permitted to be present at the workplace, despite the allowance for cultivation in other areas.
A Kawtwarle villager, who did not wish to be named, said, “The military has ordered that no fields should be planted near Kawtwarle village and the 545/546 battalion. If people still want to plant, they can only do so in groups of three or less.
This makes it difficult for us to grow rice. The military has occupied schools in the villages, and they are hiding outside the village near the rubber farm, which prevents people from going out to work. Trenches have been dug along the Gyaing River, Haungthayaw River, and the path from Kawtwarle to Naungtaman, Ka Toot Min Pagoda, causing fear among the villagers and making them hesitant to go anywhere.”
The villagers of Kawtwarle have reported that the military has issued orders prohibiting rice cultivation in the village farms this year. The purpose behind this directive, as stated by the villagers, is to prevent the revolutionary joint forces from ambushing, attacking the Kyondoe-based Light Infantry Battalion 545/546, and launching drone-based bomb attacks from the farmlands surrounding the battalion.
Currently, residents have reported that artillery shells are being fired from two military camps, targeting the villages in Kyondoe on a daily basis, both during the day and at night. As a result, the residents have expressed that no one has returned to their village from the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp due to the ongoing shelling.
A resident of Naungtaman village said, “Artillery shells were fired on both the east and west banks of Kyondoe, causing destruction to houses. Thankfully, there were no people present at the time, otherwise, they would have been in great danger. Considering the situation, I feel compelled to look back at my village and constantly return to the place where I sought refuge from the war. It has become challenging to engage in farming or planting, making it difficult to sustain a livelihood in the long term.”
As of now, it has been reported that the military has destroyed and blocked the roads connecting the villages of Kawkareik and Taungkyarinn. This action has resulted in the disruption of rural-urban transport links, preventing the free movement of people and goods between these areas.
The residents of Kawkareik/Kyondoe have reported that soldiers hiding along the roads leading from the village to the town, combined with ongoing combat operations, have caused significant challenges in accessing food, shopping, healthcare, and education services.https://karennews.org/2023/05/farmers-in-kyondoe-township-under-pressure-restrictions-on-rice-planting-near-military-areas/
Published Date: May 22, 2023