By HSENG LENG
The Shan State government has provided food to around 1,700 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Shan State’s Kyaukme Township, after they fled their homes earlier this month due to clashes between the Burma Army and the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS).
State government spokesperson Soe Nyunt Lwin said that the IDPs were from 500 families, and they were provided with rice, cooking oil, salt, yellow beans, onions, canned fish and other food.
The cost of the rations was more than 5.7 million kyat (US$4,400), he said.
Soe Nyunt Lwin said that donations were not going to be handed out on a regular basis.
“We aren’t providing food to IDPs on a monthly basis, because some IDPs have returned to their villages. It’s really difficult to collect the number of IDPs,” he told SHAN.
According to the Shan Human Rights Foundation, more than 4,000 people have been displaced in the township since October 2.
Some IDPs have gone back to their homes, since fighting appeared to have stopped, but noted that tension remains high.
“The government came to provide food to IDPs on October 18. More than 700 IDPs from Pon Wow monastery already had returned to their homes on October 16 or 17. We went to pick up the aid from Nawng Pein. Then we distributed it to the IDPs,” Nang San Liang, who is helping IDPs in Pon Wow monastery, told SHAN.
Locals who have returned to villages such as Nam Mahin said that some houses were damaged after being hit by artillery shells, and that most houses in the community had been looted by Burmese soldiers who had stayed in the village.
The Shan State government held a press conference on October 19 related to the clashes in Kyaukme, but did not speak about damage to homes or any civilian injuries due to the recent fighting.