A few years ago, however, something very worrying came to light unexpectedly. Daw May Latt Kyi found out that her farmland, where she and generations of ancestors have worked, is included in the project area of the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Despite the fact that many have ended up being arrested while attempting to illegally cross the border, desperate job seekers continue to risk their freedom by taking the same path.

Junta troops’ continued presence in villages and nearby areas, despite the ceasefire, along with the ongoing danger of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs) surrounding their villages are contributing to IDPs’ reluctance to return.

Small-scale fishermen are facing some of the same challenges. Due to the nature of the job, fishermen go out to sea at night and work in conjunction with the tides. But many local fishermen are now wary of going out at night, even in the aftermath of the latest ceasefire.

Daw Sandar’s eldest daughter currently attends a government technical high school in Sittwe and her younger daughter is a Grade 8 student.

The ambush was followed by retaliatory artillery barrages from the military’s Ponnagyun-based Light Infantry Battalion No. 550 and air strikes by junta helicopters near the two villages. And a junta column marched toward Sin Inn Gyi Village, which is located along the Sittwe-Yangon road. 

Ma Nwe Thandar Win passed the matriculation examination with one distinction this year. Since the announcement of the exam results in June, she had been working at a consumer goods shop that also employs her aunt, Ma Sandar Win. 

The remaining Tinma villagers could not accept that reply, saying their relatives were abducted before their very eyes.

The Shwe Yaung Metta Foundation does not just operate for residents in Sittwe, where it is based. It also provides free ambulance services on request from other townships when patients require hospitalisation in Sittwe or Yangon.

Hostilities between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army broke out in Paletwa in 2015. Amid the heavier fighting that ensued from 2018 to 2020, thousands of Paletwa residents were forced to flee their homes to displacement camps.