With increasing numbers of people forced to flee their homes and civilian casualties continuing to mount, for many there is little time to ponder COVID-19’s deadly march across the world. It is not that they live without fear of the pandemic, but rather that their fear is tempered by limits on the amount of information they receive about it, and its relative place in the hierarchy of numerous daily concerns to be paid heed.

The military handed over three people including U Maung Phyu Tun, 73, to the Kyauktaw police station on March 4 and police thereafter informed the detainees’ family members, said U Kyaw Kyaw, son of U Maung Phyu Tun. U Kyaw Kyaw said a policeman phoned him at about 8 p.m. saying soldiers had left his father at the Kyauktaw police station.

There are many significant days for Arakanese people in Arakan State, but only one day is an official occasion. That day is Arakan State Day, which the government started celebrating on December 15, 1975.

People were permitted to cross Maungdaw border gate, which connects Myanmar and Bangladesh, with one day or seven day visas before. However, border crossing has been banned between two countries after ARSA’s attacks occurred in 2017.

The conflicts between the Tatmadaw and the AA in Arakan State has forced villagers from their homes, resulting in students losing out on their education.

Daw Jar Yone’s husband left home about six months ago. Since then, she has lost contact with her husband, she said. This downhearted pregnant woman has been staying in a refugee camp with her four children without any job prospects.

“We’d like to designate U Ottama Day as an official holiday in Arakan State if it is not declared for the whole Myanmar,” said Ko Kyaw Naing Htay, chair of Students’ Union of Sittwe University.

The armed conflicts between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA) that started in early December 2018 in Arakan State have been escalating. They initially fought in places far from residential areas, but fighting now occurs near villages and towns and new fronts have opened in townships where war never broke out before.

The most important thing to be tackled currently in Arakan State is military are the armed confrontations between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA) and the consequences of this issue  while the region has been facing complicated situations with military, politics and Muslim affairs. 

A ceasefire can be reached through political dialogues, but armed struggles will continue if there is no guarantee for self-determination and equality. If the government cannot resolve such conditions, the hotel and tourism industry in the region will cease to exist, said U Khin Maung Gyi, a business person in Arakan State.

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