Fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA) once raged in the Taw Phyar Chaung area of Arakan State’s Ponnagyun Township, forcing many residents to flee their homes.

Broken down by township, the houses total 399 from Kyauktaw, 244 from Paletwa, 209 from Mrauk-U, 164 from Rathedaung, 163 from Buthidaung, 28 from Minbya and three from Ponnagyun, the organisation said.

The two reporters have been granted bail in the case brought under Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, but with the more recently added second charge under Penal Code Section 505(a), the defendants are not able to apply for bail.

Among the tens of thousands of civilians displaced by conflict between Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Army, some have been away from their homes for more than two years. So when a tentative ceasefire was reached circa October 2020, significant numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) packed their bags and headed home.  

Each year spoon-billed sandpipers leave their homeland and travel thousands of miles south to escape the cold, food-scarce climate during the winter. After wintering for a while at warmer latitudes, the spoon-billed sandpipers return to their homeland: Siberia, Russia. Therefore, people living in foreign lands and returning in droves are often compared to Siberians.

Council member U Than Tun said authorities would not build new shelters for the fire victims, but would arrange accommodation and provide one month’s food if they return to their homes. 

“I want to stay at home. However, I have not gotten a chance to stay at my home for a long time. I am worried that when [I do return], new clashes will occur,” U Oo Tun Hlaing says pensively.

On a temporary deployment near Taungshae Mountain and Tinma village, the Tatmadaw’s Light Infantry Division No. 55 is accused of detaining eight villagers from “new” Tinma village on March 13, and 10 people from Tinmagyi village on March 16.

Yohei Sasakawa, special envoy of the government of Japan for national reconciliation in Myanmar, was visiting Arakan State to see if conditions were suitable for holding elections in nine northern townships where voting in the November 8 general election was cancelled for security reasons. 

The applicant must be at least 35 years of age. Must be an incoming Arakan State Hluttaw representative as a winner in the November 8 general election. Must be ready to lead from Day One. The emergency issue to be handled as a matter of priority: termination of two years of armed conflict in Arakan State.