Photo - Ministry of Construction

Nyan Hein | DMG
16 December 2020, Sittwe 

Residents of Chin State’s Paletwa Township say they are facing livelihood difficulties as they have received no response nearly a month after asking the military and Chin State government to reopen waterways and motorways in the township.  

Travel along the waterway linking Kyauktaw and Paletwa has been suspended for more than a year due to clashes between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army, and local authorities have asked that the affected waterway as well as certain blockaded motorways be reopened, said U Aung Law Har, the administrator of Paletwa Township.  

“We submitted a request letter to the Tatmadaw and Chin State government to reopen the waterway and motorway because the Tatmadaw and AA ceased fire now. We submitted the letter more than three weeks ago. However, no response has been made so far. I don’t know what kind of difficulties they are facing to respond to our demand,” he told DMG.  

Ko Tin Tun Aung, a resident of Paltewa town, said people are facing difficulties related to livelihoods, education and healthcare services because major transportation routes remain blocked. 

“I want the government and the Tatmadaw to reopen transportation in the township now because there is no fighting between the Tatmadaw and AA for the time being. We have to pay more than K70,000 for a bag of rice. It is more expensive than the normal price. And, we do not have sufficient medicines,” he said.  

Salai Myo Htike, the Amyotha Hluttaw MP for the Paletwa Township constituency, said: “I once submitted to the relevant authorities to open the waterway, if the motorway cannot be open.” 

Seeking comment on the request letter to reopen transport links into Paletwa, multiple DMG phone calls to U Soe Htike, a Chin State minister and government spokesperson, went unanswered.

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