Photo: The Tinma Monastery abbot

DMG Newsroom
29 April 2021, Kyauktaw

Local residents of Tinma village in Arakan State’s Kyauktaw Township have asked the military governing council for Arakan State to rebuild more than 130 houses razed by fire as well as repair the village monastery, which was damaged by shelling.

Villagers said their houses were set ablaze after they fled fighting between Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Army in March of last year.

Tinma villager U Saw Thein told DMG that he visited the fire-ravaged village on March 23 of this year with approval from the military governing body, the Arakan State Administration Council, and found that 132 houses were destroyed by the fire and the village monastery was damaged.

The abbot of the monastery, U Warameinda, said villagers sent a request to the Arakan State Administration Council on April 26, asking it to rebuild the houses and repair the monastery.

“They said they would help rebuild, but didn’t mention when they would do so,” said the abbot.

Most of the displaced Tinma villagers are sheltering at displacement camps elsewhere in Kyauktaw Township. 

“If we are to return home, we want the authorities to clear unexploded explosives first. And houses must be rebuilt. And we don’t have cattle to farm for the time being, so they need to provide us with foodstuffs,” said U Saw Thein.

Arakan State Administration Council member U Hla Thein told the press on April 26 that the council would rebuild houses and also provide food for returning IDPs.

Eighteen villagers were reportedly abducted by the military before the village emptied, and relatives say they still do not have any information on their whereabouts.

The Mrauk-U District police force launched an investigation into the missing people in December 2020, but no new information has been disclosed, according to relatives.

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