By John Paul for Kantarawaddy Times. November 2014.
Translated and edited by SDC students, staff and volunteers.
In Karenni State, the government and KNPP have been implementing a project to establish a model village for rehabilitation of some Internally Displaced People. (IDPs).
Khu Plu Reh, a coordinator of the KNPP liaison office in Loikaw said “ this program should have been finished in September 2013 but it has not yet been implemented. The project is still trying to be carried out due to difficulties including transportation.” The implementation of this project is a result of discussions between the ceasefire groups and the central government in November 2013. It is one of seven points of the ceasefire agreements. This project will be implemented on the eastern bank of the Salween, at Mae La Yu Chaw Soe, in Shadaw Township, Karenni State.
“The future of this model village is uncertain because it depends on the ceasefire process. The Burmese government doesn’t yet have a plan to support health and education to these villagers. However at the same time, the KNPP will continue to discuss with them about how to support the IDPs.” Continued Khu Plu Reh.
This project started in September 2013 but the government only started to provide financial support in March 2014. This project is provided by the department of border and ethnic people development. There are 50 houses and each house will be provided $100.
To be able to implement this project, during the 2 months of preparation, they will design the village and sweep for landmines. At this time they will use a bulldozer for preparing the land. Currently, only 20% of the project has been completed. The remainder will be finished in December. Firstly, they promised to build 50 houses. However, now they will only build 25 houses.
There is not an exact number for displaced Karenni people living along the Thai-Burma border. According to information from KnRC and TBC, there are 15,000 in the refugee camp. According to villagers, the implementation of the model villages has been carried out jointly by the Burmese government and the KNPP. They did not provide any information to KnRC.
KnRC chairperson, Mar Saw, said “According to the borderline camp six monthly meeting from September 25th to 26th, there is no plan for the refugee repatriation. In the past KNPP met with TBC, Norway Refugee Council, Nippon Foundation and private donors. They worked together to provide support for the IDPs.