NLD’s Contributions to Victims of Chin Food Crisis Welcomed Amid Blockade by Authorities
25 January 2011: An ‘altruistic’ contribution made by Aung San Suu Kyi-led NLD (National League for Democracy) towards helping victims of Chin food crisis in Burma’s Chin State has been welcomed despite distribution hindrances imposed by the local authorities.
A total of 750 rice bags bought from Magwe Division of Central Burma were said to have arrived in Kanpetlet Town of southern Chin State, and another 500 would be on the way in a week time, according to the BBC Burmese news.
It is reported that aids distributions to mautam-affected victims have gradually started in the area although it was delayed until yesterday after the local authorities insisted permission be obtained from relevant governmental department.
“We are thankful to NLD for taking this action, which the government has just been not only ignoring the situation but also hampering the flows of aids assistance since the start of food crisis in Chin State. I believe this will also prompt other NGOs and communities to help our people who are suffering so much already,” one of Kanpetlet Community Leaders in Malaysia told Chinland Guardian.
As of last month, an estimated 114 villages have been affected by the food crisis in Kanpetlet Township alone.
Nearly 80,000 people of 407 villages in Mindat, Kanpetlet and Paletwa Townships of Chin State were suffering from food shortages, with a total of 25,631 acres of cultivated land having been destroyed by a plague of rats, according to a report released in August 2010 by local aids relief voluteers.
Members of NLD, Zomi National Congress (ZNC) and other democratic parties are reported travelling to the northern part of Chin State to distribute rice and drinking water.
Late last year, World Food Programme (WFP) reported the food security situation in Chin State caused by the bamboo-and-rat-related phenomenon remained critical, calling for providing food assistance until the next harvest, and urgent relief aids in the areas affected by the rat infestation.
The ongoing food crisis caused by the bamboo-and-rat-related natural process, locally known as mautam started in late 2006 mainly along the Indian-Burma border, hitting the bamboo-covered areas of Chin State, currently affecting the southern parts of Chin State including Kanpetlet, Paletwa, Mindat and Matupi Townships.
Van Biak Thang