Paletwa Communities Face Rice Shortage

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People in southern Chin State’s Paletwa Township say they do not have enough food since Burma Army troops from Infantry Battalion (IB) 289 have blocked the transport of rice from Rakhine State.

According to locals, the approximately 15 shops in Paletwa town which deal in rice have closed because they have no product to sell.

According to the Paletwa Township Social Volunteer Team, locals are now facing a shortage of their staple food.

“IB-289 has blocked rice transport. Rice sellers have said that they are not allowed to bring rice [from Rakhine state],” the team’s U Kyaw Khin told Khonumthung News. He added that his own mother is an affected rice distributor.

Those who sell rice in Paletwa town typically bring in rice from Rakhine State’s Kyauktaw Township.  

Locals are coping by sharing rice within their own families, U Kyaw Khin said.

“We have to share rice because we cannot buy rice… I don’t know when [the soldiers]are going to allow rice to be transported. Rice sellers have said that they won’t get permission to bring in rice until next week,” he explained.

Rice bags typically are sold for 30,000 kyat (US$19.60) but the price is on the rice in Paletwa due to the low supply and increasing demand.

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