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An interview with a 20-year-old woman from Ye Yoe Pyin village in Ponnagyun Township, which was burned down by Myanmar Army troops


  • By: Web Master
  • | Date: 14 December 2023
  • | Viewer: 4.2k

Narinjara News (Interview), December 13, 2023

I’d like to live in my home village. If there was no danger and we could return safely, I would want to. Even if there are no houses, I would rebuild a hut and live there. I don’t want to flee like this. I never want to flee this way again.” – A 20-year-old woman from Ye Yoe Pyin village, Ponnagyun Township

 

An interview with a 20-year-old woman from Ye Yoe Pyin village in Ponnagyun Township, which was burned down by Myanmar Army troops


On 3 December at around 2:30 pm, around 100 soldiers from the Myanmar Army’s Infantry Battalion 270 indiscriminately opened fire on Ye Yoe Pyin village in Ponnagyun Township and burned down the village’s houses. The junta soldiers’ arson destroyed about 130 houses in Ye Yoe Pyin – a village on the other side of the Shwe Min Gan jetty in Sittwe.

 

In this interview with Narinjara, the 20-year-old woman who had to flee to safety when the junta troops burned down the village recounts her experiences.

 

Q: When you had to flee when the village was burned down, what did you see and experience that day?

A: I heard that the soldiers had arrived in Min Gan before we fled. We were eating our meal and planned to flee afterwards. While we were eating, we heard drones flying over the village. At that time, I had finished my meal, but my mother hadn’t finished yet. We were scared and hid in the house. They were shooting at the village from the drones. After a break in the shooting, we ran to our aunt’s house. Her house is a brick house. Two families were hiding in it. We knew it wasn’t safe to hide there. When some boys fled, the drones started shooting again. An uncle called and told us that the junta troops were advancing on the village. He told us that the east side of the village was already on fire and that we had to flee quickly.

 

But we couldn’t flee yet because the drones were hovering over us. As we tried to escape, we could already see smoke rising from the eastern part of the village. I told my aunt that we had to flee because the soldiers had started to burn down the village. When we reached the next village, our village was in flames. We fled through paddy fields and prawn farms. Unfortunately, my aunt almost drowned in the pond. She was swimming in fear. Almost all the villages nearby fled. We also fled from one village to another.

 

Q: What was the last image of your village when you fled?

A: The fire raged on the entire eastern side of the village. We could see that the west side was still burning. As far as I know, there are only about 20 houses left in the village. The remaining houses are too badly damaged to live in. We don’t dare go and check because we’re afraid.

 

Q: You had to run for your life. Now the village is burned down. How do you feel?

A: I am very sad that our own village was burned down. We are also very scared. The village where we lived peacefully has now been burnt down, and that makes us very sad.

 

Q: Now that you have been displaced and are in hiding, what about food and shelter? Do you feel safe now?

A: Before the fire, they shelled the village with light and heavy weapons for two days. We couldn’t sleep all night. We had to hide in the bomb shelter. Now we are still on the run, so we don’t feel safe. We had to flee from drones and gunfire. We are afraid because they shoot every day. We feel even more insecure.

 

Q: What would you like to say about your own village being burned down?

A: We didn’t expect this. We lived peacefully in our village. We really didn’t expect our village to be burned down. We lost everything in our houses. Now we only have the clothes we were wearing and with which we fled. We couldn’t take anything with us. Now we have no food, no money and no rice. What could you have taken with you when you had to run for your lives? I don’t know if we have to keep fleeing like this now.

 

Q: If you could return to your own village, would you like to?

A: I would like to live in my home village. If there was no danger and we could return safely, I would want to. Even if there are no houses, I would rebuild a hut and live there. I don’t want to flee like this. I never want to flee this way again. I want to live in peace in my own village.

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