80 people trapped in Rathedaung village lack food and medicine

Ein Soe Hpyu

Narinjara News, 18 June 2020

Some eighty people including women and children who are trapped in Sauk Kat village in Rathedaung have run out of food and lack medical supplies, it has been reported.  

U Kin Maung Lat, the National Assembly representative for Rathedaung township said “its true that they are trapped {in the village}. We are trying to rescue them and get them out. As far as we know, there is still fighting taking place in the area close by, so we need authorisation to travel there. Those going to rescue maybe put in a dangerous situation,” he told Narinjara.

Fighting between the Tatmadaw and the AA occurred in close-by Aung Thar Si village entrance on June 11, after which Tatmadaw troops moved into Sauk Kat and have taken up position in the village, he said.

One woman who wished to remain anonymous explained to Narinjara that “People ran when the Tatmadaw troops entered the village. For those that couldn’t run – the young children, the women, the elderly, well they were left behind. Now there are soldiers there and those people  aren’t allowed to leave.  And now they have run out of food and medicine” she said.

At present there are about 80 people still in the village. Many are worried about the fighting and heavy artillery fire in the village and other areas, she said.

Daw Kin Saw way, Rathedunag Pyithu Hluttaw Representative explained that “the villagers called me. They asked for those people trapped in the village to be rescued. They said they have inadequate supplies of food and water. They were terrified as they could hear the sound of artillery shelling,” she said.

Another woman who hoped that those trapped would be rescued, explained that amongst those trapped included around ten elderly persons, ten children under the age of ten as well as people with disabilities.

“As for my auntie, she only has a tiny amount of rice left.  She’s cooking for the local abbot and other elderly men and women. They have nothing left, no salt, oil or rice. They have to share out whatever the have left over. Some of the children have diarrhoea. Goods in grocery shops totally were run out.  The soldiers are in the village and they say everything is just fine, but don’t you run away, if you run away you will be shot, they say. And no one dares to leave. And now they’re starving, they have nothing left, please help and rescue them,” she said.

There are 105 households in Sauk Kat village with a population of around 500 people.  On June 11 fighting in the area resulted in most people abandoning their homes and seeking refuge in Rathedaung town as well as other villages close by, according to local villagers.