TPP authority prevents flood relief groups from providing direct assistance

August 27, 2019

HURFOM: On August 25, 2019, Thai-Mon charity groups wanting to provide direct assistance to flood victims in Ye Chaung Phyar region, Ye Township in Mon State were stopped at the Three Pagodas Pass (TPP) by authorities, according to a local source.

The authorities of TPP, Kyarinnseikyi Township, Karen State said if the groups wanted to provide flood relief assistance to the victims, they could do so via the local authority but not by themselves.

At about 8:30 am, our charity groups from Thailand came with 30 trucks that were filled with flood relief materials and we wanted to assist the flood victims in Ye Chaung Phyar region (of the New Mon State Party – NMSP controlled area). But the TPP authority didn’t allow us (to cross the border) so we had to pile the materials at (the) Township Hall of TPP. They said the groups could give flood relief assistance to the victims only via the local authority but the charity groups couldn’t provide assistance by themselves,” said a member of Thai-Mon charity group.

According to a local source, U Zaw Moe, the Administrator of TPP and Lieutenant Colonel Kyaw Zaw Linn, the commander of Light Infantry Battalion LIB #339 stopped the charity groups.

As far as I know, Thai-Mon charity groups made contact with NMSP and they wanted to help flood victims with the help of the party. But the government and the army didn’t like the way they (planned to do this) and they stopped them. I think they were stopped because their flood relief assistance was from Thailand,” said a local source who preferred anonymity.

Members of the Mon community who hold Thai citizenship coordinated with Thai-Mon charity groups in Thailand, made contact with NMSP, the Mon Unity Party (MUP), Mon monks and local charity groups, and have been providing flood relief assistance to the victims.

On August 15, the Mon State government requested charity groups who wanted to lend assistance in Kyaikmayaw Township, not to do so by themselves because the Attran River was dangerous with high water levels. The government instead urged charity groups to direct their donations and flood relief materials to the Mon State government and Township (Flood Aids) Supervision Office, who were coordinating relief assistance.

On August 19, 2019, Thai-Mon charity groups and Thai businesses sent rice, drinking water, instant noodles, and clothes to the Mawlamyine District NMSP and provided flood relief assistance to the victims with the help of the party.

Because of the heavy rains throughout August, townships with significant Mon populations, including Kyarinnseikyi, Kawkareik and Hap-An had been flooded.

Mon charity groups alongside other relief groups across Burma and abroad have been lending financial support to assist the recent flood victims.

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