Slow progress of peace process impacting beach development outside of Ye

November 27, 2019

HURFOM: According to the village Administrator and shop owners, the development of the beach at Kabyar Wa, Ye Township, Mon state, is moving slowly because the peace process has been stalled. 

The Mon State government has had eco-tourism development plans for Kabyar Wa beach for the last 8 years. but significant progress has not been possible due to differences between the government and  ethnic armed organizations. For example, a paved road connecting Ta Yoke Htaught village and Kabyar Wa village has been planned but has not yet been constructed. 

Kabyar Wa, Yin Dein and Yin Yel villages were under the control of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) before 1995. After the NMSP signed the ceasefire agreement these villages came under the government’s administration.  

Some splinter groups started to appear 2 or 3 years ago. There have been kidnappings, extortion, and murders so it was difficult to travel [in the area]. Guests did not come anymore. The area is not fully secured yet for travelers though the situation has become stable now. There is no way for improvements for this area as long as there is no real peace process between government and ethnic armed group,”  continued the village Administrator.

Despite the slow pace of infrastructure development and limited tourism, land values have increased. Today, a 20’x40’ plot of land in Kabyar Wa beach has increased in value to 30 million kyats from 7 million kyats,  but few people visit the beach community. 

I think the Kabyar Wa beach development is delayed [due to the slow pace of the] peace process and trust building [challenges between the government and ethnic armed group. 

[As there is no peace yet,] no investment comes. There is no hotel yet. Not so many people visit. The plan of constructing roads, building construction and improving the beach is not happening as there is no security in the area yet. Investors are monitoring the peace process persistently, said Nai Lwin, Kabyar Wa village Administrator.

Kabyar Wa village has 400 houses and 16 restaurants strung along the beachfront community.

Sales are not bad when a group of tourists comes to visit by bus. There are [also] days that no one comes. It is not a regular site to visit. I mean that there are no crowds. It has been like that for a long time. We expect that it will get more crowded later. …development has been slower than we expected this year” stated Nai Khine, restaurant owner.

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