Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Meiktila: Waiting to return home


Wednesday, 03 April 2013 14:18 Nan Lwin Hnin Pwint

In the week after shocking satellite images were released that showed the extent of the devastation in Meiktila following the riots, in which an estimated 41 people were killed and 12,000 displaced, some of the victims who lost their homes have spoken of how immediate aid is being provided, but say that what they really need is the opportunity to go back home.

Soldiers take part in clean-up operations on March 24, 2013, after an outbreak of communal violence claimed at least 32 lives and displaced about 9,000 people in Meiktila, central Myanmar. (Photo: AFP)

Hnin Mya's home was gutted by a fire and he is currently taking refuge in a monastery: “Here, we have food and we can use kitchen equipment. People have made donations every day. We can use toilets and we have the required medicines. But now, we have heard that we have to move, so we need to a safe place to stay.”

Khin Thein, whose home was also destroyed by fire, said, “Plenty of groups have made donations, so we have enough food. But, there is concern about our lands and houses; we want to get our houses and lands back."

Relief organizations and residents living in Meiktila have been providing food and basic supplies to the victims.

An official from one IDP camp said, “When the fire started in the town, we carried all the necessary things we could. Some victims fled by foot, others on horse-drawn carts or cars”

Win Shein, an administrative chief in Meiktila, said, “They have unlimited access to drinking water at any time, according to their needs. And the municipality gave them bathwater. The victims also have access to food every day.”

Governmental organizations, social groups, political organizations and religious organizations have all made donations to the victims, said Win Shein.
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