Due to intensified battle, novitation ceremony is silenced


Khaing Roe La/ DMG
March 14, Sittwe

Since the armed conflict near Buddhaw village in Ponnagyun Township has been occurring for seven consecutive days and government jet fighters have been bombarding villages even at night, villagers had to celebrate novitiation ceremonies quietly, a village administrator told the DMG.

A family from Lan Paik Khwin has arranged to celebrate the religious ceremony on March 13 and 14, but guests were not in attendance for the auspicious event because villagers who fear for their safety were displaced during the intense fighting.

Villagers fled to their relatives’ houses located far from the conflict area in the early morning as they heard firing and bombing throughout the night, said, U Maung Win Aye, administrator of Lan Paik Khwin village.

“The fighting lasted the whole night. We thought that jet fighters were firing shells at us. The boys could not move through the village for the ceremonial procession. The ceremony was held in fear: the boy’s head was shaven in silence and the marquee for the reception had been dismantled,” he said.

The fighting was about one mile far from the village and there were continuous firing and bombing with jet fighters till today, villagers said.

The family, with tears in their eyes, participating in the ceremony were sad and distraught. The ceremonial feast food was left in disarray, the village administrator said.

Local residents from Buddhaw, Chaung Tu, Day Wun, Maw Ywar, Lan Paik Khwin, Mee Yat Pyin and other villages located near the conflict zone fled to other villages far from the fighting, according to locals.

There are more than12,000 IPDs due to the continual and intense clashes between the Myanmar Army and Arakan Army in Rakhine State now according to relief organizations. They are all in serious and immediate need of assistance for food, accommodations and other life saving things.

By Khaing Roe La 14 Mar 2019