Published on May 21, 2021
A man who was collecting donations in Kalay, Sagaing Region to support internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Chin State was arrested by the military authorities on Wednesday and his funds seized, according to local sources.
Aung Thang Phay had gathered 17 million kyat (more than US$10,000) for IDPs in Mindat while he was in Kalay. He stayed in the home of another local, Thang Marn Kee, who was also reportedly arrested on Thursday.
“There were donors in Kalay so he went to meet the donors and accepted the donations. He was going to come back after buying all the supplies [for the IDPs], but he was arrested with all the cash. I assume he was taken after being questioned about the money,” an official from a local aid group helping the IDPs told Myanmar Now.
He described the arrest and the confiscation of the funds as “cruel.”
“They won’t care about displaced people. They’ve started the war. And after that, they sabotage the displaced people’s efforts to get the help and donations that they need? I’m at a loss for words,” he said.
The source expected that formal charges would follow the arrest.
“They’ll do whatever they want, as usual,” he said of the military council.
People in Mindat, Chin State fled their homes in mid-May when clashes broke out between the junta’s armed forces and the local resistance movement, the Chinland Defence Force.
More than 3,000 IDPs were staying in seven camps in the area at the time of reporting.
Although exact figures are not known, the total number of IDPs from Mindat could be more than 10,000, according to Salai Pat Gyaung, a local who has been helping them. He told Myanmar Now on Wednesday that the displaced people were in desperate need of emergency support.
Source – Junta arrests man fundraising for Mindat IDPs and confiscates donations | Myanmar NOW (myanmar-now.org)