Two weeks after the deadly attacks by terrorists on border guard outposts in Maungtaw, Rakhine State, a nearby village is slowly returning to normalcy, according to merchants and village officials.
Kyeinchaung village is situated 24 miles far away from Maungtaw and to the north of Kyikanpyin and Ngakhura villages, which were attacked by violent armed terrorists onOctober 9, resulting in the deaths of 9 police officers.
“Following the armed attacks, many shops were not reopened”, said U Maung Maung Hla, the collector of the market stall tax. “Now they have reopened, and it is starting to be active again. There are some 250 shops in this market. Business is now operating every day”.
U Ko Ko Aung, the administrator of Kyeinchaung, said Kyeinchaung market remains an essential commercial centre for the region.
“Kyeinchaung has a population of over 380 nationals, about 400 Hindus and over 7,000 Muslims, about 1,000 households in all. There are one state high school and one hospital. Kyeinchaung is a village which is vital as a business place for nearby villages, including Kyikanpyin and Ngakhura villages.
But some merchants said business has been severely curtailed because there is still some lingering concern about safe travel from village to village.
“Only few customers from surrounding villages come here these days”, said Adu Gofah, 65, a merchant from Kyeinchaung. “We are now living under fair security. Children from Kyeinchaung go to school, but those from other villages are still absent.”
Other merchants agreed.
“Previously, customers from nearby villages came to buy at this market, the business was very active” said Mamed Isid, another seller in Kyeinchaung village. “But now it is different from before the attacks. Before the October attack, we fetched two or three lakhs every day as the sale’s average amount. Today I sold a little bit. I bought clothes from Yangon. Now we are at least feeling secure for our living”.
Despite the slower rate of commerce, villagers say that they are thankful for a return to some form of stability. “I am a seller of clothing” said Ko Zaw Hlaing. These days, the business is slow. Before now, daily sales fetched two to three lakhs per day. Today I got only Ks50,000 or so. But it is not a problem for me.”