Myanmar: US ambassador expresses concern over IDPs, farmland and narcotic drug issues

KACHIN, Myanmar (Eleven Media Group/ANN) - U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel expressed concerns over IDPs, farmland and narcotic drug issues in Kachin State.

The remarks of the US ambassador came from the press conference on his tour to Kachin State in Myitkyina on December 5.

“The displacement of more than 100,000 IDPs is the most critical. Those fleeing recent skirmishes are not regarded as IDPs and IDP camps do not accept them either. Narcotic drug poses a threat to the community in Kachin State. HIV/AIDS infection is also in a critical condition.

“The displaced persons are on the verge of losing their farmlands. Banana plantations have displaced original farmlands. The displaced person might lose their farmlands because of the new law of vacant, fallow and virgin land,” said Scot Marciel.

U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel was on tour to Kachin State on December 3. Accompanied by the officials of Kachin State Government, CSOs, and religious organisations, ethnic leaders, the leaders of ethnic political parties, Scot Marciel made a three-day visit to Kachin State, especially IDP camps and Myitsone area.

Scot Marciel added that his visit to Kachin State was to provide assistance to peace effort, not aiming at holding a negative view. 

“Humanitarian aid has to be provided in conflict-affected countries suffering worse than here. We worry about the prohibition against providing assistance to the IDPs. We see it as a very big issue. The international law is already prescribed clearly. We come here without holding a negative view. Our visit was aimed at providing assistance to peace move,” said Scot Marciel.

We have seen those doing voluntary work to human society in Kachin State. We have also witnessed a positive move that ethnic civic service societies are delighted to see ethnics learning dialects, said Scot Marciel.

 Scot Marciel continued to say that the US provided assistance to the value of US$120 million for Myanmar annually. In addition to emergency supplies to natural disasters, they would continue aid programmes to Myanmar. 

Before going on a study tour to Kachin State, Scot Marciel made similar visits to Kachin State once in 2016 and another in 2018 during which he met with Kachin State Government and visited IDP camps.   

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