Donations are badly needed to help support over 300 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Lashio, northern Shan State, according to politicians and volunteers assisting the shelters.
The villagers are unable to return to their homes amid continued clashes between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Tatmadaw, according to Ying Pao Seng from the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) in Lashio.
The IDPs began arriving in Lashio on June 26 after fighting erupted in Namhsan township.
“The IDPs are taking shelter in three or four monasteries in Lashio. They need household items. Each family only receives a blanket. Items are needed for the children. There are around ten children under the age of ten at the Sasana 2500 Monastery including infants. There are also children staying in other monasteries,” Ying Pao Seng said.
The Ta’ang Student and Youth Union helped distribute items among the IDPs. Rice and other food supplies have been provided by donors and local residents.
Currently, over 140 IDPs are taking shelter at the Khay Nin Naung Mon Monastery, 90 IDPs are housed at the Sasana 2500 Monastery, and 75 IDPs are staying at the Aung Yadanar Namhsan Monastery.
“These IDPs are Ta’ang people. It would be ideal if all organizations can assist them without any racial discrimination. Some [official] encouragement would also be helpful in assisting them,” said Sai Nay, a Lashio resident who has been helping the IDPs.
The TNLA’s Battalion 919 under Brigade 4 and the Tatmadaw’s 501st and 503rd Light Infantry Battalions have been fighting in the area between Pang Tawng and Man Lan villages in Namhsan township. Local residents reportedly fled after artillery shells fell inside the villages.