Transportation fares have tripled as many workers from Hpakant, also Phakant Township and surrounding areas are leaving home caused by rising concerns conflict between Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burmese military will soon intensify.
According to a passenger who recently returned to Hpakant the fare has gone from Kyats 80,000 to 20,000 Kyats.
The inflated fare rates have been caused by a shortage of passengers traveling to Hpakant. Only people who are returning home take the transportation.
The Burmese military have reinforced their presence around Hpakant and ordered many people to return home since the end of May.
Workers from the jade mining companies, raw jade collectors and traders are leaving for Mogaung Township and Myitkyina Townships. They have been forbidden by local authorities from collecting raw jade and also ordered to return home.
Authorities have arrested jade workers who continued to collect jade.
According to one Hpakant resident the authorities took away the workers in two big trucks. The exact number those arrested is still unknown.
The government is only allowing local families to stay in the area; everyone else is being pushed out.
For the jade workers it’s tough to survive. Rising transportation costs, job insecurity and unstable incomes is making life more difficult.
With the possibility of further conflicts between the KIA and Burmese army looming, Hpakant residents are worried about their security.