Living hard with depreciation of Myanmar Kyat day by day

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 30 Scenes

MoeMaKa, August 31 2022

 Living hard with depreciation of Myanmar Kyat day by day

The news of unsound rising prices in dollar and gold was dominating in the economic news these days. Also, the depreciation of Myanmar Kyat has hit home like a rising tide. For those with low incomes who have to make ends meet every day, this rising tide can be said to be the situation of not only the houses under water but also the people already found themselves drowning.

One might say that the rises in dollar and gold prices had no direct impact on them as they couldn’t afford them. But, a few days later, they noticed the impact of rises in gold and dollar prices when they drank tea in the morning or went to the markets, and it has become undeniable that everyone is affected. 

One will see that onions, which usually cost not more than 2,000 kyats, will cost around 3,500 kyats, while garlic, which was around 4,000 kyats last week, will cost 7,000 kyats. The price of edible oil also rose and when its price was close to 1 thousand kyats per viss, the prices of I-kra-kwe (Chinese fried crullers), Samosa and other fried foods etc. started to rise significantly. I noticed that some of the shops selling fried foods in the market have stopped, and have changed to selling snacks that do not use oil. 

The increase in the price of condensed milk imported from abroad also increases the price of tea that we drink every day. Due to rises in the fuel price which depends on daily changing dollar price, fares for renting the car or riding the bus are rising. You will see rises of ticket prices of highway buses more than twice than previously while the fuel price is still low. As for highway buses, in addition to the increase in fuel prices, the gate toll fees paid at road safety checkpoints have increased significantly and life is at risk when traveling through some areas. As a result, fares are reaching unprecedented highs. Currently, most of the people who travel from one place to another within the country do not go on vacations, pilgrimages, or tours anymore. There are only those traveling for goods trading, urgent family matters and for people moving temporarily to cities to evade war. So, hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops that depend upon tourism have stopped their businesses almost completely.

Daily rising prices and job opportunities which are becoming more and more scarce, are pushing many people from the lower class into immediate crisis. The situations are so hard that those with a weaker mentality have chosen to end their lives. These days, we can see people committed suicide by jumping into a lake or a river, and in some incidents, the victim took the child with her and died together.

Although some may say that the news of such events may have provoked others who have no outlet for the same mental weakness, recent events are happening separately in various cities, not in one region. They gave up their lives because they couldn’t see a way out, given the inability to feed their families, the current rise in prices and the scarcity of job opportunities.

While there is hope, encouragement, support and motivation that there are still armed battles going on, it will not be long for victory and the time is near for the fall of dictatorship. But on the other hand, due to the mismanagement of the military council, global inflation and high commodity prices, the public’s socio-economic problems are at their worst like blowing the flame. There are only a few classes of people who are able to survive, and most of them are struggling with all their strength to eat and live. In war-torn areas, farmers, farm workers, and wage earners are going through the most difficult time of their lives under the conditions where their lives are in danger, their homes are damaged, they cannot do their usual farming, and their food is destroyed. 

What is most needed at this time is helping those who are in trouble with the food that we have, with security assistance, with encouragement and comfort from each other to strengthen their spirits, based on the main goal of the revolution, which is justice, equal rights, and people helping each other.

If we can’t practice this mindset and apply it, the revolution will remain only a revolution in name, and its essence will be reduced to the level of merely holding political power.