Myanmar People between a rock and a hard place

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – August 27 Scenes
MoeMaKa, August 28 2022

Myanmar People between a rock and a hard place

There are 2 crises Myanmar people are facing. One is to flee to escape from the danger of life, the danger of weapons while traveling, whether for food or social or family issues, the risk of being arrested and killed and they have to be aware of the dangers of being robbed and killed. Secondly, after being able to escape from the danger of “death” described earlier, there is still a blade of “survival” in which they struggle to feed their families from the dramatically rising prices day by day.

In some areas, there are many people who are facing both swords of death and survival at the same time, and there are also people who are facing death as the first sword and, survival as the second sword. So to speak, they are between a rock and a hard place.

People, in areas like Sagaing, Kayah State, Northern Magway and Chin State, where hundreds of thousands of war refugees exist, are facing both the sword of death and survival at the same time. For Kayah State’s war refugees, it’s already been two years since they were unable to earn their livelihoods, such as agriculture, while fleeing from the ongoing fighting and offensive, and they are now facing food shortages. On the other hand, as a refugee, even if the Aid organizations want to provide it, they are in a situation where they have no access to receive aid, food, medicine, and equipment amid military clashes and blockades. 


Similarly, it is happening in the southern, central and northern Chin State. In Mindat Township, south of Chin, there were thousands of people who had been fleeing from the city and some villages since last year and had set up camps in the mountains and forests. As for them, they were unable to work in their main jobs and were completely dependent on assistance. After months and years passed, they also experienced a decrease in assistance from the community. As for the community, they are not only dealing with the refugee problem, but on the other hand, they are also supporting the armed organizations, so that their strength decreases over time.

Besides Chin State, although there are no separate refugee camps in areas of almost all of Sagaing Division, northern Magway, Pakokku, Myaing, Gangaw and Kalay etc., people were facing both challenge for life and survival at the same time due to the frequent fighting, burning, and destruction of their homes.

While the rural people are struggling between a rock of death and a hard place of survival, most of the people in the city are struggling hard to survive. In the past few weeks, we have been experiencing an increase in the price of rice, an unprecedented increase in the price of palm oil, a record rise in fuel prices, and an increase in the cost of road transport and freight and, but wages are not likely to increase and employment opportunities are decreasing. As a result of the military coup, manufacturing operations have stopped and some large international companies have left. Due to the poor security situation in the areas and the consequences of inflation, there is no way to expand new businesses and even the existing businesses have stopped. Under such situations, the wage workers are living and working cautiously in order not to lose their jobs without having the opportunity to change their jobs and to ask for a wage increase.

In some rural areas and cities, as a result of insufficient income and hardship, crime is increasing and snatching, murder, theft and robberies are happening almost every day. From small-scale robberies such as running away from gold chains snatching to cases of looting after threatening human life, it is happening almost every day in small towns and even in big cities like Yangon and Mandalay. People don’t want to report these crimes to the police force, which is a law enforcement organization, and even when they complain, the police do not take such cases seriously, so they have to take care of themselves to avoid being robbed of their property and to protect their lives. On the other hand, although the coup military is aware of the deterioration in law enforcement, they are letting this situation happen on purpose. They want people to conclude that these consequences are a result of armed revolution and bombing attacks in cities.


For people, they are struggling between death and survival, and desperately trying not to sink into these surges.