The military is demanding bribes in lieu of travel documents at a checkpoint in Kachin State.
According to a Bhamo local, since early August, if travellers give money to soldiers at the Hpang Ga the Kawng checkpoint they do not need to show any papers to travel between Mansi and Bhamo. The man told KNG the soldiers are charging people between 5,000 (US$3) and 10,000 kyat (US$6) to travel without documents.
The regime imposed the travel restrictions ostensibly to control the outbreak at the start of Burma’s third wave.
Meanwhile, displaced civilians from the conflict in Kachin State without money are struggling to travel to their farms from the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps where they live.
”We travel by motorbike from our camp to our farm and pass through the checkpoint. Since we only have a day pass, we cannot return to our camp the same day. Actually, we have to live on our farm for a week because we do not have petroleum for the motorbike (to go back and forth),” said an IDP from Bhamo Township, who asked that his name not be used. The source said when they return, their pass has already expired and the soldiers harass them for money.
The IDPs have to maintain their farms because they do not have enough to eat in the camps and they want the soldiers to let them pass freely.