Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sittwe, Rakhine State, Myanmar

After the weekend in Yangon I flew on a small Bombardier business jet to the small coastal town of Sittwe.  Sittwe is in Rakhine state and has had major political and social issues relating to  the treatment of the Rohinga ‘refugees’. They are a large ethnic minority who are not recognized as citizens by either Myanmar nor Bangladesh – so can not.  To visit the province I had to get special permission to be allowed to go to Sittwe and there was internal immigration on landing at the airport. 
 
image
 

Located on the coast Sittwe relies on fishing for employment and food. The fleet was busy offloading it’s catch but the rubbish pollution was pretty unpleasant.
 
idyllic fishing
unidyllic fishing

And there was plenty of activity at the early morning market – and no shaortage of fish in every form imaginable.

fish
But generally it was a quiet place.  Bicycle transport and people still walking around with portable transistor radios pressed against their ears. The local population was noticeably short – more so than elsewhere in the country where i have been.  I did get stared at being the combination of both a foreigner and a bit taller than the local average.

The Provincial and District offices, where I had meetings, were simple.  And as always, the staff that I interacted with were lovely.
office s
sittwe

And while the beach setting for an evening beer with my colleagues wouldn’t win the world’s most beautiful tropical beach competition, the company was good and the beers, cold. 

beach beer



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