Thursday, 14 November 2019

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Three Pagoda Pass highways reopen

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Two of three roads leading to Burma from Three Pagoda Pass Township on the Thai-Burmese border have been opened by the Karen National Union (KNU) through their control area.

The reopened highways have been closed for two months. The highway called Khale Taguntaing Road going  to Mudon Township in Mon State was opened, along with the Kyarinnseikkyi highway in Karen State.

The two highways were opened on February 10. Sources said they would be closed again on February 27.

A KNU officer of the 6th Brigade confirmed the reopening, told Mizzima that he could not disclose the reason for the temporary reopening. Some local residents in Three Pagoda Pass speculated that it was to allow graduating students from the Three Pagoda Pass area to sit for their exams in Kyarinnseikkyi Township.

Eighty-three students are expected to take the exams, said a local resident.

The abbot from the Dhama Haywun Parahita Monastery reportedly negotiated with the KNU for the repening. Sources said the abbot would accompany the students in a convoy of 12 four-wheel drive vehicles which would travel on February 25.

A driver who used the road recently told Mizzima that he saw very few vehicles on the road.

‘The drivers are afraid to to take that road. I saw only two cars coming from Kyarinnseikkyi’, he said.

The KNU closed the highway from Three Pagoda Pass to Thanbyuzayart and Three Pagoda Pass to Taguntaing and Three Pagoda Pass to Kyarinnseikkyi on December 10, 2010.

Sources said travelers and merchants now rely on the Three Pagoda Pass to Yay highway through an area controlled by the  New Mon State Party.

The Yay highway is dangerous with many ravines along the journey, and there are frequent car accidents. Four cars have overturned since early January, which killed three persons, and about 20 people have been injured, sources said.

Among the highways leading to inner Burma from Three Pagoda Pass, the highway to Thanbyuzayart, about 57 miles long, is the shortest and safest route.

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