Kyaukpru: Prostitution has been increasing dramatically over the last year in Kyauk Pru, the second largest city in Arakan, after many government projects have been implemented in the town, said one town elder.
He said, "There are many major projects in our area right now, and many people, including Chinese, come to our town to implement the projects. Because of this, the prostitution in our town has increased significantly."
The military government is implementing several large projects, including construction of gas and oil pipelines and a deep-sea port in Kyauk Pru. Many outsiders, including Chinese citizens, sailors, and government officials have come to the city to work on the projects.
Many prostitution houses in Kyauk Pru are operating openly and bribing authorities. The worst area in our town is Bura Hyi Road in Pike Sit Ward, where there are four prostitution houses operating," he said.
On Bura Gyi Road, there are four prostitution houses operating with 50 young sex workers who come from several places throughout Arakan State. The houses are owned by four elderly women who are close to police officials and the ward chairman.
A student from Kayin Dan Ward said, "We are unable to go to our tutoring and schools through Bura Gyi after 6 pm because the road is crowded with many visitors and prostitutes. Many female students avoid going downtown from Kayin Dan Ward across the road after 6 pm."
Townspeople are disappointed with the situation and complained to high authorities, but no action has been taken and the prostitution continues.
"It is not only affecting students, but also monks and other residents because of the anti-social work, but the prostitution increases in our town day after day," the student added.
Because prostitution holds the promise of easy money, many poor and jobless young women around Arakan State are lured into the work.
According to local sources, about 20 massage rooms opened recently in Kyauk Pru that are owned by local businessmen and families of army, police, and USDA officials. Some of the massage rooms are fronts for illegal prostitution.
A teacher from the town confirmed that some massage parlors are being run as fronts for prostitution with cooperation of the high authority in Kyauk Pru, but the cost to patronize these parlors is expensive, so only some wealthy men and foreigners are able to visit them.
Prostitution existed before in Kyauk Pru, but only on a small scale, and it has increased dramatically in the last year. The problem has become severe enough that townspeople are worried about the negative impacts it could have on their local youth and culture.
Locals report that the development the government has brought to Kyauk Pru has brought with it many social problems.
6 months ago