Deprivation of Livelihood

 

 

NO COLOURFUL COAT OF PAINT FOR THE MAJORITY

 

The following report was smuggled out from in Rangoon. It suggests that the majority of the people in Burma are not benefiting from any of the "economic improvements" presented by SLORC, and that most of them still live in a state of fear and discontent.

 

The policy of the SLORC for the urban areas so to make them appear peaceful and orderly. This is done to impress the growing number of foreigners visiting Rangoon and Mandalay as tourists and investors. However, the remote rural regions do not receive such guests and so they receive no "colourful coat of paint" by the military regime. The people of Burma can now be divided into three major groups.

 

1) The government employees are the most important force for the SLORC. So long as the government offices function, the SLORC can control the whole nation with the gun. There are few jobs for people other than as government workers, so people have to depend only on the military regime for their living. For this reason, few of them want to criticise the regime as they fear their livelihood will be cut off. This gives little freedom to government employees. There can be no strikes anywhere in the country, no protest posters, and no news articles criticising the rulers. All are strictly prohibited. Government workers receive little pay, but since there are very few other jobs available, they have to quietly accept their meagre paycheque each month. A teacher will receive 700 to 1,000 Ks pay per month (US$ 7-10). Often, on pay-day, the local officials will take as much as 50% of the paycheque as donations for special projects in the area, such as for the building of a new pagoda, or for a Buddhist festival.

 

2) The farmers make up the largest group in Burma. Although they are the vast majority, they lack good education, and have few true leaders. They suffer immeasurably under the SLORC policies. As an example, in the dry zone regions near Mandalay, the average rice production is now about 25 baskets per acre. It costs farmers at least 5,000 Ks to produce one acre of paddy rice. If the farmers can sell the rice on the open market, they only receive 5,000 Ks for the 25 baskets. They make no profit at all. However, they must sell six baskets per acre to the government at one-half the market price as a tax. Consequently the farmers must often borrow 1,200 Ks per acre at very high interest rates, simply to continue farming. They fall deeper in debt and will be imprisoned if they can not sell the amount demanded by the government as a tax.

 

3) The business people are not affected much by the government's policies. They adjust their living to the inflation rate so, like the lotus flower, they rise as the water level rises. There are very few people in Burma who can work in private business.

 

SLORC plans to build at least 90 hotels in Rangoon for the tourists they hope to lure here in 1996 (Burma's Year of Tourism). Since these hotels must be guaranteed a regular supply of water and electricity for the comfort of these foreign guests, most of the people living in the city are already facing daily shortages of these necessities. As more and more hotels are completed and occupied, the problem for the city people will also increase.

 

Students in the universities are still very angry at the military regime. They do not like the situation, but there are so many military inside the campuses that the students can not move. If they move even a little bit, the guns are immediately pointed at them. [source: BI]

 


LIVELIHOOD EQUALS SURVIVAL

 

Under the dictatorial military regime, peasants are subjected to various forms of oppression. In Kalay Township, Sagaing Division, peasants living near the Myit Thar River were forced to send 1000 bullock carts for summer paddy planting of SLORC’s rice fields. Local people were very upset when they found that their labour was absolutely spoiled by the summer weather, and SLORC's plan for summer rice became fruitless.

 

In Min Kin Township, Sagaing Division, every peasant was required to sell 10 baskets of paddy per acre to SLORC at a price of 70-75 Ks while the going price at the time was 250 Ks per basket. Since the weather was not good enough, peasants got only a little crop production during the last harvest. As they had to return the money which they had borrowed from the rich in order to facilitate their household living, most of the peasants were not able to sell the amount of paddy required by SLORC. With no paddy and no money to buy it from other sources, many of these peasants were arrested for not obeying SLORC's directives.

 

In Kalay Township, peasants were forced to contribute corvee labour, bringing their own food and covering their own expenses. In Min Kin Township, at least 10 people from every village were ordered to relocate and contribute labour for a minimum of one month. Although SLORC promised that it would provide travelling charges, peasants had to arrange their way home by themselves. Many people returned from Tamu to Kalay without eating a meal.

 

In Depeyin Township, Sagaing Division, SLORC troops issued an order requiring each peasant to sell 12 baskets of paddy per acre at a price of 70 Ks per basket. In 1993, peasants were had to give three baskets of paddy per acre to local SLORC authorities without any pay. In order to meet the demands for 700,000 baskets as claimed in the order, SLORC troops prohibited peasants by force from selling rice and arrested those who tried to do so. SLORC troops confiscated 50 acres of rice farms along Monywa-Ye U Motorway to be used as a military base. In February 1993, all the people in Depeyin, aged 16-60, regardless of gender, were forced to contribute labour for Payan Patar Stream. Each labourer was assigned to complete digging of 5 ten-foot sq. earthen pitches. U Kyaw Win from Le Ti Village was beaten by SLORC soldiers when he dug the wrong pitch.

 

In 1993, peasants in Ye U Township were required to give one basket of paddy per acre to local SLORC authorities without any pay. In addition to that they were forced to sell 6 baskets per acre to SLORC at the price of 35 Ks per basket. In, peasants were forced to sell 12 baskets per acre at the price of 70 Ks per basket.

 

In Yinmar Pin Township, peasants were forced to sell 4-12 baskets of paddy per acre at the rice of 70 Ks per basket. They were also forced to sell 3 baskets of wheat per acre at the price of 250 Ks per basket. Peasants who failed to sign product sales contracts with SLORC were detained for one month without due process of law.

 

Peasants in Myaing Township are now getting into trouble as they do not have no land to escape to with their very lives and livelihood, and no money to pay SLORC "dues". Moreover, those who failed to attend the USDA mass rally were faced with various forms of harassment a – fine of 500 Ks per person, confiscation of household list (known as Form No. 10) and ID cards, arrest and imprisonment, overtime forced labour at the construction site plus a 30 Ks fine as a punishment, in addition to a multitude of indignities and violations of their person or private property.

 


EVERYDAY LIFE WITH SLORC

 

Police demanded money from pubs, saw mill, rafts of timber and logging carts. Official pubs there were forced to pay over 200,000 Ks. There were about 20 official pubs. Each illegal pub was forced to pay 5,000 Ks. Moreover, owners of pubs were also forced to pay SLORC for the Regatta Festival, horse racing ceremony, golf courses and other festivals. They had to pay 5 Ks per person for Shwebo College.

 

SLORC's demands for "compensation" from villagers are ever increasing. Every time they lose a truck because of a landmine, they demand that the villagers in each of 10-12 surrounding villages give 50,000 Ks while the nearest village is forced to pay 100,000 Ks for compensation. A written order from IB 42 states, "If a truck is exploded in the future, the troops will demand 1 million Ks from the villagers, and it must be paid within 7 days. If the villagers cannot afford to pay, all surrounding villages will be burned down, and villagers will be forced to accompany SLORC troops in the army trucks."

 

In addition to the existing burdens of heavy "porter fees" and looting, villagers are now forcibly levied "taxes" on every farm or field and on many of their working tools such as saws. In many villages, whenever the villagers produce jaggery, SLORC troops confiscate the product or "buy" it at an absurdly low price from the villagers. Then the troops force the villagers at gun point to "buy" the product back at a higher price. SLORC soldiers also force the villagers to buy army rations at inflated prices, and loot them back from the villagers.

 

Southwestern Command has issued orders to villagers in the area that they are not allowed to cut, carry, saw, buy, sell or own wood or timber any more. At the same time, the same office sent new orders to the same villages demanding 75 tons of hardwood from each village. The villagers were also forced to cut and transport the hardwoods to a specified site, located on the river bank.

 

In northern Shan State, the commander of IB 33 forced the villagers of Na-huk Village to cultivate 180 acres of corn without payment. this corn was used solely by SLORC. The villagers were further forced to pay SLORC a total of 25,000 Ks. This is and incredible amount of money for a village to collect when they are barely able to earn enough for their own survival. IN the same village it was reported that the commander of IB 240 took ten head of cattle belonging to the villagers. No compensation was paid to the villagers who depend on their livestock for food and labour.

 

Many acres of land in Tamardan Village in Ye Sagyo Township were confiscated by SLORC without compensation in order to build military headquarters for IB 256, 257 and 258. All the households in Khawekyin Village in Monywa Township were forced to relocate from their home community by the orders of SLORC in order to build an airport. [source: ABSDF/NLD-LA]

 

SLORC’S SATELLITE PROGRAMME

 

In Monywa District, Sagaing Division, in the name of building Tha Lar satellite town, SLORC authorities have received special privileges for buying and selling of land which was given to them for their own living. Peasants whose farmland was confiscated following the project for building a satellite town, have had to become odd-jobs workers as they lost their farmland. [source: ABSDF/NLD-LA]

 

Although SLORC gave electricity for houses in the satellite town, only the family which received a letter of approval from SLORC could get electricity and a plot of land. To receive that letter, each person had to bribe thousands of Ks to SLORC authorities. One aged person said that there is no law that protects the people nor is there anyone who takes responsibility for their social welfare. Everybody has to strive for their own living, education, social welfare programmes social welfare programmes and sanitation.

 

[see also under “Eye-witness Accounts”, interview 1, 3-7, 9-11, 16, 19-20, 25, 29, 32-34, 36-37, 39-41, 45-47, 49-57, 59-62, 65-72, 74-82, 92-99, 101-102, 104-105, 108-109, 111-113, 115-119, 121-125, 127-128, 134-135, 137]


List of Incidents

 

On 19 November 1993, regional SLORC authorities circulated an order in Ye Pyu Township of Tenasserim Division that each family will now have to pay "porter fees" of 100 Ks per family 4 times per month. The villagers now have to pay this, even though the average monthly income of a family in this area is only 100 Ks. "Porter fees" are supposed to be used to pay wages to military porters, but porters are never paid. The penalty for an unpaid "porter fee" is to be taken as a porter yourself. Several hundred villagers from the area have already fled to the Thai border to escape this new tax. [source: KNU]

 


In Kyauk Kyi area, during this year's harvest (December 1993-January 1994), four SLORC battalions –26, 35, 73 and 351 – ordered every peasant to give them three sacks of rice per acre (100 kg sacks). The troops said they would sell the rice elsewhere and pay the farmers a reasonable price. Although it has been four months already, the farmers are still waiting for the money. In Mu Per Hta Village, the troops burned the villagers' entire crop and stole all the animals in the village during the harvest time.

 

SLORC regional commanders summoned all the headmen of the villages in Thaton District to attend a meeting, and told them that "In the future, if one of our soldiers is killed, we will execute 5 of your villagers."

 

On 24 December 1993, SLORC troops from IB 30 under Southern Command, ordered the village headmen of Kyo Waing and Noh Kaneh villages in Thaton District to take responsibility for "security" in their village tract areas. They were forced to sign papers guaranteeing that if one shell explodes in their entire village tract area, they will pay 50,000 Ks compensation to SLORC, and if one truck is damaged by a landmine they will pay 100,000 Ks as compensation. [source: KNU]

 

On 4 January, SLORC troops from LIB 116 took away 4 baskets of rice, 3,000 viss of fish paste, 400 coconuts, 3,000 viss of jaggery from the villagers in Paw Si Village, Thaton Township, Mon State.

 

On 4 January, LIB 116 of LID 33, commanded by Maj Soe Win, came to Per Khee Village, Thaton District, where they slaughtered and ate 30 chickens, one pig, and four goats, and stole 4 baskets of rice. [source: KNU]

 

On 6 January, 1st and 2nd Column from LIB 120 forced the people in Htaw Kalaw Khee Village in Thaton district to give 24 tins of rice (condensed milk tins) per household.

 

On 9 January, IB 4 of SLORC LID 33 commanded by Maj Thaung Win, came to Lay Kay Village, Thaton District. The troops burned down the houses of villagers Toe Par Thwe, Kyaw Bu, Kor Ler, Por Ther Khin, Maung Nyunt Tin, Ti Kyaw Ko, Tee Ler Ner, Maung Win and Naw Muh. They slaughtered an ox belonging to villager Ma Chaw, two oxen belonging to Tha Du Mo, an ox belonging to Maw Kwai, a cow belonging to Mor Than, one cow belonging to Maung Kyi Kot, and a buffalo belonging to Maung Nyunt Tin. [source: KNU]

 

On 10 January, 2nd Column Commander of IB 17 issued an order to Kywe Khan Village to send its representative to Trade Corporation in Palaw Township, Tenasserim Division, bringing cash which was equivalent to the baskets of rice as demanded. Each villager was forced to give 8 baskets of rice per acre and was threatened that action would be taken against him/her if he/she failed to donate this.

 

In addition to arresting villagers and holding them for ransom in Naw Yu Village, Kyauk Kyi Township, Capt Khin Maung Oo of IB 60 stole 14 cattle from the village on 16 January. [source: KNU]

 

On 18 January, Maj Myint Kyi's troops of Coy 5 of IB 69, while travelling to Na Moop Village, shot a cow for their food belonging to villager Sarng Par. The soldiers continued their raid and ransacked Worn Parng Yarp Village, Mong Young Parish, Hsenwi Township, and robbed a large amount of personal property. Items taken from 21 villagers included quantities of rice, chicken, a pig, cooking oil, soy bean,
cooking equipment, spoons, knives, blankets, sarongs and other clothing/cloth, torches, cassette tapes and money. Sarng Kham Luen, Nai Poo, Sarng Khe and the entire household of Pu Loi Sarng Sue were beaten by soldiers. [source: SHRF]

 

On 21 January, IB 39 under Southern Command, came to Shah Lo Village, Taungoo Township, and stole property worth 700,000 Ks from Mehn Sun. They then burned down his house. [source: KNU]

 

On 24 January, about 40 SLORC troops commanded by Coy Comdr Myint Swe of IB 39 raided Kyi Taung Village, Kyauktagah Township, Pegu Division, and opened fire on the villagers which caused trader Phoe Win Nyo to be wounded. SLORC troops captured the villagers and 26 cows.

 

On 24 January, SLORC troops from IB 84 led by Bn Commander Aung Kyaw Moe took away 15 baskets of rice, 5 ducks, 1 goat and 10 chickens from the local people in No Law Palaw Village in Taungoo district.

 

On 24 January, Column Commander Win Myint of IB 26 forced local people in Nga Nwa Seik, Thay Gay Lu, Kayin Yeleh, Htwa Ni Gone, Ohn Ship Gone and Thmar Kaw villages to send 15 porters and "porter fees" from each village. When the village headmen sent porters, the SLORC commander denied them and forced them to pay 35,000 Ks in cash per village. Moreover, the villagers were also forced to pay rice as taxation to SLORC troops. Each village which failed to levy tax were forced to pay 100, 000 Ks. Local people in Yeleh and Ohn Ship Gone villages were forced to pay 200,000 Ks.

 

On 25 January, Capt Aye Myint and his troops from LIB 119, under the command of LID 33, took 7 baskets of paddy, 1 basket of hulled rice and 32 kg of jaggery from villagers in Tar U Ni Village in Thaton Township. [source: KNU]

 

On 27 January, SLORC troops from LIB 119 led by Bn Commander Aye Myint took 6 baskets of paddy from the villagers in Tar U Ni Village in Thaton Township.

 

On 28 January, SLORC troops from IB 84 took a cow and 29 baskets of sesame from the villagers in Tar Paw Village in Thaton Township.

 

On 29 January, a SLORC truck hit a landmine and was destroyed. In retaliation the two nearest villages, Tor Klor Khee and Tor Klor Po Khee, were fined 300,000 Ks by LIB 120, under the command of LID 33. [source: KNU]

 

On 2 February, IB 84 of 99 LID commanded by Lt Col Aung Kyaw Min and Maj Nyo Min Thein, issued orders to 9 villages – No Lor Plaw, No Aw Ler, Pyor Gor, Kyu Kyi, Pyo, Her Ter Rai, Met Thai, Met Ker Ner and Tee Kyor Khee villages – in Thaton District that each village must send them 1,000 viss (1,600 kg) of jaggery. Villages which could not produce the required amount of jaggery were ordered to pay a fine of 2,700 Ks in cash. The battalion also imposed severe restrictions on the movements of the villagers. All villagers who worked in the surrounding forests had to register at the battalion headquarters and pay 500 Ks for a permit.

 

On 3 February, IB 101 led by Maj Kyaw Kyaw, forced local people in Kywe Din Gone Village, Tha Kyet Parish, Tenasserim Township, Tenasserim Division, into a lack of livelihood. As SLORC has been constructing the highway from Tenasserim to Moe Taung, all the gardens, vegetable plantations, buildings and houses along the way were destroyed by SLORC troops. A company led by Maj San Myint and Khaing Soe were responsible for the security and Maj Kyaw Kyaw was in control of the project while all local people in Kywe Din Gone Village were forced to carry out their assignments within the period fixed by SLORC troops. Those who did not finish their assignment faced fines fixed at a rate by the troops, subject to arrest, and forced to serve long-term porterage. Aside from these atrocities, their houses were destroyed and reduced to ashes as a punishment. [source: ABSDF]

 


On 7 February, SLORC troops from company 3 of IB 84 led by Coy Comdr Myat Than Lay and Maj Than Htay took 100 chickens, 20 ducks, 1 pig, 7 baskets of rice, 100 viss of jaggery, 5 blankets, 6 sarongs, clothing and 800 Ks in cash from local people in No La Aw Village of Thaton Township. Moreover, they demanded 50,000 Ks in cash as a compensation for their ruined car.

 

On 9 February, SLORC troops from IB 39 forced local people in Zee Phyu Taung Village, Taungoo District, to levy taxes to be paid in rice. Those who failed to pay were severely beaten by the troops.

 

On 9 February, a group of soldiers from IB 39 commanded by Sgt Mo Hlaing, went to Zee Pyu Taung Village, Toungoo District, to confiscate the villagers' rice. Those who were not able to give rice supplies to the soldiers were beaten. Khin Maung and U Thaung almost died from the beatings. [source: KNU]

 

On 10 February, IB 84 of 99 LID commanded by Lt Col Aung Kyaw Min, forced the villagers in Hadareh Parish, Pa-an Township, Karen State, to gather in a certain place. SLORC troops forced the villagers from Talai Kayin, Kyon Sein, Nolo Pla, No Aw Htar Hpwa Gaw, Deh Thu Khee, Mae Kana Khee, Mae Thae, Htee Kyoe Khee villages to pay 50,000 Ks per village.

 

On 10 February, Col D—, tactical commander of SLORC Central Command, ordered the local people in Klaw Mee Deh Village to make ID cards in Palet Wa Village. On their way to home, the villagers were forced at gun point to carry rice for 2nd Column of IB 55.

 

On 10 February, Col D—, commander of 2nd Column of IB 55, confiscated 40 sacks of rice in Kaw Thay Deh Village, Taungoo District, in order to use for military purpose.

 

On 12 February, a military column of IB 39 captured 100 bullock carts between Bone Ma Gyi and Htee Lon Village of Taungoo District, and forced to pay taxes in cash.

 

On 12 February, IB 39 took 100 bullock carts which belonged to village woodcutters from Tone Ma Ti and Yay Win villages in Toungoo District. The owners were severely beaten and had to pay ransom money to the soldiers before being released. [source: KNU]

 

On 16 February, Burmese Army Central Command stationed its 2nd MSC, under the command of Operation Comdr Lt Col Win Maung, at Bawgali Village, Thandaung Township, Taungoo District. This MSC is now demanding monthly "porter fees" from the surrounding villages in the following amounts:

 

No.      Village Name         Ks per Month


 

1)        Bawgali Village                  64,000

2)        Ler Ko Village                     8,000

3)        Wah Tho Kho Village        12,000

4)        Kaw So Kho Village           12,000

5)        Saw Thay Der Village        8,000

6)        Klay So Khee Village          8,000

7)        Gah Mu Der Village          8,000

8)        Der Doh Village                 8,000

9)        Pai Koh Der Village           8,000

10)      Maw Ko Der Village          8,000

11)      Ku Ler Der Village             8,000

12)      Maw Per Der Village         8,000

13)      Klaw Mi Der Village         8,000

14)      Hu Mu Der Village            8,000

15)      Ler Kler Der Village           8,000


Other villages in the area were ordered to pay monthly "porter fees" of 6,000-8,000 Ks for each porter, depending on village size. None of this money is ever used to pay or feed porters, who are only kept alive on a handful of rice a day and never paid.

 

The Strategic Command is also constructing a hospital in Bawgali Village as a "development project". However, the Villagers are being forced to contribute money for all the costs of the project. The funding originally allocated for the project is all being pocketed by the SLORC military officers.

 

The villagers are also being forced to construct a road between Bawgali and Pa Lay Wa villages. They have to work without pay and bring all their own food while working on the road. The funds originally provided for this "development project" have also been pocketed by the military officers, who then force the villagers to build the road. [source: KNU]

 

On 19 February, SLORC troops from IB 42, under the command of LID 99, led by Bn Comdr Maj Kyaw Win and Maung Maung Kyaw killed 2 cows belong to local people in Myit Kyoe Village in Thaton District.

 

On 19 February, troops of IB 84 under LID 99, commanded by Capt Soe Maung, set fire to the home of San Myint and his sugar cane grinding machine in Thaton District. They also killed and ate a buffalo belonging to Maung Than Nyunt. [source: KNU]

 

On 20 February, Coy Comdr Thein Zan of IB 24 forced the villagers from Thaw Kaw Kya Village, Thaton District, to pay 450 Ks per person who were on their way to sell roofing thatch.

 

On 21 February, Capt Myo Lwin Thet Lwin led Coy 5 of LIB 32 to Taree Hta Gaun Village, Kya In Seik Gyi Township, Dooplaya District, and burned down and destroyed the house of 4 villagers: Moo Pu Kyaw, who lost his rice barn, 120 tins of paddy, his betelnut crop, and cash and belongings worth an estimated 300,000 K; U Talay Heh, who lost his rice barn, 160 tins of paddy, his stored betelnut and pepper, 15,000 K in cash and 200,000 K worth of belongings, and whose 2 pepper plantations were also burned; Ah Pu, who lost 80 tins of paddy and belongings worth over 37,000 K; and Naw Paw Ser, who lost her rice barn, 260 tins of paddy, her betelnut crop and over 500,000 K worth of belongings.

 

On 21 February, SLORC troops from IB 73 forced the villagers in Shar See Bo Village, Taungoo District, to pay monthly "porter fees" ranging 3,000 Ks to 6,000 Ks.

 

On 21 February, IB 73 demanded 6,000 Ks from Shah Shi Bo Village, Taungoo District, as monthly "porter fees". The officers claim that this money is to pay munitions and supply porters, but porters are never paid. [source: KNU]

 

On 23 February, IB 346, under the command of Western Command, robbed the properties of local people in Shan Le Pyin Village, Taungoo District.

 

On 24 February, IB 39 penetrated Htee Lon, Kasel Do, Chaung Ma Gyi, Tha Phan Chaung, Bo Mo Khee and Htee Khee area in Taungoo district and extorted money from saw mill labourers. SLORC troops also took 5 viss of betelnuts and 3,500 Ks in cash at gunpoint from Naw Khae May of Lay Tee Village.

 

On 28 February, police from Balaw Kyoe, Kawkareik Township, Karen State, penetrated Noe Bo Chaung and killed 2 buffaloes belong to the villagers.

 

In March 1994, Northwestern Command confiscated 250 acres of prime farmland near Eik Sut Village, located southwest of Kalay Township, Chin State, in order to extend their military headquarters. Over 500 acres of similar farmland near Hto Mar Village in Kalay Township were confiscated for the construction of airfield. [source: ABSDF/ABSL/NLD-LA]


On 2 March, Maj Win Maung, 1st Column of IB 39, demanded 4,500 Ks for "porter fees" and two baskets of rice from Shah Shi Bo Village, Toungoo District. He also confiscated all bullock carts in the village to transport military rice supplies without payment. [source: ABSDF/KNU]

 

On 3 March, SLORC troops from IB 35 and 59 rounded up 14 households in Phoe Moo Deh Village and took all the properties belong to the villagers. Loss estimated 390,122 Ks in cash at current prices.

 

On 3 March, a military column of IB 97 led by Thein Dan killed 2 cows belong to Naw Ka Leh in No Boe Chaung, Kawkareik Township, Karen State. On 6 March, Cpl Tun Aung of the same outfit killed another cow from that village.[source: Bar Zi Than]

 

On 5 March, SLORC troops from LIB 119 led by Aye Myint, under the command of LID 33 robbed 5 baskets of rice, 11 pans, 2 flasks, 9 longyi (Burmese sarong), 50 viss of fishpaste, 47 chickens, 6 plates, 7 steel spoons and 5 blankets from the villagers in Loh Khee Village in Thaton District. [source: KNU]

 

LOST LAND

 

From the first week of April 1994 the army has started confiscating the paddy fields and farms from farmers without compensation around Kyawk Sit Pong Village situated in the township of Mon Ywa. It was reportedly said that the army is preparing to build an artillery regiment in the confiscated site. In fact, the plan to build the regiment began in the month of December 1993. The area of confiscated farms from the subsistence farmers is reported to be about 2,500 acres.

 

The most affected areas were Kyawk Sit Pong Village and Myawk Village. But farmers from 20 villages were forced to volunteer in the construction of the regiment at the site. Forced labour was compulsory for two months and for three persons from each family. The kinds of work to be done by the farmers were to dig ditches of 2 x 2 x 15 for the road, clean rubbish from both sides of it, to clear the snags, bushes and so on. The affected villagers were from Egg Taw, Kan Tha, Kyawk Sit Pong of South and North, Soe Than, Kan Phya, Taung Pa Luu, Tha Man Dar, Min Gla Gaung, Taung Gaung, Myin Myee Laung, O Si Gaung villages.

 

Similarly the army has confiscated more than 2,000 acres from the farmers of Kyawk Kar and Tha Naung Win Ywa villages situated along the road from Mon Ywa to Kyauk Kar village without compensation. It is believed that the army is planning to build an air force base. It is the area irrespective of whether the crops which were premature and young in the confiscated farm were getting destroyed with the construction of the military base, farmers were allowed to cultivate at the same site.

 

It was estimated that more than 5,000 acres were confiscated for the construction of the North West Military base division in the north of the Mon Ywa's road to Ye Oo in the past three years. It was said that it takes more than one hour to pass through the confiscated farms by vehicle. Most of the villages around the Mon Ywa Town were affected by this arbitrary army action.

 

The entire Kha Wea Kyin Village was forced to shift by this arbitrary army action for the construction of a military camp. The affected villagers were not given any compensation. Therefore all of them became homeless and mentally disturb as they faced various difficulties for survival.

 

In fact the region of the Mon Ywa is known to be the largest producer of wheat, bean, maize, etc., in the whole country. But it is now being turned into a totally deserted land under the military strengthening program in Burma. [source: ABSDF/ABSL/NLD-LA]

 


On 16 April, about 60 of Capt Kyaw Thein's IB 520 troops, on their way back to Worn Hart Village, Ho Loi Parish, Mauk Mai Township, northern Shan State accused Sai Lurng, brother of Sarn Eung, of being a rebel while these villagers were on their way to send their sick brother to Worn Hart Hospital. Soldiers threatened Sarn Eung to pay them 30,000 Ks for his brother's release and ordered them to go back to their village. As there was no choice for them, the victims had to accept SLORC's ultimatum. [source: SHRF]

 

On 17 April, 1st Column of IB 20 led by 1st TOC Comdr Col Thein Htun, Western Command, collected 950 Ks, equivalent to the price for sack of rice, from each party travelling around Kha Lela, Kaw Thay Ah and Ka Lay Soe Khee area in Taungoo District. [source: KYO]

 

On 18 April, 1st column of IB 20 entered Kaw Thay Ah Village and took 15 viss of pork without compensation. [source: KYO]

 

April 29, SLORC has given orders to all villages in Tavoy District, Tenasserim Division, that each village must send 2 recruits for SLORC troops. Villages which cannot provide the required recruits are forced to hire itinerant workers or others to go in their place at a price of 15,000 Ks each. Any family which sends their son to be a SLORC soldier must be provided with 30 tins of rice and 300 Ks per year by other people in the village. These families will also be free from all forms of slave labour and forced porterage required by SLORC troops of others. [source: ABSDF/KNU]

 

In early May ferocious battles broke out between the rebels in Shan state and SLORC LIB 221, 316, 331, 334 and 526 in the area of Loi Tor Kham, Mong Seng-Mong Inn Parish. The SLORC army, after losing the battle, retreated to Worn Mark O (Upper) Village of the Akha people, near Tachilek Township in eastern Shan State and next to the Thai border. On 28 May, the local headman was arrested and accused by the SLORC soldiers of joining hands and cooperating with the rebels. The soldiers demanded 100,000 baht (US$ 4,000) as a ransom for the release of the headman. [source: SHRF]

 

On 22 May, 1st Column of IB 39, Southern Command, led by Capt Khin Soe, entered Sher Si Bo Village, Taungoo District, and took away chickens, rice and other food without any compensation. [source: KYO]

 

On 8 June SLORC troops commanded by Aung Tun from Coy 4 of LIB 34 came to Naw K'Toh Village, Thaton District, shot and killed Dee Pa Leh's cow and ate all of it. They then beat the owner once and his son 3 times with a stick, and then they scathed his son with a gunshot.

 

On 18 June, SLORC troops from IB 3, under the command of Southern Command, demanded 45,000 Ks in cash from the villagers in Zayat Gyi and Moe Koung Parish in Htantabin Township, Pegu Division.

 

In July 1994, farmland near Taung Piyar Monastery was forcibly confiscated by SLORC in order to build a highway belt-line as part of the programme to expand the city area in Kalay. [source: ABSDF/ABSL/NLD-LA]

 

On 5 July, troops from SLORC LIB 73 and 26 burned down the farm hut of Saw Baw from Da Kaw Bwa Village, Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District, and stole everything they found there.

 

On 17 July SLORC's military column from IB 230 and Maj Tun Aung summoned all the headmen from the villages located nearby Na Bu outpost in Kawkareik Township, Karen State. The headmen were told that if any porter is recaptured in his own village where he started to serve as a porter, he must pay 10,000 Ks to the troops. In addition, the military columns will eat every breeding animals in the villages where they change runners, and those who try to escape will be shot dead, and each village must compensate the troops at the rate of 100,000 Ks in case a soldier is injured by any kind of mines planted along their way. [source: ABSDF]

 


The “Anti-Insurgent Group” (Kyi Shwe) is a special group of the SLORC Army which operates in the Thaton Area. It is not under any battalion, and appears to specialise in terrorist tactics. On 1 August, the SLORC AIG soldiers demanded 5,000 Ks from Hla Aung Ker Village. They said if the village didn’t provide the money, they would order the villagers to move out of the village and kill them.

 

On 3 August, SLORC troops from LIB 408 led by Maj Khin Maung Zaw entered Mi Htaw Hla Village, Yebyu Township, and forcibly took 1000 Ks in cash from the headman of the village. Then, the troops reached Kyon Ka Nyar Village and robbed rice from every household. They did not spare even the monastery in the village, taking 5,500 Ks in cash from the villager. After that they went into Khaw Zar Village, Yebyu Township, and harassed the villagers there at gunpoint to give another 5,500 Ks in cash. [source: DPNS/NLD-LA/NMSP]

 

At 8:30 a.m. on 13 August, Col Ne Win Oo of 1st MSC ordered Column 2 of IB 18 (Column Comdr Maj Saw Win) to go to Htee Mu Kee Village to cut down all the paddy in the fields of Saw Htoo Rah and Saw Naw Naw. (Note: the paddy is nowhere near ready for harvest in August.)

 

On 15 August, an AIG soldier named Saw Hta Ghay demanded 5,000 Ks from Saw Mu Shay's mother in Ta Raw Village. [source: KYO]

 

On 22 August, SLORC AIG soldiers Maung Lay, Maung Kyi Win and Aung Moe came to Htee Nya Po Village together with troops from IB 24. They ate 2 ducks belonging to Taw Sein and demanded 7,000 Ks from the village headman. Then they went on to Mee Chaung Aye Village, where they ate one goat belonging to Saw Mya Maung and demanded 4,000 Ks from the village headman. 5,000 Ks from Maung Kya Lay and 9,000 Ks from Maw Sein. [source: KYO]

 

On 25 September, a joint military column of LIB 206 and 208 led by Nyi Nyi Aung entered Mi Ka Village, summoned village head Phar Ka and Yu Lar, violently kicked them with heavy combat boots, throttled their necks and continued to beat and torture their victims. The troops complained that whenever they reached the village, they did not see any male. They warned, the next time if that happens again, every house must host 3 soldiers and provide shelter for them [this is a common practice or intrusion on people’s lives by SLORC troops, who cannot be refused food and shelter in private homes for any length of time].

 

On 6 October, a column of about 15 Burmese soldiers were patrolling the hilly area lying south of Maungdaw-Buthidaung Road and they came under fire near Kandoorakhal Point which is a few kilometres from Gawdoorchara Village under Maungdaw Township.

 

On 25 November, Maj Kyaw Shwe from IB 23 issued an ultimatum to Mon people from every village in Kawkareik Township that if SLORC soldiers are killed or if their weapons are captured, local people living in nearby villages are responsible for compensating the SLORC troops. [source: NMSP]

 

Maj Ohn Myint, who torched Hlockhani refugee camp in July 1994, from SLORC IB 62 confiscated two portable saw mills and two portable rice mills from Kaw Kha Moo Village, Kyaikmaraw Township, with the reason that villagers are sympathisers to the NMSP. [source: NMSP]

 

On 2 December, IB 62 troops of Halockhani fame, while apparently drunk from physical indications, shelled artillery into Dhammathat Village, Kyaikmaraw Township. Mi Pan Hla (wife of Nai Nar) was hit with splinters and hospitalised at a hospital in Moulmein as an emergency patient with the couple’s own money. [source: NMSP]

 

In Ye Phyu Township, SLORC’s backbone Trade and Agriculture Department forced the villagers to sell their paddy at bottom price. On 12 December that department sent an order and receipts to the peasants in Kywe Thone Nyi Ma Village, forcing them to sell the paddy for the 1994-95 fiscal year. The order
threatened the villagers to fulfil their compulsory assignment. The price fixed by the department is lower than the normal price.

 

No.

Type

Victim

Amount

SLORC Price

Market Price

 

1.

 

Normal

 

Nga Sein

 

100 baskets

 

7,000

 

25,000

2.

Normal

Emahta

100 baskets

7,500

25,000

3.

 

Me Don

100 baskets

8,500

25,000

4.

 

Kauk Gyi

100 baskets

8,500

25,000

 

On 17 December, SLORC troops from LIB 410 led by Maj Aung Soe Win arrived at Kaw Zar Village and forced the villagers to give them a cow, as the troops were faced with a shortage of food. Although the village headmen begged for a pardon as they were not able to meet the demand, the troops were ordered to take 2 cows belonging to U Wu Tin and Mi Hla.

 

On 30 December, SLORC troops from LID 410 led by Bn Comdr Ye Myint penetrated Khan Gyi Village, Ye Township, and committed a robbery by taking away 76,400 Ks in cash from the villagers. [source: DPNS/NLD-LA/NMSP]

 

On 30 December, Coy Comdr Ko Gyi from Coy 5 of IB 203, under the command of LID 22, and Saw Kalar Pe from Wae Gyi Village forced the villagers in Tar U Ni, Leh Ka Tel, Kyoe Wine, Don Ka Ne and Pa Yar Yaw villages in Thaton Township to give 3 baskets of rice and 2 viss of chicken for every village.