News, Personal Accounts, Report & Analysis on Human Rights Situation in Mon Territory and Other Areas Southern Part of Burma

 

The Mon Forum

 

Issue No. 3/2001     March 31, 2001

 

The Publication of Human Rights Foundation of Monland (BURMA)
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Contents


News:

(1)     MI Unit No 5's threats to Mon National Schools,

(2)     Child labour in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State,


Report:

(1)      Development projects and related abuses in Mon State,

Attached document: SPDCs supplementing order on forced labour, by Ministry of Home Affairs, Union of Myanmar.


Some Acronyms in This Issue

SPDC -     State Peace and Development Council,

SLORC -   State Law and Order Restoration Council,

Ml -         Military Intelligence (of SPDC)

IB -         Infantry Battalion (of Burmese Army),

LIB-        Light Infantry Battalion (of Burmese Army),

NMSP-    New Mon State Party,

KNLA -    Karen National Liberation Army,


News

 

Ml Unit No 5's Threats to Mon National Schools

(March 2001, Ye Township, Mon State)

 

In the last week of March 2001, the military regime SPDC'S Military Intelligence (MI) Unit No. 5, also inquired and collected data about the operation of Mon National Schools in southern part of Ye Township, Mon State, by questioning Mon village headmen with a threatening questionnaire.

 

MI Unit No. 5, which bases in Ye town had asked Mon village headmen from Hangan, Kalort, Singu, Toe-tat and Khawza and gave them a questionnaire paper that contains 9 questions inquiring about the operation of Mon national schools, the teachers and students and education. On March 25, village headmen from Singu were asked to meet with MI No. 5 Unit officers and were instructed to provide facts according to questions given by officers.

 

In questionnaire, it contains: (1) Whether the Mon National Schools have been operated in southern part of Ye Township or not?; (2) If have, whether the Mon teachers have just taught Mon language only or not?; (3) If there are Mon teachers, how many Mon teachers and how many students have attended their classes?; (4) Whether Mon schools and teachers have attempted to operate a competitive education system against the government?; (5) Do the students and teachers have separate school uniforms from government students and teachers?; (6) List the subjects that they are teaching in their own schools?; (7) How their teaching methods and what are contents in each subject?; (8) Whether villagers have supported Mon teachers with foods and shelters, or not?; and (9) Whether NMSP supports these teachers or not. After receiving questionnaire, the village headmen were instructed to send correct answers to questions within one week.

 

Accordingly to the past experience, whenever MI Unit No. 5 created questionnaire with questions or asked for meeting about Mon education and national schools, it has been one type of threatening village community to stop their supports for Mon schools. It also means they threaten to teachers to leave Mon schools, by collecting their background information.

 

Actually, Mon national education system and community supported Mon national schools have been established for over 20 years by NMSP's Education Department. They also have gradually separated to other areas under NMSP and semi-control areas by military regimes. School teachers are also supported by both NMSP especially for salaries and the community people support them with foods and shelters. When the regime's education faced deteriorated situation, Mon education have gradually developed.

 

In June 1995 NMSP-SLORC ceasefire, NMSP leaders mainly asked for the teaching of one subject of Mon language in government schools. Initially, although some SLORC promised they would provide this chance, but broke their promises in 1998 and tried to arrest Mon teachers and close some Mon schools down. Since then, MI No. 5 Unit have always made troubles to Mon schools, teachers, students and students' parents.

 

In 2000-2001 Academic Year, according to a report by NMSP's Education Department, it had about 161 primary schools, 6 middle schools and 2 high schools. There were about 907 teachers in these schools and it had about 37,135 students totally. The locations of these schools are in Mon State, some part of Karen State and some part of Tenasserim Division.

 

Child Labour in Moulmein, the Capital of Mon State

(March 2001)

In Moulmein, the capital of Mon state, the SPDC'S regime's local authorities have been using child labor for the construction of the road in March 2000 and additionally, they also collected funds for construction from people under the name of "self-help" pro-gram.

 

In Moulmein, as most roads were built during British ruled Burma or parliamentary governments before 1962, so that they are in damage conditions. Just two years ago, SPDC adopted a "self-help" road construction or road repairs program and has encouraged its concerned authorities to newly build or repair roads in their own area. Because of this policy, a ruin road in Moulmein, Tha-main-bran, which is in Maing-thar-yar city quarter, was applied to rebuild in March. To avoid for requisition of forced labour ruled by SPDC'S Ministry of Home Affairs, the authorities in Moulmein had collected fund 15, 000 Kyat from each household in that city quarter.

 

Then, with collected fund, the authorities have hired labour instead of requisition in building the road. But they are using child labour, under 16 years of age, because it is cheaper than adult labor and they have to pay half of an adult labour earn.

 

According to a witness, an old mother, who lives in No. 681 house in city quarter, near that road, said that children, under 16 years of age are being used as laborers. She named Khin Lin, a 12 year-old boy, whose father rides a tricycle taxi, a 12 year-old boy, Naing Win, who attended 4 standards are hired by the authorities. The Children are earning about 150 kyats per day. Early in the morning the children start work in the construction site until midday. After one hour rest, they work until sundown every day. These children are not working age, but they are working for their family to be a live she added.

 

Although SPDC is a signatory of UN's Convention on Child Rights (CRC), it still does not ensure to discontinue using child labour, whether they are paid or not, in the whole country and in its armed force, Burmese Army or tatmadaw.

 

Report

Development Projects and Related Abuses in Mon State

I. Background of Development in Mon State


During NMSP was agreeing for ceasefire agreement (the so-called entered into legal fold by Burmese military regime), with SLORC in 1995, there were some certain promises to develop Mon State in a few years.   During speech given by Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt on June 29, 1995, in a meeting with NMSP leaders, he claimed that "Mon State must be developed within three years".   Most SLORC's developments were to implement mainly infrastructure projects and create communication in Mon State, but there are no political and social developments.

 

As promises, SLORC/SPDC have implemented various types of development projects especially for road construction, creating of satellite town, building bridges, renewing old roads and other projects.   Due to the lack of finance in the government's budget, the construction ministry or border area development department could not allocate enough funds for any development project.    So, the ministry or the concerned administration department always instructed the local authorities to support themselves for these projects, especially for road building in cities, towns and villages.    Such type of projects also well known as "self-help programme" in Burma.

 

In SPDC'S propaganda published in media, they always claimed that there is an essential for the participation of the civilians in any types of development in State.   Therefore, in any type of development project in various parts of Mon State, the SPDC authorities or military officers have always conscripted the civilians to contribute unpaid labour for the project or collect limitless fund from them until it completed. Once the project is completed, the government authorities and high rank military officer come and celebrate the opening ceremony.

 

In NMSP-SLORC ceasefire agreement, because of NMSP request, although SLORC promised to not use forced labour in Mon areas especially in various development projects and civilian porters in military offensives, but it has not actually kept its promise.   After ceasefire, the Burmese Army's local military battalion officers or regime authorities conscripted many hundreds of thousands of civilians to contribute unpaid labour in various projects.

As an example, soon after ceasefire, the SLORC or its army has continuously conscripted many hundreds of thousands of villagers in Mon State and Tenasserim Division to contribute unpaid labour in 110 miles long Ye-Tavoy road construction. They had used forced labour until the beginning of 1998.

 

After this railway, there have been many development projects in Mon State.   In any type of development project, the authorities always forced the civilians to contribute free labour as first priority for them.   When the conscription of forced labour happened, the authorities or military commanders always gave order directly to village headmen town section leaders in respective area with instructions that to send how many civilians, when and for how many days.    So, village or town section leaders had to arrange for the rotation basis in sending the set number of villagers.

 

Since for many years, the government authorities or military officers who had taken responsibility for the conscription of forced labour also ask money as fine if some civilians could not contribute their labour in defined dates and defined work.   For example, if the authorities instructed to send about 20 villagers from a village, when the village headmen failed to send about 5 villagers, he/she needed to pay fines for those villagers.   The fine for civilians has been in rate of 400-1000 Kyat per one person per day. The amount of fines sometimes more expensive, when the authorities tried to complete their projects in short time, and sometimes, however, some corrupted authorities take more fines.   Thus, the practices of requesting fines have continuously committed until now by SPDC authorities.

 

Because of international condemnations and actions taken by ILO against its massive use of forced labour in Burma, the regime, SPDC'S Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order and instructed to its all administration bodies and military battalions in all areas of Burma, to halt using of using of forced labour, the so-called "Lote-ar-pay" in Burmese.   The order was issued in October by Col. Tin Hlaing, minister of Ministry of Home Affairs, and it clearly described that all level of administration authorities, members of armed force, members of police force and other public service personnel that requisition of forced labour is illegal and is an offence under the existing law in Burma.    (Look the text of origin order by Ministry of Home Affairs in Page 11-12.)

 

However, the practices of the requisition of forced labour has not actually stopped in many parts of Mon area.   Especially, the Burmese Army's local battalions still conscript civilians and used them as porters and other works in their military service.

 

As an instance,

On December 1 and 2, 2000, a military battalion which bases in southern part of Ye Township, Mon State, LIB No. 299, before its military columns left to a border town, Three Pagoda Pass, to take temporary base there, the battalion commander, Col. Aye Tun ordered some village headmen from villages in southern part of township to send some number of porters to carry their ammunitions and foods along the road, where they could face ambush by KNLA troops.

 

Depending on the sizes, number of households and population number in villages, the commander requested to send 5 villagers from Koe-mile, 6 villagers from Kalort-gyi, 8 villagers from Hangan, 2 villagers from Ba-round, 4 villagers from Kaw-haling, 3 villagers from Singu, 3 villagers from Toe-tat, 4 villagers from Ying-ye, 4 villagers from Yin-dein, 4 villagers from Ka-bya and 8 villagers from Khaw-za village respectively.  And, the commander also asked 100, 000 Kyat from villages for expenses for foods to feed their soldiers and porters during their military operation.   The deadline to send these porters was on December 3, 2001.

 

After the battalion gathered the required total 43 civilian porters and money for expenses, the troops started moving to Three Pagoda Pass, a border town.   The porters had to carry ammunitions and food supplies for army.   They lasted about three days on the road and arrived to border town.  LIB No. 299 troops changed with LIB No. 343 troops, which needed to return to their headquarters in northern part of Ye township.   Then, the LIB No. 299 transferred all porters to LIB No. 343 military column and so that LIB No. 343 used these villager porters for another three days in their return.

 

On the other hand, after the government's order of requisition of forced labour was illegal, the practices of demanding money instead of labour have increased in various parts of Mon State.   All levels of authorities always tried to avoid the requisition of forced labour but have requested huge amount of fund from the civilians that was normally equal to labour needed to contribute by civilians.

 

With promise of "within three year development" in Mon and under the program the so-called "border area development programme", the regime authorities have implemented many types of development projects in Mon State.   During the authorities are implementing various types of development projects, such as road building, re-building of old water canals, bridge building, road repairs, huge number of civilians have suffered from both requisition of forced labour and demand of money.

 

 

II. Forced Labour in Road Construction Projects in Year 2000 and 2001

 

Although international condemnation and ILO actions against the regime, SPDC, the requisition of forced labour have in a massive had taken place in Year 2000 in road construction in Year 2000.    However, they reduced some number of recruited unpaid labourers in Year 2001, the requisition of forced labour still has not terminated.   The following are some evidences of conscription of forced labour in road construction in Mon State.

 

A. Hangan-Khawza Motor Road

In the beginning of March, 2000, SPDC authorities and troops from LIB No. 299 under the command of Col. Aye Tun, have forced some hundreds of Mon villagers from 7 villages in southern part of Ye Township in constructing of 12 miles long Hangan-Khawza motor road, which connects two main big Mon villages.   From March to May before the rain started, the local battalion, LIB No. 299, had taken responsibility in conscription of villagers to contribute unpaid labour on the road.     This road construction was under SPDC'S border area development programme (BADP) and the government officially ordered village headmen to help the authorities in constructing this road.

 

Before the project started in January, an officer from Department BADP, Lt. Col. Myint Aye came to this area and called a meeting with village headmen in the area nearby and explained that the government had planned to build a more proper road for better communication.    He also added when the government built motor road that connected two Mon villages, the villagers must help the government with finance and labour.   After his explanation, Township authorities and LIB No. 299 have taken responsibility to build the motor road.   Thus, Ye Township authorities and the commanders from LIB No. 299 took responsibility to conscript the villagers for labour and set construction site for all villages.

 

In March 2000, the authorities and army commander ordered the village headmen from 7 villagers to send 20 to 50 villagers every day to contribute unpaid labour in road construction.   The villages which suffered from the conscription of forced labour were (1) Hangan, (2) Kalort-gyi, (3) Ba-round, (4) Singu, (5) Toe-tat, (6) Kabya, and (7) Khaw-za.   The concerned village headmen had to manage to send the required number of villagers to the designated construction sites.   Along the motor road, the authorities and army required about 300-500 villagers everyday to contribute unpaid labour.   The required number of villagers was also depended on works in the construction sites.

 

The pieces of works in the construction sites were: collecting stones from carried trucks to designated places, crushing stones into small pieces, laying small pieces of stones and other works.   The villages' civilians have suffered for about 3 months in this road construction.   The villagers had to go and work in the construction about 3 times in one month, in which each time lasted about 3-5 days.   Besides the villagers have not received any payment, they had to carry their own foods, medicines and tools along with them.

 

B. Kyaikmayaw-Kyunywa Motor Road

In December 2000, Commander-in-Chief of Southeast Command, Maj. Gen. Thiha Thura Sit Maung, came to Kyaikmayaw town and called a meeting with all town section and village level leaders in township hall.   In meeting, he ordered to them to rebuild an old Japanese imperialist road used in WWII, which connected Kyaikmayaw town and a village, Kyunywa.   In his speech, the road must be "self-help" construction and asked town and village leaders to help the government with labour and finance. Therefore, the rough construction of motor road started in January 2001.

 

This motor road is about 10 miles long and could provide better communication for Burmese Army in the area to get access into Karen State easily, in where they have to launch regular military offensives against the rebel forces.   The construction of this road is also under border area development program, but the government could not provide any development project for this road and conscripted labour from the civilians from village nearby.

 

In conscription of forced labour, one family member from each household in the villages has to go and work in the construction.   The villagers from one whole have to go and work for one day at least.    On a rotation basis, the civilians from Kyaikmayaw town sections and villages near the motor road, such as, Kraing-knaing, Kayin, Chan-gone, Mya-gone, Nee-tone, Kaw-dun, Kaw-kalart, Shan-lay, Shan-gyi, Myawe-house, Pan-gone, Kyunywa and Matkatar, have been ordered to work in January 2001.   The authorities also use women and children to work in this construction.

 

As instances,

"On January 9, 2001, the headman from Kaw-dun village, Chairman Nai Shwe Oo, received order from Township authorities and re-ordered to all his villagers to go to motor road to do works such as carrying stones, crushing stones, laying them on the embankment of the road and other works.  In his order, he also instructed that one household from every 4 households had to take one oxen-cart.   The one who has oxen cart had to carry stones, the remaining three have to crush them near the road."

 

"Similarly, on January 10, 2001, the village headman from Matkatar village ordered his villagers to go to the construction site and contribute their labour in crushing stones. As the villagers had to walk for one hour, they waked up early 4:00 a.m. in the morning, made foods and walked to motor road to reach the set work place. The villagers were forced to work from 6 a.m. in the morning until 6 p.m. in the evening, except one-hour time for lunch"

 

According to villagers, they had to go and work in the construction site, about three times or three days every month.   This road construction is continuing until the end of March 2001.    Civilians from about 4880 households including Kyaikmayaw town sections have been forced on a rotation basis to work in the construction.

 

Besides forcing the civilians to contribute labour in construction, the authorities also demanded trucks and drivers from another township to contribute their labour to carry stones and send them to construction site.   When the authorities used the civilians, they also forced to collect and dig in some

places that close to motor road and let the trucks carry these stones.

 

As an instance,

"On March 8, 2001, Mudon Township Trucks Administration Department ordered 21 trucks and their owners or drivers from Kamawet village of Mudon Township, to carry 450 Kyins of stones from streams or digging places to the set construction sites.   The measurement of one kyin of stones is l00  cubic feet.   To complete carrying the total 450 kyins of stones, each truck had to carry about 7-9 days.  If one truck failed to go and work, the owner of that truck had to pay 20, 000 Kyat as fine to the authorities."

 

The authorities conscripted trucks not only from Mudon township, they have conscripted many from another townships of Mon State, such as Kyawmayaw, Moulmein and Thanbyuzayat.

 

C. Forced Labour in Road Clearing and Security

In some rural areas where the authorities and army worry about some activities conducted by rebel armies into their semi-control area, the SPDC authorities and army commander always ordered the concerned village headmen to clear bushes and plants along the motor road.

 

In areas along Thanbyuzayat - Ye motor road, in which, sometimes KNLA troops sometimes operated some military activities of attacking Burmese Army's troops and demanding fund from trucks that use the road, both Thanbyuzayat and Ye township authorities ordered the civilians, who stayed close to the road, to clear about 10 feet of bushes and plants in each side of the road.   The clearance of both sides of the motor road means that if the rebel troops come and try to cross the road, the civilians nearby could easily see and could inform the nearest Burmese Army's military outpost.  

The military outposts along the road instructs the villagers and headmen to immediately inform them if the rebel troops pass the road and launch some activities near their villages.   If not, they could be punished.   Additionally, the army outposts also instructed to village headmen to build small huts every half-mile and conscript the villagers to stay at huts to take security of the road.   Then, if the villagers met some military activities of rebel troops, they need to inform the Burmese Army's outpost as quickly as possible.

 

According a village from Sone-hnit-tha village, northern part of Ye Township, he said,

"Our village had to take responsibility to take security of Thanbyuzayat- Y e motor road in three places near our village.  In everyplace, the headman required three persons and so, about nine villagers had to go and took security of the road.  In one month, every household in village had to go for road security for two days.  If one household could not manage to go, that house had to pay 500 Kyat per day to headman."

 

Not only the authorities and army worry about the security of the road in the southern part of Mon State, they also worry about the security of the road in northern part, which connects Mottama and Rangoon. This area is upper area of Mon State (Look Mon State map). In Mon State, the road passes four townships of Paung, Thaton, Bee-lin and Kyaik-hto and sometimes, KNLA troops also launched military activities up to Mottama-Rangoon motor road. Therefore, the authorities and army commanders who have responsibility of road security instructs the concerned villages in these four township to clear bushes and plants grown alongside of the road.     And, the conscription of forced labour in this area also occurred.

 

As instances,

On October 1, 2000, Township PDC authorities forced the civilians of all villages in which along Rangoon -Mottama motor road, Paung Township in Mon State, to clean the bushes that are growing beside the motor road.  So, the villagers from that area had to perform their so-called duty tasks started from October 2, to October 10, 2000.

 

Furthermore, even the primary school students were forced to contribute their labour.   On October 5, 2000, even though the students, from Basic Education Primary School, Kada village, Paung Township, were too young to do hard work, they were afraid of their teachers and had to clean all the grasses with hoes nearby school and beside the motor road.  Similarly, the civilians from that area had to perform their so-called duty tasks from October 4 to October 9, 2000.

 

Later in ordered issued by Ministry of Home Affairs dated on October 27, 2000, it officially announced that "school teachers and pupils shall be exempted from requisition of work or service".   Actually this law has existed for many years already to not conscript any students and teachers to not involved in contributing unpaid labour in any work or service adopted by government.

 

 

III. Fund Collection for Development Projects

 

As the government claims to develop the most parts of Mon State, with various development projects, such as road construction, bridge construction, digging water canals and old road repairs, however, itself financially in shortage situation and could not allocate any budget for most projects.   But the higher government authorities just instructed the concerned township or village authorities to collect fund from the civilians and implement the projects in their own areas accordingly to "self-help" program.

 

Generally, there are two types of development projects in Mon State.   The first one is small scale such as building some short road in one area or building a small bridge near a village, etc.   These are mostly self-help programs.   The second type of project is infrastructure projects, such as building bridges across Salween river or Gaing river and construction of such Ye-Tavoy railway.   For the second types of projects, the SPDC has some allocated fund and provide budget to the concerned construction management bodies, but most allocated budgets are not enough and also have to collect from the civilians from the whole Mon State as well.

 

Mon State PDC also instructed to every township authorities, to implement self-help development program in the whole Mon State and ordered to implement at least two to three projects in each township. Because of this instruction, most township authorities planned to construct the roads from town to village or from one village to another.   In collection of fund, there has been no system and no rules.   The decision of collecting such amount of fund mostly made by the concerned authorities, even village leaders.

 

The evidences of collection of fund for development projects for each township in Mon State are mentioned as below:

 

A.  Paung Township

Paung Township also implemented some development projects accordingly to the instruction given by Mon State PDC authorities.   When these small-scale projects are implemented, the authorities always collected fund from the civilians.

 

On October 26, 2000, when Township authorities planned to build a village clinic in Pangone village, village PDC also collected fund, with rate 1000 Kyat from every household and 2000 Kyat from the houses whose owned paddy-husking mills.   In this village, there are about (821) households, the authorities could collect nearly 1 million Kyat totally.

 

Similarly, with plan to build a village library in Thabyu-chaung village, village PDC also collected 100 Kyat from one family every month.   They would have continuously collected this fund for six months.   The village has about 700 households and every month, the authorities could get about 70,000 Kyat and in six months, and they could get more funds than the requirement.

 

B.  Chaung-zon Township

In the Balu Island where Chaung-zon township situates, which is in the west side of Moulmein city, there are many Mon villages and since 2000, the authorities planned to build the motor roads that connect all villages as long-term project and self-help program.   In the implementation of this project, Township PDC always forced the village PDC authorities to collect fund from the civilians.

 

On February 10, 2001, a Township PDC authority, Lt. Col. Thaw Zin arrived into Mu-done village and met with village chairman.    Since before, he instructed to village chairman to build the road from Mu-done to Dawn-uu and the commander asked him about the development of road construction.   The chairman also explained to him that since the village had no enough fund and difficult to get fund from the villagers, they could complete only 5% of the total road construction.   The commander did not satisfy on his report and replied that he did not want to hear difficulties from the village leaders but would like to see the completion of road construction.   And, he added, if the fund was not enough, the chairman should have pay for all costs.  This was the commander's indirect order to village chairman to collect fund from villagers.

 

Then, on the same day, the commander went to Bo-net village and had a meeting with village and he also asked the development of road construction for the quota for their village.   The village leaders also explained him that, as the village was poor it was not easy to get the set amount of fund immediately as they expected.   They had no enough fund and could implement less than 10% of road construction.   After explanation, the commanders also angered to them and told to collect fund from villagers and if they could not collect the set amount of fund, he instructed that the village leaders needed to pay instead.   He said he just would like to see the completion of road construction.

 

In these cases, when the commanders are handling the development program, which need for long-term period and participation from the civilians, he just gave order to headmen like he gave to his soldiers in the battlefields.

 

C. Kyaikmayaw Township

In April of 2000, after the township received an order from SPDC'S Education Ministry to upgrade their education facilities in one of their high schools in Kyaikmayaw town, they also collected from town section and village to get available funds especially to buy computer system for schools.   As SPDC regularly claims to upgrade education system by equipping with computer machines, it sends this order to every township in Mon State.   The township authorities collected fund 834, 000 Kyat from 18 town sections and villages near the town.   Even a small village had to pay 9000 Kyat, while a big Mon village such Tarana village had to provide 100, 000 Kyat fund to the authorities for computer machines in high school.

 

From January to March, 2001, while the authorities are building a tarmac Kyakikmayaw - Kyunywa motor road, as mentioned in Topic 1, the authorities not only have conscripted forced labour but also have collected a huge amount of fund from the civilians.   In February and March, the authorities instructed to all town section and village PDC to collect about 5000 Kyat per household from 4880 households, which are in both towns and villages that close to motor road.   The authorities also defined that within three months from February, all funds must be definitely collected.   If all funds are collected, they would receive about 24 millions Kyat for this road construction to buy tar, sand, stones and gasoline for transportation of the required facilities.

 

D. Ye Township

As many parts of Ye Township's rural areas have been in conflict and Township PDC put more leverages for development projects, especially for road constructions to have better communications.   Mon State PDC also ordered to implement most projects that support better communications but have not allocated any budget.   So, the town and village PDC authorities have a good chance to collect a huge amount of fund from the civilians.

 

Since August, 2000, Ye PDC authorities planned to build a 10 miles long tarmac motor road from Ye town to Kyaungywa village, in where a local battalion, IB No. 61 put one of their military outposts.   As they tried to get better communication from town to village, that Ye-Kyaungywa road was planned to build.

 

Every month, the authorities called meeting with local village leaders and explained them to collect funds from the civilians monthly.   To construct this motor road, the authorities required about 12 million Kyat totally and they tried to collect this amount of fund from only two village tracts, Kyaungywa and Tu-myaung.   The authorities planned to collect about 7.9 million Kyat from 17 villages in Tu-myaung village and asked the remaining from 5 villages in Kyaungywa village tract.

 

In Tu-myaung village tract, some villages are too small and have only 30 households in the whole village such as a Mon village named Kawgalaing but that village still have to pay 150, 000 Kyat to authorities.    So, one house had to pay 5, 000 Kyat.   For the poor household, it is quite difficult for them to pay this amount of money.   The authorities also instructed that they might need to pay all amount of money in five rounds from August to December 2000.   To provide all payments, some families also had to sell their belongings, cattle and others.

 

The list of money that 17 villages from Tu-myaung village tract had to provide are as below:

 

Name of villages            Amount of money           Name of villages             Amount of money

1 . Paw-htaw

700, 000 Kyat

10. Ku-tawe

250, 000 Kyat

2. Kyon-paw

700, 000 Kyat

11. Daik-kataing

150, 000 Kyat

3. Khapi-htaw

700, 000 Kyat

12. Kawkalaing

150, 000 Kyat

4. Kwan-toe

650, 000 Kyat

I3.The-Chaung

700, 000 Kyat

5. Pain-nae-taw

550, 000 Kyat

14. Ma-lit

300, 000 Kyat

6. Ku-thaing

500, 000 Kyat

15. Than-ma-kae

700, 000 Kyat

7. Wae-au

400, 000 Kyat

16. Kyein-taw

300, 000 Kyat

8. Tu-myaung

9. Wae-taw-kyan                   

 

600, 000 Kyat

250, 000 Kyat

 

17. Kyun-taw

300, 000 Kyat

Similarly, at the beginning of 2001, Ye Township authorities planned to build another 6 miles tarmac motor road, that Ye town and Azin village, a fishing port in township.   The construction of this road was started since last year 2000 and the authorities planned to build only 3000 feet every year and collected fund from civilians in three village tracts, Azin, Duya and An-din, which close to motor road. Last year, the authorities collected 300, 000 Kyat each tract and in February 2001, they collected 500, 000 Kyat from three village tracts.   Additionally, in December, when the authorities built a bridge near Azin village, that village PDC authorities also collected 1000 Kyat from each poor family while collected 5000 Kyat each family who have some small fishing business.

 

E. Thanbyuzayat Township

 

Similar to other township area, Thanbyuzayat Township PDC authorities also implemented some development projects, especially road construction.    As these projects were under self-help program, the authorities mainly collected fund from the civilians in Thanbyuzayat township area.

 

In December, 2000, Township authorities planned to build a motor road from Karoat-pi village to Anin village, which is about 15 miles long.   This road situates on the west side of Ye-Thanbyuzayat motor road and it passes close to many Mon villages; Karoat-pi, Wae-ga-laung, Kaw-lay, Ann-khae, Htin-yu and Anin villages.   In collection of fund for this road construction, Township PDC instructed that each village had to take responsibility for the costs of the route that passed into their village area.   It meant if the route passes shorter in their village, they had to pay fewer funds, and in contrary, if the long route passed they had to provide more funds.    Since the lengths of the road that passed from each village area are different from one to another, the payments were also different.   The minimum rate of payment per household in some villages was 3000 Kyat and the maximum rate was about 7000 Kyat.   Thus, the SPDC authorities in Thanbyuzayat received many millions Kyat fund for this road construction.   In average, each household in the village had to pay 5000 Kyat and totally for 3000 households from 6 Mon villages, they could get 15 million Kyat fund totally.

 

Besides this special fund collection, Thanbyuzayat town citizens also have to pay authorities 200-300 Kyat each month for various developments in town such as school and hospital building, road repairs and others.

 

IV. Conclusion

To get legitimacy role from the international and domestic, the SPDC regime always declared from their control media that they have implemented various types of development projects including infrastructure projects and rural developments.   However, the people have been constantly suffered from various types of projects implemented by SPDC authorities.   They have not only contributed their unpaid labour, but also have to provide funds.

 

 


SPDCs Supplementing Order on Forced Labour

 

The Government of the Union of Myanmar

The Ministry of Home Affairs

Yangon, 1st Waxing of Tazaungmon 1362. M.E

(27th October, 2000)

 

ORDER SUPPLEMENTING ORDER NO. 1/99

 

The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of the Union of Myanmar, under the direction of the State Peace and Development Council, hereby directs that the following amendment shall be made to Order No. 1 /99 dated 14th May, 1999 as requisition of forced labour is illegal and is an offense under the existing laws of the Union of Myanmar:

 

1.    Clause 5 of the said Order 1 /99 shall be substituted with the following:

(a) Responsible persons including members of the local authorities, members of the Armed Forces,

members of the Police Force and other public service personnel shall not requisition work or service notwithstanding anything contained in Sections 7 (1) and 9 (b) of the Towns Act, 1907 and Sections 8 (1) and 11 (d) of the Village Act, 1907

(b) The above Clause (a) shall not apply to requisition work or service when an emergency arises

due to fire, flood, storm, earthquake, epidemic disease, war, famine and epizootic that poses an imminent danger to the general public and the community

 

2.    When the responsible persons have to requisition work or service for purposes mentioned in Clause 1 (b) of this Supplementary Order the following shall be complied:-

(a)  The work or service shall not lay too heavy a burden upon the present population of the region.

(b)  The work or service shall not entail the removal of workers from their place of habitual residence.

(c)  The work or service shall be important and of direct interest for the community. It shall not be for

the benefit of private individuals, companies or associations.

(d)  It shall be in circumstances where it is impossible to obtain labour by the offer of usual rates of wages. In such circumstances, the people of the area who are participating shall be paid rates of wages not less favourable than those prevailing in the area.

(e)  School teachers and pupils shall be exempted from requisition of work or service.

(f)  In the case of adult able-bodied men who are the main supporters of the necessities of food clothing and shelter for the family and indispensable for social life, requisition shall not be made except only in unavoidable circumstances.

(g) The work or service shall be carried out during the normal working hours. The hours worked in excess of the normal working hours shall be remunerated at prevailing overtime rates.

(h) In case of accident, sickness in disability arising at the place of work, benefits shall be granted in accordance with the Workmen's Compensation Act.

(i) The work or service shall not be used for work underground in mines.

 

3.    When the responsible persons have to requisition work or service for purposes mentioned in Clause 1 (b) of this Supplementary Order, they shall do so only with the permission of the Deputy Commissioner of the General Administration Department who is also a member of the relevant District Peace Development Council.

 

4.    The State or Divisional Commissioner of the General Administration Department who is also a member of the relevant State or Divisional Peace and Development Council shall supervise the responsible persons to abide by the Order No. 1/99 and this Supplementary Order.

 

5.    The phrase "Any person who fails to abide by this Order shall have action taken against him under the

existing law" contained in Clause 6 of the said Order No 1/99 means that any person including local authorities, members of the Armed Forces, members of the Police Force and other public service personnel shall have action taken against him under Section 374 of the Penal Code or any other existing law.

 

Col. Tin Hlaing

Minister Ministry of Home Affairs

Letter No. Pa-Hta-Ya / 2-3 (3140)/0o 3

Date: 27th October, 2000