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


The Mon Forum

Issue No. 8/2001
August 31, 2001


The Publication of Human Rights Foundation of Monland (BURMA)

CONTENTS


News:

(1)        Rape case against Mon women in Yebyu town­ship,

(2)        Conscription of forced porter by SPDC battalion before ILO visit,

 

Report:

 (1) Military deployment and huge land confiscation in Ye Township, Mon State.


SOME ACRONYMS IN THIS ISSUE

SPDC -     State Peace and Development Council,

SLORC -   State Law and Order Restoration Council,

IB  -         Infantry Battalion (of Burmese Army),

LIB -        Light Infantry Battalion (of Burmese Army),

MOC -      Military Operation Command (of Burmese Army)

NMSP -    New Mon State Party,

MNLA -    Mon National Libera­tion Army,

KNU -      Karen National Union,

KNLA -     Karen National Libera­tion Army

ILO -        International Labour Organization

 

NEWS


Rape cases against Mon women in Yebyu township
(August, 2001)

On July 28, two members of Yapu village militia force raped two women and attempted to rape a woman in Aleskan village, Yebyu township of Tenasserim Division, after they were drunk.

In the evening of July 28, these militiamen from Yapu village, deputy-commander of military force, U Aung Win and one of his followers, went and visited to their friends in Aleskan village, which is about 10 miles far from their village. During they were with their friends, they drank a lots of local alcohol and were drunk at mid-night. So, their friends kept their guns and proposed to give them back in the morning.

After they were drunk, thee two militiamen left from their friend's house and tried to climb other villagers' houses with only women while their husbands were away in farms or worked in fruit plantations. When they climbed to these houses, they took their knifes along with them.

First at mid-night, U Aung Win's follower climbed to a woman, Ma Mi's house who is about 50 years old. He tried to rape her by pointing with his sharp knife When the woman refused, he also cut her hands with knife, and pointed his knife in her throat and other body parts and then raped her. As she worried for the killing by the militiaman, he could not cry for help.

At the similar time, U Aung Win also climbed to another house, in where only a woman, Mi Pae (about 40 years old) stayed and tried to rape her. When she refused for his rape, he also cut Mi Pae's hands, beat her, pointed with knife and raped her. After rape, she also lost consciousness because too much blood came out. Then, U Aung Win climbed to another house nearby, in where only a young lady, Mi Kyae Lun (about 20 years old) and tried to rape her again. As she knew as the man tried to rape her, she urgently asked for help. When he tried to cut her with knife, he ran around in her house and escaped.

After she cried loudly, the villagers came to help her. As they knew, two militiamen raped some women in the village and they also helped other two women, Mi Pae and Ma Mi. When the villagers arrived, Mi Pae had lost a lot of blood in serious condition. The villagers also could not stop blood flow of her and they urgently sent her by truck to Yapu village for treatment with a medic in that village.

As Ma Mi did not have serious injury, the villagers did not bring her to medic for treatment. Then Aleskan villagers arrested the two rapists and sent them to Yapu village and told about the rape cases and violence against to the militia commander. However, the rapists did not receive serious punishment as they were dismissed from the group and got permission for retirement.

Conscription of Forced Porters by SPDC Battalion before ILO's Visit

(August, 2001)

 


Just before ILO's visit to Burma for investigation about the requisition of forced labour, that has been widespread in Burma, SPDC's LIB No. 232, which operated the military activities in Kya-Inn-seikyi township of Karen State in July, arrested some porters in Taung-bauk village tracks, used them for several days without payment and the villagers also had to provide porter fees. On July 6, a column of LIB No. 232, led by Maj. Kyaw Htoo Lwin, that moved from Anan-gwin village, the border village of Karen and Mon States, on Three Pagoda Pas - Thanbyuzayat motor road, arrived to Taung-bauk village tract. Soon after the troops arrived into main village, Taung-bauk, they called a meeting with village headmen and requested headmen to provide them with 18 porters to carry their ammunitions and food supplies.

 

In Taung-bauk village tract, there are four villages, namely, Taung-bauk, War-myin-gone, Kaw-paw-law and Naung-pyae, and so that the village headmen have to manage to provide them with 18 porters. Although the army commanders promised he would release them and replaced with another villagers, but they broke the promise and took these porters for 19 days totally.

 

During they were in the porter service, LIB No. 232 requested the headmen to provide these porters with 1000 Kyat per day for porter fee. Thus, the headmen had to collect 18, 000 Kyat every day and send to commander. As the headmen had to collect for 19 days, they totally had to pay to LIB No. 232 commanders with 342,000 Kyat as porter fees.

 

When the porters were released, most of them said that they did not receive full amount of porter fees and the commanders had not paid them with complete porter fees that they received from the villagers.

 

Again, on July 31, 2001, another military column of LIB No. 232 led by Maj. Soe Tun arrived into that village tract and requested another 8 porters. Similarly to the previous military column, the commander also asked 8000 Kyat per day for porter fee. The army took the porters for two days and so that the village headmen had to provide 16, 000 Kyat totally. Therefore, in the month of July alone, Taung-bauk village tract provided 26 porters and paid 35, 800 Kyat of porter fee.

 

Actually, in July, although the SPDC authorities had widespread explained about Order 1/99 that claimed stopping the practice of forced labour in many parts of Burma for a preparation to provide misinformation to ILO, before it conducted an investigation on forced labour, LIB No. 232 was still using the civilians as porters in dangerous battle-fields.

 

 

REPORT


Military Deployment and Huge Land Confiscation in Ye Township, Mon State


I. Background of Ye Township

Ye Township is in Mon State and it situates in southern part of the State and the majority of local inhabitants in this township are Mon people and some Karen villagers also stay in eastern part of township area.     Since the beginning of civil war in Burma until NMSP ceasefire deal with the then military govern­ment, SLORC, the whole township area, except Ye Town, was under the control of rebel armies and the whole township area was in war zone.


The eastern part of this township borders with Thailand and western part of township has a long
seacoast with Andaman Sea.   As geographical location, the local inhabitants are mainly farmers who are growing paddy and fruit trees in the area.   Many villagers who are inhabitants in coastal area involve in fishing works along the area.


In Mon State, there are two main Districts and these are Moulmein (Mawlamyaing by SPDC)
District and Thaton District.   Ye Township is in Moulmein township area, and it has the largest township area among 10 Township of Mon State.   It has about 1085 square miles.   Township has good communi­cation because the motor and railway road, which connect Mon State and Tenasserim Division pass through Township area.


In this township, most of the areas are covered with rubber, fruit and betel nut plantations in eastern part of Township area and with paddy-fields in western part of the area.   And, there arc also many thou­
sands acres of forests also cover in many part of the area.   Therefore, geographically, both Mon and Karen rebels could take base and launch their military activities against the Burmese Army properly.   For many decades, the troops of Burmese Army could not suppress the rebellion.


As the local people are Mon and Karen inhabitants, normally, the rebel soldiers have gotten supports
from the civilians and so that the villagers in the area were constantly accused as rebel-supporters.   With this accusation, many Mon civilians from this township area had been killed, tortured and some women were raped during the course of armed conflict between NMSP and successive military regimes in Rangoon until NMSP dealt ceasefire with the then military regime, SLORC.


After NMSP entered for ceasefire, the abuses that related to suspicion of rebel-supporters have been
reduced.   But a Mon splinter armed group still operated their military activities against the Burmese Army in both southern and northern parts of Township along the seacoast since 1997, while NMSP controls in eastern part of Township area and along Ye river area (look in the map). Thus, the civilians outside of NMSP control area have been still suffered from human rights violations that related to suspicion of rebel-supporters.


Additionally, in duration
before and after NMSP ceasefire, the civilians in both Ye town and villagers in various township area had to provide various types of taxation, contribute unpaid labour and food and other supplies for the military battalions, which have been active in the whole township area.   Previously, in this township area, the Burmese Army four military battalions, namely, IB No. 61, IB No. 106, LIB No. 343 and LIB No. 299.   When these military battalions operated military activities against rebel armies in the area, the soldiers constantly took foods from villagers and conscripted the villagers to be porters to carry their ammunitions and food supplies.   And, whenever the army or township authorities implemented road construction and other development projects, the civilians in the concerned area are forced to be unpaid labourers.

|
In 1999, when the Burmese Army deployed a new military battalion, LIB No. 299 in southern part of Ye Township area, that battalion confiscated about 200 acres of lands, which were rubber and fruit plantations owned by villagers by Koe-mile and Hangan (Look in the map).   Then in 2000, LIB No. 343 confiscated another 500 acres of lands that mostly grown with rubber and betel-nut plantations owned by Aru-taung and Kun-duu villagers.



II. New Plan of Military Deployment


As SPDC attempted to grip in power for longer term, it has orderly increased the troops from the previous number of 300,000 up to 500,000 troops. Although it dealt ceasefire with NMSP for over six years, it never planned to settle political problems by means of politics.   At the same time, by taking as a good opportunity in duration of ceasefire while NMSP stops fighting against it, the Burmese Army or SPDC could deploy more of its soldiers in Mon State.


Although
the objectives of SPDC are unclear to prevent external enemy or internal enemy or ethnic rebels, the main clear activity of SPDC is to block NMSP or MNLA troops in the future. With a proper plan, the Burmese Army could occupy the bases and restrict the activities of MNLA troops easily if NMSP resumed fighting against them.


In 2001, SPDC planned to deploy a Military Operation Command (MOC) and 9 military battalions
under that command.   The name of Military Operation Command is MOC No. 19 and the battalions under this command are: LIB No. 583; No. 584; No. 585; No. 586; No. 587; No. 588; No. 589, No. 590, No. 591.    According to formation of Burmese Army's Military Operation Command, each command has 10 battalions under it command and ordered them to operate military activities in a specific area.


Like the previous military battalions, when the Burmese Army deployed its battalions, army and the
authorities confiscated many thousands acres of lands from the civilians, in which they grew rubber trees and other fruit plantations.

 

SPDC planned to deploy the headquarters of MOC No. 19 on Ye Town and deployed other battal­ions' troops in various parts of Township area.   Although Ye township has a wider wild land, in which the civilians never grew any trees, SPDC's targeted only lands with rubber and other fruit trees.   Why?


Since over 4-5 years, when the then military regime, SLORC, increased its troops number, because
of its budget shortage problem, it ordered to its military battalions to plan for self-reliance or to support themselves with foods and fund. Because of this order, the concerned military battalions confiscated lands to grow paddy and other fruit trees, collected more fund to use in each battalion's expenses and other costs.


Later, when the Burmese Army deployed new military battalions, the concerned military commands planned to confiscate lands, in which valuable trees are grown.   Whenever the army confiscated lands, they
never paid any compensation cost to those who lost the lands and trees.   The battalions also took the lands and trees and collected rubber liquid and other fruits and sold them in the markets for their battalion fund.


This land confiscation was started under the command of Southeast Military Command.   Since
January 2001, Chief Commander of Southeast Military Command, Maj. Gen. Sit Maung, who was killed in plane crush in late February 2001, came to this area and looked for the lands that they could get valuable trees for the battalions fund.   After his return, the local military battalions, IB No. 61 and LIB No. 343 have taken responsibility to find the possible lands, measured the lands and then confiscated and transferred to concerned new battalions.


First in April, 2001, two new military battalions, LIB No. 583 and No. 591 confiscated lands in
eastern part of township area and then, other 3 battalions confiscated the lands in northern part of township area.   At the same time, MOC No. 19 confiscated lands in Ye Town.


III. The Serial Land Confiscation
A. Land Confiscation by MOC No. 19

A. Land confiscation by MOC No. 19


MOC No. 19 is the main command that has to control and administrate all military activities of all
military battalions, which are under its command.   It required a safe place to command all its military activities and so that it has taken some lands in Ye Town.   Ye town was established for many hundreds years and generally, the citizens have stayed in the middle of town and they grew rubber trees and other fruit trees in the surrounding area.


Recently, LIB No. 343 deployed its military barracks in 1990 in eastern part of Ye town and confis­
cated some lands from the civilians in Ye town area.   Thus, LIB No. 343 had battalion compound in town before it moved to new place and confiscated another lands in northern part of township area, near Aru-taung village in 1999.   In April of 2001, when SPDC or Southeast Military Command planned to deploy MOC No. 19 in Ye town, it replaced that command in LIB No. 343 compound.


However, as MOC No. 19 complained the space of lands was not enough, it confiscated more lands
that close to the compound.   In land confiscation of Command No. 19, the civilians in the list below lost their properties and they did not receive any compensation costs from SPDC or the concerned military battalions. 


The list of land owners, the amounts of lands, trees grown in these lands and the estimation cost of the lands are described as below:


List 1:

 

 

 

 

Names of No.    land Owners

Amount of land (in acres)

Types of trees & numbers of

Estimation cost of lands and trees (in Kyat)

 

Rubber

Betel-nut

Lime

 

1.    NaiKalar

5

150

-

-

300, 000

 

2.    Nai Twit

3.5

40

-

100

700, 000

3:    Nai Thar San

4

70

 

100

700, 000

4.    Nai Aung Win

3.5

200

200

50

700, 000

5.    Nai Han Pe

1

-

-

400

1,000,000

6.    Nai Aung Thar

0.5

30

-

-

50, 000

7.    Nai Tun Ngwe

1.5

200

-

-

100,000

8.    Nai Shwe Hla

6

-

200

100

700, 000

Total

31

690

400

750

4, 250, 000

Because of this land confiscation 8 families of 59 people became landless and jobless.   Normally, most Mon inhabitants in Ye town are mainly farmers and they have only skills working in agriculture. Only little number of them works other occupations such as traders, vendors and other. When the army took their lands, they have no other choice to select works and would become jobless for longer time.   As they have no experience of working other works, they tried to be labourers in agriculture works of other people.

B. Land Confiscation by LIB No. 588

In March 2001, with a plan to deploy a new military battalion, LIB No. 588 under the command of MOC No. 19, that battalion confiscated lands near Tamort-kanin village, (Look in the map), which is about 20 miles far from Ye town in northern part.   The lands which confiscated by LIB No. 588 were on Moulmein-Ye motor road.   As the lands in various parts of Ye Township, Mon villagers from Tamort-kanin village have grown rubber and various fruit trees.


Accordingly to Tamort-kanin villagers, "the army confiscated about 329 acres of lands' from 21
families of the villagers.   As Tamort-kanin villagers took these lands for many years and have maintained since their ancestors, each plantation is quite large and the cost for lands is also quite high because the land soil is good for rubber and other fruit trees.   In these lands, the villagers have used growing rubber and betel-nut plantations and some lands are paddy-growing farms.


The list of villagers who lost the lands, area of lands, types of trees in lands and estimated cost of lands are mentioned as below:

List 2:

 

 

 

 

Names of No.    land

Owners

Amount of land (in acres)

Types of trees & numbers of trees

Estimation cost of lands and trees (in Kyat)

Rubber

Betel-nut

Rice-field

1.    Nai Maung Aye

35

2500

.1000

-

7, 000, 000

2.    NaiWa

19

2000

100 .

-

3, 800. 000

3.    Nai Pe

50

4000

1500

-

10,000,000

4.    NaiNaing

25

1600

-

500 baskets

4, 000, 000

5.    Nai Pan Sein

5

500

-

-

500, 000

6.    Nai Ha Mae

6

600

-

-

500, 000

7.    Nai Lin

10

1200

-

-

1,800,000

8.    Nai Late Khae

20

'1500

-

-

2, 500, 000

9.    Nai Pay

8

900

-

-

1,000,000

10.  NaiPhoKalar

10

1200

-

-

1,800,000

11.   NaiYat

16

750

450

-

2, 000, 000

12. NaiLaing

10

1200

200

-

1,300,000

13. NaiKunBa

23

2000

1500

-

3, 500, 000

 

14. NaiPaRoy

12

1200

-

-

1,200,000

 

15. Nai Tun Aung

12

900

1000

-

2, 500, 000

 

16. NaiSoe

8

800

-

-

800, 000

 

17. Nai Ye

15

1000

1000

-

2, 000, 000

 

18. NaiLun

7

300

600

-

800, 000

 

19. Nai Yaw

8

800

-

-

800, 000

 

20.  Nai Raw

15

1500

-

-

2, 000, 000

 

21. NaiLein

15

1000

600

-

2, 000, 000

 

Total

.329

27450

8350

500 baskets

51,800,000

 

In this case, LIB No. 588 confiscated the lands from which they could get both rice for the main foods and other rubber and fruits to be sold for their general expenses.   Soon after land confiscation, the soldiers have definitely stopped the plantation or land owners to not come into these areas and if someone come they would be arrested.


Although some villagers requested to battalion commanders to allow them taking their fruits and rubber liquid for some months, but they were not permitted.   According to villagers, LIB No. 588, which does not have enough fund or budget for their own expenses also cut some aged rubber trees and sold the
fire-wood to local villagers for their income.


LIB No. 588 had not only confiscated lands but the soldiers had conscripted forced labour from the villagers nearby to build military barracks.   On June 6, 2001, with a purpose to build a military barrack in
their military battalion, the battalion commander ordered the villagers from Tamort-kanin, Bay-ka-lawe, Don-phee, San-pya, Hnin-son, Bay-iamu, and Wet-sut-phu villages to find lumbers, thatches and bamboo for battalion and send them to the place, where military barrack was planned to be built. The villagers have to find these materials in forests, in their farms, collected them and sent to designated places.   But they did not receive any payment for labour and material costs.   For the villages which were far from the battalion, the commanders instructed them that if they could not provide materials, they must pay money.   According to instruction, the village leaders collected 100 Kyat from each household.

C. Land Confiscation by LIB No. 587

Similarly to another battalion's land confiscation, another military battalion, LIB No. 587, which is under MOC No. 19 also confiscated lands in area between Kun-duu and San-kha-le village. They confiscated about 500 acres of lands including some paddy-growing lands.   About 28 families of Kun-duu and San-kha-lae villagers lost their lands and the plantation of rubber, betel-nut and lime trees. These lands and plantations have been transferred from their ancestors and maintained for several years. Some villagers, who have large lands and much trees lost about 5 million Kyat.   These total confiscation of lands have destroyed the livelihoods of the rural villagers.

 

The list of villagers who lost the lands, space of lands, types of trees and estimated cost for these properties are mentioned as below:

List 3:

 

 

 

 

Names of No.    land Owners

Amount of land (in acres)

types of trees & Numbers of trees

Estimation cost of lands and trees

(in Kyat)

Rubber

Betel-nut

Lime

1 .    Nai Tee

12

900

1000

-

2, 400, 000

2.    Nai Myint Aung

7

700

-

-

1,400,000

3.    Nai Laing

10.5

1000

-

-

2, 100, 000

4.    Nai Naing

8

800

-

-

1,600,000

 


.    Nai Ba Kwan

5

350

500

-

1,000,000

6.    Nai Ba Lar

16

1600

-

-

2, 300, 000

7.    Nai San Nyein

22

2000

650

-

4, 400, 000

8.    Nai Sein Maung

9

500

1200

-

1,800,000

9.    Nai Maung Ngal

11

1000

250

-

2, 200, 000

10.  NaiNyunt

4

400

-

-

800, 000

11.  Nai Oo Ngal

17

1700

-

-

3, 400, 000

12. NaiPe

20

2000

-

-

4, 000, 000

13.  Nai Thaung Shein

25

2500

-

-

5, 000, 000

14.  Nai Shwe

13

1300

-

•-

2, 600, 000

15.  Nai Win

10

1100

-

-

2, 000, 000

16. Nai Maung Shin

25

3000

-

-

5, 000, 000

17. Nai Pan Din

25

1500

500

-

5, 000, 000

18.  NaiHtoke

10

1200

-

-

2, 000, 000

1 9. Nai Maung

10

1100

600

-

2, 000, 000

20.  Nai Aung Won

10

1200

-

-

2, 000, 000

21.  Nai Kun Ba

12

1500

-

-

2, 400, 000

22.  Nai San Tun

20

3000

-

-

4, 000, 000

23.  Nai Saw Aung

10

900

-

-

2, 000, 000

24.  Nai Byoke

10

800

500

-

2, 000, 000

25. Nai Sein

10

1000

500

-

2, 000, 000

26.  Nai Yin

8

500

300

-

1,600,000

27.   Nai Htoo

5

600

 

1,000,000

28.  Nai Su San

3

-

-

-

600, 000

Total

347.5

34150

6500

-

68, 600, 000


The list of villagers who lost the lands, trees grown in the lands and the estimation cost are men­tioned as below:


 

List 4:

 

 

 

Names of No.      land Owners

Amount of land (in acres)

Types of trees &

Numbers of trees

Estimation cost of lands and trees (in Kyat)

Rubber

Betel-nut

Lime

1 .    Nai Sataw

30

4000

2000

700

6, 000, 000

2.    Nai Kun Balar

12.5

1500

2000

 

3, 000, 000

3.    Nat San Ya

9.5

2000

800

200

1,500,000

4.    Nai Tun Shwe (Mi Yin)

6

700

1000

100

1,500,000

5.    Nai Tun Shwe

9

2000

800

-

2, 500, 000

(Mi Thaung Yin)

 

 

 

 

 

6.    Nai Kyaw Thein

8.2

1200

1000

-

2, 000, 000

7.    Nai Chit Sein

37

7000

    -

-

4, 500, 000

8.    Nai San Din

10

2000

-

-

1,500,000

9.    Nai Khin Maung

13

2300

-

-

2, 000, 000

10.  Nai San Tin

4.2

1200

-

-

500, 000

11.   Nai Win Maung

14

4000

-

-

5, 000, 000

12.  Nai Maung Pyay

14

2000

-

-

4, 000, 000

13. Nai Myaw

18

3200

-

-

1,300,000

14.  Nai Maung Oo

6

1600

-

-

700, 000

15.  Nai Aung Pan

20

3000

-

-

3, 000, 000

16.  Nai Gwin

6

1000

-

-

500, 000

17.  Nai Soe Ngal

40

5000

-

-

4, 500, 000

18.   Mi Sein Chit

8

1200

-

-

700, 000

19.  Mi HIa Shwe

5

500

500

 

500, 000

20.  Nai Chein Ye

3

500

-

-

400, 000

21.  Nai San

3.5

-

-

1000

500, 000

22.  Nai Aung 23.  NaiLun

5 6

800 1000

.

 

600, 000 600, 000

24   NaiTin Soe

2

-

700

 

500, 000

25.  Nai Win Tin

2

-

800

-

500, 000

26. Nai Maung San

3

1000

 

-

500. 000

27.  Na iSoeShein

7

900

 

-

500, 000

28.  Nai Pyu

4

400

500

 

500, 000

Total

305. 88

50000

10100

3600

49, 800, 000


E. Land Confiscation by LIB No. 591 and No. 583


On April 8, 2001, another two military battalions, LIB No. 591 and No. 583 confiscated about 153
acres of lands near Kyaung-ywa village to deploy two new military battalions, which arc under the command of MOC No. 19.


The confiscated lands are situating in eastern part of Ye Township area, along Ye river that flows
from Thailand-Burma border, opposites of Kanchanabun Province of Thailand.   Because of this land confiscation, about 27 land owners of Kyaung-ywa village lost their lands, which is cost about 83. 6 million Kyat totally.


The lands were grown with fruit and rubber trees for several decades and the villagers have been relied
on these lands and trees for regular income and survival of their families.   The army did not pay them any compensation cost.

 

The list of villagers who lost the lands, the amounts of their lands and the estimation cost of these properties are as below:


List 5:


 

 

Names of No.      Land Owners

Types of trees and amount of lands

Estimation cost of lands and trees (in Kyat)

Betel-nut (in acres)

Rubber (in acres)

Lemon (in acres)

1.      Nai San Shwe

3

3

-

3, 600, 000

2.      Nai Han Shwe

3

4

-

4, 000, 000

3.      Nai Halae

2

3

-

2, 800, 000

4.      Mi Ngwe Nyein

1

1

-

1,200,000

5.      Nai Aung Than

2

1

-

2,800,000

6.      Nai Chan

3

3

-

3, 600, 000

7.      Nai Myint

1

2

-

1,200,000

8.      Nai Hpine

2

1

-

1,800,000

9.      Nai Apone

'

1

-

400, 000

10.    Nai Kyan

1

2

-

1,400,000

11.    Nai Aung Myint Soe

1

1

-

1,100,000

12.    Nai Aung Pe

1

2

-

1,600,000

13.    Nai Aung

1

1

-

1,100,000

(Mi Sanda)

 

 

 

 

14.    Nai Aung

-

1

-

300, 000

15.    Nai Thaung Nyunt

2

3

-

1,700,000

16.    Nai Than Htay

2

2

-

1,500,000

17.    Nai Kha  

-

2

-

600, 000

18.    Nai Kyway

2

2

1

3, 600, 000

19.    Nai Tin

2

3

4   

2, 900, 000

20.   NaiThein

5

5

1 "

6, 800, 000

21.    Nai Tin Aung

6

6

4

10,400,000

22.    Nai Shout

10

10

4

12,000,000

23.    Nai Aung Kyi

2

V

-

2, 000, 000

24.    Nai Moun Tha

3

4

1

4, 300, 000

25.    Nai Nyo

3

2

-

3, 200, 000

26.    Nai Doe

2

3

-

2, 500, 000

27.    Nai Kon Cha

3

3

-

3, 600, 000

Total

63

75

15

81,600,000

 


Similarly to the other villagers in northern part of Ye Township area, Kyaung-ywa villagers, who lost their lands and properties in the lands have not received any compensation costs by the authorities or army commanders.   Soon after the lands were forcibly confiscated, they were not permitted to go to their tree plantations even to gather vegetables in there, cut bamboo for home uses and do other things.


Although some villagers who lost the lands complained to their village headmen to request compensa­
tion costs from the battalion commanders and authorities, no headmen were dared to talk about this unfair situation to higher authorities, as they knew the order came from Southeast Military Command, bases in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State.

 


IV. Total Loss and Continuous Suffering of the Villagers


In northern part of Township area, the battalions have confiscated the lands from the border with
Thanbyuzayat township, up to near Ye Town.   Recently, LIB No. 343 already confiscated about 500 acres of lands that grown with rubber, betel-nut and lime trees owned by Kun-duu and Aru-taung villagers. These plantation lands are situating about 8 Kilometers in northern part of Ye town, which are along motor road connecting Thanbyuzayat and Ye Town.


Now, another three military battalions under the command of MOC No. 19, namely, LIB No. 586,
No. 587 and No. 588 continuously confiscated 983 acres of lands that owned by civilians and in where fruit and rubber trees are grown.   Because of land confiscation of fruit and rubber trees plantations, about 77 families of Mon people in the area lost about 170. 2 million Kyat totally for their lands and trees at the current market prices.   Some land owners these different types of trees in their plantations for about 40 years, while some newly grew trees about 3-5 years ago.   So that some trees are quite big and could product a lot of fruit or rubber.   However, the authorities or army never considered supporting and assisting these land loss people with new lands or with available compensation.


These 77 families have 305 adults over 16 years old and 392 children under 18 years old.   These
populations have totally relied on the products of plantations for several years, because they have to invest in these lands and have grown and taken care trees for many years. Additionally, many paid labourer families who have relied in these lands also became jobless.   As the Mon farmers like to grow big plantation for business reason, each land owner have at least a permanent worker and family.   While the 77 families of land owners are losing their lands, more labourer families have lost their permanent works.


In most cases, some workers are permanently hired by land owners and are paid to do daily works. During harvest seasons of rubber and other fruits, more seasonal labourers are hired with daily pay. Thus, many villager families who have no lands have much relied on the works in these plantations. Accordingly to land owners, nearly 100 permanent labourers and about 200 seasonal labourers will lose their jobs, which provided them income for survival. About 1000 of adults and children who have relied on these plantation works have to find new works after this land confiscation.

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Similarly, about 8 families in Ye town also lost their lands and properties after about 31 acres of lands
were confiscated by MOC No. 19.   These 8 families lost about 4. 25 million Kyat worth for their planta­tions.   They also grew trees in these confiscated lands for about 30-40 years.   Most of land owners received these lands from their ancestors.   These families just have relied on the products from the planta­tions and themselves worked in these plantations.   So that they lost both regular income and properties.


As tradition, the Mon people in most rural areas are farmers of paddy cultivation, growing of rubber, betel-nut and other fruits are their traditional works which are brought since their ancestors.

 

When the farmers lost their lands, actually, they need to find the lands instead to continue their agriculture activities.   But it is not easy.   Most the lands that close to villages or in the village surrounding areas are already occupied by the villagers, if they would like to get lands, they have to go very far from their villages.   As many parts of Ye Township are under armed conflict zone, the civilians are not safe to work in places where are far from their native homes.   They could be accused as rebel-supporters by Burmese Army.    Or, as they lost everything they have, it is quite hard to get enough money to buy new land and to change new jobs.


The only and possible chance that the civilians who lost the lands is to be day labourers for other
people works.   But in Burma, as many people are unemployed because of economic mismanagement, these people could be very difficult to get regular works for income.   As normal condition, when the people have no work in their native place of Burma, they always migrate into Thailand to seek works.

V. Conclusion

The objectives of SPDC in land confiscation are varied.   First, the regime, SPDC, like the previous racist military regime, it have conducted "population transfer" to non-Burman ethnic areas to increase Burman population in most area.   This is it's constant plan in implementing "Burmanization policy" to assimilate other ethnic people to be Burman by language and population domination.  

Additionally, in the program of SPDC's population transfer, the regime has settled their soldiers' families, retired and disable soldiers' families by providing them with lands confiscated from the local civilians and they uses them as their supporters.   Normally, the soldiers like these valuable lands which are rich with soil and enormous  products, because most of them came from many parts of poorer areas or middle part of Burma.   This implementation creates conflict the local community people and regime-supporters, who received the valuable lands without payment or labour.   As SPDC increases the troop number, it also has responsibility to take care soldiers and their families.


The second objective would be for military purposes.
When NMSP and its military faction, MNLA, agreed for ceasefire with regime, SLORC/SPDC, the regime has not had commitment to solve the political problems by means of politics and considered to NMSP as entering legal fold, which means NMSP must surrender one day in the future.   It also includes a consideration that if NMSP refused for surrender­ing, it must use armed forces to put pressure.   On the other hand, KNU and KNLA troops have still fought against the Burmese Army and made a lot of troubles to them.   So that SPDC is trying to oppress all Karen revolutionary groups" activities.



The third objective could be for the security of the area. Now, SPDC have some foreign investments in Tenasserim
Division, Mon State and Karen State.   For the safety of cement factory, gas-pipelines and other Investments, they have needed more troop numbers to stop any troubles from rebels.


Definitely, the more troop number in the area, the
local population would face more sufferings.   Currently, many of them already became landless and jobless.   Later, the soldiers from many battalions will request more tax from the local villagers, conscript labour and porters for military service and make more threat against the villagers to not support the rebels.   Additionally, because of assimilation policy, more and more restriction against the Mon people such as closing of Mon national schools, stopping dry season Mon literacy training and banning of important Mon national occasions could be made by the battalion commanders concerned.