The Mon Forum

 

Issue No. 1/ 2003, January 31, 2003

 

CONTENTS

 

News:

 

Award for new soldier recruit

More porters for LIB No. 273 in Yebyu Township

Civilian Guards along Kanbauk-Myaingkalay Gas Pipeline

 

Brief News:

 

Force Labour For the Helicopter Landing Pad Construction

Mon design and printing center banned and arrested two people 

Lands confiscated for new battalions.

 

Armed Conflicts

 

A motor shell hit to a boy  after fighting

Fire! If wear army colour shirts

Extorted lumber woods for new battalion

 

Report:

 

Cruel and Degrading Treatment against the Civilians in Burma's Rural Areas

 

I. Civil War and Suffering of Ethnic Civilians

 

II. Armed Conflict after 1988 in Southern Part of Burma

            II. A. SPDC's military deployment in Ye and Yebyu Township areas

II. B. Military operations and human rights violations in Kya-inn-seikyi and Three Pagoda Pass Townships

 

III. Burmese Army's suspicion of rebel supporters against rural civilians

Abuses against Buddhist Monks

Abuses against Women

Shooting into villages

Killing during porter service

Sexual Violations or Gang Rape against Mon Women

            Sexual violations against Karen Women

Killing and inhumane treatments
Torture

Conclusion

___________________________________________________________

 

 

News:

 

Award for new soldier recruit

(January 2003, Mon State)

The local Burmese Army's No. 4 military training school in Thanbyuzayat Township declared that if someone could find new recruit for army, the school offer award with cash.

 

In early January 2003, the trainers of the school declared to the village headmen that if one villager or village could bring them on new recruit of soldier, they will give 20, 000 Kyat.

 

Similarly, they also instructed the soldiers and commanders in the battalions that if someone in the army could recruit new soldiers, they will get promotion.  They said that if one ordinary soldier could recruit four soldiers, they would give jump promotion, from ordinary soldier to 2nd Warrant Officer.

 

One commander or trainer from No. 4 Military Training School, Captain Than Tun went around into Mon villages in Thanbyuzayat Township and informed to the village headmen that if the villagers could recruit new soldiers, they will offer award. 

 

Additionally, he also explained how the benefit in the army and how the soldiers had good opportunity in many activities.  

 

He also said if someone joined as new soldier, he would receive 7000 Kyat salary, milk, suger, rice and other food stuff.   He also tried to attract the young unmarried men to join into Burmese Army.  He said if they joined in Army and planned to marry, the commanders would spend for all costs of wedding ceremony.   He also promised that if they have children, the battalion concerned will pay for them.

The commanders always organized the people that if they joined the Burmese Army, they could get more opportunity than other ordinary people.   As the commanders from Southeast Command ordered training school to have more recruits, therefore, even the school trainer organized for new soldiers. 

 

Currently, the Burmese Army is planning to increase the number of troops up to 400, 000 soldiers and therefore, it suddenly needs to recruit more soldiers.   Therefore, they set awards to give to those who could recruit for them. 

 

Normally, in towns and cities, the soldiers also arrested some boys and bring them into army.  Many orphans in city streets are also recruited into Army or some boys who traveled from villages to cities are arrested and forced them into Army.  In many Training School, including No. 4 Training School, the trainers accepted all ages of men including boys. 

 

In Mon State, there are two training schools.  One is in Thanbyuzayat Township and another in in the Southeast Command.    In both schools, they have requested more and more new recruits to provide more deployed battalions.  

 

In Mon State, the Burmese Army increased more and more battalions and those battalions require more soldiers.  The training schools are mainly providing the soldiers for the battalions.

 

 

More porters for LIB No. 273 in Yebyu Township

 

In January 2003, when the Burmese Army's LIB No. 273 planned to launch military offensives against a Mon splinter group in the area, they also take 3 porters from each village in Yebyu Township for 7 days period. 

LIB No. 273 troops are led by Maj. Kyaw Soe and he has about 60 men in launching the offensives.  He ordered the village headmen from the villages, alongYe - Tavoy motor road to provide their troops with three porters every 7 days. 

Accordingly to the a porter from Yapu village who returned from the porter service said that, the soldiers forced them to carry about 6 motor shells and an army bag with food supplies.   He added, most porters could not get sleep at nighttime because of mosquito. 

The commander, Maj. Kyaw Soe also instructed to the village headmen, the villagers must not flee during the porter service.  If they fled and then are arrested at villages, they must be punished to pay 10000 Kyat, one sack (about 66 kilogram) of rice, and face 20 times beating with gun-butts. 

The villagers from many villages such as Aleskan, Law-thaing, Kyaukadin, Kywetalin, Yapu are serving for porters to the battalion.  They prepared for readiness when the soldiers came and took the porters.  The soldiers took 3 porters every time they came into village and moved to another village.  When they arrived to another village, they also took another three porters. 

On the other hand, the troops from LIB No. 282 and LIB No. 273 ordered to not get out from the village without permission letter from village headmen or army commanders.   They also ordered the farmers not to take more food than one day meal. If they found the villagers without permission, if the man he must be punished and if woman, she must have to pay.

More movement restriction have been taken place and more villagers have faced difficulty to go to their farms and more problems to their livelihood. 

 


Civilian Guards along Kanbauk-Myaingkalay Gas Pipeline

(January, Mon State)

On January 19, 2003, Mudon Township authorities ordered the villagers from all villages along Kanbauk-Myaingkalay to increase the number of guard along the route.  But the village headmen from the area collected money from the civilians and then show the reason that they would hire the villagers to guard in the pipeline.  Mudon Township authorities collected 200 Kyat from every household with reason to hire labourers to guard the pipeline. 

In Thanbyuzayat Township, the authorities has continuously instructed the villagers to guard along the pipeline.  On January 6, 2003, the commander of IB No. 31 which base in Thanbyuzayat Town, re-confirmed that all village headmen along the pipeline must take responsibility for guarding it. 

Additionally, the authorities also ordered that if the villagers found some parts of the gas pipeline was above the ground, they must have to inform to village headmen and therefore, all villagers need to cover to get into underground. 

The authorities and army also instructed that if the pipeline is exploded by rebels near or close to their farms or the plantations, the owner of the farm or plantation must be punished. 

One village said, 'this pipeline is belonged to companies and the regime, and why they force the civilians to guard it'.  Gas from Yadana gas field is brought from Kanbauk onshore gas station into a cement factory in Pa-an Township, Karen State, by passing through Mon State.

This pipeline has exploded many times in the past because the quality of pipeline is not good and all pipeline passes into salty area of Mon State.   Due to explosion, the villagers nearby are too dangerous or vulnerable for the negative impact of gas. 

 

 

Brief News:

 

Force Labour For the Helicopter Landing Pad Construction

(Ye Township, Mon State, January 9, 2003)

            On January 9 of 2003, the Burmese Army's IB No.62 and No.31 forced the local villagers to build a helicopter landing pad in Kalae-gote island, north-western part of Ye township, Mon State.

            In order to build and prepare the landscape of the new landing pad, the Burmese Army's local battalions, IB No.62, and IB No. 31, which base in Thanbyuzayat town, have forced one person per house from the local villages to do daily work in that island.

            The landing pad is built in the middle part of the Kalae-gote Island.   Since the beginning of January of 2002, about 50 people have been forced to work without no food supply and payment by the two battalions.   The working time is from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day.

            As most of the landscape of the island are the hills, villagers are forced to dig and to create the same level of landing ground, reported by a villager from Kalae- gote island.   Burmese Army also confiscated some lands belonged to villagers last and deployed the new bases. 

            According to another villager's report, the main purpose of the building of this air force landing pad to keep the helicopters for patrolling around the area with objective to protect the fishing business between Thai companies and the Burmese authorities, which involve in fishing in the Andaman Sea.   Geographically, the Kalae-gote Island is standing like the gateway of Mon state to the Andaman sea.

            Since 1996,Thai trading groups have been planning to build a high way road to this Island across the Thailand-Burma border area in Three Pagoda Pass. Thai companies also planned to build a deep seaport in this Island for trading purpose.   But after economic crisis in Thailand in 1997, the plan was postponed until now.

 

 

Mon design and printing center banned and arrested two people 

December 2002, Kyauk-ta-dar Township, Rangoon Division

A Mon printing shop's manager and one staff were arrested and banned the shop after printed poetry booklet for a student group without permission in Rangoon on December, 2002.

            Nai Soe Aung was the manager of a biggest graphic design and printing (Kaung-Mon printing and design) in Mon community in Rangoon and he is also a Secretary of Mon Culture and Literature Committee in Rangoon.  He and his staff  were arrested because of printing the poetry booklet without censor from the Censorship Board.

            After arrest, all equipment in the printing center, Kaung-Mon, were confiscated and the center was totally banned.   The center is situating in Kyauk-ta-dar Township in Mon State. 

            According to a source close to the center said that the case happened after an anti-regime student group printed their booklets, which they did not apply permission from military government Censorship Board.

            "Nai Soe Aung didn't know it was printed in his shop, because of his staff did not inform him" said a source .

            But later, the printing materials and equipment have returned after the owner Nai Thet Lwin, an ex-candidate of 1990 election from MNDF in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State,  took responsibility that would not going to open "Kaung-Mon Printing center" in Kyauk-da-dar township, Rangoon Division.

            "Kaung-Mon" is one of the most Mon popular  graphic design center which can create the good qualities of Mon entertainment Wall  sheets  and several kinds of graphic covers.

 

 

Lands confiscated for new battalions.

(December 26, 2002, Thanbyuzayat, Mon State)

 

On December 26 of 2002, the Burmese Army's Artillery Regiment LIB No.315 have confiscated over three hundred acres of land which grown rubber plantations to deploy the new base in southern part of Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State.

            According to the secret document of AR No. 315 battalion, the confiscated lands is locating not so far from Thanbyuzayat town and it is a strategic place to have strict control of Three Pagoda Pass - Thanbyuzayat motor road and Thanbyuzayat - Ye motor road.

            The document added that that 303 acres of lands situated near the Three Pagoda Pass - Thanbyuzayat motor road (the old Japanese death railway road to Three Pagoda Pass border point), they also planned to put more battalions in the area. 

            In order to build a huge compound of battalion base, the battalion commander planned to negotiate with local Township authorities, which meant they would some forced labour from the villages' civilians nearby.

            Most of the confiscated lands are grown with rubber, which were owned by the local Mon villagers in the area.   They have grown these rubber trees over 25-30 years ago.  After the lands were seized, some owner are hopeless and have fled to Thailand to work as illegal workers.

 

 

Armed Conflicts

 

A motor shell hit to a boy  after fighting

(January 2, 2003, Ye Township)

 

On January 2, 2003, while a fighting broken out between a Mon rebels group and Burmese Army and a motor shell hit a Mon boy in Hangan village, the southern part of Ye Township, Mon State.

A 10 years old boy who has been an orphan since he was a childhood lived in neighbour village and came to Hangan village to buy rice.   Unluckily he was hit by a motor shell during fighting and got serious injury.

 

After a serious injury, the boy was brought to Moulmein hospital, the capital of Mon State and his left hand and left leg were cut in that hospital.

The fighting was between IB No.61 of Burmese Army led by Captain Tin Aung Khaing and the Mon splinter led by Nai Sok Klein.    About 20 motor shells used from both side and as a result, one house was totally destroyed but only a boy got serious injuries.

Due to the fighting, the local people in that area have constantly facing serious human rights violation committed by Burmese Army and they have to pay taxes to both side of armed groups.

 

 

Fire! If wear army colour shirts

January 6, 2003, Ye Township

 

A IB No.61's Captain ordered to local people that anyone who wear the Army color shirts or trousers must be shot to death in the southern Ye township, Mon State.

            Before the order came out, because of wearing army uniform colour shirts, two headmen, Nai Kyaw and Nai Own Myint were suspected as rebal soldiers and arrested by No.61's captain Tin Aung Khaing.   The arrest happened in a tea shop in Sa-kom village.

            According to a source from that area, he said that the Burmese soldier closed the two men's faces and beat them during interrogation in the village.   Then, the soldiers brought the men to Ye town and put them in battalion's prison.

            To release two men, the Capitain asked to pay Ks 100,000 each man. After released, both men have checked their painful body in hospital again because of cruel torture.

 

Extorted lumber woods for new battalion

(January 2, 2003, Thanbyuzayat township)

For construction of a new Artillery Battalion No. 315, two villages from Thanbyuzayat at township were forced to give 280 tons of lumbers woods to the Burmese Army and Township authorities.

            After receiving the order from the headman, Anin and Htin-yu villagers cut down the trees in villages and in forests to get the full amount of 280 tons that the new battalion wanted.

            "We have to cut down our own trees in villages.   If not, we are unable to fullfil the required amount.   We also have to buy Kyat 260,000 per ton from other area." said by a villager. 

            According to the Anin and Htin-yu's villagers, they have never received like this order and this was the first time to give lumber woods to the Burmese Army and the local authorities with a huge amount.   But they did not know why they needed to provide such large amount of lumbers.  

 

 

Report:

Cruel and Degrading Treatment against the Civilians in Burma's Rural Areas

 

I. Civil War and Suffering of Ethnic Civilians

In Burma, the civil war between the ethnic armed groups and the Burmese Army has protracted over five decades.   To win the war, the members of Burmese Army have cruelly involved in serious oppression against the ethnic civilians with a main objective of threatening them to not contact the rebel concerns.  

On the other hand, the ethnic armed groups have also totally relied on supports by the civilians in terms of food, information, recruits and shelter.   Accordingly to their revolutionary slogan, the rebels are like 'fishes' and the civilians are like 'water' in a pool.  They must survive only with the supports of the civilians. 

Therefore, during 1970s and 1980s BSPP rule, the Burmese Army (tatmadaw) adopted a policy of 'Four Cuts Campaign' to cut off all assistance from the same ethnic civilians to the rebel groups concerned.  They planned to cut off food, information, recruits and sheltering provided by civilians.  In the implementation of this policy, thousands of villages in the rural areas were forcibly relocated close to the bases of Burmese Army or along the main motor road or railway road.  Hundreds of thousands of civilians had displaced and thousands of them had sought shelters in Thailand's refugee camps.  This policy had protracted until 1988, when the civilians in the whole country rose up in a demonstration against BSPP government for a democratic reform. 

The new military regime, SLORC seized power by killing of thousands of civilians in September 1988 and at the same time, the Burmese Army has intensified the military offensives against all ethnic armed organizations.  They had new policy of overrunning all border bases and taking permanent bases in the border point.  Burma (which changed its name to Myanmar) also has opened business relationship with Thailand and planned to control all border points for trading and logging.  

Since then, the armed activities of most ethnic armed groups have been restrained and they also had to abandon many of their strong bases.  Their force became weak and then some of armed groups decided to have ceasefire with the regime.   Many armed groups of Kachin, Shan, Palaung, Wa, Karenni, Pa-oh ethnic people had initially agreed for ceasefire with the regime.   The main Mon political organization organization, New Mon State Party (NMSP), which has waged war for four decades agreed for ceasefire with SLORC in mid-1995. 

 


II. Armed Conflict after 1988 in Southern Part of
Burma

           

II. A. SPDC's military deployment in Ye and Yebyu Township areas

After NMSP-SLORC/SPDC ceasefire, accordingly to the agreement, the MNLA (Mon National Liberation Army) troops withdrew from many parts of southern part of Ye Township and Yebyu Township areas and moved into ceasefire zones.   After withdrawal of MNLA troops, the Burmese Army and SLORC/SPDC authorities had had more chance to use the villagers as forced labour such as in the construction of Ye-Tavoy railway road and other infrastructure projects. 

Because of dissatisfaction by the local people, one group of an armed Mon splinter group was formed in late 1997 and they planned to fight against the Burmese Army.   Because of this new armed rebellion occurred, the Burmese troops have intensified their military offensives in many parts of rural area in Ye and Yebyu Township. 

In 2001, the Burmese Army also deployed about 10 military battalions in Ye Township under the command of MOMC (Military Operation Management Command) No. 19 and planned to suppress all the rebellious abilities in Ye Township.   During the dry season, from January to March 2002, the Burmese Army also sent some 3 light infantry battalions from Arakan State and let these troops oppressed the rebellious activities.  

The SPDC and Burmese Army could not absolutely control in area southern part of Ye Township and they did not trust the Mon villagers in that area and though all of them are the supporters to the Mon splinter army concerned.   They could not organize the villagers or village headmen to be their supporters and thus, could have not formed militia force or paramilitary force to make against the rebel armies.  

But in Yebyu Township, the Burmese Army also formed the paramilitary force and also recruited some local villagers as permanent members of armed force or to involve in the paramilitary armed force on a rotation basis.  

In Yebyu Township, the Burmese Army formed the village militia force since 1999 and 2000 in villages along Ye-Tavoy motor road and in villages near Yadana gas-pipeline.   The army has also used these militia forces to protect their own area, motor road, railway road and gas-pipeline.   If those militia forces failed to complete their duties or could not protect these important infrastructures, they must be punished.

But the number of militiamen in the area reduced down gradually even they received salary from the villagers, because they were afraid of being killed by the rebel soldiers and most of them did not interest to involve in war and fighting.   Many of them resigned.   Initially, in 1999 and 2000, LIB No. 282 and LIB No. 273 formed the military force in many villages and the big villages with 200 households must have 20 militiamen and the villages about 100 households must have 10 militiamen at least accordingly to their instruction and forcibly formed.   But in early 2002, the villages which has about 20 militiamen before remained about 5-7 militiamen. 

 

So, in February and March 2002, LIB No. 273 and No. 282 reformed the village militia force again.   Before the reformation, the battalion collected the list of all men between 18 and 45 years old in the villages.   Then when they formed the militia force, they did not recruit the permanent militiamen.   Accordingly to the new instruction, all village committee members became permanent militiamen while the chairman of each village became the commander of village militia force.   Then, they instructed the villagers that they must work as militiamen on a rotation basis and accordingly to the instruction, every men in the village need to be as militiamen for one week and the village chairman needed to teach how to use rifle gun.   If one villager failed to be a militiaman for one week he must have to pay 4000-5000 Kyat to the military battalion.  

 

Sometimes, when the Burmese Army launched military operations in Yebyu Township, they also took those villagers who were in duty as militiamen to fight against the rebel soldiers.   This is SPDC's militarization plan to increase the number of troops in the whole country to be under the command of Burmese Army or Tatmadaw.

 

II. B. Military operations and human rights violations in Kya-inn-seikyi and Three Pagoda Pass Townships

 

In these Three Pagoda Pass and Kya-inn-seikyi Townships, there are KNLA and the Mon splinter group, MRA (Monland Restoration Army) have launched the military activities against the Burmese Army.   MRA also launched the military activities against MNLA troops who have controlled some parts of this area.  

After HRP (Hongsawatoi Restoration Party) split from NMSP, which agreed ceasefire with the regime, SPDC, and they established a political party and planned for resuming of new military campaigns.  SPDC and Burmese Army also had some concerns that they could not manage well on the ceasefire.   A few number of HRP's armed force, MRA, also made military ally with KNLA troops and took some military activities to raise their organization's fund in the area since the early day of split. 

Therefore, since early 2002, the Burmese Army intensified its offensives to uproot the bases and activities of Mon and Karen rebel soldiers.   In dry season, the Burmese Army had used IB No. 34, IB No. 301, IB No. 77 (under the command of LID No. 88), LIB No. 550, LIB No. 354 and LIB No. 538.   Some battalions had their bases in Kya-inn-seikyi Township and some were brought from other area, not from Mon State and Karen State.  

In March and April, the Burmese Army troops tried to track down the MRA troops and suspected the Mon villagers in Three Pagoda Pass area as rebel-supporters.  The Burmese soldiers also arrested some villagers in some Mon villages near Three Pagoda Pass Township.   Again, in late April, Burmese Army's LIB No. 550 also relocated a Mon village, called Kyone-kwee, which was about 15 Kilometer from Three Pagoda Pass town and arrested one Mon Buddhist monk in the village monastery (see the story below).   About 60 families of the villagers had to move from their village and escaped to another area.   LIB No. 550 soldiers also disrobed the arrested Mon monk and imprisoned him.  

At the same time, other battalions of Burmese Army launched their military activities along Zami river, along Three Pagoda Pass - Thanbyuzayat motor road and went around into many Mon and Karen villages which are on the roads.   As the Burmese Army brought many new soldiers into these areas, those soldiers constantly accused both Mon and Karen villagers as rebel soldiers or rebel soldiers.   Those battalions and soldiers also did not respect any ceasefire zones and the killing of many villagers also occurred in many villages.   IB No. 77 involved in various executions of the civilians, as it was a new battalion brought into the area and had inhumanely treated the civilians.

 


III. Burmese Army's suspicion of rebel supporters against rural civilians

In the general thinking of Burmese Army, they suspected all ethnic civilians in the rural areas as 'rebel supporters', who regularly support the rebel soldiers with food, sheltering, fund and information.  The commanders of Burmese Army believed that without support of food assistance to the rebel soldiers, the soldiers could not survive.   Similarly without providing sheltering in their farms, plantations, or the forests nearby, the rebel soldiers could not launch any activities. 

Whenever the troops of Burmese Army were attacked by rebel soldiers, the Burmese Army's commanders always believed that the ethnic villagers in the area must support them with information about the movement of their troops.  The villagers in the nearer villages are always accused as providing to information and sheltering to those rebel soldiers who could attack them effectively.

In most condition, the rebel armies always collected revolutionary fund from the villagers in villages in conflict zone.  Fund collecting system is varied among rebel groups.  The Burmese Army also clearly knew that the civilians are supporting fund to rebel armies.  Because of this support, they tried to accuse all civilians in the whole as the supporters of rebel armies.  

Following this accusation, the soldiers of Burmese Army have involved in gross human rights violations such as killing, arbitrary arrest, rape, torture, forced displacement and others.  The following accounts are the human violations especially inhumane, cruel and degrading treatment against ethnic Mon and others in 2002 related to 'accusation of rebel-supporters'.

 

Abuses against Buddhist Monks

 

In southern part of Mon State and nearly entire parts of Karen State, KNLA troops, MRA troops and Mon splinter groups have operated their military activities in most the rural areas of both States.  Mostly, they operate their military activities for disturbing the Burmese Army's operations and collecting revolutionary fund as well.

The majority of Mon people are Buddhism and therefore, the Buddhist monks are always accused as rebel-supporters.  Normally, some Buddhist monks who live in the areas, where MRA troops and KNLA troops have more military activities, are constantly accused as rebel supporters and some of them are unknowably executed in jungle areas.   As always, the Burmese Army believed not only the people but also the Buddhist monks live in the MRA and KNLA troops operated areas, as they have supported this rebel army.

One case of inhumane treatment was happened in Three Pagoda Pass township after an armed conflict between Burmese Army and a Mon splinter group, Monland Restoration Army (MRA).

On January 28 of 2002, after armed conflict between Burmese Army's LIB No. 550 and a Mon splinter group, MRA, the commander of Burmese Army disrobed a Mon monk in Kyon-kwee village, Three Pagoda Pass Township, with accusation he is rebel-supporters.  When the 63 troops of LIB No. 550 were operating military patrol to fight against MRA and KNLA int the area, they were shortly attacked by MRA soldiers near Kyon-kwee village.  Three Pagoda Pass is a border town with Thailand.

Lt. Col. Tin Maung Lwin, the commander of LIB No. 550 angered and arrested the monks, Nai Galae ( 45 years old ).  After arrest, the soldiers tortured him for over one hour during interrogation until he told something.   The Burmese soldiers accused he was involved in the recent fighting and accused him as a rebel soldier.

Accordingly to villagers who have known him said that he did not involve in fighting against the Burmese Army in the recent fighting. But he was afraid of being suspected as a rebel, he robed to be a monk by the help of Kyon-kwee Monastery. But he was unexpectedly arrested and disrobed by soldiers.   After disrobe, they brought him along with Burmese Army's troops and until now nobody knew that where he was killed or alive.

In tradition, Buddhist monks are the most respected religious persons and almost the members of Burmese Army are also Buddhism.  However, the Burmese Army does not give any respect to the monks in the rural areas and sometimes, they also used monks as porters.  For the monks who believe in passion, forgiveness and loveliness always treat everyone who came into his monastery compound with love, providing sheltering and foods.  So, the soldiers of Burmese Army always accused the monks as supporters of rebel armies.  

 

Abuses against Women

 

Similarly to Buddhist monks, the commanders of Burmese Army always think women in the rural community are supporting rebel soldiers in terms of foods and shelters.   They always the women traders or sellers are helping the rebel soldiers in buying things for them. 

In recent 1997/1998 when the rebellion by a Mon splinter group rose up in the southern part of Ye Township and in Yebyu Township, some women who were accused sending foods for Mon rebel soldiers were arbitrarily killed and some are serious tortured.  

The Burmese Army commanders have noticed the girls or women who came from black areas to town.  If they found some suspicion of buying things for the rebel soldiers, they always tried to arrest these women or sometimes they also threatened to kill these women. 

 

As an instance,

On July 15 of 2002, when LIB No.343's military column commander, Maj. Lin Oo met a woman in Ye Town's busy market, and suddenly he tried to arrest her.   He approached her and tried to kill her with accusation that she was buying foods and materials for Mon rebel soldiers.

Mi Nwee Yee ( about 40 years old ) was from Khaw-za village, which is in the southern part of Ye Township where Mon rebel groups launched their military activities nearby.

When the commander met her in the market, the commander grasped her arm and asked about her shopping. The woman answered that she bought foods and home used materials for her family, but the commander did not believe her and then drew a knife and tried to kill her. But she suddenly ran into the crowd in the market and could escape from his killing.

Most of the Burmese Army's commanders and their troops are regularly launched the offensives in southern part of Ye Township against a Mon armed group and they could recognize some villagers from Mon villages and so they always suspected the villagers as the supporters of the Mon armed group.  

Especially the Burmese Army's commanders think are the main supporters of the rebel soldiers and some are wives of the rebels or some are the relatives of the rebels.   They also think women could be less suspicious people in the villages and accused the rebels tried to use women in buying thinks for them.  Therefore, even the ordinary women traders are also suspected as rebel-supporters. 

 

 

Shooting into villages

 

Sometimes, without strong evidence, some villages are receiving rebel soldiers in the villages and providing foods and sheltering for them.  In this case, the Burmese Army's troops just target the civilian population and shoot into village.  Another reason of shooting into village is to create scare upon the civilians.  In most shooting, some villagers also received serious injuries.  Sometimes, some villagers are also killed.  

As an instance,

On November 16, a joint force of Burmese Army (SPDC's armed force) shot into a Mon village, Khaw-za, in the southern part of Ye Township and three Mon villagers seriously injured.  

A joint force of Burmese Army consisted of LIB No. 273, LIB No. 282 and LIB No. 267, which mostly from Yebyu and Tavoy Township area and Lt. Col. Myint Oo led and it had about 100 soldiers.  

On that day about 4:00 p.m., they arrived near village and shot into village with motor shells with a suspicion that that village must keep Mon rebel soldiers in the village.  However, the shells hit to three Mon villagers:

(1)        Nai Dot, Male, 43 years;

(2)        Nai Shwe Hman, Male, 67 years; and

(3)        Mi Kun Prae, Female, 55 years.

All three patients were brought to Ye Town hospital on the same day to have medical treatment in the hospital.   But no one died and no shell hit to any rebel soldiers.

One Mon splinter group led by Nai Bin and Nai Hlein, has launched a military activity against Burmese Army.   Initially, the Burmese Army's troops from Ye area LIB No. 343 and IB No. 61 launched military offensives against this rebel armed group, and they were seriously suffered in an ambush attack in October.   Therefore, Southeast Command that bases in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State, asked the above mentioned battalions even from Tenasserim Division to help taking security in northern part of Ye Township.  

Khaw-za village was big village with over 500 households, and the Burmese Army always suspected that village as a base of rebel soldiers.   As the troops came from Tenasserim Division, they did not have much knowledge about the activity of rebel soldiers and believed their enemies were in the village.  


Killing during porter service


When the Burmese Army's battalions have operated military operations along the border areas with Thailand or even in the military patrol in one specific area in Mon State or Karen State or in Tenasserim Division, the soldiers always arrested some villagers along the road and in the villages whom they met and brought them to carry ammunitions with food supplies.  

As Burmese Army does not have reliable logistic system, they normally forced the local civilians in the rural areas to carry ammunition and food supplies along the hard military operations.   In some cases, the Burmese army arrested the villagers and brought them as porters in the areas where the rebels have military activities and sometimes they were killed in serious fighting.  Sometimes, when the porters could not manage to walk because of sickness or other serious injuries, the soldiers also killed those porters.   But most porters were killed in fighting.   They are normally killed when the soldiers used them to walk as 'human-shields' or to step on mine as 'mine-sweepers'.  

 

As an instance,

On January 12 of 2002, IB No.201 and LIB No.550 have jointly operated their military operations along Three Pagoda Pass-Thanbyuzayat motor roads in launching their military offensives against MRA, the Mon splinter group, and KNLA troops.

At that time, about 60 troops of IB No. 201 led by Lt.Col.Myo Aung arrested some villagers and brought them to carry food supplies and ammunitions during this offensive.  The soldiers also arrested about 10 porters on January 11 after they went into Lay-Poe village.

When the troops moved to Taung zon area on the road, the fighting broke out and two porters died after fighting with badly injuries. Later, one of the escape porter said that the Burmese Army used them to move in advance.

In late April and May 2002, many Mon and Karen villagers were killed in the fighting while they were used as porters.   The Burmese Army's troops sometimes also used women as porters when they could not get men and at the same time, they used them as 'human shields' to walk in advance of soldiers.  As an instance, the Burmese Army's IB No. 31 also arrested about 30 women from Khaw-za village, southern part of Ye Township and used them as human shields when they walked to another village. 



Sexual Violations or Gang Rape against Mon Women

In the rural areas of the southern part of Ye Township, Mon State where the Burmese Army troops regularly launched the offensives military operations, the soldiers often rape the local women including girls whom they met in the rural areas.

Although the villagers and the headmen knew these rape cases, they did not dare to inform to the higher battalion commanders because they knew the battle-field commanders could make them problems. So, the Burmese soldiers know that weak point and have more opportunities to involve sexual rape.   In most rape cases, the gang rape is the common violations committed by the soldiers. 

 

As an instance,

On July 8 of 2002, three soldiers from LIB No.587 arrested an 18 years old Mon girl near Kun-doo village, the southern part of Ye Township and committed a gang rape case.  They repeatedly raped Mi Khin Htwe who is the daughter of Nai At, until she lost consciousness.

Mi Khin Htwe is from Ayu Taung village and with her two friends (one boy and one another girl) after returned form visiting Kun-doo village, about 4 o'clock in the evening. The three soldiers from LIB No.587 saw and followed them and tried to rape her in the rubber plantation. A boy who came along with her tried to stop but he was pointed the guns by the soldiers and threatened to kill. After threatening, he ran to his village, Ayu Taung and asked for the help from his villagers.  Another girl could escape.

When the group of villagers arrived at incident place, they found the unconscious girl and injured Mi Khin Htwe as she laid down near a rubber tree. But the soldiers already left from the incident place.

The villagers, her parents and the headmen of Ayu Taung village knew that the Burmese soldiers did wrong but the headman including her parents did not dare to inform the higher battalion commanders. They thought that informing could create another problem to them and so they kept a silence for the case.

            LIB No.587 takes base near that village since 2001 and it confiscated many hundred acres of lands from the Kun doo and Ayu Taung villages.   This battalion and other nine military battalions took base in the southern and eastern parts of Ye Township area under the command of MOMC No. 19.  Since the arrival of Burmese Army, the villagers in the areas first lose their lands, later they were forced to be porters or labour in the deployment of army bases.   Additionally, their daughters are gang raped at the end. 

  During the Burmese Army is launching military offensives, not only the rural women who live in Burmese Army's control areas, but also some female teachers from Mon national school faced rape abuse by Burmese soldiers.


As an instance,

On January 5 of 2002, a sergeant from LIB No.343 based in Pran-maw, Thanbyuzayat Township, attempted to rape a Mon school female teacher, Mi Aie Chan, about 7:00 in the evening at Pran-maw village.

While the Mon teacher, Mi Aie Chan was alone in her house, the Sergeant of LIB No.343 sneaked into her room and tried to rape her. And then she shouts for help and the villagers at nearby arrested the Sergeant, immediately.   Before that case, that Sergeant tried to rape the teacher for some days already and the villagers were quick to stop his attempt.

            Sexual violations or rape also happens the Burmese Army's arrest the women and bring them as porters for several days and nights.  In these cases, the gang rape could possibly happen.   Some sexual violations also happen when the soldiers conscripted the rural women as unpaid labour in the work sites set by the army. 

Killing villagers after rape

In most cases, the rural women were rapes by Burmese soldiers when their parents or their husbands are not in the houses. While only women and children remained in the house in their villages, they were very unsafe when the troops of Burmese Army came and based in their villages. The soldiers always climbed to some houses and tried to rape women or girls.

Sometimes, while the soldiers raped the women, someone saw or found that event and tried to call help, and immediately the soldiers who committed the raping case always opened fire to him or her or to group of helpers.

 

As an instance,

On July 21, 2002, about 4 o'clock in the morning, four soldiers from the Burmese Army's Infantry Battalion No.62 shot five Mon villagers in Glaing-padaw village in Thanbyuzayat Township in Mon State, after a soldier raped a young Mon school girl, Mi Thu Zar (about 16 years old).

When four soldiers from IB No.62 arrived into village, they entered into village secretary, Nai Kun Tit's house and met his grand daughter, Mi Thu Zar (a school girl from Middle school in a village nearby) while she was cooking rice to donate the monks in early morning.

And four soldiers including a soldier, Thein Naing (ID No. 176399) started to rape the girl. While they were raping the girl, Nai Kun Tit waked up and run down from his house to entrance garden and shout for help.   Suddenly, because of his shouting for help, a soldier opened fire at him and died on spot. Some of the soldiers in that group disagreed with shooting to the man and they shot each other again.

After shooting several time on the house, another four villagers including Mi Thu Zar was shot by the four soldiers.

In that case, Nai Kun Tit (66 years old, the secretary of the village), Mi Kun Bae (60 years old, wife of Nai Kun Tit), Mi Thu Zar (16 years old, rape victim and grand daughter of Nai Kun Tit ), Min Chit KO (20 years old, grand son of Nai Kun Tit) and Nai Wet Tae (42 years old, staff of  Nai Kun Tit's farm) were killed in the incident.  

In the shooting, Thein Naing, a IB No.62 soldier got serious injuries and lied down in the kitchen of the house.  But no soldier died in the incident. 

This is the most terrible and cruel incident after NMSP-SPDC ceasefire.   After these terribly case, in the morning, the IB No.62's army officers from Thanbyuzayat Town came and checked the incident and separated the news that the villagers were killed because of fighting between rebels and their soldiers in the village.

Whenever there are more SPDC soldiers in the rural area, there are more possibility of sexual violations during their military activities.   Sometimes after soldiers committed a gang rape, they also killed girls or women to close all evident facts.  

 


Sexual violations against Karen Women


In
Karen State, KNLA still launched military offensives in various parts of Kya-inn-seikyi Township, Kawkareik Township, Pa-an Township and Three Pagoda Pass area.   The Burmese Army had used more military battalions in oppressing the Karen rebel force, KNLA, than the Mon armed groups. 

Similarly to the Mon villagers in southern part of Ye Township and many Karen in the rural areas have been suffered from the sexual violations by the Burmese Army's soldiers.    In some sexual violations, the commander of the Burmese Army also involved.  

 

As an instance,

On June 7 of 2002, during a military operation of Burmese Army, the second commander of IB No. 34, Captain Aung Myint raped Naw Win Yee, ( 27 years old Karen married woman in a Karen village of Kya-inn-seikyi Township).

During their military operation against KNLA troops in that area, a company of 60 troops of IB No.34 went into Phar-Pya Karen village and a captain from those IB No.34 named raped the Karen woman while her husband was not stayed in the house about 10 p.m.

After rape, Naw Win Yee was too afraid and moved to her neighbouring house suddenly and left her baby.   The baby cried loudly and the elder women from the neighbouring houses came and brought the baby to her.   

In the next morning, her husband and the villagers told the headman about the rape case in the night.   But the village headman did not dare to inform to the chief commander in the military and kept quiet.

Many rape cases have been silent, as the local people in the rural area are afraid to talk about and kept quiet.  Whenever the soldiers of Burmese Army came into a village, they also inquired which houses have no men.  As the men were always arrested and beaten by the soldiers, they always fled from the villages and moved into forests, when they heard news about the coming of Burmese Army.  Only elder persons, women and children remained in the village and that was a good opportunity for the Burmese soldiers to rape women. 


Killing and inhumane treatments

During their military offensives in the southern part of Mon State and Karen State, the civilians from those areas were badly treated by the soldiers of Burmese Army.   This bad treatment also related to accusation of rebel-supporters.   When they did not satisfied any villager, especially men, they beat and torture them. 

In the black area, which is known as free fire zone, the soldiers of Burmese Army have rights to shoot anyone they like.  Whenever the shooting agains the civilians happened, they always said that they made complaint that they suspected rebel soldiers and killed them. 

 

As an instance,

On August 15 of 2002, a group of two soldiers and a sergeant from LIB No. 343 shot at two villagers in Sone-na-tha village in the northern part of Ye Township without any prior notice.

While the two villagers from Sone-na-tha village were fishing in a farm and the sergeant shot at them about 3:30 p.m evening.   As a result, the young man about 20 years old Mehm Pha Lot was seriously injured by two bullets and his friend was not hit by any bullet.   The shooting happened about 300 meters in distance. 

The friend of Mehm Pha Lot said that the sergeant and his two soldiers were drunk. He shot three bullets to them and a bullet hit the neck of the young man and another point hit his leg.  Before the shooting occurred, the Sergeant and his company had a minor conflict with a car driver who refused to give them money for passing the bridge, in where these three soldiers took security and were drinking local made alcohol.   During he was angry and drunk, he found two villagers were fishing and he shot at them.  

After got serious injuries, the villagers brought Mehm Pha Lot to Ye Town hospital and the headman of Sone-na-tha village also informed about the shooting case to Military Intelligence No. 5 and Township authorities.

Later, in order to avoid or being afraid of news spreading, the officer from MI No.5 and Ye Township authorities forced the injured man, Mehm Pha Lot to treat at home and provided 5,000 Kyat to his parents to cover medication cost.

The commders from LIB No. 343 and MI No. 5 officers promised that they would punish their soldiers who involved in shooting. But until now, nobody know how they punished their soldiers or not.

            During the military operation activities in Kya-inn-seikyi Township, Karen State, in dry season 2002 (from November to May), the Burmese Army also created another shooting case and killed some Mon villagers even in a village in NMSP cease-fire zone. 

 

As an instance,

On May 12 of 2002, the Burmese Army's IB No. 77 including about 100 soldiers led by Maj. Myint Lwin went into Taung-bauk village which is a Mon village in Kyainnseikyi Township and started shooting at a group of Mon villagers. After the shooting occurred, the two Taung-bauk villagers, Nai Lao (31 years old) and Nai Lone (30 years old ) were killed and Mi Than Aye (17 years old Mon girl ), Nai Kun Oo (52 years old ) and Nai Tun Tin got seriously injury.

Nai Lone died on the spot after shooting and the remaining villager, Nai Lao, died in Kya-inn-seikyi Town's hospital.

The commander of IB No. 77 Maj. Myint Lwin gave the reason that they committed shooting as they thought the group of the villagers was the group of KNLA troops.

Although Taung-Pauk village is included in Karen State, the population of the village was pure Mon ethnic people. There were no KNLA or any Karen soldiers active in that area.

The IB No. 77 was a new battalion, which was brought from Pegu division and neither brought from Mon State nor Karen State.  So, they did not know or concerned as the NMSP's cease-fire zone (even they know but they ignore).

Finally, they accept that the shooting against the villagers was a wrongdoing, but the civilians and the headman did not know how the higher officers gave the punishments to their soldiers.   No compensation to the dead villagers was provided by authorities or Burmese Army. 

As the soldiers have opportunity to shoot anyone in the rural area, even they shoot at civilians, they just reported to the higher commanders that they made mistake and they suspected these villagers as rebels.   With this reason, the soldiers or commanders who involved in killing could not get much punishment by the higher commanders.  For sure, they are not put in jail and but they moved to another area without reducing ranks.

 

 

Torture

 

Torture is also the common human rights violation in the rural areas.  Even in the normal situation, when the soldiers of Burmese Army met a villager in forest or in farm or fruit plantation alone, they also beat and slap by questioning about activities of rebel soldiers. 

Normally, in the southern part of Mon State and some parts of Karen State where the Mon and Karen rebel soldiers have military activities against the SPDC army troops, the Burmese Army commanders ordered to the village headmen to give them information about the activities of the rebel troops.  When the village headmen failed to provide them information, they also torture the headmen.  

The torture of the innocent civilians mostly occurred in the areas that KNLA and MRA group active.  If someone was suspected rebel supporter, the soldiers made sudden arbitrary arrest and then tortured him or her during interrogation about the activities of the rebel soldiers. 

On the other hand, when the Burmese Army's troops launched their military offensive against the rebel groups and then they committed several cases of torturing against the rural civilians.

 

As an instance,

On July 17 of 2002, the Burmese Army troop from LIB No.343 led by Maj. Lin Oo tortured a 40 years old Mon farmer, Nai Nyunt Maung, in his plantation and beat him until he lost consciousness near Khaw-za village, the southern part of Ye Township, Mon State.

To launch the military offensive in the area against the Mon rebels, Maj. Lin Oo and his troops arrived in Nai Nyunt Maung's plantation.  And then they asked him to give them information about the activities of a rebel leader, Nai Bin. When the man said that he did hot know the rebel leader, and they arrested the man accused him as the rebel-supporter.

Then, they brought him along with them and forcibly ordered to show the bases of the Mon rebels.  As the man had not really known the place of rebel base, he could not show them the place that they wanted to know.   So, they started to get anger and beat him for three days.   During those three days, he was also used to walk in advance as human-shields by the soldiers.

In the last day of the arrest, Maj. Lin Oo was too angry to him and ordered his group to beat the man by group.   About five soldiers beat him in the face and in the part of his body.   After cruel beating, some of his tooth broke and lost consciousness.

And then the Burmese Army left him alone and the farmers of the near area found him and brought to his hut in Khawza village. As a result, Nai Nyunt Maung's arm was broken, useless and became a disable man.

In the most southern part of Ye Township where Burmese Army launched the military operations, the army commanders ordered to farmers to not stay in the farms at nighttime.  Therefore, most farmers tried to go and work at their farms at daytime and returned to their homes in hurry.  Therefore, they get less time to work at farms or at their fruit plantation. 

Other types of mental torturing always happened in the conflict area. Sometimes, when the Burmese Army came into a village, which they suspected as rebel base, the asked all villagers and put them under hot sun light for several hours without giving foods. This is also one type of torture.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Cruel and degrading treatment has also forced the local inhabitants to flee from their homes and displaced.   After all men in the villages are always beaten by the soldiers, most men fled from villages and stayed in the jungle.  When there was no man, the soldiers also arrested women for porter service or women are raped.  Then women also decided from the native places. 

There are (unofficial number) one million displaced persons in Burma in the ethnic nationalities area.  Most of them have suffered form the cruel and degrading treatments by members of Burmese Army and their physical and metal conditions have been quite weak. As long as the civil war, the innocent ethnic people must suffer more.