1. Forced Labor
"... While Order No. 1/99, as supplemented, has been widely publicized and may for the time being have affected certain civil infrastructure projects, by itself the order has not stopped the exaction of forced labor, in particular by the military. There is no indication that the necessary specific and concrete instructions and budgetary provisions have been adopted or even prepared with a view to effectively replacing forced labor by offering decent wages and employment conditions to freely attract any workers needed. Finally, there is no indication that any person responsible for the exaction of forced labor and often concomitant crimes was sentenced or even prosecuted under section 374 of the Penal Code or any other provision, in conformity with Article 25 of the Convention..."
International Labor Office
CEACR 2001: Observations Concerning ILO Convention No. 29, Forced Labor. March 2002
"When the heads of villages requested to stop these abuses, they showed the order that has been issued by the SPDC, reading that no citizen of Burma shall be subject to forced labour or any form of such kind. But this attempt only ended with a scolding and beating from the military officers. They even said that those people who issued that order never come to the frontline, let alone carry the loads."
In 2002, the SPDC continued using forced labor in Burma; particularly forced portering for military operations; forced labor for military bases and income generating projects for the military and building and maintenance of roads. Despite the release of Aung San Suu Kyi in May, little changed for Burma’s ethnic minority groups, particularly the Karen, Karenni and Shan, living in rural areas where forced labor is regularly conscripted for portering, infrastructure projects and military support activities. The use of forced labor in these areas is often perpetrated under the guise of "Government Development Programs." Although the issue of forced labor in Burma has received much recent attention internationally, there has been little corresponding action by SPDC to eradicate it despite an order banning the use of forced labor which was promulgated in 2000 (see below).
Two trends that continued in 2002 were the use of prison labor for portering during military operations and the collection of porter fees. Porter fees take on two forms; in one, each household in a village is required to pay a certain amount each month in order to compensate the conscripted porters. In the other, villagers are forced to pay a fee so that they are not conscripted as porters. Porter fees are a burden on villagers that should not be underestimated as its affects their livelihood in almost the same way that portering does. Villagers who cannot afford to take time away from their livelihood to porter also cannot afford to pay money to avoid portering. Both the increase in the use of prisoner portering and porter fees can be attributed to SPDC’s desire to improve its image in the international community. The use of prisoner porters lessens the number of civilian porters that need to be conscripted and when porters are paid with funds forcibly collected from villagers, the Burmese military can claim that the porters are paid laborers.
1.2 International Labor Organization (ILO) Visit to Burma
In November 2000, the ILO urged its 175 member governments to impose sanctions on and review their relationships with Burma as a means to ensure that Burma was not engaging in the use of forced labor. This was an unprecedented move on the part of the ILO and as a result, the SPDC promised to eliminate forced labor. In February 2002, the ILO sent a high-level mission to Burma which the SPDC prevented from seeing Aung San Suu Kyi. Despite this, in March 2002, the ILO and the SPDC agreed that the ILO would appoint a liaison officer to Burma. On September 9, 2002, Ms. Perret-Nguyen was appointed to this position (source: World Report 2003, Human Rights Watch, 2003). On March 11, 2003 Ms. Perret-Nguyen commented, "My impression is that there is probably less use of forced labor in the central part of Myanmar [Burma], but the situation in the border areas—on the Thailand border and the Bangladeshi border in northern Rakhine [Arakan State] is still very serious". (Source: The Irrawaddy)
1.3 Law Suits
Both the European and American corporations, which are partners in the Yanada gas pipeline project, came under heavy criticism for contributing to human rights abuses in Burma, particularly forced labor. As a result, both corporations were taken to court in 2002. The Belgium-based human rights group ‘Actions Birmanie’ filed charges against the French gas giant Total Fina Elf in a Brussels court on 25 April 2002. Actions Birmanie accused Total Fina Elf of crimes against humanity stemming from the company’s involvement in the construction of the Yadana natural gas pipeline in southern Burma during the mid-1990’s. The suit is based on the Belgian "law of universal competence". This allows for legal action to be taken for actions committed anywhere in the world regardless of the nationality of the parties involved. Previously, this law was used as a legal instrument to persecute war crimes. (Source: The Irrawaddy.)
In a precedent setting decision, a US superior court judge ordered that the Unocal Corporation could be taken to court for human rights abuses related to the Yanada gas pipeline. As Unocal had hired the SPDC, the court saw fit that the corporation could be held accountable for human rights abuses committed by the military regime in the construction of the pipeline. The court also accepted evidence of human rights abuses occurring in conjunction with the pipeline, which therefore can no longer be disputed by the Unocal Corporation’s legal council. Human rights abuses committed in the construction of the pipeline included mass land confiscation and forced relocation resulting in deprivation of livelihood. In addition, there was widespread use of forced labor, including forced portering, extra judicial killings and rape. Disturbingly, many such abuses in the area continued throughout 2002 as the Tatmadaw increased efforts to conscript the local population to provide security for the pipeline.
The suit, "John Doe et al versus Unocoal Corporation", was filed by the NGO ‘Earth Rights International’ and is based on the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789. This act allows for US citizens to be held accountable for offences committed outside the US against foreign nationals. Recently the Alien Tort Claims Act has become a prominent and powerful instrument in policing the behavior of US corporations in countries like Burma where the rule of law does not adequately protect the population. (Source: ERI)
1.4 Prison Labor
After the military coup in 1988, the number of prisoners increased by a large margin. Before 1988, there were approximately 40,000 prisoners in Burmese prisons. After 1988, the number rose to about 60,000 with an additional 20,000 in labor camps. Of the entire prison population, over 1,600 are political prisoners. There are 36 prisons in Burma and over 20 of them detain political prisoners. Numerous violations of human dignity and brutal harassment occur in all prisons. However, the worst situation for prisoners is in labor camps and as porters for military operations. Prisoners are often used as porters by the military rather than civilian villagers. In order to comply with Regional military commanders requests for porters, the Department of Prisons has formed prisoner service units. Inside sources report that longer prison sentences are being given for minor crimes as the demand for prison labor increases.
Convicts are regularly used for unpaid labor as porters, on major infrastructure projects and at rock quarries. They are generally treated much more brutally than civilians and are routinely used in very dangerous or inhuman work, such as blowing up rock faces, digging at cliff-sites, plowing fields in the place of animals and carrying loads far to heavy in the front lines. Prison labor has also been used on numerous infrastructure and tourism projects.
‘Won Saung’ or Military Porter Recruitment Camps
Formerly, prisoners were taken out of prison and handed directly to the Army units. Since 1996, the SLORC/SPDC has created the ‘Won Saung’ to formalize and institutionalize this process.
Sometimes translated into English as ‘porter battalions’ or ‘service camps’, ‘Won Saung’ actually translates more closely as ‘carrying service’. The Won Saung come under the Prison Authority and function as holding centers for the convicts before they are taken to porter at the frontline by the Army. The prisoners are drawn from various prisons around Burma. According to the testimonies of many prisoners, each prison must provide a quota of prisoners to the Won Saung Camps on a regular basis. To fill these quotas the prison authorities lie to the prisoners by telling them that their sentences will be reduced or that they will be released after a brief shift of portering. The authorities also send elderly and disabled prisoners, those under treatment in the prison hospital, and those whose sentences are about to end. The convicts are usually given loads much heavier than what civilian porters are forced to carry. Sometimes the loads are so heavy that they cannot get to their feet without help from the soldiers. While portering for the Army, the porters are constantly subjected to verbal and physical abuse from the soldiers when they have difficulty carrying their loads. Porters who fall out of line from exhaustion are beaten and kicked until they rejoin the column. When porters are unable to continue, they are left behind and sometimes kicked down the mountainside to an almost certain death. The straps from the baskets that the porters carry cut into their shoulders and backs and result in painful wounds.
Despite their requests for medicine, the porters are never given any, even when they have seen the medics treating the soldiers. The porter’s diet generally consists of rice and fish paste, while the soldiers eat dried shrimp, chicken and vegetables. The food and belongings which soldiers loot from villages are thrown on top of the porters’ loads, as are the soldiers’ personal packs and boots. In many cases civilian porters are taken along with convict porters. The porters are forced to walk between the soldiers, partly to prevent them running away and partly in the hope that resistance groups won’t ambush the column if they see civilians. Contrary to claims made internationally by the SPDC, the use of convict porters in military operations and in the frontline camps in no way lessens the forced labor burden of regular villagers. Rather than being seen as an alternative to civilian forced labor, the use of convicts for portering and other forced labor in Burma should be seen for what it is: an additional, unnecessary, and particularly brutal form of human rights abuse. (Source: KHRG)
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), the three Won Saung camps known are located in the southeastern military regional command: in Hpa- an, capital of the Karen State; Myaine Ka lay township, Karen State; and Loikaw, capital of Karenni State. (See interviews at end of chapter)
1.5 Forced Portering
The SPDC often uses civilian forced labor to move its supplies, such as rations and munitions. The most infamous form is "operation portering", which occurs when the SPDC mounts a major military operation. These operations involve up to 2,000 troops at a time and on average, two to five porters are required for each soldier in order to carry the required ammunition, rations, heavy weaponry and other supplies. To conscript the required number of civilians, SPDC troops, police and local authorities are assigned a quota of how many porters they have to round up.
Once at the frontline, operation porters are assigned to units and given a load to carry over the mountains. The soldiers generally carry nothing except their personal weapon and a small personal kitbag, while each porter is forced to carry 30 to 50 kilogram loads in woven bamboo baskets which rip the flesh off their shoulders and backs. They generally have no change of clothes and are given little or no food, often just one or two handfuls of rice per day and do not have access to adequate supplies of water. They are not paid in any way. They are often sent in front of the column as human minesweepers and used as human shields. Those who are wounded or fall sick are generally not treated but simply left behind as medicine is reserved for the soldiers. While carrying loads, if porters are slow they are usually kicked, prodded with bayonets or beaten to keep them moving, and if they collapse and cannot continue they are left behind, often after being beaten unconscious. Soldiers often open fire on any porters trying to escape, and if captured they are tortured or executed in front of the others as an example. They are usually kept as porters for the duration of the operation, which can be three months or longer. Many escaped operation porters testify that by the time they escaped, half of the original porters had died. Even if the operation ends, they are just told they are free to go and given no assistance to get home, even if it is halfway across the country.
In addition to portering for military operations, villagers are often conscripted to porter supplies between military camps. Portering assignments to carry supplies between military camps usually last a few days to a week and villagers have to take their own food. Portering takes villagers away from their work and families and there is always the risk of being beaten or killed, so people try to pay instead of going if they can. Doing work for the military not only prevents people from being able to work for their livelihood but it also puts them in harm’s way. The villagers doing forced labor are routinely beaten if they haven’t finished their work, are caught taking a short rest or simply don’t do a "good enough" job. If villagers are found hiding in the jungle, they’re often forced to work and porter for the military as well, and people caught in this manner are treated particularly brutally. Porters, drawn both from the relocation sites and the jungle, are expendable to the military.
A partial list of porters tortured and killed is included under the Partial List of Incidents section of this chapter.
Women and Children Used as Porters
In some areas, when the troops are unable to conscript any men, women are often arrested and forced to be porters instead. No adjustments or alterations are made to the labor they must perfom or the weight of the loads they must carry. According to the Human Rights Forum of Monland, the use of female porters is concentrated in isolated rural areas, where the village headmen are unable to provide male porters for the Burmese Army. In such villages, the village headmen are also often accused of being rebel-supporters. Like most adult males, they often flee when the Burmese Army arrive in their village. In the same way, children are often utilized as porters to compensate for the shortfall in adult male porter numbers. Like adult male porters, women and children porters are subject to employment as human shields and land mine sweepers. (Source: HURFOM)
1.6 Forced Labor for Military Bases
In areas under SPDC control, even in places where there is no resistance threat, the local people are regularly summoned to do one or more days of forced labor at military camps. Whenever a new battalion moves into an area, the nearby villages are forced to provide most of the building materials for the camps. At least one person per household is required to perform forced labor building the barracks and bunkers, digging trenches and erecting fences. They also have to act as messengers, build and maintain the camp buildings and surrounding fences and defences, clear the ground around the camps and do other work for the troops. People are forced to go on a rotating basis for ‘gkin’ [‘patrol’], which means standing sentry and delivering order documents, messages or packages to villages and between military camps. Demands for these kinds of labor, as well as demands for porters and various fees, are often dictated at regular meetings called by the battalion officers that must be attended by village heads and sometimes heads of households.
Village heads are sometimes ordered to provide comprehensive and detailed registration lists of everyone and everything in their villages. These lists are then used to assess paddy quotas, quotas for forced labor, fees and extortion money, demands for carts, vehicles and other equipment, and to closely monitor the movement of villagers and the arrival of anyone new in the village. People found to be unregistered can be arrested, accused of being ‘insurgents’, and detained and/or tortured. The registration lists are also a tool for intimidation, making the villagers believe that the SPDC knows everything about them and making them afraid to do anything out of the ordinary.
Each village has to send several people on rotating shifts of three to five days to each military camp in their area for miscellaneous forced labor, which is sometimes referred to as ‘patrol’. This labor routinely includes clearing scrub and grass in and around the camp, maintaining barracks, digging and maintaining trenches and bunkers, building fences and man-traps, cutting firewood, carrying water, cooking, cleaning, and delivering messages to other military camps and order letters to local villages.
In areas where there is any possible of conflict, villagers must undertake sentry duty at military camps; often most or all the soldiers sleep, leaving only unarmed villagers as sentries with orders to wake them up if anything happens. Villagers must also clear roadsides of scrubs and trees for anywhere from 5 to 100 meters on each side of military supply roads in order to decrease the chance of ambushes. They also have to do unarmed sentry duty outside military camps and along vehicle roads which are used by the military. If anyone is seen on the road, they are supposed to send a signal up the line by beating on bamboo sticks. Villagers in northern Mone Township, Karen State report that they now have to do nightly sentry duty along the roads from Kyauk Kyi to Mone and northward to Toungoo. Three villagers have to man each sentry post, which are closely spaced along the road, for rotating 24-hour shifts and are supposed to report any strangers on the road to the local military. Villagers must pay 150 kyat in order to avoid one 24-hour shift and villagers are also punished if they are not seen at their post during the shift.
1.7 Porters Injured or Killed
(See also Extra-judicial killing and Summary Execution chapter)
On 8 August 2002, one 26-year-old defector reported that he spent five years in the army as a private and that while battalions were provided prisoner porters, more were recruited in villages. Village headmen, he said, would be told how many porters were needed, even though no one suitable might be left in the village. If a family refused the village headman would be beaten. In his five years, he said he saw porters die of exhaustion or malaria and said the practice seems common in the army. Malaria is common among soldiers, he said. Other illnesses both soldiers and porters are susceptible to include stomach problems and dysentery.
A 19-year-old defector who left the army in May described continuing human rights abuses in the army as well as support for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi among the lower ranks. He said he saw human porters being used, although he said the practice has been reduced. He said when he freed three porters, two sergeants beat him with rifle butts and their fists. Each battalion of about 150 to 200 men is allocated between 70 and 80 porters, he said. He also described forced recruitment, saying one method involves soldiers recruiting male villagers before going to front lines. Villagers who refuse can be beaten, he said, although he said some of these practices have declined because of negative publicity.
A 20-year-old defector also reported human rights abuses in his unit, which carried supplies and letters to the front. His unit recruited porters to carry equipment and other tasks, he said. If a porter was too slow, he said, he would be kicked. In addition, he said sergeants took money from civilians until a captain made them return it. His unit subsequently became attached to a unit notorious for forcing porters to act as human minesweepers. This defector said he deserted because the captain and sergeant hit and beat soldiers and because soldiers, who were not allowed to rest, were always exhausted from carrying supplies.
According to the report’s description of an interview with a Shan porter who escaped from the army, he traveled 30 miles the first day as a porter. Officers and soldiers ate first and only if there was any food left were the porters allowed to eat. The porter reportedly said he often ate less than a handful of rice daily and reported beatings for such reasons as asking for food or water. When three porters were captured after an escape attempt, they were all killed as punishment, according to the report. The Shan, later given a choice between joining the army or jail, joined the army. According to the report, he said that the soldiers had little food or water. There were apparently no toilet facilities and when they went to the jungle to relieve themselves they were forced to remove all of their clothing to ensure they would not escape. According to the report, one trainee tried to escape and officers forced the 200 trainees to beat the escapee, who is described as having then needed two weeks of hospitalization. Trainees who refused were beaten themselves, according to the report, and the escapee was forced to pay for his medical treatment.
According to one diplomatic source, human rights abuses have not been limited to the ethnic areas. This source said there has been a resumption of press-ganging for portering, despite a recent lull in the practice. This source cited new reports in recent months of people being picked up in Rangoon and elsewhere in the country. He said he was not sure if the reports were a temporary blip or not. He said, though, that in Rangoon men were being warned not to be out late at night. (Source: UN Wire, August 8, 2002)
On 6 Janaury 2002, Aa Li (m), aged 26 and Aa Ming (m), aged 29, 2 Akha villagers from Ho Naa village in Murng-Phyak township, were on the way near their village as they were returning from their farm when they were seized by a passing column of about 60 SPDC troops from IB221. They were then forced to carry military things with the other 18-19 civilians already serving as porters. After a couple of days, on 8 February, there was a battle between SPDC troops and SSA-S (Shan State Army - South) troops in which one of the SPDC troops’ stronghold manned by IB244 at Me Zok village in Murng Tum tract, Murng-Sart township, was overrun by the latter.
On hearing the news, the IB221 column which was at that moment resting at Murng Kok immediately started off again. In order to be in time to help the IB244 troops take back the stronghold, the IB221 troops marched towards Murng Tum as fast as they could, day and night, forcing the porters to go fast and scolding and beating those who lagged behind.When they reached a place between Kawng Mon and Phaktu Murng villages in the evening at dusk, Aa Li and Aa Ming collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration. The SPDC troops ordered them to get up, but they could not, and the troops pulled them up by the hands, but they fell down again and lay on the ground as if they were dead.
The troops then kicked the 2 Akha men with their boots and beat them with their rifle butts repeatedly on their heads, necks and waists for about 15 minutes until they were both soaked in blood, and finally pushed them down the side of the road and continued to march towards Murng-Sart.When the 2 Akha men were later found by villagers from Kawng Mon, the closest village to the site of the incident, both of them were already dead. Their bodies were then buried by the Kawng Mon villagers. (Source: SHRF)
On 7 January 2002, SPDC troops from Murng-Paeng-based IB43 came to Murng-Ton township and conscripted 140 civilians in the area to serve as porters for the military.The civilian porters were put on trucks and taken to Murng-Sart township and were forced to carry heavy loads of military rations and ammunition to the Loi Laang area close to the border with Thailand. At one point, a porter named Lung Phong, male, aged 53, stumbled and rolled down a mountain slope together with his load. Some SPDC troops then ran after him, seized him and, accusing him of trying to run away, beat him severely several times until he lost consciousness.The troops left the unconscious porter in the jungle and continued their journey. It is not yet known whether Lung Phong has returned home, and whether he is dead or still alive. (Source: SHRF)
On 11 January 2002, a patrol of 40-45 SPDC troops from IB246 that was patrolling the rural areas of Kun-Hing town came upon a remote farm on the bank of the Nam Pang river and found the following people hiding in the farm;
1. Lung La (m), aged 65
2. Zaai Zarm Nyunt (m), " 28
3. Naang Nyo (f), " 21
4. Zaai Thun Nae (m), " 14
5. Naang Keng (f), " 11
6. Naang Num (f), " 8
7. Zaai Leng (m), " 4
8. Naang Kaeng Kham (f), " 1
This family had been hiding in the jungle since 1997 when their village, Kun Pu, in Kun Pu village tract, was forced to relocate by Burmese army troops, and had managed to survive by secretly growing small amounts of rice and gathering wild vegetables in the jungle until the SPDC troops came upon them on 11 January 2002.
The SPDC troops took all they found at the farm, including rice, other food items, chicken and pigs etc. They also conscripted Zaai Zarm Nyunt and Naang Nyo to serve as porters. Just before they left, the troops told Lung La to take the children and go to either Kun-Hing town or Ka Li village and stay there and not to come back to the farm.When there was still no sign of Zaai Zarm Nyunt and Naang Nyo after Lung La had gone to Ka Li village with the children and had waited for them for 15-16 days, with the help of some village leaders of Ka Li village, he went to the IB246 base to enquire about them. They went to the IB246 base 3-4 times but each time they got there they were not able to find anyone with authority to answer their questions.
Some time later, Zaai Phe (not his real name) who had been forced to serve the military in the same patrol told Lung La that during his 21-day forced labour service, the SPDC troops had killed 8 men and that included Zaai Zarm Nyunt, and although Naang Nyo was still alive when he was released, he overheard the troops say that they intended to kill him sometime later. According to Zaai Phe, each time the troops killed a man, they tried to justify their actions by saying that if they did not kill him, he would later only become a Shan soldier and fight them back. So when there is any excuse, however slight it may be, they should kill as many Shan men as possible. (Source: SHRF)
On 28 February 2002, SPDC troops from IB66 under the command of the commander of Company No.3, Capt. Htun Myint, that were stationed at Kho Lam village in Nam-Zarng township, forcibly conscripted 18 civilian porters from among the displaced villagers who had been forced to relocate to Kho Lam village relocation site in 1997-1998 by the Burmese army troops. Among the forcibly conscripted porters was one Lung Awng Thun, male, aged 48, who had just recovered from a 5-6-day illness when he was taken to serve as a porter. The porters were forced to carry heavy loads of military items and to go with the said military column towards Kun-Hing and Murng-Nai townships. After several hours of having to walk quickly with heavy loads and without rest, Lung Awng Thun became too exhausted to go on and asked for permission to rest for a few minutes. But the troops did not allow him to rest and forced him to go on with the other porters. Lung Awng Thun, however, kept asking for permission to rest after every few steps until one of the troops became angry and kicked him, and he staggered off the road and fell down. One of the porters who saw the incident was Lung Awng Thun’s nephew, Zaai Kam, male, aged 20. As he saw Lung Awng Thun fall down, Zaai Kam put down his load and ran to his uncle and tried to help him up. As Zaai Kam was holding his uncle in his lap, the SPDC troops beat both of them to death with big heavy sticks, at a place about 30 yards from the edge of Kot Pung village, a deserted village in Kaeng Kham tract which had been forced to move to the outskirts of Kun-Hing town in 1996-1997 by the Burmese army troops. (Source: SHRF)
On 7 June 2002, a column of SPDC troops from Kaeng-Tung-based LIB314 conscripted over 130 people from Wan Kaad, Wan Lao, Nawng Pun, Pa Waai, Murng Lung, Murng Kok Tai and Murng Kok Nur villages in Murng Kok village tract, Murng-Sart township. The troops conscripted the villagers on their way from Kaeng-Tung to the Loi Taw Kham area in Ta-Khi-Laek township where SPDC troops and Shan resistance troops were engaging in fierce fighting. The conscripted porters were gathered at a Buddhist temple in Murng Lung village and from there were forced to carry military rations and ammunition and set out by way of Phaktu Murng village tract, Thalang village tract, Murng Kaan village tract in Murng-Sart township and into the area of Loi Taw Kham village tract in Ta-Khi-Laek township.
In Loi Taw Kham area, the SPDC troops, with the 130 civilian porters, stopped in the jungle and camped at a place not very far from Loi Lam hill and also not very far from the site where the fighting between SPDC troops and Shan resistance troops was taking place. The porters were forced to stay at that jungle camp and frequently take food and ammunition to the SPDC soldiers fighting at the front line. After a few days many porters became weak and ill, mainly due to the cold caused by getting wet in the rains, insufficient food, inadequate rest and sleep. In addition, there was nothing to protect them from the jungle mosquitos. About a week later, starting from 14 June, the porters started to die one after another. When the porters were released on 20-June, at least 7 porters had already died of weakness and fever. Among those who died were:
1. Lung Saam Kham (m), aged 49, from Murng Kok Tai village, Murng Kok village tract, Murng-Sart township
2. Zaai Zaen Seng (m), aged 36, from Nawng Pun village, Murng Kok village tract, Murng-Sart township
During the to-and-fro trips between the camp and the front line, several porters were kicked and beaten because they could not go fast enough or unable to carry much. Among those who were beaten were:
1. Ai Pan (m), aged 26, from Murng Lung village, Murng Lung village tract, Murng-Sart township
2. Zaai Kam (m), aged 26, from Wan Kaad village, Murng Lung village tract, Murng-Sart township
3. Lung La (m), aged 50, from Wan Kaad village, Murng Lung village tract, Murng-Sart township. (Source: SHRF)
On 12 January 2002, when fighting broke out between SPDC troops from IB No. 201 and KNLA troops in Three Pagoda Pass area, two Karen porters from Lay-poe village were killed, said an escaped porter. IB No. 201 and LIB No. 550 have operated military operations along Three Pagoda Pass - Thanbyuzayat motor road in launching their military offensives against KNLA and the Mon splinter group, MRA. During this offensive, about 60 troops of IB No. 201 led by Lt. Col. Myo Aung, arrested some villagers along the road and in villages where they went and brought them to carry ammunition and food supplies. The soldiers also arrested about 10 porters on 11 January, when they went into Lay-poe village. When the troops moved to Taung-zon area, fighting broke out on the road. The two porters died from serious injuries after the fighting. The porters were used to walk in advance of the troops and that is why they were shot. Trucks that were along the road were forced to carry some of the soldiers and the injured porters to Three Pagoda Pass hospital for treatment. (Source: HURFOM)
On 28 June 2002, a porter looted a gun and opened fire on the soldiers of the column No.1 led by Regiment Commander Major Myint Lwin under the control of Brigade No. 88. The result was the death of seven soldiers including an officer. He then committed suicide. The porter did this because of being asked to carry an excessive load, of being tortured, of receiving insufficient food, of being forced to work beyond the required period, and of being scolded based on a bias against Karen people. According to a recent report, the house that belonged to this porter was burnt down on the directive of the Head Quarters of Brigade No.88. (ABSDF)
On 4 August 2002 at 5:30 pm, troops from SPDC LIB 588, led by battalion commander, major Myo Hlaing took village head Saw My Than, (M, 34) son of U Kyaw Hta in Win-yae Township as a guide and shot him to death beside the Kho-tu-ta-lo road. (Source: KIC)
1.8 Forced Labor - partial list of incidents 2002
On 4 February 2002, 40 troops of LIB No. 299 led by Maj. Ngwe Oo, in the southern part of Ye Township, took about 15 villagers as porters on a 5 day long operation. On that day, the LIB 299 commander asked 5 porters each from three Mon villages, Hangan, Kaw-hlaing and Singu, which are situated in Ye Township. They instructed the village headmen to send the villagers to their headquarters near Hangan village. According to a porter who arrived back to the village after 5 days, the soldiers forced the porters to climb many mountains with heavy load on their backs. The soldiers also shouted at the porters to walk quickly like soldiers. He, a porter from Hangan village, also added that he met a 60 year old porter from Singu village who could not walk fast because he was old and weak.
Because that porter could not manage to walk fast Maj. Ngwe Oo kicked the man three times and then released him by giving him 200 kyat. According to another villager from Hangan, the village has frequently provided porters to LIB No. 299 since January 2002. He said, the village headman has provided 2 trucks for the army battalion HQ and 5 porters to work on their base. This conscription of villagers has been on a daily basis. Every household in Hangan village had to pay porter fees even when the LIB No. 299 had no military activity. When they launched an operation in the area, they asked both porters to carry their food supplies and ammunition and pay porters fee for their expenses. The porter fee was 500 kyat from every house. (Source: HURFOM)
Since early April 2002, SPDC’s Engineering Regiment from Southeast Command based in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State, started building a motor road. Two military battalions from Ye Township have been responsible for the security of the road. "When the soldiers from IB No. 106, that are based in Morkanin village of Ye Township went into our village, there were about 40 porters together with them to carry ammunition and food supplies. When they were taking a rest in our village, I also talked with one porter and he said he was arrested from the southern part of Ye Township," said an eye-witness from a Mon village near the border. The soldiers brought these porters along with them without release. They were forced to be in porter service in appalling conditions for over one-month. The witness added that they were not fed enough food. (Source: HURFOM)
On 25 June 2002, when the troops of LIB No. 586, which is under the command of MOMC No. 19, launched an offensive in the southern part of Ye Township, the Burmese soldiers arrested many porters from Yin-ye village and demanded porter fees. They arrested all the villagers and farmers who they saw in the village and used them as porters to carry ammunition and food supplies. They arrested nearly 20 villagers and used them as porters. When they arrived in the village, the commander called the village headmen and asked them to pay porter fees if the villagers would not like to be porters. The soldiers asked the village headmen to pay them 2,000 kyat from every household immediately.
The commander also complained to the village headmen, "you are also collecting funds for rebels. We are defending your security, why don’t you pay us?" The headmen had no choice and had to collect for them. The village has about 400 households and most of them are poor fishermen. The commander and his troops also waited for one night until they got the complete amount of money from the villagers. The next day, after receiving money, the troops took 20 porters along with them and returned to their base. They decided to not launch an operation because it was not good to carry a lot of money to the frontline. (Source: HURFOM)
On 9 November 2002, when Burmese Army troops entered Khaw-za village, in the southern part of Ye Township, Mon State, they tried to arrest some men to use as porters. Instead, they arrested about 30 women and forced them to carry their food supplies and used them to walk in advance as human-shields. The Burmese troops thought that it was too dangerous to walk alone along the road to Ying-ye village they could be attacked. Khaw-za and Ying-ye village were over 10 miles apart, so they walked for several hours. To prevent attack and to avoid causalities to the troops, the SPDC soldiers made the women walk in advance. (Source: HURFOM)
On 7 December 2002, troops from LIB 506 arrested about 50 porters in the area outside of Three Pagoda Pass border town. When they arrived near Kyaw-palu village, in the southern part of the Town, they also arrested a 16 year old Mon boy named Mehm Krat Khakao. The boy was a high school student who attended a Mon national school. He stayed in a village under NMSP control where the Burmese Army does not arrest porters. When he was arrested he explained that he was a student but the soldiers did not release him. They said that he needed to carry ammunition for them regardless of whether he was a student or a villager. They put 5 motor shells on his back and made him carry for one day. The weight of the 5 motor shells was about 40 Kilograms and very heavy for a young boy. Although he asked to take a rest, the soldiers did not allow him to do so. After the village headmen found out that the student was arrested, they petitioned the commanders to release him, which the soldiers agreed to do. (Source: HURFOM)
Two Military Porters Escape
On 1 February 2002, two Burmese military porters escaped to the Karenni Army (KA), according to reports by a KA source. The two escapees were Thein Shwe, 32, from Pyaw Bew, Yamethin Province, and Htun Wei, 37, from Myaukywafoh, Ngazon Township. They were both taken from Myinchan prison to work as porters for LIB No. 84. Thein Shwe’s prison number was 6068 and Htun Wei’s number was 6058. They managed to escape while they were carrying military rations at May Yuu Stream, early on 16 February.
They had both been sentenced to two years in prison for a crime they committed on 28 December 2001. They saw around 300 prisoners from Mandalay, Meithilar, Yamethin and Myinchan. On 18 January 2002 they were brought along with 48 other prisoners to Loikaw by LIB No. 84 in order to serve as military porters. Before going to the frontline, they were divided into two groups. Each group consisted of 25 prisoners. One group went with LIB No. 84 column 1 to Mae Se and the second group with LIB No. 84 column 2 to the eastern part of the Salween River. Each porter was forced to carry 1½ baskets of rice and shells. The troops only provided one milk-tin of rice for two porters per day, and the porters gradually became weaker and weaker. Some were beaten and kicked by the troops when they were unable to walk any more.
The two men reported that four of them made their escape but the other two had run off in different directions. Thein Shwe added that only the two of them were lucky enough to have been found by the Karenni forces on the Salween riverbank, thus, saving their lives. (Source: KNAHR)
On 24 April 2002, a unit of Burmese troops from IB No. 261 arrived at Wam Ngaw village. They were looking for three of their troops who had recently deserted. The troops ordered all villagers to search for the deserters nearby and took 30 villagers to carry their military rations and ammunition to the Ron River. (Source: KNAHR)
On 14 February 2002, SPDC troops of IB65 of Murng-Ton led by commander Han Sein conscripted 150 villagers from the following village tracts in Murng-Ton township to serve as porters for the military.
1. Mae Ken village tract had to provide 50 villagers
2. Murng Haang village tract had to provide 50 villagers
3. Pung Pa Khem village tract had to provide 50 villagers
Altogether 150 villagers were trucked to the UWSA (United Wa State Army) base at Huay Nam Hoo Khun village and were forced to serve as unpaid porters to transport military things from there to an SPDC stronghold at Paa Khee near the border with Thailand. The villagers had to carry heavy loads of rice, all sorts of food stuff and military rations, ammunition and artillery shells from the Wa base at Nam Hoo Khun up to the Paa Khee SPDC stronghold every day starting from 16 February. (Source: SHRF)
On 25 February 2002, 600 Burmese troops arrived at Nakawngmu, opposite Chiangdao District, Chiangmai Province, in 30 Chinese six-wheeled lorries and collected more than a hundred porters including women. Another group of 150 porters (50 each from Maeken, Mongharng and Poongpakhem tracts) who were captured around 15 February were engaged in carrying supplies from Namhukhun, east of Poongpakhem, to Pakhee outpost. (Source: S.H.A.N.)
On 27 February 2002, people in Kaeng Tawng area in Murng-Nai township, including many women who were mothers of small children, were conscripted by a column of SPDC troops from LIB519 to serve the military as unpaid porters for 9 consecutive days, during which the women were raped at night by the troops.A column of SPDC troops from Murng-Ton-based LIB519, led by Capt. Zaw Win, were patrolling the rural areas of Kun-Hing and Murng-Nai township. On the day of the incident, the troops came to Kaeng-Tawng area in Murng-Nai township and conscripted more civilian porters.
These SPDC troops did not even notify the village and village tract leaders about their conscripting of civilian porters in the area. It was late in the morning and most men had gone to work elsewhere and were not to be found in their houses. The troops took the women who could not go to work with their men because they had small children. The civilian porters were forced to carry military rations, ammunition and clothes etc., starting from Ton Hung village relocation site in Kaeng Tawng area in Murng-Nai township, to Murng-Pan town in Murng-Pan township.The journey took about 9 days from 27 February to 7 March 2002. During the journey, they stopped to rest at night either in the jungle or deserted villages. During every night, all the women were said to have been raped by the SPDC troops.
The following are some of the known civilian porters conscripted from Kaeng-Tawng area on that occasion:
1. Naang Kham (f) (not her real name), aged 32, had a 10-month-old baby
2. Naang Mya (f) (not her real name), aged 43, had a 1-year-old child
3. Naang U (f) (not her real name), aged 27, had a 7-month-old baby
4. Naang Myint (f) (not her real name), aged 28, had a 2-year-old child
5. Naang Paang (f) (not her real name), aged 36, had a 2-year-old child
6. Naang Zaam (f) (not her real name), aged 31, had a 3-year-old child
7. Naang Yong (f) (not her real name), aged 46, had a 3-year-old child
8. Naang Zern (f) (not her real name), aged 28, had a 1-year-old child
9. Naang Tong (f) (not her real name), aged 19, had a 7-month-old baby
10. Zaai Mawng Nyunt (m), aged 17
11. Zaai Mung (m), aged 19
12. Zaai Taan (m), aged 18
13. Lung Awng Sa (m), aged 51
14. Lung Kham Leng (m), aged 53 (Source: SHRF)
On 24 May 2002, SPDC troops from LIB514, acting on the order of Commander Hla Myint, forcibly rounded up 83 civilian porters in Murng-Kerng town, Murng-Kerng township, to be used in military operations. The porters were immediately put on trucks and set off via Lai-Kha, Nam-Zarng, Murng-Nai and Murng-Pan townships to Murng-Ton township, and through Murng Kyawt area to Murng Taw, Murng Thaa and Huay Yaao areas near the border with Thailand’s Chiangmai province where SPDC troops and Shan resistance troops were engaging in fierce battles. At the time of this report, in early August, only 51 out of the 83 civilian porters had returned home intact. 12 were wounded during the porter service and were treated at Nam-Zarng town hospital, and some of them are said to be still being treated at the hospital after undergoing limb amputations.The rest, 20 of them, are missing. They have not returned home and they are not among the wounded; they have disappeared. Most of the porters who have returned believed that the missing 20 would not return and consoled their relatives not to expect them, because they had most probably all died while serving as porters.
According to some witnesses, the conditions of the wounded were not good and many of them would become disabled for life and would be difficult to work to support themselves. The SPDC troops have not mentioned anything about the missing porters and, when asked by their relatives, said that it was other groups of SPDC troops that had taken them away. Not only did the relatives of the dead receive no consolation, let alone compensation, from the military, the wounded also received no additional help except for simply being dumped at the hospital in Nam-Zarng town. (Source: SHRF)
On 15 June 2002, about 300 prisoners from the prison in Kaeng-Tung town were taken by the SPDC troops from IB244 and IB245 and transported to Murng-Sart by 11-12 trucks which had no roofs nor covers so that the prisoners had to bear the rain and sun the whole way. Since the prisoners were forced to wear leg shackles, it was very difficult for them to move around and get up and down from the trucks.
On 16 June 2002, they were then trucked to the Murng Kaan area in Murng-Sart township, where about 400-500 prisoners from other prisons were already gathered ahead of them.
On 17 June 2002, the prisoners were forced to carry heavy loads of rations and ammunition and marched towards Loi Taw Kham area in Ta-Khi-Laek township where fierce battles between SPDC troops and Shan resistance troops were taking place. The prisoners had to work in the rain and sun without enough food and rest, and with their shackles on, causing many to get sick and exhausted. Many were said to have died of illness during the porter service, while some died and were wounded at the battle front. (Source: SHRF)
On 7 June 2002, SPDC troops from LIB529 forcibly conscripted 41 villagers in Paang Kiu village tract in Kaeng-Tung township and forced them to serve as unpaid porters for 7 days.
The porters were from Laao Kai Nur, Laao Kai Tai, Paang Kai, Tong Waa Nur, Tong Waa Tai and Paang Hai villages in Paang Kiu village tract. Once they were gathered at a camp in Paang Kiu village tract, each of the porters was given things for them to carry, including foodstuff, ammunition and other logistics, and were ordered to make poles and ropes and arrange the things so that they could be carried on shoulder poles. The porters and their loads were then put on trucks and taken to the base of LIB529.
On 8 June 2002, a column of SPDC troops, with the 41 civilian porters and their loads, set out on foot towards Murng-Sart township. They marched through Murng Sen and Murng Ing village tracts in Kaeng-Tung township, and through Murng Kok, Murng Lung, Phaktu Murng and Thalaang village tracts in Murng-Sart township. They finally stopped at Me Zok village in Murng Kaan village tract, Murng-Sart township. The journey took 5 days to get to Me Zok where they rested for 2 days, after which the civilian porters were released. During the 5-day journey, they marched all day and stopped at a village each night. The SPDC troops ordered the villagers of the village where they stopped for the night to kill pigs and chickens and cook food for them. The civilian porters, however, were given 2 meals per day with only salt and boiled beans. (Source: SHRF)
On 14 July 2002, SPDC troops from LIB514, under the command of Commander Hla Myint, surrounded the market place in Murng-Kerng town and rounded up 57 civilian men to be used as porters. On 15 July, the SPDC troops divided into 3 columns and set out in different directions to patrol the rural areas in Murng-Kerng township. In one of the military columns, there were Lung Wan, aged 53 and Lung Su, aged 50, among the civilian porters. After several days of strenuous labour without enough rest and food, Lung Wan and Lung Su became too weak and tired to continue carrying their heavy loads.
On 20 July 2002, at one point while the military column was marching, Lung Wan and Lung Su became too tired to go on and stopped to rest, putting down their loads on the ground. The SPDC troops thought that they were trying to run away and 3-4 soldiers surrounded each of them and beat and kicked them until they lost consciousness. They were left lying unconsciousness alone in the jungle.Wan and Lung Su managed to get back home after 2 days, walking slowly through the jungle. Even after some days of rest at their homes, the 2 men were said to be still suffering from the beating and exhaustion and could not go out to work. (Source: SHRF)
On 4 September 2002 Min Aung Naing, commander of SPDC LID 44, came to Ler-pah-pa-yaw, and destroyed three houses and demanded 25 villagers from Ler Klaw village and 25 villagers from Ta Paw village as porters. (Source: KIC)
On 19 August 2002 troops from SPDC IB 75 column 1, led by battalion commander Nyi Nyi Thein Zan, forcibly gathered 30 Klaw-mi-doe villagers, 12 Ler-kla-doe villagers and 8 Hu-mu-doe villagers, including 15 women, to carry food supplies from Pet-let-wa to Klaw-mee-doe. (Source: KIC)
On 20 June 2002, IB No. 77 troops led by Lt. Col. Myo Lwin and Maj. Kyaw Kyaw Oo arrested about 40 porters to use in military offensives against the KNLA from Wet-nan and Wet-sadon villages of Kya-inn-seikyi Township. The troops went into these two villages, which are close each other and are in a ‘free-fire zone’, and arrested about 40 villagers including some women. The soldiers forced them to carry ammunitions and food supplies for 7 days and the commanders said they would release them after that period. While the soldiers had these porters, they launched offensives in ‘Kyaik-done’ area in the middle part of the township area.After 7 days of offensives, the troops returned to those two villages again. And, when they tried to get another 40 villagers to replace the old porters, they could not because many men and other villagers had fled. So, they used the same porters for another weeks.
One woman porter said that they forced her to carry 4 mortar shells and she was also beaten when she could not climb the mountains like other men porters. She said she also saw the soldiers kill some Karen villagers in some rural villages in Kyaik-done area.
On 2 July 2002, the troops also entered Taung-bauk village and arrested 10 villagers as porters including Nai Halae, who was used as a guide. When he showed a wrong way to to get to a Mon village, he was severely beaten. (Source: HURFOM)
In January, troops from SPDC guerrilla unit, led by captain Htun Nay Win, based at Than-daung, demanded one person from each of the villages, in the western part of Day-lor area and forced them to go with the army column. The troops told the villagers that any village failling to meet the demand must pay 30,000 kyat. (Source: KIC)
In March 2002, Thet Oo, commander of No. 3 Tactical Command Headquarters seized 282 villagers from Baw-ga-li, Kaw-thay-doe, Peh-kaw-doe, Plaw-doe, Der-do, Ler-kho, Maw-pah-doe and Klay-soe-khee villages to carry 240 sacks of rice from Baw-ga-li to Bu-sa-khee. (Source: KIC)
On 1 March 2002, combined troops of SPDC IB 35, IB 264 and a SPDC guerrilla unit took 24 villagers from Kler-der-ka and 18 from Kler-pa-hti, in the west of Day-lor area to carry food supplies. Soldiers from the guerrilla unit beat up 2 Kler-der-ka villagers, Saw Lee Kwee and Naw Sheh Way. (Source: KIC)
On 6 March 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 53 demanded 7 villagers from Kler-doe-kha village and 6 villagers from Kler-pa-hti village as porters to carry food supplies for the army to Than-daung Town. Naw Khar Gaw, 33, a pregnant woman, was injured by a truck, which hit her while she was carrying army food supplies for Day-thaw camp. (Source: KIC)
On 7 March 2002, troops from SPDC IB 26, demanded 3 villagers from each village of Ka-ma-po-li, Ma-sa-kaw, Ler-ka-po, Maw-khee and Mae-ka-po-lu villages in Thauk-ye-khat area to carry rice from Htee-tha-saw to Thauk-ye-khat. (Source: KIC)
On 11 March 2002, No.3 Tactical Command commander Thet Oo from the SPDC Southern Command Headquarters demanded villagers’ trucks in Baw-ga-li area to haul rice sacks. On 11 April the villager’s trucks were forced to carry 240 rice sacks, on 12 March, 240 rice sacks and on 13 March, 540 rice sacks for. Moreover, these troops forced the following villagers to carry food supplies from Baw-ga-li to Bu-sa-khee; 172 villagers from Baw-ga-li village, 42 from Kaw-soe-kho village, 16 from Wa-tho-kho village, 16 from Lar-kho village and 18 from Kley-soe-khee village. On 12 March, these troops demanded 15 more villagers from Kaw-thay doe village and on 13 March they demanded 44 more villagers from the same village to carry food supplies. (Source: KIC)
On 12 March 2002, troops from SPDC IB 264 forced 90 villagers from Peh-kaw-doe, 45 from Maw-ko-doe and 30 from Maw-pa-doe to carry food supplies from Baw-ga-li to Tha-aye-hta village. (Source: KIC)
On 12 March 2002, No.3 Tactical Command commander Thet Oo from the SPDC Southern Command Headquarters demanded villagers to carry rice sacks from Baw-ga-li to Bu-sa-khee. The quota specified for the villages were; Maw-pa-doh 30 sacks, Pwe-kaw-doe 30 sacks, Der-do 30 sacks, Maw-ko-doe 15 sacks, Kaw-thay-khee 30 sacks, Ler-ko 15 sacks and Wah-tho-kho 15 sacks. Moreover, the army forced villagers’ trucks in Baw-ga-li and Kaw-thay-doe to carry food supplies for the army to Bu-sa-khee every day. The villagers had to take their own food with them. (Source: KIC)
On 18 March 2002, Thet Naing of southern command forced; 86 Baw-ga-li villagers, 51 Kaw-thay-doe villagers, 10 Ku-plaw-doe villagers, 10 Ler-ko villagers and 40 Kaw-soe-ko villagers to carry military supplies to Bu-sa-khee camp. On 20 March, they forced 32 Wah-tho-ko villagers to carry military supplies to Bu-sa-khee camp again. (Source: KIC)
On 23 March 2002, Thet Oo of southern command forced 7 trucks from Baw-ga-li and Kaw-thay-doe villages to take military supplies to Bu-sa-khee camp. (Source: KIC)
On 30 March 2002, column commander Hla Zaw Oo of SPDC IB 48, forced 21 people from Kaw-thay-doe village to clear roads from Ta-kot-thay-day to Kaw-thay-doe camp. All but one of the villagers were female, and two were under the age of 18. (Source: KIC)
On 1 April 2002, SPDC troops led by No. 3 Operation Command Commander Kyin Maung Htun, G-2 Thet Oo and G-3 Lin Zaw Oo, under the SPDC Southern Command, locked up truck owner Naw Ma Mar of Kaw-thay-doe village in a detention cell at 3 Operation Command. The reason for the detention was failing to transport military supplies with her truck to Bu-hsa-khee. The No. 3 Operation Command Commander Kyin Maung Htun ordered Baw-ga-li and Bu-hsa-khee villagers to complete transporting military supplies to Bu-hsa-khee within a few days. Troops led by captain Tin Ko Ko forced villagers to transport supplies for the army both day and night. Troops from SPDC IB 92 came to Klaw-mee-doe village and took 6 villagers as porters and 2 villagers as runners. Moreover, the troops also demanded 300 kyat as runner fees from each villager making a total of 74,400 kyat per month. Column 2 of SPDC IB 92 ordered 40 to 50 villagers twice per month to carry food supplies for the army from Pa-let-wa to Klaw-me-doe and as a result villagers had no time to do their own work. (Source: KIC)
On 16 May 2002, Battalion Commander Tin Maung Shwe and battalion second
in command Kyaw Soe of SPDC IB 26 forcibly took 3 villagers from Kler-doe-ka , 6 from Kler-pa-hti, 6 from Tha-ba-per and 11 from Ka-thwee-dee villages and forced them to carry military supplies to their camp at Than-daung. (Source: KIC)
On 20 May 2002, troops from SPDC IB 39 led by battalion commander Soe Win Naing ordered Kaw-thay-doe villagers to carry food supplies to Naw-soe military camp. The villagers were the following: Naw Sheh Ree Kee 20, daughter of Saw Hsa Moo Loo; Naw Bazaw Paw 23, daughter of Saw Maung Koo; Naw Peh Koo Loo 30, daughter of Saw Makung Loo; Naw Bo Say 20, daughter of Saw Doo Maung; Naw Ka Meh 35, daughter of Saw Maung Than; Naw Ta Lu Lu 16, daughter of Saw Ta Mlar; Naw Sha Shu 18, daughter of Saw Ta Kleh; Saw Khaw Hu 43, son of saw Whoh Lah; Naw Lu Lu 30, daughter of Saw Kah Pa Ta; Saw Ta Klee Kla 38, son of Saw Beh Ber; Naw Hla Cho 35, daughter of Saw Hai Per; Naw Ah May 40, daughter of Saw Moo Bay; Naw Nay Nay 19, daughter of Saw Eh Mwee; and Naw Koo Ku 39, daughter of Saw Pa Pee Pi. (Source: KIC)
On 2 June 2002, troops from SPDC IB 75 led by company commander Than Taik Soe and Aung Soe forced 40 Klaw-mee-doe villagers, 20 Ler-kla-doe villagers and 20 Plo-mu-doe villagers to carry food supplies to Pa-let-wa village. (Source: KIC)
On 1 July 2002, Kyaw Zaw Han of a SPDC guerrilla unit forced 15 villagers from Ler-hgi-kho village and 80 villagers from Kler-doe-kah area to carry food supplies from Than-daung township to Day-lo bridge. (Source: KIC)
On 5 July 2002, troops from SPDC IB-39 led by Bo Myint Aung force 21 villagers from Gor-thay-doe village to carry food supplies from Gor-thay-doe to Bu-hsa-khee. (Source: KIC)
On 19 August 2002, troops from SPDC IB 75 column 1 led by Battalion Commander Nyi Nyi Thein Zan forcibly gathered 30 Klaw-mi-doe villagers, 12 Ler-kla-doe villagers and 8 Hu-mu-doe villagers, including 15 women, to carry food supplies from Pet-let-wa to Klaw-mee-doe. (Source: KIC)
On 27 August 2002, Bo Kyaw Oo of SPDC LIB 73 forced Kaw-thay-doe villagers to carry food supplies from Naw-soe to Bu-has-khee. The villages forced to porter were the following: Maung Oo (M, 33), son of Saw Leh Der; Naw Tin Kyi (F, 32), daughter of Saw Maung Toe; Naw Hla Shwe (F, 45), daughter of Saw Maung Toe; Saw Keh Htoe (M, 39), son of Saw Pah Doo; Naw Noh Noe, daughter of Saw Aye Htun; and Naw Tah Noo (F, 29) daughter of Ta Peh Pa. (Source: KIC)
On 6 September 2002, troops from SPDC battalions, IB 53, 39 and 73 based at Naw-soe area seized Kaw-thay-doe villagers and forced them to carry military food supplies to Naw Soe camp. The villagers seized were the following: Naw Heh Kreet (F, 30) daughter of Saw Koo Noo; Naw Hsa Paw (F, 25), daughter of Saw Meh Kay; Naw Ray (F, 53), daughter of Saw Ray Day; Naw Paw (F, 43) daughter of Saw Ta Kler Ler; Saw Pa Oo (M, 20), son of Saw Ta Po Nyet; Saw Toe Reh (M, 40) son of Saw Htoo Say; Saw Ta Koo Ku (M, 30) son of Saw Ta Moe Toe; and Saw Gay Moo (M, 34) son of Saw Pah Doo. (Source: KIC)
On 11 September 2002, troops from SPDC IB 73, led by Bo Hla Saw Oo seized the following Kaw-thay-doe villagers to carry food supplies to Naw-soe camp:
(1) Saw Tay Kaw Day, 42, son of Saw Ko Maung,
(2) Ngwe Win, 35, son of Saw Ko Lah,
(3) Saw Tak Loo Klu, 26, son of Saw Bu Gaw,
(4) Saw Ah Win, 33, son of Toe Moo,
(5) Naw Ta Eh, 28, daughter of Saw Maung Ba,
(6) Naw Esther, 40, daughter of Saw Ngwe Mya,
(7) Saw Htoo Paw, 25, son of Saw Maung Loo,
(8) Saw Klu Wah, 15, son of Saw Ta Koo Ka,
(9) Naw Ka Sha, 28, daughter of Saw Mya Loe,
(10) Saw Po Heh, 28, son of Saw Po Htoo,
(11) Saw Eh Htoo Gay, 21, son of Saw Kay,
(12) Saw Koo Nu, 28, son of Saw Kah Mata,
(13) Naw Say Heh, 22, daughter of Saw Johnny,
(14) Saw Hai Pwe, 26, son of Saw Ta Star,
(15) Saw Po Wah, 41, son of Saw Ta Wah Lah,
(16) Naw Mah, 34, daughter of Saw Maung,
(17) Saw Po Kwah, 38, son of Saw Say Hai,
(18) Saw Wah Wah, 35, son of Saw Moe Toe,
(19) Naw Krit Ma, 28, daughter of Saw Ta Pah,
(20) Naw Shai Ree Moo, 25, daughter of Saw Ko Dway,
(21) Saw Meh, 48, son of Saw Kray Kray, and
(22) Naw Say Say, daughter of Saw Pwe Kaw.
From 23 to 29 September 2002, SPDC battalion IB 124 forced 80 villagers from Khone-htaing village tract, 80 from Leik-pya-gyi village tract, 80 from Leik-pya-galay village tract and 80 from Ta-wah-lor-khee village tract to carry military food supplies from Than-daung to Day-lor bridge. The army took a total of 320 villagers from Than-daung Township.(Source: KIC)
On 13 October 2002, troops from SPDC guerrilla unit, led by Si Thu Lwin, forced 10 villagers of Sa-ta-lo-khe village and 10 from Kaw-law-kah village in Than-daung Township to carry military supplies from Twenty-mile village to Htee-ta-pu village. (Source: KNU)
On 14 October 2002, SPDC troops in Tan-ta-bin Township forced Kaw-thay-doe villagers to carry military food supplies to Naw-soe camp. The victims were the following: Naw Meh (39) daughter of Saw Maung Dah; Saw Ta Loo Lu (15), son of Saw Maung Wah; Naw Boe Say, (22) daughter of Saw Doo Maung; Naw Lah Lar (38), daughter of Saw Ta Kaw Raw; Saw Maung Oo (32), son of Saw Let Ter; Naw Peh Leh Lor (39), daujghter of Saw Ta Wi Lah; Saw Ta Kroo Kru (32), son of Saw Bu Gay; Naw Saw Say (40), daughter of Saw Pweh Kaw; and Naw Jully (45), daujghter of Saw Moh Pler. (Source: KIC)
On 17 October 2002, troops from SPDC IB 53, seized Kaw-thay-doe villagers of Tan-da-bin township to carry rations to Naw-soe military camp. The villagers were:
(1) Saw Jackob, 37, son of Saw Pa Doo,
(2) Naw Aw Kray 25, daughter of Saw Ta Per,
(3) Naw Wah Wa 35, daughter of Saw Moe Day and
(4) Naw Noe Kree 45, daughter of Saw Kray. (Source: KIC)
On 21 October 2002, troops from a SPDC guerrilla unit led by Naung Naung forced 10 villagers from Htee-ta-pu village, Than-daung township, to carry military rations from Pet-let-wa to Ka-thaw-pwe. (Source: KIC)
On 28 October 2002, company commander Win Tin of SPDC IB 53, forced 25 villagers of Kaw-thay-doe village, Tan-da-bin township, to carry military ration from Kaw-thay-doe to Naw-soe. On their way back from Naw-soe to Kaw-thay-doe village, these villagers were forced to carry military supplies. The villagers who were forced to carry supplies were:
(1) Saw Moo Gay 30, son of Saw Pa Doo,
(2) Saw Ta Koo Ky 43, son of Saw Ta Moe Toe,
(3) Naw Pya Pya 23, daughter of Saw Po Nyeh,
(4) Naw Heh Kru 30, daughter of Saw Htoo Meh,
(5) Naw Hah Nay Blut 21, daughter of Saw Htoo Si,
(6) Saw Toe Reh 35, son of Saw Htoo Si,
(7) Saw Taw Ter 28, son of Saw Sway Taw,
(8) Naw Say Ler Pao 43, daughter of Saw Ta Kreh Neh,
(9) Naw Ka Ree 38, daughter of Saw Mya Tin,
(10) Saw Ta Blut Blut 29, son of Saw Thauk Kya,
(11) Naw Tee Mee 21, daughter of Saw Teh Ter,
(12) Saw Man Kya 26, son of Saw Ho Peh,
(13) Saw Ta Kraw Kror 30, son of Saw Ho Peh,
(14) Saw Htoo Pler 22, son of Saw Lah Lar,
(15) Naw Kuu Ku 23, daughter of Saw Htoo Doh,
(16) Naw Sa Ya 28, daughter of Saw Karenni,
(17) Saw Nay Po 30, son of Saw Ah Mi,
(18) Saw Ta She 32, son of Saw Pa Ler.
(19) Naw Si Na 25, daughter of Saw Ta Browny.
(20) Naw Lu Dee 23, daughter of Saw Lo Say.
(21) Naw Aw Koo 20, daughter of Saw Ta Koo Loo,
(22) Naw Ka Sha 28, daughter of Saw Mya Po.
(23) Saw Lay Htoo 30, son of Saw Po Toe,
(24) Naw Koo Ku 38, daughter of Saw Doe Mar and
(25) Saw Maung Win 39, son of Saw Kaw Kaw.
On 14 November 2002, troops from SPDC guerrilla unit led by Si Thu demanded 10 villagers each from Kaw-law-ka village, Sa-ba-lor-khee village and Ler-gi-kho village in Than-daung township for carrying food supplies from Than-daung to Ler-gu-kho-doe-ka. (Source: KIC)
On 22 March 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 108 led by battalion commander Myint Aung came to Ta-u-khee village of Belin Township and looted 30,000 kyats from Ti Po Klaw and also demanded rice from other villagers. In addition, they demanded 10 villagers as porters to go along with the army column. (Source: KIC)
On 25 May 2002, a column of SPDC LIB 1 demanded 10 villagers from Paw-khee village as porters and took them to Nan-gyi village. (Source: KIC)
On 28 May 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 1 led by Bo Mya Thaung came to Paw-khee area and extorted from the villagers. They tied up Paw-khee villager Saw Khin Say with a rope, suspended him upside down and tortured him by cutting his throat with a knife until it bled without reason. After that, they demanded 6 Paw-khee villagers as porters and proceeded to Ta-eu-khee village. At Ta-eu-khee village, they demanded 4 more porters. The 10 porters have not been released up to the time of this report. At present, troops from SPDC LIB 44 were committing human rights violations and seizing porters constantly and furiously in Tha-ton District. (See also chapter on torture) (Source: KIC)
On 18 July 2002, Column 2 Commander Mya Thaung of SPDC LIB 1 ordered 40 villagers from Ta-eu-khee village and 20 villagers from Paw-khee village in Bi-lin Township to carry 374 sacks of rice, the military ration, from Mae-pu-hta village to Mae-plu village. (Source: KIC)
On 3 September 2002, Min Aung Naing, commander of SPDC LID 44, demanded 25 villagers from Ler Klaw village and 25 villagers from Ta Paw village as porters. (Source: KIC)
On 14 September 2002, Column commander Myo Thet of SPDC LIB 104, forced 25 Ta-roi-khee villagers of Tha-ton Township to carry food supplies for the army to Ta-maw-daw camp. (Source: KIC)
On 7 October 2002, Column 2 Commander Aung Soe of SPDC LIB 2 demanded 8 villagers as porters and 2 villagers as guides from Ta-eu-khee village of Be-lin Township. (Source: KIC)
On 30 October 2002, Company Commander Kyaw Mya Thaung of SPDC LIB 9 ordered Win-yaw, Noh-pa-leh and Kaw-sa-theh villages to weave 5 porter baskets each for porters to carry military supplies. (Source: KIC)
On 4 November 2002, SPDC LIB 2 troops led by Column 2 Commander Aung Soe seized 8 Dah-nay villagers for portage and took them to Kwee-lay village. (Source: KIC)
On 4 May 2002, troops from SPDC IB 78 led by Captain Win Zaw Oo seized and tortured Noh-klo-tae villager Pah Doo Hai of Kya-in Township. The troops took him as porter for 7 days. The villagers had to pay a ransom of 30,000 kyats for his release. (See also torture chapter) (Source: KIC)
On 12 May 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 301 led by Column 1 Commander Min Din and Column Second Commander Than Oo looted from Kya-in Township, Kun-thit-ta villagers.
They also seized the following Kun-thit-ta villagers as porters:
(1) Neh Hla - 52-, son of Pu Ah Tone,
(2) Saw Eh Paw - 25-, son of U Thaung Sein,
(3) Saw Paw - 20-, son of Saw Tin Hlaing,
(4) Saw Ah Pein - 35-, son of Saw Aye Rein,
(5) U Hmway - 55-, son of U Note Kham Mwe,
(6) Saw Po Kyote - 32-, son of U Hmway,
(7) Yan Shin - 34-, son of U Pein,
(8) Saw Mya Thein - 35-, son of U Thaung Pe,
(9) Saw Taw Tha - 30-, son of U Chank Pe,
(10) Saw Mon Lwe - 25-, son of Saw Maung Ha,
(11) Maung Lu byo - 23-, son of Saw Maung Ha,
(12) Saw Ta Paw Kwa - 45-, son of U Toke,
(13) Saw Hla Win - 25-, son of U Pan Aye,
(14) Saw Win Tin - 25-, son of Aung Mya Kyi,
(15) Saw Cho Cho - 20- son of Saw Khin La,
(16) Maung Thaung Pyo - 25-, son of U Kin,
(17) Thaung Pe - 35-, son of U Kyin Ta,
(18) Ta Bay - 37- son of Aung Min,
(19) Ah Kyo - 33-, son of Kyaw Thaung,
(20) U Khaik Pone Lone - 42-, son of U Pan Aye,
(21) Paw Nu Shwe - 35-, son of Neh Paw,
(22) Saw Paw Baw - 21-, son of Kaw law Po and
(23) Saw Ah Thwin, son of U Po Day. (Source: KIC)
On 17 May 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 301 extorted from Ko-du-kwe villagers. These troops also seized the following villagers as porters; Maung Soe Lay 25, son of U Let Ma, U Ohn Myin 35, son of U Hla Po, Maung Shwe Nyo 35, son of U Tha Cin, Ah Htun 40, son of U Ah Khin, Maung Tin Tun 20, son of U Ba Htan, Maung Shwe Mya 19, son of Maung Win Tin, Maung Thein Shwe 27, son of Shwe Yi, Maung Sein 25, son of U Ba Ohn, Ah Htun 45, son of U Tun Tin and Lah Bwe Po 50, son of U Kyaw Myaing. (Source: KIC)
On 21 May 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 301 led by Battalion Commander Min Din and battalion second in command Than Oo looted from the Paw-ner-moo village head. Moreover, they seized and took away some villagers as porters. The victims were: U Tha Lun, Saw Kyi Win, Maung Thein Aung, Maung Win Kying, Pah Yu, Tin Aung Win, Saw Kyaw Kwa, Saw Nga Ah and Maung win Shwe. (Source: KIC)
On 20 June 2002, Min Din, Commander of SPDC LIB 301 based at Paya-ngote-toe, Kya-in Township summoned village heads and demanded 11 villagers as porters from east of the Zamee river and 11 from west of the river, a total of 22 villagers. The village community could provide only 10. The army kept these porters at Paya-ngote-toe camp for work in the camp. The villagers had to provide food for these 10 porters. (Source: KIC)
On 28 June 2002, troops from SPDC IB 78, under LID 88 led by Column 1 Commander Myo Htun Hlaing seized six villagers from Kyone-sein village as porters. When the column arrived at No-pa-na village, it was overdue for the porters to be released. One of the porters looted a weapon and escaped with two others. The troops started shooting the escaping porters, and as a result, one porter was killed and two were wounded. (Source: KIC)
On 1 July 2002, troops from IB 34 under Operation Command 3 under SPDC Western Command led by Column Commander Moe Aung seized villagers of Win-ka-na village, Win-yae Township. The following villagers were taken to Anan-gwin military camp to be porters; Pah Day Thu, (M, 25), Saw Tay Toe Wah, (M, 23), Maung Pan Myaing, (M, 23), Saw Taw Klaw, (M, 30) and Pah Bwe Kyai, (M, 31). The following villagers were sent to Pan-aung village with the military column to be porters; Pah Ker Nyo (M, 36), Saw Maung Ngwe (M, 40), Kah Ka Mu (M, 22), Pah Kher Htoo (M, 32), Saw Ba Theh, (M, 35), Maung Pi Wah (F,36), Maung Po Thein (M, 35), Saw Win Win (M, 35), Maung Nyunt Tin (M, 50) and Ta Kleh Po, (M, 33). On 12 July, the troops released 13 out of the 15 porters.
On 20 September 2002, SPDC LIB 354 troops, led by Major Kyaw Soe, demanded 60 villagers from villages in Win-yae Township to work for them. They forced some of the 60 Win-ka-na villagers to carry rice sacks. They were: U Nyunt Tin, 48, Pah Kyaw Heh, 27, Maung Ngwe 45, Tha Jah Min, 30, Shan Galay, 30, Ta Kaw Htoo, 25, Noe Si Boo, 40, Peh Jan, 18, Saw Kyaw Htwe, 48, Maung Plo, 26, Saw Nay Moo, 18, Saw Lah Doe, 16, Saw Lay Ku, 26, Saw Tho, 35, Saw Hsa Ku, and Saw Boe Htoo, 31. (Source: KIC)
On 21 September 2002, about 30 troops from SPDC IB 20, led by column commander Major Aung Moe Lin, came to Win-ka-na village in Win-yae Township and seized the following villagers to be porters: Saw Dee Doh (45), Saw Hmyaw Heh 25, Saw Pah Ler Nyunt, (36),Saw Paw Naw, (21), Saw May Neh, 28 and Saw Mya Yin for portage. (Source: KIC)
On 29 March 2002, troops from SPDC LID 206 Column 1 under LID 22, led by acting battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Aye Lin, forced 9 Wah-mee-kla villagers in Hlaing-bwe Township, to serve as porters to carry baskets weighing 30 Viss each. These troops forced 5 more Wah-mee-kla villagers to serve as porters. (Source: KIC)
On 25 June 2002, Maung Pet of DKBA Battalion 999 demanded that the villages of Khaw-thoo-khee, Htee-moe-khee, Htee-pah-reh and Wa-me-kla villages each provide two villagers as porters and 2 Viss of chicken. Moreover, he shot and killed a pig worth 30,000 kyat from Htee-mor-khee village and threatened to kill and burn down the villages if a clash broke out. (Source: KIC)
On 10 October 2002, column 2 commander Major Sit Aung of SPDC IB 24 forced 50 villagers to carry food supplies from Kler-day to Paw-pa-hta camp. The group included children and had to bring their own food. The villagers were taken from the following villages; Kler-day, Htee-ler-doe, Kler-kho, Ta-krai-ni and Htee-ma-su-khee villages in Hlain-bwe Township (Source: KIC)
On 12 November 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 204 under LID 22 led by Leutenant Colonel Kyi Win came to Kya-gon village and looted from villagers and took 14 villagers as porters. (Source: KIC)
On 2 January 2002 at 6:00 pm, Company Commander Hla Win of SPDC LIB 534 demanded from Mae-nyunt-ta village 1,000 pieces of roofing leaves, 2 villagers to serve as porters and 2 villagers to serve as sentinels. (Source: KIC)
On 9 January 2002, SPDC troops demanded from Mae-nyunt-ta village 500 pieces of roofing leaves, 1000 pieces of bamboo and 4 villagers to serve as porters. (Source: KIC)
On 28 February 2002, SPDC troops based in Baw-ga-li village ordered Kaw-thay-doe and Klay-soe-khee villagers to cut bamboo and to buy water proof plastic sheets for Naw-soe camp. On that day, these troops demanded trucks from Kaw-thay-doe villagers Naw Ah Ree, Naw Mah Ma, Saw Min Min and Naw Noe No to carry food and other supplies to Bu-sa-khee camp for the army two times a day. The truck owners were told that they had to pay for anything lost and had to repair their own truck if it broke down. (Source: KIC)
On 8 March 2002, troops from SPDC IB 38 demanded five villagers from Mae-ku-hta village and ten from Mae-nyu-hta village as porters. Both villages are in Bu-tho township. These troops also took eight village elders to go along with the column. (Source: KIC)
On 11 March 2002 at 3:00 PM, troops from SPDC LIB 207 seized two villagers from Wa-me-day village, two from Kler-woe-doe village and 3 from Maw-ta-kaw-doe village and took them to Hkeh-pa-hta and Tu-lu-hta villages. They were not released up to the day of this report. On the same day, battalion commander Maung Tin of SPDC LIB 308 demanded 4 villagers from Htee-doh-hta village, 4 from Toe-mu-doe village, as porters. (Source: KIC)
On 11 March 2002 at 3:00 PM, troops from SPDC LIB 20 came and burned down Hkeh-pa-hta and Too-ta-loo villages. These troops took 2 villagers from Wah-me-day, 2 from Kler-doh-doe and 3 from Maw-ta-kaw-doe villages and they were not released up to this day. On the same day, battalion commander, Tin Maung of SPDC LIB 308 took four villagers from Htee-pa-doh-ta and four from Toh-ma villages as porters and forced them to carry supplies for the army. (Source: KIC)
From 1 to 5 May 2002, the DKBA Maung Thu Nu, District chairman Kyaw Hai, Ka Saw Wah battalion commander Pah Too Loo and Bo Ba Yo demanded a person monthly from each village of Mee-nyo-hta, Mae-ku-hta, Mae-ku-khee and To-mu to carry supplies for them or to pay 18,000 kyat if they failed to go. They also ordered people of the villages in the vicinity to go to Mae-ku-hta to serve as watchmen for a period of 2 days per person. (Source: KIC)
On 15 October 2002, Camp commander Bo Than Aung of Ma-htaw camp from SPDC battalion 534 of South-West Command headquarters summoned one person from each household in the villages of Ma-htaw village tract in Dweh-lo Township to do voluntary work (forced labour). People were called from the following villages;Thwa-kho-lo, Ta-hu-lor, Noh-pa-doh, Khaw-kla, Ta-dwee-kho, Po-baw-kho, Koo-seik, Ma-htaw and Tha-pa-su-lor villages. They had to carry bags of gravel from 7am until evening from Htee-gi-lor-klo, Ma-taw village to Koo-seik village. (Source: KIC)
On 25 October 2002, the commander of SPDC LIB 349 Southern Command Headquarters demanded one villager from To-kot-kyaw-khee, one villager from Toe-meh-khee, one villager from Ler-wah-kho, one villager from Mae-kaw-lor, one villager from Mae-waing, one villager from Wah-tho-lor, one villager from Day-law-pu and two villagers from Klo-khee to be porters. Their job was to carry military food supplies from Mae-waing village to Maw-thay-ha village. (Source: KIC)
On 3 June 2002, Column 2 commander Htun Win and intelligence officer Aung Kyaw Oo of SPDC IB 92 ordered villages in Tha-bye-nyunt village tract to send 10 villagers per village with saws, hoes and machetes to construct the Hsaw-wah-doe bridge. Similarly, the SPDC LIB 599 demanded 400 porters from Toe-taw village tract to do the same. (Source: KIC)
On 4 May 2002 troops from SPDC LIB 1 column (2) led by Bo Khin Maung Oo seized Htee-pa-doh-hta villagers Saw Hsa Loo and Saw Maung Taung while they were on their way to Church at Toh-teh-khee and demanded from them 5,000 Kyat. Moreover, these troops forcibly used Htee-pa-doh-hta villager Saw Ka Ka Lay to carry supplies to Mae-pli-khe, Kwee-lay-pya, Klaw-hta and Toe-teh-khee and he was not released up to the day of this report. (Source: KIC)
On 19 May 2002, Sergeant Thein Mya of SPDC LIB 9 demanded 8 bullock carts from Noh-pa-leh and Kaw-sa-theh villages, Tha-ton District, for sending supplies to Win-yaw camp. Moreover, he ordered a person from each household to go and work with their own food supplies in the army camp. (Source: KIC)
On 16 June 2002, Column 1 of SPDC LIB 1, led by battalion commander Khin Zaw Win, came to Baw-naw-khee village and destroyed two hill rice fields of Ta-meh-khee villagers, Pah Kyaw Htoo and Pah Maung Shwe, and 4 hill rice fields of Ka-wa-hta village. They also looted all the villagers’ possessions they found. The troops seized 8 villagers each from Baw-naw-khee village and Ka-wa-hta village and forced them to serve as porters for one month. (Source: KIC)
On 12 January 2002 SPDC troops demanded 10 villagers from Paw-klo village and 15 from Wai-pa village to carry food supplies. The villagers were ordered to arrive at Pa-lauk on 2 January. (Source: KIC)
On 13 January 2002, about 50 troops from SPDC IB-17 column 1 led by Bo Soe Myint summoned headmen of nearby villages in Tennessarim township and ordered them to send one person from each house to carry food supplies to Ler-ker army camp. (Source: KIC)
On 22 March 2002, SPDC No. 8 military operation command Commander Win Htay and Bo Soe Thet based in Myitta village demanded 300 villagers as porters in Ler-doe-soe township to carry food supplies to Thu-ka gate which was on the border. They said that any villager who could not go had to pay 1,500 kyat. They also demanded elephant owners in Poe-klo area to provide them with 2 elephants and 2 chain saws 3 times in one month to construct a motor road between Myitta village and Kwee-waw-wa village. On the same day, Sergeant Kyaw Thein and Sergeant Major Maung Ngwe from SPDC LIB 403 demand Saw-pya villagers to cut wood 2 times a month to make charcoal. Battalion Commander Thein Htun of SPDC LIB 403 ordered each village in Tha-yet-chaung Township to provide 300,000 Kyat as porters’ fees once every six months. (Source: KIC)
On 28 May 2002, Han Thu commander of SPDC LIB 345 demanded 30 villagers from Bu-thaw-plaw village as porters and forced them to carry military supplies from Bu-thaw-plaw village to Plaw-kleh-mu village. (Source: KIC)
On 16 June 2002, Camp Commander Kyaw Than Yu of SPDC LIB-406 based in Ka-ser-doh township demanded 20 boats from Paw-taw village in Tu-ler area and forced them to transport military supplies to Mae-tha-me-hta. (Source: KIC)
On 23 June 2002, Soe Thein, commander of SPDC LIB-403, demanded 3 boats and 4 villagers as porters from Kaw-tee village at Myint-moe-let-kat to serve the military column going on a patrol. (Source: KIC)
On 29 July 2002, troops from SPDC IB 73 led by Bo Myint Aung Kyaw forced Kaw-they-doe villagers,
(1) Naw Ler Lur (F, 27), daughter of Saw Eh Mwe,
(2) Naw Meh Ler (F, 26), daughter of Saw Ah Paw,
(3) Saw Bwe Htoo (M, 43), son of Saw Shwe Soe,
(4) Naw Peh Leh Lu (F, 26), daughter of Saw Ta Wah Law,
(5) Naw Pay Ka Na (F, 30), daughter of Saw Maung Lu,
(6) Saw Lay Thoo (M, 32), daughter of Saw Paw Htun,
(7) Saw Bwee Htoo (M, 26), son of Saw Nay Kaw and
(8) Saw Koo Too (M, 44), son of Saw May
to carry military supplies to Naw-soe. The villagers had to take their own food supplies for the trip. (Source: KIC)
On 27 August 2002 Bo Kyaw Oo of SPDC LIB 73 forced Kaw-thay-doe villagers to carry food supplies from Naw-soe to Bu-hsa-khee. The villagers were the following;
(1) Maung Oo (M, 33), son of Saw Leh Der,
(2) Naw Tin Kyi (F, 32), daughter of Saw Maung Toe,
(3) Naw Hla Shwe (F, 45), daughter of Saw Maung Toe,
(4) Saw Keh Htoe (M, 39), son of Saw Pah Doo,
(5) Naw Noh Noe, daughter of Saw Aye Htun and
(6) Naw Tah Noo (F, 29) daughter of Ta Peh Pa.
On 30 December 2002, LIB No. 538 military column led by battalion commander Lt. Col. Zaw Tun asked 16 villagers from Win-thaung village to be porters to carry their ammunition and food supplies. On 1 January 2002, the same military column asked 16 villagers from Phar-da-yal village to carry ammunition and
food supplies. (Source: HURFOM)
Throughout 2002, villagers from Lae Soe and To Khe villages have been constantly abused by LIB No. 3, LIB No. 102, and LIB No. 207 which are under the command of Brigade No. 44. The troops have abused the villagers by conscripting forced porters, forced military guides, collecting unlawful taxes. The heads of villages have requested that these abuses stop and have shown the SPDC issued order which reads that no citizen of Burma shall be subject to forced labour of any form. These attempts have only ended with scolding and beatings from the military officers. They said that the people who issued that order never come to the frontline, let alone to carry the loads. (Source: ABSDF)
Forced Labour for Road and Bridge Construction and Infrastructure Projects
Beginning 5 January 2000, ten villages in remote areas of Chin State were forced to construct a 20-mile motor road linking Vuangtu and Ngaphaipi villages. Section 2 Commander of Burmese Army Light Infantry Battalion LIB 269 stationed at Vuangtu village issued an order requiring 10 villages located in the surrounding areas of Vuangtu to contribute unpaid labor for the road construction. Headmen of the ten villages were summoned to Vuangtu army base where they were told to carry out the order. The villages include Lailen, Lau, Khuapilu, Phal Tlang, Lung Cawite, Ngaiphaite, Zephai (A), Zephai (B), Ngalang, and Ngaiphai pi.
In addition, 235 people from Khuabung village were ordered to participate in the forced labor. Not only were the villagers ordered to bring with them their own tools and rations during their work period but also were ordered to bring an additional one tin (about 8 Kgs) of rice and other needs for the army guards who supervised the forced labor. The road construction is part of the Border Area Development Project and extensive forced labor has been used in the process. Although the army claimed that the project is for the development of the area, the roads have been used only to ease movements and communication of the Burmese troops around the area. (Source: CHRO)
In the area of the Shan Nationalities People Liberation Front (SNPLF), a group that has a cease-fire agreement with the SPDC, the SPDC has continued to use forced labor. In 1998, the SPDC began to construct a 30-mile stretch of road from the SNPLF area to Seisai town in Shan State. The plan was to complete the project by 2002, but as of April 2002, the work had still not been completed. In February 2002, people living near Naung Htaw town were forced to work on this road construction project. The SPDC ordered groups to work in turn. Anyone who did not take his or her turn was forced to pay 300 kyat. (Source: KNAHR)
On 28 February 2002, a forest fire burned down the Yekyaw Bridge on the main Loikaw-Shadaw road, over the Pon River. This is the only communication line and therefore, a crucial one for transporting SPDC military supplies. The next day, SPDC battalion Commander Tin Win from LIB No. 412 ordered residents of Suplong village in Shadaw Township to cut logs and to repair the bridge as soon as possible. (Source: KNAHR)
A Burmese troop at the Loilin Lay base is now under schedule to build a new 3-mile long road between Loilin Lay and Konna-Daw Tahe. The construction will begin in September and is scheduled to be completed in October. Villagers were ordered by the troop commander to provide security for tractors and to provide labor during the road construction period. (Source: KNAHR)
Digging Water Canal in Kyamayaw Township
During the period from 5 July until 20 July 2002, by the instruction of Township PDC authorities, the village tract Chairman of Tarana village tract, Nai Poe Sein, forced the villagers from four Mon villages to dig a water canal along the motor road from Tarana to Ah-like village. The four Mon villages were Tanara, Kyun-chaung; Kaw-gyi; and Kaw-swe villages.
The road was about four miles long and the four Mon villages were close to the motor road. After the village tract PDC issued their order, the village headmen were responsible for sending the requested number of villagers. They sent about 20 villagers from each village every day to the work sites. The villagers were requisitioned by village PDC authorities on a rotation basis to contribute their unpaid labour. There were about 80-120 villagers every day working on digging the water canal.
The villagers left for work early morning on foot and started digging the canal at about 7:00 a.m. The canal was about 3 ft deep and 1.5 ft wide. They brought their own tools from home for the work. They dug canals along both sides of the road and carried all the earth from the road to a nearby place. They had to carry their own food to the work sites that were far from their villages. Sometimes, if the work site was close to their village, they could have lunch at home. They could return to their homes at about 5:00 p.m.
These four Mon villages have about 2000 households. When the authorities made a requisition, at least one family member from every household, including some women, went and worked at the work site. According to the instructions, every household needed to work. Even the widow or women-headed families were forced work.
July was the beginning of rainy season and the authorities worried that the rain water would destroy the embankment of the road, and therefore, they ordered the villagers to dig water canals to bring rain water away from them. (Source: HURFOM)
Labor for Town Beautification in Ye Town
On 7 July 2002, Ye Township PDC authorities ordered 50 civilians from each town ward to contribute their labor in clearing bushes, water canals, small streams, pools and dikes in town. The requisition of this labor continued for 7 days and civilians from all 10 town wards had to go and work in there. Everyday about 500 civilians in various parts of Ye Town were forced to do various types of beautification activities.
The Town Ward PDC authorities were responsible for sending the civilians to do pieces of work in town. They sent civilians from every household on a rotation basis. The civilians were forced to clear bushes, create gardens, level grounds, and do other work in various compounds of government offices, such as Township’s General Administration Office, Township Police Station, Township Fire Brigade, Telecommunication Office and other places even Township Municipal Office. The villagers were not happy with this work because they paid taxes to the Township Municipal Office every month for the purpose of beautifying the town. Yet, the authorities never hired proper labor for that purpose. (Source: HURFOM)
Road Repairs in Kyaikmayaw Township
SPDC’s Kyamayaw Township’s authorities have been building a road from Kyaikmayaw town to Kyun-ywa, a village in that township, since early 2001. Since then the authorities and Burmese Army have requisitioned hundreds of villagers to contribute their labor. However, the road was only roughly built and not really completed. The villagers were forced to fill small pieces of stone earth along the embankment. During this road construction, the authorities collected funds from the civilians to buy gasoline for trucks to carry stones and other construction materials. The poor quality of the road means that is can be easily ruined every year in rainy season. In order to repair the road, the authorities force villagers to carry small stones and fill the embankment.
Since 9 July 2002, the authorities have forced villagers from Myaing-gone, Chan-gone, Shan-gyi, Shan-lay, Moe-hote, Kaw-kalat, Oo-daing-chone and other villages to find one type of small red stones and to fill them in the embankment of the road. The villagers had to find that type of stone in the forests nearby. They dug the stones and carried them with oxen-carts to reach the road, where they filled them in the embankment.
The villagers had to do this work for over one month and therefore, the village headmen from above-mentioned villages had to send villagers on a rotation basis. They also had to find oxen-carts to send with the villagers. (Source: HURFOM)
Forced Labour in Ye-Tavoy Motor Road Repairs
From 8 to 25 October 2002, a local military battalion in Yebyu Towship, LIB No. 282 forced many hundreds of Mon and Karen people in Ye-Tavoy to repair the motor road that connects Ye Town in Mon State and Tavoy Town in Tenasserim Division. The road is over 100 miles long. The road repairs were done after rainy season (rainy season ends in September), because flood and rain water destroyed some parts of the road and water canals alongside the road were filled with mud.
LIB No. 282 commander, Lt. Col. Maung Aung led in the conscription of forced labour from local villages, which situates along the motor road. The villagers from over 15 villages under Yapu, Aleskan, Kalein-aung and Pauk-pin-gwin village tracts of Yebyu Township were forced to do the road repairs. To do this work, they had to lay stone for tarring, dig water canals alongside the road, clear bushes and grass alongside the road, and repairs bridges. They were instructed to bring their own food and walk to the worksite everyday if they lived close. If they lived far, they had to travel by ferry which cost 700-1,400 kyat and usually slept in the army barracks until their work was completed. Upon the instruction of the army commander, the village headmen sent one villager from each household to contribute their labor. One person from every family was required to go and work. If the father of the house was out in the fields, the women and children (under 18 years old) had to go instead. If no one in the house could go, they had to hire a substitute by paying 5,000 kyat for 7 days of work. The village headmen sent villagers on a rotation basis. If they failed, they would be punished by the Burmese Army. Each villager was responsible for the aforementioned duties for 1 furlong of road. According to one Aleskan villager, they were ordered to work for 7 days on the worksite in order to complete their duties. The road repairs were completed on October 25.
During the repairs of this motor road, the village PDC authorities, who led the requisition of forced labor never paid any compensation costs for those who received serious injury. On 20 October the village headmen of Kye-ta-lin village, which is located on the motor road, ordered 4 villagers in his village to repair a bridge on the motor road, while many other villagers were busy with many other tasks along the motor road. The headman ordered 4 households, including one widow headed household who sent her 22 year old son Mehm Anae to work. First, the laborers had to find wooden building materials like poles and lumber. They went to the forest to cut trees for these materials. The young man had no experience cutting trees and the branch of a falling tree hit him and broke his right leg. He was treated by a local herbal doctor for over one month and his mother had to pay about 50,000 kyat for the treatment. The authorities did not provide any compensation or cover any of the medical costs. (Source: HURFOM)
On 24 April 2002, LIB No. 299 troops arrived into Mi-htaw-hla-gyi, a Mon village in the southern part of Ye Township and called a meeting with all the villagers. The unidentified commander instructed the villagers to clear trees, tall grasses and others obstacles along the route in their village area, which is about one mile long. After clearing the route, they needed to build a bridge.
"The commander said that we must build a strong bridge for army trucks to pass. The army did not provide the villagers with any materials. We had to find lumber and wooden poles. We also had to buy many other materials, such as nails and screws for this bridge. The people had to spend one week to get all lumber and wooden poles. The village Chairman also had to collect money to buy some materials from Ye Town. To complete the building of a 25 meter long bridge would take another two weeks", explained a villager, who fled from Mi-htaw-hla-gyi village.
Soldiers also forced the villagers from Mi-htaw-hla-kalay, Magyi and Danikar village to clear the route for the road and to build bridges. The soldiers guarded the villagers while they worked. Strangely, some soldiers also worked in the construction, but they received payment from the government. An escaped villager indicated that it is likely that they took had a contract for this construction. (Source: KIC)
On 11 June 2002, the commander of LIB No. 586, Col. Ngwe Soe, forced 200 villagers from Palaing-kee, Sin-pyan and Tharyar-gone villages in the southern part of Ye Township, Mon State to clear tall grass and small trees along one part of the Kanbauk-Myaingkalay gas pipeline.
"The soldiers forced us to work many hours," said a woman from Palaing-kee village, who worked for the commander. He forced the villagers to work continuously from 8:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m and gave them about half an hour each to take lunch and dinner. The reason for this was that the commander needed to complete the work in only one day because a high rank commander from the Southeast Command in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State, would come the next day. That senior officer came to the northern part of the Township with the purpose of checking the security of the gas pipeline. As the LIB No. 586’s commander had only one-day, he forced the local villagers to work many hours without payment. They had to clear bushes and small trees about 20 ft away from either side of the pipeline for 14 hours. They had to clear along 4 miles of the pipeline.
As per the authorities’ instructions, the village headmen told the villagers that each house had to send one of their family members. If one family or one house failed to go and work, that family had to pay a 1,000 kyat as fine. As most families in these three villages were poor, most of them went to the work sites to avoid paying the fine. About one company of LIB No. 586 (about 50-60 troops) guarded the villagers in many places of the gas pipeline while they were working. (Source: HURFOM)
Since mid-December 2002, when the local township authority of Morkanin village, Ye Township, decided to build a dyke, the villagers from Morkanin village have been forced to contribute their labour on a daily basis. The authorities planned to build this dyke 80 feet in length, 14 feet in height and 10 feet width to keep water above the embankment and to distribute it to the farms. Although the authorities from IB No. 106 and the Township Construction Department received about a 10 million kyat budget to build this dyke, they did not hire laborers. They forced the villagers to work instead. After the dyke’s construction is completed, many fruit plantations in the area above the embankment will be destroyed by flood. (Source: HURFOM)
New Road Construction in Yebyu Township, Tenasserim Division
In mid-July 2002, Yebyu Township authorities from the construction department led by U Maung Maung planned to build a new road that connects Mu-doo village and Htein-gyi village. As a result, they requisitioned the villagers from the area nearby to contribute their labor for the construction. The road was only 5 miles, but the authorities and Burmese Army planned to have communication between these villages for the security of the whole area. After the Township PDC gave the order, a military commander from LIB No. 407, Warrant Officer Zat Boe was responsible for conscripting the villagers.
On 17 July 2002, the Commander went into Htein-gyi village and informed the village headmen that they needed labor for the construction. In their initial plan, they wanted to build a rough road by clearing some bushes along the route and filling the area with some small stones. The total process was to clear the area, lay sand as a bottom layer, find stones from another area, crush the stones into small pieces, and lay them on the 12 ft wide embankment. The Commander ordered that each household must build 10 feet of the motor road. There were about 500 households in that village and therefore they had to complete 5000 feet of the road. Every household was ordered to be involved in the construction of this road. The commander also went to Napalae and Mu-doo villages and forced the villagers to do the same work as the Htein-gyi villagers.
One villager reported that they had to go to other places in order to get the sand and stone. They had to hire oxen-carts and trucks to bring the materials to the work site, which cost 1,200-3,000 kyat per half ton of sand or stone. The prices depended on distance. For every 10 feet of road, each household had to fill about half ton of sand and two tons of stones. They also had to crush the stones into small pieces before they could lay them on the embankment. It took one able-bodied person at least three days to complete the work. If the villagers had to carry stones from far places, they needed about seven days to complete the construction. Each family had to spend 5,000-10,000 kyat for the construction and at the same time, they lost the chance to go to their farms or to do their own work for daily income. The daily income for one man in this area is only 500-800 kyat if they engaged in hard work. The construction of the road and the additional transportation cost made the villagers face greater difficulties in their survival. (Source: HURFOM)
Regional Development Program in Yebyu township.
As the rainy season had almost gone by, Yebyu Township Peace and Development Council instructed all the village tracts under its control to repair all the bullock-cart tracks so that they could be traveled by motor vehicles. According to a villager from Natkyizin village in the northern area of Yebyu township, the villagers were ordered by the VPDC (Village Peace and Development Council) to build a car-road between Natkyizin and Da Ni Chang (a village on the sea beach) along the bullock-cart track. The distance is 4 miles and the villagers had to build the road at their own expense.The government calls this ‘ Ko Htu Ko Htaat Saint’, which means self supporting system. One person from each household had to work on the road and had to bring their own tools and food, including drinking water.
On 23 November 2002, Pa Ti Tah Preh, the leader of Pyithusit (People militia also known as Thakasapa -Anti Insurgency Group, which was formed and backed by Burmese troops) from Kaw Paw village forced villagers of Wahsuhko (Seikpyone) and Kawpaw (Myinkanbaw) to build a monastery in Pawpaw village, about 35 kilometers to the east of Tavoy. Three villagers from each section had to go and work. There are six sections in Wahsuhko village and 12 sections in Kawpaw village.
On 3 November 2002, the Burmese troops ordered the villagers from Noh Pah Doh (Inmmagyi, in Theyetchang township, Tavoy district, Tenasserim division) to plant beans for the military. The villagers were ordered to clear the land and plant the beans on at least four acres. According to the local villagers, every Karen village in the southern part of Theyetchaung township was ordered to grow beans for the army. There are 29 Karen villages in the southern part of Theyetchaung township.
On 23 November 2002, troops from SPDC IB104, based in Kawpaw village and led by Battalion Commander Zan De, forced the villagers from Wahsuhko to transport chainsaws and food supplies. Two bullock-carts from Wahsuhko were ordered to transport the troops’ food supplies and chainsaws to the east of the village, where the Burmese troops were building a road with bulldozers. The chainsaws were confiscated from the villagers by the Burmese troops and then forced them to cut down the tress and to clear the forest for the bulldozers. According to the villagers, the bulldozers could not bulldoze some hard trees.
On 24 November 2002, the same troops from SPDC IB104 forced the villagers from Wahsuhko to transport their food supplies and oil. Ten bullock-carts from Wahsuhko were ordered to transport food supplies and diesel to the east of the village where the Burmese troops were constructing a road to the Burma-Thai border with bulldozers. (Source: HURFOM)
Repairs to Damaged Bridges and Roads near the Thai-Burma Border
In the beginning of October 2002, the Burmese troops taking security in the east of Tavoy forced the local villagers in Kamoethway and Paw Klo areas to reconstruct the damaged bridges on the military transporting route to the Burma-Thai border. Two villagers accompanied every elephant or chainsaw owner to cut down trees for the construction. The construction went from October to the beginning of December. According to a local villager, there were about 30 elephants and 30 chainsaws total. The Burmese troops threatened that any villager who failed to work would be restricted from going outside the relocation site. After every rainy season since 1997, local villagers from Paw Klo and Kamoethway areas have been forced to construct two bridges for the Burmese troops. Those bridges are damaged by flood every year.
The Burmese troops forced local villagers to transport their supplies by bullock carts to the construction site near the Thai border in the east of Tavoy, Tenasserim division. Starting from 5 November 2002, the Burmese troops were constructing a car road from Kaw Paw village to the Thai-Burma border at Thuka. Although they used two bulldozers for the construction, local villagers were still forced to labor on the road by transporting fuel, other materials and food supplies for the bulldozers and the troops guarding the bulldozers. The villagers’ chainsaws were confiscated for the road construction. According to a local villager, three bullock carts from Kler Hpu (Nyaung Don), Kaw Paw (Myinkanbaw) and Wahsuhko (Seikpyone) were forced to transport construction supplies.
On 4 December 2002, Officer Thura Thazin from SPDC LIB 401, based in Thinbaw Na village in the east of Mergui, Tenasserim division, summoned ten villagers from Kaw Maw Praw (Kawmabyin), five villagers from Thinbaw Na, five villagers from Hin Lah, and five villagers from Kawut Hta for forced portering. The villagers were forced to carry military supplies from Thinbaw Na to Ta Rut Hkee.
On 2 December 2002, Officer Soe Than from SPDC LIB 403, based in Aye Bya village in Theyetchaung township Tavoy district Tenasserim division, demanded 96 loads of firewood from the local villagers in Htee Pah Doh and Saw Kay. The villagers were ordered to collect 96 bullock cart loads of firewoord and transport it to the military base. It was unknown how the fire wood would be used. Previously, the Burmese troops had demanded firewood to make charcoal and to sell for themselves.
On 7 December 2002, Officer Thein La Htwin from Company No.2 SPDC LIB 104, based in Pawdaw village in east Tavoy in Tenasserim Division, demanded all of the villagers’ engine boats in Paw Daw village to transport their military supplies to an unkown destination. The Burmese troops ordered the village headmen to accompany the engine boats.
On 20 December 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 402 led by officer Than Kyi demanded ten villagers to carry their supplies while they were patrolling in Ta Poe area to the east of Mergui, Tenasserim division.
On 21 December 2002, troops from SPDC IB104, based in Pawdaw in the east of Tavoy, Tenasserim division, demanded four engine boats from Kanekaw village, ten engine boats from Katawni village, ten engine boats from Kawhtee (Thabyuchaung) and seven engine boats from Htuler (Kyaukhtu) to report to the No.1 Strategic Commanding Office in Myitta. The boats were to transport military supplies to the south of the Tenasserim river where their troops were stationed.
On 23 December 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 410, based in Htuler village in the east of Thayetchaung township, Tavoy district, forced local villagers in Htu Ler village to construct a building in their military camp. The villagers were ordered to collect materials such as wood, bamboo and roofing leaf. After collecting the materials, the villagers were forced to build the building within one day. Each person form every household was forced to participte in the construction of the building. (Source: HURFOM)
Villagers in forced relocation site gather for forced labour on the road
On 4 November 2002, the Burmese troops who were taking security in southern Theyetchaung township, Tavoy district, ordered local villagers in southern Theyetchaung township to collect and pile up at least 50 zin of stones beside the Tavoy-Mergui car road, which passed through their village. (1 zin, a pile of stones, which is 10 feet long, 10 feet wide and 1 foot high). According to the local villagers, the villages with small populations had to pile up at least 50 zins of stone and the villages of large population have to pile up more than 50 zins. The village that could not perform the task had to pay 500,000 kyats to the army or had to perform forced labor for the construction of Tamoak bridge. The villagers had to bring along their own food. (Source: HURFOM)
On 12 May 2002, the Burmese military authorities in Kaesi township forced the people of Wan Mong Nim to cut down and clear trees on both sides of the motor road from Kyong Loi Paw to Pang Pok. An 85-men-strong conscripted work force had to cut and clear trees and bushes for seven days. They were ordered to clear 50 wahs (100 yards) on each side of the 4-mile-long motor road. In the rainy season these bushes and shrubs are frequently cleared from the motor road again. The villagers face great difficulties as they do not have much time to do their farming work. (Source: Freedom, May 2002)
On 10 August 2002, the townspeople of Sittwe, the capital Arakan State, were ordered to construct sidewalks in front of their respective houses. The order required the house owners to build 3 ft wide and 2 ft deep sidewalks extending the entire length of their respective houses with their own money and manpower. The official order further stated that house owners would be jailed for no less than three years and face eviction for non-compliance. Most of the drains, roads and lanes in the state capital have deteriorated beyond repair due to incessant rain during the monsoon months. Every Saturday the townspeople have to offer ‘voluntary labor’, a euphemism for forced labor for digging ditches and drains, holding cleanliness drives and constructing sidewalks. (Source: Narinjara News)
On 25 January 2002, Battalion commander Myint Aung and Column 2 Commander Zaw Hlaing Soe of SPDC LIB 118, demanded 20 villagers from Htee-si-baw village and 20 villagers from Kaw-po-pleh village to clear the road. They villagers were also ordered to bring along with them one Pyi of rice as their own food supply. (Source: KIC)
On 2 February 2002 troops from SPDC LID 88, led by divisional commander Ohn Myint and Thu Mu Heh of the so-called Peace Unit ordered villages in Kya-in township to reconstruct bridges that had burned down along the motor road. The villages subjected to this order were Dar-li, Mae-ka-taw, Pi-ta-ka, Pah-wah-klo, Mae-ta-la and Lay-taw villages. The villagers reconstructed the following bridges; Mae-ka-taw river bridge, Dar-li river bridge, Ta-ku-wah-lor river bridge of Pi-ta-ka, Pah-wah-klo river bridge of Ma-ta-raw and three bridges between Mae-ta-lah and Lay-taw-hta. If the villages failed to rebuild the bridges, they had to relocate to places near the motor road. (Source: KIC)
On 4 February 2002, LID-88 Commander Ohn Myint ordered villages near the military access road linking Pa-ya-daung village and Kyon-doe in Kya-in Township to clear bushes to 100 yards from both sides of the road. The villages subjected to this order were Kya-in, Ta-gay, Mae-ka-taw, Pi-ta-ka, Pah-wah-klo, Mae-ta-leh, Lay-taw-hta, Noh-taw-pla, and Kote-kwa villages. The army did not pay any wages and the villagers had to bring their own food supplies to work for 15 days. (Source: KIC)
On 17 February 2002, SPDC LIB 88 commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ohn Myint, and Column 2 Commander Myint Thein Htun of IB 83 came to Shwe-doe village in Kya-in Township and seized 32 villagers who were attending a church service. The villagers were then forced to clear the motor road linking Kya-in and Htee-po-than without any wages for three days with their own food supplies. (Source: KIC)
On 20 February 2002, troops from SPDC LIB-103, led by Major Sein Tin summoned village heads of Kya-cut-chaung-wa, Kyun-waing, Nat-chaung, Nat-chaung-pya and Tada-oo villages and ordered them to undertake security for a motor road linking Kya-in-Three pagoda pass to Hsin-boat-in village. The troops also threaten the villagers with a fine of 50 million Kyat, if their bulldozer was damaged. (Source: KIC)
On the same day, SPDC IB No. 231 arrested two villagers from Yawr Tan Shawe village, six villagers from Ta Like village, and one bullock curt was confiscated. Other porters were arrested in other areas to construct a road from Kawt Ka Yate to Kyiat Don, which is believed to be used for military operations. (Source: ABSDF)
On 24 February 2002 at 7:00 am, SPDC LIB 103 troops ordered and threatened Tha-min-let, Htee-po-lay-waw, Htee-po-pet, Nat-chaung, Ta-da-oo and Kyun-waing villages to send one person per household without delay to dig drainage ditches on both sides of the military operation road. All of the villages are in Kya-in Township. On the same day, the troops ordered one person from each house in Kru-si, Mae-ta-kret, Paw-ner-moo, and Kru-ma-khee to work on road construction. The villagers had to dig drainage ditches on both sides of the road. Then the troops forced the villagers to lie down in the ditches and took photographs of them.(Source: KIC)
On 26 February 2002, Column 2 Commander Sein Tin of SPDC LIB 103, ordered one person from every household in Ta-da-oo and Kyun-waing villages in Kya-in township to bring a hoe to construct a motor road. These troops took Kyone-sein village head U Ko Gyi, Christian Evangelist Saya Kyi Than and Ka-sa villager Sein Hla Win as hostages and they were not released up to the time of this report. (Source: KIC)
On 1 March 2002, SPDC Tactical Commander Ohn Myint demanded 200 to 500 Kyat from each household in the villages situated along Kyaik-don-Mae-thraw-hta road, to build a school. (Source: KIC)
On 3 March 2002, Operation commander Aung Than Win of SPDC LID 88 ordered nearby villages to clear to a distance of 100 yards on both sides of A-zin-Pung-krung (Thai border) motor road and bridges. (Source: KIC)
On 7 March 2002, Lt. Colonel Aung Than Win of Brigade No. 88 ordered the villages near the road construction site the length of nine miles from A-Zin village, Kyar Inn Sate Gyi Township. That road is intended to reach the Thai-Burma border. The villagers were told to bring their own equipment and food to work on building small bridges and clearing both side of the road for one hundred yards. (Source: ABSDF)
On 11 March 2002, the Township authorities led by TPDC General Secretary U Aung Lin ordered villagers from Paya-gyi and Kaw-htit villages to dig a half-mile long water canal between the two villages. According to the order, each house from each village needed to dig about 1 kyin of earth (one kyin of earth is about 100 cubic feet in volume and the Measurements 10 feet square and 1 feet depth). The villagers from both villages had to come and dig the canal. Some families could complete the work within one day if two men came to do the work. Many families needed two or three days to complete their work. Later the authorities also planned to build a half-mile long rock laid road from Kaw-bein to Paya-gyi village. They forced villagers from Kaw-bein, Min-ywa and Paya-gyi villages to contribute their labour in finding stones, crashing the stones into small pieces, and laying the stones on the embankment. According to the order, the authorities forced the villagers to contribute labor on a rotation basis. Each two wards from one village had to go and contribute their labour. There were about 50-70 villagers working on the construction and the authorities instructed one villager from each house of the two wards in the villages to work. Many women and children under 18 years old were involved in the construction. About 50% of the total villagers on the worksites were women and children. According to the villagers, the authorities never ordered for women and children not to work. (Source: HURFOM)
On 9 May 2002, Bo Ko Ko Hla from SPDC LIB 8 forcibly collected 7,000 kyat from Shwe Yaung Pya village and 5,000 kyat from Ka-law-kher village for holding a boxing match in Belin Town. On that day, Bo Aung Lwin from SPDC LIB 9 demanded one person from each household of Win-yaw and Kaw-sa-theh villages to construct Win Yaw motor road every day. (Source: KIC)
On 12 March 2002 troops from SPDC LIB 103, led by column 2 commander Soe Tin took 30 villagers from Aleh-ywa and Kyun-waing villages in Kya-inn township and forced them to clear bushes for road reconstruction. (Source: KIC)
On 24 March 2002, SPDC LIB 206 under LID 22 led by column 2 commander Major Thet Naing forced 20 villagers from Htee-pah-reh village, 20 villagers from Wah-mee-klah village and 20 villagers from Ta-ree-po-kweeh village of Hlaing-bwe Township to cut and clear both sides of a motor road from Wah-mee-klah to Ta-ree-po-kweeh. The road was one and a half miles long and 40 feet wide. The villagers had to bring their own food and worked for 2 days. (Source: KIC)
In April 2002, LIB 549 based in Nabu camp in the lowland areas of Ta Nay Cha Township wrote an order to the village tract leaders to construct a car road in the area. One village tract had to send 376 laborers to dig for gravel one kilometer away from the car road. This took three days. During that time, the villagers had to bring their own food and equipment. Another village was required to dig gravel for 200 holes within three days. The holes were 10 square feet. The army paid the villagers 500 kyat for each hole just to make people see that it was not forced labor. The village people did not want to do this but did so because they were afraid of the army. Following the completion of the road construction the Burmese army said that the gravel that the village brought was not good quality. They ordered the villagers to come back and work again. This affected the livelihood of the villagers who also had to work in their paddy fields to provide their food. (Source: Burma Issues)
On 10 April 2002, Min Aung Hlaing commander of SPDC LID 44, based at Lay-kay camp demanded 300 kyat from each household in the villages of Lay-kay, Ler-klaw, Ta-paw and Ka-meh to construct a road in Pa-new-kla. As the villagers could not pay, a person from each house of the four villages had to work, as forced laborers, on the construction everyday. (Source: KIC)
On 11 April 2002, Bo Maung Win and his troops from SPDC LIB 2 under LID 44, came to Htee-gaw-hta village in Na-ko-khee village tract and destroyed by burning many baskets of rice. Beginning from 4 April to the end of May, these troops demanded 3 baskets of gravel to construct a motor road linking Ku-seik and Pa-pun from each household in the following villages; Noh-law-su, Htee-ber-kha-hta, Day-law-pu, Ta-ri-per-kho and Kler-kho.(Source: KIC)
On 16 May 2002, troops from SPDC IB 77 under LID 88 led by column 2 commander Khin Maung Hla ordered one person from each household of the nearby villages to construct a motor road from Ta-ku-khee to Kyaik-don and the villagers had to bring their own food supplies. (Source: KIC)
On 3 June 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 301 led by major Than Htun ordered one person from each house in the villages of Mae-thraw-hta, Kwee-kler, Po-chimu, Azin (Kyaw-hta), Kyaw-khee, Ka-ma-kler and Mae-ta-ler to clear to a distance of 40 feet on both sides of the motor road in Kaw-kareik Township. They threatened to use anyone who failed to obey the order as a porter. The sections of motor road to be cleared were Mae-thraw-hta to Kwee-kler, Ohn-jan to Po-chi-mu, Azin (Kyaw-hta) to Ka-ma-kler, Mae-ta-ler to Po-chi-mu, Po-chi-mu to Kyaw-khee and Azin (Kyaw-hta ) to Po-chi-mu. (Source: KIC)
On 9 June 2002, the commander of In-pya camp of SPDC LIB 403 demanded 15 wooden poles with an 8 ft girth from Saw Kay village and Htee Pa Doh Hta village in Ka-zer-doh Township. The villagers were required to send the poles to Shwe-Gu bridge by the date of 16 June. (Source: KIC)
On 16 June 2002, Camp Commander Kyaw Aye of SPDC LIB 403 based at Tu-ler ordered Kaw-tee and Ga-taw-nee villagers to clear the Kaw-tee-Ga-taw-nee road. Moreover, they forced the villagers to construct a bridge at Klee-klo for the convenience of the army in travelling. (Source: KIC)
On 11 July 2002, the commander of SPDC LID 44 demanded 20 logs from Noh-toe-day village, Maung-lay village and Htee-po-they-yeh village in Tha-ton Township to construct Kwee-lay and Lah-kho bridges. They ordered Maung-lay, Neh-po-hta, Ta-maw-daw and Way-raw villages, all situated along the road, to finish the construction by the end of July. (Source: KIC)
Starting in August 2002, according to the local villagers in Kamoethway area the Burmese troops forced the villagers to rebuild the road from Taungtholon to Wahsuhko (Seikpyone) village (about 30 kilometers to the east of Tavoy). There are eleven villages in Kamoethway area. Each village had to build the road as assigned to them. One person from each household had to go and work on the road every Saturday. They had to compile or lay stones, level the road, and clean up the bushes beside the road. (Source: KIC)
On 3 September 2002, Min Aung Naing, commander of SPDC LID 44, demanded one person from each household of Lay-kay village to cut two logs of soft wood having a girth of four and a half ft and a length of 11 cubits and two logs of wood having a girth of four ft and a length of 10 ft to construct five bridges between Lay-kay and Pa-nwe-kla villages. He ordered Lay-kay villagers to finish the bridges by the end of October.(Source: KIC)
On 23 September 2002, Commander Aung Mya Soe of SPDC No. 441 Tactical Command, demanded sawn timber from Naung-ka-dok village and Ta-roi-wah village. He also demanded 36 Viss of nails from each village of Ta-maw-daw village tract, to construct bridges across Mae-pu-klo river, Maw-klo river, Wah-pra-klo river and Lah-eh-oh-klo river between Pa-nwe-kla village and Lah-kho village in Tha-ton Township. (Source: KIC)
On 1 October 2002, Commander Min Aung Hlaing of SPDC LID 44 ordered battalion commander Myint Aung of SPDC LIB 118 and Ta-paw Camp Commander Yeh Win, who were under his control, to clear the motor road. As a result, each village near the motor road was ordered to clear an area of 4 furlongs in length. Moreover, these troops demanded sawn timber from the villages as follows;
(1) Maew-theh village and Pwo vllage, 10 tons,
(2) Noh-au-lar, Ha-ta-ret and Ka-meh villages, 12 tons,
(3) Pwa-gaw, Noh-kha-day and Ta-thoo-khee villages, 12 tons and
(4) Kru-see and Lah-kho villages 12 tons. (Source: KIC)
On 5 October 2002, combined SPDC LIB 440 and DKBA troops forced villagers of Toe-thay-poo, Ta-kot-daw-moe-pah and Kaw-tha-say villages in Kyauk-kyi Township to complete the construction of Shwe-gyin motor road between Tha-yet-chaung and Paw-kah in 8 days. (Source: KIC)
On 14 October 2002, Company Second in Command Tin Maung Shwe of SPDC IB 8 demanded 70 poles of bamboo from Ma-eu-sa villagers in Tha-ton Towship. Moreover, these troops demanded a person from each house of Ka-ma-saing and Sa-yo-kyo villages to repair the motor road. (Source: KIC)
In the second week of October 2002, Burmese Army No.8 Operation Command HQ, based in Myitta village about 35 kilometers to the east of Tavoy, demanded elephants from the local villagers in Kamoethway area to work on two bridge construction projects on the Tenasserim river. According to a local villager, three elephants from Kler Pu, Kaw Paw and Wah Su Ko villages had to work on the construction sites without any wages. The elephants had to work for one month. The bridges are used by the Burmese troops to transport ammunition and food supplies to their troops stationed along the Thai-Burma border and along the Tenasserim river. (Source: KIC)
On 26 October 2002 the commander of SPDC IB 98, South West Command headquarters, demanded 10 villagers from each village in the Ma-htaw area. The villages subjected to the demand were Paw-baw-kho, Ta-dwee-kho, Baw-kla, Tha-pa-sa-lor, Ta-hu-lor, Noh-po-doe, Thwa-kho-lor, Ma-htaw and Koo-seik. The villagers were forced to clear bushes on both sides of the Pa-pun motor road, to a distance of 150 yards. In addition, the villagers were forced erect 3 tiers of fences on each side of the motor road from Htwee-thee-eu village to Koo-seik village. (Source: KIC)
Since 16 November 2002, the villagers staying along the motor road from Pa-pun to Kamamaung in Karen State have been forced to build 9 miles of the road. The demand for labor for the construction of this road has been ongoing for many years. The villages were forced to build roads from Ka-daing-ti to Pwe-hta, from Pa-pun to Ku-seik, and from Pa-pun to Ta-gone-daing. There are about 80 to 100 civilians involved in each road construction project every day. If the villagers fail to fulfill their tasks or are absent from their work requested by SPDC officials, the village leaders are severely punished, tortured or fined. The village leaders have to fulfill the demands and send the number of workers as requested every day. Not only men and women are being forced to engage in the road construction, but also old people and children.The villagers do not receive any wages or pay for their work. Instead, they have to bring their own food and tools needed for the construction. Tactical commander Khin Kyu from Southeastern command is responsible for supervising road construction. Khin Kyu gave responsibility of looking after the road construction and workers to Major Mint Win Aung. Khin Kyu receives a large amount of financial assistance- approximately 500 million kyats for the road construction project.
In December 2002, Southeastern command, Commander General Tin Aye came to inspect the construction of Kamamaung -Pa-pun road. He met with Major Mint Win Aung and his troops who took responsibility of the road construction. At that time, there were 70 army personnel present at the construction site, but only few village workers appeared at work. Major Mint Win Aung had asked the other village workers to hide in the forest during the visit of General Tin Aye.
General Tin Aye had a discussion with Major Mint Win Aung about the road construction and said he would arrange more soldiers for the construction if Major Mint Win Aung needed more workers. More over, he asked Major Mint Win Aung about how much the wages were paid to the village workers. Major Mint Win Aung said that a worker was paid 50 kyats per day. In reality, the village workers received no money from Mint Win Aung and had to bring their own food and equipment. The village workers said that they believed Col Khin Kyu and Maj Mint Win Aung took all the money that was supposed to be paid to the workers for the road construction project. There were about 5,943 villagers forced to work on the road construction site in Pa-Pun area during 16 November 2002 to 28 February 2002.
Forced Labor for Army Camps, Incoming Generating Projects for the Military
On 16 June 2002, the Burmese military commander of IB 248 ordered villagers in Hsai Phae tract and Nar Kham tract to build fences around their garrison. For the construction, the villagers had to cut and carry bamboo. The troops ordered 7 layers of fences to be constructed. The quota was 3 layers for Hsai Phae and 4 layers for Nar Kham tract. The villagers had 10 days to complete the fences or face severe punishment. The villagers stopped all their work and rushed to the construction site for fear of punishment. (Source: Freedom, SHAN, June 2002)
On 26 August 2002, Burmese military authorities from LIB 520 forced the villagers of Wan Ho Phai Long, Murng Pan township to work for them in the paddy fields which they had confiscated from the people at Tong Kwai south village. The order was to do all work from ploughing up to transporting of seedlings using 64 baskets of paddy as seeds. Those who did not obey were threatened with severe punishment. The villagers had no choice but to work for free, while leaving their own work which was essential to feed their families. (Source: Freedom, SHAN, 2002)
Since the first week of September 2002, Burmese military authorities in Kesi township have forced the local people to work for them without any payment. The excavation site lies between Wan Suon Mong and Wan Phueng in Kesi township. Local villagers were forced to work in the contruction of the Burmese garrisons, cutting wood and bamboo for construction of barracks, digging trenches and constructing bamboo fences. The rest were ordered to dig coal which started from 5 September 2002 up to the present day. As these villagers were mostly farmers, this forced labor has caused great suffering. Even the old and weak were forced to work, with beating as their only compensation for this work.(Source: Freedom, SHAN, 2002)
On 12 June 2002, a commander of IB No. 31 Maj. Naing Win ordered the village headmen of Kwan-hlar village, which is close to the army base, to send 6 trucks and 15 men to construct a road in their headquarters. IB No. 31 headquarters is situated in Thanbyuzayat Town and Kwan-hlar village situated in the southernmost part of Mudon Township in Mon State, IB No. 31 also used forced labour from that village. After requisition of forced labour, the village headmen sent 6 loading trucks and 15 men from his village. The commander used the trucks to carry stones from the streams and used the villagers to crush the stones into small pieces and to lay them on the embankment of rough road. The villagers, the drivers and their trucks were forced to work for two days. They had to carry their own food and tools. (Source: HURFOM)
At the beginning of 2002, commanders of the Dee Maw Soe based SPDC LIB No. 427, IB No. 102 and the KNPLF (Karenni Nationalities People’s Liberation Front, an SPDC-backed cease-fire armed group) demanded that one member of each family from the villages located in Loinam Pah village tract, report for work. Villagers from Thesoleh, Daw Labaw, Myaleh, Daw She Ei, Kone Thar, Daw Tawku and Daw Plawdu were forced to clear land for military farms with their own buffaloes and all without compensation. (Source: KNAHR)
At the beginning of 2002, the Burmese commander from LIB No. 413 at the Shadaw base, under the command of Regional Operation Command No. 6, ordered families living in Shadaw town and relocation camp not to use torchlights at night. The Burmese commander also ordered them not to bring hunting guns nor air guns when they go outside the town or camp. In addition, people were ordered to transport military rations by bullock-cart to the Salween Riverbank base of Tartamaw without payment. They were told by the troops that they must pay compensation if along the way Karenni forces took the rations away. (Source: KNAHR)
In March 2002, SPDC LIB No. 412 under Central Regional Military Command No. 6 ordered residents of Shadaw town to take military rations by bullock-cart from Shadaw to the military base at Tartamaw, and from Shadaw to Daw Tama. The Burmese soldiers stated that they did not have enough petrol to take the rations by military truck. They threatened the villagers with imprisonment and fines if they failed in this task - for example, if the Karenni Army destroyed the rations. (Source: KNAHR)
Since the first week of June 2002, in accordance with the "City Unification Project", family members in Loikaw have been ordered by Loikaw Province Chairman Lt. Colonel Tin Htun to report to the Township and Provincial officers for work assignments. All civil servants were also ordered to clear land for a new plantation project aimed at generating income for civil departments. (Source: KNAHR)
A Burmese troop from IB No. 530 at Hteesakah base was setting up a new camp four furlong away from its main base. On August 15, 2002, the troop commander Major Myint Soe ordered the Hteesakah and Loilin Lay village chiefs to send 40 villagers to work on the new military camp, all without payment. In addition, Major Myint Soe demanded that each family from these villages pay 1,200 kyat for purchasing bamboo and roof thatch. On 18 August, the Burmese commander again ordered Hteesakah and Teelon villagers to work on the new military camp. (Source: KNAHR)
On 17 March 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 401 put under duress Klet-ti villagers to search for resistance forces. On the same day, troops from SPDC IB 101 captured 11 villagers who hid to the jungle at Htee-thu-day, brought them to Pa-wah-mee-laing-kwin and demand 100,000 kyat from them. In addition, they forced the villagers to carry stones for constructing a pagoda at the foot of Eein-daw-ya hill. Instead of releasing the 11 villagers to return to Pa-wah Htee-thu-day, they kept them in a concentration camp at Mee-law-kwehn to work for then at all the time. (Source: KIC)
On 8 April 2002, SPDC militia leader, Nyan Lin based in Waing village, demanded villagers from Ler-say-hta, Et-et, Kyaw-ta-kwa, Si-pa-leh, Noh-ni and Pra-ka-ni villages in Tha-yet-chaung Township to build an army camp at the top of Pa-aw mountain. They forced the villagers to cut bamboo for the construction at the foot of the mountain 3 miles away from the top. In addition, they ordered 500 villagers to complete the camp construction within a day. On that day, militia leader Aung Ngwe demanded 5,000 kyat for the salary of his men from each Hla-baw, Ta-lay-kho and Kwa-khaing villages. Moreover, when the militia men came into the village, the villagers had to provide them with rice, salt, fish paste and other materials. The militia troops demanded 100,000 kyat from each Et-et and Htee-su-kwee villages. Militia leader Nyein Lin demanded one villager to serve as a militia man from each of the following villages in Waning Village Tract; Waing, Hsa-ma-toe, Pi-ta-kha, Wain-khee, Htee-oh-oh, Ta-kho-hta, Loe-kwee-doe, Ko-si-kwee and Si-pa-leh villages. Militia men based in Kyauk-taung demanded 200 baskets of paddy and 5,000 kyat as their salary from each village and the items had to be sent to Waing camp. (Source: KIC)
On 4 May 2002, Camp Commander Sergeant Major Maung Ngwe of SPDC LIB 403 based in In-bya village ordered each house in Saw-kay and Htee-pa-doh villages to cut one cart-full of firewood. He also threatened to take action against the villagers who failed to go. (Source: KIC)
On 22 May 2002 Tin Naing Thein, the second in command of SPDC No.15 Local Military Operation Command 15, demanded 5 villagers from each village in Htee-moe-pwa area to attend a peoples’ militia training. The villages subject to this order were Bu-thaw-plaw, Ta-yaw-hta, Ta-moo, Da-baw-kho, Ka-weh-hta, Pa-htoo-klo and Ler-pa-doh villages, altogether 7 villages. The villagers demanded were sent to Ler-pa-doh village on 25 May 2002. (Source: KIC)
On 16 June 2002, Zaw Thu Tin of SPDC LIB 565 under No. 3 Tactical Command based at Naw-ter village in Ler-mu-lah Township forced villagers to construct four store houses, measuring 30 cubit by 9 cubit each to store 100,000 sacks of rice rations. These troops also seized powered boats between Naw-ter and Ta-po-hta villages and banned villagers from going to work outside the village. (Source: KIC)
On 17 June 2002, the Camp Commander of In-bya ordered one person per household in Saw Kay and Htee-pa-doh villages to cut firewood for In-bya camp. (Source: KIC)
On 26 November 2002, Operation Commander Soe Thet from Burmese army’s No.1 Strategic Command, based in Myitta village about 37 kilometers in the east of Tavoy forced local villagers in Myitta forced relocation site to work on a military rice farm. Villagers from Myitta, Seiku, and Hsa Mu Htaw had to work on the rice farm beside Myitta village. 50 people from each village had to go and work for the whole day until everything was finished. The villagers had to level the ground on a mountain to make terrace rice fields. Those who did not want to go had to pay 1,500 kyat per day for a substitute. According to sources, some poor families were facing many difficulties because they did not have time to work for their own survival. They did not have enough money to pay for a subsitute and they had to go by themselves. Many poor families earn their living in relocation sites by making charcoal, collecting Hker-mee-te (some kind of wild yam) and selling it. (Source: KIC)
On 15 October 2002, troops from SPDC battalion 349 of Southern Command headquarters ordered the villagers Toe-kot-sot-khee, Toh-meh-khee, Klo-khee, Mae-waing, Wah-tho-lor and Day-lor-pu villages in Mae-waing village tract of Dweh-lo Township to each cut 20 poles of giant bamboo. (Source: KIC)
On 16 October 2002, troops from SPDC battalion 349 of Southern Command headquarters ordered both Toh-meh-khee and Toe-kot-sot-khee villagers to saw firewood. Moreover, they forced Wah-tho-lor villagers to carry military food supplies to Maw-thay-hta. (Source: KIC)
On 25 October 2002 the commander of SPDC LIB 349, Southern Command headquarters, demanded from villages in Dweh-lo township giant bamboo poles: Toe-kot-kyaw-khee village, 30 poles; Toh-meh-khee, 15 poles; Ler-wah-kho, 15 poles; Mae-waing, 15 poles; Mae-kor-lor, 15 poles; Klo-khee, 30 poles; Wa-tho-loo, 15 poles; Day-law-pu, 15 poles; and Wa-tho-kho, 30 poles. A total of 180 giant bamboo poles for constructing their army camp. (Source: KIC)
On 23 March 2002, Military Operation Commander Thet Oo of SPDC Southern Command forced seven trucks of Baw-ga-li and Kaw-thay-doe villages to load military supplies to Bu-sa-khee camp. On 26 March, they forced seven Kaw-thay-doe villagers to cut bamboo to construct their camp. (Source: KIC)
From April to July 2002, Battalion Commander Win Thein of SPDC IB 53 based at Haw-ka-la and Column Commander Ko Lay, the dam security commander based at 20-mile camp, forced 15 villagers of 20-mile village to construct the army camp. The villagers had to bring their own food supplies. Twenty-mile camp Commander Thet Ko Oo forced 20-mile villagers to stay at his camp and serve as runners. He demanded 2,000 kyat from each villager who could not go. (Source: KIC)
On 2 May 2002, troops from SPDC IB 26 led by Bo Yan Naing Soe, based at Ka-thwee-dee ordered one person from each house of Kler-der-kah village to construct a fence for their army camp. (Source: KIC)
On 20 January 2002, SPDC LIB 8, under the control of LID 44, demanded from Kaw-po-pleh village, Bee-lin township, 200 poles of "Kya-thaung" bamboo. (Source: KIC)
On 10 February 2002, Win Aung from SPDC LIB 2 forced one villager per house from Kyaw-kay-khee, Tar-thu-khee, Pwa-hgaw, Noe-auk-la, Noe-law-plaw, Htee-pa-doe-khee, Noe-ka-day, Kru-si, Ha-ta-ret, Ka-ma and Ta-pauk villages of Pa-an District to fence the Ta-pauk military camp and a 3 acre area of land. The work was to be finished in one day. The villagers had to bring their own food to work. He threatened to severly punish any villager who failed to come. (Source: KIC)
On 30 April 2002, Company Second in-Command Saw Myo Htun of SPDC IB 96 ordered each of Htee-wah-klu-khee, Hsaw-thoo-khee and Maw-paw-ler villages to cut 5 tons of timber for him. (Source: KIC)
On 6 May 2002, DKBA troops led by Saw Pah Too and Tin Win came to Ler-klaw village and took away 4 buffaloes by force from villager Saw Maung Win without reason. Moreover, they also brutally beat up Ler-klaw villagers Saw Da Baw and Saw Tan Ta Nyet. On that day Column Commander Myint Aung of SPDC LIB 118 demanded villagers from Ler-klaw, Ta-paw and Ka-meh villages to carry gravel. Moreover, on 8 May, they forced 4 villagers each from Kaw-hai and Shwe-oh villages to go and work at Lay-kay army camp. (Source: KIC)
On 8 May 2002, Bo Kyaw Zay Lat of SPDC LIB 2 based at Ta-paw camp, ordered each village of Noh-aw-lar, Pwa-gaw, Kyaw-kay-khee, Kru-khe, Noh-law-plaw, Ha-ta-rai and Pwo to cut timber poles measuring 7 cubits in length and 18 inches in girth and 10 poles of bamboo and also each house had to bring a bag (Source: KIC)
On 25 May 2002, Ta Paw Camp Commander Thein Dan Oo of SPDC LIB 2 ordered Ta Paw village of 100 households to buy him a bullock cart and a pair of bullocks per every 5 households. He planned to use the bullocks for his travels. On the same day, he ordered Ta-paw villagers to cut bamboo and erect fences on both sides of the Ta-paw motor road and 10 villagers were ordered to fence the military camp. As a result, villagers had no time to do their own work and faced great difficulty. (Source: KIC)
On 11 July 2002, Column (2) Commander Hla Win and Nat-gyi Camp Commander Tin Maung Win of SPDC IB 46 demanded the following from different villages in Bi-lin Township: Po Klaw village, 150 bamboo poles; Thet-pawhta village, 150 bamboo poles; Kho-po village, 100 bamboo poles; Po-thwe-day village, 100 bamboo poles; Po-si-day village, 100 bamboo poles; Pi-tee-khee village, 100 bamboo poles; and Ta-kot-po village 100 bamboo poles for the army camp. (Source: KIC)
On 12 July 2002, Yo-kla camp commander Kyaw Myint Htwe of SPDC LIB 20 under LID 44 ordered Htee-pa-doh-hta village in Bi-lin Township to cut 400 poles of bamboo to fence the army camp. (Source: KIC)
On 15 August 2002, Sergeant Major Thein Myint of SPDC LIB 9 demanded one person from each house of Win-yaw village, Noh-pa-leh village and Kaw-sa-theh village to construct the army camp at Win-yaw. (Source: KIC)
On 13 September 2002, Sergeant Major Thein Myint of SPDC troops based at Win-yaw camp demanded from Noh-pa-leh village 10-cart loads of wooden poles, one person from each household and 25 persons from Kaw-sa-theh village of Tha-ton township to work until the construction of an army camp was completed in one day. (Source: KIC)
On 23 September 2002, Bo Nyo Shwe of SPDC IB 8 based at Baw-di-gon, Ywa-thit-ma-dan, Aleh-sa-karn ordered each household of Shwe-yaung-pya, Lah-aw-kher and Kya-ta-raw villages, in Bi-lin Township, to provide one person, 25 poles of bamboo and a wooden pole having a girth of 18 inches and length of 7 feet and 6 inches, for the construction of his military camp. (Source: KIC)
On 18 October 2002 Yo-kla camp commander Thet Oo Shwe, of SPDC LIB 102 ordered each of the following villages to provide 250 poles of bamboo; Htaw-hlaw-hta, Lay-kaw-hti, Htee-pa-doh-hta, Yo-kla, Lay-kay and Htee-pa-doh-hta. (Source: KIC)
On 23 October 2002, troops from SPDC IB 96 based at Kyait-htee-yo pagoda, led by Company Commander Min Aung, demanded one person from each household of the villages in Kyaik-toh township. The villages were Reh-Thaw-khee, Ta-ya-day, Htee-pa-doh, Mae-praw-hta and Blay-blaw-kyo village. The people demanded from the villages were forced to provide labor for the construction of an army camp at Aung-thein-hti pagoda. The troops threatened to take action against villagers in the surrounding of Kyaik-Htee-yo, if they were found in the hill rice fields. (Source: KIC)
On 26 February 2002, Commander Ye Kaung of Htee-hu-than military camp of SPDC IB 83 forced villagers from villages in Kyone-doe Township to cut wood in the forest between Htee-po-than and Kru-ma-tee to construct a road and bridges between Htee-po-than and Win-ka village. The villages subject to this order were Win-tha-lweh, Win-bote, Ka-yin, Lah-la-pa, Ta-da-gyi, Htee-po-than, Kroo-ma-tee and Win-ka. Moreover, he ordered 15 bullock carts from Tha-min-dote and Ku-ni villages and 15 from Win-ka village to haul the wood cut. (Source: KIC)
On 2 March 2002, Operation Commander of SPDC LID 88 Aung Than Win demanded 5 roofing iron sheets from each village and 200 Kyat from each household of the following villages; Azin, Ma-kwee-ni, Maw-ta-ya, Htaw-ta-naw-khee, Mae-ka-ti, Htee-mae-baw, Kyaw-khee, Ka-ser-po-kler, Kret-maw-law, Po-si-mu, Mae-ta-ler, Kwee-kler, Htaw-wah-lor, Mae-naw-da-hta. He made the same demands of Mae-thraw-hta and Mae-naw-da-khee in Kwee-lay. They-bay-pwa-hta villagers were forced to roof the store of the army camp in Azin. (Source: KIC)
Beginning from 22 April 2002, combined troops of SPDC IB 77 and IB 78 column 1 and 2, LIB 301 column 1 and 2 and LIB 416 column 1 and 2 under LID 88 harassed and forced villagers in Mae-ku area in Kya-in Township to work for the army. (Source: KIC)
On 15 June 2002, Maung Htun, Camp Commander of SPDC IB-77 based at Htee-wa-tha camp in Kyon-doe township forced villagers to construct their army camp even on religiously sacred days. The following Ler-taw villagers were forced to work: Saw Saw Moo, 38; Saw Thet Kyay, 41; Saw Pet Let, 44; Saw Naw Paw, 37; Saw Han, 35; Saw Pah Ho, 28; Saw Hnin Sein, 12. The following Tha-byu villagers were also forced to work: Saw Gay Wah, 19; Po Lay Heh, 20; Naw Kaw Wah, 15; Naw Mu Teh Po, 40; Naw Win Kyi, 40; Naw Win Khin, 14; Naw Mu Po, 17; Naw Mu, 16; Naw Heh Seh, 30; and Naw Paw La Ki, 23. (Source: KIC)
On 17 June 2002, Camp Commander Zaw Htut of SPDC IB 77 under LID 88 and based at Htee-hu-thaw village in Kyone-doe Township seized Klot-chaw villagers in Kya-in Township for forced labour to construct a military camp. The seized villagers were the following: Tee-pah-kloo, (M, 50); Paw law, (M, 47); Kyaw Kwet, (M, 28); Kyaw Kher, (M, 36); Kaw Lar (M, 38); Dah Bu, (M, 40); Saw Law Wah, (M, 26); Naw May Khin, (F, 20); Naw Di Baw, (F, 29); Ta Pa Di, (M, 33); U Nyein Than, (M, 60); and Kyaw Ler Hay, (M, 36). (Source: KIC)
On 18 June 2002, troops again seized Tha-byu villagers in Kya-in Township for forced labor. The villagers were: Naw Mu (F, 23), Ta Thoo (M, 23), Ma Chit Thein (F, 45), Naw Ma (F, 30), Naw Bu Gay (F, 16), Naw Nwet Kyi (F, 41), Naw Met (F, 18), Naw Ka Htee Paw (F, 18) and Naw Tu (F, 20). (Source: KIC)
On 19 June 2002, troops again seized villagers in Kya-in Township for forced labor. The villagers were Pah Ta Kee (M, 50), Saw Pah Chaw (M, 35), Saw Pah Nyunt (M, 45), Naw Kot Kyi (F, 40), Naw Kher (F, 18), Naw Mu Taler (F, 18), Naw Mu Law Plu (F, 37), Naw Thanay Po (F, 10), Naw Thein Yi (F, 45), Naw Wah (F, 10), Saw Baw Waw (M, 45), Naw Hsa Pi Aye (F, 30), Saw Kyaw Thoo (M,15), Saw Pah Di Thoo (M, 15), Naw Mu Kya Yin (F, 40), Saw Pa Yo (M, 13), Saw Pah Toe (M, 17), Naw Thuza (F, 15), Naw Taw Naw Kyi (F, 28) and Naw Twee Thoo (F, 45). (Source: KIC)
On 24 June 2002, the camp commander of SPDC IB 79 seized Kwee-ka-neh villagers in Kya-in Township for forced labour. The villagers were Naw Htaw (F, 41), Naw Kah Pah (F, 35), Naw Mu Gay (F, 35), Naw Pla, (F, 23), Naw Pree Moo (F, 25), Naw Mu (F, 22), Naw Ta Thwee (F, 20) and Naw Ku Paw (F, 20). (Source: KIC)
On 25 June 2002, Kyaw Win, Camp commander of SPDC IB 78 based at the Per-kler intersection in Kaw-ka-reik Township demanded forced labour from Taung-ga-lay village to clear his army camp. The villagers who had to work were: Saw Hai Htoo (M, 28), Pah Thu (M, 25), Saw Ah Si (M, 32), Saw Moh Ler (M, 21), Saw Htoo Moo Hai (M, 45), Maung Hla Thwin (M, 33), Saw Htun Lwin (M, 35), Maung Lwin Ohn (M, 42) and Naw Kyay Kya (F, 22). (Source: KIC)
On 23 October 2002, Commander Nyunt Aye of SPDC LIB 415 ordered Da-none, Sin-gong and Si-sone villages of Kya-in Township to cut 1,000 bamboo poles and to send them to the army camp. (Source: KIC)
On 31 October 2002, Commander Nyunt Aye of SPDC LIB 415 demanded 1,000 bamboo poles from Kyone-sein village and 800 bamboo poles from Ka-sa village, which had to be sent to the army camp by 1 November 2002. He threatened to drive away the villages that failed to obey the order. (Source: KIC)
Beginning 25 July 2002, forced labour was extensively used to build a new Nasaka Security Forces Camp at Khamaung-hseik village in the northern part of Maungdaw. Until 4 August, the number of forced laborers used stood at 135 men and women. Similarly, at Kathay model village under Nasaka Area #2 of Maungdaw Township 703 people were engaged in forced labor between 1 and 28 July for the construction of the new model village. When the UNHCR inquired about the extensive use of forced labor, the Nasaka security forces stated that they paid each worker 100 kyat per day. Yet, the UNHCR found that the labor was unpaid. The Burmese Army is making use of extensive forced labour in Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Kyauktaw, Mrauk-u and Minbra Townships for cultivating military owned agricultural fields. They are also pressing the Rakhine farmers into forced labour by making use of their cattle without providing wages or food for them. (Source: Narinjara News)
From 22 to 27 October 2002, the villagers of Nanragoon and Quandaung village tracts of Buthidaung township of Arakan State had to reap the paddy crop of the Commander of Military Operation Command 15 (MOC-15). They also had to do other work such as threshing, carrying, storing the grains in his granary and putting the paddy into heat, etc. The Commander previously seized 10 acres of farmland from Rohingya villages adjacent to the MOC-15 headquarters and started growing paddy with forced labor. According to the order, the Village Peace and Development Council called one person per family from both village tracts. Afterwards, 100 villagers were picked up and sent to the MOC-15 headquarters for forced labor and the rest were set free after paying 300 kyats per person. After 6 days of continuous forced labor, the villagers were freed and paid 300 kyats each to the MOC-15 Commander. The labor fee outside would have been 1,000 kyats per day. (Source: Kaladan News)
On 1 December 2002, the Commander of the Military Operation Command (MOC)-15 of Buthidaung Township, Arakan State ordered the Chairmen of the Nanragon and Quandaung village tracts Peace and Development Councils (VPDCs) to provide 200 laborers daily for the cultivation of seasonal crops like chili, tomato, egg plant, potato, cabbage, pea and cauliflower. About six acres of farmland had already been confiscated from nearby villagers for seasonal cultivation. The villagers of the two village tracts were also asked to complete the cultivation of six acres of land by 15 December for growing vegetables.
At the time of this report, there were a total of 1,490 houses in these village tracts. The two Chairmen of the village tracts had collected an amount of 387,000 kyat from 1,290 households at the rate of 300 kyats per house. The rest of the 200 houses had to supply forced labor, one person per house for 15 days for which they were paid 200 kyats from the money collected from the villagers. Normally the daily wage of an ordinary laborer is 800 to 1,000 kyat. (Source: Kaladan News)
Forced Labour for Security Duties
Since completion of the Loikaw-Aungban railway in 1993, all villages in the vicinity have been ordered by the regional SPDC authorities to work as security guards on the line. The security guards are paid a very small amount for their work. To pay them, the SPDC authorities collected 150 kyat per family from all wards of Loikaw City, and from the residents of the villages of Bardo and Htjengalyah. In addition, the SPDC forced people from Chit Keh village and the people who lived near the electricity pylons and lampposts between Lawpita and Shan State to guard the pylons. They received no payment for their work. (Source: KNAHR)
On 16 September 2002, LIB No. 428 Camp Commander Myint Thein of Markrawshe base gave a verbal command to all villagers living in Markrawshe village tract to go to his military camp without fail. They were instructed by the Burmese commander to give him information about the Karenni troops or pay a fine. (Source: KNAHR)
On 18 April 2002, Commander Thet Oo from SPDC No. 3 Local Operation Command forced Christian Pastor Saw Tha Say who was sick to go to Sho-ser, Wah-soe area to persuade the resistance group in the area to surrender. On 24 April 2002, his troops looted money and household items from the houses of the villagers. (Source: KIC)
On 28 June 2002, DKBA troops demanded Mae-nyo-hta, Mae-ku-hta, Mae-khee, Htee-doh-hta and Toe-mu villages in Dweh-lo Township each to pay 15,000 kyat as porter fees. Since 5 May 2002, one villager from each of these villages had to go to Mae-ku-hta military camp and serves as a sentinel for two days at a time. (Source: KIC)
On 27 August 2002, Bo Thu Mu Heh, leader of the Karen Peace Force ordered three Shwe-doe villagers daily to construct his army camp in Shwe-doe village, Kya-in Township. Moreover, he ordered one villager each of Ta-ku-khee, Mae-ka-taw and Kyaw-kay-kho villages to come and report to him at his army camp daily about the situation of the area and forced the villagers with threats to collect without fail 20 new recruits. (Source: KIC)
On 2 September 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 599, led by battalion second in command Aung Myo Htet, demanded one villager of Ko-ni village and two villagers of Ta-kot-pwa village in Mone Township to serve as new recruits. The villages who could not provide new recruits had to pay 10,000 kyat for each new recruit. The villagers had to send the money to Village Chairperson Khin Thein by 22 September 2002. (Source: KIC)
On 21 October 2002, troops from a SPDC guerrilla unit led by Naung Naung forced Ka-thaw-pwe villagers of Than-daung township to buy them a camera and a cassette tape recorder. Moreover, they demanded two villagers per day to serve as runners. Later, they extorted 5 chickens from village head Saw Heh Wee. (Source: KIC)
On 9 November 2002, the Burmese troops ordered local villagers in Pe Hkee area in Theyetchaung township, Mergui district, to serve as Pyithusit (People militia formed and backed by Burmese troops). The villages under the instruction are Pe Hkee, Petakah, Htee Oo Ooo (Panbyoke), Lukwedoh, Takohhta, and Kosekwee. One person from each village had to serve one month in term. Anybody who failed to serve his term would be fined 15,000 kyats.(Source: KHRG)
On 15 April 2002, Major Nyi Zaw of SPDC IB 286 formed a fire brigade of 60 men conscripted from 4 quarters of Murng Nong town. By day they had to practice drills and fire fighting. By night they had to stand guard duty in turn or search every house in their assigned areas. They receive no payment and did not have time to work for their living. (Source: Freedom, SHAN, July 2002)
Since 20 September 2002, SPDC troops from Lai-Kha based IB64 who were assigned to security duties at quarter-2 of Murng-Su town, Murng-Su township, have been forcing villagers in the area to stand guard from dusk to dawn in front of their camp. Each night, from 6 pm to 5 am, 3 villagers with muskets were required to keep guard at about 100 yards in front of the military security camp at the entrance of Murng-Su town. Villagers in quarter-2 had to take turns to do guard duty, replacing one another every 7 days, up to the present. These villagers are often forced to serve as guides and porters whenever the troops go out to patrol the area. (Source SHRF)
Since late May until July 2002, villagers in 5 village tracts in Ta-Khi-Laek township were forced to stand guard day and night around their villages by SPDC troops of LIB316 based in Ta Lur village tract. The 5 village tracts mentioned above were Ta Lur, East Murng Laen, West Murng Laen and Nam Kherm village tracts. Each village was required to provide 5 persons to guard their respective villages around the clock and to report any unusual activities to the military authorities at LIB316 or LIB521 immediately. The SPDC troops temporarily replaced village headmen whom they did not trust with their own men to make sure the villagers did as ordered. The SPDC troops also randomly searched the houses in the villages every night to check identities of the villagers. According to the local villagers, the most fearful thing for them was that when the SPDC troops wanted to search a house, they would accuse the owners of keeping illegal weapons and would come at any time, and would take what they wanted while searching, including money and valuable things. (Source SHRF)
Since March 2002, villagers of Wan Mai Paang Peng village in Wan Pung village tract, Lai-Kha township, have been forced to guard the Lai-Kha-to-Loi-Lem main road, and since September 2002, have also been forced to grow sesame by SPDC troops stationed at Nam Tawng bridge in Wan Pung village tract, Lai-Kha township. Villagers of Wan Mai Paang Peng village, which has more than 30 houses, have to build 2 tents some distance from each other along the road between Lai-Kha and Loi-Lem and take turns to guard the road. Each tent has to be manned by 3 villagers for 3 days at a time, to watch out for the Shan soldiers in case they come that way to cross the road.
Since September 2002, villagers of Wan Mai Paang Peng village have also been forced to cultivate Japanese sesame for the SPDC troops. Each household has been given 1 ‘pyi’ of sesame seeds, told to find land on which to grow them, and must take care of them up until the harvest time. (Source: SHRF)
On 1 January 2002, LIB No. 282 of Burmese Army based in Yebyu township, Tenasserim Division ordered the villagers from 4 Mon and one Karen village on the motor road to create a militia force from their own villages for security on a rotation basis. LIB No. 282 provided 10 rifles to the four Mon villages, Aleskan, Kyaukadin, Kwetalin and Yapu; and the one Karen village Law-thaing. The troops ordered that all villagers must serve as militiamen (village security personnel) on a rotation basis to protect their own villages. These 10 rifles were extra arms for each village although each village already has a group of militia force. The village headmen was responsible for recruiting 10 villagers every week to be temporary militiamen. If one villager was unable to be a militiaman for one week, he needed to pay 4,500 kyat to the headmen as a fine. LIB No. 282 also ordered the village militiamen to launch a military patrol in the areas surrounding their villages. They were responsible for shooting rebel soldiers if they came close to their villages.
Many farmers did not like to hold guns and were upset about having to be militiamen. They were afraid of being shot by the rebel soldiers if they held the guns while they were patroling the area surrounding their village. However, they could not pay the weekly fine to avoid being recruited by the village headmen. Similarly to Yebyu township, Ye Township based MOC No. 19 also instructed the villagers in the whole Ye township to increase the number of militiamen in every village to protect their own villages.
On 8 January 2002, the commander of MOC No. 19 Brigadier Ye Win called a meeting with headmen from all villages to increase the number of village militiamen in every village. The village chairmen were to become the leaders of the militia force. On that day, he also formed a military force for a Mon village, Abor, with 20 villagers as militiamen. He ordered this militia force to take responsibility for the security of the village and the villagers needed to pay the salary of the militiamen. He instructed every household to provide 1000 kyat each month.
In Ye town, he asked the town ward leaders to provide 3 militiamen from each ward for the security of their ward and the headquarters of MOC No. 19 and IB No. 61, based in town. In Ye town, there are about 10 wards and he appointed about 30 militiamen to take security. Unlike in Yebyu township, MOC No. 19 appointed these militiamen permanently and equipped them with arms. The village headmen were responsible for recruitment. He said the villagers needed to pay 10,000 kyat for each man in the militia each month. The headmen in Abor village, which has 20 militiamen, had to collect 200,000 kyat every month. He added that the town militia had less responsibility and less danger when compared to the village militia force. Therefore, the town residents had to provide only 7,000 kyat salary to each militiaman. MOC No. 19 is also recruiting civilians in the town and villages to be firemen for the township Fire Bridge for which they must attend basic arms equipment training to use as paramilitary troops.
On 18 January 2002, MOC No. 19’s Brigadier Ye Win called a meeting with all the firemen in the township and instructed them that all firemen must attend basic arms equipment training for some weeks and they must be involved in the military if there is any danger posed to the country. In Ye township, there are about 100 firemen from the Township Fire Brigade and all were ordered to attend the training. The township civilians had to pay for the travel and training costs. Town ward leaders and village headmen collected 500 kyat from each household in both the towns and villages to cover the costs of the firemen during their training. (Source: HURFOM)
In 2002, young villagers in Tenasserim Township were forced to attend military training sessions with Battlion 561. After the training, three villagers from each village were forced to join the army while villages had to provide 4,000 kyat for each villager who joined the army. Families of those who joined the army were exempt from providing financial support. The training course lasted six months. School teachers, anti-insurgent associations and members of the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) also had to attend the training, but were not required to join the army. In August alone, nearly three-dozen villagers, ranging from ages 13 and up, fled to the Thai-Burma border to escape the training. Included in this group were three high school girls and two junior high school girls. If caught by the authorities, escaping villagers will receive jail sentences of about four years. (Source: Irrawaddy/ ABSDF)
On 14 May 2002, the local military battalions ordered the villagers along Kanbauk -Myaingkalay gas-pipeline to assume responsibility for the security of the pipeline. "On May 14, Thanbyuzayat Town’s IB No. 31 commander ordered our village chairman, Nai Than Aung, to built three huts along the gas pipeline in the part of our village. The commander ordered 9 villagers to take care of security for the pipeline for 24 hours. After that, they would be replaced with another 9 villagers. 3 villagers had to stay in one hut and there are 3 huts. They need 9 villagers every day." explained a Kwan-hlar villager. Kwan-hlar village is in southern part of the township and is close Thanbyazayat Town where IB No. 32 is based. (Source: HURFOM)
In July and August 2002, LIB No. 282 forced the villagers from Aleskan village tract in Yebyu village tract to attend basic military training for one week so that all the villagers in the area could serve in their local militias. According to the villagers, LIB No. 282 registered all men between 18 years and 50 years old and women between 18 years and 40 years old. They planned to provide basic arm equipment and military training in early July. The trainers from LIB No. 282 would provide them 7 days of many rounds of short trainings. Each household which had no paddy farms or fruit plantations needed to provide 2,000 kyat to the trainers or battalion for the expenditures during the 7 days training. Farming households, which had paddy farms or plantations, had to provide 4,000 kyat as a special payment to the trainers.
After training, the villagers would be forced to be militiamen or militia-women on a rotation basis eventhough most do not want to join the Burmese Army. They would be conscripted to work at least 7 days each time. If one household failed to provide when rotation arrived to them, they would have to pay a fine of 4,500 kyat. Aleskan village tract has four villages and about 500 households. The majority of villagers are Mon people. SPDC LIB No. 273 and LIB No. 282 launched military activities in this area. The Mon splinter armed group also launched military activities in the area mainly fighting armed rebel forces. These two battalions fomed in 2000 to prevent villagers from cooperating with the rebel forces. In the beginning, militiamen were given salaries but many became afraid as they had to fight the rebels and resigned. Therefore, the new system of training all villagers and forcing them serve in the milita on a rotation basis was implemented. (Source: HURFOM)
On 29 July 2002, SPDC LIB No. 31 commander Maj. Lu Aye called a meeting with headmen from 30 villages in the southern part of Mudon Township and most villages in Thanbyuzayat Township at his base in Thanbyuzayat Town. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the security of the gas pipeline as the commander was worried about an attack that could cause energy shortages for the cement factory and major loss of income. Most village headmen in the meeting came from the villages that were close to the gas pipeline route. The paddy farmers were to be responsible for guarding the pipeline as it was their duty as "good citizens". If they found strangers, suspected rebel soldiers, or noticed strange things near the pipeline, they had to inform the village headmen who would inform the nearest military outpost. If they delayed to inform or if the gas pipeline was damaged, the farmers nearby would face punishment. The commander did not have any written orders so that there is no evidence of forced labor. They usually try to cover their actions as much as possible, which is why the meeting with the headmen was held secretly.
In some areas, the village headmen are told to send villagers as forced labor in areas vulnerable to attack on a regular basis. About 10 kilometers from the southern part of Thanbyuzayat Town, there is one place where the rebel soldiers use the motor road and could attack the gas pipeline. This place was far from the army base. Therefore, the commander of IB No. 31 from Thanbyuzayat Town ordered the village headmen close to the pipeline to send two men every day to walk back and forth along the pipeline. The walking villagers needed to watch for strangers, rebel soldiers and explosive substances along the route. Sometimes, SPDC troops arrived in the area but most of the time the villagers were responsible for the security. Since May 2002, villagers from Sakan, Sot-palaung and Wae-ka-mi villages were forced to walk along the pipeline route. Each village had to provide two villagers and were ordered to bring knives. If they found something they suspected of being demolition charges they had to dig with their knives.
Sometimes, when the SPDC troops wanted to cover their requisition of forced labor, they conscripted the villagers in the evening and night time to do work. They would suddenly call a meeting with the village headmen and then ordered them to send some villagers urgently. Normally, they conscripted labor in large numbers and tried to complete all the work in one day.
After rainy season in October 2002, some parts of the gas pipeline embankment were destroyed because of rain and water flood. In the third week of October 2002, the Burmese Army’s joint forces of LIB No. 586 and IB No. 61, based in the northeast part of Ye Township forced the villagers from Kyone-paw and Sin-gyi villages to contribute their labor. The soldiers ordered one village from each house must go and work. They had to do work along the pipeline and outside of the pipeline route because the soldiers believed that the rebels could easily hide in those places and attack the gas pipeline. According to a village headman from the area, besides a huge number of villagers were forced to work for a few days, a smaller number of villagers were also forced to guard on a regular basis. At least two villagers at a time from both Sin-gyi and Kyone-paw have constantly been forced to guard the pipeline route since October 2002. (Source: HURFOM)
Since September 2002, SPDC LIB No. 586 and IB No. 61 have used villagers in the northern part of Ye Township to guard the Kanbauk-Myaingkalay gas pipeline day and night and sometimes forced them to repair the pipeline embankment. Due to floods in the last rainy season, the earth was worn away in some areas of the pipeline route. The army ordered the villagers to refill the earth over the pipeline. In September, many villagers were forced to do this work and to guard the pipeline.
In early October, LIB No. 586 commanders instructed villagers to guard the pipeline both day and night as it would be their responsibility if the pipeline were sabotaged. According to a 50 year old woman from Kyone-por village, the army commander ordered every household to guard the pipeline and if an explosion occured near their guarding place, they would be punished. She added that the army threatened that they would face imprisonment for life. If the gas pipeline was sabotaged near a village, the villagers from that village had to pay 10 million kyat. Because of this order, many villagers wanted to move from their villages. However the villagers were not allowed to move because the headmen worried that there wouldn’t be any villagers left in the village. (Source: HUFOM)
Forced Labor for Mine Clearance
(see also Landmine chapter.)
From the beginning of January 2002 up to the time of this report, the SPDC Southern Military Commander Aung Min and No. 1 Operation Commander Soe Thein ordered battalions IB 39 and IB 53, which were under their control, to seize villagers of Kaw-soe-ko, Ler-ko, Wah-tho-ko, Baw-ga-li and other villages near the motor road. These troops forced the villagers to cut bushes, dig earth and clear landmines for a distance of 2 yards on both sides of Kaw-thay-doe and Bu-hsa-khee motor roads. Any family that could not give labor had to pay 10,000 kyat. (Source: KIC)
On 10 November 2002, in Pa-pun District, Kyaw Myint Than commander of SPDC IB 98 of South West Command summoned the village heads of Noh-lah, Htee-saw-meh, Pway-htaw-roe, Noh-gaw, Po-khay, Bler-per, Thwa-kho-lor, Ma-htaw, Khaw-kla and Ta-dwee-kho villages and instructed them to have each of their villages build a hut along the bank of Yun-za-lin river. They had to send two villagers from each village to stand sentinel, both day and night, for the security of the motor road from Htee-saw-meh to Koo-seik villages. He also instructed them to get a bullock cart, fully loaded with logs to drive back and forth on the road for clearance of land mines every morning. (Source: KIC)
On 12 November 2002, in Pa-pun District, Company Commander Aung Than of SPDC IB 98 ordered Thwa-kho-lor the village head and villagers to search and clear land mines on the motor roads from 7 AM to 10 AM, each day, using 10 villagers with two hoes. (Source: KIC)
1.9 Documents and Sample Forced Labor Orders
Order Supplementing Order No. 1/99
The Government of the Union of Myanmar,
The Ministry of Home Affairs,
Yangon, Ist Waxing of Tazaungmon 1362, M.E.
(27 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 14 May 1999 as requisition of forced labour is illegal and is an offence under the existing laws of the Union of Myanmar.
1. 1. Clauss 5 of the said Order 1/99 shall be substituted with the following;
(a) (a) Responsible persons including members of the local authorities, members of the armed forces, members of the police force, and 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) (b) The above clause (a) shall not apply to the requisition of work or service when an emergency arises due to fire, flood, storm, earthquake, epidemic disease, war, famine and epizootic disease that poses an imminent danger to the general public and the community.
2. 2. When the responsible persons have to requisition work or serivce for purposes mentioned in clause 1(b) of this Supplementary Order the following shall be complied;
(a) (a) The work or service shall not lay too heavy a burden upon the present population of the region.
(b) (b) The work or service shall not entail the removal of workers from their place of habitual residence.
(c) (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) (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) (e) Schoolteachers and pupils shall be exempted from requisition of work or service.
(f) (f) In the case of adult able-bodied men who are the main supporters of the necessition food, clothing and shelter for the family and indispensable for social life, requisition shall not be made except only in unavoidable circumstances.
(g) (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) (h) In cass of accident, sickness or disability arising at the place of work, benefits shall be granted in accordance with the Workmen’s Compensation Act.
(i) (i) The work or service shall not be used for work underground in mines.
3. 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 and Development Council.
4. 4. The State or Divisional Commissioner of the General Admenistration Department who is also a member of the relevant State or Divisional Peace and Development Council shall supervise the responsible to abide by the Order No. 1/99 and this Supplementary Order.
5. 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 autorities, 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.
(Signed) Col. Tin Hlaing,
Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs
SPDC Orders from Kawkareik Area
Translated by the Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB)
Light Infantry Battalion 548
Chairperson / Village Head
Subject: To attend the meeting
Gentlemen, regarding the above subject, this is to inform you that you must come and discuss on (7-11-2001) Thidinkyut waxing date 6 at (10:00) without fail.
Place. NaBu – Taung Nar
Date. (17-12-2000). (Sd)
Light Infantry Battalion No. (547)
Chairperson / Village Head
xxxxxxx village Date.21-1-2002.
Regarding to the above subject, the Township Paddy Purchasing Team would like to discuss the required matters and thus, it is informed (you) to come to Nabu Monastery on 2002 January (22) at (7) o’clock in the morning.(Sd.)
(for) Intelligence Officer
Note: The army heavily involved in paddy (rice) purchasing by demanding more purchase quota by paying unfair price, forcing people to work in paddy fields, confiscating fields and confiscating paddy from villagers. Then Union of Myanmar Economic Holding (UMEH), the military operated business sector exported rice to other countries, especially some countries from Africa. As a result, in 2001, ports form Burma were busy with transferring rice bags to cargo ships and on the other hand, local farmers getting poorer and many decided to leave Burma. (Source: FTUB)
SPDC Orders from Kya Inn Seik Gyi Area, (Karen State)
Translated by the Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB)
Xxxx villager, it is from F.L. 88 messenger. To send servants once for the column. Send villager. It is voluntary team.
Note: As many of the orders, this order has no date and stamp. Hand writing is also bad and meaning is not so clear.
______Xxxxx________________ village Date: 5 -
3 2 - 2002
Subject: Matter to come to the battalion headquarters
Regarding to the above subject, village chairpersons yourselves should come to the Battalion Headquarters Office, Infantry Battalion No. (284) at (10) o’clock in the morning on (7 - 2 - 2002 ) without fail. Will discuss village security matters with village chairpersons thus come without fail. For villages of those (chairpersons) who fail (to attend the meeting), if column arrives, there will be no responsibility and solution.
Infantry Battalion No. (284)
Date……………………... Intelligence Department
Column (2) Headquarters Infantry Battalion No. (284)
4 - 3 - 2001 (Actually 2002)
To inform that the responsible person should come and report (daily) if there is any strange matter, and if there is not any strange matter, just sent a letter. If (you) fails to do so, it is chairperson’s responsibility.
Pai Kler Camp
Township Peace and Development Council
Kya Inn-Seik Gyi Town Township Peace and Development Council
Kya Inn Seik Gyi Township,
Kya Inn Seik Gyi Town
Letter No. 2 / 3 - 6 / Oo 1 ( 0325)
Date: 2002 March 11
Chairperson and village leaders
Kyar Inn Seik Gyi Town
Subject: The matter of rebuilding the bridges destroyed by terrorist insurgents
1. According to the decision of the negotiation discussion of the Tactical Commander (Tactical Group Station) and U Saw Thu Moo Heh and village leaders at the hall of Infantry Battalion No. (32) at (06:00) hours on (22 - 2 - 2002 ), the following burned and destroyed bridges will be built on (22 - 3 - 2002) with the following assignments:-
No. Name of the bridge Responsible village / group Remarks
1. Deli stream bridge No. (1) Deli village
2. Deli Yegyaw bridge No. (2) Bisakat village
3. Meh Tha Raw stream bridge Yathay and Meh Tha Raw villages 2-villages
4. Peinneh stream bridge Tagay village
5. Shwe Don bridge Shwe Don village
6. Macka Taw bridge Maka Taw village
7. Noe Tamar stream bridge Peace force_______________
2. Thus, the above villages have to build the responsible bridges and be finished on ( 22 - 3 - 2002). To not be destroyed in the future, arrange (3) persons for daytime sentry and (3) persons for nighttime sentry and then cut down and clear trees and bushes to (1) mile away from the respective bridge. (You) are informed to report the implementation situation.
(Thet Naing Oo, Pa/3642)
Tactical Group (Station), Kya Inn-Seik Gyi Town
Note: Similar orders of the previous report "SPDC Orders from Kya Inn-Seik Gyi Area, (Karen State)" dated 19 May 2002, but from different village.
16 . 3 . 2002
(You) are informed that (70) people from your village should come to Kyaik Done tomorrow (17 . 3 . 2002). If (you) fail to come, villages will be relocated and effective action will be taken. (You are) also informed to come together with Mipanya villagers(40).
7 . 1 . 2002
Chairperson yourself should come and bring with (3) voluntary workers before 8.1.2002, in the afternoon. No need to bring supplies.
Gentleman’s villagers should be sent to repair the road and to fill the ground destroyed by rain, between Xxxx and Yxxx on (21-5-2002) in the morning, where cars can not go. Village chairperson and secretary are informed to come to Koh Kwar camp tomorrow morning at half past seven without fail.
Infantry Battalion No.(78)
No.( blank) company
Date: 20-5-2002 (Sd.)
Koh Kwar army camp
Place: Koh Kwar
Releasing dutiful servant
1. The Frontline Infantry Battalion No. (77) has released Yxx, from Xxxxx village who dutifully served as a servant with column (1) to his home. It is recommended that he is returning to his home and not to ask him to ask as servant again.
Front line Infantry Battalion No. (77)
(for) Column Commander
Front line Infantry Battalion No.(77)
xxxxxx village 30.5.2002
(1) Kyaik Don called voluntary servants but they have not arrived until today.
(2) They must arrive to Kyaik Don on (30.5.2002) today and your implementation report (to us).
(3) If (you) fail to send voluntary servants, (your village) will be specified as insurgent’s village and must be relocated.
Front line Infantry Battalion No.(77)
To contribute voluntary work at the Checkpoint Camp, each person should bring sward/ back-hole and come tomorrow (10/6/02).
To contribute voluntary work at the Checkpoint Camp, one person from each family with swords should come tomorrow on (10/6/02) together with (100) bamboo poles.
Arms and Peace Troops
Respectfully informing the gentlemen that your village has to send one person from each family to come and bring hoes, crowbar, etc. on ( 18 / 3 / 02 ) at 7 o’clock in the morning.
Note: Come to the Tactical Command’s Hill at 7 o’clock in the morning.
U Mahn Thaung
Prisoner Porter Interview 1
Name: Kyaw Win Than
Occupation: Day Labourer
Address: Kone DounVillage, Pwint Pyu Township, Magwe Division
Charge: Article 380
Date of the sentence: 10 June 2002
Prisoner No: 2643 C
Prison Name: Thayet prison
Date of interview : 1 October 2002
"On the first week of July, 85 of the prisoners from Thayet jail, were selected and sent to Pa-an Service Camp. I was one of them. Two days later, soldiers from the LIB 205 called us to serve as porters. We traveled 15 days on the plain. Then, we had to climb mountains. We had to carry about 20 viss1 of weight including land mines, ammunition, and rice. I had to carry 4 mortar bombs and rifle ammunition. We saw four old prison porters on the way who had badly injured faces and torn mouths. We also saw a porter who had managed to escape but was recaptured by SPDC soldiers. He was badly tortured.
Our group included Maung Than Min, San Shwe Myint(Kyauk Nanran Village), Maung Aye (also from Kyauk Nanran Village), Chin Ma from Min Bu, Kalargyi and myself. We did not get enough food nor any rest while it was raining. If we became sick, no medicine was provided. Soldiers usually hit or beat us. They hit the faces of the elderly porters and hit and smashed on the backs and shoulders of the younger porters. For the duration of the trip, every night, we had to make new huts for soldiers to sleep in. The soldiers beat the porters who could not cut bamboo or carry bamboo posts. On 18 July 2002, at midnight, Maung Than Min and I fled from the column, because we were too weak to work." (Source: FTUB)
Prisoner Porter Interview 2
Name: Maung Than Min
Occupation: Day Labourer
Address: Kone Doun village, Pwint Pyu Township, Magwe Division
Charge: Article 380
Sentence: 2 years in prison
Date of sentence: 10 June 2002
Prisoner No.: 4644 C
Prison Name: Thayet prison
"In the first week of July, 85 prisoners from Thayet Prison including me were sent to Myaingalay (Pa-an Service Camp). Then soldiers from Division 22 came and took us. We traveled on the plain for two weeks with a column from LIB 205. The column had 35 soldiers led by the battalion commander himself. The prisoner porters were also 35 persons. After two weeks, the column turned towards the east and started climbing into the mountains. There many porters became exhausted because of the heavy loads. Most of our slippers issued by prison authorities were torn off. I was ordered to carry 10, 60mm mortar bombs.
When porters were unable to move, soldiers beat them. Many prisoner porters became sick because of the tough trip, heavy loads, and rain. But the sick did not receive any treatment. Instead, soldiers beat, hit and kicked them. When the column decided to rest for a day, we were ordered to prepare shelters. While barefoot, we had to find leaves and bamboo on the thorny ground. During the trip, we received insufficient food. Two soldiers got a hankawful of rice but five of us could get only a hankawful of rice. We were concerned that we would die and so decided to escape."
Prisoner Porter Interview 3
Name: Myint Oo
Education: Grade 2
Address: Aung Yundanar 2 Street, Gen. Aung San Ward, Oakkan, Rangoon Division
Charge: Article 326
Sentence: 3 years in prison
Prisoner No.: 2116 C
Prison name: Tharyawaddy
"On 4th August 2001, I was caught in Letpatan town and I was sent to a police cell for 4 months. I was then sentenced to 3 years in prison and was sent to Tharyawaddy prison. Four months later, 75 prisoners were sent to Karen State of which I was one. Most of us were recently sentenced to prison and even detained for 4 months were included. The Tharyawaddy prison sent prisoners to work camps(crushing stones, growing rice, etc.) and service camps (army porters). If a prisoner does not want to go towork camps or be an army porter, he has to pay 20,000 Kyat per year to the prison chief.
I remember some of the transfers in 2002. They were:-
- 250 prisoners were sent to Taung Sunn Stone Crushing Camp, Mon State.
- 230 prisoners were sent to Eu To Bawa Agriculture Camp.
- 150 prisoners were sent to be used by the army as porters (prisoners had to wear blue clothes and were sent away at 2 a.m.)
- 180 prisoners were sent to Thaton Service Camp.
I did not remember where the other three transfers were sent.
We reached Myaingalay Service Camp and spent a night there. On the next day, soldiers from Division 22 took 100 prisoners. Seventy five from Tharyawaddy and twenty five from other prisons. I had to carry a basket included 12 RPG rockets, some clothes, and soldier’s back packs. It weighed about 50 viss. It was so heavy that I could not stand up with the basket and had to get somebody to assist me. The others also had to carry heavy baskets. Some prisoners had to carry 16 tins2 of rice and three backpacks.
The trip was three days long. All prisoners were exhausted and tired. Many were badly beaten. Soldiers scolded and hit those who could not walk. Four elderly prisoners and six youths were so badly beaten that the soldiers reduced their loads and tied them all with ropes and dragged them up the mountains. Three days later, we reached a camp stationed by LIB 205 column 1 and thirteen prisoners including me were handed over to the column. The column sent out patrols of 20 soldiers and thirteen prisoners. We had to carry food supplies and ammunition. When we returned from patrols, we were ordered to collect bamboo shoots. If there were no patrols, we were ordered to cut down bamboo, to repair camp fences and to carry water. Each of us had to cut 100 bamboo poles per day, and if a prisoner failed to bring back his 100 bamboo poles, he was ordered to lie down on the ground while soldiers beat his back. The bamboo and bamboo shoots were sold to traders from town and in return traders sold meat to the soldiers. We were not given money nor meat curry. The rice quota to the prisoners was far from sufficient.
The duty to carrying water was also very hard. To get a 30 liter tin of water, a prisoner had to go down to the slope of the mountain and climb back up to the top, it took about 40 minutes. Ten of the prisoners had to carry water with 30 liter tins for 8 to 9 times a day. The water was for bathing and drinking for the all the soldiers of the column. Some sick and weak prisoners could not carry the water and so the soldiers severely beat them. They said that orders should be fulfilled, they did not want to see any failure. They mentioned many times that if we died, it would be nothing to the battalion, just a report of one or two sentences to the command HQ.
I was able to escape, but I am still worried about some of my comrades, which I worked with. They were-
1. Kyaw Toe (Illegal lottery case) Sentenced to one year imprisonment. (Latpadan)
2. Moe Gyi (Theft) Sentenced to one and half years imprisonment.( Hmawbe)
3. Kyi Lwin (Detained) Sentenced to four months imprisonment. (Latpadan)
4. Yan Lin Aung ( Unknown) Sentenced to two years imprisonment. (Latpadan)
5. Yakut (Theft) Sentenced to seven years imprisonment (Rangoon)
6. Babu (Theft) two years in prison (Latpadan)
It would be great to see some international monitoring of prison labour perhaps from organizations such as the ICRC as many prisoners are being mistreated and some are dying as a result." (Source: FTUB)
1.11 Personal Accounts
Terms used: Bomu/Bo Kyi: Military leader
Coolie: Forced labourer
Lon Htein: Anti-riot police, but often used in Arakan State to refer to the police
Magh: Derogatory term used by Rohingya to refer to a Rakhaing Buddhist
MaYaKa: Township Peace and Development Council
MI: Military Intelligence
NaTaLa: Department setting up new settlers’ village (belonging to new settlers)
RaYaKa: Village Tract Peace and Development Council (lower level of administrative authorities)
RSO: Rohingya Solidarity Organisation, one of the Rohingya armed opposition groups
Seingoung: Leader of a group of houses who collects labour and taxes and reports to the RaYaKa
Age: about 35,
Family situation: Married, 4 children
From: xxx village, Maungdaw Township, Arakan State
Date of Interview: 24-2-02
"I arrived here 15 days ago. Forced labour has increased over the last two months. Just before this, it was less because the MaYaKa and the RaYaKa received an order from the government not to recruit coolies, even if the NaSaKa request it. But the NaSaKa has weapons and the RaYaKa cannot do anything. Now again, they are recruiting coolies very openly. Recently, the NaSaKa and the military confiscated land to establish tree nurseries and we must cover the saplings. There are now four nurseries in my village with teak saplings for reforestation. 20 labourers have to work there every day without pay. This is new: it just started 2 months ago.
In my village, 80 people must do sentry duty every night. There used to be 10 sentry posts in my village but over the last 2 or 3 months, it increased to 20. The duty is the same but the quota is more. Our village has about 1,000 households. The sentry duty is now for 4 nights at a time. We have 20 sentry posts and in each post, four men must do sentry duty. Each sentry post is different. For the 5 posts located near the NaTaLa village and near the NaSaKa camp, the sentries must guard until 10 a.m. In the other posts, they can leave earlier. The sentries also have to do other odd jobs such as fetching water, etc. The NaSaKa ordered the sentries posted along the beach to inform them if any big boat approaches. The sentries posted in the hills must inform them if anyone is moving at night, coming or going. This started in 1994 since the RSO launched an attack.
I have never worked as a sentry but I pay between 500 and 700 Kyats to hire a man to replace me. The Seingoung collects the sentries. I always try to hire a man to replace me, because if I give money to the Seingoung he will keep this money and share it with the RaYaKa. Then an innocent man will have to do the work without pay.The MaYaKa sent mustard seeds to the RaYaKa who ordered us to cultivate mustard seeds on our land. When we complained that our land is not good for this crop, they compelled us to cultivate it. If someone fails, he must pay a tax of 2,000 to 7,000 Kyats. This is now taking place on our paddy land situated on both sides of the road towards the jetty to Akyab, not inside our village. This has been happening for the last 3 years. This land is not fertile enough to grow mustard seeds. The production is thus very low and we must give the whole crop to the NaSaKa. We must cultivate it and harvest it. We are not allowed to keep anything for ourselves.
During this dry season, the NaTaLa villagers who grow peanuts can do this for themselves. They can sell their whole crop to Akyab. But we, the Muslim villagers, are compelled to sell these to the oil-press of the NaSaKa and their business partners. We must bring our peanuts to the oil-press and the NaSaKa collect labourers to shell them. This is forced labour. The NaSaKa has 12 kani [about 5 acres] of paddy land for their camp in Sitapurika [Kyauk Pun Du]. Last year, they rented it out but this year the cultivation and harvesting are done by forced labour. We have to do forced labour for two NaSaKa camps in Andang [Inn Din] and Sitapurika [Kyauk Pun Du] and for one MI camp in Andang [Inn Din]. When a family has no available man, a child is sent. I have seen 8 year old children carrying small bundles of firewood and kindling. Child labour is also widely used for sentry duty. In each sentry post you can find at least one child." (Source: Forum Asia)
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