5. Deprivation of Livelihood
"The right to food of people in the Union of Myanmar [Burma] continues to be denied by the military government in that country. During the last year the Asian Legal Resource Centre has increasingly received credible and disturbing reports of serious food shortages throughout Myanmar [Burma], both directly and indirectly linked to government practices implemented to ensure perpetuation of its undemocratic rule. "
(Source: Statements to the UN Commission on Human Rights regarding
food insecurity in Burma, Asian Legal Resource Centre, 2003.)
"We can’t even feed our own children. I don’t like to say such things... I’m a man, but I can’t even feed my children."
(Source: Asian Human Rights Commission, May, 2003.)
Throughout 2002 the majority of people in Burma continued to be engaged in an increasingly desperate and constant struggle to meet basic needs as they watched their living standards steadily deteriorate. Due to misguided economic policies, rampant corruption, cronyism and a disproportionate amount of the budget spent on the army, Burma’s economy has been in a state of decline since the 1962 military coup. At the time of independence Burma was known as ‘the rice bowl of Asia,’ but today one in three children is malnourished. There is a clear link between the misuse of government funds and power and the poor living standards of the population of Burma. According to a report released by the Asian Legal Resource Centre entitled The Right to Food, researcher Angela Wong comments on the following: "On the indivisibility of rights, Sen argues that "no substantial famine has ever occurred in any independent and democratic country with a relatively free press". There is a clear and unequivocal link between type of governance and famine." (Source: Wong, Angela, The Right to Food, Asian Legal Resource Centre, 2003.)
Independent data confirms that agriculture accounts for 60% of Burma’s GDP, employing 66% of the workforce and providing the country with 51% of its export earnings. At present, there is little potential for future growth in this sector under the current system of weak land rights, strict procurement policies and restrictions on exports. In many areas farmers are forced to sell a significant portion of their crop to the government at prices two or three times below market value. This effectively impoverishes farmers and dries up any tax revenue for the state. While the government has intervened to prevent increases in the price of rice, some reports from Arakan State indicate that despite this, rising rice prices may have led to several cases of starvation.
During March and April 2003 the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), submitted a written statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights stating the following:
"While the causes for ongoing food insecurity may be partly attributed to poor weather conditions, the Government of Myanmar must bear primary responsibility. The Asian Legal Resource Centre has continued to receive reports of the manifold ways in which it violates the right to food through denial of the right to work, pernicious taxation, confiscation of land and repeated demands for unpaid civilian labour. It prevents or inhibits people from working freely to achieve their food security. Farmers are not permitted to choose when, where and how to cultivate. In areas of armed conflict they are subject to unstable life-threatening conditions that prevent them from using their labour, land and natural resources to earn a living. In other parts of the country, farmers are the victims of policies that place their own wellbeing after the interests of the state. Regardless of economic circumstances, civilian communities are obliged to satisfy demands for goods and services from the military. Meanwhile, the government goes so far as to issue blanket denials of floods and natural disasters and deny responsibility for rising prices, claiming that such reports are fabrications spread by greedy rice merchants to drive up the market value of their product.
Paddy farmers, the largest occupational sector of the country, are subject to a compulsory paddy-purchase programme enforced by government agencies nationwide. The quota is based upon the land-holdings of each farmer and without regard to actual production. The implicit tax on paddy— arising when the government buys rice at lower than the market rate— has grown from around 10 per cent in the early 1990s to around 80 per cent during the past year. This rate is still escalating, as in January 2003 farmers around the capital are understood to have been ordered to sell paddy at 350 kyat per basket, when they could receive 1500 kyat for the same amount on the open market. Credible reports from across the country indicate that farmers are facing increasing hardship in meeting the government’s demands, but fear arrest if they fail to meet the quota. Whereas the military has been involved in collection of quota paddy in outlying areas for many years, in an apparently unprecedented move the commander of the central Yangon Division has now ordered that platoons of troops accompany government buyers to ensure that the paddy quota be met there also.
The recent food shortages have led to an upsurge of social unrest and crime. Reliable reports from across the country, throughout both urban and rural areas, indicate that groups of citizens have attacked and looted warehouses where rice is kept for export. In other cases, starving villagers have reportedly held up passenger buses travelling between urban areas, demanding not cash but food from those on board, and growing numbers of people coming to beg in towns and cities have been arrested in special police operations to suppress rising social discontent. A wave of food-related violence has also gripped the major cities during the past few months, as people in many areas are reported to be surviving on meagre quantities of rice soup.
The Myanmar armed forces continue to be directly responsible for the most severe violations of the right to food. Counter-insurgency operations— especially in remote western and eastern regions— randomly destroy food stocks and crops, relocate civilian communities and expropriate cash and materials. In some areas military operations directly target rural food supplies and crops without distinction, displace people from villages, scatter them into hills and jungles or force them into relocation sites. Widespread dislocation is resulting in serious and long-term structural food scarcity, not mere seasonal hunger due to occasional military incursions. The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar raised these concerns in his oral submission to the fifty-eighth session of the Commission, noting that "the bulk of those allegations appear to be credible indeed, in the face of which I cannot be silent". The Special Rapporteur on the right to food has also acknowledged reports of food scarcity in Myanmar due to military operations (E/ CN. 4/ 2002/ 58, para. 106)." (Source: Written statement: Food scarcity in Myanmar, The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) submitted to the 59th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, held in Geneva during March and April 2003.)
5.2 Situation of Farmers in Burma
An estimated 66% of Burma’s workforce is employed in the agricultural sector and rice, being the nation’s staple food, is an integral part of this sector. The SPDC, which has retained central planning and control of food production in the nation, has made various attempts to boost the production of rice and other agricultural products, yet the methods which they have used have had disastrous results for the people who do the farming in Burma.
Right to Own Land
Cultivators in Burma have effectively lost the right to own land, as under sections 9-12 of the Agricultural Lands Act 1953 the right to transfer, partition or lease land can only occur with permission of the authorities. In the 1963 Tenancy Act, the State usurped the right of landowners to lease their land and the 1963 ‘Protection of the right to cultivation’ Act stipulated that land would be protected from confiscation, except in the case of a) non-payment of dues owing to the State, and b) disputes arising from inheritance cases or actions taken by the State for security reasons. The State was further granted authority to confiscate land through Notification No. 4/78, which was enacted on September 18, 1978. This notification states that failure to sow the allotted land with the earmarked crops to obtain optimum results, or failure to sell the full crop quota to the government at the stipulated price, would result in confiscation of land. Currently village and township administrators have the power to confiscate land and the cultivators are compelled to follow their dictates with no means of protest.
Forced Sale of Crops to the Government
Farmers in Burma are required to sell a percentage of their crops to the government at discount prices. This regulation is, as a rule, enforced for rice crops, yet there are also instances where local officials demand farmers sell set portions of other harvests such as beans and fruit crops. This paddy procurement system is implemented by the Myanmar Agricultural Produce Trade (MAPT), a state agency which, along with other arms of the bureaucracy, inherited this mandate from its socialist predecessor. MAPT’s national structure reaches down to the village, where it designates paddy land and collects a fixed quota based on land area. This quota rose steadily from 1988 until 1995, when it was fixed at 12 baskets per acre in high rice-producing areas such as Irrawaddy Division. This crop quota is essentially a crop tax, and is justified by the SPDC as a means of feeding the armed forces, supplying discounted rice to civil servants and exporting rice and other crops in order to gain foreign currency. Yet in practice, the system has failed to improve economic conditions in Burma and has denied food to the very people who grow it.
An inherent flaw in this system is that the government’s quota calculation is based on arable land area rather than amount of rice actually planted or harvested. Farmers who work poor land, or due to poor weather or other conditions produce an imperfect crop, are not exempt from the quota. Instead they must make up the difference by supplying paddy bought on the market. In these cases, the difference between the relatively high market price and the low government purchase rate results in a net loss for farmers.
Households that fail to fill the quota face a variety of consequences. For households unable to sell the earmarked quota to the government, the local authorities, with the help of the armed forces and police, often forcefully confiscate the household’s entire supply of paddy including that used for consumption and seed paddy. If even after such confiscation the quota is still not achieved, the defaulting cultivators are arrested and their rights to cultivate are taken away. While arrests and beatings have been reported, more common is the confiscation of paddy land, for redistribution to other farmers, whom the authorities feel are more capable of producing the required quota. Farmers have also been sent to labor camps to work off their debt. Local military authorities are also said to have ordered the rice mills to close, preventing the milling of harvested rice for consumption or trade until entire villages have filled their quotas. Lastly, farmers have been threatened, berated and publicly abused by government rice procurers dissatisfied with their quota. In Mon State of Burma, as well as in other areas of Burma, the SPDC has implemented a new policy wherein farmers are forced to sign contracts agreeing to sell a certain portion of their crops upon harvest. This inherently unjust crop quota system has left numerous farmers across Burma impoverished and/or landless. Corrupt officials often pay less than the set government purchase price, and occasionally the farmers receive nothing at all.
For much of 2002 the situation in Arakan state was particularly bad. Near famine conditions were reported throughout the year, which stimulated large scale rice smuggling from Bangladesh into Arakan State. The SPDC exported large quantities of rice to raise revenue neglecting domestic need for survival. As a result, there was a steep hike in the cost of rice which made it unaffordable to most people. In an attempt to stabilize the situation, the SPDC distributed poor quality rice towards the end of the year.
Dry Season Paddy Crops
The SPDC has launched agricultural development schemes throughout the country, but especially in the Irrawaddy Delta area. The government’s main agricultural program is the summer, or dry season, paddy program, in which the traditional single rice crop per year, sown in the rainy season and reaped in the cool season of October-December, is followed by another crop raised and reaped in the hot season. The summer paddy scheme has several elements: development of irrigation systems such as dams and canals, introduction of high yielding hot-season rice strains and use of new fertilizers, pesticides and machinery to cope with the technical complications of the new crop.
These tactics have created two new burdens for farmers. The first is the labor needed to build roads, small dams and irrigation ditches. State-directed, uncompensated labor is common practice in Burma. Farmers who work on these development projects have less time to tend their crops or other subsistence activities. Secondly, the chemical ingredients of the summer rice program are not distributed free to poor farmers, but are sold to them. Farmers who do not buy the necessary materials cannot participate in the program; their unproductive land, officially designated for double cropping, is reassigned to a more able household. Insufficiency of water added to the fact that inclement weather and unsuitability of crops to be cultivated on certain types of land, are proving to be real deterrents to the country’s agricultural development. In some parts of Irrawaddy Division, farmers who could not meet the required quota had to pay the market price in cash for the shortfall to the authorities. In some places floods prevented cultivation. There were some areas where crops failed all three times they were cultivated. These cultivators not only wasted their efforts and suffered losses but also because of their inability to fulfill their quota were arrested in their hundreds.
In some localities the cultivators who could not sow the dry season crop had to make payment at the rate of kyat 300 per acre to Township and village authorities who lined their pockets with these fines. Those farmers who do not have ready cash had to pawn or sell their cattle, carts, houses, etc., to pay the fines.
5.3 Situation of Labor in Burma
Aside from the agricultural sector, the majority of laborers in Burma are struggling for their livelihood under harsh conditions with inadequate pay and no process or system through which their grievances can be aired. Under the market economic system, which has been imposed during the period of SPDC governance, workers in foreign investment and joint venture projects and factories have had to suffer the following;
(a) According to job appointment rules, the employer has the right to dismiss any worker from employment without giving a month’s advance notice, as outlined in existing labor laws. This grants excessive power for exploitation to the employer and prevents a stable workforce from forming at work sites.
(b) There is no process or system by which worker’s grievances can be aired, no mechanisms for demanding labor rights, no trade unions permitted at workplaces and departments, no clear mechanisms for the resolution of cases where a worker was forced to resign (or rather, workers are afraid to complain) and no step by step appeal programs (for negotiations, interventions and plenary discussion) therefore, workers suffer considerably.
(c) Foreign employers and investors have established factories in Burma as well as in other countries throughout Southeast Asia. In Burma however, workers receive salaries from foreign employers that are much lower than other countries’ minimum wages. Private employers are in fact prohibited from raising salaries any higher than those of workers in nationalized factories. Thus, they cannot raise wages even if they wish to and so the workers are unable to attain a fair income.
(d) According to Burma’s "Leave and Holiday Act", shift workers must work a maximum 48 hour week, and for offices and service industries 42 hours per week. However staff and workers in supermarkets and factories, which have appeared as a result of the developing market economy, have to work about 10 hours a day in defiance of labor protection laws. Working on Saturday and over time duties are also required, but there is no appropriate recompense, instead employees are sometimes paid a small amount of money or given some food. Social welfare laws are also ignored. As long as wage rates remain unadjusted to the current pace of inflation, workers continue to be denied a living wage. For example, the Labor Compensation Act excludes by definition workers earning over 400 kyat per month, so employers can claim that their workers are not covered by the Compensation Act.
Existing labor affairs laws are outdated and ineffectual and minimum wage laws apply only to government employees and employees of a few traditional industries. The minimum monthly wage for salaried public employees is $2.00 (600 kyats) for what is, in effect, a 6-hour workday. Various subsidies and allowances supplement this sum. Neither the minimum wage nor the higher wages earned even by senior government officials provide workers and their families with a decent standard of living. Low and falling real wages in the public sector have fostered widespread corruption. In the private sector, urban laborers earn about $0.70 per day (200 kyat), while rural agricultural workers earn about half that. Some private sector workers earn substantially more; a skilled factory worker earns about $15 per day (4,500 kyat). Surplus labor conditions, a dismal economy and lack of protection by the government continue to dictate substandard conditions for workers. The 1964 Law on Fundamental Workers Rights and the 1951 Factories Act regulate working conditions. There is a legally prescribed 5-day, 35-hour workweek for employees in the public sector and a 6-day, 44-hour workweek for private and state enterprise employees, with overtime paid for additional work. The law also allows for a 24-hour rest period per week, and workers have 21days of paid holidays per year. However, in practice such provisions benefit only a small portion of the country’s labor force, since most of the labor force is engaged in rural agriculture. Numerous health and safety regulations exist, but in practice the Government has not made the necessary resources available to enforce the regulations. Although workers may in principle remove themselves from hazardous conditions, in practice many workers cannot expect to retain their jobs if they do so.
Wages in Burma are simply not high enough for most people to live on. Even the pay raise of civil servants in April 2000 was unable to insulate them from the effects of inflation. This has led to high levels of corruption and migration to other countries, as people in all fields of work, attempt to find outside sources of income and chances to leave their jobs for better pay elsewhere.
Other Factors Contributing to the Deprivation of Livelihood
People in areas across Burma are subjected to numerous demands for their hard-earned currency and their hard-pressed time. As the government spends an estimated 50% of the national budget on building up of the armed forces, there is little money allotted for the needs of the nation. Indeed, even the armed forces are not adequately provided for. In 1998, the SPDC in Rangoon informed its field units that rations would be cut back significantly and that they would, in essence, have to ‘fend for themselves,’ by producing their own food or obtaining it from villagers in their areas of operation. Since that order, thousands of acres of land have been confiscated from civilians, without compensation, for army food production or factories. The ousted farmers and local villagers are then frequently made to act as serfs on their former land, planting and harvesting crops for the army battalions who took the land from them.
The SPDC has prided itself on undertaking efforts to improve the nation, such as the building of roads, bridges and railroads. Yet it has been at the expense of the people of Burma that these national infrastructure projects have been carried out. The projects, which often are for military benefit, are usually severely under funded, and the local people are required to pay for or get the supplies themselves, and then build the projects themselves, at their own time and expense, without pay.
At the township and village administrative levels, there also is a lack of government funding. Again local people are made to compensate for these deficiencies in the national budget. The people in areas of armed conflict suffer the above economic burdens, as well additional demands which are associated with the significant military presence the SPDC maintains in their regions. Villagers in areas of armed conflict are expected to fully support the army battalions located in their area. They are required to build the army barracks, supplying the materials themselves, and then send "servants" to work as slaves at these bases. They are also forced to give them food, and any other items that army personnel demand from them.
1) Official and Unofficial Taxes and Levies:
Through several officially sanctioned fees and taxes, as well as arbitrary demands for cash from corrupt officials and army personnel, the people of Burma are expected to pay for everything from road construction supplies to state sport ceremonies. The income of Burma’s people is sapped by these constant petty fees and most households end up forced to pay several thousands of kyat per month in these types of levies. Many villagers are unable to pay and are often forced to flee their traditional homes to avoid punishment by the authorities. The most common types of taxes and levies are listed below:
- Porter and Forced Labor Fees: A common practice, especially in conflict areas, is for the villagers to pay a mandatory "porter fee" to the local army battalion. The funds collected from this fee are supposed to go towards hiring porters for army operations. Yet in most cases, these fees are kept by the battalion officers, who then proceed to demand that the villagers supply porters for the army, even after the fee has been paid. These fees are usually around 200-500 kyat per household, per month. In addition, villagers who are delinquent in providing their forced labor duty are made to pay fines of varying amounts to local government or army authorities.
- Administration fees: In several localities across Burma the local people are made to pay monthly fees for township or village level administration costs. These fees, and whether or not they are actually used for administrative purposes, vary from place to place.
- Festival and Ceremony Fees: Often the government does not provide enough money for their state-sanctioned festival and ceremonies, including religious and sport festivals and even anti-NLD rallies. Where the government falls short, the people are expected to contribute. Government officials, including USDA members commonly send letters or go door to door demanding money for such occasions. In some instances, after the people have given their money, the said occasion never occurs at all.
- Taxes for Development Projects: The social, education and health sectors in Burma are seriously neglected by the SPDC, thus suffer from an acute shortage of government funding. Local people are often required to pay for the construction of educational and health-care structures, as well as for the running of numerous training programs. In addition, although the SPDC has taken credit for the various national infrastructure projects, it is the local people who most often foot the bill for such projects. Government funding for such development projects is often insufficient or swindled by corrupt officials and the villagers are ordered to provide the money or the supplies necessary for the projects.
- Taxes and Fees for Local Army Units: Civilians are regularly required to pay for the needs of local army units. In addition to demands for food and supplies, they must meet demands for other various expenses which come up, such as the need for army walkie-talkies. Villagers commonly cover the cost for the construction of army related buildings, or supply the necessary materials. In addition, villagers in conflict areas are often forced to pay for lost guns when soldiers desert the army, or pay for the upkeep of surrendered rebels.
- Check points: Travel in Burma involves negoitiating passage through numerous checkpoints that are operated by various branches of the state such as the military, police and cease-fire groups. Most exit and entry points to towns have permanent checkpoints. In addition, numerous temporary checkpoints are set up at anytime. These checkpoints inevitably demand payment from those traveling. If cash can not be produced, the authorities demand other items instead. A truck may be required to relinquish farm produce or consumer items it is transporting as a form of payment. According to a woman trader who used to trade along Three Pagoda Pass – Thanbyuzayat motor road, "On this motor road, there are many check-points hold various armed groups. We have to pay every checkpoint after we leave Three Pagoda Pass (a border town with Thailand). At many other check-points have not made as many problems, but the DKBA always checks every good, takes some goods, and ask for a high tax. Even though they are familiar with our face as we travel regularly, they still refuse to let us go without any trouble. They never reduce the amount of tax and shout to us that if we do not want to pay, we can stop trading. They treat us really badly. Sometimes, they put us under the hot sun for over one hour until they complete checking our normal goods." (Source: HURFOM)
- Arbitrary Fees, Fines and Taxes: Army officers posted to remote conflict areas, as well as officials in central Burma all receive opportunities to extort money from local villagers with impunity. There are several army officers who have become rich as a result of the numerous schemes they come up with to acquire money. Therefore people are subjected to numerous ‘unofficial’ levies, fines and taxes. In some cases people are not even given an explanation as to what their money is going for, but are just told to hand over a certain amount. Officers and soldiers seeking money have been known to set up temporary roadblocks on highways or bridges to demand money from people passing through. Some of these arbitrary levies are associated with discrimination against religious or ethnic minorities, such as in the case of arbitrary taxes which exist only for Muslim Rohingya people in Arakan State. An example of this is the tree and roof taxes which the Rohingya must pay.
2) Forced Labor
The well-documented use of civilians as forced laborers has endowed Burma with a mass labor force with which to build up its army and national infrastructure (See chapter on forced labor). This labor is mandatory, unpaid and requires that villagers spend varying amounts of time away from their own work. In addition to the economic strain that time away from work brings, the people are also required to provide their own food and equipment for the duration of the forced labor duty. The demand of forced labor is often the proverbial last straw on the camel’s back for the already over-burdened people of Burma. Most refugees and migrant workers cite forced labor requirements as one of the major reasons for fleeing.
3) Land Confiscation
As mentioned above, the government of Burma has taken the opportunity to deprive citizens of their land whenever they deem it necessary for "security reasons" or for failure to provide necessary crop quotas. In addition to land confiscated to make way for army battalions, the state often takes over land that is intended for development projects. People are rarely compensated for land that has been confiscated. In cases where compensation is given, the amount is usually well below the actual value of the land. The deprival of land, which is the sole source of livelihood for many of Burma’s people, is a major infringement upon their right to livelihood as well as their property rights.
4) Destruction of Property
Loss of property is an obvious hindrance to the livelihood of an individual and their family, yet the SPDC continues to engage in activities that result in the uncompensated destruction of property such as homes and fields. In areas of ethnic conflict this practice is carried out under the "four-cuts" policy, in which the army seeks to destroy any means by which rebel armies can survive. In part of this policy, known as the "scorched earth" campaign, SPDC troops relocate villages in known rebel areas, then burn and destroy everything in the area. Burning of villages is common following relocation or in campaigns to "search and destroy" rebel activity. Property is also destroyed by the army in other areas of Burma if it stands in the way of planned army or national infrastructure projects.
5) Looting and Expropriation of Food and Possessions
The army in Burma, which sees itself as being the "father of the nation", has long expected the support of the country’s civilians. The various incarnations of the military regime have attempted to instill a mentality in the people in which aiding the armed forces is seen as a national and patriotic duty. Yet this "duty" has become close to unbearable for Burma’s people. In the years since 1998, when the SPDC cut rations for the armed forces, the villagers have faced an extra burden in providing for the soldiers. Some units even detail officers whose main task is to organize this activity. This systematic foraging from the local population is a method (like many others which involve human rights abuses) directly inherited by the Tatmadaw from the Imperial Japanese Army of World War II.
The army personnel have always been underpaid, especially the lower level soldiers and privates, and this had led to their frequent looting of villager property in the past. Now this looting and expropriation of food and possessions is condoned by the State. Army units on patrol who pass through villages simply take what they wish of the villagers’ food and possessions, or else send letters demanding that the villagers bring it to them. Some officers even send "shopping lists" to the local village heads, requesting such things as soap, oil, chicken, rice and cases of beer. The extorted items are rarely paid for. Villagers are even sometimes forced to provide money, food and other requirements for army personnel when they wish to make offerings at local Buddhist temples.
6) Restrictions on Trade, Travel and Cultivation
The restrictions on trade, travel and cultivation that the SPDC army has introduced, especially in areas of armed conflict have made things even more difficult for individuals attempting to make a living and survive. Many people living in areas under SPDC control are restricted from leaving their villages and must pay for passes from authorities in order to gain permission to leave. These passes are often only good for short periods, sometimes only from dawn to dusk. For villagers attempting to work in locations far away, it is nearly impossible to do what is necessary to make a living and then get back on time. The SPDC also has enforced special restrictions at times in which people are banned from leaving their villages altogether. In these cases, harvests are often destroyed or lost along with other work opportunities.
Trade restrictions imposed by the authorities also result in economic hardship for the people of Burma. Another factor which restricts breadwinners in the country is the existence of landmines, which limits the areas in which labor-seekers are able to move.
5.4 Situation in Chin State
Unfair Taxes and Levies
In May, June and July 2002, Captain Phu Taw of LIB 50 based at Vuangtu village ordered three dozen villages in the immediate areas of Vuangtu to pay for his military camp. Tluangram village alone paid a total of 320,00 kyats to the army—50,00 kyats for the month of May, 100,00 for June and another 170,00 for July respectively. In issuing the order, Captain Phu Taw warned that any village that failed to contribute the money would face severe punishment. "All of these villages had no choice other than pay the money because they were afraid of the repercussions," said one villager.
On 28 July 2002, Captain Phu Taw and his troops crossed into India and looted and beat villagers of Daldanle in Mizoram State. They sneaked back into Burma with their loot from Indian villagers. Until recently, all Burmese army battalions stationed in Chin State have used forced labor to repair army camps. However, since early 2002, they began collecting money from villagers instead of using human labor. The following is the list of villages from which Captain Phu Taw demanded money: La-U, LaiLen, FarTlang, KhuaLiPi, NgaPhaiPi, NgaPhaiTe, LawngTlang, LungCawiTe, LungCawiPi, KhuaBung(A), KhuaBung(B), HnaRing, Khua Hrang, ThangAw, FarTlang, SenTung, SurNgen, TiSen(A), TiSen(B), SurNgen, LeiTak(A), LeiTak(B), ZePi, HmawngTlang, PhaiKhua, CawngThia, KuhChah, VuangTu, ZaBung, HlamPhei, ZeiPhai(A), ZeiPhai(B), TluangRam(A), TluangRam(B), TlangRua, and HriPhi. (Source:CHRO)
Looting by the Army
On 29 July and 29 August 2002, it was reported that SPDC troops confiscated two mithans (cattle) and 100,000 kyat from cross-border businessmen en route to Mizoram on both occassions. The two victims of extortion, wishing to remain anonymous due to security reasons, are from Sumsem village of Matupi township. They said that they were on their way to India’s Mizoram State to sell 5 mithuns when they were intercepted by Captain Myint Lwin from Light Infantry Battalion 50, then commander of Sabawngte army camp. The captain confiscated two of the five animals, and demanded 40,000 kyat from the two businessmen as a ransom for the three remaining mithuns. The same Captain confiscated cattle belonging to Salai Khai Kung and Salai Than Uk of Dar Ling village of Matupi township. The captain also demanded 50,000 kyat from his victims. (Source:CHRO)
5.5 Situation in Arakan State
Unfair Taxes and Levies
Troops Take Money Given to Poor by French NGO.
On 16 January 2002, a Canadian official Ms Erin, accompanied by three local staff of the French NGO, ACF (Action contré la Faim), went to Zidung-bedo village and Ngaraing-chhaung village by a speedboat and distributed some money to the poorest people in the area. As soon as they left, a platoon from SPDC LIB 551 stationed at Taung-bazar battalion headquarter, Buthidaung township, and the local village headman came and collected 500 Kyat from each recipient as money needed for giving security to the visiting ACF officials. ACF is working in northern part of Arakan State and is one of a number of international NGOs engaged in the region. Whenever NGO officials or SPDC officials visit the area, the villagers there are forced to pay tolls to the Burmese troops accompanying those persons on security grounds, on the plea of having to buy food and drink for themselves. (Source: Narinjara)
Military Checkpoint in Western Burma Collects Illegal Toll.
On 11 June 2002, a trader who was bringing shrimp, fish and crabs for transporting to Rangoon from Gwa via Thandwe had to pay 12,568 Kyat for 730 viss (1 viss=1.7 kg) of shrimp, 1,100 Kyat for 220 viss of fish, and 15,555 Kyat for 311 viss of dried fish at the Thandwe military gate.The tolls collected were neither customs nor excise duties for the government treasury but funds for the military to be paid to the guards at the military checkpoints. As the economy of Arakan is based on agriculture and sea resources, the rampant toll collection prevalent across the state has put the livelihood of the farmers and fishermen in jeopardy because of all the restrictions and illegal tolls they have to pay to various law enforcment agencies including the Burmese military along all roads and waterways.
"The SPDC has engaged all the members of the law enforcement agencies to raise funds for their own use. As a result the various law-enforcement agencies have been with impunity carrying out fund raising drives throughout the state in a competitive way," said a prominent lawyer of Sittwe who had recently travelled by road to Rangoon.
In another incident, a vegetable vendor from Kyauktaw reported that, along the main river of the state, the Kaladan, there are more than two-dozen military checkpoints between Kyauktaw and Sittwe, the state capital, where illegal tolls are regularly collected in the name of fund raising for the military. The exorbitant collection of tolls has rendered the transportation and sale of agricultural produce or fish most unprofitable and time-consuming. As a result, the growers in the state are deprived of the right price.
"It is not unusual to find the Burmese Military personnel demanding a share of the goods carried for their own consumption at the military checkpoints", yet another businessman from Sittwe said. He added that harassment for the payment of illegal tolls at these checkpoints is so widespread that people usually pay the illegal tolls to avoid facing bitter confrontations.
"In a state a little over fifteen-thousand square miles in size the deployment of about 60 battalions of the Burmese military and the collection of illegal tolls from its four million Arakanese has left the economy in shambles. Though Arakan has so far boasted of being a rice-producing region of Burma there are reports of pockets of famine especially in the northern part of the state because of the wholesale plunder by the Burmese military. And this is done with complete impunity on the part of the perpetrators," a concerned retired high-ranking government official said. (Source: Narinjara)
Primary Schools at Villager’s Expense.
In the last week of July 2002, in a bid to spruce up the villages along the Sittwe Rangoon motor road, in the western part of Burma, the SPDC forced the villagers along the road to collect at least 55% of the funds required to construct hundreds of new primary schools. Western Commander Brigadier General Maung Oo, on a visit to the villages in Ponnagyun Township in the last week of July ordered all the schools to be completed by the end of Buddhist Lent in mid-October. The Sittwe Rangoon road meanders from Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State, through the townships of Ponnagyun, Kyauktaw, Mrauk-u, Min-bra, Mre-bon, Ann, Taungup, and into Pyi district under Bago division, and finally to Rangoon.
The construction work was done by forced labour conscripted from the villagers, a school teacher in Sittwe said. The construction of each of the schools involves about 2 million kyat in expenses, while the Burmese junta offered only 900,000 kyat. The remaining 1.1 million kyat is taken from the villagers by force. On average, each of the village families are required to pay a toll of 5-10,000 kyat, an amount quite high for the jobless villagers. Many villagers who were unable to pay the toll were arrested and detained by the police. The situation has landed them into a dilemma of getting detained and paying the bribe money required to either get released or to continue the lawsuits, he said. While due to the recent price spiral, the price of rice, the staple food, has shot up. Many villagers who are basically dependent on agriculture are facing food shortage. Lack of work has also forced many villagers to face the constant threat of starvation.
Paying tolls to the Burmese junta’s school construction fund and bribing the police for escaping legal actions due to no fault of their own have made the villagers the scapegoats of the whimsical lawlessness of the junta, the school teacher commented. Besides the money the villagers are forced to work on the construction sites of the schools by carrying bricks, mortar, steel rods, and wooden planks. They also dig trenches and do other manual work the whole day. Villages where the illegal toll collection and forced labour conscription occurs include;
(7) Kung-baung in Mrauk-u Township.
(18) Pan-neela in Ponnagyun Township.
The schoolteacher said that the beautification and ‘development drives’ are being done to show to future foreign tourists how the Burmese junta gives importance to the development of the education sector in the much neglected minority state of Arakan. (Source: Narinjara)
200 Million Kyat Collected for an SPDC Built Pagoda.
On 17 September 2002, it was reported that SPDC officials in the western state of Burma ordered their officials to forcefully collect tolls for the renovation of a controversial pagoda that they built in Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State in the western part of the country. On a rainy night the upper terrace of the pagoda, known as Lawkananda, developed three circular cracks. Since the damage occurred, the SPDC has erected a large number of booths at various market places to collect money to renovate the Lawkananda pagod. The pagoda is nicknamed by people as ‘Dukkha-nanda’ or ‘Suffering-nanda’ pagoda for the wide-scale use of forced labour to build this highly trumpeted pagoda which was completed in 1998. Rakhine people usually avoid the pagoda as they purely believe that eventhough the pagoda is a Buddhist edifice, it was erected as a stroke of black magic to ‘prevent’ the independence of Rakhine State.
Traders with reputation, owners of bus services, wholesalers and business houses all over Rakhine State have already been forced to pay 20,000 to 25,000 kyat each to the pagoda fund. Non-compliance of the order would mean doom to their trades and commerce. The Burmese junta officials estimate that a total of over 200 million kyat will be required to complete the renovation.
But the local business community has reasons to fear that the exact amount of tolls to be collected may not be known and it may far exceed the 200 million kyat target. At Ann, near Nasaka Tollgate #25, a Lawkananda "Donation Collection Committee" led by Ann Township PDC general secretary has been posted to collect 1,000 kyat for each vehicle passing through the gate. Among the ‘Committee’ are Zaw Naing Oo Township Religious Officer, Nyi Nyi Aung Fisheries Officer, Tun Oo Customs Officer, and Tun Shin kyi a TPDC member, all of whom are Burmese officials from Ann. Similar toll collection centres have also been set up in hundreds of places in the 17 townships all over the state. Many devout Buddhist residents of Sittwe believe that the development of circular cracks is an omen that cannot be neglected which reveals that the SPDC junta is doomed to perish. The three circular cracks indicate the inevitable fall of the trio of Burmese junta leaders! (Source: Narinjara)
Looting By the Army
Burmese Navy Loot Fishing Boat and Throw Crew Overboard.
On 21 April 2002, members of the Burmese Navy with seven Muslim villagers attacked a fishing boat off Maungdaw coast in the western part of Burma, throwing the crew members into the sea, according to one of the two surviving crew members of the boat. The three Burmese Navy personnel, one of whom was in uniform, came aboard a passenger boat owned by Fazlul Huq, 46 years old, from Thawang-chaung village of Maungdaw township and drew near to the fishing boat. The passenger boat which carried the navy personnel was registered with the number of Sa/141/Na Ma 8.
The navy personnel who had three guns and two radios with them stopped the fishing boat, registered Sa/18/Na Ma 7, owned by U Sayed Qasim (36) of Kanbu village of Maungdaw. Then they demanded the necessary official papers and conducted a thorough search in the boat. They claimed that the papers were fake and demanded 100,000 kyat as bribe. The owner of the boat realizing that they were not after the official papers after all, agreed to pay 50,000 kyat, which the members of the Burmese Navy flatly refused. The three Navy personnel instantly grabbed the money bag from the boat owner, Qasim, which contained about 200,000 kyat that he kept for buying shrimp from fishermen. Afterwards they put the six crew members into the ice boxes kept for preserving fish and threw them into the sea at about 21:30 hours.
On 23 April 2002, a fishing boat from Sittwe spotted two of the six crew members who were thrown into the sea floating in the waters off the coast of Sittwe. They were Syed Qasim and Zia Husein. The unnamed boat later left the survivors on the bank of the Surali creek near Thawangchaung-village under Maungdaw township. The fate of the other four fishermen is still unknown and they are believed to have drowned in the sea. The two survivors with the help of a Thawang-chaung Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) member lodged a complaint with the Area No. 8 Nasaka Security forces headquarters at Mraunglwet in Maungdaw township.
Until today, no action has been taken regarding this incident. The three navy personnel are from the Thawangchaung navy outpost while the missing four fishermen are as follows:
(1) Hashib Ullah (25) son of Muhammad Hussein of Kambu village of Maungdaw,
(2) Hali Ullah (45) son of Nazir Ahmed of Kambu village,
(3) Abu Taher (48) son of Abdus Salam of Kyaukpandu village of Maungdaw, and
(4) Abdul Mottalib (22) son of Abdus Salam of Thawangchaung village of Maungdaw. (Source: Narinjara)
Border Security Forces Loot Buffaloes from Farmers
On 9 June 2002, it was reported that the Area # 7 Nasaka Border Security Forces HQ north of Arakan State in Burma seized six buffaloes from five farmers. While patrolling near Rwathaik-kye village, Corporal Myo Myint from Goduthara Nasaka camp met five villagers bringing six buffaloes from a nearby village to use for tilling their land. As soon as the villagers came near the patrol party, the corporal ordered his men to shoot to frighten the villagers.On hearing the shots from the Nasaka rifles, the villagers became alarmed and left the spot.
Later, the Nasaka forces seized the buffaloes by claiming that the villagers were bringing them to smuggle to Bangladesh. They then took the buffaloes to Nasaka Area 7 HQ at Alaythan-gyaw under Maungdaw Township. During the rainy season, buffaloes and cattle are used to plough rice fields, as there is no mechanized cultivation in all of Arakan State. The farmers need to get written permission from the local administrative bodies including the Nasaka to move the cattle from one village to another. Rwathaik-kye village is part of the Goduthara village tract and the farmers already had permission for bringing the buffaloes. But on this occasion, the councillors of Goduthara helped the Nasaka forces to loot the buffaloes from the farmers.
"It is not uncommon for Nasaka troops to loot our possessions including cattle by one-sidedly alleging that our cattle are meant for smuggling to Bangladesh. While the real smugglers usually carry on their trade with the help of these Nasaka so-called border troops," said a local farmer. (Source: Narinjara)
Military Monopoly on Trade and Agriculture
Forced Purchase of Firewood for Military Owned Brickfields in Arakan State.
On 8 January 2002, villagers reported to a local UNHCR official that Burmese troops started collecting firewood for the military owned brickfields across Arakan State including that in Maungdaw township, a town close to Bangladesh border on the Naf river. At Alay-than-gyaw village tract in the southern part of the township, firewood was forcefully ‘bought’ at a deliberately reduced price from woodcutters of the area by security forces from the Nasaka headquarters No. 7 in the locality beginning from October 2001.
On receiving the complaint, U Than Maung, the UNHCR-in-charge for southern part of Maungdaw township and U Tun Lwin, Assistant Supervisor called on Bohmu (major) Min Swe Myint of the Nasaka headquarters No. 7. The major denied all the charges of forcing the firewood sellers to sell their firewood at deliberately reduced prices. The major also told him that, anyone not willing to sell below the market price would not be forced to sell their firewood.
Since that time, the firewood sellers have been forced to sell more firewood at reduced prices, and they have been disallowed to sell firewood to others in the area. The Burmese military has been running large-scale brick fields across the south western state of Myanmar by forceful collection of firewood from the villagers near the brick field areas. A number of large brick fields are controlled and run in the townships of Kyauktaw (operated by SPDC Battalion 539), Rathedaung (SPDC Battalion 536) and Buthidaung (SPDC Battalion 234) where forceful collection of firewood involves paying deliberately lowered prices in the northern part of Rakhine State. (Source: Narinjara)
Forced Closure of Shrimp Farms.
Shrimp farms in a number of townships in Western Burma have been destroyed by digging their raised banks, according to a shrimp farm owner who escaped to Teknaf in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh. The Rakhine SPDC have ordered its’ troops to destroy many of the shrimp farms in the state alleging that the shrimp farms were constructed on rice paddies illegally so that the rice production of the state is being hampered. Many shrimp farms in the townships of Maungdaw, Rathedaung, Pauktaw, Minbra, Mrebon and Kyaukpru were destroyed, said Maung Maung Tun, an owner of shrimp farm at Minbra.
While the Commnder of the Western Command, Brigadier General Maung Oo was aboard the Malikha, a fast motor vessel, on a trip to Taungoup on 5 March 2002, he saw the shrimp farms at Pauktaw Township and inquired about the feasibility of the farms. When some of the officials of the Fisheries Department aboard the vessel told him how successful the farms were he got jealous about the huge income the farms were generating for the Rakhine shrimp farm owners. On his return to his headquarters at Ann, he issued orders to close down all the shrimp farms constructed on farmlands.
The shrimp farms were actually constructed on shallow dams built in saline areas that can never be used for growing rice, since rice grows only in fields irrigated by sweet water. In addition, the farms were constructed with permission from the Livestock and Fisheries Department and the Department of Land Affairs. The owners also had to pay huge bribes to get permission and the necessary licences.The shrimp farms helped Rakhine shrimp farmers earn a huge amount of foreign currency for themselves as well as the country. Now they are left puzzled about what to do with the whimsical order of the Burmese junta.
At least twelve shrimp farmers were arrested from Minbra Township in recent months. It is alleged that the shrimp farmers later bribed the Western Commander with a payment of 30 million kyat to get permission to restart the farms. From Pauktaw Township the shrimp farmers collected 50 million kyat and bribed Dr Khin Win Shwe, wife of SPDC Secretary 1, Khin Nyunt. In Maungdaw Township all the shrimp farms have been ordered to close down and dismantled. In all 17 townships of Arakan State the Burmese junta has erected big signboards declaring severe legal measures for whoever tries to ‘build shrimp farms on rice paddies.’ (Source: Narinjara News)
Famine in Pockets of Northern Arakan State
On 16 May 2002, the village councillors under the Nasaka Area Two at Aungju village under Maungdaw township attended an emergency meeting because there was famine in many pockets of the township. They also asked for permission from the Nasaka Border Security and Immigration Authority to bring rice from other areas of Arakan State where the price of rice is comparatively low, said a village councillor who attended the meeting.The meeting was held at a time when the Nasaka border security forces were being criticized and blamed for the scarcity of rice. They had been entrusted with the rice collection drive and ‘controlling’ of rice trade in the area which meant allowing rice smuggling for those who bribed them. In Aungju village tract, many emaciated people described how the scarcity of rice was due to the forced collection of rice, which left them with practically nothing to live on. The ban on rice trading by the general public also worsened the situation the villagers said.
Since September 2001, the Burmese junta imposed a ban on carrying, selling, and milling of rice in Arakan State. Though the ban was imposed on the general traders and growers of rice, large numbers of defence personnel including the military were engaged in buying, carrying, milling, and smuggling of rice across the border to Bangladesh. Besides that, the junta also forcefully collected large amounts of rice from the farmers of Arakan State, without taking into consideration the local needs, therefore leaving very little for the consumption of the people of Arakan State.
"The present famine-like situation all over Arakan State is a deliberate creation of the present Burmese junta, SPDC," said an unnamed retired government official. "The military junta procured so much rice from the farmers of Arakan State that they left practically nothing for the survival of the Arakanese people. The present famine as you can see in many pockets of rural Arakan is not because there was a crop failure due to natural disasters but because the ruling Burmese junta has deliberately created it through their administration at various levels." The government official who worked in the Trade Corporation One that was in charge of rice procurement continued that the defence personnel in charge of procuring rice forcefully collected rice from the villagers without taking into consideration the local consumption requirement and humanitarian factors.As a result, they forced the farmers whose crop failed to buy rice in the open market and ‘pay up’ the quota of rice to the rice collectors. (Source: Narinjara)
Advance Money for Rice
For the coming 2002-03 dry season, when the collection drive will be conducted, the Burmese junta officials have set the target amount of rice to be collected at ten tinns (1 tinn = 2.5 baskets or 30kgs) for each acre of rice paddy. The amount of money advanced is 225 kyat for each tinn, while the present price of the same in the market is 1,300 kyat. A target of a total of 7.3 million tinn of rice has been set for collection this year from Ararkan State. The usual rice harvest for an acre of rice paddy is 30 tinns, a Muslim farmer in the area said, which accounts for the one third of the total production of rice forcefully "purchased" at deliberately reduced prices. The export price of one hundred tinn of rice to Bangladesh stands at 170,000 kyat a seven and half-fold increase than the procurement price.
According to a farmer from Maungdaw Township, the advance money was distributed beginning on 12 August 2002. Though the money is badly needed, the amount of money given as an advance from the Burmese junta and the fixed price for the future harvest of rice that will be forcefully collected are both reminiscent of the practice of extortion by Indian Chettiya moneylenders during the British rule in Burma. Even under the Burmese socialism of Ne Win, the farmers were compelled to sell their rice harvest at throwaway prices to the state. Arakan State is the second largest rice growing state in Burma, but its farmers remain the most exploited and the poorest of all due to the yearly "rip-off" campaign in the name of rice collection drives conducted since the military took over power in 1962. (Source: Narinjara)
Daily Necessities from Burma
The SPDC’s ban on transportation of goods to Rakhine State since 25 September 2002 in the western part of Burma caused skyrocketing prices of essential commodities. The ban on the transportation of such everyday commodities including onions, pulses, cooking oil, rice and red chillies, caused severe shortages of edibles in the western state bordering with Bangladesh. The price of a viss (1.6 kg) of onion was 80 kyat before the ban while afterwards it sold at 500 kyat. The price of cooking oil was at least 2,000 kyat. The price of rice in harvest season in Rakhine state did not go down as was usual in previous years. For a meal one needed to spend at least 500 kyat in a restaurant which is more than ten times the amount previously needed. Though the fish and all agricultural produce from Arakan State were allowed free passage to Burma proper, the daily necessities of Burma proper could not be brought to Rakhine State. "This is nothing but conducting of a systematic campaign of starvation against a whole people", said a retired civil servant, "we have been treated as enemy to the jingoist Burmese SPDC junta generals. It is plain racism at its worst." (Source: Narinjara)
Food Scarcity in Burma: Rice from Bangladesh.
A price hike in 2002 of rice in Arakan State in the western part of Burma spurred the smuggling of Bangladeshi rice. The imposition of restrictions in the supply of rice in the western state of Burma created a crisis, causing the price of a little over a kilo of rice to go up to 330 to 350 kyat. Out of the 18 points much of the rice has been smuggled through Rahmater-bil, Thaingkhali and Palongkhali areas which are controlled by the local Huq Bahini gang. This gang was also previously engaged in smuggling fertilizer. Local politicians of the ruling party, BNP, and youth leaders allege that the same Huq Bahini smuggle fertilizer, rice, diesel fuel and hard drugs from Burma into Bangladesh by misusing the name of the ruling party. The rest of the points are controlled by two other gangs.
"At present a widespread famine-like situation is already prevailing in the state. The Burmese junta may not be able to avert a widespread famine this season. People are already facing the threat of starvation and in many areas of rural Rakhine State villagers are now foraging wild tracts of land nearby for whatever is available for feeding their hungry mouths," he said.
Hordes of emaciated women, old people and children in the villages of the state only testified to the distressing reality. "Because of lack of communication and junta-imposed censorship on free flow of media, the number of deaths due to famine, and the scale of people’s suffering will never come to the light", a veteran lawyer in the township commented while expressing his deep concerns for a looming humanitarian disaster. (Source: Narinjara)
Rice Price Steadily Goes Down in Western Burma
On 29 November 2002, it was reported that the price for a 50 kg bag of rice has been officially earmarked at 3,600 kyat. Severe rice shortages in late 2002 forced the military authorities to take steps in fear of wide discontent among the people. The monthly salary given to a high school teacher is not even enough to buy two bags of rice. The rice so rationed is of a boiled variety, strong smelling and musty due to long storage in substandard warehouses, a manager of the State Agricultural Department said. Many state employees sell the deteriorated price to private rice sellers who carry them to the Buthidaung – Maungdaw area where they fetch a better price.
The price of Pawsan-hmwe variety of fine rice has come down from 25,000 kyat to 18,000 kyat. The price of Ngasein variety of coarse rice has come down from 18,000 kyat to 13,000 kyat. Though the prices are still high, people can now at least afford to fill their stomachs, said a schoolteacher from Maungdaw. On October 22, an honest immigration officer Myint Thein died in Maungdaw from complications arising from ‘malnutrition’ and lack of medical treatment that he could not afford. The present rice crisis is being tackled by the interference of the Burmese junta officials, but due to crop failure in Burma proper because of this year’s flood, the price of rice may not be kept under control next year, said a rice merchant from Sittwe. (Source: Narinjara)
5.6 Situation in Shan State - Partial List of Incidents
Land Confiscated in Nam-Zarng.
On 1 January 2002, SPDC troops from IB66 confiscated about 600 acres of cultivated land from the villagers of Wan Paang, about 3-1/2 miles south of Nam-Zarng town, Nam-Zarng township. A group of 10 SPDC troops from IB66, led by commander Kyi Soe, came by a military truck to Wan Paang village and called the village headman to the village centre and told him that some land north of their village would be confiscated without compensation because a new military base was to be set up there. The land confiscated was about 600 acres of pineapple and banana gardens, as well as wet rice fields annually cultivated by the local villagers for generations. (Source: SHRF)
Land Confiscated in Kaeng-Tung.
In early January 2002, over 800 acres of cultivated land belonging to the villagers of Kaeng Ka, Wan Noi and Wan Hud villages in Kaeng-Tung township were confiscated by SPDC troops of the Tactical Command Post based at Kaeng Ka village.The area of the 3 villages - Kaeng Ka, Wan Noi and Wan Hud - has been designated to be developed into a model village by the SPDC authorities and several acres of cultivated lands have been forcibly taken from the local people. The owners of the lands were forced to take 50 kyat for each acre of their lands and sign sale agreements stating that they willingly sold their lands to the authorities at the stated price.
Previously, when SPDC authorities confiscated lands of sizeable measure, they sometimes gave a small plot of land just big enough to build a small house on, usually about 45-50 feet square, back to each owner. This time, however, not a piece of land in the designated area was left for the original owners because of a development program to make the area a model village by the SPDC authorities. Although they did not want to give up their lands, which had served as their main livelihood for generations, the local people dared not defy the order of the SPDC troops for fear of further abuses and grudgingly signed the sale agreements. (Source: SHRF)
Rice Fields Confiscated in Murng-Ton.
In August 2002, 55-1/2 acres of rice fields belonging to villagers of Me Ken village, Me Ken village tract in Murng-Ton township, were confiscated by SPDC troops from IB65 and given to Lahu people’s militia in the area.
The rice fields belonged to the following 2 villagers:
1. Lung Hing (m), aged 53, had 26-1/2 acres
2. Lung Kan-Ta-Ma (m), aged 57, had 29 acres
These 2 farmers had been cultivating these lands as a livelihood since long ago. However, during the rice planting season this year they were not able to cultivate their lands for growing rice because they did not have enough money to hire tractors for ploughing and workers for planting rice. The SPDC troops accused the 2 villagers of deliberately refraining from cultivating their fields because they did not want to sell the rice quotas to the military, and issued an order confiscating the lands. Although the owners, with the help of the community leaders in the area, tried several times to appeal to the military authorities to get back their lands, their appeals fell on deaf ears. The lands were eventually handed by the SPDC troops over to the head of the Lahu people’s militia in the area to, as they put it, help him feed his men. (Source: SHRF)
Looting by the Army
Consumer Goods Traders Robbed in Murng-Phyak.
On 2 February 2002, 3 traders from Kaeng-Tung who were returning from buying consumer goods from Ta-Khi-Laek, a border town with Thailand in the south, were robbed of 10,000 kyat of money each at Sop Lao village in Murng-Phyak township by SPDC troops from LIB329. The traders were returning to Kaeng-Tung from Ta-Khi-Laek town by a van which they had hired to transport some consumer goods which they had purchased there. As they got to the bridge at Sop Lao village in Murng-Phyak township, SPDC troops from LIB329, who were on security duty, stopped them and searched their car.
When they found a small amount of seasoning powder, cooking oil, alcoholic drink and ‘Coca-Cola’ among the consumer goods, the SPDC troops said they were illegal and threatened to seize all the goods. The traders tried to explain to no avail that they had not bought the goods from Thailand but from the shops in Ta-Khi-Laek town which had already paid the proper taxes on the goods to the concerned authorities when they were imported from Thailand. Finally, each trader had to pay 10,000 kyat as a fine to the SPDC troops to settle the matter. At first the traders offered to pay 3,000 kyat each, but the troops asked for 30,000 kyat from each. After some talking and bargaining, both sides agreed to meet somewhere halfway. (Source: SHRF)
Confiscated Civillian Car Damaged and Compensation Refused in Kaeng-Tung.
On 7 February 2002, SPDC police ran a conscripted van into the concrete column of the Union Monument in Kaeng-Tung town, Kaeng-Tung township, partly damaging the monument and badly damaging the car. On the day before the incident, SPDC police in Kaeng-Tung, Sergeant Htay Naing and 4 of his subordinates, conscripted a civilian van car from one of the townspeople to be used for their own pleasure. In the evening, the police drove the car to a restaurant in town and started drinking.
The police drank until past midnight and drove the van back to the police station. But the drunken police could not control the car and on the way ran into the Union Monument, breaking off about 2-3 feet of one of the concrete corners and badly denting the front of the car so that the engine broke down. The police were frightened because Union Day was only a few days ahead, on 12 February. They immediately found a mason in the town and ordered him to quickly repair the monument, which was finished before daybreak at around 04:00 hrs.
After that, the police conscripted another civilian car and ordered the driver to drag the damaged car back to its owner’s house and left it there. Although later the owner of the damaged car tried to ask for some reparation from the police, they refused to pay. The repair costs were estimated to be about 500,000 kyat. (Source: SHRF)
Villagers Beaten, Their Goods Stolen in Ta-Khi-Laek.
On 16 August 2002, villagers from Ta-Khi-Laek township, who paid the SPDC security troops for permission to buy goods in Mae Sai town in Thailand, were beaten on their return and their goods confiscated by the same troops. This incident took place during the closure of the border crossing points between Burma and Thailand when consumer goods on the Burma side of the border had become so scarce that many locals tried in many different ways to buy goods from Thailand.
On that day, 7 villagers from Ta-Khi-Laek were forced to pay 400 baht each to the SPDC security guards at Ta Pur Waang border crossing point to go and buy goods in Thailand and pay another 400 baht each on their return. Although the villagers had paid 800 baht each to the SPDC security guards for their passage, they were not allowed to take their goods which were all confiscated by the guards. In addition, the villagers were forced to stand in line and beaten with sticks six times each by the guards.
The following 4 persons were among the 7 victims:
1. Pa Kham Pan (f), Aged 46, Saai Murng village, Ta-Khi-Laek township
2. Zaai Sai Pung (m), Aged 31, Me Khaao village, Ta-Khi-Laek township
3. Zaai Su-Nan (m), Aged 40, Tawng Kaw village, Ta-Khi-Laek township
4. Naang Aa Pe (f), Aged 36, an Akha woman, Pa Leng village, Ta-Khi-Laek township (Source: SHRF)
Unfair Levies and Taxes
Extortion for Failing to Sell Rice Quota in Lai-Kha.
In February 2002, SPDC troops of IB64 issued an order requiring farmers in Wan Thi village tract in Lai-Kha township to sell rice quotas to the military. However, virtually all the farmers in the whole Wan Thi village tract could not produce enough rice to fill the quotas as demanded by the SPDC troops. As a result, they all went to plead with the SPDC township officer in Lai-Kha town to spare them. But the SPDC township officer, Capt. Thaung Sein, said that they could not be spared and if they did not want to sell their rice to the military, they had to pay 400,000 kyat for Wan Thai village tract instead. The farmers had no choice but to collect the required money among themselves and give it to the SPDC authorities. (Source: SHRF)
Non-opium Growers Taxed in Murng-Paeng.
On 29 March 2002, the village secretary of Lawn Keo village in Murng Pu Long village tract, Murng-Paeng township, was ordered by SPDC troops to collect "taxes" from villagers who did not grow opium. Capt. Soe Maung Oo, commander of Co.3 of SPDC’s Murng-Paeng-based IB43, stationed in Murng Pu Long village tract, asked the secretary of the village headman of Lawn Keo village for the number of villagers who did not grow opium and ordered him to collect 15,000 kyat in "taxes" from each household. If the village secretary, Zaai In Wong, failed to collect the "taxes", he would be fined 30,000 Kyat, and if any of the householders refused to pay, they would be put in jail for 3 years, said the SPDC commanders. The village secretary, however, did not want to give any more trouble to the already destitute farmers, and did not have the amount of money which the SPDC commander had threatened to impose on him as a fine. So he fled the place with his wife and children. (Source: SHRF)
Money Extorted for Building New Military Facilities in Kaeng-Tung.
In March 2002, SPDC military authorities in Kaeng-Tung township issued an order requiring every household in the whole township to provide 2,000 Kyat to the military. The order was issued to all the village and village tract leaders in Kaeng-Tung township requiring them to collect the money from the people in their respective areas and bring it to the SPDC township office in Kaeng-Tung town. The money was to be used to help build new military facilities to protect the country. Anyone who failed to give the demanded money would be fined double, said the order.
Local people thought that the money would most likely be used to pay the workers in building military facilities, so that the military would escape being criticized for using unpaid forced labour of the people. However, because the money was earned with the people’s hard labour, it was tantamount to using the unpaid forced labour of the people. For the farmers in the area, it was even more difficult. They not only had to sell their rice at very low prices to the military authorities to feed their soldiers, but also had to give money for building military facilities. (Source: SHRF)
Food Extorted for Troops During the Visit of SPDC Secretary-1 in Kaeng-Tun. (See also freedom of movement, assembly and association chapter)
In early April 2002, people in Kaeng-Tung township were ordered by troops from LIB533 to provide food and water, including rice, cooking oil, salt, chilli and pickled soya bean, etc., for troops on security duty during the visit of Secretary-1 of the SPDC and his entourage.
On that occasion, the villagers of Yaang La, Yaang Khum Mu, Yaang Mon, Yaang Kwaai and Wan Sang villages in Murng Laang tract and the villagers of Saao Pet village in zone 3 of Kaeng-Tung town were affected. The villagers had to collect rice and the demanded food stuffs among themselves and bring it all to the places where the SPDC troops were on duty at different sides of the town. On the day of the Secretary-1’s visit, villagers of Yaang Khum Mu and Yaang Kwaai villages were ordered to stay only within their villages’ limits; anyone who failed to comply with the order would be shot on sight. (Source: SHRF)
People in Ta-Khi-Laek Forced to Buy Vehicles for Military.
On 5 June 2002, LIB331 issued an order requiring the people in Ta-Khi-Laek township to buy pickup trucks and motorcycles for the military to be used during military operations. Each village tract was to buy 1 truck and 1 motorcycle. There are 11-12 village tracts in Ta-Khi-Laek township and each was required to buy one 4-wheel-drive pickup truck and one Honda Dream motorcycle from Thailand. Although the order was issued by LIB331, each village tract was required to provide the vehicles to the military units in their areas. The people had to collect money among themselves to buy the vehicles, requiring each household to provide 200 to 400 baht in accordance with the size of the village tract. Many people who did not have ready cash had to sell their livestock and valuables. (Source: SHRF)
Arrest, Detention and Extortion in Murng-Pan.
On 4 August 2002, 7 villagers who were returning from weeding a rice farm were arrested, detained for 4 days and 3 nights and had money extorted from them for their release by troops of LIB520 in Murng-Pan township. The 7 villagers were from Naa Ing quarter of Murng-Pan town and on that day they had gone to help weed the rice farm of a fellow villager. As they were returning from the farm and had not yet reached the town, the villagers ran into a patrol of about 40-45 SPDC troops from LIB520, led by Capt. San Win. The SPDC troops accused the villagers of having gone to provide food for the Shan soldiers and arrested them. Although the villagers explained that they were just returning from weeding a farm, the troops took them to the base of LIB520 and detained them for 4 days and 3 nights. Meanwhile, community leaders were sent for to come and vouch for the villagers for their release. Even after the community leaders had guaranteed their innocence, the villagers still had to pay 10,000 kyat each as a fine to the SPDC troops before they were released. (Source: SHRF)
Farmers in Townships Bordering China in Northern Shan State Forced to Buy Rice Seeds at Double the Price.
On 22 April 2002, SPDC authorities in the area forced the farmers in Mu-Se and Nam-Kham townships to buy rice seeds from them at the price of 15 Chinese Yuan per kg while the farmers could get them from China themselves for only about 8 Chinese Yuan per kg. When the farmers refused to buy the seeds saying that they could themselves buy them from China at a much lower price, an SPDC Major, Ant Maw, threatened that they would destroy all the rice plants in the fields grown from the seeds bought from anyone other than the SPDC. The foreign exchange rate at that time was 100 Kyat = 0.81 Yuan. (Source: SHRF)
Forced Sale of Crops
People Forced to Grow Rice for the Military in Nam-Kham.
On 6 February 2002, an SPDC officer in Nam-Kham township, Maj. Ant Maw, called a meeting of village and tract leaders of Tee Ma village tract in Nam-Kham township and ordered them to grow dry season rice for the Burmese army. When the villagers tried to refuse by explaining that the forced labour imposed on them was too much for them to bear, the SPDC commander pointed his gun at them and threatened to put them in jail if they did not comply with his order.
Thus, the following 5 villages in Tee Ma village tract had to grow dry season rice for the military:
1.Wan Hai village
2. Naa Long village
3. Maan Zaang village
4. Kung Sa village
5. Tee Ma village (Source: SHRF)
Villagers Forced to Destroy Their Own Crops and Grow Rice for the Military in Kaeng-Tung.
In early May 2002 troops from LIB314 in Kaeng-Tung township forced several villages on the eastern side of Kaeng-Tung town to grow dry-season rice for them in the fields where the villagers had already grown soya bean. This caused great losses to the villagers. The villagers had to pull out all the soya bean plants, which had already grown to their fullest and were about to bear fruit, and cultivate rice for the SPDC troops. Those who dared to disobey would face severe punishment, said the order.
Initially, the villagers and their village and community leaders had tried to plead with the SPDC district and township authorities, as well as the authorities of the LIB 314, to spare the land that had already been planted with soya bean. But the SPDC troops refused to listen to them and even scolded and threatened them. Eventually, the villagers had no choice but to do as they were told to avoid further abuses. The villagers of the following villages lost several acres of soya bean:
(1) Pok Tai village,
(2) Pok Nur village,
(3) Lur Law Tai village,
(4) Lur Law Nur village,
(5) Wan Ton village,
(6) Pa Khaam village and
(7) Lawng Tawng village. (Source: SHRF)
People in Murng-Nai Face Stricter Rules in Growing Rice for the Military.
On 1 July 2002, SPDC military authorities in Kaeng Tawng area of Murng-Nai township issued an order requiring farmers in the area to grow rice for the military at the same time as their own, working every other day in turns for themselves and for the military. Last year when SPDC troops of the new 4 battalions (set up 2 years ago) in Kaeng Tawng ordered the people in the area to grow rice for them, the farmers did it as a second crop, after they had harvested their own crop. Being the second crop, the yield and the quality of the rice were not as good as expected by the troops.
Therefore this year the SPDC troops issued an order requiring the farmers to grow rice at the same time as they grew theirs. If they tilled their rice fields one day, they would be required to till the military fields the next day and so on. Any farmers who failed to follow the order would be put in jail and their rice fields confiscated, said the order. Many farmers in the area were complaining that the conditions were too much for most of them and were asking whether the situation along the border with Thailand had improved enough so that they could get into Thailand to seek refuge. (Source: SHRF)
Farmers Forced to Harvest Their Unripe Rice for the Military in Mu-Se.
In late September 2002, farmers in Ze Laan tract in Mu-Se township were forced by SPDC township authorities to reap their rice far before the proper time and prepare the fields for growing another crop of rice for the military, causing losses to the farmers. In order to conduct a rice seed sowing demonstration in honour of Gen. Khin Nyunt, Secretary No.1 of the SPDC, who would be visiting during the end of Buddhist Lent, Capt. Ant Maw, head of Mu-Se Township Peace and Development Council, issued an order requiring farmers in Ze Laan sub-township to prepare their rice fields in time for that purpose. The rice fields were to be ready for sowing seeds by the time of Gen. Khin Nyunt’s visit. The farmers had to reap their rice well before it was ripe, clear the fields and plough the earth using their own mini-tractors and fuel, so that they were ready for sowing when Khin Nyunt arrived.
From the time the order was issued up to the time the work was finished, which was more than 10 days, the SPDC authorities concerned and members of the township police force watched over the farmers every day to make sure they did as they were told and did it fast enough to be ready in time. About 250 villagers were conscripted each day from the villages in the area and forced to reap the rice and clear the rice fields. Anyone who failed to go would have to pay 1,000 kyat per day to hire someone else to go for them. Many mini-tractors of the local villagers were also conscripted and forced to till the ground without providing any fuel for their engines. Several acres of rice fields had been affected in this way and many farmers lost their crop. (Source: SHRF)
Farmers Arrested for Suggesting Changing the Unfair Practice of Rice Procurement in Kaeng-Tung.
In October 2002, during the time when the SPDC authorities were collecting rice from the farmers in Kaeng-Tung township, 14 farmers from various village tracts who made suggestions to change the unfair method of rice procurement by the military were arrested and put in jail. The farmers were required to sell their rice at the rate of 12 baskets per acre of cultivated land, no matter how the yields turned out to be. The price was to be 300 kyat per basket, while the current market price was 4,200 kyat per basket.
The method was so unfair that many farmers faced substantial losses and some were not able to meet the rice quotas required to sell to the military. Some 14 courageous farmers tried to make the following suggestions to the authorities in an attempt to ease their virtually unbearable burden. They suggested that the authorities take only 3 baskets of rice for each acre of land and they would happily give it to them for free. Or, if the authorities still wanted 12 baskets from each acre, they could pay their rate for 5 baskets, but for the remaining 7 baskets, they should pay according to the current market price. The SPDC authorities did not agree to any of the suggestions, but immediately arrested the
14 farmers and put them in jail. (Source: SHRF)
5.7 Situation in Karen State
Livelihood Deprived by the DKBA
From the last week of December 2001 to the second week of January 2002, the DKBA’s LIB No. 906 opened gambling, especially card games, for 14 days in Thadar-oo village near their base and organized the villagers nearby to come and be involved in illegal gambling. The DKBA collected funds from that gambling. Many villagers lost their money and some villagers also sold their belongings at low prices. However, the DKBA received a lot of tax from the gambling. In Mon tradition, the community elders and Buddhist monks oppose gambling with die, but they have no power to stop the DKBA as it has full authority from the SPDC. They collected 3000-5000 kyat from one den each night and ran the gambling for 12 nights in total. According to a village headman from the area, the DKBA received about 2.5 million kyat in funds in total. (Source: HURFOM)
In the second week of May 2002, when farmer Nai Chit Maung in Kanni village, bought a space of paddy-growing farm from village chairman, Nai Kyaw Myint, they agreed on the price of 1.2 million kyat. When the DKBA commander in the area, Maj. Maung Ngwe, heard about this he went to the village chairman’s house and asked him to pay tax. But the chairman refused. He advised the commander that he could collect tax from the farmer who bought the land. They went to farmer’s house early in the morning on 15 May and asked Nai Chit Maung, to pay 200, 000 kyat as tax for buying land. The farmer was surprised as he had never heard of such a tax in his life. However, the commander and his soldiers came with guns and said that if he did not pay he would not be allowed to go to his farm. Because of this threat, the farmer had to pay 200,000 kyat to the DKBA commander. (Source: HURFOM)
In mid-September 2002, DKBA Battalion No. 4 based in Pa-an Township, Karen State, declared they would arrange a football competition between villages in the township and all villages should participate. The DKBA indicated that the compeition was for health development. The village headmen from all 54 villages in the township were instructed to collect 100 kyat from each household to raise funds for the competition. The headmen did not avoid even women headed households and collected money from them as well. Although many villages paid the DKBA, only a few could be participate in the competition because of the difficulty in traveling to town football grounds. The DKBA received 1.5 million kyat and spent only 200, 000 kyat on the competition. (Source: HURFOM)
Situation in Kawkareik Township
In January 2002, the authorities in Kawkareik Township had about 20 acres of paddy farm in Kyone-doe village and planned to use it for the cultivation of dry season paddy crop. They do not have a water-pumping generator and found difficulties bringing water from the river to their farm. The authorities asked the villagers from Kyone-doe village tract to provide them with a water-pumping generator. Immediately, the villagers from Kaw-kator, Kaw-por, Kyone-doe and Daw-pyar village collected funds and bought a water-pumping generator. (Source: HURFOM)
In February 2002, when Kawkareik Township PDC authorities cultivated dry season paddy crop to show to the farmers, they collected funds from all village tracts for money to buy gasoline. For the cultivation of dry season crops, like paddy, they need to bring water from the river by pump-engine generators and those machines require a lot of gasoline. The authorities planed to grow 60 acres of dry season paddy crops by bringing water from the river so they asked for 25 gallons of gasoline from each village tract. In this township, there are about 35 village tracts. They also instructed the village headmen to pay them money equivalent to the cost of 25 gallons of gasoline. One gallon of gasoline is about 800 kyat and every village tract had to pay 20,000 kyat to the authorities. (Source: HURFOM)
On 10 February 2002, the Chairman of Kawkareik Township Col. Ko Ko Gyi arrived at Kaw-bein village and ordered the headmen to build a piece of model concrete road near the market, which they had to spend about 30,000 kyat to buy cement and other materials. The authorities’ plan was to turn Kaw-bein into a ‘model village’. As the cost was a small amount, it was not so difficult for the headmen to collect money. Later on March 14, the Township authorities came to the village again and held a meeting with the village headmen. In that meeting, he ordered all the roads in the village to be concrete roads. The headmen faced a very difficult situation to collect money from the villagers. However, Township Chairman, Col. Ko Ko Kyi ordered all construction to be completed no later than 24 March.The headmen had only ten days to complete the roads. The cost for the construction was about 2.5 million kyat and they managed to collect the funds from the civilians. The families who stay along the main road had to pay up to 30,000 kyat and the families who stay on small roads paid less. On 24 March, while the roads were nearly completed, the Township Chairman came and held an opening ceremony of the concrete roads in that village." (Source: HURFOM)
On 5 March 2002, Township PDC Chairman U Ko Ko Gyi went to Kaw-bein, the biggest Mon village in the area, and confiscated eight saw mills and lumber in the area. The saw mills and lumber were owned by;
(1) Nai Zu,
(2) Nai Pyu,
(3) Nai Kwein,
(4) Nai Than Tin,
(5) Nai Khin Maung Zin,
(6) Nai Maung Win,
(7) Nai Aung Htoo, and
(8) Nai Hamae.
The first four men are from Kaw-bein village and the fifth man is from Kaw-made village. The sixth and seventh men are from Pot-gyi-gone village and the last man is from Min-ywa village.These villagers lost nearly 3 million kyat for their mills, equipment and lumber. After confiscation, they gathered in the Village PDC office for several days and then went back to Kawkareik Town on 13 March, according to the local source. (Source: HURFOM)
On 14 March 2002, the authorities from Kawkareik Township General Administration Department led by Col. Ko Ko Gyi, went into Kaw-bein with a plan to create a model village. When he arrived, he found the flag pole was old and he ordered the village chairman to replace it. He instructed it to be completed by the evening. But the headmen said he would complete it tomorrow because he could not find a good and strong wooden pole. The Township Chairman was angry with the village headman. He said the authorities provided licenses to many lumber traders and timber mills to produce lumber and asked why it was difficult to find a strong wooden pole.
He ordered the police and village militia force in the area to arrest all timber traders, timber mill owners and wooden lumber carrying boats. On the next day, the authorities arrested 8 timber traders from Kaw-pauk, Kaw-bein, Kaw-make, Phaya-gyi-gone and Min-yar and confiscated all their timber mills and the lumber in their mills’ compounds. They authorities also accused them of illegally cutting trees, but they all had permits and paid taxes regularly. These villages are in Kaw-bein village tract.
The arrested traders and mill owners are:
(1) Nai Zu
(2) Nai Pyuu
(3) Nai Kween
(4) Nai Than Tun
(5) Nai Khin Maung Zin
(6) Nai Maung Win
(7) Nai Aung Htoo
(8) Nai Hamae.
In the Township court, the judges sentenced the eight men with different prison terms according to the instructions of the authorities. Judges detained Nai Zuu and Nai Byuu with 1 year and 9 months imprisonment. They gave Nai Khin Maung Zin, Nai Maung Win, Nai Aung Htoo and Nai Hamae 6 months imprisonment. They fined Nai Gween and Nai Than Tun. (Source: HURFOM)
Situation in Kya-inn-seikyi Township
In January and February 2002, Cap. Thein Tun was detailed to find supplementary foods from the villages in the area surrounding Taung-dee village where LIB No. 354 and LIB No. 538 has bases. Various officers from these battalions have increasingly requested food supplies from the villages nearby especially different meats and fish. The commander requested food from 7 villages on a rotation basis. The villages that needed to send food are Khawon, Taung-dee, Wae-zot, Mee-pran, Win-yaw, Hlaing-ka-noy and Hla-kada villages. Normally the village headmen had to send at least 20 kilograms of chicken, pork or fish, said by one village headman. (Source: HURFOM)
On 3 February 2002, an officer from LIB 354 based in Taung-dee village, Kya-inn-seikyi Township sent an order to a village in Tagundaing village tract to sell their their paddy as quickly as possible. In the order, he told the headmen that they must report the amount of paddy (in baskets) their villagers needed to sell to paddy-buying center in Tagun-daing village, the amounts of paddy they already sold and to immediately sell the remaining amount of paddy. He also asked the chairman of the village headmen to come and meet him on 5 February to report the progress of selling paddy crops. Similarly, on 20 January, Lt. Col. Aung Kyaw Nyein from IB 31 and Township PDC Chairman, U Thet Naing Oo, went into Htee-paukhlo village, Kya-inn-seikyi Township and forced the farmers to sell 3,000 baskets of paddy to a paddy-buying center set in Kya-inn-seikyi Town. Then, they also went to Kyauk-pone village and forced the farmers to sell 1,650 baskets of paddy to the paddy-buying center. (Source: HURFOM)
On 6 April 2002, when a column of soldiers from LIB 354 arrived into Win-yaw-seikyi village in conjunction with a military operation launched in the first week of April in Kya-inn-seikyi Township. The soldiers arrested one saw (hand-saw) owner, Nai Myat (32 years old Mon man), and threatened to confiscate all lumber kept in his house. Although the Mon man explained that he got permission from the Township to saw wood and produce lumber they still tried to take his wood. After discussion with the headmen, they agreed to take 30,000 kyat as a bribe and did not take his lumber.
The next day, they found some lumber in a river bank (Zami river) and inquired about the owners of the lumber. When the owners did not show up, the soldiers confiscated the lumber and ordered ten oxen carts from Mi-Pran Village to carry it to Taung-dee Village, about 4 miles away. (Source: HURFOM)
On 26 August 2002, after fighting between KNLA and LIB No. 301 troops in an area near Chaung-wa village persisted for 20 minutes, the Burmese Army’s soldiers rushed into the village and looted various types of villagers’ belongings, including household materials, kitchen things and other valuable property. They combed every house and took what they found. During the 3 month period from June to August, there were 5 rounds of fighting. After each incident, while the villagers were scared and in hiding, the soldiers went into their village and looted their belongings.(Source: HURFOM)
On 1 December 2002, Zaw Htun of the SPDC Western Command called a meeting of villagers, the village chairman and the secretary of Anan-gwin village, Win-yay Township, by force and issued an order requiring owners of saw mills, rice mills and video cinema halls to pay a tax. As a result, sawmill owner U Han Shwe, rice mill owner Dah Ka Lok, video cinema hall owners U Kauk and Daw Lun Myaing and furniture shop owner U Hsan Shay, each had to pay 20,000 kyat as tax. In addition, each household of Anan-gwin, Khun-nit-wah, Than-bya and Ta-nyin villages have to pay 1,000 kyat as porter fees monthly to Taung-zun military camp. If any clashes break out near the villages, the SPDC army always comes to loot and beat up villagers or demand villagers to be porters. (Source: KIC)
Situation in Hlaing Bwe Township
On 4 March 2002 at 8 o’clock in the morning, soldiers from LIB 206 robbed 2 pigs, 2 goats, 30 chickens, 3 and a half baskets of rice from Htee Par Rah village by threatening the villagers with hand grenades. The soldiers then found a hut belonging to Naw Pa Leh and Pa Tu Leh in their rice field. They took all the villagers’ possessions and burned down the hut.
On the same day, another column from LIB 206, Company 2, led by Capt. Thet Naing along with DKBA guides stole 15 chickens, one basket of rice, 3 packs of cheroots, 3 knives, 1 wrist watch and 1.5 kg of onions from Htee Mu Khee village. The DKBA members, together with LIB 206 threatened the village headman, charging him with conspiring with the KNU and demanded that he give them one goat. (Source: FTUB)
Situtation in Kaw–bein Village Tract
In February 2002, the manager of Karit-kyauk-tan paddy-buying center, U Kyaw Oo, came to Kawkha-taw village and instructed the village headmen that that village needed to sell paddy for 1,200 acres of land with rate of 5 baskets of rice per acre. The village headmen were surprised when they received the order and complained to the manager that their village had only 600 acres of land and did not know why the amount of lands has increased. The manager refused to listen and said he received the order from higher authorities and therefore the village headmen and the farmers needed to sell 6000 baskets of paddy. The order also instructed the farmers to sell 10 baskets of rice per acre to the paddy-buying center at a low price. The farmers were very disappointed because the quality of their land is not good and they could only produce 20-25 baskets of rice from one acre of land. After they sold the 10 baskets per acre to the center, they retained only a small amount of rice. If they did not complete selling the paddy, they would not get permission from the authorities to husk their paddy. (Source: HURFOM)
In Kaw-bein village tract, the authorities set up a paddy-buying center and tried to buy 35,000 baskets of paddy from the farmers in the villages nearby. They ordered the farmers to sell their paddy at the rate of 10 baskets for every acre of land that they farmed. Many farmers could not afford to sell this amount of paddy. At the end of February, the authorities received only 27,000 baskets and again ordered the farmers to quickly sell the set amount of paddy to the paddy-buying center. The Township PDC Chairman, Col. Ko Ko Gyi also warned the local farmers that they would face punishment if they failed to sell the paddy. The authorities bought the paddy at a low price and paid just 350 Kyat per basket. Usually one basket is about 1, 000 Kyat. If the farmers refused to sell the remaining paddy by the deadline, the authorities ordered the farmers with written or verbal orders. Sometimes, the authorities went to farmers’ houses with militiamen and forced them to promise that they would sell their paddy to the paddy-buying center. (Source: HURFOM)
On 10 February 2002, as a self-help program, the township authorities ordered Kaw-bein village headman to build concrete roads in the whole village to create the first ‘model village’ in the township. In this village, there is one main road and many other small roads. On 10 February, the Chairman of Kawkareik Township, U Ko Ko Gyi (the former Lt . Col.), arrived to this village and ordered the headmen to build a piece of model concrete road near the market, which cost about 30,000 kyat to buy cement and other materials. As the cost was a small amount, it was not so difficult for the headman to collect money. Later on 14 March, the township authorities came to the village again and held a meeting with the village headmen. In that meeting, he ordered all roads in the village to be made from concrete. The headman faced a very difficult situation collecting money from the villagers. However, Township Chairman U Ko Ko Gyi ordered all roads to be completed no later than 24 March to welcome the Armed Forces Day. The headman had only ten days until the deadline to complete the construction of the concrete roads. The cost for the construction was about 2.5 million kyat and they managed to collect funds from the civilians to complete road construction.The families who stayed along the main road had to pay up to 30,000 kyat and the families who stay on small roads had to pay a lesser amount of money. On 24 March, when the roads were nearly completed, the Township Chairman came and held the opening ceremony of the concrete roads in Kaw-bein village. (Source: HURFOM)
On the night of 16 March 2002, Township PDC General Secretary U Aung Lin and 4 policemen entered into Kaw-bein village and arrested 17 farmers and forced them to completely sell their remaining paddy to the village paddy-buying center set by the authorities. The reason for the arrest was that these farmers failed to sell their paddy and reported the wrong number of acres of their lands. After being arrested, the authorities forced them to sell another 20 baskets of paddy for another acre of land. The authorities instructed the farmers to sell 10 baskets of paddy per acre of land. At that night, they also made farmers promise that they would sell the remaining paddy to the paddy-buying center. (Source: HURFOM)
On 25 March 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 124 and an SPDC guerrilla unit demanded a tin of rice, 5 Viss of chicken, salt and fish paste from the villagers of Kaw-law-ka village. (Source: KIC)
On 29 March 2002, troops from SPDC burnt down the cardamom plantations and other plantations belonging to the villagers in Tha-daung and Tan-ta-bin Townships. (Source: KIC)
In March and April 2002, following the instructions of the township authorities, Kanni village tract chairman Nai Kyaw Myint planned to grow dry season crop on 25 acres of land just outside of the village. He forced all farmers in the village to grow paddy on at least one acre of land on their farms. Many of them refused. So, he told them to pay him instead and he would grow paddy on behalf of those farmers. About 25 farmers paid him and he planned to grow paddy on 25 acres of land, which is owned by other farmers in village. He also asked the 25 farmers to pay 6, 000 kyat each. (Source: HURFOM)
On 27 April 2002, the village authorities of Thayet-taw village arrested a 60 year old man named Nai Kmi Dae on the accusation that his ox went into their dry season paddy crops and ate the paddy. The man denied the claims and said he did not know about that. The authorities told him to pay 70,000 kyat as compensation for the lost crops. He refused to pay because it was more than the cost of the alleged destroyed paddy and equal to the price of 70 baskets of paddy. As one of his oxen was unable to eat this amount of paddy, he continuously refused to pay. After the man refused to pay, the village authorities brought him to the LIB No. 545 base and told the army commanders why they had arrested him. The second commander of the battalion ordered the man to pay 70,000 kyat immediately. If he did not, he would be detained in the army base indefinitely. He was afraid of being detained in the army base and working for army, so he paid. According to a villager from that village, the army and village authorities shared the money for their own profit. (Source: HURFOM)
8 October 2002, Column 2 commander Aung Soe of SPDC LIB 2, while on his way to Ka-law-hta village, looted 3 pots, 2 plates, 3 spoons, 4 Pyi of rice and some clothing from the paddy field hut of Ta-eu-khee villager Saw Po Nyaw. (Source: KIC)
Situation in Thaton District
On 4 January 2002, troops from SPDC IB 96, demanded 300 kyat from each household of Mae-naw-theh and Mae-naw-gaw-hta villages for the construction of a motor road from Nan-gyi to Bee-lin. The troops also said that any household that failed to pay had to pay 3,000 kyat as a fine. (Source: KIC)
On 20 January 2002, Bo Khaing Zaw Lin from SPDC LIB 207, demanded 3 tins of rice from each village in Kaw po-pleh village tract. (Source: KIC)
On 21 January 2002, Zaw Lin, commander of SPDC LIB 207, based at Yoh-kla camp demanded;
(1) 10 Viss of pork from Htaw-klaw-hta village,
(2) 3 tins of rice from Kaw-po-kho village,
(3) 3 tins of rice from Yoh-kla village,
(4) 3 tins of rice from Lay-kaw-hti village and
(5) 3 tins of rice from Htee-pa-doh-hta village. (Source: KIC)
On 26 January 2002, Kyaw-Naing Htoo, aka ‘Ta-pwe-po’ from DKBA battalion 999, demanded 300,000 kyat from Ta-u-khee villagers. He threatened them and them to bring the cash to him by 27 January 2002. (Source: KIC)
On 13 March 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 118, led by Bo Zaw Hlaing Soe, came to Ler-po village and burned down five paddy fields of;
(1) Tee Dah (2) Tee Maung Dee
(3) Tee Pa Kra (4) Tee Saw Eh and
(5) Tee Kho Kya villages, located between Ler-po and Ta-u-nee. (Source: KIC)
On 1 April 2002, at 16:40 hours, Saw Mu Law from the DKBA came to Win-yaw village and started shooting indiscriminately without reason wounding villager Ma Sa Ee aged 18, daughter of Tee Kya Lag. On 3 April 2002, his troops demanded 5 poles of bamboo and 10 pieces of thatch from each household of Win-yaw village to build their military camp Win-yaw. (Source: KIC)
On 10 April 2002, Saw Than Htun from DKBA 333 came to Noh-aw-law village and shot and killed a pig and a chicken for meat. (Source: KIC)
On 24 April 2002, Company Commander Thein Tin of SPDC IB 96, demanded 100 wooden poles with a girth of 18 inches from Pe-tee-khee villagers, 900 wooden poles from Kler-law-seh villagers and 50 wooden poles from Pa-klaw-lor villagers. (Source: KIC)
On 18 May 2002, Company Commander Aung Lwin of SPDC LIB 9, demanded 2 baskets of rice from each house in both Noh-pa-leh and Kaw-sa-theh villages of Tha-ton District. (Source: KIC)
On 23 May 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 8 led by Captain Soe Aung, came to Htee-po-net village and looted from:
(1) Saw Hla Shwe, 14,000 kyat and 6 Pyis of rice,
(2) Naw Pa Kray, 7,000 kyat and 2 Pyis of rice,
(3) Naw Mu Taw, 2 chickens and
(4) Saw Khin Maung, 2 shirts.
They also brutally beat up saw Day Shwe, 28. (Source: KIC)
On 25 May 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 1 led by column commander Khin Maung Oo, came to Paw-khee village and looted from villagers, Naw May, 2 chickens, Tee Po Bi, 2 chickens and one Pyi of rice, Tee Pu Pu, one chicken and Naw Ma Pyu, one chicken. Moreover, these troops looted from Ta-eu-khee villagers all items to be offered to Buddhist monks on the Buddhist Ka-sone Full Moon Day.
The looted items for offering were from;
Naw Aye Hlaing, 15,000 kyat worth of items,
Naw Ye Aye, 15,000 kyat worth of items,
Naw Hsa Htoo 20,000 kyat worth of items,
Naw Pa Yaw Kay, 15,000 kyat worth of items and
Saw Pa Pleh, 20,000 kyat worth of items,
a total of 75,000 kyat worth of items. (Source: KIC)
On 1 June 2002 troops from SPDC LIB 207, based at Yo-kla, led by Aung Khin Win ordered the villages, namely; Htee-pa-doh-hta, Kaw-bo-kho, Htee-pa-doh khee, Htaw-klaw-hta, Noh-ber-baw, Wakh-hkeh-hta and Yo-kla to give 5 bamboo poles from each household. The troops also demanded 10 dinner plates from each saw mill in Yo-kla village and nearby villages. (Source: KIC)
On 5 June 2002, Saw Poo Lee of DKBA in Tha-ton District ordered Saw mill owners in Ta-eu-khee, Ta-eu-ni, Nya-po-khee,Htee-pa-dho-hta, Paw-khee, Kyo-waing and Noh-ka-neh villages to come to Lay-kay camp where he told them to give him 60,000 kyat per saw mill, by 10 June 2002 or he would come and collect the money by himself if they failed. The sawmills were set up for sawing timber for villagers’ use and not for commercial purposes. (Source: KIC)
On 14 June 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 207, led by Battalion Commander Myint Htwe demanded 10 baskets of rice from Khaw-po-pleh village and 10 baskets of rice from Tha-waw-pya village. (Source: KIC)
On 6 August 2002, combined troops from SPDC LIB 20, led by Soe Win and DKBA troops, led by Poo Lee extorted from Khaw-po-pleh village 10 Pyi of rice, five Viss of pork and one bottle of cooking oil. (Source: KIC)
On 9 August 2002 combined troops of SPDC LIB 207 and DKBA troops issued an order banning Khaw-po-pleh and Htee-hsi-baw villagers in Belin Township taking rice or rice packages with them. In addition, they had to arrive back home by 6 PM. (Source: KIC)
On 12 September 2002, column 2 commander, Win Naing Shwe of SPDC LIB 104, demanded from Win-yaw village, Tha-ton Township, 5 Pyi of rice, one Viss of fish, 2 bottles of liquor and 10 Kyat weight of onion. (Source: KIC)
On 14 October 2002, troops from SPDC IB 8, led by Column 2 commander Myint Naing, came to Noh-ka-neh village in Bilin Township and looted items from villagers:
(1) Toe Lwee Moe, 2 ducks,
(2) Pale Gay Htoo, 4 Pyis of rice and one fishing net,
(3) Myint Win, 2 Pyis of rice and
(4) Naw Aw Moo, one package of dry cell batteries. (Source: KIC)
On 14 October 2002, column 2 commander Myint Naing of SPDC IB 8 told villagers from Htaw-po-hta village and Noh-keh village in Belin Township to find him a hand gun and a walkie-talkie respectively. He threatened the villagers with serious action if they failed to find the items. The Htaw-po-hta villagers were also banned from going to their paddy fields and as a result their hill paddy harvests were destroyed. (Source: KIC)
On 23 October 2002, troops from SPDC IB 96 led by company second in command, Aung Soe Min, banned Pa-lo-kee villagers of Kyaik-htee-yo Township from going to their hill paddy fields. (Source: KIC)
On 23 October 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 2 led by Column 1 commander Win Kyaw came to Htaw-klaw-khee village in Belin Township and looted from villagers, Maung Htun Kyaing Moe, 4 chickens, Ma Yin, 4 chickens and 46 baskets of rice from other villagers. (Source: KIC)
On 24 October 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 2 led by battalion commander Win Kyaw came to Lay-kaw-hti village in Belin township and looted a pair of shoes and some clothing from Saw Pah Yi’s house. These troops shot and killed one goat, two dogs and 5 chickens for their meat from the villagers. The soldiers also poisoned all the pigs and chickens belonging to the villagers. (Source: KIC)
On 27 October 2002, troops from SPDC IB 96 based at Kyaik-htee-yo allowed the villagers of:
(1) Reh-thaw-khee village,
(2) Ta-ya-day village,
(3) Mae-praw-hta village and
(4) Blay-blaw-kyo village to go their hill paddy fields if they paid 500 kyat for a pass. (Source: KIC)
On 2 November 2002, SPDC LIB 8 troops, led by column 2 commander Myint Naing, came to Ler-ka-ter village and looted 10 chickens and one tin of rice from the villagers. Moreover, they ordered each of the saw-mill owners to send 10 pieces of timber planks measuring 3 cubits in length and 1 foot in width to Khaw-htee-khee. (Source: KIC)
On 2 November 2002, SPDC LIB 102 troops, led by company 2nd in command Maung Maung Hla came to Kaw-po-kho village and looted 3 baskets of rice, one duck, two chickens, 10 eggs, 15 penicillin, 30 gourd and 30 coconuts. (Source: KIC)
On 2 November 2002, SPDC LIB 102 troops, led by company 2nd in command Maung Maung Hla, came to Yo-kla village and shot and killed villager Saw Maung Hla’s goat for meat. (Source: KIC)
On 16 November 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 3 and LIB 107 banned villagers of Ta-roi-khee village, Shwe Yaing Pya village and Ta-maw-daw village in Thaton township from going to work outside the village. As a result, all of the villagers’ paddy harvests both in lowland and highland paddy fields were destroyed. (Source: KIC)
Situation in Doopla-ya District
On 11 February 2002, combined troops from SPDC LID-88 led by Ohn Myint and SPDC LIB-103 led by Column Commander Sein Tin Thein Nyunt, came to Htee-law-bleh village, Kya-in township and summoned the village head and forced him to buy, at an extremely low rate, 10 Pyis of rice at 50 Kyat per Pyi and 5 Viss of pork at 250 Kyat per Viss. (Source: KIC)
On 15 February 2002, Divisional Commander Ohn Myint and Commander of Operation Command No. 2 Than Win forcibly collected many hundreds of thousands of kyat from local villagers for the construction of a school in Kyaik-don village of Kaw-ka-reik Township. They collected at least from 10,000 to 20,000 kyat from each village in Ah-zin village tract, Ah-zin-chaung-pya village tract and other village tracts. They demanded 1,500 kyat from each village for the support of the schoolteachers. In addition, they demanded 15 logs from each local village for the construction of a jetty on Hawn-tha-yaw river in Kyeit-don village. (Source: KIC)
On 1 March 2002, SPDC LIB (22) confiscated the plantations and gardens belonging to villagers growing sugarcane in Bilin township. The amount of land confiscated in different areas is the following; 120 acres from Ta-kyet-kon village; 500 acres from around the base of Daung-min-taung mount; 50 acres around the 500 tons monastery and 130 acres from around the central military camp. (Source: ABSDF)
On 10 March 2002, SPDC IB (283) and LIB (78) advanced along a car road construction area. They destroyed and burned down the buildings and gardens belonging to the residents living between Ka-ra-ni village and Ka-li-khee village along the road. The items burned include: all the lumber for construction and a school. In addition, they also destroyed and burned down the lemon garden of Saw Hla Doh, rubber garden of Saw Ka Lo, rubber garden of Saw Htoo Paw, rubber garden of Pah Ku Nu, rubber garden of Saw Nga Ti, rubber garden of Saw Htoh Lwi, cashew garden of Saw Lwi, chilly garden of Saw Lah Bleh Htoo, lemon garden of Saw San Nyut Poe, rubber garden of Saw Ki Ku, lemon garden of Saw Ka Lei Mee, lemon garden of Saw Lah Doh Poe, rubber garden of Naw Mu Naw, rubber garden of Saw Pa Heit, lemon garden of Naw Shee Mo, lemon garden of Saw Tee Maw and the betel garden of Saw P’ Lay. All were destroyed without compensation. (Source: ABSDF)
On 19 March 2002, Lt. Deputy Colonel Aung Than Win, a Strategic Commander of No. 88 LID based in A-Zin village, Kya-in-seikkyi township, issued a directive to the fifty villages near his command that each village must provide five sheets of tin to be used for building military supply storage. Each sheet of tin is worth of the amount of 1,800 kyat, so each household of the villages had to pay 300 kyat. (Source: ABSDF)
On 25 March 2002, SPDC LIB 78 led by Tin Maung Win, arrived at Kru-ma-ti Village, Kya-in Township and looted 34 chickens, 24 eggs, 7 ducks, 2 tins of cooking oil (1 tin = 10 viss), 1 pig (about 30 viss of weight), and 2 big pots from the villagers.(Source: ABSDF)
On 26 March 2002, at about 2:30 in the afternoon, SPDC IB (83) led by General Min Naung arrived Thay-kho village, Kya-in township. They destroyed and burned down about (4) tins of the rice seeds belonging to Saw Pah Paw, 33 yrs old and the cultivation farm yielding (4) tins of rice growing seeds belonging to Pah Ku Kye, 32 yrs old, without any reason. (Source: ABSDF)
On 29 March 2002, SPDC Division (88) Commander Ohn Myint order a road to be constructed from Ta-mok-thei village through to Kyein-chaung village in Kya-in township for military operations. The local units extorted the 300,000 kyats from the Win-lon village according to the residents to pay for the construction.
On 1 April 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 415, led by Sai Aung came to Htee-ka-pler village and took by force 3 local made vehicles from the villagers and threatened to beat up the villagers if they failed to go. (Source: KIC)
On 2 April 2002, SPDC IB (83) under Division (88) led by column (2) Commander Myint Thein Tun arrived at Ser-po-klo village. They burned down the villager houses and looted the villagers rice as follows; (1) Saw Keh Sar’s house was completely burned down and over (40) tins of paddy was looted, (2) Naw Mu Yo’s house was burned down and over (50) tins of paddy was looted, (3) Saw Mu Wah Pa’s house was burned down and over (80) tins of paddy was looted as well.
On the same day, when IB (83) led by column (1) commander Min Naung arrived in Pa-wa-khee area, they extorted 80,000 kyat and looted (1) golden necklace, (1) golden earring and (2) rings and other domestic belongings from villager Pah Ti Ku Say’s house. Along the way, they also looted (1) tins of rice and (1) knife from Saw Htee Ku’s house, (2) tins of rice from Naw Christ Htoo’s house, and 65,000 kyats from Saw Pah Khee’s house. (Source: ABSDF)
On 21 April 2002, the unit of LIB (301) under SPDC Division (88), led by battalion commander Tun Shwe arrived at Kru-ma-tee village, Kya-Inn Township, looted the belongings at the villager houses such as:
(1) Pah Lei Htoo 1 pot
(2) Saw Kya Lin 3 chickens, 1 pot
(3) U Tin Mya 1 pot, 2 sarongs, 2 knives
(4) Naw Kya Ma 5 tins of rice
(5) Maung Hla Thein 3 chickens, 3 baskets of eggs and 3 tins of cooking oil (1 tin is equal to 8 viss) (Source:ABSDF)
On 21 April 2002, combined troops of SPDC LIB 301 column 1 and 2, LIB 416 column 1 and IB 78 column 1 and 2 came to Htee-tha-blu area in Kya-in Township and looted from the villagers:
(1) Saw Dah (M, 28), 6 baskets of rice, 25,000 kyat, 1,500 baht, a pair of gold earrings and a half-baht weight gold necklace,
(2) Wilbert Paw Moe (F, 35), 4 baskets of rice,
(3) Maung Htun Htun, (M) household items,
(4) Naw Pree (F, 36), one basket of rice,
(5) Naw Ma Twe (F, 38), household items,
(6) Paw Lah Ler (F, 37), one basket of rice,
(7) Li Baw Moe (F, 65), 4 and a half baskets of rice,
(8) Pah Haw Shu (F, 36), one basket of rice, a pair of gold earrings, 2,000 kyat, one Seiko wrist watch and one pig,
(9) Ket Po Mo (F, 45) 3 baskets of rice and 40,000 kyat,
(10) Saw Lweh Hgaw (M, 32) household item,
(11) Ka Lay Lo (M, 40) household items,
(12) Pastor Si Patrer (M, 51) a bull and 100,000 kyat,
(13) Saw Po Dah (M, 38) 8 baskets of rice,
(14) Gay Nay Htoo Moe, (F, 49) household items,
(15) Naw Cha Eh (F, 38) 10 baskets of rice and one bull,
(16) Saya Gay Tha (M, 54) one cow,
(17) Naw Paw May (F, 45) a pair of earrings, one basket of rice and one pig,
(18) Baw Shwe Paw (M, 34) two bulls,
(19) Saw Paw Eh, (M, 45) household items,
(20) Pah Koe Kay (M, 57) one tin of rice and seven chickens,
(21) Sa Maree (M, 38) 2 cattle and 3 ducks,
(22) Pah Kyaw Po (M, 25) household items,
(23) Saw Hla Baw (M, 47) 5,000 kyat,
(24) Naw Moe (F, 31) one pig,
(25) Naw Day Po (F, 24) one buffalo and 40,000 kyat and
(26) Naw Day Htoo (M, 36) 4 baskets of rice and household items.
Moreover, they took away corrugated iron sheets from the roof of Htee-tha-blu church and burned down the church. (Source: KIC)
On 23 April 2002, troops from SPDC IB 75 burned down 30 villagers’ houses in Noh-klo-ti village, Kya-in Township and burned down villager Saw Kyaw Keh’s paddy barn with 60 baskets of paddy. (Source: KIC)
On 24 April 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 301 came to Htee-ka-pu village in Kya-in Township and burned down Pa Chin Lone’s paddy barn with 50 baskets of paddy and Pee Ta Maw’s paddy barn with 40 baskets of paddy. These troops also confiscated paddy from villagers in Kaw Kher village tract and looted 200,000 kyat from villager Ah Win and 400,000 kyat from Kyaw Kwa. These troops also took away corrugated iron sheets from the roofs of the Christian church, assembly hall and some villagers’ houses. They carried the iron sheets in six bullock carts. (Source: KIC)
On 24 April 2002, at 10:00 at night, SPDC IB (78) arrived at Lay-ta-ri village, Kya-Inn Township and burned down all the villagers’ houses and belongings without any reason. In addition, they burned down the paddy barns belonging to the following villagers: (1) Saw Ki Ku’s containing over 350 tins of paddy, (2) Saw Po Nyo’s paddy barn containing 120 tins of paddy, (3) Saw Nya Wah’s paddy barn containing 30 tins of paddy, (4) Saw Pah Peh’s paddy barn containing 240 tins of paddy, looting his 2 tins of sesame oil and 20,000 kyats. They also looted 12,000 kyats from Naw Bweh Htoo. The arrested women and children from Lay-ta-ri Village and took them back to the Ah-sin military camp. The soldiers warned that in the next 6 days before 30 April, they would burn down the Lay-ta-ri village completely. (Source: ABSDF)
On 26 April 2002, troops from SPDC IB 78, led by column 2 commander Myo Hlaing, came to Kaw Kher village in Kya-in Township and burned down Saw Kay Lay’s (M, 65) paddy barn and took away his sugar cane grinding machine and an electrical power generator. Moreover, they burned down Saw Soe Toe Kho’s (M, 65) house. (Source: KIC)
On 27 April 2002, at 14:30 hours, troops from SPDC IB 78 led by column 2 commander looted possessions and burned down the houses of the following Htee-tha-blu villagers, Kya-in Township:
(1) Si-pa-trer, 2 strong-king lamps, one electrical dynamo, one bullock cart, one rice mill and a paddy barn with 200 baskets of rice,
(2) Maung Htun Htun 30 baskets of paddy,
(3) Wilbert Paw Moe 25 baskets of paddy,
(4) Saw Dah 40 baskets of paddy,
(5) Naw Pree 3 baskets of paddy,
(6) Ma Aye Thaung 5 baskets of paddy,
(7) Ma Htwe 12 baskets of paddy,
(8) Paw Lah Ler, (F, 40) 10 baskets of paddy,
(9) Li Baw Moe 40 baskets of paddy,
(10) Pah Haw Shu 10 baskets of paddy,
(11) Ket Po Moe 60 baskets of paddy,
(12) Saw Lweh Gaw 40 baskets of paddy and
(13) Kweh Lay Lo 35 baskets of paddy.
The houses of all these villagers were burned down by the troops. (Source: KIC)
On 28 April 2002, at about 6:00 in the evening, SPDC IB (78) column (2) burned down a Church and 2 religious halls in Kaw Keh village, Kya-Inn township. These building had already been destroyed by SPDC LIB (301) troop on 24 April 2002. In addition, they tortured villagers and looted their belongings. The following is a list of villagers and the items taken from them: (1) Neh Pa Htaw, aged, 30 yrs old, 1 goat, 3 chickens; (2) Saw Hsay Poe Moe’s domestic belongings, worth 200,000 kyats; (3) Ma Mu Aye’s clothes and domestic belongings worth 700,000 kyats; (4) Ah Win’s 2 cows, 60 chickens and 80,000 kyats; (5) Maung Pauk Kyaine, aged 40 yrs old, domestic belongings worth 170,000 kyats, 1 cow and he was taken as well; (6) Naw Cherry Pan’s wood cutting machine after she was severly tortured; (7) U Kyi Lin was tortured strongly. The soldiers also took 6 bullock carts, 6 cows and 3 villagers back with them. (Source: ABSDF)
On 5 May 2002, at 14:00 hours, troops from SPDC LIB 301 column 1 led by Min Din burned down Saw Pa Hai Moe’s house and a paddy barn with 30 baskets of paddy, Maung than Soe’s house, Kyaw Pa Waw’s paddy barn, with all their household items in Htee-pa-nwe village in Kya-in Township. Moreover, they looted a gold necklace and a pair of earrings from villager Naw Hsaw Aye. Htee-pa-neh villagers from 90 households were ordered to immediately relocate to Mae-ta-klet village. These troops also came to Mae-ta-klet village and shot and killed the villagers’ buffalo for meat. (Source: KIC)
On 8 May 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 301 column 1 led by Min Din burned down the houses of;
(1) Pah Lay Bya,
(2) Naw Mu Say,
(3) Naw Po Pwe,
(4) Saw Kay,
(5) Saw Ta,
(6) Saw Wah Gay,
(7) Naw Ma Pet,
(8) Saw Po Pee,
(9) Naw Bleh Htoo,
(10) Saw Ah Htoo and
(11) Saw Ka Neh in Htee-pa-neh village.
Moreover, the troops shot and killed a pig from Saw Keh Leh and a pig from Saw Heh Ha for meat. At 14:00 hours, these troops shot at the Htee-pa-nwe village head Maung Pan Aye (M, 46), wounding him in the thigh and then cut his thighs with a knife. (Source: KIC)
On 9 May 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 103 column 1 led by Than Oo came to Ma-oo village in Win -yae Township and demanded 6,000 kyat from each of the sawmill owners namely,
(1) U Pa Pa, (M, 52),
(2) U Aung Tin Thein (M, 38),
(3) U Kyi Tang (M, 36)
(4) Daw Chit Thang (M, 49),
(5) Maung Thang Toe (M, 30)
(6) Nai Htun, Pah Yu Wah (M, 37)
(7) Zaw Khin Nwe, (M, 31,)
(8) Daw Nyo Kyaing (M, 50),
(9) Saw Pwe Say (M, 35) and
(10) Pah Ta Ler (M, 49).
Moreover, these troops forced them to buy a pig for them. (Source: KIC)
On 10 May 2002, SPDC LIB (301) led by Column (1) Commander Min Din ordered the villagers of Paw-ner-moo to pay the amount of 600,000 kyats. The troops burned down the houses of 15 villagers who could not afford to pay the amount requested. (Source: ABSDF)
On 11 May 2002, troops from SPDC IB 78 led by Major Khin Maung Nyo came to Pah-klaw-khee village of Kaw-ka-reik Township and burned down (1) a paddy barn of Naw Pway Day Moe with over 100 baskets of paddy and (2) a paddy barn of Kyaw Hser Paw with over 150 baskets of paddy. They shot and killed (1) a pig weighing over 10 Viss of Saw Yo Htee and (2) 3 pigs weighing over 20 Viss each of Naw Twet Moe. Moreover, they looted 50,000 kyat worth of household items from Kyaw Nya Moe. (Source: KIC)
On 13 May 2002, at 10:30 hours, troops from SPDC LIB 301 column 1 under LID 88 came to Kya-in Township, Kaw-kher village and shot and killed a cow for meat. These troops took some rice from the villagers who had fled away and destroyed the rest. (Source: KIC)
On 16 May 2002, column commander Min Din of SPDC LIB 301 under LID 88 came to Ko-doo-kwe village, Kya-in Township, and demanded a total of 17,000 kyat for 15 unlicensed guns with the normal rate being 1,500 kyat per gun. They also demanded 16,000 kyat for 4 saw mills with the normal rate being 4,000 kyat per saw mill. (Source: KIC)
From 3 – 8 June 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 30 based at Theh-pyu-chaung village, Kya-in Township demanded for their food supplies from the villages of;
(1) Htee-wa-doh, 3 baskets of rice and one pig weighing 15 Viss,
(2) Htee-po-wai, 3 baskets of rice and a pig weighing 10 Viss,
(3) Htee-kaw-pa, one basket of rice and a pig weighing 10 Viss,
(4) Shwe-po-hat (old village), one basket of rice,
(5) Shwe-po-hat (new village), one basket of rice,
(6) Done-pa-laung, 2 baskets of rice and
(7) Theh-pyu-chaung one basket of rice. (Source: KIC)
On 8 June 2002, troops from SPDC IB 77 burned down 2 houses and 3 paddy barns in Teh-thone-lone village in Kaw-ka-reik Township. (Source: KIC)
On 30 June 2002, in accordance with instructions of the Village Peace and Development Committee (VPDC) of Kyaung-ywa village tract in Win-yae Township, at 12:00 noon, every village had to submit a list of the number of houses, population under and above the age of 18 according to gender, number of schools, students and school teachers, a list of monasteries and monks, and a list of plots of land. Moreover, on that day, the 18 villages of Kyaung-ywa village tract had to give 600 baskets of paddy as tax for the summer harvest from 140 acres of paddy fields. (Source: KIC)
On 30 June 2002, troops from SPDC IB 78 led by Column 1 commander, Myo Htun Hlaing came to Kya-in Township and looted from villagers:
(1) Pah Taw Ler, (M, 37), two pieces of water proof, 6 umbrellas and one Pyi of rice,
(2) Saw Di Ngeh, (M, 36) one Pyi of rice
(3) Maung Khin Win, (M, 36), one sarong,
(4) Paw Law Kaw (F, 40), 3 Pyi of rice,
(5) Naw Su Hai, (F, 40) one plate, one basket of rice, one spoon, and a pair of shoes,
(6) Pah Ter Kla (M, 33), one Pyi of rice, one plate, one spoon, one piece of water proof and one bag,
(7) Pah Kyaw Moo, (M, 51), one piece of sarong, half a Viss of salt and one Viss of soy bean paste,
(8) Toe Gay (M, 25), one Pyi of rice and
(9) Ah Kyaw, (M, 36), one Pyi of rice. (Source: KIC)
On 5 July 2002, about 100 troops from SPDC IB 83 under LID 88 came to Thone-se-thone-su village, after they were ambushed by the Karen resistance forces between Kyaik-tha-laik village and Thone-se-thone-su village in Kaw-ka-reik Township. The soldiers looted or destroyed the villagers’ possessions. They looted 180,000 kyat worth of items from Saw Ah Htein’s house and shot Saw Hein Aung’s one oxen to death. The oxen was worth about 160,000 kyat. The soldiers looted or destroyed other villagers’ various items and edible plants. (Source: KIC)
On 18 July 2002, troops from SPDC IB 78, led by column commander Myo Htun Hlaing, looted from Noh-klo-ti villagers in Kya-in Township,
(1) Saw Pah Ta Toe, (M, 35), two baskets of rice, one chicken, one bag, one gallon tin, two torch light, two bottles of sesame oil and one water proof, having a total worth of 12,000 Kyat and
(2) Saw Kyaw Myint, (M, 50) a knifefrom his paddy field hut. (Source: KIC)
On 18 July 2002, troops from SPDC IB 78, led by column commander Myo Htun Hlaing, looted from villagers in Noh-klo-ti, Kya-in Township;
(1) Saw Pah Ta Toe, (M, 35), two baskets of rice, one chicken, one bag, one gallon tin, two torch lights, two bottles of sesame oil and one water proof, having a total worth of 12,000 kyat and
(2) Saw Kyaw Myint, (M, 50), a knife from his paddy field hut.(Source: KIC)
On 13 September 2002, troops from SPDC IB 78 under LID 88 led by Major Kyaw Htay came to Ta-ku-khe village in Kya-in Township and extorted three baskets of rice from the villagers. The village chairman himself had to collect one Pyi of rice from each household. (Source: KIC)
On 6 October 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 415, led by Column 1 Commander Nyunt Aye, came to Kay-ra-mo village, Kya-in Township, and looted from the houses of
(1) Saw Tu Po, 35,
(2) Saw To Ku Ra, 57 and
(3) Naw Mu Ray, 50
- five chickens, 4 ducks and 30,000 Kyat cash. (Source: KIC)
On 12 October 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 416, led by Column 2 commander Ye Naing, came to Ta-po-hta, Kya-in Township and looted from the houses of; (1) Naw Li Say, 20,
(2) Naw Ka Bleh, 45,
(3) Naw Moo, 24,
(4) Naw Ter Moe, 32,
(5) Naw Pree Nay Paw, 18,
(6) Naw Tha Blay Paw, 22,
(7) Naw Saw Hla Win, 38,
(8) Naw Law Eh, 48,
(9) Naw Mu Ku, 35,
(10) Naw Paw Heh, 53,
(11) Naw Paw Yeh, 41,
(12) Naw Hsa Eh, 32,
(13) Naw Paw Theh, 60,
(14) Naw Ju, 20,
(15) Naw Lweh Moo, 43,
(16) Naw Lu Kleh, 61 and
(17) Saw Gay Po, 54,
thirteen chickens, 12 spoons, 2 sarongs, 14 dinner plates, 1 mermaid brand makeup, 6 Pyis and 2 milk tins of rice, 2 pairs of shoes, one bag, 3 cooking pots and 41,500 kyat cash. (Source: KIC)
From 26 – 29 October 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 418 under LID 88, led by Column 2 commander Ye Naing, came to Tha-byu village in Kya-in Township and looted the following items from the villagers 121 chickens and ducks, 1 large container having fermented rice for distilling local liquor, 4 baskets and 6 Pyis of rice, 1 Pyi of pepper, 2 large bags of monosodium glutamate, 2 shirts, 3 pairs of Jean pants, 2 machetes, 2 torch lights, 7 boxes of dry cell batteries, 4 Viss of onion, 1 Viss of fish paste, 4 Karen bags, 2 pairs of shoes, 1 steal necklace, 1 bottle of honey, 1 cassette tape player, 2 cassette tapes, 1 Pyi of sticky rice, 2 Karen costumes and 418,000 kyat cash. (Source: KIC)
On 5 November 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 416, led by Column 2 commander Bo Naing Min, came to Ta-ku-khee village in Kya-in Township and looted - 2 blankets, 2 sarongs, one shirt, 2 pairs of jean pants, one sweater, 5 Pyis of rice, one backpack and 2,600 kyat cash from the houses of Naw Prin Khin, Naw Mu Ni and Naw Bree. (Source: KIC)
On 8 November 2002, at 8:15 hours, about 50 troops from SPDC IB 78, led by column commander Khin Maung Kyi came to Kyauk-ta village in Kya-in Township and looted from the houses of the following villagers,
(1) Naw Baw, 27,
(2) Naw Mu Tauk, 32,
(3) Naw Tetma, 35,
(4) Naw Kreh po, 45,
(5) Naw Koo, 25,
(6) Naw His, 30,
(7) Naw Not, 32,
(8) Saw Pa Gaw Kher, 63,
(9) Naw Klet, 25,
(10) Maung Thein Soe, 34,
(11) Naw Thay Htee, 50,
(12) Naw Kyaw Nyunt, 45, and
(13) Naw Khee, 55
- one cat, 3 pigs, 6 ducks, 8 chickens, 3 mats, one towel, 14 Pyis of rice, 14 cooking pots, 7 spoons, one fishing net, one pot of pickled dog fruits, 3 machetes, one hoe, one bag, one basket of chicken eggs, 20,000 kyat and 600 baht. (Source: KIC)
On 11 November 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 343, led by battalion commander Myint Htun, extorted 1,500 kyat from each of the houses in the villages of Bi-saing, Kleik-tok, Wa-paw, Tu-ler and Bein-ka-lwe. The soldiers used an order from the battalion commander which instructed the villagers to provide salaries for school teachers of the model village primary school in Win-yae Township to whom the SPDC authorities could not pay salaries. (Source: KIC)
Situation in Pa-pun District
On 14 February 2002, troops from LIB 207 came to Mae-wah area and burned down paddy barns of Htee-wah-mee-kee villagers who were in hiding and looted chickens, pigs, goats, machetes, axes, dinner plates, spoons, mats and clothing. (Source: KIC)
On 7 March 2002, at 18:00, troops from SPDC LIB 207 came to Kwe-tu at Law-po-doe village area in Lu-thaw township. They opened fire on the villagers, looted the villagers’ possessions and burned down the whole village. (Source: KIC)
On 9 March 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 207 came to Htee-kay-doe area and burned down the villagers’ shops and paddy fields. (Source: KIC)
On 19 March 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 369 under No. 10 military operation command headquarters came to Ta-paw-doe village and shot at the villagers. Villager Saw Thay Wah Moo (M, 40) was wounded while Pee Naw Nah was captured and 5 houses were burned down by the troops. (Source: KIC)
On 22 March 2002, at 14:50 hours, SPDC troops burned down 5 hill farms of Bi-kho-doe of Lu-thaw Township. (Source: KIC)
On 22 March 2002, at 19:20 hours, troops from column 2 of SPDC LIB 251 burned down 10 hill farms of Hser-tee village. (Source: KIC)
On 24 March 2002, SPDC troops burned down 9 hill farms of Hser-tee village of Lu-thaw Township. (Source: KIC)
On 1 April 2002, Bo Pah Kay Kay from DKBA Company 5 of Ka-saw-wah battalion demanded 25 pieces of thatch from each household in Kler-si-kho, Tha-per-pah, Po-thwee-khee and Ler-klaw villages. (Source: KIC)
On 3 April 2002, SPDC troops came to Saw-ker-khee and Thet-tha-khee area and seized a villager named Naw Moo Ta Paw (F, 27) and burned down the house of Naw Pyet Lay. These troops looted from:
(2) Naw Pyet Lay - 55,000 kyat, a pair of gold earrings, a gold ring, 5 pots, 10 plates, 10 blankets, 5 spoons, a mat, 5 pants, 10 women sarongs, 10 men sarongs, one waterproof coat, 2 pairs of shoes, 5 mugs, 3 baskets of rice, 7 machetes and one kettle and
(3) Poe Ye Paw - 1,500 kyat, 1,000 Baht, 20 waterproof coats, one cassette tape player, 3 torch lights, 6 women sarongs, 3 men sarongs, 2 under wears, one fishing net, 4 Viss of dried fish, 2 packages of monosodium glutamate, 5 packages of tea leaves, 5 plates, one backpack, 4 shirts and one bag and burned down a hill paddy farm belonging to Saw Tu Lu.
These troops fired their heavy weapons and as a result losses were suffered by:
(1) Saw Raw, 4 trunks, 80,500 kyat, 60,000 baht and 38 silver coins,
(2) Maung Thay Ler, 170 tins of paddy, a trunk with items worth 400,000 kyat and 40 silver coins,
(3) Saw Plo Gay, a trunk with items worth 200,000 kyat,
(4) Saw Po Lo, 10 women sarongs, 7 Karen women costumes and
(5) Saw Oo Moo, a trunk with items worth 200,000 kyat and 150 baht cash were burnt and destroyed. (Source: KIC)
On 3 April 2002, SPDC troops burned down 24 hill paddy farms in Htee Nya Moe Hta area owned by villagers Saw Aung Min Than, Shew Tha Heh, Saw Eh Doh Wah, Saw Na Hai, Saw Maung Lay Doh, Naw Shabi Lay Paw and Saw Heh Say.
Moreover, these troops destroyed by burning:
(1) 100 baskets of paddy of Saw Maung Di,
(2) 75 baskets of paddy of Saw Tha Deh,
(3) 85 baskets of paddy of Saw Mee Tu,
(4) 100 baskets of paddy of Saw Ree Kaw Paw,
(5) 50 baskets of paddy of Saw Toh The,
(6) 70 baskets of paddy of Saw Klay,
(7) 90 baskets of paddy of Naw Kya Ra,
(8) 70 baskets of paddy of Ya Naw,
(9) 67 baskets of paddy of Too Loo Koo,
(10) 60 baskets of paddy of Moo La Paw,
(11) 62 baskets of paddy of Saw Play,
(12) 100 baskets of paddy of Naw Bleh Lay,
(13) 40 baskets of paddy of Saw Pah Ti,
(14) 30 baskets of paddy of Saw Pa Kah,
(15) 50 baskets of paddy of Saw Thay Heh,
(16) 40 baskets of paddy and some other items of Saw Sheh Wah and
(17) 50 baskets of paddy of Saw Kaw Gay. (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:
(1) 70 baskets of paddy and 5 baskets of rice beloging to Saw Shwe Aye and
(2) 80 baskets of paddy and 8 baskets of rice belonging to Saw Say Tay.
Beginning from 4 April 2002 to the end of May these troops demanded 3 baskets of gravel from each household in the following villages Noh-law-su, Htee-ber-kha-hta, Day-law-pu, Ta-ri-per-kho and Kler-kho.The gravel was to be used to construct a motor road linking Ku-seik and Pa-pun. (Source: KIC)
On 18 April 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 104 under LID 44, led by battalion second in command So Thet, Company Commander Win Naing Shwe and company second in command Thay Hay came to Klaw-day village and demanded 12 chickens and 1 basket of rice from the villagers. (Source: KIC)
On 3 July 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 1, under LID 44, led by battalion commander Min Chit came to Htee-tha-blu-hta village and looted one pig, 3 Viss of fish paste and one chicken from Naw Mi and two chickens from Pa Kyaw Thein. (Source: KIC)
On 23 October 2002, troops from SPDC Tactical Command 3 LIB 1 column 2 led by battalion second in command Kyaw Shwe came to Bwa-doe area, Bu-tho township and planted land mines which killed a villager and a buffalo. These troops looted from the following villagers Saw Pyaing, Naw Wah Wah, Naw Kaw Paw, Saw Pah Too, Naw Ree Beh, Pah Loo Too, Kaw Pu, Naw Kya Kyay, Saw Kyaw Day, Pah Klerwe, Maung Hla, Saw Ah Wah, Pah Tu Pah, Naw Bla Heh, Poe Kher, Pah Mwe Heh, Naw Hgay Paw.
The soldiers took the following items - 657 baht, 20,000 kyat, 5 baskets of rice, one pig, 4 chickens, one hoe, 16 machetes, one axe, 25 plates, 17 pots, 4 Viss of tobacco, 10 Viss of salt, 15 shirts, 15 sarongs, 12 blankets, 4 pairs of trousers, 2 bars of soaps, 2 mats, 7 ducks, 2 fishing nets, one mosquito net, 4 pairs of dry-cell batteries, 2 Viss of shrimp paste, 2 pans, 4 hummocks, 3 torch lights, 3 plastic cans, one Viss of sugar, 6 pairs pf shoes, 2 Viss of onion, 10 bags, one box of antacid, one box of analgesic tablets, 30 packets of cheroots, 14 silver coins and one watch. (Source: KIC)
On 29 October 2002, combined troops from SPDC LIB 44, Tactical Command 443, IB 2, led by column commander Tin Kyi and DKBA Ka Hsaw Wah battalion 777, led by Naing Win and Po Thaung, gathered Kho-thu-hta villagers of Dweh-lo township and demanded from each house one tin of rice, 5 large bags of monosodium glutamate, 5 Viss of chili and one tin of cooking oil. (Source: KIC)
On 29 October 2002, Aung Than from DKBA battalion 777, based at Kho-thu-hta, wrote to village heads of Naw-wi-hta, Htee-baw-lor, Hser-ri-kyo, Deh-hta, Lay-kaw-hti and Pa-new-lor villages in Lay-kaw-hti area, Dweh-lo township, ordering each of the villages to deliver 5 baskets of rice on 30 October 2002. He threatened to take serious action against those who failed to obey the order. (Source: KIC)
Situation in Pa-an District
On 15 March 2002, 100 soldiers from both SPDC LIB 206 led by column 2 Commander Thet Naing, under Division 22 and from DKBA led by Pah Taw Bi under unit 555 came to Htee-tha-blu-ta village of Hlaing-bwe Township and burnt down the villagers’ farms. The owners of the burned farms were;
(1) Paw Say, (2) Moo Ko Po
(3) Kyaw peh, and (4) Pah Tet Ler.
The farm owners from Kyaw Lah Ko and Kyaw-ta-lay-Ko village were at the same time Kyaw Paw Peh, Pah Naw Leh, Pah Raw Po, Maung Hla Kyin, Pah Ku Lu, Maung Ohn Kyin and Kyaw Htoo Ler,
In addition, the troops looted a pig worth 40,000 kyat and merchandize from the shops worth 1,500 kyat from Kyaw-ta-lay-ko villagers. (Source: KIC)
On 15 March 2002, a group of 25 soldiers from LIB 999 led by Pah Nwee burnt down Mae-ta-moo villagers’ hill farms in Hlaing-bwe Township. The hill farm owners were Pah Kyaw Klaw, Pah Lu Htoo, Pah Tar Thu, Pah Lah Aung and Aung Kit Kyang. (Source: KIC)
On 26 March 2002, about 30 troops of SPDC LIB 206 under LID 22, led by Captain Soe Aung, extorted 7 chickens worth 10,500 kyat from Htee-tha-blu-hta villagers in Tri-po-kwe village tract, Hlaing-bwe Township. (Source: KIC)
On 26 March 2002, about 40 troops from SPDC LIB 206 under LID 22, led by Column 1 commander Captain Han Min, killed a cow for its meat. The cow was worth 140,000 kyat and belonged to Saw Di Say of Wah-mee-kla village, Htee-pa-rai village tract in Hlaing-bwe Township. (Source: KIC)
On 11 November 2002, troops from DKBA battalion 2 came to Naung-daing village in Pine-kyone Township and looted from villagers:
(1) Saw Maung Sein, one duck,
(2) Saw Lay Tay, 2 ducks and 1 chicken,
(3) Naw Kyi Aye, 4 chickens and 4 ducks,
(4) Saw Kyaw Tin, 2 ducks,
(5) Naw Thein Kyi, one chicken and 2 ducks,
(6) Naw Lweh Dah, 2 chickens,
(7) Naw Mu Beh, 2 ducks,
(8) Naw Mu Dah, one duck,
(9) Naw Mu Han, one chicken,
(10) Saw Lweh Tha, one chicken,
(11) Naw Mu Loo, 1 duck,
(12) Naw Kah Lay, one goat, one pig and household utensils, and
(13) Naw Paw Moo, 1 carton of cigarettes, 4 feeding cans, 4 packets of snacks, 6 dry cell batteries, 10 bags of coffee mix and 10 ball pens, the merchandise from her shop, estimated to have a total worth of 8,950 kyat. (Source: KIC)
Situation in Taungoo District
On 25 January 2002, troops from SPDC guerrilla unit, led by Htun Nay Win, came to Htee-pa-khee village, in Than-daung township. From 21 to 25 January 2002, they killed and ate the village’s chickens weighing a total of about 30 Viss and a pig weighing 20 Viss. The total worth of the chickens and pig was about 50,000 kyat. (Source: KIC)
In the fourth week of February, troops from SPDC IB-73, Column 2, IB 30 Column 1 and 2, and Guerilla Unit came to the areas of Bu-sa-khee, Tha-kwee-soe, Klo-mu-doe, Si-hkee-doe and Play-hsa-lor where they burned down the crops and plantations of the villagers. (Source: KIC)
From 13 April to July 2002, troops from SPDC guerrilla unit led by Kyaw Zaw Han, Aung Maung and Si Thu Lwin demanded food items worth 150,000 kyat from Twenty mile villagers. Similarly, troops from SPDC IB 124 and LIB 439 came to the east Day-lor area and destroyed villagers’ household items and crops. (Source: KIC)
On 29 May 2002, troops from SPDC guerrilla unit, led by company second in command Aung Kyaw and Sergeant Aung Maung, demanded 150 Viss of pork, 4 Viss of chickens and 4 Viss of betel nuts from Kaw-law-ka villagers. They ordered the villagers to give them the same items regularly every month and threatened to take action if the villagers failed to do so. (Source: KIC)
On 24 October 2002, villagers of Haw-lu-doe village, Than-daung township, Saw Ta Tee 40, Saw Sha La Mo 45, Saw Hser Hgay 21, and 4 other friends, a total of seven, were travelling to Than-daung town for shopping. Along the way they met SPDC guerrilla unit troops led by Kyaw Zaw Han near Sa-ba-lor-khee village. The troops threatened them and looted their chickens, weighing 70 Viss, and worth 15,000 kyat. (Source: KIC)
Beginning from December 2001 up to this day, the SPDC authorities prohibited Baw-ga-li and Kaw-thay-doe villages from bringing rice from the town. In addition, they used the villagers’ trucks to construct roads and transport rice to the front line military camps. The SPDC troops set fire to the forest and as a result, many villagers’ plantations were destroyed. (Source: KIC)
Situation in Nyaung-lay-bin District
On 10 February 2002, column 1 and 2 from SPDC LIB 363, came to Doo-pa-leh village in Htee-bla village tract, Shwe-gyin township and burned down 24 houses. Moreover, these troops looted 200 chickens and household items from the villagers and burned down the paddy barn of Saw Khin Maung Aye containing 180 baskets of rice. (Source: KIC)
On 18 February 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 361 burnt down Htee-nya-pa-day villager Saw Kyay Yin’s paddy barn with 70 baskets of paddy and 10 other paddy barns from that village. (Source: KIC)
On 20 February 2002, combined troops of SPDC IB-60 and guerilla unit came to Eh-theh-soe and burned down a villager’s paddy barn containing 50 baskets of paddy. (Source: KIC)
On 28 February 2002, combined troops of SPDC LIB 350 and DKBA fined Saw Tin Win 6,000 kyat for no reason when he was panning gold. (Source: KIC)
On 1 March 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 366 came to Mae-ka-ti village tract and burned down a paddy barn of villager Saw Chit Aye containing 60 baskets of paddy. (Source: KIC)
On 7 March 2002, troops from the DKBA demanded 50,000 kyat per village from the plain area of Kyauk-kyi Township to buy a generator. (Source: KIC)
From 12-14 March 2002, SPDC troops based in Pa-pun Township came to Thay-kho-doe village in Shwe-gyin Township and burned down the whole village. As a result the villagers were facing many problems. (Source: KIC)
On 2 September 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 599 led by battalion second in command Aung Myo Htet destroyed 68 boats belonging to Ko-ni villagers in Mone Township. They took two boats to the army camp of SPDC IB 599. (Source: KIC)
On 29 September 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 366 destroyed a plot equivalent to 8-baskets of seeded hill paddy belonging to Pah Seh Nyeh and a plot of 7-baskets of seeded hill paddy belonging to Saw Nwee Lay of Mu-lay-khee village in Kyauk-kyi Township. (Source: KIC)
On 29 September 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 363, 365, 366 and 368 under Tactical Command 1 of No. 10 Local Military Operation Command headquarters burnt down 19 houses of Mu-li-khee village and destroyed hill paddy fields in Maw-soe-kho and Doh-daw-kho areas in Kyauk-kyi Township. (Source: KIC)
On 4 October 2002, at 05:50 hours, troops from SPDC LIB 366 shot at villagers in Ta-kaw-doe hill paddy field plots and destroyed a plot of paddy equivalent to 7-baskets of paddy belonging to Saw Maung Doo. (Source: KIC)
On 7 October 2002, at 15:10 hours two battalions of SPDC combined troops, led by battalion commander Soe Lwin of SPDC LIB 366 and battalion commander Myo Aung of SPDC LIB 368, fired both their heavy weapons and small arms on Ka-du-mu-doe village in Kyauk-kyi Township. They looted all the villagers’ possessions and burned down the whole village. (Source: KIC)
On 28 October 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 264 came to Maw-pu village, Mone township, and looted from:
(1) Naw Bi Htoo; one pig, three tins of rice, 3 baskets of paddy, 5 Viss of fish paste, 10 Viss of salt and two mosquito nets and
(2) Saw Nelson; one pig and one Viss of salt.
It was harvest time and the SPDC troops destroyed 42 plots of villagers’ hill paddy fields and burned down one paddy field hut. (Source: KIC)
On 29 October 2002, troops from SPDC LIB 251, led by battalion commander Major Dagama, came to Thaw-keh-doe village, Kyaukkyi township, and destroyed the betel leaf plantations of Saw Kwaw Law with 400 plants and of Kho-lu villager Saw Ywa Mu Heh with about 100 plants. (Source: KIC)
Situation in Mergui/Tavoy Division
On 6 February 2002, troops from SPDC IB 280, led by Khin Maung Aye demanded from 90,000 to 100,000 kyat from each cashew-nut plantation owner. Those who failed to pay were put in a detention cell at the SPDC IB 280 camp. (Source: KIC)
On 10 March 2002, Nadao, second in command of SPDC LIB 409, burned down the cardamom plantations of:
(1) Pee Hsa Ee (2) Thra Nu Heh,
(3) Ler Klay and (4) Dah Hsee Seh Leh of Ler-ta-pu village
On 17 March 2002, these troops banned the following villagers from cultivating hill farms: Myitta village, Hsa-mu-htaw village, Ler-ta-pu village, She-bu-khee village, Pah-leh-po village, Kya-pee village, Ka-neh-they-khee village, Khay-ta-khee village and Maw-thaw-kawa. (Source: KIC)
On 20 April 2002, about 40 troops from SPDC LIB 431 column 2 led by Commander Zaw Oo came to Toe-moe-khee area and shot at Saw Sa Law and his son. The troops then looted 2 machetes, one Viss of salt, 2 Viss of chili, 2 pots, one plate, one male sarong, 2 shirts, a tube of tooth paste, a bar of soap and other items worth about 14,000 kyat from Saw Sa Law. They also looted a pair of shoes, one flashlight, one shirt and a package of snack altogether worth about 15,000 kyat from Saw Min Doo. (Source: KIC)
On 23 May 2002, SPDC militia troops based at Kaw-paw village seized 28 cattle at Ta-nay place in Htee-bleh-khee area. They shot at the cattle owner and his assistants, wounding cattle owner Maung Soe and cattle drivers Hun Soe and Nay Cha. (Source: KIC)
In June 2002, the training instructor of the 12th Batch SPDC army military training demanded 250,000 betel nuts from Pa-saw-oo and Pa-nwe-po-klo villages, and 250,000 nuts from Ta-ner-gaw-hta and Pay-cha-maw villages in Ler-mu-lah Township. A total of 500,000 betel nuts were taken. (Source: KIC)
On 30 June 2002, Bo Tin Nyunt Htun of SPDC LIB 403 based at In-bya camp forced Saw-hkay and Htee-pa-doh villages each to provide 2,000 saplings of pepper, 2,000 poles of bamboo and 800 kyat. Everything was to be sent to In-bya military camp. (Source: KIC)
Since 9 October 2002, villagers in Thabokleik relocation site have not been allowed to go and tend their paddy fields by order of the SPDC LIB 561 responsible for the area. In another relocation site in Mehwah, villagers had to boil and eat Kle Te (a kind of wild yam) because the price of rice was goig up and new crops had not been collected yet.(Source: KIC)
5.8 Situation in Karenni State
Due to the scarcity of commodities, prices are going up daily. This problem is becoming a major challenge for people living in both cities and rural areas. Among the commodities are sawdust and charcoal. The current price for one sack of charcoal is 1,500 kyat and 20 kyat for one tin (60 milk tins) of sawdust. Poor families who cannot afford to buy charcoal and sawdust have to go to Painchit to buy the leftover wood. On the way back, with the leftover wood loaded on trucks, they would be ordered by KNPLF to pay a tax of 500 kyat per truck at the Loilin Lay checkpoint, as well as 5,000 kyat per truck at the LIB No. 261 checkpoint. (Source: KNAHR)
Unfair Taxes and Levies
There is a joint military checkpoint on the Loikaw main road to Taunggyi, capital of Shan State. This checkpoint is manned in turn mainly by LIB No. 250 and LIB No. 261. Sometimes, police, military intelligence and city investigation personnel jointly guard the checkpoint. All vehicles passing through this checkpoint are only allowed to pass between 06:00 and 18:00 after paying a tax. Only vehicles owned by cease-fire armed groups are allowed to pass freely at any time. The three recent Burmese deserters from LIB No. 261 who defected to the Karenni Army recalled that five of their troops were ordered in turn to go for guard duty at that checkpoint, earning 30,000 kyat per month for its battalion funds. (Source: KNAHR)
The SPDC regional authorities are now ordering all local villages to establish primary schools in their respective villages. Villagers were ordered to cover half of the total cost of the schools. In Naung Lon, the authorities provided only 12 million of the 26 million kyat total. Similarly, in the Daw Tahe primary school construction, the authorities gave 13 million kyat to the contractor, out of the 27 million total. Hteesakah villagers had to pay 70 million kyat for a generator, which provides electricity mainly for the military base and office. (Source: KNAHR)
Since the beginning of this year, Burmese troops from LIB No. 428, under the command of Camp commander Myint Thein at Markrawshe base, have been demanding that each village located in Kaylya village tract pay 400 kyat quarterly in order to purchase dry cell batteries. In addition, the troops ordered families from those villages to provide them with chickens, groundnuts, and vegetables every weekend. The same Burmese troops also ordered each village to cut 24-foot long hardwood posts for an electricity supply line. If they were unable to cut the posts, they were ordered to pay 200 kyat. Moreover, each village has been ordered by the LIB No. 428 commander to provide the troops with 50 sheets of thatch for roofing the military barracks every year. (Source: KNAHR)
In the first week of January 2002, Burmese troops from LIB No. 428, based near Prusoe and led by Captain Aung Htun, forced families from eleven villages in Markrawshe village tract to give one basket of groundnut and one basket of maize each to the SPDC troops. The troops took the extorted crops to the cities to raise funds for the military. The current market price for one basket of groundnut is 1,200 kyat and for one basket of maize is 800 kyat. (Source: KNAHR)
In March 2002, about 400 families in Mingalar Ward, Loikaw City, were ordered by Loikaw Province Peace and Development Council Chairman Lt Colonel Tin Htun to pay 200 kyat each in order to improve the one-mile long, 60-foot wide Gahgaw road. However, even after all the families had paid the demanded amount, there was no improvement made to the road. Ward residents suspect that Lt. Colonel Tin Htun has kept the money for himself. (Source: KNAHR)
On 2 June 2002, the commander of Burmese troops from IB No. 102 ordered each village in Daw Plawdu village tract to weave 10 bamboo baskets to be sent to his military base. The Burmese commander said the baskets would be used to carry mortar shells in the event of a war with Thailand. (Source: KNAHR)
On 15 June 2002, villages located in Htee Pawsoe village tract were ordered by Major Myo Nyunt from Pruso base’s LIB No. 531 to provide 70 poles of bamboo each to his troops within three days. In addition, villages located along the Pruso - Deemaw Soe main road were ordered to provide food, cheroots, whisky and chickens to the Burmese units that were on sentry duty. No payment was made. (Source: KNAHR)
On 28 June 2002, the Loikaw Province Peace and Development Council Chairman, Lt. Colonel Tin Htun, instructed all families in Loikaw City and area villages to pay 100 kyat each to their ward or village chiefs. Lt. Colonel Tin Htun said this money would be spent on repairing damaged parts of the railroad from Loikaw to Aungban. However, there has been no report of any repairs to the railroad. (Source: KNAHR)
On 11 August 2002, Captain Myint Soe from LIB No. 531, commander of the Loilin Lay Burmese army base, ordered villagers living in Teelon and Wam Ngaw village tracts to repair the military barracks at the base. However, as it was the busiest time of the year for village farmers, no villagers were able to work. The Burmese commander demanded that each family pay a fine of 1,500 kyat for failure to provide labor. (Source: KNAHR)
On 18 September 2002, villages in the Hteepaw Soe village tract were ordered by SPDC commander Myo Nyunt from LIB No. 431 to provide his troops with 20 wooden posts and 100 pieces of bamboo each. They were told to deliver the posts and bamboo by 22 September. (Source: KNAHR)
On 24 April 2002, about 70 Burmese troops from Regional Central Command, Loikaw base led by Htin Aung, came to Pakyeh Pagoda Mountain, east of Aung Than Lay Camp, and drove all the farmers out of their fields without giving any reason. The next day, those farmers complained to the Township Chairman Tin Htun and asked him to negotiate with the commander Htin Aung on their behalf. Instead of taking action, Tin Htun, threatened those farmers and intimidated them into not planting any more crops on the 100 acres. Now all farmers living in Narnah Taw, Hospital Hill, Naung Yah, Htee Tama and Chit Keh are in a situation in which it is too difficult to keep working in their fields or to feed their families. (Source: KNAHR)
Forced Sale of Crops
On 13 July 2002, Loikaw Province Chairman Lt. Colonel Tin Htun called village chiefs in Dee Maw Soe Township to his Loikaw office, where he ordered them to sell 5 baskets per acre of their recently harvested paddy. They were paid by authorities only 350 kyat for each basket. The current market price for one basket is 800 kyat. (Source: KNAHR)
On 12 Septmeber 2002, the Loikaw military authorities ordered families living in Loilin Lay, Teelon, and Hteesakah villages to sell their recently harvested paddy to the Paddy Buying Centre. Facing threats of arrest, about 350 families gathered and sold their crops at the Township office the next day. For one basket, they were paid 350 kyat by the authorities. The current market price for one basket is 800 kyat. (Source: KNAHR)
5.9 Situation in Mon State
Unfair Levies and Taxes
In January 2002, the authorities in Ye Township built a tar road in Yan-myo-aung and Aung-min-gla wards in the center of the town because they wanted the area to appear nice to visitors. However, the authorities did not provide any funds. Instead, they collected 20,000 to 50,000 kyat from each household in the town wards. The authorities collected different amounts of money from each house according to the accounts of the household’s business. They did not collect any funds from government servants who stayed in the wards. The authorities also collected 200 kyat from each household in town wards. (Source: HURFOM)
Cash Extortion for Independence Day
To celebrate International Day on 4 January 2002, the Mon State General Administration Office collected a huge amount of funds from civilians and motorcar associations. In an order on 26 December 2001, that SPDC office ordered 38 motor associations in Mon State to provide 5,000 kyat if they were a large association and 1,000 kyat if they were a small association. The office received over 100,000 kyat from these associations. (Source: HURFOM)
Funds Collection for High School in Aung-min-gla, Ye Township
In January and February 2002, when Ye Township authorities planned to build a high school building in Aung-min-gla town ward in Ye Town, Mon State, the authorities collected money from Chaung-taung and Abor villages near Ye Town. The authorities collected 500,000 kyat from each village. And they also collected 500 kyat from each house in Aung-min-gla, Aung-thu-kha, and Aung-myit-ta town wards. Then they collected 1,000 kyat from each high school student for all the expenses of the building and other required school materials. On 5 February, after the authorities collected the funds and completed the building, military commander Brigadier Ye Win made an opening ceremony. (Source: HURFOM)
Tax in the Name of Rural Development
In February 2002, the village authorities collected funds from the villagers to dig a village well and build a concrete container for the water. The goal was to have enough water in in Taung-pyin village, Ye Township. On 15 February 2002, the village authorities collected 700 kyat from each household to dig the well. As the village has about 1,500 households, they collected 1.05 million kyat. Similarly, on 30 March, the village authorities collected 1,000 kyat from each household to build the concrete container. The authorities received another 1.5 million kyat from the villagers.
The amount of money they collected was twice the amount needed to build the well and container. The authorities did not use the extra and shared among themselves. Most village authorities also do not have to report how they use their money in thse kinds of development projects. Therefore there is no accountability for any money that they have collected from the civilians. After the village authorities received water and kept it in the containers and they sold it to the villagers. Many villagers were satisfied by the misuse of their money by the authorities, but they could not complain about it. (Source: HURFOM)
Funds Collected for a Road in Ye Township
In March 2002, when Ye Township authorities planned to build a 3 mile long tar motor road from Ye to Abor village, they instructed the village leaders in the area to provide them with 5 million kyat in funds. The authorities instructed all the people in the area to pay for the costs of construction as the road was for their use. In early March, MOMC No. 19 Commander, Brigadier Ye Win ordered the village headmen in the surrounding villages to lay tar and complete the road that was roughly built the year before. He ordered the headmen from An-din, Asin, Zee-phu-taung, Duya and Abor villages tracts to provide 1 million kyat from each village tract in order to collect a total of 5 million kyat for the construction. The deadline for the fund collection was before the end of March. (Source: HURFOM)
Funds Collected to Repair Bridge in Ye Township
On 2 March 2002, an old bridge between Son-htit-tar and Aru-taung villages in the northern part of Ye Township was destroyed and the Township’s construction department did not come and rebuild it. Transportation was cut for some days and the nearest military battalion, SPDC LIB No. 343, took responsibility to build a new road for temporary use and to repair the bridge. The battalion commander collected 10,000 kyat from every ferry car that used the road and collected 500 kyat from each civilian. Many ferry owners and passengers were upset with this fund collection. One ferry driver said that the collection was too much and the battalion would get a lot of extra money. About 200 ferry cars and hundreds of travelers used the road. (Source: HURFOM)
Tax for Tatmadaw Day
In March 2002, the authorities in every township were requested to provide funds to celebrate the 57th anniversary of Armed Force (Tatmadaw) Day on March 27 in the hall of Southeast Command in Moulmein, Mon State. In Mudon Township, every village was asked to provide funds for the ceremony. Depending on the household numbers, the funds demanded ranged from 3,000 to 15,000 kyat for each village. For example, Kwan-hlar village had to pay 7,500 kyat; Yaung-daung village had to pay 4,500 kyat; and Hnee-pa-daw had to pay 11,000 kyat. Many other villages also had to pay. In Mudon Township alone, the authorities collected about 250,000 kyat from 45 villages. The Southeast Command requested 2 million kyat from 10 townships in Mon State for this ceremony. (Source: HURFOM)
Funds Collected for Road in Chaung-zon Township
In March 2002, when Chaung-zon Township PDC authorities planned to create a new town ward and outside of Chaung-zon Town, they also planned to build a new road in that town ward. In order to build the new road, they needed to lay tar on the length of the road which required a lot of funds. The authorities decided to collect 2,000 kyat from every house near the road and 1,500 kyat from every house that was not near the road. The distance of the road was only 2 furlongs or about 0.4 kilometer. The authorities started collecting funds in early January and forced the civilians to provide the set amount of funds as quickly as possible. But many poor families could not afford to pay that amount of money. The authorities reduced the set amount of requested funds from 2,000 to 500 kyat for a small number of the poorest families in town. They also reduced the amount for other poor houses so they only had to pay 1,500 kyat per household. The authorities had planned to complete the construction before the Armed Force Day that was to be held on 27 March 2002. The authorities instructed the paid workers to complete the construction of the road on 15 March and then they needed to arrange for a ceremony to welcome Armed Force Day by opening the road. (Source: HURFOM)
Unfair Tax and Corruption
On 31 March 2002, the village chairman of Hangan village collected one basket of paddy from each household to provide to the village militiamen. Village PDC Chairman Nai Khin Maung Thaung collected 1,250 baskets of paddy from the whole village because the villages had about 1,250 households. After the paddy collection, the chairman and his committee gave only 400 baskets of paddy to four members of the militiamen in the village. They kept 850 baskets of paddy in their hands. Although the villagers suggested that they sell the remaining amount of paddy to raise funds to construct a school in the village. However, the chairman and his committees refused.
In the end, they sold all the paddy for 1,500 kyat per basket. They shared the money among themselves. Many villagers believed they would also shared this money with the Ye Township authorities because the villagers know about the collaboration between the village authorities and township authorities. (Source: HURFOM)
Fund for Food for Soldiers
The village headmen of Khaw-za village in the southern part of Ye Township collected 500 kyat from every house on a monthly basis to pay for food expenses for feeding Burmese soldiers. Whenever Burmese soldiers (local name for members of Burmese Army) arrived into Khaw-za village, they always asked the village headmen to provide them with some food, especially rice and meat. Additionally, they also asked for liquor, beer, beverages and cigarettes. The village headmen had to manage to buy food, beer, liquor, beverages and cigarettes on credit and promised to pay later.
The Burmese military columns arrived in the village many times. Each time, the headmen had to feed at least 20 soldiers and sometimes up to 200 soldiers. Whether the number of soldiers was large or small, the headmen needed to arrange for food and other stuff for all of them. The headmen were very busy with this duty because the Burmese soldiers came into the village very often. As an example, IB No. 61’s 70 troops went into the village on 2 July and stayed there for 3 days. After only one day IB No. 61 troops left and another 60 troops from LIB No. 343 came into village. They stayed for another three days.
Thus, the village headmen have to spend a lot of money to feed different groups of soldiers. Burmese soldiers never bring their own food and usually just ask the civilians to provide for them. As Khaw-za village has about 800 households, the headmen could collect 300,000-400,000 kyat from the villagers. At the end of each month, the headmen had to pay all debts to shops where they bought the food and other stuff. (Source: HURFOM)
Funds Collected for Thanbyuzayat Township Administration
On 14 December, Thanbyuzayat Township authorities planned to stage a traditional dance concert in the town’s cinema and sold many thousands of tickets to all villages in the township for the administration funds. They sold one ticket for 300 kyat. The village headmen were forced to sell the tickets and they must not return any tickets.
The authorities were able to raise a lot of money from selling tickets. Township authorities and the USDA always found ways to get money from the civilians. In some townships, the authorities staged one type of show each month and forced the civilians to buy the tickets to raise their administration funds. (Source: HURFOM)
Rice Collected for Militia in Mintha Village
In February 2002, with orders from local battalion LIB No. 273, the army and village militia troops requested 2,280 baskets from Mintha village tract of six villages for their food supplies. Included in the order was that Te-ngan-gyi village had to provide 230 baskets; Sin-swe village had to provide 250 baskets; Chattaw village had to provide 300 baskets; Le-gyi village had to provide 500 baskets; and Singu-village had to provide 500. All villages provided without payment. (Source: HURFOM)
Deep Corruption in VPDC Authorities in Kyaikmayaw Township
In the second week of March 2002, the Village PDC Chairman Nai Poe Sein and his two secretaries, Nai Hla Htun and Nai San Nuu, explained to the villagers that according to Township PDC instructions, their village needed to buy a fire truck and to provide a payment of 5,000 kyat per household within three days. Although the villagers were not satisfied with the collection of this fund, they could not complain because the village authorities were too close with the Township PDC Chairman, Col. Thaw Zin, said a villager. Many poor families faced a lot of difficulty getting this amount of money in such a short time. As the village has about 1,250 households, the authorities received about 6.25 million kyat from the civilians. At the end of April, the villagers had still not seen a fire truck belonging to their village. They had suspected that these village authorities would take their money without accountability.
In April 2002, the authorities collected 3 baskets of paddy from every household for the wages of the village militiamen. The village has only 10 militiamen and according to the rule, each militiaman would receive 100 baskets of paddy as their salary. The authorities collected about 3,750 baskets of paddy from 1,250 households in the village.Then they gave 1,000 baskets of paddy to the 10 militiamen as their salary for the whole year and took the remaining amount of paddy. Then they brought the excess paddy to Moulmein and sold it to paddy-husking mills for 1,200 kyat per basket, said another villager. They would receive about 4 million kyat money and would share it among the three of them.
The villagers added that they would also bribe District and Township PDC authorities to keep them in their positions. The current authorities have remained in power for over 8 years. The villagers had to to bribe Col. Thaw Zin with 800,000 kyat when he first became a Village PDC authority. The villagers also had to give him regular bribes, said the villagers. Since SLORC/SPDC came into power in 1988, there hasn’t been a low level election for village leaders except in the areas controlled by rebel armed forces. The SPDC authorities just appoint their supporters or those who bribe them. (Source: HURFOM)
In March 2002, when Kyaikmayaw Township authorities planned to build a 37 mile long motor road that connected Kyaikmayaw town and a Mon village named Chaung-htit-kwa, the authorities collected funds from the civilians at a rate of 5,000 kyat per household. They mainly collected this money from the villages which are close to the road. They collected funds from over 15 villages in the township and they were: Tarana; Kaw-hlein; Kaw-ha-light, Kyaik-pran, Kyon-wan, Kaw-don, Kaw-panaw, Ka-don-si, Wae-pa-nae and many other small villages. The villages have about 2,500 households and about 12.5 million kyat could be collected in total. The regime only contributed 700,000 kyat when their construction companies tried to build a bridge. Even in the building of that bridge, the civilians in the area had to provide 400,000 kyat to cover all the costs.(Source: HURFOM)
Forced Sale of Crops
Forced Sale of Crops in Ka-nyor Village Tract
Starting on 29 January 2002, Chaung-zon authorities ordered U Aye Naing to buy 150,000 baskets of paddy from local farmers in Ka-nyor village tract. In this village tract, there are totally 8 villages and over 50% of the population are farmers. The villages areMudoon, Bo-net, That-kaw, Lamine, Kaw-mu-pon, Ka-nyorand Daw-yat. Without inquiring which farms could produce how many baskets of paddy per acre, but the authorities have defined to buy 15 baskets of paddy per acre at price 350 Kyatper basket. In this village, although the farms from Kaw -mu-pon village could produce better crop, 70 basket from one acre of land, but other villages’ farmers could produce only 45 baskets in average.While the authorities decided to buy the same amount of paddy from every acre of land, the farmers in many villages felt disappointed with this decision. However they have no choice but to sell the set amount of paddy to the paddy-buying centers. (Source: HURFOM)
Forced to Sell Paddy in Tha-gun-daing Village
On 18 February, the Township PDC authorities, led by Chairman U Thet Naing Oo and the area tactical commande Lt. Col. Aung Kyaw Nyein, went into Tha-gun-daing village and called a meeting with all village headmen from that village tract and ordered the farmers to sell their paddy before the end of February. The authorities and army commander also threatened that if they failed to sell the set amount of paddy, those farmers would be detained as punishment. (Source: HURFOM)
Paddy Destroyed by Flood, Difficult for Farmers to Sell Their Paddy
Since the early part of October 2002, the authorities from Township Myanmar Agriculture Products Trade Department have entered many villages in Mon State and forced the farmers to sign a contract promising that they would sell a set amount of paddy to the government paddy-buying center after the harvest. Harvest time is normally in early December and farmers usually complete all their cultivation activities at that time. Regime authorities always pressure farmers to sell their paddy crops to the paddy-buying centers before they bring it to their homes. As the quality of lands is different from one township to another, the authorities’ orders for the farmers are also different. The farmers in Mudon Township had to sell 15 baskets per acre of land while Ye Township’s farmers were instructed to sell 10 baskets per acre.
In the northern part of Ye Township alone, over 500 acres of paddy was destroyed by the floods which had lasted for nearly two months in the last rainy season. Mudon Township has large farmlands and the farmers lost over 1,000 acres of paddy crop. The floods lasted for nearly two months destroying most of their crops and farmers lost the chance to re-grow paddy plants because replanting is only possible when the water level reduces. Some farmers in Ye, Mudon, Kyaikmayaw and Chaung-zon Townships in Mon State informed the authorities who are responsible for buying paddy about their crop conditions. The authorities replied that crop damage or death of paddy is not their concern and the farmers needed to sell the full amount of paddy required to the paddy-buying center. The regime forced the farmers to sell their paddy at the low price of 300-350 kyat per basket to the paddy-buying center. Currently the paddy price in the market is 2,000 kyat per basket. The worst part about the situation is that the farmers did not have enough paddy crop to sell to the regime. Most farmers said they would face detention if they failed to sell the set amount of paddy. (Source: HURFOM)
Moulmein City Farmers Are Forced to Sell Their Paddy
In an order issued on 12 December 2002, the City Ward Chairman forced the farmers in his ward to sell their paddy to complete their duty. The order indicatd that there were 63 farmers in Shwe Myaing Thiri ward of Moulmein, the capital of Mon State, and none of them had sold their paddy to the paddy buying center until December 10. The authorities set up paddy-buying centers in many wards in Moulmein and forced the farmers to sell their paddy at the low price of 350 kyat per basket. This price is about 5 times less than the market price.
The authorities planned to buy about 4,490 baskets from those 63 farmers in the ward and had given them the orders in November before the harvest. According to instruction, the farmers were required to sell their paddy to the regime paddy-buying centers soon after their harvest. ‘Selling the complete requested amount of paddy by farmers means that that farmer completes his (State) duty. In the order, the authorities allowed 13 days for the farmers to completer their duty. It described that ‘the farmers in Shwe Myaing Thiri must complete selling their paddy without failure.’ It also means if they failed to sell their paddy they would be taken to court.
The authorities requested farmers to sell about 15 baskets of paddy from each acre of their land. This amount is nearly a half or over 30% of the total amount produced from one acre. In reality, no farmer wishes to sell their paddy at this low price while the market price for one basket of paddy is about 1,500 kyat. The SPDC’S Agriculture Products Trading Department has mainly taken responsibility for buying rice. The purposes of buying rice at a low price are to distribute rice free of charge to government servants and soldiers and to export to foreign countries for profit. (Source: HURFOM)
Land Confiscation by MOMC No. 19 for Artillery Regiment
In April 2002, with the purpose of deploying a new artillery regiment in the northern part of Ye Township, SPDCs MOMC No. 19 commander, Brigadier Ye Win, confiscated 300 acres of land between San-pya and Done-phi villages.These 300 acres of land were owned by 30 families from both villages and most of the land owners were Karen villagers from San-pya village and a few were Mon villagers from Done-phi village. Most of the lands were used to grow rubber trees, betel-nut and other fruit trees. Local villagers estimated the cost of the land and trees to be about 30 million kyat. In the second week of April, Brigadier Ye Win, the commander of MOMC No. 19, came to San-pya village and called a meeting with the villagers who owned the land between these two villages along the motor road. The commander explained to the villagers that he need to confiscate land to deploy a new artillery regiment and then he forced all the land owners to sign a document that these lands were not theirs. The documents meant that there were no owners for these lands and that MOMC No. 19 then had a chance to take them.
"As I know, the MOMC No. 19 would deploy only 10 military battalions and they already confiscated many acres of land. Now, they said they were confiscating lands for an artillery regiment. Most lands are owned by our Karen villagers. My land and crop trees cost about 4 million kyat and they took it without giving me one kyat. Many other plantations have a higher value than mine. Nobody got any compensation for the costs." said a Karen villager from San-pya.
"The commander told us that these lands are owned by the government. We are only the owners of the trees but we do not own the land at all. However, he said, after the land is taken by the government, we lose the chance to harvest our crops there." added the villager.
One Karen villager, who is about 60 years old said, "I owned two plots of land in that area. Now, the Burmese Army confiscated both plots. I have nothing left to eat. My children cried when they heard the bad news. We had no food more. Only my son, who is a (Buddhist) monk, has been able to fed our family with small amounts of food."
Most of the lands were registered with the township land registration department and these lands were not in a forest area said the villagers. "They (the commanders) said these lands are theirs. I am surprised. We paid taxes to the Township office every year and the lands are registered. They take our lands for what ever reason that they like." added a dissatisfied villager. (Source: HURFOM)
Land Confiscated in Karawpi Village for Military Base
On 28 July 2002, the DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] learned that No. 606 Heavy Artillery Headquarters under the Southeast Military Command was planning to open a new Heavy Artillery Battalion near Karawpi Village in Ye Township. A group comprised of Lt Col Thant Zin Maw, commander of Ye Township-based No 311 Heavy Artillery Battalion, and township-level officials from the Land Records Office, Forestry Department, and General Administration Department arrived in Karawpi Village to choose the site for the battalion. They also chose land to confiscate for constructing the battalion and other livestock breeding and agriculture activities. The following was confiscated in Ye Township for building the new battalion - 23 acres of pasture, 26 acres of forest land, 11 acres of rubber plantation owned by U Atin, 14 acres of runner plantation owned by U Paw Tote, 12 acres of rubber plantation owned by Daw Tin Ngwe, and 14 acres of rubber plantation owned by U Sa Net. (Source: DVB)
Land Confiscation for Shrimp Farms
In late December 2002, SPDC IB No. 210 based in Mudon Township confiscated 64 acres of land belonging to Mon farmers to create shrimp farms and grow paddy under the battalion’s ‘self-reliance’ program.The confiscated land was situated in the southern part of Mudon Township and in the western part of Moulmein, Ye railway road. The land belonged to 9 Mon farmer families from Yaung-daung and Kwan-hlar villages. Since October before the farmers reaped their crops, the Burmese Army and Township authorities came and informed the village headmen that they would inform the landowners after harvest. The authorities went to the farms and measured the land area. However the authorities did not inform the farmers that their land would be confiscate.
The farmers have regularly given tax for their lands and sold their paddy to the government set paddy-buying center every year. However, the army and authorities selected the best lands in the area and took them for their own business. According to the plan of IB No. 210, they would dig several pools to create shrimp farms and also grows paddy in the remaining lands.The farmers who lost land and the amount of land they lost are:
(1) Nai Aunt Yein (8 acres),
(2) Nai Lun Aung (5 acres),
(3) Mi Own Kyi (12 acres),
(4) Mi Shwe Uu (6 acres),
(5) Nai Maung Kyi (1.5 acres),
(6) Nai San Hlaing (3 acres),
(7) Nai Pan Taung (5. 5 acres),
(8) Nai Dout (10. 5 acres) and
(9) Nai Tun Shinn (3 acres). (Source: HURFOM)
5.10 Tenasserim Division
Forced Sale of Crops
In January 2002, the SPDC authorities in Yebyu township ordered the villages in Yebyu Township, Tenasserim Division to sell their paddy at low price set by the paddy-buying center, which are designated in every village tract. Every farmer in the township had to sell 10 baskets per one acre of farmland to the paddy-buying center. The cost set by the centers is only 350 kyat per basket of paddy, while the price in the market is about 600 kyat per basket.
The authorities instructed the villages in Min-tha village tract had to sell the following amounts: Ye-ngan-gyi village had to sell 500 baskets; Sin-swe village had to sell 800 baskets; Cha-taw village had to sell 1,500 baskets; Hmaw-gyi village had to sell 3,500 baskets; Le-gyi village had to sell 3,500 baskets; Sin-gu village had to sell 3,000 baskets. They instructed Gan-taw village tract that East Gan-taw village has to sell 8,000 baskets and West Gan-taw village has to sell 15,000 baskets respectively. They also instructed Thin-gun-kyun village to sell 1,500 baskets of paddy and Talaing-myaw village to sell 1,500 baskets of paddy. (Source: HURFOM)
In the beginning of November 2002, the township Land and Agricultural Corporation ( LAC ) officials of the State Peace and Development Council ( SPDC ) in Tavoy district came to meet the farmers. The authorities restricted everyone from selling their rice to others until they finished selling their ‘ dutiful rice’ (quota of rice) to the government. The LAC authorities from Yebyu, Tavoy, Laung Lon, and Theyetchaung townships in Tavoy district arrived at the time the peasants were harvesting rice in their fields. With the assistance of the village administration, the LAC authorities started to buy the rice from the peasants. The peasants had to sell what the authorities called ‘dutiful rice’ (quota of rice) to the government as a compulsory deal with a confined price. ‘Dutiful rice ‘ means a must to sell 12 to 15 baskets of rice per acre to the government’s Land and Agricultural Corporation. (A basket is the standard unit of measurement of rice. 1 basket = 46 pounds or 21 kegs.) The normal yield of rice per acre is 50 baskets if there are no problems and the peasants have enough time to tend their fields. As the 2002 rainy season brought floods in some areas, the yield of some peasants’ rice fields reduced. They would not get more than 30 baskets per acre. Some abandoned their fields. Most of the peasants worried that they would have to buy rice from others at local price in order to fill up their quotas, at the government confined price. (Source: HURFOM)
Unfair Levies and Taxes
In December 2002, Burmese troops taking security to Kamoethway area in the east of Tavoy, Tenasserim division, demanded betel nut tax from the local villagers. The beginning of December is betel nut harvest time. Villagers in Kamoethway area earn their living on betel nut plantations. When the betel nut harvest time arrived, the Burmese troops ordered the local villagers to pay the betel nut tax. The tax is 15 kyats per viss (Weigh unit, 1 viss =1.5 kilogram) of betel nut. The tax was extracted by the Burmese troops at the wholesale store where the villagers sold their betel nuts. The Burmese troops said that the tax was for Taunghonlone-Kawpaw road construction. Actually the Burmese troops had already demanded money from local villagers for this road construction. In addition, the villagers had to construct this road by themselves.
In the mean time, villagers in Kamoethway area have to feed and support Pyithusit (People’s Militia), which is established and backed by the Burmese troops. Each household in the Kamoethway area has to pay one sack of rice for the militia each year. The house hold which does not join the militia has to pay 5,000 kyats aside from the rice. The people’s militia is a group of villagers picked up from local villages and is equipped by the Burmese troops. They are given authority to rule over the local villagers, to organize security in the village, and to help fight the resistance groups. (Source: KHRG)
Since the beginning of October 2002, the Commander of No.8 Operation Commanding HQ, which is based in Myitta village in the east of Tavoy, Tenasserim division, ordered his troops who took security in Kamoethway area to search and arrest all of illegal cattle traders and confiscate their cattle. According to a local villager, the troops took away some cattle. On 30 November 2002, the Burmese troops looted 30 cattle from the outskirts of Kawpaw (Myinkanbaw) village. On 7 December 2002, the Burmese troops looted 13 cattle from the outskirts of Naw Tru Taw village. On 9 December 2002, the Burmese troops took away 10 cattle from the outskirts in Pwe Poe Klah village. It is unknown whether the cattle traders escaped or were arrested. Usually, cattle traders are in danger when they encounter the Burmese troops. Sometimes, the Burmese troops open fire at them. Some people have died and some have managed to escape. Some villagers in Tavoy district earn their living by selling cattle to Thailand. They have to pass Kamoethway area to get to the border. Some cattle traders bribe the local People’s Militia. Even though they bribe the militia, their cattle may be confiscated by the Burmese troops on the way. Sometimes the Burmese troops ask them to buy their cattle back. (Source: KHRG)
On 15 August 2002, Battalion Commander Htin Way from Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion 404 based in Htoo Ler (Kyauk Htu) village ordered local villagers from Ka Taw Ni to send 3,000 pieces of roofing leaves to their military camp. Htoo Ler village is to the east of Theyetchaung township, Tavoy district, Tenasserim division. The villagers in Ka Taw Ni and the surrounding areas have to live under the watchful eyes of the Burmese troops. They also continually have to pay various fees to the army, including forced labour. (Source: KHRG)
On 25 August 2002, Battalion Commander Soe Thein from Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion 403 based in In Bya demanded 180 pieces of bamboo from Saw Kay (Taungzin), Htee Pah Doh, Kyaw Pya and Kasid villages. The villagers had to send the bamboo, each of which had to be at least 20 feet long, to the military camp no later than 20 August. These villages are in the so called white areas, which are totally under control of the Burmese troops. Bya, in which the battalion is stationed, is in Theyetchaung township, Tavoy district, Tenasserim division. (Source: KHRG)
On 12 August 2002, Colonel Tin Myint, commander of Burma Army No.12 Divisional Training Center, demanded 300,000 kyats (Burmese currency) compensation from Pasawoak (Wazoneoak) village. The village is in Palaw township, Mergui district, and close to the training center. The soldiers were taking a training when one of them died from an explosion. Although the villagers knew nothing about the explosion, they were ordered to pay compensation for that soldier. The commander threatened to fine the villagers 600,000 kyats and to kill the village elders should such incident happen again. He also warned the villagers that anybody who is found in the area of the training centre will be shot without any questions asked. (Source: KHRG)
In October 2002, it was reported that villagers who are in Pawatawma, Pawat Plaw Paw Htaw forced relocation site in Tenasserim township, Mergui district, Tenasserim division were busy with the Burmese troops’ forced labour. Usually, October is harvest season but they did not have time to complete the harvest activities. They had to build outposts, make fences, dig trenches, and do other jobs. The Burmese troops demanded, pigs, chickens and other food times form the villagers frequently. In addition, the soldiers do not allow them to stay overnight in the fields, some of which are about three-hour walk form the relocation site. Therefore, many villagers do not have enough time to harvest their crops and cannot protect their fields from the wild animals like the will pigs. As a result, they not only lose much of their crops, but also cannot finish their harvesting in time. (Source: KHRG)
On 4 November 2002, the Burmese troops base in Palauk village in southern Theyetchaung township, Tavoy district, Tenasserim division, demanded 200 pieces of roofing leaves, 2,000 pieces of bamboos, four logs and 1,200 slits of bamboo from the villagers. Everyday three villagers had to report to the army for building the outpost and doing chores. (Source:KHRG)
On 6 November 2002, the Burmese troops from Infantry Battalion 104, which is based in Kaw Paw village about 35 kilometers in the east of Tavoy, demanded fire wood from a local villager in a relocated village called Kamaik. Saw Tin Lah (about 38 years old, son of Saw Chaw) was ordered by Burmese troops to send three bullock-cart-loads of fire wood to their base. (Source: KHRG)
On 10 November 2002, camp commander Aung Myo Win of Burma army’s Light Infantry Battalion 410 demanded 5,000 betel nuts from Mawmatru and Tameh Hta villages which are about 60 kilometers to the south east of Tavoy, Tenasserim division. (Source: KHRG)
On 20 November 2002, camp commander Maung Myo Win of Burmese army’s Light Infantry Battalion 410, which bases in Htu Ler (Kyathtu), about 60 kilometers to the south-east of Tavoy, demanded 100,000 betel nuts from local villagers in Kaw Htee (Thabyuchaung), Htu Ler and 100,000 from Kahtawni village. (Source: KHRG)
5. 11 Other places in Burma
Rice Pilfering Authorities Arrested
On 7 October 2002, it was reported that several members from Rangoon’s Sanchaung Township Peace and Development Council were arrested during the last couple of weeks for pilfering rice and cooking oil that was destined for the distribution program to combat the skyrocketing prices of essential commodities. The regime had been subsidizing daily rations of these necessary products in hopes of quelling public dissent. It was reported that the chairman of a quarter located within Sanchaung Township was arrested along with four of his aides, and that the group was reportedly sentenced to five years in prison.
The government is selling each family two kilos of rice and three kilos of oil each day at a price five times lower than the current market value. The regime also issued a directive banning the export of rice and other essential goods including chili and onions outside of Rangoon Division. Reports of residents looting rice and other foodstuffs last month preceded the government’s decision to begin rationing rice and oil. Also last month dozens of villagers from the Mon State’s Mudone Township were arrested after they raided a warehouse in search of rice. (Source: The Irrawaddy)
Tax-Free Markets Flop
On 5 March 2002, it was reported that the tax-free markets established by Burma’s military government to decrease the cost of essential goods have failed to meet consumer demands despite private firms being forced to provide products to the government run markets. While people arrive and queue at the markets before 5:00am, the stock is not sufficient to supply all the people.
The Rangoon City Development Committee (RCDC) opened the markets in March 2000 and sells products such as cooking oil, eggs and soap. The markets were created in hopes of easing the effects of Burma’s continuing economic crisis on the local population by allowing them to sell their goods without having to pay a tax to the government, according to sources familiar with the markets. Sources say only restaurants and residents who live near the markets rely on them for goods. Local customers reportedly sell goods purchased at the tax-free markets for an inflated price at other markets, says another Rangoon resident. The government has only been able to supply 500 eggs to each of the four markets and allows each person to buy ten eggs, causing many to leave empty handed. Tensions reportedly run high at the markets where fighting among customers is also common place. (Source: The Irrawaddy)
Farmers Feel the Pinch
On 11 December 2002, it was reported that farmers in Burma’s Kachin State say that their survival is becoming increasingly precarious due to a combination of soaring commodity prices and a government policy forcing them to sell a large portion of their crops at a reduced rate. Government authorities have been requiring all rice farmers in Kachin State to sell 12 tin (1 tin = 32 kilograms) of rice paddy, or unmilled rice, for every acre of arable land they possess. Each acre produces a minimum of 40 tin. But farmers say that if part of their land is not under cultivation, they still are expected to provide the government with an amount corresponding to their total acreage. The market price for a tin of rice paddy is 1,500 to 2,000 kyat (1 USD = 1,050 kyat). The government, however, only pays the farmers 350 kyat per tin. Farmers who cannot grow the necessary amount must purchase rice paddy at the market price before reselling it to the government at the reduced rate or face arrest. One man reported that two of his neighbors had been detained for this reason.
There was a rice shortage in Burma in 2002 as a result of flooding. In September 2002, a series of lootings occurred in Burma due to food shortages. Passenger buses were reportedly stopped and forced to hand over any food on board, while dozens of villagers in Mon State were arrested after they raided a rice warehouse in Mudone Township. Rice prices have doubled in Rangoon in 2002 already, and reports from some rural areas have said the price even tripled. The government has given out daily rice rations in hopes of easing public dissent. Sources in Burma, however, have said that much of the rice bought by the government is being exported to shore up hard currency reserves.
The Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development said that rice exports had reached 742,000 tons during the first eight months of 2002, marking a year-on-year increase of 114.19 percent for rice exports. According to government statistics, Burma’s agriculture industry supplies 28.3 percent of the country’s exports and 48 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Burma has more than 18 million hectares of arable lands, half of which is farmed. (Source: The Irriwaddy)
Crime Wave Linked to Hunger
A wave of violent crime appears to be spreading across Burma, as the country’s crumbling economy continues to drive its poorest citizens to increasingly bold acts of desperation. Sources report that robbery and looting have become rampant in the impoverished satellite towns of Rangoon and Mandalay, Burma’s two largest cities. Elsewhere in the country, there have been reports of travellers being confronted by local people demanding food and money.
"A bus on the Rangoon-Mandalay highway was stopped and robbed by hungry-looking villagers near Pyinmana last week," confirmed the assistant manager of a tour agency in Rangoon. "Company vehicles have also been targetted," he added.
"In some cases, the villagers, including children, stopped vehicles and begged for food and money from bus passengers and private car owners. They didn’t steal anything, but they looked so desperate that the motorists were afraid to refuse," the source continued.
The crime wave has even hit relatively prosperous areas of the Burmese capital,
where there have been a rash of reports of daytime looting and break-ins. "In our neighborhood alone, there have been five break-ins since last week," said Myo Lwin, a resident of Rangoon’s Tamwe Township. "In most cases, a group of people knocked on the apartment door and then rushed in when the tenant answered." Similar incidents have occured in nearby Yankin Township, he added.
News of skyrocketing crime rates comes amid evidence that Burma’s poor have been hard hit by the recent plunge of the kyat and a concomitant rise in food prices. The kyat was valued at 1,100 kyat to the US dollar yesterday, up from all-time lows of 1,200 to the dollar earlier in the week. Reliable sources report that in many rural areas, some villagers have nothing to eat except bamboo shoots. Meanwhile, in the Rangoon satellite townships of Shwe Pyithar and Hlaing Tharyar, many families have been reduced to eating just a thin rice gruel, or in some cases, just water used in cooking rice. Burma’s strictly controlled media has been instructed not to report on the recent dramatic rise in hunger-related crimes. (Source: The Irrawaddy)
5.12 Documents and Orders
Cost of Living
Money (Kyat rate 29/8/2002)
100 Thai baht = 2,050 Kyat (Thai-Burmese border, Na E Tong)
100 Thai baht = 2,250 Kyat (Thai-Burmese border, Three Pagodas pass)
100 Thai baht = 2,200 Kyat (Tavoy town)
1 US$ = 850.00 Kyat (www.feer.com Sept. 9, 2002) (Unofficial rate)
1 US$ = 42.385 THB (www.feer.com Sept. 9, 2002)
Price of commodities; (Tavoy town 29/8/2002)
Best quality = 350 kyat/pyi
Low quality = 300 kyat/pyi
White sticky rice = 350 kyat/ypi
Black sticky rice = 400 kyat/pyi (1 pyi = 2 kilogram)
Pork = 1,200 kyat/viss
Chicken = 1,200 kyat/viss
Goat = 1,500 kyat/viss
Beef = 1,200 kyat/viss (1 viss = 1.6 kilogram)
Bean oil = 1,200 kyat/viss
Sesame oil = 2,700 kyat/viss
Coconut oil = 900 kyat/viss
Palm oil = 1,800 kyat/viss
Thai petrol = 2,400 kyat/gallon
Burmese petrol = 2,100 kyat/gallon
Thai diesel = 1,400 kyat/gallon
Burmese diesel = 1,100 kyat/gallon
Daily wages for hired labor
Male = 300-500 kyat/day
Female = 200-300 kyat/day
(All) Town quarter/ village Peace and Development Council (PDC)
Subject: To halt the activities of small (Hala) paddy-husking mills
1. During 2001-2002 Year, Kawkarein Township plans to buy 180000 baskets of paddy from the whole township and it also needs to create lawful activities for Hala paddy-husking mills and husking registration under the management of Myanma Agricultural Produce Trading department, and so mat you must stop the activities of all mills in your area (village or town quarter) temporarily from February 7, 2002.
2. Therefore, some equipment (belts and-rollers) must be kept in the nearest police stations and if the village has no police station, the village PDC authorities concerned and the army commanders in the area need to keep them.
Signed by - (Aung Kyaw)
Chairman Kawkareik Township
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