AAPP                     Association for Assistance of Political Prisoners

AASYC                 All Arakanese Students and Youth Congress

ABSDF:                 All Burma Students’ Democratic Front

ABSDF/WB:         All Burma Students’ Democratic Front - Western Burma

ABFSU:                 All Burma Federation of Students Union

ABFSU/FA:            All Burma Federation of Students Union (Foreign Affairs)

ABSL:                     All Burma Students’ League

ABYMU:                 All Burma Young Monks Union

ALTSEAN:             Alternative Asean Network on Burma aka: also known as

ALP:                         Arakan Liberation Party

approx: approximately

ASC:             Arakanese Students’ Congress

BAD:             Border Area Development Program

B.E.:              Burmese Era

Brig :              Brigadier

BI:                 Burma Issues

BIG:             Burma Information Group

BPP:             Border Patrol Police (Thailand)

BRC:             Burmese Relief Center

BSPP:            Burma Socialist Program Party

Capt:             Captain

CEC:             Central Executive Committee

CHRO:          Chin Human Rights Organization

CNF:             Chin National Front

Comdr:          Commander

Col:               Colonel

Cpl:               Corporal

CPPSM:        Campaign for the Publicity of the People’s Struggle in Monland

CRPP:           The Committee Representing the People’s Parliament

DDSI:            Directorate of Defense Services Intelligence

DKBA:         Democratic Kayin (Karen) Buddhist Army

DKBO:         Democratic Kayin Buddhist Organization

DPA:            Democratic Patriotic Army

DPNS:         Democratic Party for New Society

DVB:           Democratic Voice of Burma

ENSCC:      Ethnic Nationalities Solidarity & Co-operation Committee

FEC:            Foreign Exchange Certificate (See "Measurements")

ft:                 feet

FTUB:         Federation of Trade Unions, Burma

Gen:             General

HRDU:         Human Rights Documentation Unit

HRV:            Human Rights Violations

HURFOM:   Human Rights Foundation of Monland

IA:                Images Asia

IB:                Infantry Battalion

IDC:             Immigration Detention Center (Thailand)

IDP:             Internally Displaced Persons

ILO:             International Labor Organization

Ind:               Independent

Lt:                 Lieutenant

kg:                 Kilogram

km:                Kilometer

KHRG:          Karen Human Rights Group

KIA:              Kachin Independence Army

KIC:             Karen Information Center

KIO:             Kachin Independence Organization

KNAHR:      Karenni News Agency for Human Rights

KNDA:         Karenni National Democratic Army

KNLA:         Karen National Liberation Army

KNPLF:       Karenni Nationality Peoples’ Liberation Front

KNPP:         Karenni National Progressive Party

KNU:           Karen National Union

KTWG:        Karen Teacher Working Group

LDC:            Least Developed Country

LIB:              Light Infantry Battalion

LID:             Light Infantry Division

MAMD:       Mon Army, Mergui District

Maj:             Major

Ma Wa Ta:   Township-level SLORC authorities

MI:              Military Inteligance

MICB:         Muslim Information Center of Burma

MIS:             Military Intelligence Services (aka DDSI)

MIS:             Mon Information Service

m:                 meter

mm:             millimeter

MNRC:         Mon National Relief Committee

MOGE:         Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise

MOI:             Ministry of Interior (Thailand)

MPs:             Members of Parliament

MSC:             Military Strategic Command

MTA:             Mong Tai Army

n.a.:                 not available

Na Wa Ta:  State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)

NBC:          Norwegian Burma Council

NCGUB:    National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma

NCUB:       National Council of the Union of Burma

NCO:         Non-commissioned officer

NGO:         Non-governmental organization

NLD:         National League for Democracy

NLD (LA): National League for Democracy (Liberated Area)

NLM:         The New Light of Myanmar (SPDC-controlled newspaper)

NMSP:      New Mon State Party

PDC:         Peace and Development Council

PSB:         Press Scrutiny Broad

RFA:         Radio Free Asia

SAIN:       Southeast Asia Information Network

Sd.:             Signed with signature

Sgt:             Sergeant

SHRF:         Shan Human Rights Foundation

S.H.A.N.:    Shan Herald Agency for News

SLORC:      State Law and Order Restoration Council

SPDC:         State Peace and Development Council

sq:                square

SSA:            Shan State Army

SSIA:           Shan State Independence Army

SUA:            Shan United Army

SURA:         Shan United Revolutionary Army

SWAN:        Shan Women’s Action Network

TOC:            Tactical Operations Command

THRF:          Tavoyan Human Rights Foundation

UN:              United Nations

UNA:           United Nationalities Association

UNDP:         United Nations Development Program

USDA:         Union Solidarity and Development Association

UNESCO:    United Nations Educational, Social, and Cultural Organization


baht:                   monetary unit of Thailand (see "Measurements").

Bo:                     military commander.

Daw:                  an honorific used to address an adult female

Kawthoolei:        Karen name for the Karen nation.

Khun:                 polite form of address in the Thai language

Ko:                     Burmese form of address to a young male

kyat:                   monetary unit in Burma

longyi:                 Burmese word for sarong

Ma:                     Burmese form of address to a young female

Mahn:                 Burmese form of address to a Karen male

Maung:               Burmese form of address to a young male

Mehm/Min:         form of address to a young Mon male

Mi:                     form of address to a Mon female

Nai:                   Burmese form of address to an adult Mon male

Naw:                 Burmese form of address to a Karen female

plah:                  Karen measurement of distance, from elbow to fingertip

(1 plah is under 2 feet)

pya:                 100 pyas = 1 kyats

pyi:                  eight-condensed-milk tin

Sai:                  Burmese form of address to a young Shan male

Sangha:            Buddhist order of monks

Sao:                 male of Shan royal descent

Saw:                 form of address to a Karen male

Sayadaw:         presiding monk of a Buddhist monastery

Shwedagon:     The Great Pagoda in Rangoon

Tatmadaw:        Burmese Army

Thakin:             master; lord (used to address the British colonial rulers; later politicized by the                      Burmese independence movement in the 1930s)

tract (village):     area consisting of 4-6 villages

U:                     an honorific used to address an adult male in Burma


acre: 1 acre = 4,840 sq. yards = 0.407 hectare

2.471 acres = 11,960 sq. yards = 1 hectare

640 acres = 1 sq. mile = 2.590 sq. kilometers

baht: 1 baht = 100 satang

38 baht = US$ 1 (April, 2000)

FEC: 1 FEC = US$1 = kyat 6.5 (official)

1 FEC = Kyats 750 (unofficial)

furlong: 1 furlong = 220 yards (1/8) mile = 201 meters

lakh: 1 lakh = 100,000

tin: 1 tin = 16 pyi

1 pyi (rice/condensed milk) = approx. 250 ml

viss: 1 viss = 3.6 lbs = 1.633 kg

622.22 viss = 1 long ton (2,240 lbs) = 1.016 metric tons


Since there are no standardized transcriptions in the Roman alphabet for Burmese, Mon, and other ethnic languages, words are spelled variously, according to different spelling conventions or by how they sound (the spelling of Halockhani refugee camp is a classic example of this, by Westerners as well as Thais and locals). In addition, spellings have further been confused by the ruling junta’s official Burmanization of well-known English terminology (e.g. Myanmar for Burma).

In order to avoid confusion and politicization, this report will restrict its use of language to the established and more widely-accepted anglicized spellings, since this report to written in English. A list of alternative spellings from various sources are provided as follows:

Ayeyarwady: Irrawaddy

Bagan: Pagan

Bago: Pegu

Bamar: Burman

Dawei: Tavoy

Hinthada: Henzada

Hpa-an: Pa-an

Kayah: Karenni

Kayin: Karen

Kyaing Don: Kengtung

Magway: Magwe

Mawlamyine: Moulmein

Muang Tai: Mong Tai

Myeit: Mergui

Myanmar: Burma

Pathein: Bassein

Pyay: Prome

Sittoung: Sittaung

Sittwe, Sittway: Akyab

Tanintharyi: Tenasserim

Thandwai: Sandoway

Thanlwin: Salween River

Taungyin: Moei River

Toungoo: Taungoo

Yangon: Rangoon