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Internal armed conflict

  • Internal armed conflict: international standards, mechanisms and commentary

    Websites/Multiple Documents

    Title: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response
    Description/subject: The Charter sets out ... what people affected by disasters have a right to expect from humanitarian assistance ... based on the principles and provisions of international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, and on the principles of the Red Cross and NGO Code of Conduct. It describes the core principles that govern humanitarian action and asserts the right of populations to protection and assistance. The Charter is followed by minimum standards in five core sectors - water supply and sanitation, nutrition, food aid, shelter and site planning, and health services.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: The Sphere Project, http://www.sphereproject.org
    Format/size: html, pdf (2.45 MB)
    Alternate URLs: http://ocw.jhsph.edu/courses/RefugeeHealthCare/PDFs/SphereProjectHandbook.pdf
    Date of entry/update: 18 July 2010


    Title: International Humanitarian Law
    Description/subject: International Humanitarian Law database; the Conventions and number of other documents and commentaries; The law of war: information for defence and military staff; National Implementation of International Humanitarian law - and other publications.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: The ICRC - its mission, role and mandate
    Description/subject: "The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It directs and coordinates the international relief activities conducted by the Movement in situations of conflict. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement..."
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Individual Documents

    Title: The ICRC in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 03 October 2003
    Description/subject: The ICRC began working in Myanmar in 1986 providing physical rehabilitation for mine victims and other disabled people. From 1999 until the end of 2005, ICRC delegates carried out regular visits to detainees in prisons and labour camps but since 2006 the authorities have not permitted the organization to continue this activity according to its standard procedures applied worldwide. In addition, the authorities have imposed restrictions on the ICRC's ability to conduct assistance and protection activities on behalf of vulnerable people living in sensitive border areas. In Shan, Kayin and Mon states, where weakened infrastructure, isolation and the security situation make the population particularly vulnerable, the ICRC meets basic water and sanitation needs in selected villages, helps hospitals provide surgical care to the wounded and has stepped up dialogue with the governmental authorities on the protection of civilians in those sensitive areas.... The ICRC also works to improve coordination with the International Federation in an effort to enhance the effectiveness of the Myanmar Red Cross Society.... OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS:- Between January and May 2003, the ICRC: * completed several water, sanitation and hospital rehabilitation projects, providing proper sanitary facilities and safe drinking water to approximately 10,000 beneficiaries in Shan, Kayin and Mon states * individually visited and registered more than 1,381 people deprived of their freedom * visited 40 places of detention (under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs) and provided assistance..." Contains link to map of ICRC ooperations in Burma.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    Format/size: html
    Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


    Title: The ICRC in Myanmar
    Date of publication: 22 January 2002
    Description/subject: Extract from the ICRC Annual Report 2000: Help for detainees; Assistance for internally displaced people and vulnerable groups; Speading awareness of humanitarian law; Working with Myanmar REd Cross Spociety.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    Format/size: PDF (238K)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    Title: The right to food in situations of armed conflict: The legal framework
    Date of publication: 31 December 2001
    Description/subject: [For Burma, the most relevant section is that dealing with non-international armed conflict]. "War is one of the primary obstacles to realization of the right of all people to have adequate food. This article examines the relevant provisions, belonging to human rights law or international humanitarian law, of the various international law treaties The author concludes that the body of rules codified by the instruments of international humanitarian law in force today are sufficient to ensure adequate food for persons affected by armed conflict. Unlike the human rights treaties, the humanitarian law conventions do not create subjective rights for the persons concerned, but binding obligations for States."...Résumé de l'article: "La guerre est l’un des obstacles majeurs à la réalisation du droit de chacun à une alimentation adéquate. Cet article examine les dispositions pertinentes des différents traités de droit international, qu’elles appartiennent au droit des droits de l’homme ou au droit international humanitaire. L’auteur conclut que les instruments de droit international humanitaire en vigueur ont codifié un corps de règles suffisant pour assurer une alimentation adéquate aux personnes touchées par un conflit armé. Contrairement aux traités relatifs aux droits de l’homme, les conventions de droit humanitaire ne créent pas des droits subjectifs pour les personnes concernées, mais des obli-gations qui lient les États."
    Author/creator: Jelena Pejic
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: ICRC: International Review of the Red Cross No. 844, p. 1097-1110.
    Format/size: PDF (86K) Full text
    Alternate URLs: http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/57jrlg.htm
    Date of entry/update: 29 November 2010


    Title: An examination of the usage of systematic sexual violence as a weapon of warfare and tool of repression in non-international armed conflicts
    Date of publication: 06 October 2000
    Description/subject: "In 1994, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women stated, “[rape] remains, the least condemned war crime; throughout history, the rape of hundreds of thousands of women and children in all regions of the world has been a bitter reality.” Despite the pervasiveness of sexual violence during periods of armed conflict, rape and other forms of sexual violence have traditionally been mischaracterized as private acts, the unfortunate but inevitable behaviour of individual soldiers. The revelations of the existence of ‘rape camps’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina, dramatically altered the awareness of systematic sexual violence against women as a facet of warfare. It has become recognised that sexual violence is not purely an unfortunate ancillary effect of armed conflict but rather a tool by which the civilian population is terrorized, dominated, driven from their homes and destroyed. However, although the rapes in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia have attracted a wealth of academic discussion and analysis, numerous other occurrences of widespread and systematic sexual violence have received comparatively little attention. This paper will focus on the systematic use of sexual violence against women in situations of non-international armed conflict, due to both the prevalence of internal conflicts in recent history, and the relative lack of legal provisions of international humanitarian law which apply to conflicts of this nature. The discussion will focus on the use of sexual violence as both a weapon of warfare, i.e. in order to actively achieve a specific political or military objective, and as a form of heinous repression by which the civilian population is dominated, though in practice the distinction between the two concepts may be somewhat fine. It is of the utmost importance to recognise that sexual violence happens systematically. It is only through acknowledging and responding to the occurrence of organised and strategic sexual violence that senior political and military officials can be held accountable. The term systematic is not used to denote the invention of a new crime, but rather to describe certain forms of sexual violence which have been deliberately planned or officially sanctioned by senior military or government figures for the achievement of a specific objective. Part One of the paper will detail the systematic use of sexual violence, in relation to internal armed conflicts and will outline the various purposes which sexual violence has been intended to achieve. Particular emphasis will be given to the conflicts in Peru, Rwanda and Kosovo, though the conflicts in Kashmir Sierra Leone, Liberia and Chechnya are also particularly pertinent to the discussion. Although the characterisation of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia has been the subject of varying determinations by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and is considered by several academics as having been both an international and a non-international conflict, the details of the mass rape which occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina have been well documented and will not be discussed in depth. Part One will also examine the factors which fuel systematic rape, with particular regard to the promulgation of gender and ethnicity based stereotypes and propaganda. Sexual violence in situations of armed conflict amounts to a clear breach of international law. Part Two will consider the importance of the fact that sexual violence has occurred systematically for the characterisation of such acts as violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. In this respect, the adequacy of international humanitarian law in relation not only to the physical victims but also to the witnesses of sexual violence warrants analysis, as sexual violence of this nature is often intended to cause harm to those other than the physical victims. Part Two will also examine the characterisation of rape as a crime against humanity and will analyse the genocidal rape discourse which has evolved following the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia..."
    Author/creator: Bob Last
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: University of Nottingham School of Law (Dissertation)
    Format/size: html (348K)
    Date of entry/update: 19 July 2004


    Title: Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the 1977 Protocols
    Date of publication: 12 August 1949
    Description/subject: Myanmar ratification: 25 August 1992. See Article 3, commmon to all four Conventions, which covers conflict "not of an international character" i.e. civil war and other forms of internal conflict. Burma is a party to the Conventions but not to the Protocols.
    Language: English
    Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


  • Internal armed conflict in Burma

    • TNI-BCN Project on Ethnic Conflict in Burma
      Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN)... This joint TNI-BCN project aims to stimulate strategic thinking on addressing ethnic conflict in Burma and to give a voice to ethnic nationality groups who have until now been ignored and isolated in the international debate on the country.

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Land Grabbing
      Date of publication: 2012
      Description/subject: "What rural dwellers in the Global South experience as land grabbing, tends to be seen in the Global North as ‘agricultural investment’. The World Bank has been at the forefront of a drive to legitimate these investments, convening to win support for a code of conduct based on Responsible Agricultural Investment (RAI) principles. Many key civil society groups reject the proposal for a code of conduct, objecting to the top-down process by which it was formulated and arguing that it was more likely to legitimate than prevent land grabbing. Instead, these groups stood behind the FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Land Investment, which had been under development since the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in 2009 and had proved a much more inclusive process..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 05 May 2012


      Title: TNI-BCN Project on Ethnic Conflict in Burma
      Description/subject: This joint TNI-BCN project aims to stimulate strategic thinking on addressing ethnic conflict in Burma and to give a voice to ethnic nationality groups who have until now been ignored and isolated in the international debate on the country.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN)
      Format/size: html. pdf
      Date of entry/update: 23 August 2012


      Title: Transnational Institute Burma Project
      Description/subject: Important papers on Burma/Myanmar including: Financing Dispossession; Ending Burma’s Conflict Cycle?; Conflict or Peace? Ethnic Unrest Intensifies in Burma; Burma's Longest War: Anatomy of the Karen Conflict; Ethnic Politics in Burma: The Time for Solutions; A Changing Ethnic Landscape: Analysis of Burma's 2010 Polls; Unlevel Playing Field: Burma’s Election Landscape; Burma’s 2010 Elections: Challenges and Opportunities; Burma in 2010: A Critical Year in Ethnic Politics...
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 09 March 2012


      Title: Transnational Institute: Drugs and Democracy - Related websites and documents: Burma
      Description/subject: Useful set of links on drugs and Burma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


      Individual Documents

      Title: Bouncing Back - Relapse in the Golden Triangle
      Date of publication: 01 June 2014
      Description/subject: "TNI's in depth examination of the illegal drug market in the Golden Triangle, which has a witnessed a doubling of opium production, growing prison populations and repression of small-scale farmers. This report details the failure of ASEAN's 'drug free' strategy and the need for a new approach..."The illicit drug market in the Golden Triangle – Burma, Thailand and Laos – and in neighbouring India and China has undergone profound changes. This report documents those changes in great detail, based on information gathered on the ground in difficult circumstances by a group of dedicated local researchers. After a decade of decline, opium cultivation has doubled again and there has also been a rise in the production and consumption of ATS – especially methamphetamines. Drug control agencies are under constant pressure to apply policies based on the unachievable goal to make the region drug free by 2015. This report argues for drug policy changes towards a focus on health, development, peace building and human rights. Reforms to decriminalise the most vulnerable people involved could make the region’s drug policies far more sustainable and cost-effective. Such measures should include abandoning disproportionate criminal sanctions, rescheduling mild substances, prioritising access to essential medicines, shifting resources from law enforcement to social services, alternative development and harm reduction, and providing evidence-based voluntary treatment services for those who need them. The aspiration of a drug free ASEAN in 2015 is not realistic and the policy goals and resources should be redirected towards a harm reduction strategy for managing – instead of eliminating – the illicit drug market in the least harmful way. In view of all the evidence this report presents about the bouncing back of the opium economy and the expanding ATS market, plus all the negative consequences of the repressive drug control approaches applied so far, making any other choice would be irresponsible."
      Author/creator: Ernestien Jensema, Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman, Tom Kramer
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (3.6MB-reduced version; 4.6MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/tni-2014-bouncingback-web-klein.pdf
      http://www.tni.org/pressrelease/opium-cultivation-bounces-back-tni-report-shows-dramatic-failure-as...
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2014


      Title: Ethnicity without Meaning, Data without Context - The 2014 Census, Identity and Citizenship in Burma/Myanmar
      Date of publication: 24 February 2014
      Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: "The 2014 Population and Housing Census is likely to undertake the most significant ethnic and political boundary making in the country since the last British census in 1931. However, by using flawed designations that date from the colonial era and ignoring the considerable complexity of the present political situation in Myanmar, the census is likely to raise ethnic tensions at precisely the moment that peace negotiations are focused on building trust. Ethnic politics, democratic reform and conflict resolution are at a critical juncture. If carried out in an inclusive, transparent and ethically implemented fashion, a census could support national reconciliation and momentum towards reform. Instead, many ethnic groups fear that its timing, format and methodology, with an unwarranted array of questions and overseen by law enforcement officers, will further diminish and marginalise the political status of non- Bamar groups. Citizenship rights for some people could even be under threat, based on census results. The timing of the census in the year before a key general election raises additional concerns. Statistical reports that result from it could have confusing and negative impact on political debate and ethnic representation in the legislatures, as defined by the 2008 constitution. There are many communities and internallydisplaced persons in the conflict zones of the ethnic borderlands who will not be properly included as well as others with marginal legal status who would prefer to disappear in an official counting exercise. Through inclusive dialogue, planning and timing, many of these controversies could have been addressed. The UNFPA and Western government donors, with a projected US$74 million budget, have a special responsibility to ensure accurate research, definitions, data collection and inclusion in any process of this magnitude. Difficulties have been treated purely as technical problems with simple, “one-sizefits- all” solutions, rather than as fundamentally political and ethnic challenges that need resolution. Instead of creating the opportunity to improve inter-ethnic understanding and citizenship rights, the census promises to compound old grievances with a new generation of complexities"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: pdf (661K)
      Date of entry/update: 24 February 2014


      Title: Burma’s Ethnic Challenge: From Aspirations to Solution
      Date of publication: October 2013
      Description/subject: Conclusion: "Ultimately, it must be for Burma’s peoples to decide their political future. As in previous times of change, the present landscape looks uncertain and complex. But for the first time in decades, the issues of peace, democracy and promises of ethnic equality agreed at Burma’s independence are back for national debate and attracting international attention. This marks an important change from the preceding years of conflict and malaise under military rule, and expectations are currently high. It is vital therefore that opportunities are not lost and that the present generation of leaders succeed in achieving peace and justice where others before them have failed. Realism and honesty about the tasks ahead are essential. Burma’s leaders and parties, on all sides of the political and ethnic spectrum, still have much to achieve.".....Recommendations: "To end the legacy of state failure, the present time of national transition must be used for inclusive solutions that involve all peoples of Burma. The most important changes in national politics have started in many decades. Now all sides have to halt military operations and engage in sociopolitical dialogue that includes government, military, ethnic, political and civil society representatives. Political agreements will be essential to achieve lasting peace, democracy and ethnic rights. National reconciliation and equality must be the common aim. The divisive tradition of different agreements and processes with different ethnic and political groups must end. In building peace and democracy, peoplecentred and pro-poor economic reforms are vital. Land-grabbing must halt, and development programmes should be appropriate, sustainable and undertaken with the consent of the local peoples. Humanitarian aid should be prioritized for the most needy and vulnerable communities and not become a source of political advantage or division. As peace develops, internally displaced persons and refugees must be supported to return to their places of origin and to rebuild divided societies in the ethnic borderlands. The international community must play a neutral and supportive role in the achievement of peace and democracy. National reform is at an early stage, and it is vital that ill-planned strategies or investments do not perpetuate political failures and ethnic injustice."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: pdf (1.13MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs16/TNI-Burma%92s_Ethnic_Challenge-From_Aspirations_to_Solution-en.p...
      Date of entry/update: 07 December 2013


      Title: Access Denied - Land Rights and Ethnic Conflict in Burma
      Date of publication: May 2013
      Description/subject: The reform process in Burma/Myanmar by the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein has raised hopes that a long overdue solution can be found to more than 60 years of devastating civil war... Burma’s ethnic minority groups have long felt marginalized and discriminated against, resulting in a large number of ethnic armed opposition groups fighting the central government – dominated by the ethnic Burman majority – for ethnic rights and autonomy. The fighting has taken place mostly in Burma’s borderlands, where ethnic minorities are most concentrated. Burma is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries. Ethnic minorities make up an estimated 30-40 percent of the total population, and ethnic states occupy some 57 percent of the total land area and are home to poor and often persecuted ethnic minority groups. Most of the people living in these impoverished and war-torn areas are subsistence farmers practicing upland cultivation. Economic grievances have played a central part in fuelling the civil war. While the central government has been systematically exploiting the natural resources of these areas, the money earned has not been (re)invested to benefit the local population... Conclusions and Recommendations: The new land and investment laws benefit large corporate investors and not small- holder farmers, especially in ethnic minority regions, and do not take into account land rights of ethnic communities. The new ceasefires have further facilitated land grabbing in conflict-affected areas where large development projects in resource-rich ethnic regions have already taken place. Many ethnic organisations oppose large-scale economic projects in their territories until inclusive political agreements are reached. Others reject these projects outright. Recognition of existing customary and communal tenure systems in land, water, fisheries and forests is crucial to eradicate poverty and build real peace in ethnic areas; to ensure sustainable livelihoods for marginalized ethnic communities affected by decades of war; and to facilitate the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees. Land grabbing and unsustainable business practices must halt, and decisions on the allocation, use and management of natural resources and regional development must have the participation and consent of local communities. Local communities must be protected by the government against land grabbing. The new land and investment laws should be amended and serve the needs and rights of smallholder farmers, especially in ethnic regions.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (161K-OBL version; 3.22MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/accesdenied-briefing11.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2013


      Title: FPIC Fever: Ironies and Pitfalls
      Date of publication: May 2013
      Description/subject: Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)... Text box extracted from "Access Denied - Land Rights and Ethnic Conflict in Burma" by TNI/BCN, May 2013 at http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/TNI-accesdenied-briefing11-red.pdf
      Author/creator: Jennifer Franco,
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (44K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/TNI-accesdenied-briefing11-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 May 2013


      Title: The Kachin Crisis: Peace Must Prevail
      Date of publication: March 2013
      Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: * The government should halt all offensive operations against the KIO and other armed ethnic forces. Armed conflict will worsen, not resolve, Burma’s ethnic and political crises. The violence contradicts promises to achieve reform through dialogue, and undermines democratic and economic progress for the whole country. * Ethnic peace must be prioritised as an integral part of political, economic and constitutional reform. Dialogue must be established to include ethnic groups that are outside the national political system. * Restrictions on humanitarian aid to the victims of conflict must be lifted. With hundreds of thousands of displaced persons in the ethnic borderlands, a long-term effort is required to ensure that aid truly reaches to the most vulnerable and needy peoples as part of any process of peace-building. * Economic and development programmes must benefit local peoples. Land-grabbing and unsustainable business practices must halt, and decisions on the use of natural resources and regional development must have the participation of local communities and representatives. * The international community must play an informed and neutral role in supporting ethnic peace and political reform. Human rights’ progress remains essential, all ethnic groups should be included, and economic investments made only with the consultation of local peoples.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (430K)
      Date of entry/update: 12 March 2013


      Title: Developing Disparity - Regional Investment in Burma’s Borderlands
      Date of publication: 21 February 2013
      Description/subject: "Burma has entered a pivotal stage in its political and economic development. The advent of a new quasi-civilian government has raised the prospect of fundamental reforms. This has sparked great investment interest among governments and the private sector in the region and beyond, to extract the country’s natural-resource wealth, and to develop large-scale infrastructure projects to establish strategic ‘corridors’ to connect Burma to the wider economic region. The country is touted as Asia’s “final frontier” for resources and investment and as Asia’s next “economic tiger”. These large scale investment projects focus on the borderlands, where most of the natural resources in Burma are found. These areas are home to poor and often marginalised ethnic minority groups, and have been at the centre of more than 60 years of civil war in Burma – the longest running in the world. These war-torn borderlands are now in the international spotlight as regions of great potential but continuing poverty and grave humanitarian concern. The report warns that foreign investment in these resource-rich yet conflict-ridden ethnic borderlands is likely to be as important as domestic politics in shaping Burma’s future. Such investment is not conflict-neutral and has in some cases fuelled local grievances and stimulated ethnic conflict. Economic grievances among ethnic groups – often tied to resource extraction from the borderlands to sustain the government and business elites – have played a central part in fuelling the civil war. While regional investment could potentially foster economic growth and improve people’s livelihoods, the country has yet to develop the institutional and governance capacity to manage the expected windfall. Burma is emerging from decades under military rule, and the foreign-funded mega projects have not, to date, benefited local communities. Land-grabbing has increased, and the recent economic laws and new urban wealth have not brought about tangible improvements for the poor. If local communities are to benefit from the reforms, there need to be new types of investment and processes of implementation. The government should direct investment towards people-centred development that benefits household economies. There is a need to resolve conflict through dialogue and reconciliation. These are the hallmarks of a robust and healthy democracy. In their absence, the development of Asia’s final frontier will only deepen disparity between the region’s most neglected peoples and the new military, business and political elites whose wealth is rapidly increasing."
      Author/creator: John Buchanan, Tom Kramer and Kevin Woods (Series Editor, Martin Smith)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (1.7MB-OBL version; 3.37K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/Burmasborderlands-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 21 February 2013


      Title: Land Grabbing in Dawei (Myanmar/Burma): a (Inter) National Human Rights Concern
      Date of publication: September 2012
      Description/subject: "Land grabbing is an urgent concern for people in Tanintharyi Division, and ultimately one of national and international concern, as tens of thousands of people are being displaced for the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Dawei lies within Myanmar’s (Burma) southernmost region, the Tanintharyi Division, which borders Mon State to the North, and Thailand to the East, on territory that connects the Malay Peninsula with mainland Asia. This highly populated and prosperous region is significant because of its ecologically-diversity and strategic position along the Andaman coast. Since 2008 the area has been at risk of massive expulsion of people and unprecedented environmental costs, when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Thai and Myanmar governments, followed by a MoU between Thai investor Italian-Thai Development Corporation (ITD) (see Box 1) and Myanma Port Authority, granted ITD access to the Dawei region to build Asia’s newest regional hub. Thai interest in Dawei is strategic for two reasons. First, the small city happens to be Bangkok’s nearest gateway to the Andaman Sea, and ultimately to India and the Middle East. Second, the project links with a broader regional development plan, strategically plugging into the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) East-West Economic Corridor, a massive transport and trade network connecting Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam; the Southern Economic Corridor (connecting to Cambodia); and the North-South Economic Corridor, with rail links to Kunming, China. If all goes as planned, the Dawei SEZ project, with an estimated infrastructural investment of over USD $50 billion will be Southeast Asia’s largest industrial complex, complete with a deep seaport, industrial estate (including large petrochemical industrial complex, heavy industry zone, oil and gas industry, as well as medium and light industries), and a road/pipeline/rail link that will extend 350 kilometers to Bangkok (via Kanchanaburi). The project even has its own legal framework, the Dawei Special Economic Zone Law, drafted in 2011 to ensure the industrial estate is attractive to potential investors..."
      Author/creator: Elizabeth Loewen
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Paung Ku and Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (164K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org
      Date of entry/update: 15 October 2012


      Title: Prospects for Ethnic Peace and Political Participation in Burma/Myanmar, Bangkok, July 8-9, 2012: Conference Report
      Date of publication: 09 July 2012
      Description/subject: "In July, TNI-BCN hosted a two-day conference, involving a diversity of ethnic groups from different areas of Burma/Myanmar, with the theme “prospects for ethnic peace and political participation”. Those taking part included 30 representatives from Burmese civil society, parliament and armed opposition groups. Political events in Burma are continuing to unfold rapidly, but reform is still at a tentative and early stage. Under the Thein Sein government, Burma has entered its fourth era of political transition since independence in 1948. Previous hopes for ethnic peace and the establishment of democratic structures and processes have been disappointed. A military coup in 1962 ended the post-independence parliamentary era, and the national armed forces (Tatmadaw) have dominated every form of government since. Meanwhile conflict has continued unabated in the ethnic borderlands. In recent months, new trends – many of them positive – have begun to reshape the landscape of national politics. Ceasefires have been agreed with the majority of armed ethnic forces; the National League for Democracy (NLD) has elected representatives in the national legislatures; Western sanctions are gradually being lifted; and the World Bank and other international agencies are returning to set up office in the country. Such developments are likely to have a defining impact on ethnic politics, which remains one of the central challenges facing the country today"..."In summary, Burma is now at a sensitive stage in its political transition. Under the Thein Sein government, encouraging prospects for the future have undoubtedly emerged. But reform is still at a very early stage, and there should be no underestimation of the difficult challenges that lie ahead. Ethnic conflict and military-dominated government continue in many areas and, after decades of division, intensive efforts are still required to bring about an inclusive and lasting peace. A new parliamentary system is in place, but further attention will be needed on such issues as electoral, census, land tenure rights, education, investment and economic reform to guarantee the rights of all peoples. Independent institutions must also strive to grow in an environment where power and decision-making are often in the hands of small elites. And, as events move quickly, it is vital that all parts of the country are included. The history of state failure has long warned of the debilitating consequences of political and ethnic exclusions."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: pdf (268K)
      Date of entry/update: 23 August 2012


      Title: Burma at the Crossroads - Maintaining the Momentum for Reform
      Date of publication: June 2012
      Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: "* After decades of division in national politics, the recent steps towards reconciliation and democratic reform by the Thein Sein government are welcome. The participation of the National League for Democracy in the April by-elections, new ceasefires with armed ethnic opposition groups and prioritization of economic reforms are all initiatives that can contribute to the establishment of peace and democracy. * The momentum for reform must now continue. Remaining political prisoners must be released; a sustainable ceasefire achieved with the Kachin Independence Organisation and other armed opposition groups; and the provision of humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons and other vulnerable peoples needs to be accelerated. * The 2015 general election is likely to mark the next major milestone in national politics. In the meantime, it is vital that processes are established by which political reform and ethnic peace can be inclusively developed. Burma is at the beginning of change – not at the end. * The international community should support policies that encourage reconciliation and reform, and which do not cause new divisions. Burma’s needs are many, but local and national organisations are ready to respond. Aid priority should be given to health, education, poverty alleviation, displaced persons and other humanitarian concerns."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland (Burma Policy Briefing Nr 9)
      Format/size: pdf (279K-OBL version; 496K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/bpb9.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 06 June 2012


      Title: Why peace and land security is key to Burma's democratic future - Interview with Tom Kramer
      Date of publication: May 2012
      Description/subject: Analysis of the social costs of large-scale Chinese-supported rubber farms in northern Burma suggests that the future for ordinary citizens will be affected as much by the country's chosen economic path as the political reforms underway.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 September 2012


      Title: Assessing Burma/Myanmar’s New Government - Challenges and Opportunities for European Policy Responses
      Date of publication: 09 March 2012
      Description/subject: Amsterdam, 22 & 23 February 2012 "A two-day conference under Chatham House rule was organized on 22-23 February in Amsterdam by BCN-TNI to assess ongoing social and political changes in Burma/Myanmar under the government of President Thein Sein. Sixty people at­tended, including representatives of Bur­mese civil society as well as international non-governmental organisations, diplo­mats and academics.Burma/Myanmar is in the midst of its most important period of political transition in over two decades. Previous times of government change since independence have led to conflict and division rather than inclusion and national progress. Thus the conference focused on developments in five key areas – politics, ethnic relations, the economy, social and humanitarian affairs, and the international landscape – in order to consider the challenges and opportunities that present changes bring. Analysis during the conference reflected the rapid speed of recent change, welcoming the potential that this provides for reconciliation and addressing long-neglected needs. But progress also requires realism and the inclusion of all citizens to foster stability and national advancement. The rapprochement between the government and National League for Democracy, promised economic change and recent spread of ethnic ceasefires are providing grounds for optimism that Burma/Myanmar could be embarking on a road to democratisation and reform. Western governments are keen to support such processes. But the social and political landscape is uneven, with differences between Yangon, for example, and the rest of the country. Burma/Myanmar is at the beginning of a new time of socio-political change – not at an end. It is thus essential that domestic and international policies are reflective of realities and support inclusive reform. The divisions and state failures of the past must not be repeated. In politics, the new government under President Thein Sein appears determined to make the new constitutional system work. Censorship has reduced; many political prisoners have been released; and the door opened to political exiles and international critics. But there remain many uncertainties about how the new political system will evolve. Through the Union Solidarity Development Party, a governmental transition has taken place from the military State Peace and Development Council. But it is unclear how the NLD, ethnic and other opposition parties will fit into the political process. Peace talks in the coming month and parliamentary by-elections on 1 April may answer some of these questions. But, in the meantime, there are many shades of grey in the functioning of government..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland (Burma Policy Briefing Nr 8)
      Format/size: pdf (206K)
      Date of entry/update: 09 March 2012


      Title: Ending Burma’s Conflict Cycle? Prospects for Ethnic Peace
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: * The new cease-fire talks initiated by the Thein Sein government are a significant break with the failed ethnic policies of the past and should be welcomed. However, the legacy of decades of war and oppression has created deep mistrust among different ethnic nationality communities, and ethnic conflict cannot be solved overnight. * A halt to all offensive military operations and human rights abuses against local civilians must be introduced and maintained. * The government has promised ethnic peace talks at the national level, but has yet to provide details on the process or set out a timetable. In order to end the conflict and to achieve true ethnic peace, the current talks must move beyond simply establishing new cease-fires. * It is vital that the process towards ethnic peace and justice is sustained by political dialogue at the national level, and that key ethnic grievances and aspirations are addressed. * There are concerns about economic development in the conflict zones and ethnic borderlands as a follow-up to the peace agreements, as events and models in the past caused damage to the environment and local livelihoods, generating further grievances. Failures from the past must be identified and addressed. * Peace must be understood as an overarching national issue, which concerns citizens of all ethnic groups in the country, including the Burman majority.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland (Burma Policy Briefing Nr 8)
      Format/size: pdf (272K - OBL version; 457K - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/bpb8.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 21 February 2012


      Title: Financing Dispossession - China’s Opium Substitution Programme in Northern Burma
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: "Northern Burma’s borderlands have undergone dramatic changes in the last two decades. Three main and interconnected developments are simultaneously taking place in Shan State and Kachin State: (1) the increase in opium cultivation in Burma since 2006 after a decade of steady decline; (2) the increase at about the same time in Chinese agricultural investments in northern Burma under China’s opium substitution programme, especially in rubber; and (3) the related increase in dispossession of local communities’ land and livelihoods in Burma’s northern borderlands. The vast majority of the opium and heroin on the Chinese market originates from northern Burma. Apart from attempting to address domestic consumption problems, the Chinese government also has created a poppy substitution development programme, and has been actively promoting Chinese companies to take part, offering subsidies, tax waivers, and import quotas for Chinese companies. The main benefits of these programmes do not go to (ex-)poppy growing communities, but to Chinese businessmen and local authorities, and have further marginalised these communities. Serious concerns arise regarding the long-term economic benefits and costs of agricultural development— mostly rubber—for poor upland villagers. Economic benefits derived from rubber development are very limited. Without access to capital and land to invest in rubber concessions, upland farmers practicing swidden cultivation (many of whom are (ex-) poppy growers) are left with few alternatives but to try to get work as wage labourers on the agricultural concessions. Land tenure and other related resource management issues are vital ingredients for local communities to build licit and sustainable livelihoods. Investment-induced land dispossession has wide implications for drug production and trade, as well as border stability. Investments related to opium substitution should be carried out in a more sustainable, transparent, accountable and equitable fashion. Customary land rights and institutions should be respected. Chinese investors should use a smallholder plantation model instead of confiscating farmers land as a concession. Labourers from the local population should be hired rather than outside migrants in order to funnel economic benefits into nearby communities. China’s opium crop substitution programme has very little to do with providing mechanisms to decrease reliance on poppy cultivation or provide alternative livelihoods for ex-poppy growers. Chinese authorities need to reconsider their regional development strategies of implementation in order to avoid further border conflict and growing antagonism from Burmese society. Financing dispossession is not development."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer & Kevin Woods
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (2.7MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/tni-financingdispossesion-web.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


      Title: Conflict or Peace? Ethnic Unrest Intensifies in Burma
      Date of publication: June 2011
      Description/subject: "...The breakdown in the ceasefire of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) with the central government represents a major failure in national politics and threatens a serious humanitarian crisis if not immediately addressed. Over 11,000 refugees have been displaced and dozens of casualties reported during two weeks of fighting between government forces and the KIO. Thousands of troops have been mobilized, bridges destroyed and communications disrupted, bringing hardship to communities across northeast Burma/Myanmar.1 There is now a real potential for ethnic conflict to further spread. In recent months, ceasefires have broken down with Karen and Shan opposition forces, and the ceasefire of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) in south Burma is under threat. Tensions between the government and United Wa State Army (UWSA) also continue. It is essential that peace talks are initiated and grievances addressed so that ethnic conflict in Burma does not spiral into a new generation of militarised violence and human rights abuse..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 7, June 2011
      Format/size: pdf (407K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 June 2011


      Title: Burma's New Government: Prospects for Governance and Peace in Ethnic States
      Date of publication: 29 May 2011
      Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: * Two months after a new government took over the reins of power in Burma, it is too early to make any definitive assessment of the prospects for improved governance and peace in ethnic areas. Initial signs give some reason for optimism, but the difficulty of overcoming sixty years of conflict and strongly-felt grievances and deep suspicions should not be underestimated... * The economic and geostrategic realities are changing fast, and they will have a fundamental impact – positive and negative – on Burma’s borderlands. But unless ethnic communities are able to have much greater say in the governance of their affairs, and begin to see tangible benefits from the massive development projects in their areas, peace and broadbased development will remain elusive... * The new decentralized governance structures have the potential to make a positive contribution in this regard, but it is unclear if they can evolve into sufficiently powerful and genuinely representative bodies quickly enough to satisfy ethnic * There has been renewed fighting in Shan State, and there are warning signs that more ethnic ceasefires could break down. Negotiations with armed groups and an improved future for long-marginalized ethnic populations is the only way that peace can be achieved.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 6, May 2011
      Format/size: pdf (352K - OBL version; 1.1MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/bpb6.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 30 May 2011


      Title: Burma's Longest War: Anatomy of the Karen Conflict
      Date of publication: 28 March 2011
      Description/subject: "Political grievances among Karen and other ethnic nationality communities, which have driven over half a century of armed conflict in Burma/Myanmar, remain unresolved. As the country enters a period of transition following the November 2010 elections and formation of a new government, the Karen political landscape is undergoing its most significant changes in a generation. There is a pressing need for Karen social and political actors to demonstrate their relevance to the new political and economic agendas in Burma, and in particular to articulate positions regarding the major economic and infrastructure development projects to be implemented in the coming years. The country's best-known insurgent organisation, the Karen National Union (KNU), is in crisis, having lost control of its once extensive 'liberated zones’, and lacks a political agenda relevant to all Karen communities. Meanwhile the government's demand that ceasefire groups, such as the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, transform into Border Guard Forces under direct Burma Army control throws into question the future of various armed groups that have split from the KNU since the 1990s. In this context, Thailand-Burma border areas have seen an upsurge in fighting since late 2010. Nevertheless, the long-term prospect is one of the decline of insurgency as a viable political or military strategy. Equitable solutions to Burma's social, political and economic problems must involve settling long-standing conflicts between ethnic communities and the state. While Aung San Suu Kyi, the popular leader of the country's democracy movement, seems to recognise this fact, the military government, which holds most real power in the country, has sought to suppress and assimilate minority communities. It is yet to be seen whether Karen and other ethnic nationality representatives elected in November 2010 will be able to find the political space within which to exercise some influence on local or national politics. In the meantime, civil society networks operating within and between Karen and other ethnic nationality communities represent vehicles for positive, incremental change, at least at local levels."
      Author/creator: Ashley South
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: pdf (2MB - OBL version; 2.3MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/TNI-BurmasLongestWar-AshleySouth-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 29 March 2011


      Title: Ethnic Politics in Burma: The Time for Solutions
      Date of publication: February 2011
      Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: * An inclusive endgame has long been needed to achieve national reconciliation. But political and ethnic exclusions are continuing in national politics. If divisions persist, Burma’s legacy of state failure and national under-achievement will continue... * The moment of opportunity of a new government should not be lost. It is vital that the new government pursues policies that support dialogue and participation for all peoples in the new political and economic system. Policies that favour the armed forces and military solutions will perpetuate divisions and instability... * Opposition groups must face how their diversity and disunity have contributed to Burma’s history of state failure. If they are to support democratic and ethnic reforms, national participation and unity over goals and tactics are essential. All sides must transcend the divisions of the past... * As the new political era begins, the international community should prioritise policies that promote conflict resolution, political rights and equitable opportunity for all ethnic groups in national life, including the economy, health and education. Continued repression and exclusion will deepen grievances – not resolve them.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 5, February 2011
      Format/size: pdf (462K - OBL version; 1.26 - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/TNI-BCN%20Burma%20policy%20briefing%20no.%205.p...
      Date of entry/update: 30 May 2011


      Title: A Changing Ethnic Landscape: Analysis of Burma's 2010 Polls
      Date of publication: December 2010
      Description/subject: "...The elections held in Burma on 7 November 2010 were not free and fair. The manipulation of the vote count was even more blatant than those parties and individuals who decided to participate, despite the unlevel playing field, had expected. This has severely limited the opposition’s representation in the legislatures, and it has seriously damaged the credibility of the new government to be formed in the coming weeks. Nevertheless, the significance of the elections should not be underestimated. This was a point made in advance of the elections by many opposition parties that took part, that they were participating not out of any misguided sense that the polls would be credible, but because of the important structural shifts the elections should bring: a generational transition within the military leadership, an array of new constitutional and political structures, and some space to openly debate political issues. A positive evolution is not inevitable, but those major changes present new opportunities that should be recognized and utilized. The release of Aung San Suu Kyi also presents important opportunities for the country, even if the motives behind it may have been questionable. This paper provides an overview of the final election results, and discusses the implications for the functioning of the legislatures. While the regime-created Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) together with the armed forces have overwhelming control of the national legislatures and the legislatures in the Burman-majority regions, the picture is more complex in the ethnic-state legislatures. The main focus of this paper is on the opportunities that may exist for improving the governance of ethnic areas. In this respect, the relative success of some ethnic parties must be set against the fact that several others were excluded from the elections, and that a dangerous confrontation continues between the government and several ceasefire groups..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: pdf (176K)
      Date of entry/update: 15 December 2010


      Title: Unlevel Playing Field: Burma’s Election Landscape
      Date of publication: 01 October 2010
      Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: "• The elections will be Burma's most defining political moment for a generation. However the electoral process lacks democratic and ethnic inclusion. Without such inclusion, the country's political crises are likely to continue. • The electoral playing field is tilted in favour of the regime’s USDP due to strict regulations on registration, the cost of registering candidates, and the limited time for parties to organize. • Even if the voting is fair, ‘establishment’ parties, together with military appointees, are likely to control a majority of seats in the new legislatures. 37 political parties will participate in the elections. But most have small regional or ethnic support bases. • Despite the restrictions, democratic opposition parties participating in the polls want to make the best use of the limited space available. The elections begin new arrangements and contests in Burmese politics, which will play out over several years. Outcomes remain unpredictable. • Ethnic exclusion and lack of polls in many minority areas mean that the election will not resolve the country's ethnic conflicts. The regime’s promotion of Border Guard Forces rather than political dialogue with armed opposition groups has also increased tensions. To establish peace, there must be equitable participation, bringing rights and benefits to all peoples and regions."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland (Burma Policy Briefing Nr 3 October 2010)
      Format/size: pdf (160K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 October 2010


      Title: Withdrawal Symptoms - Changes in the Southeast Asian drugs market
      Date of publication: August 2008
      Description/subject: The Golden Triangle is closing a dramatic period of opium reduction”, wrote UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa in his preface to the 2007 survey on Opium Poppy Cultivation in South East Asia. “A decade long process of drug control is clearly paying off.” According to the survey, the region produced one-third of world opium production in 1998, now down to only about 5 percent. The once notorious region “can no longer be called Golden Triangle on the reason of opium production alone.” There has clearly been a significant decline in opium production in Southeast Asia over the past decade in spite of a resurgence in Burma (Myanmar) in the last two years. In this study, we try to assess the causes and consequences, and come to the conclusion that the region is suffering a variety of ‘withdrawal symptoms’, leaving little reason for optimism. The rapid decline has caused major suffering among former poppy growing communities in Burma and Laos, making it difficult to characterise developments as a ‘success story’. Meanwhile, the market of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) has increased rapidly and higher heroin prices are leading to shifts in consumer behaviour. While the total numbers of opium and heroin users may be going down, many have started to inject and others have shifted to a cocktail of pharmaceutical replacements, representing largely unknown health risks. Confronted with harsh domestic repression and little support from the international community, both farmers and users in the region are struggling to find coping strategies to deal with the rapid changes. Drug control officials have presumed that reducing opium production would automatically lead to a reduction in drug consumption and drugrelated problems. The reality in Southeast Asia proves them wrong. Had quality treatment services been in place, more drug users may have chosen that option. In the absence of adequate health care and within a highly repressive law enforcement environment, however, most are forced to find their own ‘solutions’. Harm reduction services are still only accessible to a tiny proportion of those who need them in the region, even though most countries have now adopted the basic principles in their policy framework. China, especially, has started to significantly scale up needle exchange and methadone programmes to prevent a further spreading of blood-borne infections. In 1998, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting signed the declaration for a Drug-Free ASEAN by 2020 and two years later even decided to bring forward the target year to 2015. Countries elaborated national plans to comply with the deadline putting huge pressure on rural communities to abandon poppy cultivation and traditional opium use and on police to arrest as many users and traders as possible. This also led to the 2003 ‘war on drugs’ in Thailand in which thousands of drug users and small-scale traders were killed. The 2008 status report on progress achieved towards making ASEAN and China drug-free, “identifies an overall rising trend in the abuse of drugs”, however, and acknowledges that “a target of zero drugs for production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs in the region by 2015 is obviously unattainable”. This TNI publication makes extensive use of the research carried out by our team of fifteen researchers working in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Yunnan province in China. Hundreds of interviews were conducted with farmers, users and traders. We cannot thank them enough for their motivation and courage. Most prefer to remain anonymous and continue their research to detect new trends and help fill gaps in knowledge that have become apparent while writing this first report. A more detailed publication incorporating their latest findings is due at the end of this year. We intend to discuss our outcomes with authorities, civil society and researchers in the region with a view to contributing to a better understanding of the changes taking place in the regional drugs market and to design more effective and humane drug policy responses for the future.
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer, Martin Jelsma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) Debate Papers No. 16
      Format/size: pdf (688K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.idpc.net/publications/changes-in-southeast-asian-drugs-market
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: HIV/AIDS and drug use in Burma/Myanmar
      Date of publication: May 2006
      Description/subject: "...The simultaneous spread of HIV/AIDS and the growing number of injecting drug users is fuelling the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Current pro-grammes reach only a small proportion of IDUs with harm reduction interventions. There are no existing programmes available for IDUs who are sexually active to protect themselves and their sexual partners from HIV. The second major risk group are sex workers. Current programmes reach only a very small number of them, and the number of AIDS deaths among them is estimated to be high. In order to effectively address the spiralling numbers of HIV/AIDS infected drug users, is it extremely important for all stakeholders involved to acknowledge the HIV/AIDS epi-demic and the need for harm reduction poli-cies. It is key for all sides to de-politicise HIV/AIDS. The international community needs to make a firm international commitment to stem and reverse the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Burma. It should ensure sufficient and long-term financial support for HIV/AIDS and harm reduction programmes. The SPDC needs to provide adequate space for humanitarian aid to take place. The new guidelines that have been proposed by the government should be amended to ensure direct and unhindered access for interna-tional aid agencies to local communities. The space for initial harm reduction initiatives is encouraging, but needs to be scaled up in order to be effective. Perhaps the most serious shortcoming how-ever is the fact that local community-based organisations in Burma have not been able to participate in the debate about interna-tional humanitarian aid to Burma. In parti-cular, in the discussions about the funding for programmes on HIV/AIDS, People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), and drug users or the organisations that represent them, have not been consulted or been able to partici-pate in the formulation of polices and deci-sion-making processes that have such tre-mendous impact on their health, livelihoods and lives. The international community should also support and strengthen efforts by drug us-ers and PLWHA to organise themselves. This will enable them to voice their opinion and represent their interests better at the local as well as international level. It will also contribute to civil society building and de-mocratisation in the country."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute/Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (354 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/brief17.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: Downward Spiral: Banning Opium in Afghanistan and Burma
      Date of publication: June 2005
      Description/subject: "...Opium farmers in Afghanistan and Burma are coming under huge pressure as local authorities implement bans on the cultivation of poppy. Banning opium has an immediate and profound impact on the livelihoods of more than 4 million people.These bans are a response to pressure from the international community. Afghan and Burmese authorities alike are urging the international community to accompany their pressure with substantial aid. For political reasons, levels of humanitarian and alternative development aid are very different between the two countries. The international community has pledged several hundred millions for rural development in poppy growing regions in Afghanistan. In sharp contrast, pledged support that could soften the crisis in poppy regions in Burma is less than $15 million, leaving an urgent shortfall. Opium growing regions in both countries will enter a downward spiral of poverty because of the ban.The reversed sequencing of first forcing farmers out of poppy cultivation before ensuring other income opportunities is a grave mistake.Aggressive drug control efforts against farmers and small-scale opium traders, and forced eradication operations in particular, also have a negative impact on prospects for peace and democracy in both countries. In neither Afghanistan nor Burma have farmers had any say at all in these policies from which they stand to suffer most. It is vital that local communities and organisations that represent them are given a voice in the decision-making process that has such a tremendous impact on their livelihoods..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI)
      Format/size: pdf (340.59 K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: DRUGS AND CONFLICT IN BURMA (MYANMAR): Dilemmas for Policy Responses
      Date of publication: December 2003
      Description/subject: "Burma is on the brink of yet another humanitarian crisis. In the Kokang region, an opium ban was enforced last year, and by mid-2005 no more poppy growing will be allowed in the Wa region. Banning opium in these Shan State regions adds another chapter to the long and dramatic history of drugs, conflict and human suffering. TNI tries to bring nuance to the polarised debate on the Rangoon-focussed political agenda, the demonising of the ceasefire groups and repressive drug policy approaches. Hundreds of thousands of farmers who depend on the opium economy risk being sacrificed in an effort to comply with international pressures about drug-free deadlines. Community livelihoods face being crushed between the pincers of the opium ban and tightened sanctions. The unfolding drama caused by the opium bans is forcing the international community to rethink its strategies. Enforcement of tight deadlines will result in major food shortages and may jeopardise the fragile social stability in the areas. To sustain the gradual decline in opium production, alternative sources of income for basic subsistence farmers have to be secured. Without adequate resources, the longer-term sustainability of ‘quick solutions’ is highly questionable. Since military authorities are eager to comply with promises made, law enforcement repression is likely to increase, with human rights abuses and more displacement a potential outcome. The only viable and humane option lies in a simultaneous easing of drug control deadline pressures and increasing international humanitarian aid efforts. Both require stronger international engagement of a different kind to that we have seen so far."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
      Format/size: pdf (1.5MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/archives/reports/debate9.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 August 2010


      Title: "Axe-handles or willing minions?" International NGOs in Burma
      Date of publication: 05 December 1997
      Description/subject: "The issue of how International Non Governmental organisations (INGOs) should approach operating in Burma is a thorny one. This was particularly so in the early 1990s. Many development workers and the expatriate democracy movement felt that an NGO presence would provide the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)[i], with much needed legitimacy. Warnings were sounded: INGOs would fall prey to the SLORC's manipulation, aid would be stolen and sold to profit the government, INGOs would be used in SLORC propaganda and meaningful development would not reach those it was intended for. They would become “willing minions” executing the SLORC’s agendas. INGOs were urged that their priority should be the large refugee populations in neighbouring countries who were the most visible and accessible victims of the SLORC's misrule. Despite the heat of the debate in 1993, some fifteen INGOs have entered Burma and more continue to arrive to explore the environment (and some have subsequently withdraw).[ii] What has their experience been? As Burma approaches its thirty-fifth year of military rule, what are the issues for INGOs wanting to work with Burmese? What possibilities could be explored for facilitating the growth of civil society? What attitude should INGOs adopt towards the democracy movement inside Burma? This paper examines these questions, with a focus on INGO experience, and begins by outlining a theoretical model for understanding the variety of INGOs and how their approach to operating in Burma might be categorised..."... This paper is one of four presented at the conference organised by TNI and the Burma Centrum Nederland on December 4 and 5, 1997 in the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, 'Strengthening Civil Society in Burma. Possibilities and Dilemmas for International NGOs'. A book of the same name, containing edited versions of the papers, an introduction and notes on the authors was subsequently published by Silkworm Books, Chiangmai 1999.
      Author/creator: Marc Purcell, Australian Council for Overseas Aid
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute/Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: html (267K), Word (167K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/purcellpaper.doc
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2005


      Title: A Void in Myanmar: Civil Society in Burma
      Date of publication: 05 December 1997
      Description/subject: "The term 'civil society' has been prominent in the history of Western intellectual thought for about two hundred years. Its con­notative vicissitudes, its origins and previous political uses from Hegel and Marx and beyond in a sense reflect a microcosm both of poli­ti­­cal and social science theory. For a period reflection on civil society was out of style, an anachronistic concept replaced by more fashionable intellectual formulations. Today, however, the term has once again come back into significance. Here, however, we are not concerned with its history, but rather with its contemporary use, as defined below, as one means to under­stand the dynamics of Burmese politics and society..."... This paper is one of four presented at the conference organised by TNI and the Burma Centrum Nederland on December 4 and 5, 1997 in the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, 'Strengthening Civil Society in Burma. Possibilities and Dilemmas for International NGOs'. A book of the same name, containing edited versions of the papers, an introduction and notes on the authors was subsequently published by Silkworm Books, Chiangmai 1999.
      Author/creator: David Steinberg
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute/Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: html (85K), Word (67K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/Steinbergpaper.doc
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: ETHNIC CONFLICT AND THE CHALLENGE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN BURMA
      Date of publication: 05 December 1997
      Description/subject: "...The peaceful and lasting solution to the long-running ethnic conflicts in Burma is, without doubt, one of the most integral challenges facing the country today. Indeed, it can not be separated from the greater challenges of social, political and economic reform in the country at large. Since the seismic events of 1988, Burma has remained deadlocked in its third critical period of political and social transition since independence in 1948. However, despite the surface impasse, the political landscape has not remained static. During the past decade, the evidence of desire for fundamental political change has spread to virtually every sector of society, and, at different stages, this desire for change has been articulated by representatives of all the major political, ethnic, military and social organisations or factions. That Burma, therefore, has entered an era of enormous political volatility and transformation is not in dispute..."... This paper is one of four presented at the conference organised by TNI and the Burma Centrum Nederland on December 4 and 5, 1997 in the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, 'Strengthening Civil Society in Burma. Possibilities and Dilemmas for International NGOs'. A book of the same name, containing edited versions of the papers, an introduction and notes on the authors was subsequently published by Silkworm Books, Chiangmai 1999.
      Author/creator: Martin Smith
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute/Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: html (255K), Word (150K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/smithpaper.doc
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2005


      Title: No Room to Move : Legal Constraints on Civil Society in Burma
      Date of publication: 05 December 1997
      Description/subject: "The development and maintenance of civil society - that is, free associations of citizens joined together to work for common concerns or implement social, cultural or political initiatives which compliment, as well as compete with the state - depends upon the citizens of any state being able to enjoy fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, opinion, expression, association and movement. Underscoring and defending these freedoms must be an independent judiciary and the guarantee of the rule of law. In Burma today, none of these conditions exist. There is no freedom of the press in Burma: government censorship is heavy-handed and pervasive. While the opening up of the economy since 1988 had lead to a proliferation of private magazines and access to affordable video and satellite equipment has also resulted in a massive expansion of small scale video companies and TV/Videos parlours around the country, the organs of state censorship have kept pace with these developments, and virtually every sentence and every image which is produced by the indigenous media has to passed by the government's censorship board, and all non-local media are also carefully monitored and controlled. The Burmese services of the BBC, VOA and the Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma are often jammed; CNN and World Service broadcasts which include issues sensitive to the government mysteriously loose sound. New laws have been promulgated to restrict access to the internet, and it has been reported that the government has also purchased technology from Israel which can monitor and censor e-mail messages, and other equipment from Singapore to monitor satellite phones...".... This paper is one of four presented at the conference organised by TNI and the Burma Centrum Nederland on December 4 and 5, 1997 in the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, 'Strengthening Civil Society in Burma. Possibilities and Dilemmas for International NGOs'. A book of the same name, containing edited versions of the papers, an introduction and notes on the authors was subsequently published by Silkworm Books, Chiangmai 1999.
      Author/creator: Zunetta Liddell
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute/Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: html (90K), Word (71K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/liddellpaper.doc
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2005


      Title: Strengthening Civil Society in Burma: Possibilities and Dilemmas for International NGOs
      Date of publication: 05 December 1997
      Description/subject: Links to 4 Papers from the conference of this name, Amsterdam, 4-5 December 1997, organised by the Burma Center Netherlands & Transnational Institute... (Also published by Silkworm Books, Chiangmai 1999, with Introduction and notes on the authors)... A Void in Myanmar: Civil Society in Burma by David Steinberg... Ethnic conflict and the challenge of civil society in Burma by Martin Smith... No Room to Move: Legal Constraints on Civil Society in Burma by Zunetta Liddell... "Axe-handles or willing minions?" International NGOs in Burma by Marc Purcell
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute/Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: html (3K)
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2005


    • Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES)
      "The Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) is an independent think tank and study centre founded in 2012 to generate ideas on democracy, human rights and federalism as an effective vehicle for “Peace and Reconciliation” in the Union of Burma."

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies, Peace and Reconciliation
      Description/subject: "The Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) is an independent think tank and study centre founded in 2012 to generate ideas on democracy, human rights and federalism as an effective vehicle for “Peace and Reconciliation” in the Union of Burma. The main objectives of the Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies are: To promote Peace and Reconciliation; To promote the ideas and practices of democracy, human rights and federalism; To promote constitutional knowledge, the rule of law and good governance; To expand and consolidate the network of organizations and leaders to promote autonomy and internal self-determination within a federal arrangement as a means of addressing and ending ethnic armed conflict in the Union of Burma. Mission Statement To engage in research and publication on democratic principles, human rights and federalism to disseminate knowledge. To organize policy studies, forums and conferences to advance public policy for peace and development. To conduct activities for the development of the rule of law, human rights, democracy and effective and accountable governance. To engage in programs to promote and develop democratic and political institutions. To initiate programs and activities to assist the strengthening of good governance and evolving meaningful policies to make effective autonomy and internal self-determination in member states of the Union. To develop new strategies and communication networks to strengthen communication between ethnic areas and the central Burma."
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


      Individual Documents

      Title: Struggling for Peace: The Ethnic Armed Organisations’ Summit, the UNFC Conference and the Future
      Date of publication: October 2014
      Description/subject: "July 2014, saw a third ethnic conference held to discuss the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and August saw the first conference of the United Nationalities Federal Conference (UNFC). The Ethnic Armed Organisations’ Summit, held in Laiza, Kachin State, was the culmination of peace talks both within armed ethnic organisations and with the Government’s Union Peace-making Working committee. The Summit, arranged by the Nationalities Ceasefire Coordination Team, was designed to finalise a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) draft and military Code of Conduct. The peace process in the country has faced many obstacles over the last three years. Obvious issues including concerns over trust, confusion over the NCA and dialogue phase, conflict in Kachin State, fighting in Shan and Karen States, and divisions within individual armed groups themselves, have resulted in drawing out the process. While throughout this period, the Government has found its own position weakened due to these delays and the Burma Army has been given the opportunity to consolidate their hold over ethnic areas and gain more territory..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies, Analysis Paper No. 8
      Format/size: pdf (130K)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-AP-8.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 05 November 2014


      Title: Update on the Peace Process
      Date of publication: July 2014
      Description/subject: "Despite continuing tensions on the ground, armed ethnic groups involved in the peace process continue to move forward with attempts to negotiate a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). Although there remain many issues to be rectified, members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team (NCCT) are working on a nationwide ceasefire framework that will be acceptable to all parties. Recently, in June 2014, members of the NCCT met with their counterparts from the Union Peace-making Working Committee (UPWC) in Thailand. While differences remain, it is hoped that a nationwide ceasefire agreement can be signed shortly..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) Briefing Paper No., 22
      Format/size: pdf (109K)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-22.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


      Title: THE NSCN-K AND THE PEACE PROCESS
      Date of publication: April 2014
      Description/subject: "April 2014 saw the coming together of twenty-one armed ethnic groups that have been in conflict with the Burmese Government. The aim of the talks was to discuss a nationwide ceasefire agreement between armed ethnic groups and the Government’s negotiating team which also included members of the armed forces. One of these groups, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Khaplang (NSCN-K), appeared at the meeting in somewhat complex circumstances. It remains unclear as to what exactly the goal of the NSCN-K is in relation to the peace process in Burma. Although based in Burma, its primary motivation is conflict with the Indian Government in its attempts to create a united Nagaland which is to also include parts of Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh , consequently they have primarily fought the Assam Rifles (AR) and other Naga factions and not the Burma Army. That said however, it also claims parts of Sagaing Division, where the group is based, as being part of a united Nagaland, and it seeks total independence for Nagaland consisting of parts of India and Burma joined together. .."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) Briefing Paper No., 21
      Format/size: pdf (174K-reduced version; 224K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-21.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 June 2014


      Title: THE LAW KHEE LAH CONFERENCE
      Date of publication: 23 February 2014
      Description/subject: "From 20 to 25 January 2014, Armed Ethnic Groups met to consolidate their position in relation to a nationwide ceasefire. The meeting, held in Law Khee Lah, Karen State, was to further cement ethnic unity and produce a substantive set of requirements to ensure peace in the country. The meeting was a result of the Laiza meeting that had been held in October 2013. Participants had agreed that a further conference would be necessary and would originally be held in Karen State in December 2013. However, due to a number of concerns raised after a meeting in Myitkyina, on 4 and 5 November 2013, members of the armed ethnic groups decided that the next meeting should be held in early January instead so that all groups could review their position in relation to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). The principle responsibility for creating the NCA agreement rested on members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) that was created at the Laiza meeting. Members currently appointed to the team are:..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies BRIEFING PAPER NO. 20
      Format/size: pdf (199K)
      Date of entry/update: 23 February 2014


      Title: THE LAIZA AGREEMENT STATING THE TERMS FOR NATIONWIDE CEASEFIRE AND STRENGTHENING ETHNIC UNITY
      Date of publication: November 2013
      Description/subject: "From 30 October to 2 November 2013, an unprecedented meeting took place at the Kachin Independence Organisation headquarters in Laiza. For the first time, representatives of 17 armed ethnic opposition groups were able to meet in Burma with the consent of the Government. The meeting came at a time when ethnic unity was questionable and the Government’s armed forces continued to fight with armed ethnic groups in Kachin and Shan States...This Laiza conference finally resulted in the creation of a 13 member Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team (NCCT) and the signing of an 11- Point Common Position of Ethnic Resistance Organisations on Nationwide Ceasefire ’ or Laiza agreement. The agreement was made to discuss the following points with the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC) at the next meeting in Myitkyina...Although news reports suggested there were still disagreements over the priorities in relation to which was the more important the nationwide ceasefire or political dialogue, the outcome of the meeting was considered extremely positive. According to Khun Okker, there were a number of successful outcomes at the meeting. He cited one case relating to the relationship between the Karen Peace Council, the Klo Htoo Baw Battalion and the Karen National Union. Previously the two former groups had not held the same position in relation to the KNU’s perceived conciliatory stance towards the Government. However, at the Laiza meeting, the two had been able to reconcile any differences they previously had..."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies BRIEFING PAPER NO.19 NOVEMBER 2013
      Format/size: pdf (190K, 209K)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-19.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 07 December 2013


      Title: ETHNIC POLITICAL ALLIANCES
      Date of publication: October 2013
      Description/subject: "Since the 1990s, a number of political alliances have been formed to challenge Burmese Government authority over their ethnic constituencies. After the failure of the military regime to recognise the results of the 1990 general election, a number of ethnic political parties have tried to work within the Government’s political system often at great cost to themselves. In some instances, this has led to parties being deregistered, ethnic political leaders being imprisoned, and other party members restricted from carrying out activities. At this moment in time, there are three main ethnic political alliances operating in the country, and each seeks a role in forming a future federal union. After the 2010 election, ethnic politics could be defined as consisting of four main actors: the armed ethnic groups, the previous ceasefire groups,1 the Nationalities Brotherhood Forum (NBF), and the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA)..."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 18)
      Format/size: pdf (114K),
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-18.docx
      Date of entry/update: 07 December 2013


      Title: BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND ARMED ETHNIC GROUPS
      Date of publication: September 2013
      Description/subject: "Since signing ceasefire and peace agreements with successive Burmese Governments, armed ethnic groups have been able to create a number of business opportunities in the country. As part of the first ceasefire processes that began in the late eighties/early nineties, armed ethnic groups were able to become legally involved in logging, mining, import and export, transportation, and a number of other businesses. Recent ceasefire agreements have also resulted in similar incentives being made and a number of armed ethnic groups have taken the opportunity to create their own companies. Groups hope that if they be come self - sufficient it will remove the burden on the over taxed local population. That said, however, a number of obstacles remain and further support needs to be given in relation to allowing groups the ability to move forward in terms of creating local business opportunities to support their troops and their families..."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 17)
      Format/size: pdf (133K-reduced version; 166K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-17.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 04 October 2013


      Title: THE UNFC AND THE PEACE PROCESS
      Date of publication: August 2013
      Description/subject: OVERVIEW: "At the beginning of June 2013 the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance representing 11 armed ethnic groups, took the unanticipated decision of withdrawing from the Working Group for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC). The WGEC had been formulating a framework that would focus on upcoming political dialogue including the agenda, the composition, the mandate, the structure, any transitional arrangements, and also its core principles.1 After the WGEC had created the framework that would be used in the peace process the UNFC declared that the WGEC was no longer relevant. And, as such, should be disbanded thus allowing the UNFC, using the framework, to be the sole negotiator with the Government. According to UNFC General Secretary Nai Han Tha: "The main object for setting up the WGEC was to design a draft framework for political dialogue with the government . . . Now that the work is completed, we have to focus on the negotiations with the government instead." Khun Okker, the UNFC joint Secretary – stated that one of the main reasons for the UNFC’s withdrawal from the WGEC was that: "We came to a hitch concerning the formation of the negotiation team . . . The WGEC wanted an overhaul (to make way for non-UNFC movements) while we could allow only a UNFC plus arrangement." According to the Euro-Burma office which supports the activities of the WGEC, the WGEC itself had proposed that a negotiating team be formed, in March 2013, for all armed ethnic groups. It was this proposition, that would have been all-inclusive involving both UNFC and non-UNFC members, that led to the UNFC withdrawal and its call for the WGEC to be disbanded. In an attempt to consolidate its negotiating position and secure further support for such a mandate, the UNFC organised a multi-ethnic conference from July 29 to July 31 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In total 122 delegates attended including 18 armed ethnic groups and the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) which is comprised of ethnic political parties that had contested the 1990 election. In addition, representatives from the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) and exiled representatives of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)also attended. Neither the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) nor the Karen National Union attended the conference...The conference resulted in six major points being made:..."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 16)
      Format/size: pdf (150K)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-16.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013


      Title: THE BORDER GUARD FORCE - The Need to Reassess the Policy
      Date of publication: 27 July 2013
      Description/subject: "The implementation of the Border Guard Force (BGF) program in 2009 was an attempt to neutralise armed ethnic ceasefire groups and consolidate the Burma Army’s control over all military units in the country. The programme was instituted after the 2008 constitution which stated that ‘All the armed forces in the Union shall be under the command of the Defence Services’. As a result the government decided to transform all ethnic ceasefire groups into what became known as Border Guard Forces (BGF). Consequently, this was used to pressure armed ethnic groups that had reached a ceasefire with the government to either allow direct Burma Army control of their military or face an offensive. The BGF and, where there was no border, the Home Guard Force (HGF), had been seen as an easy alternative to fighting armed ceasefire groups. While a number of ceasefire groups including the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) refused to take part in the program, other groups accepted the offer including the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), National Democratic Army – Kachin (NDA-K), Kachin Defence Army (KDA), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Karenni National People’s Liberation Front (KNPLF) and the Lahu Democratic Front (LDF). Many of these BGF units, especially in Karen State, have carved out small fiefdoms for themselves and along with a variety of local militias continue to place a great burden on the local population. There are consistent reports of human rights abuses by BGF units and a number have been involved in the narcotics trade. While the BGF battalion program had originally been designed to solve the ceasefire group issue its failure, and subsequent attempts by the Government to negotiate peace with non-ceasefire groups, suggests that the role of the BGF units and their continued existence, like that of the NaSaKa, needs to be rethought..."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong; Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 15)
      Format/size: pdf (301K-OBL version; 446K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-15.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 26 July 2013


      Title: PARTIES TO THE CONFLICT - KIO-Supported Armed Groups in the Kachin Conflict
      Date of publication: June 2013
      Description/subject: CONCLUSION: "The ethnic situation in the country in relation to the peace process has improved, yet major obstacles still remain. Many armed ethnic actors have called for a ‘Panglong style dialogue’ which the Government has suggested will happen shortly. This all-inclusive dialogue offers armed groups a number of opportunities to finally realise their aspirations. Nevertheless, a number of other armed ethnic actors will need to rethink their positions. This political dialogue will exclude some actors, either because they have no political aims or are much smaller and considered inconsequential. While the Ta-ang have made clear there aims, the future of the Arakan Army and the ABSDF-North remains firmly in the hands of the Kachin."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong; Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 14)
      Format/size: pdf (224K)
      Date of entry/update: 08 July 2013


      Title: Tensions and Concerns in Shan State
      Date of publication: May 2013
      Description/subject: "As the Thein Sein Government’s peace process with its armed ethnic minorities continues, concerns remain in relation to Burma Army activities in Shan State and claims that the UWSA has increased its arsenal and is seeking an autonomous Wa State. Although armed ethnic groups, like the RCSS-SSA, have continually attempted to minimalize the impact of various clashes with the Burma Army, the continuing offensive in Northern Shan State, the on-going conflict in Kachin State, and reports of a possible offensive against the Wa further threatens peace in the area and could result in both the RCSS/SSA and the UWSA being drawn into a much wider conflict..."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 7, May 2013)
      Format/size: pdf (184-OBL version; 211K-original))
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-AP-7.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 June 2013


      Title: ENGINEERING PEACE IN KACHIN STATE
      Date of publication: March 2013
      Description/subject: "On 4 February 2013, representatives from the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the Burmese Government’s Union Peace-making Working Committee (UPWC) met in the Chinese Town of Ruili (Shweli). It was the first time the two sides had met since the escalation of the conflict in December 2012. A later meeting, held on 11 March, further solidified the two side’s attempts to find a compromise and end the conflict. It was also the first time that the United Nationalities Federal Council was officially engaged in the peace process on behalf of one of its members. Initial indications suggest that both sides are hopeful that a compromise can be met and an end to the conflict may soon ensue..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 13, March 2013)
      Format/size: pdf (94K-OBL version; 153K-original),
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-13.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 08 April 2013


      Title: ALLIED IN WAR , DIVIDED IN PEACE - The Future of Ethnic Unity in Burma
      Date of publication: February 2013
      Description/subject: "On 20 February 2013, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) an 11 member ethnic alliance met with the Burmese Government’s Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) at the Holiday Inn, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The meeting , supported by the Nippon Foundation, was an attempt by Government negotiators to include all relevant actor s in the peace process. The UNFC is seen as one of the last remaining actors to represent the various armed ethnic groups in the country (for more information see BP No.6 Establishing a Common Framework) and has frequently sought to negotiate terms as an inclusive ethnic alliance...According to peace negotiator Nyo Ohn Myint , discussing the most recent meeting, in February 2013: Primarily they will discuss framework for starting the peace process, beginning with: addressing ways to advance political dialogue; the division of rev enue and resources between the central government and the ethnic states; and how to maintain communica tion channels for further talks. Khun Okker, who attended the meeting, suggested that the February meeting was primarily a trust building exercise for th e UNFC and the Government. While individual armed groups had spoken to U Aung Min throughout their negotiation processes and some had already built up trust with the negotiation team. He believed that the UNFC would be more cautious in its approach in relation to the peace process, especially considering the continuing clashes with UNFC members including the KIO and SSPP/SSA..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan, Editor: Lian H. Sakhong
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 12, February 2013)
      Format/size: pdf (215K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 March 2013


      Title: CHANGING THE GUARD: THE KAREN NATIONAL UNION, THE 15TH CONGRESS, AND THE FUTURE
      Date of publication: January 2013
      Description/subject: "The Karen National Union held its 15th Congress at Lay Wah, 7 Brigade, on 26 November 2012. This congress heralded in a pivotal moment in the resistance group’s history as it occurred at a time of political in-fighting in relation to how best to negotiate a ceasefire agreement with the Thein Sein Government. The previous month had seen the incumbent KNU leadership, led by Tamla Baw and a number of hard-line leaders attempt to dismiss its military commander, General Mutu, its Justice Minister, David Taw and the head of the KNU’s humanitarian wings Roger Khin.1 The reason given for the attempted dismissal was the fact that the three had been: . . . repeatedly violating KNU protocol...The actions of some of the hard-line members of the Executive committee in attempting to dismiss the head of the army, and what was seen as an attempt by the leadership to remove the more moderate negotiators involved in the peace process, threatened to divide the organisation and derail the peace process. While the group was able to mend some of the divisions, large differences remained between the two factions. The timing of the dismissals occurred just before the KNU 15 Congress and the election to either continue the current leadership, or replace it. The results of the congress would decide not only the future of the Karen National Union, but also of the peace process in Karen State..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 6, January 2013)
      Format/size: pdf (256K-OBL version; 374K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-AP-6.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 February 2013


      Title: The 2008 Constitution and Ethnic Issues: To What Extent Did It Satisfy the Aspirations of Various Ethnic Groups? (Burmese)
      Date of publication: October 2012
      Description/subject: Abstract: "Since the beginning, in 1961 at the Taungyi Conference, the “Federal Movement”, which would eventually result in a military coup in 1962, the ethnic nationalities in Burma have all been consistently demanding the rebuilding of the Union of Burma based on the spirit of Panglong and the principles of democracy, political equality and internal self-determination. They have further argued that the constitution of the Union should be formed in accordance with the principles of federalism and democratic decentralization, which would guarantee the democratic rights of citizens of Burma including the principles contained in the United Nation's declaration of universal human rights. On the formation of a genuine Federal Union, ethnic nationalities demand that all member states of the Union have their separate constitutions, their own organs of state, that is, State Legislative Assembly, State Government and State Supreme Court. In their proposal, the ethnic nationalities demanded that the Union Assembly should be a bicameral legislature consisting of a Chamber of Nationalities (Upper House) and a Chamber of Deputies (Lower House), and each member state of the Union should send an equal number of representatives to the Upper House regardless of its population or size. They also demand that the Union of Burma be composed of National States; and all National States of the Union be constituted in terms of ethnicity or historic ethnic homelands, rather than geographical areas. Moreover, the residual powers, that is, all powers, except those given by member states to the federal center, or the Union, must be vested in the Legislative Assembly of the National State. In this way, the Union Constitution automatically allocates political authority of legislative, judicial, and administrative powers to the Ethnic National States. Thus, all member states of the Union would be able to exercise the right of self-determination freely through the right of self-government within their respective National States. When the military regime, which traditionally was the strongest opponent of the ethnic nationalities’ demands, adopted a new constitution in 2008 it contained certain Author I Lian H. Sakhong elements of federalism. These included a bicameral legislature consisting of a Amyotha Hlutdaw and a Pyituh Hlutdaw, equal representation from each state at a Chamber of Nationalities, and all member states of the Union having their own separate State Assemblies and State governments. This paper will address to what extent the 2008 Constitution satisfies the aspirations of various the Ethnic Nationalities in Burma. I shall, however, limit myself in this paper within the constitutional framework of the “form of state” - that is, how the Union is structured and how much power and status is given to member states of the Union."
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 5)
      Format/size: pdf (197K)
      Date of entry/update: 23 October 2012


      Title: The 2008 Constitution and Ethnic Issues: To What Extent Did It Satisfy the Aspirations of Various Ethnic Groups? (English)
      Date of publication: October 2012
      Description/subject: Abstract: "Since the beginning, in 1961 at the Taungyi Conference, the “Federal Movement”, which would eventually result in a military coup in 1962, the ethnic nationalities in Burma have all been consistently demanding the rebuilding of the Union of Burma based on the spirit of Panglong and the principles of democracy, political equality and internal self-determination. They have further argued that the constitution of the Union should be formed in accordance with the principles of federalism and democratic decentralization, which would guarantee the democratic rights of citizens of Burma including the principles contained in the United Nation's declaration of universal human rights. On the formation of a genuine Federal Union, ethnic nationalities demand that all member states of the Union have their separate constitutions, their own organs of state, that is, State Legislative Assembly, State Government and State Supreme Court. In their proposal, the ethnic nationalities demanded that the Union Assembly should be a bicameral legislature consisting of a Chamber of Nationalities (Upper House) and a Chamber of Deputies (Lower House), and each member state of the Union should send an equal number of representatives to the Upper House regardless of its population or size. They also demand that the Union of Burma be composed of National States; and all National States of the Union be constituted in terms of ethnicity or historic ethnic homelands, rather than geographical areas. Moreover, the residual powers, that is, all powers, except those given by member states to the federal center, or the Union, must be vested in the Legislative Assembly of the National State. In this way, the Union Constitution automatically allocates political authority of legislative, judicial, and administrative powers to the Ethnic National States. Thus, all member states of the Union would be able to exercise the right of self-determination freely through the right of self-government within their respective National States. When the military regime, which traditionally was the strongest opponent of the ethnic nationalities’ demands, adopted a new constitution in 2008 it contained certain Author I Lian H. Sakhong elements of federalism. These included a bicameral legislature consisting of a Amyotha Hlutdaw and a Pyituh Hlutdaw, equal representation from each state at a Chamber of Nationalities, and all member states of the Union having their own separate State Assemblies and State governments. This paper will address to what extent the 2008 Constitution satisfies the aspirations of various the Ethnic Nationalities in Burma. I shall, however, limit myself in this paper within the constitutional framework of the “form of state” - that is, how the Union is structured and how much power and status is given to member states of the Union."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 5)
      Format/size: pdf (196K)
      Date of entry/update: 22 October 2012


      Title: AWAITING PEACE IN MON STATE
      Date of publication: 22 August 2012
      Description/subject: "The New Mon State Party (NMSP) has represented Mon national interests since its founding in 1958, however, the organisation found itself manoeuvred into a ceasefire agreement in 1995 with the SPDC (see background). As with other ceasefire groups, it refused to join the SPDC’s BGF program and consequently faced a renewal of war. Nonetheless, with the emergence of the Thein Sein government’s peace process, the NMSP, like other groups decided to conclude an initial peace agreement. The NMSP has been a strong proponent of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) and has called for the alliance to be included in any negotiation process..."
      Author/creator: Author: Paul Keenan; Editor: Lian H Sakhong
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No.11 )
      Format/size: pdf (140K)
      Date of entry/update: 22 August 2012


      Title: KARENNI (KAYAH) STATE: The situation regarding the peace process in Karenni (Kayah) State
      Date of publication: July 2012
      Description/subject: "In February 2012, the Burmese Government’s main peace negotiator, U Aung Min, met with representatives of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The move was another step towards securing peace throughout the country with armed ethnic groups. The focus of the talks, the second after an initial meeting in November, centred on the Government’s practice of confiscating farmland from local villagers and the suspension of dam projects to allow local consultation with affected parties.....Chronology of subsequent talks...summary of points agreed...historical backgound
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 9 )
      Format/size: pdf (128K)
      Date of entry/update: 30 July 2012


      Title: RE-OPENING MONGLA THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE ARMY – EASTERN SHAN STATE (NDAA - ESS)
      Date of publication: July 2012
      Description/subject: Chronology of NDAA-ESS interaction withe Governments..... "As the peace process continues, a number of groups that had previously signed ceasefire agreements with the Government, primarily the UWSA and the NDAA-ESS, have begun to see some changes in the Government’s interaction with them. One of these, the NDAA-ESS which operates a number of lucrative gambling operations has seen its territory reopened to both tourism and those wishing to frequent its casinos..."
      Author/creator: Author: Paul Keenan; Editor: Lian H Sakhong
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No.10 )
      Format/size: pdf (131K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 August 2012


      Title: ENDURING PEACE IN SHAN STATE: THE RESTORATION COUNCIL OF SHAN STATE /SHAN STATE ARMY AND THE CONTINUING PEACE PROCESS1
      Date of publication: June 2012
      Description/subject: "On the 19 May 2012, the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) met in Kengtung to further consolidate the current peace process. The meeting was held to build on other meetings that have taken place since the 19 November 2011 (for further information see BCES BP No.1). Despite 17 clashes occurring throughout this initial period,2 the RCSS/SSA has remained committed to securing peace in the country and thus signed a new 12-point agreement with the Government’s Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC). The points agreed to were:.."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 8)
      Format/size: pdf (98K)
      Date of entry/update: 02 July 2012


      Title: The Karen National Union Negotiations 1949-2012
      Date of publication: June 2012
      Description/subject: "Since the beginning of hostilities officially declared on the 31st January 1949, the Karen National Union has consistently attempted to find an accommodation with the successive governments of Burma. While initial discussions centred on the recognition of a free Karen state of ‘Kawthoolei’ and the need to retain arms. Later talks, primarily those that began in 2004, sought merely to protect the Karen populace from further abuses at the hands of the Burmese army, the tatmadaw, and preserve some form of role for the organisation. This paper examines the various peace processes that have taken place since the outbreak of conflict and provides insight regarding the many KNU peace talks that have been held since 1949."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Working Paper No. 2)
      Format/size: pdf (1MB-OBL version; 3.2MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-WP-2.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 20 June 2012


      Title: Establishing a common framework: The role of the United Nationalities Federal Council in the peace process and the need for an all-inclusive ethnic consultation
      Date of publication: May 2012
      Description/subject: "While the Burmese Government continues to seek peace with the various ethnic resistance movements individually at the local levels, the United Nationalities Federal Council – Union of Burma (UNFC) is working in the political process to ensure that any state-level talks are held through a common framework. However, there remain a number of concerns to be addressed by member organisations in recognizing a common policy that will benefit all relevant ethnic actors..."
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 6 )
      Format/size: pdf (598K - original; 526K - OBL version)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-BP-No.6(en)-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 11 May 2012


      Title: Institutional Design for Divided Societies: A Blue-print for a multi-ethnic Burma
      Date of publication: May 2012
      Description/subject: "The retrospective analysis of an institutional breakdown – democratic breakdown – in the union of Burma demonstrates that over six decades of conflict in Burma is rooted in a constitutional arrangement that fails to recognize the existence of ethno-cultural cleavages, resulting in the denial of power to territorially concentrated ethnic national minorities. Therefore, in this article, I argue that an asymmetrical federation with a written constitution is the most viable governance framework for a democratic future Burma due to its multi-ethnic segmental cleavages such as ethnicity, language, religion, culture, and territory. Such a constitutional federation will ensure shared rule for a common Union and self-rule for federating states drawn upon ethnic lines. To contextualize an institutional design for future Burma in a comparative international perspective, I examine the core arguments put forward by the integrationist and accommodationist camps as a theoretical framework within which to discuss the management of societal divisions, including their implications and applicability to Burma. To prove that a constitutional federation that draws together elements of both integrationist and accommodationist theory, I revisit and analyse reasons behind the constitutional crises of Burma, the basis upon which Burma emerged as a country, the composition of its ethnic fragmentations, and competing visions of the Union of Burma itself. With respect to an institutional design for a future Burma, there are two main components in my proposal: a disproportional upper chamber in the union legislature, whereby I envision an equal number of representatives from each constituent state; and separate legislatures and constitutions for each federating unit, dividing power between central and state governments along the line of US states and Canadian provinces. Lastly, I look at the current provisional constitution drafted by leaders of a democratic opposition – seven ethnic national minorities - in anticipation of a future federal Union of Burma..."
      Author/creator: Zaceu Lian
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Working Paper No. 1)
      Format/size: pdf (377K - OBL version; 868K - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-WP-1.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 17 May 2012


      Title: SEEKING PEACE IN ARAKAN STATE THE ARAKAN LIBERATION PARTY AND THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS
      Date of publication: May 2012
      Description/subject: "On 5 April 2012, representatives of the Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), led by its Vice President Khaing Soe Naing Aung, inked a preliminary peace agreement with the Burmese regime. The move was yet another substantive effort by the country’s ethnic armed groups to find an accommodation with the Thein Sein Government. The move comes despite pressure from hardliners within the various ethnic armed groups and an on-going conflict in Kachin State..."
      Author/creator: Author: Paul Keenan; Editor: Lian H Sakhong
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 7 )
      Format/size: pdf (522K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-BP-No.7.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 June 2012


      Title: BURMA’S BY-ELECTIONS - A CHANCE FOR FUTURE RECONCILIATION? (English)
      Date of publication: 11 April 2012
      Description/subject: "...The NLD’s success in the by-election, while not providing it with the ability to dramatically influence the parliamentary process at the moment, suggests that the country may be on course towards genuine democratic transition and reconciliation. However, it is imperative that President Thein Sein, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and all ethnic actors work together to maintain this momentum and ensure that the county continues to move forward towards genuine change, an end to ethnic conflict, and equality for all peoples of the country."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 5 )
      Format/size: pdf (517K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 April 2012


      Title: Ceasefire to Dialogue
      Date of publication: April 2012
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies
      Format/size: pdf (152K)
      Date of entry/update: 04 May 2012


      Title: REALISING CHANGE IN KAREN POLITICS - THE KAREN NATIONAL UNION’S APRIL NEGOTIATIONS AND THE CONTINUING PEACE PROCESS (English)
      Date of publication: April 2012
      Description/subject: "...There is now a requirement for all interested parties to rethink their position in relation to the current political environment. One Karen peace negotiator, who was present at both the 2004/5 and the 2012 negotiations, noted that there was a significant change in the Government’s attitude. He noted that its mind-set was completely different and that the Government was now placing emphasis on equality, in contrast to the situation in 2004/5 when the Military merely dictated what they needed for stability. The fact that key issues were not only agreed to but notarised and signed by both parties was in itself a major breakthrough. The Karen National Union negotiators recognise the fact that they still have some way to go before achieving all of their requirements. The April meetings only addressed six out of the thirteen points put forward and it is hoped that further meetings in May will cover those issues remaining. Both sides are currently preparing codes of conduct and monitoring systems to be discussed at the next meeting, aimed at preventing any future misunderstanding in relation to military affairs. That said, however, no one is expecting immediate change and patience is needed on all sides."
      Author/creator: Author: Paul Keenan; Editor: Lian H Sakhong
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 4 )
      Format/size: pdf (644K)
      Date of entry/update: 04 May 2012


      Title: PEOPLE’S MILITIA FORCES - TIME TO RE-ASSESS THE STRATEGY? (English)
      Date of publication: 19 March 2012
      Description/subject: "Since the 1950s, various Burmese Governments have officially created and sanctioned the operations of militia forces in the county’s ethnic states. These groups have been used primarily as a military force to fight against ceasefire and non-ceasefire ethnic groups, to control the lives of ethnic populations, and to further secure the country’s border areas. These militias have become notorious for taxing the local population, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, and a wide variety of human rights abuses. They have been allowed to do this with the express permission of local military commanders who have themselves earned money from the variety of illegal activities that the groups operate. In fact, article 340 of the 2008 constitution states that: With the approval of the National Defence and Security Council the Defence Services has the authority to administer the participation of the entire people in the Security and Defence of the Union. The strategy of the people’s militia shall be carried out under the leadership of the Defence Services.1 As the country seeks to move forward its democratic reforms, further emphasis needs to be placed on regulating these militias whose control over local populations can only destabilise any future peace agreements with ethnic resistance movements. While some of these groups had previous ceasefire agreements with the Burmese Government, a number of them were created to further expand control over the area and act as a counter to ethnic forces..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No.4)
      Format/size: pdf (649K)
      Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012


      Title: A RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH: NO SECESSION AND THE THREE NATIONAL CAUSES AS NON-NEGOTIABLE CONDITIONS (English)
      Date of publication: March 2012
      Description/subject: "...the sizable population disparity between the dominant ethnic Burman majority and that of ethnic national minorities has played and will continue to play a significant role in Burma’s politics because the political fault lines are based on ethnicity or race, religion, and territory. And, the ethnic minorities’ fear of tyranny of the Burman majority is inherent and genuine. As an institutional design for an ethno-culturally diverse and divided society like Burma, a constitutional federation that would accommodate the aspirations of ethnic national minorities is of absolute necessity. As such, a written constitution that would stand as a contract between federal units and the federal government should (and will) be a prerequisite for ethnic national minorities to join and form a legitimate Union of Burma. Ethnic national minorities of Burma require a written constitution as a bulwark against ethnic Burman majority domination and as a guarantee that their inherent rights will be constitutionally entrenched. Without securing a prior written constitution, ethnic minorities will have no trust incentive to participate in a democratic Union of Burma; indeed, no real union will exist."
      Author/creator: ZACEU LIAN
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Guest column)
      Format/size: pdf (579K)
      Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012


      Title: THE DILEMMA OF MILITARY DICTATORSHIP AND INTERNAL PEACE IN BURMA (English)
      Date of publication: March 2012
      Description/subject: "After assuming power, President Thein Sein’s government promptly introduced progressive political changes in Burma. In his inaugural presidential speech, President Thein Sein stated and acknowledged that the necessity for political changes in Burma are evident, and internal peace, stability, and development would be the government’s three basic principles and that all political changes would be carried out through them...to be successful in his political initiatives, the main key to success for President Thein Sein’s is ending the civil war and achieving internal peace in Burma. If President Thein Sein really wants to achieve internal peace in Burma, the ongoing peace and ceasefire talks with the ethnic arms groups must be promptly transformed into a meaningful and promising political dialogue..."
      Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 3 )
      Format/size: pdf (531K)
      Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012


      Title: AN UNEASY PEACE: THE PROBLEMS OF CONFLICT DURING THE PEACE PROCESS IN BURMA (English)
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: Although a number of initial peace agreements involving ethnic armed groups have been signed (see Analysis Paper No.1), sporadic fire fights and human rights violations continue to be reported in those ethnic areas covered. While there has been a tendency towards suggesting that such reports are indicative of the UOB Government’s deceitfulness, there is a failure by many observers to fully understand the enormity of the problem the country faces in relation to dealing with the military apparatus. Since 1962, and the seizing of power by General Ne Win, the Burma Army has made a concerted effort to fully militarise ethnic areas in order to completely control their populations. After implementing a scorched earth policy known as the four cuts campaign in the seventies, the Burmese military further increased its presence in ethnic areas and fully mobilised its troops through a number of operations against ethnic armed forces during the eighties and nineties. To ensure the complicity of ethnic populations in pacified areas, the Burma Army (BA) created a vast network of military outposts close to ethnic villages both in designated black areas, or free-fire zones, and brown areas, or contested territory where both ethnic opposition and government forces operate. As a consequence the military, both BA and resistance forces, has solely dominated and exploited the lives of those civilians in areas where they operate. It is hoped that this domination will be eroded by the new government’s peace initiatives; however, this can only be accomplished by encouraging reforms on both sides..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan (author); Lian K. Sakhong (editor)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) - Briefing Paper No. 3
      Format/size: pdf (484K)
      Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


      Title: THE CHALLENGES OF ETHNIC POLITICS AND NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT (English)
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: "The root cause of political crisis in Burma is not only ideological confrontation between democracy and a military dictatorship, but ethnic problems rooted in the failure to implement the Panglong Agreement in 1947. Since independence, however, ethnic problems, including over sixty years of armed conflict and civil war, have long been neglected and ignored by successive governments of the Union of Burma. Only recently, the Burman/Myanmar politicians from three different camps: the President, the ousted former military regime Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt, and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have expressed in unison that ethnic conflict is the major issue that today’s Burma faces..."
      Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
      Language: English (Burmese, Alternate URL)
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 2)
      Format/size: pdf (218K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-AP-02-ceasefires_to_dialogue(bu).pdf
      Date of entry/update: 21 February 2012


      Title: THE CHALLENGES OF ETHNIC POLITICS AND NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT: From Ceasefire to Political Dialogue ျပည္တြင္းၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးႏွင့္ စစ္အာဏာရွင္ျပႆနာ (Burmese)
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: ျပည္တြင္းၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးႏွင့္ စစ္အာဏာရွင္ျပႆနာ။ ။ သမၼတသိန္းစိန္ အစိုးရ တက္လာၿပီးေနာက္ပိုင္း ႏိုင္ငံေရးျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္းလဲမႈမ်ားကို အလ်င္ အျမန္ျပဳလုပ္ေနပါသည္။ သူ၏ သမၼတ က်မ္းသစၥာ က်ိန္ဆိုပဲြ မိန္႔ခြန္း ၌ ျမန္မာႏိုင္ငံ တြင္ ႏိုင္ငံေရးျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္း လဲမႈမ်ား လိုအပ္ေၾကာင္း ရွင္းလင္းတင္ျပၿပီး၊ တိုင္းျပည္ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရး (Peace)၊ တည္ၿငိမ္ေရး (Stablity)၊ ႏွင့္ ဖံြ႔ၿဖိဳးတိုးတက္ေရး (Development) တို႔ကို ႏိုင္ငံေရးျပဳျပင္ေျပာင္း လဲမႈ အေျခခံမူ (၃) ရပ္အျဖစ္ လက္ခံ က်င့္သံုး မည္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း ေၾကညာခ့ဲသည္။ "The root cause of political crisis in Burma is not only ideological confrontation between democracy and a military dictatorship, but ethnic problems rooted in the failure to implement the Panglong Agreement in 1947. Since independence, however, ethnic problems, including over sixty years of armed conflict and civil war, have long been neglected and ignored by successive governments of the Union of Burma. Only recently, the Burman/Myanmar politicians from three different camps: the President, the ousted former military regime Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt, and democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have expressed in unison that ethnic conflict is the major issue that today’s Burma faces..."
      Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (English, Alternate URL)
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 2)
      Format/size: pdf (129K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-AP-02-ceasefires_to_dialogue(en).pdf
      Date of entry/update: 28 February 2012


      Title: THE CONFLICT IN KACHIN STATE - TIME TO REVISE THE COSTS OF WAR? (English)
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: "...Since 9 June 2011, Kachin State has seen open warfare between the Kachin Independence Army and the Tatmadaw (Burma Army). The Kachin Independence Organisation signed a ceasefire agreement with the regime in 1994 and since then had lived in relative peace up until 2008 and the creation of a new constitution. This constitution enshrines the power of the military and demands that all armed forces, including those under ceasefire agreements, relinquish control to the head of the Burma Army. This, combined with economic exploitation by China in Kachin territory, especially the construction of the Myitsone Hydropower Dam, left the Kachin Independence Organisation with very little alternative but to return to armed resistance to prevent further abuses of its people and their territory’s natural resources. Despite this however, the political situation since the beginning of hostilities has changed significantly. There is little doubt that one of the main reasons for the continuing offensive was the Burmese Government’s attempts to control all ethnic armed forces through its head of defence services. That said, however, the principle reason for both the KIO’s reaction to increased Burma Army deployment, the breakdown of the ceasefire, and the resumption of open warfare in Kachin areas, was also the previous Regime’s attempts to secure China’s lucrative investment projects at the expense of ethnic rights and land..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan (author); Lian K. Sakhong (editor)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 2)
      Format/size: pdf (947K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


      Title: Burma's Ethnic Ceasefire Agreements (Burmese)
      Date of publication: 31 January 2012
      Description/subject: "Since implementing recent political reforms, the Thein Sein government has attempted to make a number of state level ceasefire agreements with both previous ceasefire groups and other anti-government forces. On the 13 January 2012, the Burmese government signed an intial peace agreement with the Karen National Union. The agreement, the third such agreement with ethnic opposition forces within two month, signals a radical change in how previous Burmese governments have dealt with ethnic grievences. Up until the recent negotiations and the outbreak of hostilities in Kachin State, there had been three main ethnic groups with armies fighting against the government. These armies are the Karen National Liberation Army, which has between three and four thousand troops, the Shan State Army – South, which has between six and seven thousand troops, and the Karenni Army, fielding between eight hundred to fifteen hundred troops. In addition to the three main groups there are also the Chin National Front (Chin National Army) with approximately two hundred troops3 and the Arakan Liberation Army with roughly one hundred troops.4 Under previous military regimes, the ethnic question had been dealt with as a military matter and not as a political or constitutional issue. Consequently, the failure of the Burmese government to recognize the true nature of the ethnic struggle resulted in constant civil war. As a result, over a hundred and fifty thousand refugees have been forced to shelter in neighbouring countries due to a conflict that has been charecterized by it myriad human rights abuses. Recent negotiations have changed significantly due to the fact that the Thein Sein government has dropped a number of requirements that previous regimes had made in relation to setting conditions for talks. One of the most important was the fact that a ceasefire must be agreed to prior to discussions taking place. Recent talks have taken place without this condition and unlike previous attempts at peace the Burmese authorities have not demanded weapons to be surrendered first. Another previous condition was the insistence that all talks must take place inside Burma. This was also recently negated with exploratory talks taking place in Thailand with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army – South (RCSS/SSA), The Chin National Front (CNF) and the Karen National Union (KNU) and also in China with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). According to media reports5 the Burmese government has set the following conditions in relation to conducting agreements with the ethnic groups:..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Language: Burmese
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 1)
      Format/size: pdf (184K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


      Title: Burma’s Ethnic Ceasefire Agreements (English)
      Date of publication: 31 January 2012
      Description/subject: "Since implementing recent political reforms, the Thein Sein government has attempted to make a number of state level ceasefire agreements with both previous ceasefire groups and other anti-government forces. On the 13 January 2012, the Burmese government signed an intial peace agreement with the Karen National Union. The agreement, the third such agreement with ethnic opposition forces within two month, signals a radical change in how previous Burmese governments have dealt with ethnic grievences. Up until the recent negotiations and the outbreak of hostilities in Kachin State, there had been three main ethnic groups with armies fighting against the government. These armies are the Karen National Liberation Army, which has between three and four thousand troops, the Shan State Army – South, which has between six and seven thousand troops, and the Karenni Army, fielding between eight hundred to fifteen hundred troops. In addition to the three main groups there are also the Chin National Front (Chin National Army) with approximately two hundred troops3 and the Arakan Liberation Army with roughly one hundred troops.4 Under previous military regimes, the ethnic question had been dealt with as a military matter and not as a political or constitutional issue. Consequently, the failure of the Burmese government to recognize the true nature of the ethnic struggle resulted in constant civil war. As a result, over a hundred and fifty thousand refugees have been forced to shelter in neighbouring countries due to a conflict that has been charecterized by it myriad human rights abuses. Recent negotiations have changed significantly due to the fact that the Thein Sein government has dropped a number of requirements that previous regimes had made in relation to setting conditions for talks. One of the most important was the fact that a ceasefire must be agreed to prior to discussions taking place. Recent talks have taken place without this condition and unlike previous attempts at peace the Burmese authorities have not demanded weapons to be surrendered first. Another previous condition was the insistence that all talks must take place inside Burma. This was also recently negated with exploratory talks taking place in Thailand with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army – South (RCSS/SSA), The Chin National Front (CNF) and the Karen National Union (KNU) and also in China with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). According to media reports5 the Burmese government has set the following conditions in relation to conducting agreements with the ethnic groups:..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (Briefing Paper No. 1 January 2012)
      Format/size: pdf (558K)
      Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


      Title: The Dynamics of Sixty Years of Ethnic Armed Conflict in Burma (English)
      Date of publication: January 2012
      Description/subject: "...In this paper, I will analyse the dynamics of internal conflict that caused the conditions for over sixty years of civil war in Burma. In so doing, I will first investigate the root cause of ethnic armed conflict, and argue that the constitutional crisis and the implementation of the “nation-building” process with the notion of “one religion, one language, and one ethnicity” are the root cause of internal conflict and civil war in Burma. The political crisis in Burma, therefore, is not only ideological confrontation between democratic forces and the military regime but a constitutional crisis, compounded by the government’s policy of ethnic “forced-assimilation” through the “nation-building” process, which resulted in militarization of the state, on the one hand, and “insurgency as a ways of life” in ethnic areas, on the other..."
      Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 1)
      Format/size: pdf (650K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


    • Armed conflict in Burma, theoretical, strategic and general

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: "BurmaNet News" Border archive
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Various sources via "BurmaNet News"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 18 April 2012


      Title: Free Burma Rangers
      Description/subject: "... The Free Burma Rangers is an organization dedicated to freedom for the people of Burma. "De Oppresso Liber" is the motto of the Free Burma Rangers and we are dedicated in faith to the establishment of liberty, justice, equal rights and peace for all the people of Burma. The Free Burma Rangers support the restoration of democracy, ethnic rights and the implementation of the International Declaration of Human Rights in Burma. We stand with those who desire a nation where God's gifts of life, liberty, justice, pursuit of happiness and peace are ensured for all... MISSION: The mission of the Free Burma Rangers is to bring help, hope and love to the oppressed people of Burma. Its mission is also to help strengthen civil society, inspire and develop leadership that serves the people and act as a voice for the oppressed... ACTIONS: The Free Burma Rangers (FBR), conduct relief, advocacy, leadership development and unity missions among the people of Burma... Relief: ..."...FBR has issued some of the best documented reports on internal displacement/forced migration
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 21 May 2004


      Title: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Description/subject: The largest body of high-quality reports on the civil war in Burma, especially focussed on the civilian victims.
      Language: English, Karen
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/index.php
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Shanland
      Description/subject: Contains pages from the Shan Human Rights Foundation, Shan Herald Agency for News, Shan State Army, The Shan Democratic Union. Lots of historical and constitutional docs on the site
      Language: English
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanland.org/oldversion/index.htm
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Transnational Institute Burma Project
      Description/subject: Important papers on Burma/Myanmar including: Financing Dispossession; Ending Burma’s Conflict Cycle?; Conflict or Peace? Ethnic Unrest Intensifies in Burma; Burma's Longest War: Anatomy of the Karen Conflict; Ethnic Politics in Burma: The Time for Solutions; A Changing Ethnic Landscape: Analysis of Burma's 2010 Polls; Unlevel Playing Field: Burma’s Election Landscape; Burma’s 2010 Elections: Challenges and Opportunities; Burma in 2010: A Critical Year in Ethnic Politics...
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 09 March 2012


      Individual Documents

      Title: Wardrums in Myanmar's Wa hills
      Date of publication: 23 April 2014
      Description/subject: "Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of Myanmar's armed forces, or Tatmadaw, is a man on the move. Since the beginning of the year he has traveled to Laos and Indonesia, attended large-scale war games in central Myanmar, reviewed the country's largest ever naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal, presided over the annual Army Day parade in the capital Naypyidaw and met with a string of foreign dignitaries. A recent less publicized engagement was arguably more significant for Myanmar's war and peace prospects. On April 6, Min Aung Hlaing flew north from Naypyidaw to the garrison town of Lashio in northeastern Shan State to hold talks with Bao You-ri, the younger brother of Bao You-xiang, the ailing leader of the United Wa State Army (UWSA). Based east of the Salween River in a self-governing "special region", the UWSA is Myanmar's largest insurgent group and is at present in an uneasy ceasefire with the government..."
      Author/creator: Anthony Davis
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 May 2014


      Title: Ongoing struggles
      Date of publication: May 2013
      Description/subject: Key Points: • Myanmar's central democratic reforms have received broad backing, enabling it to boost its legitimacy and consolidate its hold on power. • Although tentative ceasefires have been concluded with most of the ethno-nationalist armed groups, there is no clear timeline or plan to address longstanding demands for self-rule and the protection of cultural identities. • Meanwhile, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the principal protagonist in the struggle for ethnic rights, has been the focus of sustained military offensives. As Myanmar's democratic reform process rumbles on, military offensives continue despite ceasefires between most of the ethno-nationalist rebel armies and the government. Curtis W Lambrecht examines the road to peace in the country.
      Author/creator: Curtis W Lambrecht
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor, May 2013,
      Format/size: pdf (95K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 May 2013


      Title: More war than peace in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 18 December 2012
      Description/subject: "LAIZA - Helicopter gunships hover in the sky above a battlefield. The constant sound of explosions and gunfire pierce the night for an estimated 100,000 refugees and internally displaced people. Military hospitals are full of wounded government soldiers, while bridges, communication lines and other crucial infrastructure lie in war-torn ruins. The images and sounds on the ground in Myanmar's northern Kachin State shatter the impression of peace, reconciliation and a steady march towards democracy that President Thein Sein's government has bid to convey to the outside world. In reality, the situation in this remote corner of one of Asia's historically most troubled nations is depressingly normal..."
      Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 18 December 2012


      Title: Ethnic key to US role in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 10 October 2012
      Description/subject: "...The present danger in Myanmar is that the US and other Western nations have focused solely on the figures of Thein Sein and Suu Kyi, both of whom dominated the limelight during recent trips to the US. By contrast, ethnic minority groups, including the Chin, Kachin, Karen, Mon, and Shan, have received comparatively scarce attention and have generally been relegated to the margins of US and European engagement initiatives. Minority ethnic groups, most of which have been disempowered, oppressed and impoverished by a succession of repressive military regimes for the past six decades, now find themselves at a significant disadvantage in bringing critical facts to the fore... Washington would be well advised to take a more balanced approach to engagement and development in Myanmar and one more inclusive of ethnics, or risk a repeat of the interventions in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. "
      Author/creator: Tim Heinemann
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 October 2012


      Title: Prospects for Ethnic Peace and Political Participation in Burma/Myanmar, Bangkok, July 8-9, 2012: Conference Report
      Date of publication: 09 July 2012
      Description/subject: "In July, TNI-BCN hosted a two-day conference, involving a diversity of ethnic groups from different areas of Burma/Myanmar, with the theme “prospects for ethnic peace and political participation”. Those taking part included 30 representatives from Burmese civil society, parliament and armed opposition groups. Political events in Burma are continuing to unfold rapidly, but reform is still at a tentative and early stage. Under the Thein Sein government, Burma has entered its fourth era of political transition since independence in 1948. Previous hopes for ethnic peace and the establishment of democratic structures and processes have been disappointed. A military coup in 1962 ended the post-independence parliamentary era, and the national armed forces (Tatmadaw) have dominated every form of government since. Meanwhile conflict has continued unabated in the ethnic borderlands. In recent months, new trends – many of them positive – have begun to reshape the landscape of national politics. Ceasefires have been agreed with the majority of armed ethnic forces; the National League for Democracy (NLD) has elected representatives in the national legislatures; Western sanctions are gradually being lifted; and the World Bank and other international agencies are returning to set up office in the country. Such developments are likely to have a defining impact on ethnic politics, which remains one of the central challenges facing the country today"..."In summary, Burma is now at a sensitive stage in its political transition. Under the Thein Sein government, encouraging prospects for the future have undoubtedly emerged. But reform is still at a very early stage, and there should be no underestimation of the difficult challenges that lie ahead. Ethnic conflict and military-dominated government continue in many areas and, after decades of division, intensive efforts are still required to bring about an inclusive and lasting peace. A new parliamentary system is in place, but further attention will be needed on such issues as electoral, census, land tenure rights, education, investment and economic reform to guarantee the rights of all peoples. Independent institutions must also strive to grow in an environment where power and decision-making are often in the hands of small elites. And, as events move quickly, it is vital that all parts of the country are included. The history of state failure has long warned of the debilitating consequences of political and ethnic exclusions."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: pdf (268K)
      Date of entry/update: 23 August 2012


      Title: Myanmar's endless ethnic quagmire
      Date of publication: 08 March 2012
      Description/subject: "...Scrapping the 2008 constitution and drafting a new one based on some kind of federal concept is likely the only viable way ahead to resolving Myanmar's unresolved ethnic issue. Judging from the government's response to ethnic demands, that isn't likely to happen any time soon. Whatever the outcome of the present mass movement and the likelihood of some token NLD representation in parliament after the April 1 by-elections, Myanmar's ethnic quagmire will endure and the government's half-hearted calls for national reconciliation will remain unfulfilled."
      Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html.
      Alternate URLs: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/NC08Ae02.html
      Date of entry/update: 08 March 2012


      Title: The Dynamics of Sixty Years of Ethnic Armed Conflict in Burma (English)
      Date of publication: January 2012
      Description/subject: "...In this paper, I will analyse the dynamics of internal conflict that caused the conditions for over sixty years of civil war in Burma. In so doing, I will first investigate the root cause of ethnic armed conflict, and argue that the constitutional crisis and the implementation of the “nation-building” process with the notion of “one religion, one language, and one ethnicity” are the root cause of internal conflict and civil war in Burma. The political crisis in Burma, therefore, is not only ideological confrontation between democratic forces and the military regime but a constitutional crisis, compounded by the government’s policy of ethnic “forced-assimilation” through the “nation-building” process, which resulted in militarization of the state, on the one hand, and “insurgency as a ways of life” in ethnic areas, on the other..."
      Author/creator: Lian H. Sakhong
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Analysis Paper No. 1)
      Format/size: pdf (650K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


      Title: ETHNIC AREAS UPDATE: BURMA HEADS TOWARD CIVIL WAR
      Date of publication: 29 June 2011
      Description/subject: • Despite the 7 November election’s illusory promise of an inclusive democratic system, the situation in ethnic nationality areas continues to deteriorate... • In addition to the ongoing offensives against ethnic non-ceasefire groups, the Tatmadaw increasingly targeted ceasefire groups who rejected the regime’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme... • In Shan and Kachin States, the Tatmadaw broke ceasefire agreements signed in 1989 and 1994 respectively... • Ongoing fighting between the Tatmadaw and ethnic ceasefire and non-ceasefire groups displaced about 13,000 civilians in Kachin State, at least 700 in Northern Shan State, and forced over 1,800 to flee from Karen State into Thailand... • Civilians bore the brunt of the Tatmadaw’s military operations, which resulted in the death of 15 civilians in Northern Shan State and five in Karen State... Tatmadaw troops gang-raped at least 18 women and girls in Southern Kachin State... • Desertion continues to hit Tatmadaw battalions, including BGF units, engaged in military operations in ethnic areas... • Reports on the alleged use of chemical weapons by Tatmadaw troops surfaced during offensives against Shan State Army-North forces... • In February, in response to the Tatmadaw’s ongoing attacks in ethnic areas, 12 ethnic armed opposition groups, ceasefire groups, and political organizations agreed to form a new coalition - the Union Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)... • The situation for residents living in conflict zones of ethnic States remains grim as the regime re-launched its ‘four cuts’ policy which targets civilians... • The situation is likely to continue due to Burma’s constitution and the recently enacted laws, including the national conscription law.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
      Format/size: pdf (116K)
      Date of entry/update: 30 June 2011


      Title: Myanmar tilts towards civil war
      Date of publication: 29 June 2011
      Description/subject: "Myanmar moved closer to civil war in recent weeks after fighting broke out in Kachin State, a former ceasefire area in the remote northern region. Myanmar's newly elected government now faces ethnic insurgencies on three separate fronts, threatening internal and border security. There is also the potential for more insurgent groups to take up arms and push their claims against the government. The escalating conflict is not going all the military's way and risks further stunting Myanmar's development and international confidence in its supposed democratic transition..."
      Author/creator: Brian McCartan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 July 2011


      Title: Conflict or Peace? Ethnic Unrest Intensifies in Burma
      Date of publication: June 2011
      Description/subject: "...The breakdown in the ceasefire of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) with the central government represents a major failure in national politics and threatens a serious humanitarian crisis if not immediately addressed. Over 11,000 refugees have been displaced and dozens of casualties reported during two weeks of fighting between government forces and the KIO. Thousands of troops have been mobilized, bridges destroyed and communications disrupted, bringing hardship to communities across northeast Burma/Myanmar.1 There is now a real potential for ethnic conflict to further spread. In recent months, ceasefires have broken down with Karen and Shan opposition forces, and the ceasefire of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) in south Burma is under threat. Tensions between the government and United Wa State Army (UWSA) also continue. It is essential that peace talks are initiated and grievances addressed so that ethnic conflict in Burma does not spiral into a new generation of militarised violence and human rights abuse..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 7, June 2011
      Format/size: pdf (407K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 June 2011


      Title: Karen rebels go on offensive in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 16 November 2010
      Description/subject: While Myanmar's generals held their stage-managed elections, an ethnic rebel group forcibly seized control of two border towns and highlighted immediately the polls' ineffectiveness at achieving national reconciliation. Government forces on Tuesday forced the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) out of Myawaddy and Pyathounzu towns, but the attacks already had significant repercussions for the transition from military to civilian rule.
      Author/creator: Brian McCartan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 15 November 2010


      Title: Forget About the Sham Burmese Elections It's the growing risk of ethnic violence the world should worry about.
      Date of publication: 05 November 2010
      Description/subject: "As the world prepares to label this weekend's elections in Myanmar an undemocratic farce -- which of course they are -- a brewing potential crisis in the country's border regions is being ignored. While cease-fire agreements have tempered the civil wars that have raged for much of Myanmar's 62-year post-independence history, these conflicts have never been fully resolved. Fighting in the northeastern Kokang region in August 2009 forced more than 30,000 refugees to flee across the border to China. Now, the government's aggressive tactics are increasing tensions in a high-stakes game of ethnic politics, one that carries significant potential for violent conflict..."
      Author/creator: Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt
      Language: English, Español, Spanish
      Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/Kleine-ahlbrandt-Forget-Ab...
      Date of entry/update: 11 November 2010


      Title: The Kachin Assassin
      Date of publication: September 2010
      Description/subject: Zau Seng was groomed since youth to be a KIA commando, and in 1985 he carried out a rare assassination of a top Burmese military commander—who happened to be a fellow Kachin
      Author/creator: Ba Kaung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 9
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 08 September 2010


      Title: Burma Army tracks across Shan State
      Date of publication: August 2010
      Description/subject: "Since 2009, the Burmese military regime (the State Peace and Development Council – SPDC), has been constructing a new 361-km long railway between Mong Nai in southern Shan State and Kengtung in eastern Shan State. The regime is claiming that the railway will promote the development of Shan State, facilitate passenger travel and ‘contribute to swift fl ow of commodities.” However, the speed and ruthlessness with which the railway is being carved through this isolated border area reveal a much more sinister agenda. Scores of bulldozers and trucks are at work at each end of the railway, where thousands of acres of farmlands have already been confi scated. Attempts by farmers to complain have been met with threats of prison. Preparing for war The real purpose of the railway is strategic. It cuts between the northern and southern territories of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the largest ceasefi re group, which has refused to come under the regime’s control as a Border Guard Force. In the event of an offensive against the UWSA, or the resistance forces of the Shan State Army-South, the railway will enable rapid deployment of heavy weapons and other military supplies to this remote mountainous area. Apart from munitions, the main commodities that the railway will carry are natural resources plundered without consent from local communities. The railway runs directly through Mong Kok, where the regime and Thai investors are planning to excavate millions of tons of lignite for export to Thailand..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN); Shan Human Rights Foundation
      Format/size: pdf (920K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 September 2010


      Title: Listening to Voices from Inside: Ethnic People Speak
      Date of publication: June 2010
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Listening to Voices from Inside: Ethnic People Speak showcases the voices of people from civil society, and of different ethnic groups, who are rarely heard. Myanmar is an extremely ethnically diverse country. Regrettably, inter-ethnic conflict is a fundamental dynamic in Myanmar’s protracted civil war. Despite this, ethnic diversity and interethnic conflict seldom capture the attention of the international community who have a tendency to see inter-ethnic conflict as adjunct to the quest for peace and democracy in Myanmar. This publication, the result of a foundational study, presents the voices of eighty-seven civil society members from different ethnic groups who live in Myanmar. It documents their perceptions of opportunities and challenges in key areas of interactions with other ethnic groups, government and military relations, education, employment, health, and culture. It records their vision for the future and how external organisations can support that vision. Listening to Voices from Inside: Ethnic People Speak creates a channel for local people to be heard on inter-ethnic issues in Myanmar and is a resource to increase understanding of the issues among external and domestic actors. It brings inter-ethnic conflict back from the periphery to argue that transforming inter-ethnic conflict is central to building peace and democracy in Myanmar. The following summarises the key points under each section:..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
      Format/size: pdf (1.43MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.centrepeaceconflictstudies.org/publications/
      Date of entry/update: 23 June 2010


      Title: To Fight or Not to Fight
      Date of publication: April 2009
      Description/subject: As the 2010 election approaches, Burma's ethnic armies are becoming restless... "OVER the past decade, a patchwork of ceasefire agreements, if not actual peace, has reigned over most of Burma's ethnic hinterland. Of the many ethnic insurgent armies that once battled the Burmese regime, only a handful are still waging active military campaigns. The rest remain armed, but have shown little appetite for renewed fighting - so far. With an election planned for sometime next year, however, the status quo is looking increasingly unsustainable. The junta is pushing its erstwhile adversaries to form parties and field candidates, and while some have unenthusiastically complied, others have begun to chafe at the persistent pressure..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 02 April 2009


      Title: Burma's Ethnic Jigsaw Puzzle
      Date of publication: October 2008
      Description/subject: "A new study on ethnic politics in Burma surveys a bewildering field and points the way forward...Whereas Smith's book was about conflict and ethnic identity, and Lintner's about conflict, state building and narcotics, Ashley South explores all these topics and then looks at contemporary debates on development and forced displacement, with a more academic discussion of shifting "identities" in Burma. Given the sheer range and depth of all these issues, South overviews them skillfully. The purpose of the book is to inject greater complexity and detail into the debates over ethnic politics: the role of resurgent civil society in ethnic ceasefire areas and the cities of Burma; the ethnic groups' constrained participation in the military government's national convention; and the uneven performance of local development projects. With a timely epilogue taking into account the effects of Cyclone Nargis, South suggests there are now opportunities in Burma for meaningful participation in national politics for Burma's long-suffering and splintered ethnic nationalities if they pursue a considerable strategic rethink -- what South calls "review, reform and re-engage..."
      Author/creator: Review by David Mathieson of Ashley South's "Ethnic Politics in Burma: States of Conflict"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 10
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 November 2008


      Title: Myanmar / Burma. Aktuelle Kriege 2006
      Date of publication: 02 December 2007
      Description/subject: Das Berichtsjahr in dem weltweit am längsten durchgehend andauernden kriegerischen Konflikt wurde von verschiedenen Nichtregierungsorganisationen als das blutigste seit 1997 bezeichnet. Dabei stellten die beiden größten verbliebenen Rebellengruppen, die Karen National Union (KNU) und die Shan State Army - South (SSA-S) militärisch schon lange keine Bedrohung für den Staat mehr dar. Eine bestehende informelle Waffenruhe zwischen KNU und Militärregierung wurde von letzterer aufgekündigt und sowohl KNU und SSA-S waren verstärkt das Ziel von Angriffen, die vor allem die Zivilbevölkerung in Mitleidenschaft zogen; Ursachen und Verlauf des Konfliktes; Entwicklungen von 1998-2006; roots and history of the conflict; development from 1998 - 2006
      Author/creator: Cord-Hinrich Wiehemayer
      Language: German, Deutsch
      Source/publisher: Universität Hamburg
      Format/size: Html (28kb)
      Date of entry/update: 08 May 2008


      Title: Search results for "Myanmar" on the ICRC site
      Date of publication: 29 June 2007
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 06 December 2010


      Title: Nyaunglebin / Toungoo Districts: Re-emergence of Irregular SPDC Army Soldiers and Karen Splinter Groups in Northern Karen State
      Date of publication: 24 October 2005
      Description/subject: "The situation observed in Nyaunglebin and Toungoo Districts ... of northern Karen State has for many years been highly volatile. Even now, with the existence of the verbal ceasefire between the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the Karen National Union (KNU), forced labour and extortion is rife and thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) live in hiding in the forests. The ceasefire has done little to help the lot of the villagers living in these areas. The SPDC has taken advantage of their relative freedoms of movement and activity under the ceasefire agreement, leading to recent developments in these two districts which threaten to make life for the villagers living there even harder. ... Since its formation in September 1998, the Dam Byan Byaut Kya (‘Guerrilla Retaliation Units’) have terrorised the villagers of first Nyaunglebin and later also Toungoo District, seeking out and punishing any villagers suspected of having contact with the resistance..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-B6)
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05b6.html
      Date of entry/update: 26 October 2005


      Title: A Risky Farewell to Arms
      Date of publication: June 2005
      Description/subject: "The Burmese junta has succeeded in forging ceasefires with 17 ethnic minority rebel groups since 1989. But now its attempt to disarm them could backfire. Burma’s military regime seems to have practiced the maxim from Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu’s Art of War: “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” The junta has used this approach since assuming power in 1988 by reaching ceasefire agreements with 17 ethnic minority armed groups. Since that time, fighting has died down in many areas and the generals probably think they have defeated their ethnic minority enemies—who took up arms against Rangoon after independence from Britain in 1948— without firing a shot. But maybe that comfortable situation is about to change. On the surface, it looks like the regime has also brought the groups into the political arena by now including them in the National Convention, which resumed in 2004 after eight years suspension. The NC is supposed to draft a new constitution aimed at resolving the country’s long stalemate among the ruling military, the opposition and ethnic minority groups. In fact, however, they are allowed only a token presence. They cannot take part in open discussions..."
      Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 April 2006


      Title: Dying Alive - A Legal Assessment of Human Rights Violations in Burma
      Date of publication: April 2005
      Description/subject: AN INVESTIGATION AND LEGAL ASSESSMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS INFLICTED IN BURMA, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE INTERNALLY DISPLACED, EASTERN PEOPLES..."For over a decade, the United Nations and Human Rights organisations have documented systematic and widespread human rights violations inflicted on the people of Burma generally, and on the ethnic people in particular. Most reports, however, with the exception of some references to Article Three of The Geneva Conventions, have refrained from conceptualizing the violations in terms of International Humanitarian Law. This report addresses that gap and, in the aftermath of the State organised ambush of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's convoy on May 30, 2003; the ongoing, widespread, systematic destruction of substantial parts of the eastern ethnic peoples; and the failure to end impunity, recommends a period of consultation, education and consensus building to explore the practicality, political appropriateness, and morality of applying and enforcing relevant International Humanitarian Law. This report analyses the human rights violations, identified by, amongst others, UN Special Rapporteurs for human rights and Amnesty International, and expressed in UN General Assembly Resolutions, that have been inflicted on the people of Burma for decades..." NOTE ON FORMAT: There is a glitch in the CD the online version is based on, with lines from the next page creeping onto the current page. This will be fixed eventually. There is also a plan to break the text up into managable chunks.
      Author/creator: Guy Horton
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Guy Horton, Images Asia
      Format/size: pdf (4.7MB)
      Date of entry/update: 03 May 2006


      Title: The Wounds of War
      Date of publication: April 2005
      Description/subject: Battered Burma’s unanswered question: when will the fighting end?... "The horrors of war are all too visible on Myo Myint’s scarred body. The former Burma Army trooper has only one arm and one leg. The fingers of one hand are just stumps, he’s almost blind in one eye and pieces of landmine shrapnel still lodge in his body. Myo Myint: Crippled and disillusioned by war Myo Myint is one of countless thousands of men and women maimed for life in Burma’s ongoing civil war, which has been raging for more than half a century—one of Asia’s longest unsolved conflicts..."
      Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 4
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006


      Title: 'Peace', or Control? The SPDC’s use of the Karen ceasefire to expand its control and repression of villagers in Toungoo District, Northern Karen State
      Date of publication: 22 March 2005
      Description/subject: "Under the informal KNU-SPDC ceasefire, the SPDC Army should be scaling down its activities in the hills of Toungoo District, but instead it has increased military operations since December 2004. Using the increased freedom of movement it has gained under the ceasefire, the Army has sent out columns to consolidate control over civilians in the remotest parts of this mountainous district. Using villagers as forced labour to improve military access roads and haul supplies to support remote outposts, the Army is trying to flush out the displaced villagers who have evaded its control thus far. As the Army gains freedom of movement, villagers throughout the District find themselves less free to move, their trade routes, access to food and medicine markets, and even the paths to their fields blocked by SPDC movement restrictions, checkpoints, Army patrols and landmines..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F3)
      Format/size: html, pdf (57 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05f3.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010


      Title: A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS: The uncertain future of Burma’s forests
      Date of publication: October 2003
      Description/subject: A Briefing Document by Global Witness. October 2003... Table of Contents... Recommendations... Introduction... Summary: Natural Resources and Conflict in Burma; SLORC/SPDC-controlled logging; China-Burma relations and logging in Kachin State; Thailand-Burma relations and logging in Karen State... Part One: Background: The Roots of Conflict; Strategic location, topography and natural resources; The Peoples of Burma; Ethnic diversity and politics; British Colonial Rule... Independence and the Perpetuation of Conflict: Conflict following Independence and rise of Ne Win; Burma under the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP); The Four Cuts counter – insurgency campaign; The 1988 uprising and the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC); The 1990 General Election and the drafting of a new Constitution; Recent Developments: The Detention of Aung San Suu Kyi... The Administration of Burma: Where Power Lies: The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); The Cabinet; The Three Generals; The Tatmadaw; Regional Commanders... Part Two: Logging in Burma:- The Economy: The importance of the timber trade; Involvement of the Army; Bartering; Burma’s Forests; Forest cover, deforestation rates and forest degradation... The Timber Industry in Burma: The Administration of forestry in Burma; Forest Management in Burma, the theory; The Reality of the SPDC-Controlled Timber Trade... Law enforcement: The decline of the Burma Selection System and Institutional Problems; Import – Export Figures; SPDC-controlled logging in Central Burma; The Pegu Yomas; The illegal timber trade in Rangoon; SLORC/SPDC control over logging in ceasefire areas... Ceasefires: Chart of armed ethnic groups. April 2002; Ceasefire groups; How the SLORC/SPDC has used the ceasefires: business and development... Conflict Timber: Logging and the Tatmadaw; Logging as a driver of conflict; Logging companies and conflict on the Thai-Burma border; Controlling ceasefire groups through logging deals... Forced Labour: Forced labour logging... Opium and Logging: Logging and Opium in Kachin State; Logging and Opium in Wa... Conflict on the border: Conflict on the border; Thai-Burmese relations and ‘Resource Diplomacy’; Thais prioritise logging interests over support for ethnic insurgents; The timber business and conflict on the Thai-Burma border; Thai Logging in Karen National Union territory; The end of SLORC logging concessions on the Thai border; The Salween Scandal in Thailand; Recent Logging on the Thai-Burma border... Karen State: The Nature of Conflict in Karen State; The Karen National Union (KNU); The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA); Logging in Karen State; Logging and Landmines in Karen State; Charcoal Making in Nyaunglebin District... The China-Burma Border: Chinese-Burmese Relations; Chinese-Burmese relations and Natural Resource Colonialism; The impact of logging in China; The impact of China’s logging ban; The timber trade on the Chinese side of the border... Kachin State: The Nature of Conflict in Kachin State; The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO); Jade and the KIA’s insurgent Economy; Dabak and Mali Hydroelectric Power Projects; The New Democratic Army (Kachin) (NDA(K)); The Kachin Defence Army (KDA); How the ceasefires have affected insurgent groups in Kachin State; HIV/AIDS and Extractive Industries in Kachin State ; Logging in Kachin State; Gold Mining in Kachin State; The N’Mai Hku (Headwaters) Project; Road Building in Kachin State... Wa State: Logging in Wa State; Timber Exports through Wa State; Road building in Wa State; Plantations in Wa State... Conclusion... Appendix I: Forest Policies, Laws and Regulations; National Policy, Laws and Regulations; National Commission on Environmental Affairs; Environmental policy; Forest Policy; Community Forestry; International Environmental Commitments... Appendix II: Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG): Ministerial Declaration... References. [the pdf version contains the text plus maps, photos etc. The Word version contains text and tables only]
      Language: English (Thai & Kachin summaries)
      Source/publisher: Global Witness
      Format/size: pdf (4 files: 1.8MB, 1.4MB, 2.0MB, 2.1MB) 126 pages
      Alternate URLs: http://www.globalwitness.org
      http://asiantribune.com/news/2003/10/10/conflict-interests-uncertain-future-burmas-forests
      Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010


      Title: Uncounted: political prisoners in burma's ethnic areas
      Date of publication: August 2003
      Description/subject: Contents: 1. Executive Summary; 2. Introduction; 2a. Scope of report; 3. Background; 4. Definitions and Regulations; 4a. What is a political prisoner?; 4b. International and domestic regulations governing treatment; 4c. Conflict zones; 4d. Cease-fire and "Pacified Areas"; 4e. Support and perceived support for armed groups; 5. Politically Motivated Detentions in the Conflict Zones; 5a. Accusations; 5b. Places of detention; 5c. Were charges laid?; 6. Treatment of Detainees and Outcomes of Detention; 6a. Arbitrary detention; 6b. Torture; 6c. Extrajudicial killings; 6d. Disappearances; 7. Political Motivations Behind Detentions; 7a. Weakening/destruction of the People's Movement; 7b. Power and absolute control; 7c. Eradication of armed forces; 7d. Other motivations; 7e. Secondary Effects; 8. Inclusion in Existing Reporting; 9. The Bigger Picture; 10. Conclusion; 11. Recommendations... 12. Appendixes: a. Summary of cases; b. Ethnic Armed and political groups; c. Relevant international laws and regulations; 13. Glossary; Map of Burma; Map of Locations of Detention... Executive Summary: In Mr Paulo Sergio Pinheiro's report to the 59th Commission on Human Rights he stated, "Political arrests since July 2002 have followed the pattern of un-rule of law, including arbitrary arrest, prolonged incommunicado detention and interrogation by military intelligence personnel, extraction of confessions of guilt or of information, very often under duress or torture, followed by summary trials, sentencing and imprisonment." This report presents a sample of 46 cases that comply with the description in Pinheiro's statement but remain unrecognised as political arrests. They are people mostly in Burma's ethnic areas detained on accusations of supporting non-Burman ethnic nationality opposition groups. The accusations range from offering support through food and accommodation, to knowledge of opposition group movements, to actually being a member of a non-Burman ethnic nationality opposition group..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Burma Issues", Altsean-Burma
      Format/size: pdf (796K) 82 pages
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/En/reports/uncounted.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 21 September 2003


      Title: Expansion of the Guerrilla Retaliation Units and Food Shortages
      Date of publication: 16 June 2003
      Description/subject: KHRG Information Update #2003-U1 June 16, 2003 "The situation faced by the villagers of Toungoo District (see Map 1) is worsening as more and more parts of the District are being brought under the control of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) through the increased militarisation of the region. At any one time there are no fewer than a dozen battalions active in the area. Widespread forced labour and extortion continue unabated as in previous years, with all battalions in the District being party to such practices. The imposition of constant forced labour and the extortion of money and food are among the military’s primary occupations in the area. The strategy of the military is not one of open confrontation with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) – the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU) - but of targeting the civilian population as a means of cutting all lines of support and supply for the resistance movement. There has not been a major offensive in the District since the SPDC launched Operation Aung Tha Pyay in 1995-96; however since that time the Army has been restricting, harassing, and forcibly relocating hill villages to the point where people can no longer live in them. Many of the battalions launch sweeps through the hills in search of villagers hiding there in an effort to drive them out of the hills and into the areas controlled by the SPDC. Fortunately, the areas into which many of them have fled are both rugged and remote, making it difficult for the Army to find them. For those who are discovered, once relocated, they are then exploited as a ready source for portering and other forced labour..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 July 2003


      Title: Zum Verständnis ethnischer und politischer Konflikte in Burma / Myanmar
      Date of publication: May 2003
      Description/subject: Der Artikel beschreibt die historische Entstehung ethnischer Konflikte seit der Kolonialzeit sowie die Instrumentalisierung der ethnsichen Zugehörigkeit unter dem Militär; historical development of ethnic conflicts; instrumentalisation of ethnicity
      Author/creator: Hingst, René
      Language: German, Deutsch
      Source/publisher: Heinrich Böll Stiftung
      Format/size: pdf (916.60 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.boell.de/downloads/hingst_burma2003.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 November 2010


      Title: War, History and Identity (a review of Ashley South's "The Golden Sheldrake")
      Date of publication: April 2003
      Description/subject: "A new book on the Mon ethnic group makes a much-needed contribution to the study of Mon history and sheds light on some of the complexities of Burma’s ethnic conflicts... Although ethnic conflict is a key issue in modern Burmese politics, few writers and researchers seem to have covered the topic in detail. Ashley South’s latest book, Mon Nationalism and Civil War in Burma: The Goldensheldrake (Routledge Curzon, 2002), is perhaps the first comprehensive study of Mon history and offers a timely contribution to the issue of Burma’s ongoing ethnic conflicts... South’s detailed and authoritative book is a must for all interested in Mon history and ethnic minority politics, and for those curious about the dynamics of the civil war and conflict that has raged in Burma for more than 50 years..."
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 11, No. 3
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: May 2003


      Title: GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS, LOCAL CONCEPTIONS: HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE POLITICS OF COMMUNICATION AMONG THE BURMESE OPPOSITION-IN-EXILE
      Date of publication: March 2003
      Description/subject: A Dissertation Presented to The Faculty of the College of Communication of Ohio University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy by Lisa B. Brooten March 2003... "...This study examines the impact of new information technologies (NITs) on the Burmese opposition movement-in-exile based in Thailand. The intent of the research is to determine whether NITs, primarily computers and the Internet, are helping to reduce, maintain, or intensify ethnic conflict within the movement. The study explores implications for political mobilization by examining what groups within the movement have access to which technologies, and how these groups understand and use global media and the discourses they produce. The research is a multi-sited ethnography conceived within the epistemological framework of standpoint theory, providing an empirically grounded exploration of the Burmese opposition movement in both its local and global contexts. It employs participant observation, in-depth interviews and discourse analysis to examine the impact of global communications at the local level. The work begins with an historical examination of the development of the modern state in Burma, which provides the context for exploring how militarization, gender and ethnicity have affected the development of nationalisms and conflict defined largely as "ethnic" in nature. This is followed by a discussion of how the history and current state of communications both inside and outside Burma constrain attitudes toward the possible uses of communications technologies and media among the opposition-in-exile. An overview of opposition media investigates the degree to which these media have opened a space for dialogue between groups. Interviews with opposition activists and refugees from Burma demonstrate how the Burmese regime's militaristic values are both perpetuated and countered within the opposition movement itself. The research finds that the introduction of NITs and patterns of foreign funding have reinforced existing hierarchies within the opposition movement. Finally, this study demonstrates how the "local" reinvents the "global" through the use of a global discourse of human rights which acts subtly but powerfully to shape social conventions within the movement. This results in an unstated hierarchy of human rights that perpetuates the inequitable gender and ethnic composition of the opposition political groups and the hierarchy of access and use of technologies among these groups."
      Author/creator: Lisa B. Brooten
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Lisa B. Brooten (Ohio University thesis)
      Format/size: pdf (2.2MB)
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2005


      Title: Myanmar: Lack of Security in Counter-Insurgency Areas
      Date of publication: 17 July 2002
      Description/subject: "...In February and March 2002 Amnesty International interviewed some 100 migrants from Myanmar at seven different locations in Thailand. They were from a variety of ethnic groups, including the Shan; Lahu; Palaung; Akha; Mon; Po and Sgaw Karen; Rakhine; and Tavoyan ethnic minorities, and the majority Bamar (Burman) group. They originally came from the Mon, Kayin, Shan, and Rakhine States, and Bago, Yangon and Tanintharyi Divisions.(1) What follows below is a summary of human rights violations in some parts of eastern Myanmar during the last 18 months which migrants reported to Amnesty International. One section of the report also examines several cases of abuses of civilians by armed opposition groups fighting against the Myanmar military. Finally, this document describes various aspects of a Burmese migrant worker's life in Thailand..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced labour, refugees, land confiscation, forced relocation, forced removal, forced resettlement, forced displacement, internal displacement, IDP, extortion, torture, extrajudicial killings, forced conscription, child soldiers, porters, forced portering, house destruction, eviction, Shan State, Wa, USWA, Wa resettlement, Tenasserim, abuses by armed opposition groups.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Amnesty International
      Format/size: PDF version (126K) 48pg
      Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/007/2002/en
      http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/007/2002/en/7471b112-d81a-11dd-9df8-936c90684588/asa1... (French)
      Date of entry/update: 19 November 2010


      Title: The ICRC in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 22 January 2002
      Description/subject: Extract from the ICRC Annual Report 2000: Help for detainees; Assistance for internally displaced people and vulnerable groups; Speading awareness of humanitarian law; Working with Myanmar REd Cross Spociety.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
      Format/size: PDF (238K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: A strategy of subjugation: The Situation in Ler Mu Lah Township, Tenasserim Division
      Date of publication: 21 December 2001
      Description/subject: "This report aims to provide an update on the situation in Tenasserim Division, Burma’s southernmost region. It is based primarily on interviews from Ler Mu Lah township in central Tenasserim Division, but also gives an overview of some background and developments in other parts of the Division. At the end of the report two maps are included: Map 1 showing the entire Division, and Map 2 showing the northern part of Tenasserim Division and the southern part of Karen State’s Dooplaya District. Many of the villages mentioned in the report and the interviews can be found on Map 1, while Map 2 includes some of the sites mentioned in relation to flows of refugees and their forced repatriation..." An update on the situation in central Tenasserim Division since the Burmese junta's mass offensive to capture the area in 1997. Unable to gain complete control of the region because of the rugged jungle, harassment by resistance forces and the staunch non-cooperation of the villagers, the SPDC regime has gradually flooded the area with 36 Battalions which have forced many villages into relocation sites where the villagers are used as forced labour to push more military roads into remote areas. Thousands continue to hide in the forests despite being hunted and having their food supplies destroyed by SPDC patrols. They have little choice, though, because if they flee to the Thai border they encounter the Thai Army 9th Division, which continues to force refugees back into Burma at gunpoint." Additional keywords: Tanintharyi, Burman, Mon, Karen, Tayoyan, road building, free-fire zones, destruction of villages, resistance groups, extortions, internal displacement, refoulement, forced repatriation, killing, torture, shooting, restrictions on movement, beating to death, shortage of food, 9th Division (Thai Army). ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2001-04)
      Format/size: html, pdf (1.2 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg0104.html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Burma: Protracted Conflict, Governance and Non-Traditional Security Issues
      Date of publication: May 2001
      Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "Of all countries in Southeast Asia, Burma has the unenviable reputation of having the largest number of armed ethnic insurgencies, as well as an entrenched civil opposition to the ruling military regime. The ethnic insurgencies began in 1948 while civil opposition has grown more open during the last decade. These conditions of protracted conflict raise a number of related questions: (1) Why has the conflict been so persistent and how is this related to “governance” in Burma? (2) Is it possible to distinguish non-traditional security issues in this conflict and, if so, what are the implications in relation to regional co-operation and stability? This paper seeks to address these questions through an examination of developments in Burma since 1988, a watershed year in domestic politico-military relations. It also seeks to establish a clear delineation of “governance” as an analytical concept and to set out non-traditional security issues arising from the conflict in Burma. The non-traditional security issues arise principally from the existence of approximately 120,000 refugees in Thailand, cross-border violations of Thailand’s territorial sovereignty, and the massive influx of narcotics from Burma into Thailand and China. These issues are situated in relation to developments in Burma and proximate inter-state interactions. Finally, the paper examines the implications of these issues in the broader context of regional co-operation and stability, and undertakes a re-assessment of the relationship between non-traditional security issues and traditional (politico-military) issues."
      Author/creator: Ananda Rajah
      Source/publisher: Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies Singapore (Working Paper 14)
      Format/size: pdf (430K) 32 pages
      Alternate URLs: http://www.rsis.edu.sg/
      Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010


      Title: Bewaffneter Konflikt in Myanmar (Birma) Berichtsjahr 2000
      Date of publication: 2001
      Description/subject: Bericht zu den mehr als fnfzig Jahre andauernden bewaffneten Konflikten in Myanmar/Birma fr das Jahr 2000. Trotz eines allgemeinen Rckgangs der Kriegshandlungen, haben sich die Kmpfe im Jahr 2000 fortgesetzt. Die Autorin geht sowohl auf die Kinderarmee "God's Army" als auch die KNU ein. Mit Links zu weiteren Quellen.
      Author/creator: Franziska Stock
      Language: Deutsch, German
      Source/publisher: Forschungsstelle Kriege, Rstung und Entwicklung, AG Kriegsursachenforschung, Institut fr Politische Wissenschaft der Universitt Hamburg
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Ghost Dancing in the Darkest Hour
      Date of publication: 31 October 2000
      Description/subject: "...Ethnic cleansing has been carried out in much of the Shan and Karenni states. Since 1989 the AIDS virus has spread and the junta is still in denial about it. In the past ten years, new drug routes, heroin refineries, shooting galleries, and amphetamine production have penetrated the mountains. Forced labor is the norm throughout Burma, not only for army portering, but now formilitary profiteering schemes such as logging and mining as well..."
      Author/creator: Edith Mirante
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Cultural Survival Quarterly" Issue 24.3
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.culturalsurvival.org/ourpublications/csq/article/ghost-dancing-darkest-hour
      Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010


      Title: Ethnicity and Civil War in Burma: Where is the Rationality?
      Date of publication: 1998
      Description/subject: Ananda Rajah's chapter (minus a page of footnotes) in "Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future" (Robert Rotberg (ed). Section headings are: "An Absence of Rationality?", "The Shan and Factionalism", "The Karen and Federalism", "Substantive and Formal Rationality", "Conclusion".
      Author/creator: Ananda Rajah
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Burma: Prospects for a Democratic Future" (Robert Rotberg (ed) via Google Books
      Format/size: pdf
      Date of entry/update: 28 February 2009


      Title: Ethnic Groups in Burma: Development, Democracy and Human Rights
      Date of publication: November 1994
      Description/subject: "...For a generation Burma languished behind closed doors. Then suddenly, in the summer of 1988, the doors burst open as angry protests were violently put down by the security forces and the chilling scenes made headline news around the world. 'In-depth pieces' reported on the political and civil repression that had been going on for years. But there was little examination then, and there has been little since, of the targeted repression which had been going on, and is continuing, against whole groups of people - Burma's ethnic minority groups. Burma is a country of proud cultural and historic traditions, and it is rich in natural resources. But nearly half a century of conflict has left Burma with a legacy of deep-rooted problems and weakened its ability to cope with a growing host of new ones: economic and social collapse; hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced people; environmental degradation; narcotics; and AIDS. These problems touch on the lives of all Burmese citizens. But it is members of ethnic minority groups who have suffered the most, and who have had even less say over their lives and the destiny of their peoples than the majority 'Burmans'. Many minorities claim that a policy of 'Burmanisation' is manifest. Amidst the upheavals, gross human rights abuses have been committed, including the conscription, over the years, of millions into compulsory labour duties, the ill-treatment or extrajudicial executions of ethnic minority villagers in war-zones, and the forcible relocation of entire communities..."
      Author/creator: Martin Smith
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Anti-Slavery International
      Format/size: pdf (1.1MB)
      Date of entry/update: 18 November 2005


      Title: The Hunting of the SLORC
      Date of publication: June 1993
      Description/subject: "The Chinese sage Sun Tsu says in The Art of War that "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting". In its conduct of the civil war SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council, the martial law administration ruling Burma), is currently using Low Intensity Conflict strategies which avoid major military confrontation, but are designed to force a "political" (read "politico-military") settlement on the ethnic opposition and divide them from the political opposition. These strategies are closely tied to SLORC's attempts to acquire constitutional "legitimacy" by means of a National Convention, and are aided by the pressure which Burma's neighbors are putting on the non-burman ethnic groups to sign cease-fires. But no lasting solution to the country's problems will be achieved until the three main actors -- the military, the political opposition and the ethnic opposition -- meet on a basis of equality and with a strong political will to achieve national reconciliation and the restoration of democracy. The politico-military devices described in this paper must therefore be seen as measures by SLORC to retain power, reverse international criticism, especially at the UN General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights, and attract foreign investment and development assistance..."
      Author/creator: David Arnott
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Peace Foundation
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Peace processes, ceasefires and ceasefire talks (websites, documents, reports and studies)

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Ethnic Peace Resources Project (EPRP) (English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
      Description/subject: "The Ethnic Peace Resources Project (EPRP) provides information and training to support ethnic communities in Myanmar working on the peace process. This website provides resources and training materials and is one part of the Ethnic Peace Resources Project. A website User Guide is provided to help you."
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Ethnic Peace Resources Project (EPRP) Ethnic peace resources project
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://eprpinformation.org/my/
      Date of entry/update: 19 September 2013


      Title: Myanmar Peace Monitor
      Description/subject: "Myanmar Peace Monitor is a project run by the Burma News International that works to support communication and understanding in the current efforts for peace and reconciliation in Myanmar. It aims to centralize information, track and make sense of the many events and stakeholders involved in the complex and multifaceted peace process..." ​
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma News International
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


      Title: Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI)
      Description/subject: The Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI) was formed in March 2012 at the request of the Government of Myanmar for international support to the peace process... MPSI works with and engages the Government, the Myanmar Army, non-state armed and political groups, civil society actors and communities, as well as international partners to provide concrete support to the ceasefire process and emerging peace process. From the outset, the intention has been for the MPSI to provide temporary support to the emergence and consolidation of peace in the absence of appropriate longer-term structures and while more sustainable traditional international responses are mobilised. Over the last year, the Government has formed the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC), and donors have agreed to establish a secretariat to support the workings of the Peace Donor Support Group (PDSG). Efforts are being made to build the capacity of ethnic actors through the establishment of ethnic support structures. In line with its stated purpose of being a temporary structure, MPSI aspires to hand over many of its responsibilities and initiatives to permanent structures."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 19 September 2013


      Title: Peace Donor Support Group
      Description/subject: "The Peace Donor Support Group (PDSG) was first convened in June 2012 by the Government of Norway at the request of President U Thein Sein in order to provide a common platform for dialogue between the donor community and the Government of Myanmar, and to better coordinate the international community’s support to peace in general and the provision of aid in conflict-affected areas. The Government of Myanmar asked that the Group be initially composed of Norway, Australia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Bank. The US, Japan and Switzerland were invited to join the PDSG in May 2013. The efforts of the PDSG are premised on the belief that the current context represents an unprecedented opportunity to resolve ethnic conflicts, and that the international community can support the momentum for peace and help to build confidence in the peace-making process among key stake-holders. The engagement is also premised on the need for broad consultations with affected communities and civil society, and the acknowledgement of the importance of a political peace process. In addition to meeting the Union Government and NSAGs, the PDSG members also plan to continue to meet with civil society groups, and the wider donor community. These meetings provide an opportunity for the PDSG to demonstrate political support for the peace-making process, to get a better understanding of the needs and views of different stakeholders, enhance the co-ordination and coherence of peacebuilding support from donor partners, and for drawing on lessons from other, relevant international experiences. Some members of the Peace Donor Support Group, and other international donors, are also currently providing funding and technical support to Myanmar Peace Support Initiative."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Peace Donor Support Group
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 19 September 2013


      Individual Documents

      Title: Tension, Discord and Insecurity: The State of Burma/Myanmar's Peace Process
      Date of publication: 02 October 2014
      Description/subject: "While it appears that the peace process in Burma is making substantial progress, and this is certainly what the government is espousing, the realities on the ground for many people are much the same as they have always been. In non-ceasefire areas incidences of conflict occur almost daily between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and conflict with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) has sharply increased since the start of 2014, while in areas where ceasefires have been signed, sporadic fighting continues. Meanwhile, severe human rights violations continue, including the systematic use of rape as a weapon of war by the Burma Army. To date there has been no effort from the government to put this unreformed and unrepentant institution under civilian control or make any meaningful moves towards finding justice for those victims of human rights abuses. As for the peace process itself, there has been a disproportionate focus, especially from the government side, on achieving a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). These discussions have been ongoing for over 18 months, and the supposed benefits of this agreement are uncertain. The Burma Army and the government appear to have contradictory positions with the Burma Army proving to be particularly obdurate, while on the ethnic armed group side, increased inter and intra group tension is further complicating the process..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Partnership
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 07 October 2014


      Title: Struggling for Peace: The Ethnic Armed Organisations’ Summit, the UNFC Conference and the Future
      Date of publication: October 2014
      Description/subject: "July 2014, saw a third ethnic conference held to discuss the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and August saw the first conference of the United Nationalities Federal Conference (UNFC). The Ethnic Armed Organisations’ Summit, held in Laiza, Kachin State, was the culmination of peace talks both within armed ethnic organisations and with the Government’s Union Peace-making Working committee. The Summit, arranged by the Nationalities Ceasefire Coordination Team, was designed to finalise a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) draft and military Code of Conduct. The peace process in the country has faced many obstacles over the last three years. Obvious issues including concerns over trust, confusion over the NCA and dialogue phase, conflict in Kachin State, fighting in Shan and Karen States, and divisions within individual armed groups themselves, have resulted in drawing out the process. While throughout this period, the Government has found its own position weakened due to these delays and the Burma Army has been given the opportunity to consolidate their hold over ethnic areas and gain more territory..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies, Analysis Paper No. 8
      Format/size: pdf (130K)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-AP-8.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 05 November 2014


      Title: In Pursuit of Justice: Reflections on the past and hopes for the future of Burma
      Date of publication: 07 July 2014
      Description/subject: INTRODUCTION: "Since 2011, Burma has begun to emerge from 50 dark years of dictatorship. Now, under President Thein Sein’s nominally civilian government the possibility has arisen for Burma to begin rebuilding and reconciling divided segments of the nation, and to provide justice to victims for decades of human rights abuses. Burma’s minority ethnic communities have experienced grave human rights abuse at the hands of the SPDC regime and its strong arm of the Burmese military, or Tatmadaw. In order to transition successfully towards true democracy and national reconciliation, the Burmese government must address, and act upon, the specific needs expressed by victims of past abuse, documented and expounded herein, in order to move away from the abusive culture of the past towards a united future. Within this report you will find a detailed history of Burma’ ethnic conflict, how that conflict has been sewn into the very fabric of the SPDC regime’s ideology and governing strategy, and ways in which the Tatmadaw has implemented the regime’s strategy by crippling livelihoods, physically and mentally abusing, and destroying the security of Burma’s minority ethnic communities. The purpose of this report is to guide the Burmese government in the implementation of mechanisms of transitional justice in Burma. To achieve this goal, this report looks at Burma’s history of human rights violations and analyzes how to repair the relationship between the government and the citizens. The government has committed, and continues to commit, vast numbers of human rights abuses against its minority ethnic communities, violations including land confiscation; forced labor and forced portering; physical abuse, torture, and murder; and rape and sexual abuse. In order for the Burmese government to employ appropriate mechanisms of justice, this report identifies the effects such violations have had on the victims, and what the victims require from the government to provide adequate justice and reparations for such violations. Through this report, HURFOM hopes to hold a megaphone to the voices of Burma’s ethnic people regarding past human rights abuses. This report addresses victims’ expectations of the government for a future democratic Burma. Of utmost importance to building peace in Burma are three key elements of trust-building, national reconciliation, and transitional justice. The government must implement appropriate mechanisms to fulfill these three objectives in order to create sustainable peace throughout the country. Central to achieving these goals is the de-structuring of the SPDC’s pervasive culture of impunity surrounding human rights violations against its citizens. While impunity, unaccountability, extortion, and corruption continue to exist, there can be no repair of trust or unity within the society. Without eliminating all impunity, there will be no reconciliation in Burma. Minority ethnic communities in Burma have been traumatized by decades of abuse and exploitation. It is HURFOM’s hope that this report will push the government to provide healing to the victims from such trauma with realistic solutions and reparations. HURFOM also hopes to attract the world’s attention and urge international agencies and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to support reparations in Burma."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
      Format/size: pdf (1.5MB-reduced version; 1.91MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://rehmonnya.org/archives/3198 (Media release)
      http://www.rehmonnya.org/reports/in-pursuit-of-justice.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 15 July 2014


      Title: Update on the Peace Process
      Date of publication: July 2014
      Description/subject: "Despite continuing tensions on the ground, armed ethnic groups involved in the peace process continue to move forward with attempts to negotiate a nationwide ceasefire agreement (NCA). Although there remain many issues to be rectified, members of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordinating Team (NCCT) are working on a nationwide ceasefire framework that will be acceptable to all parties. Recently, in June 2014, members of the NCCT met with their counterparts from the Union Peace-making Working Committee (UPWC) in Thailand. While differences remain, it is hoped that a nationwide ceasefire agreement can be signed shortly..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (BCES) Briefing Paper No., 22
      Format/size: pdf (109K)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-22.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


      Title: Armed Groups and Political Legitimacy (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
      Date of publication: 23 June 2014
      Description/subject: "The peace process in Myanmar remains the best opportunity in many decades to address the political, social and economic issues that have long driven armed conflict. Although negotiations between the government and ethnic armed groups have struggled to reach agreement on a number of key issues, there is still the prospect of negotiating a nationwide ceasefire accord in the next few months. Already, significant progress has been made both on the substance of negotiations and in bringing key actors to the table. However, continued military clashes in northern Myanmar have damaged confidence in the peace process, while progress in the talks has been slow due to different conceptions regarding the structure and legitimacy of the state, and of its challengers..."
      Author/creator: Ashley South
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" 23 June 2014
      Format/size: pdf (79K)
      Date of entry/update: 06 July 2014


      Title: Armed Groups and Political Legitimacy (English)
      Date of publication: 23 June 2014
      Description/subject: "THE peace process in Myanmar remains the best opportunity in many decades to address the political, social and economic issues that have long driven armed conflict. Although negotiations between the government and ethnic armed groups have struggled to reach agreement on a number of key issues, there is still the prospect of negotiating a nationwide ceasefire accord in the next few months. Already, significant progress has been made both on the substance of negotiations and in bringing key actors to the table. However, continued military clashes in northern Myanmar have damaged confidence in the peace process, while progress in the talks has been slow due to different conceptions regarding the structure and legitimacy of the state, and of its challengers..."
      Author/creator: Ashley South
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" 23 June 2014
      Format/size: pdf (59K)
      Date of entry/update: 06 July 2014


      Title: Wardrums in Myanmar's Wa hills
      Date of publication: 23 April 2014
      Description/subject: "Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of Myanmar's armed forces, or Tatmadaw, is a man on the move. Since the beginning of the year he has traveled to Laos and Indonesia, attended large-scale war games in central Myanmar, reviewed the country's largest ever naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal, presided over the annual Army Day parade in the capital Naypyidaw and met with a string of foreign dignitaries. A recent less publicized engagement was arguably more significant for Myanmar's war and peace prospects. On April 6, Min Aung Hlaing flew north from Naypyidaw to the garrison town of Lashio in northeastern Shan State to hold talks with Bao You-ri, the younger brother of Bao You-xiang, the ailing leader of the United Wa State Army (UWSA). Based east of the Salween River in a self-governing "special region", the UWSA is Myanmar's largest insurgent group and is at present in an uneasy ceasefire with the government..."
      Author/creator: Anthony Davis
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 May 2014


      Title: Open Democracy - The Myanmar context
      Date of publication: 28 March 2014
      Description/subject: "For the first time since independence, government forces and most Ethnic Armed Groups have stopped fighting. This is an historic achievement in peace-making. However, the ceasefire process has yet to be transformed into a substantial and sustainable phase of peace-building..."
      Author/creator: Ashley South
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Open Democracy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 28 March 2014


      Title: A federal army for Myanmar?
      Date of publication: 24 March 2014
      Description/subject: "Many observers of Myanmar's political transition agree that the success of President Thein Sein's democratic reforms and national reconciliation initiatives hinges on his quasi-civilian government's ability and willingness to accommodate the political demands and desires of various ethnic groups. Chief among those demands are greater political, economic and cultural autonomy in the form of federalism and control over the exploitation of natural resources in their geographic regions. But as political maneuvers and negotiations for a nationwide ceasefire..."
      Author/creator: Saw Greh Moo
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 26 May 2014


      Title: Ceasefires and Durable Solutions in Myanmar: a lessons learned review.....Commentary: IDPs and refugees in the current Myanmar peace process
      Date of publication: March 2014
      Description/subject: "Over six decades of ethnic conflict in Myanmar have generated displacement crises just as long. At the time of writing there are an estimated 640,747 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myanmar, and 415,373 refugees originating from the country.However, these figures are not fully indicative of levels of forced migration, as obtaining reliable data for IDPs remains difficult, while millions of regular and irregular migrants have also left the country, often fleeing similar conditions to those faced by documented refugees and IDPs. Since a new government came into power in 2011, it has managed to secure fresh ceasefire agreements with the majority of the country’s ethnonationalist armed groups (EAGs), potentially inching one step closer to a lasting solution for the country’s hundreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs. As the possibility for voluntary return and resettlement of displaced people opens up, there is a lot to learn from a look back at past ceasefire periods in Myanmar where movements of such populations have taken place. Focusing on the cases of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) ceasefire in 1994, and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) ceasefire in 1995, which had very different impacts on the displaced populations affected, this paper aims to provide lessons for the current transition..." Jolliffe)....."This commentary reflects on some key findings emerging from Kim Jolliffe’s paper on lessons learned from previous ceasefire agreements in Myanmar, and examines how issues relating to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been addressed in the current ceasefires and emerging peace process in Myanmar. The main focus of both papers are the Kachin situation (past and present), a case study of historic forced migration and attempted solutions in Mon areas, and the current situation in Karen areas. Comprehensive treatment of these issues would have to take into account (inter alia) the contexts in western Myanmar, and Shan and Karenni/Kayah areas..." (South)
      Author/creator: Kim Jolliffe (paper); Ashley South (Commentary)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations - Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
      Format/size: pdf (915K-reduced version; 1.18MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendocPDFViewer.html?docid=533927c39&query=%22New%20is...
      Date of entry/update: 13 October 2014


      Title: Lessons Learned from MPSI’s work supporting the peace process in Myanmar - March 2012 to March 2014
      Date of publication: March 2014
      Description/subject: "EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – THE MYANMAR PEACE SUPPORT INITIATIVE The Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI) • The MPSI was launched in March 2012, following a request from the Government of Myanmar to the Government of Norway to lead international support to the peace process. MPSI was never intended to be a mediation initiative, but rather designed to come in just behind the political momentum of the peace process, helping to support ceasefire agreements reached by the Government and Ethnic Armed Groups. Enabling this role to be played by an international actor was a first for Myanmar, reflecting the new opportunity for peace between national actors. It was also quite a unique arrangement in comparison to other peace-­‐making processes internationally. • This report brings together research conducted in the last year, including an MPSI ‘Reflections’ report produced in early 2013, an independent review of MPSI undertaken in 2014, and is informed by field trips, discussions with peace process stakeholders, the insights of MPSI staff, meetings and workshops with Government and Ethnic Armed Groups, community meetings and project reporting. The report seeks to reflect on those two years of support, and suggest ways to frame and improve international support to the peace process and aid into conflict-­‐affected areas. • In the last two years MPSI has facilitated projects that built trust and confidence in -­‐ and tested -­‐ the ceasefires, disseminated lessons learned from these experiences, and sought to strengthen the local and international coordination of assistance to the peace process. In doing so MPSI engaged with the Government, Myanmar Army, Ethnic Armed Groups, political parties, civil society actors and communities, as well as international partners, to provide concrete support to the ceasefires and emerging peace process. • MPSI associated projects have been undertaken across five ethnic States (Chin, Shan, Mon, Karen and Kayah) and two Regions (Bago and Tanintharyi). Projects have been delivered in partnership with seven Ethnic Armed Groups, thirteen local partners (four of which are consortia), and nine international partners. Flexible and responsive funding was received from Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the European Union and Australia. • From the outset, the intention had been for the MPSI to provide temporary support to the emergence and consolidation of peace, in the absence of appropriate, longer-­‐term structures and while more sustainable international peace support responses were mobilised. In line with its stated purpose of being a temporary structure, MPSI aspired for its work to be continued by local actors, national and international Non-­‐governmental organisations and other entities including sector donor funding instruments, such as the Peace Donor Support Group (PDSG). • There have been many contextual, political and structural challenges for MPSI in carrying out its role. These have included tensions in the peace process itself, especially delays in starting necessary political dialogue; managing the expectations of key stakeholders; developing MPSI’s own working processes (without creating an ‘institutionalised’ structure); limitations in capacity and knowledge (especially regarding best practice to enable community agency and empowerment); and maintaining a flexible, adaptive, responsive strategy (i.e. working without a ‘blue print’) while implementation was already underway. • The following paper seeks to set out lessons, reflections and insights on the work of MPSI. It is composed of a background section, a section on lessons learned during two years of MPSI’s work, and a section examining application of the New Deal Framework1 to the Myanmar context..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Myanmar Peace Support Initiative
      Format/size: pdf (689K)
      Date of entry/update: 28 March 2014


      Title: Women's voices not being heard in peace talks
      Date of publication: 18 December 2013
      Description/subject: December 18, 2013 "Negotiations between the government and representatives from 18 armed ethnic groups give a glimpse of the potential for positive changes to come to Myanmar’s embattled ethnic states. However, these talks also cast a spotlight on the dismal state of gender discrimination in the country: All of the chief negotiators are men..."
      Author/creator: Taylor Landis
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Myanmar Times" via Fortify Rights
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 26 May 2014


      Title: Listen To Us – Stop Ignoring Our Concerns
      Date of publication: 12 October 2013
      Description/subject: "A number of international governments, organisations and individuals try to squeeze the current situation of the Karen people into a narrow, restrictive and simplistic narrative that is usually framed like this. ‘After more than sixty years of conflict, at last the Karen have peace. There has been a ceasefire for almost two years, the Karen National Union and government of Burma are in dialogue, development projects and aid are coming into Karen State to help the people, and finally refugees can return home.’ If all this is true, why aren’t Karen people celebrating? As a nation, the Karen people have suffered so much. Generation after generation has grown up in fear, facing conflict, displacement and repression. Unknown millions have been forced from their homes, uncounted thousands have been killed, and there has been so much suffering. Surely if there is a real peace, we’d all be happy? Certainly for several communities in conflict zones the ceasefire makes a big difference. People are not being attacked as they were before, their villages destroyed, their lives taken, and the use of forced labour has fallen. However, even in these communities there is great caution. It’s a caution shared by most Karen people across Burma, in neighbouring Thailand, and those further abroad. International observers should be trying to understand exactly why people who have suffered so much from conflict and human rights abuses are not celebrating the current peace and reform process. If they fail to do so, they’ll fail to understand what is happening in Burma, and they will never see the lasting peace they claim they want to see in our country..."
      Author/creator: Zoya Phan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Karen News"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 October 2013


      Title: BURMA KIO Signs New Peace Deal, But Still No Ceasefire
      Date of publication: 10 October 2013
      Description/subject: "The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) has signed another preliminary peace deal with the Burma government pledging to reduce fighting, while stopping short of a full ceasefire. The seven-point agreement signed on Thursday goes a step further than past agreements by calling for the establishment of a joint monitoring team to monitor troops on the frontlines. It also calls for the development of a plan for the voluntary return and resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as the reopening of roads that have been closed due to fighting. The deal came after three days of discussion between leaders of the KIO and the government peace delegation in the Kachin State capital, Myitkyina..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 October 2013


      Title: Burma’s Ethnic Challenge: From Aspirations to Solution
      Date of publication: October 2013
      Description/subject: Conclusion: "Ultimately, it must be for Burma’s peoples to decide their political future. As in previous times of change, the present landscape looks uncertain and complex. But for the first time in decades, the issues of peace, democracy and promises of ethnic equality agreed at Burma’s independence are back for national debate and attracting international attention. This marks an important change from the preceding years of conflict and malaise under military rule, and expectations are currently high. It is vital therefore that opportunities are not lost and that the present generation of leaders succeed in achieving peace and justice where others before them have failed. Realism and honesty about the tasks ahead are essential. Burma’s leaders and parties, on all sides of the political and ethnic spectrum, still have much to achieve.".....Recommendations: "To end the legacy of state failure, the present time of national transition must be used for inclusive solutions that involve all peoples of Burma. The most important changes in national politics have started in many decades. Now all sides have to halt military operations and engage in sociopolitical dialogue that includes government, military, ethnic, political and civil society representatives. Political agreements will be essential to achieve lasting peace, democracy and ethnic rights. National reconciliation and equality must be the common aim. The divisive tradition of different agreements and processes with different ethnic and political groups must end. In building peace and democracy, peoplecentred and pro-poor economic reforms are vital. Land-grabbing must halt, and development programmes should be appropriate, sustainable and undertaken with the consent of the local peoples. Humanitarian aid should be prioritized for the most needy and vulnerable communities and not become a source of political advantage or division. As peace develops, internally displaced persons and refugees must be supported to return to their places of origin and to rebuild divided societies in the ethnic borderlands. The international community must play a neutral and supportive role in the achievement of peace and democracy. National reform is at an early stage, and it is vital that ill-planned strategies or investments do not perpetuate political failures and ethnic injustice."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: pdf (1.13MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs16/TNI-Burma%92s_Ethnic_Challenge-From_Aspirations_to_Solution-en.p...
      Date of entry/update: 07 December 2013


      Title: Myanmar's Shan see long path to peace
      Date of publication: 06 September 2013
      Description/subject: "Deep in Myanmar's mountainous terrain near the border with Thailand, the rebel Shan State Army (SSA) has one of its main bases. The slow drive from the border on a steep winding track through the jungle along the top of a ravine takes several hours. There, Lieutenant General Yawd Serk commands one of the last ethnic armies still fighting for autonomy against the Myanmar military. The SSA-South army, as it's popularly known, numbers several thousand armed troops. Shan rebel leaders insist that they have at least 20,000 trained soldiers; Thai military intelligence sources suggest the figure is now less than 10,000 under arms. They have been fighting against the Myanmar army since 1995, after a group of rebels refused to accept a ceasefire agreement signed by the Mong Tai army led by the Shan supremo at the time, the now deceased drug baron Khun Sa..."
      Author/creator: Larry Jagan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 30 May 2014


      Title: Economics of Peace and Conflict
      Date of publication: September 2013
      Description/subject: Executive summary: "The attention on business concessions and economic development in peace negotiations is a highly controversial issue that many believe compromises the core question of political and national identity issues. However it is important to recognise that major grievances that fuel conflict are related to economics, namely negative impacts of development projects on local communities and competition over control of economic resources between local ethnic groups and the central government. Moreover, Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs) themselves realise that fighting for the rights of their people cannot avoid the question of economics as money and power are inextricably linked. This report explores the economic roots of conflict in an attempt to identify peaceful solutions. It observes six main economic grievances that drive conflict in Myanmar, and tries to analyse the different measures being taken to address each of them. These grievances include increased militarisation of economic projects, lack of ownership and management power over natural resources, land confiscation, environmental and social impact of economic projects, poverty and underdevelopment in ethnic nationality areas. The reformist government has tried to respond to each of these grievances by initiating a multitude of bills, policies, development plans, commissions and committees under the existing constitution. NSAGs have tried to address these issues, sometimes independently, but more often through demands in peace negotiations with the government. Civil society groups also play an active role in voicing local needs and grievances that are important in informing sound decision making for policy solutions. International aid supports these different actors and reforms through financial and technical assistance. Analysing the wide-ranging attempts to address economic grievances reveals an important discovery that the key hindrance to ongoing reforms and implementation of peace agreements is the continued power of the military over the economy and government administrative structure. Its own economic interests and ideologies in dealing with NSAGs inevitably put them in opposition to the government’s plans to change existing power structures. The centralisation of key ownership and management power over natural resources stipulated in the 2008 Constitution also mean that the government’s enthusiasm for decentralisation reforms will not solve the ethnic struggle. The military's legacy may explain why - despite the many attempted solutions - conflict has not abated and locals have yet to witness major improvements in their lives. Ensuring that these solutions can succeed in achieving real change and sustainable peace will not only rely on great skill but reforming the old powers of the military and transforming it into a professional defence army. Understanding the underlying economic interests of competing groups in Myanmar is therefore critical in achieving the much desired peace and stability."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Myanmar Peace Monitor, Burma News International
      Format/size: pdf (1.5MB-reduced version; 13.6MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.mmpeacemonitor.org/images/pdf/economics_peace_and_conflict_eng.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 July 2014


      Title: ANALYSIS OF THE UNFC POSITION
      Date of publication: 06 August 2013
      Description/subject: EBO analysis of the UNFC position developed at its Chiangmai meeting of 29-31 July, 2013...contains article-by article analuysis plus a chart of the relative strength of the UNFC and non-UNFC forces.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office (EBO) Briefing Paper No. 4/2013
      Format/size: pdf (393K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 August 2013


      Title: Draft Framework for Political Negotiations
      Date of publication: 02 August 2013
      Description/subject: DRAFT PEACE AGREEMENT: WGEC Decision Aug 1-2, 2013 (Burmese); Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2 August 2013 (Draft, English); Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2 August 2013 (Draft, Burmese)... ANNEXES: ANNEX 1: Scope of participation.... ANNEX 2: Dialogue issues... ANNEX 3: Graphics: Panglong 2014 Graphic (English); Panglong 2014 Graphic (Burmese); Panglong II Graphic - Dialogue and Peace Process & Structures (Burmese); Panglong II Graphic - Dialogue and Peace Process & Structures (English); Burma Road Map (English); Burma Road Map (Burmese)
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Working Group for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC)
      Format/size: pdf (1.2MB)
      Date of entry/update: 17 August 2013


      Title: Statement of the Ethnic Nationalities Conference, August 2, 2013
      Date of publication: 02 August 2013
      Description/subject: "1. Under the aegis of the UNFC, an Ethnic Nationality Conference was held from July 29 to 31 at a certain place in the liberated area. 2. A total of 122 delegates, representing the UNFC member organizations, 18 resistance organizations, the United Nationality Alliance, 4 political parties of the ethnic nationalities, youth organizations, women organizations, community-based organizations, the overseas ethnic nationality organizations, academics and active individuals. 3. The delegates freely discussed matters relating to the current situation in Burma/Myanmar, enhancement of the unity of the ethnic nationalities and establishment of a future, peaceful, prosperous and genuine Federal Union. 4. The historic conference, in unity, adopted the following important positions and decisions..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
      Format/size: pdf (165K)
      Date of entry/update: 08 August 2013


      Title: THE UNFC AND THE PEACE PROCESS
      Date of publication: August 2013
      Description/subject: OVERVIEW: "At the beginning of June 2013 the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance representing 11 armed ethnic groups, took the unanticipated decision of withdrawing from the Working Group for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC). The WGEC had been formulating a framework that would focus on upcoming political dialogue including the agenda, the composition, the mandate, the structure, any transitional arrangements, and also its core principles.1 After the WGEC had created the framework that would be used in the peace process the UNFC declared that the WGEC was no longer relevant. And, as such, should be disbanded thus allowing the UNFC, using the framework, to be the sole negotiator with the Government. According to UNFC General Secretary Nai Han Tha: "The main object for setting up the WGEC was to design a draft framework for political dialogue with the government . . . Now that the work is completed, we have to focus on the negotiations with the government instead." Khun Okker, the UNFC joint Secretary – stated that one of the main reasons for the UNFC’s withdrawal from the WGEC was that: "We came to a hitch concerning the formation of the negotiation team . . . The WGEC wanted an overhaul (to make way for non-UNFC movements) while we could allow only a UNFC plus arrangement." According to the Euro-Burma office which supports the activities of the WGEC, the WGEC itself had proposed that a negotiating team be formed, in March 2013, for all armed ethnic groups. It was this proposition, that would have been all-inclusive involving both UNFC and non-UNFC members, that led to the UNFC withdrawal and its call for the WGEC to be disbanded. In an attempt to consolidate its negotiating position and secure further support for such a mandate, the UNFC organised a multi-ethnic conference from July 29 to July 31 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In total 122 delegates attended including 18 armed ethnic groups and the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) which is comprised of ethnic political parties that had contested the 1990 election. In addition, representatives from the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) and exiled representatives of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)also attended. Neither the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) nor the Karen National Union attended the conference...The conference resulted in six major points being made:..."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 16)
      Format/size: pdf (150K)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-16.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 04 September 2013


      Title: Rain for Myanmar's peace parade
      Date of publication: 25 June 2013
      Description/subject: "A grand ceremony is expected to be held next month in the Myanmar capital of Naypyidaw, where a nationwide ceasefire with various ethnic resistance armies will be announced to an audience of United Nations representatives and other foreign dignitaries. Ten of Myanmar's 11 major ethnic rebel groups who have signed individual ceasefire agreements with the government will be highlighted at the high-profile event. The one main rebel outlier, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), has not yet reached a ceasefire agreement. The most recent round of talks between KIA and government representatives in the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina held between May 28-30 failed to yield the deal government authorities anticipated. The two sides agreed only to a seven-point agreement stating that "the parties undertake efforts to achieve de-escalation and cessation of hostilities" and "to hold a political dialogue" - though no firm commitment was made concerning when such talks would commence..."
      Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 May 2014


      Title: Comprehensive Union Peace & Ceasefire Agreement Burma/Myanmar, 8 April 2013 (English & Burmese text)
      Date of publication: 20 June 2013
      Description/subject: Comprehensive Union Peace & Ceasefire Agreement, Burma/Myanmar, 8 April 2013 [made public, 20 June 2013)... CONCEPT DRAFT 1: Based on the: - Ceasefire Agreements between the Government and Ethnic Armed Groups (Nov. 2011-Dec. 2012) - Preliminary Framework Agreement (Dec. 2012), - Statement of Ethnic Nationalities 2012 Conference, - Consultations with EAG’s leadership (Jan – April 2013), - Statement from Civil Society Forum for Peace 2012.
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
      Format/size: pdf (97K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/2013-06-Comprehensive-union-peace-ceasefire-agreement-bu.html
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/2013-06-Comprehensive-union-peace-ceasefire-agreement-en.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


      Title: Ethnic working group presents draft framework for political negotiations
      Date of publication: 20 June 2013
      Description/subject: "After being shrouded in secrecy for months, it was disclosed at a recent meeting in Chiangmai that the long-awaited draft framework for the planned nationwide political dialogue had been presented to the Myanmar Peace Center (MPC) that serves as a technical advisory body for the government last month... Included in the draft entitled “Comprehensive National Peace and Ceasefire Agreement” are: A 15-point common principles (including Panglong Agreement, non-secession and inclusivity) * A 14-point nationwide ceasefire accord (including establishment of Military Code of Conduct, Joint Ceasefire Committee and liaison offices) * A 6-point framework agreement for political dialogue (including setting up of a joint National Dialogue Steering Committee and holding of National Dialogue Conference) * A 9-point transitional arrangement (including time frame, empowerment of vulnerable groups and land reform issues)... * Scope of participation (900 participants from government, political parties and ethnic armed movements) * A 9-point dialogue issues (including constitutional reforms, security reforms, land issues, drug eradication, IDP/refugee issues, language and cultural nights and media issues) *Military Code of Conduct (as drafted by the Karen National Union).....[Link to the text of the agreement at the foot of the article]
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


      Title: To Hopeland and back (Part II) #2
      Date of publication: 19 June 2013
      Description/subject: "Day One (9 June 2013): One of the obvious reasons the armed opposition has refused to enter government-controlled territory is because one is, at least psychologically, disadvantaged over one’s counterpart in the control of a situation. Many, like the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers, have therefore conducted their negotiations outside the country. Chairman Yawdserk however has adopted a different approach. He insisted that the first meeting, in 2008, must be held in a third country where each side would have an equal chance to put the feelers out on the other before deciding on the course of action to be taken..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


      Title: To Hopeland and Back (Part II) #1
      Date of publication: 18 June 2013
      Description/subject: "So I am back in Chiang Mai, which is the town that I have been in and out of since 1971, and where I have lived and worked since 1996, I have returned from an 8-day sojourn, 9-12 June, to Burma. I have come to call the country Hopeland, as it is a place full of hopes and dreams after more than 60 years of nightmares. I traveled to Hopeland on the invitation of Lt.-Gen. Yawdserk, who was invited by U Aung Min, Vice Chairman of the Union Peacemaking Work Committee (UPWC). The following events were organized by our hosts:..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 June 2013


      Title: Ongoing struggles
      Date of publication: May 2013
      Description/subject: Key Points: • Myanmar's central democratic reforms have received broad backing, enabling it to boost its legitimacy and consolidate its hold on power. • Although tentative ceasefires have been concluded with most of the ethno-nationalist armed groups, there is no clear timeline or plan to address longstanding demands for self-rule and the protection of cultural identities. • Meanwhile, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the principal protagonist in the struggle for ethnic rights, has been the focus of sustained military offensives. As Myanmar's democratic reform process rumbles on, military offensives continue despite ceasefires between most of the ethno-nationalist rebel armies and the government. Curtis W Lambrecht examines the road to peace in the country.
      Author/creator: Curtis W Lambrecht
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor, May 2013,
      Format/size: pdf (95K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 May 2013


      Title: Powers Seek Influence in Burma’s Conflict
      Date of publication: 18 March 2013
      Description/subject: "Burma’s President Thein Sein, while visiting Europe, announced that the government’s fighting against ethnic resistance forces has ended – even as the government moves more troops into the troubled areas. Meanwhile, the United States and China are scrambling for influence by brokering peace to end the ethnic conflicts. Dozens of think tanks and NGOs from the West are attracting donor funds and pouring into the country. “The outcome has been overlapping initiatives, rivalry among organizations – and, more often than not, a lack of understanding by inexperienced ‘peacemakers’ of the conflicts’ root causes,” explains journalist and author Bertil Lintner. China, unhappy with Burma’s embrace of the West, has been actively leading peace talks since January. Lintner points out that China’s Yunnan Province has more than 130,000 ethnic Kachin who sympathize with their fellow Burmese Kachin. Motivations may differ, but China and the US both want the conflicts to end. Burma’s leaders may find it difficult to pursue military solutions, continuing sending troops north, while playing China and the United States off each other..."
      Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Yale Global Online -Yale Center for the Study of Globalization
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 23 March 2013


      Title: Finally, a Window for Peace in Burma
      Date of publication: 09 March 2013
      Description/subject: "Civil war has plagued Burma for over 60 years now. At a number of times throughout that period, the ethnic rebel groups fighting for autonomy from the central government attempted to join forces. But their common foe, the Burmese military, consistently refused to have any dealings with alliances that tried to bring together all the restive minorities into a common front. The reason for this was simple: The generals always understood that ethnic rebels tend to be a fractious bunch, and that it’s only too easy to incite defections by playing to a particular group’s sectional interests (whether it be the offer of a favorable deal or the threat of a harsh crackdown). As a result, the Burmese army developed considerable expertise in the subtleties of divide and rule. On Feb. 20, this well-established scenario finally collapsed. For the first time, the Burmese government’s senior ministers met with the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance of 11 ethnic armed groups, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. According to a joint statement released after the meeting, the discussion focused on establishing an agenda for future political dialogue between the government and the ethnic council..."
      Author/creator: Min Zin
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 March 2013


      Title: Investing in peace: the role of business in Myanmar’s peace process
      Date of publication: 08 March 2013
      Description/subject: "As the peace negotiations in Myanmar continue at an ever-increasing pace, the necessity for regulated, transparent, and ethical business opportunities increases. While there has been much negative criticism of business’s role in the peace process, with government talks often being attended and in some cases financed by businessmen, the need for development in ethnic states should not be overshadowed by political short-sightedness and worries over the inclusion of the private sector. It is essential that ethnic armed groups, in a time of peace, should move away from their current main sources of income, which include taxing the local communities, logging and mining, to less socially and environmentally destructive forms of supporting themselves. And the private sector can facilitate this. While environmental activists will argue that the inclusion of business is detrimental to the peace process, it is essential in areas that have been underdeveloped for decades..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Source/publisher: Mizzima
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 12 March 2013


      Title: Mapping of Myanmar Peacebuilding Civil Society
      Date of publication: 07 March 2013
      Description/subject: This paper was prepared in the framework of the Civil Society Dialogue Network (CSDN) http://www.eplo.org/civil-society-dialogue-network.html The paper was produced as background for the CSDN meeting entitled ‘Supporting Myanmar’s Evolving Peace Processes: What Roles for Civil Society and the EU?’ which took place in Brussels on 7 March 2013...."The peace process currently underway in Myanmar represents the best opportunity in half a century to resolve ethnic and state-society conflicts. The most significant challenges facing the peace process are: to initiate substantial political dialogue between the government and NSAGs (broaden the peace process); to include participation of civil society and affected communities (deepen the peace process); to demonstrate the Myanmar Army’s willingness to support the peace agenda. Communities in many parts of the country are already experiencing benefits, particularly in terms of freedom of movement and reduction in more serious human rights abuses. Nevertheless, communities have serious concerns regarding the peace process, including in the incursion of business interests (e.g. natural resource extraction projects) into previously inaccessible, conflict-affected areas. Concerns also relate to the exclusion thus far of most local actors from meaningful participation in the peace process. Indeed, many civil society actors and political parties express growing resentment at being excluded from the peace process..."
      Author/creator: Charles Petrie, Ashley South
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Civil Society Dialogue Network
      Format/size: pdf (266K)
      Alternate URLs: http://eplo.org/geographic-meetings.html (This EPLO page has links to related studies and papers)
      Date of entry/update: 16 April 2013


      Title: Joint Statement by the UPWC and UNFC
      Date of publication: 20 February 2013
      Description/subject: "...The eleven-member Union Peace Working Committee delegation, led by its Vice Chairman H.E. U Aung Min, and including Union Ministers H.E. U Khin Yi, H.E. U Ohn Myint, and Deputy Attorney General U Htun Htun Oo met with a United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) twelve-member political negotiation team led by Nai Hong Sar and Dr. La Ja to discuss the Framework for Political Dialogue between 9:00 am to 17:00 pm on February 20, 2013 in Chiang Mai, Thailand..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Thailand-Burma Border
      Format/size: pdf (65K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.thailandburmaborder.org/joint-statement-by-the-upwc-and-unfc/
      Date of entry/update: 11 March 2013


      Title: ALLIED IN WAR , DIVIDED IN PEACE - The Future of Ethnic Unity in Burma
      Date of publication: February 2013
      Description/subject: "On 20 February 2013, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) an 11 member ethnic alliance met with the Burmese Government’s Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) at the Holiday Inn, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The meeting , supported by the Nippon Foundation, was an attempt by Government negotiators to include all relevant actor s in the peace process. The UNFC is seen as one of the last remaining actors to represent the various armed ethnic groups in the country (for more information see BP No.6 Establishing a Common Framework) and has frequently sought to negotiate terms as an inclusive ethnic alliance...According to peace negotiator Nyo Ohn Myint , discussing the most recent meeting, in February 2013: Primarily they will discuss framework for starting the peace process, beginning with: addressing ways to advance political dialogue; the division of rev enue and resources between the central government and the ethnic states; and how to maintain communica tion channels for further talks. Khun Okker, who attended the meeting, suggested that the February meeting was primarily a trust building exercise for th e UNFC and the Government. While individual armed groups had spoken to U Aung Min throughout their negotiation processes and some had already built up trust with the negotiation team. He believed that the UNFC would be more cautious in its approach in relation to the peace process, especially considering the continuing clashes with UNFC members including the KIO and SSPP/SSA..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan, Editor: Lian H. Sakhong
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 12, February 2013)
      Format/size: pdf (215K)
      Date of entry/update: 11 March 2013


      Title: Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process - A Reference Guide, 2013 (Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
      Date of publication: January 2013
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The new nominally civilian government is making serious efforts to achieve peace in Myanmar after more than 60 years of civil war. Peace is critical for ending human suffering and achieving stability; a precondition for overcoming poverty, ensuring long term development and protecting human rights. Most importantly, peace is essential for implementing a stable democracy. In 2015, Myanmar will become a full member of the ASEAN community in which it is responsible to meet the standards outlined in the ASEAN charter. Although all sides want the confl ict to end, achieving peace is no easy task. The protracted civil war in Myanmar is complicated not only by the sheer number of ethnic armed groups who are competing for regional and domestic interests, but also from the lack of trust and misunderstandings resulting from poor communication and transparency on all sides. Therefore it is crucial to carefully monitor the peace process to improve understanding and clarity necessary for establishing lasting peace. This book serves as a reference guide for media outlets and stakeholders involved in the peace process. It provides an overall picture of the problems resulting from the ongoing confl icts, identifi es the root causes that need to be addressed and maps out the entire structure of the peace plan. By identifying all the key actors, their interests and activities for peace, it becomes possible to make sense of the complicated relationships, as well as points of convergence and confl ict related to their activities. In this sense, the information compiled in this book will help readers locate actors and events that form the larger picture to understand how they are interconnected in the peace process. By both clarifying and tracking the developments, this book has identifi ed some important issues that need to be addressed. One of these includes transparency; confusion and contradicting information about all of the activities is hindering the peace process. Transparency is not only key to effective policy planning and implementation, but also for overcoming distrust and building confi dence between the various actors. An immediate end to the confl icts in Kachin and northern Shan state is also crucial to prevent the crisis from further spiraling out of control. At present there is a divergence between the government and ethnic road map to peace. A political settlement that details power sharing, fair distribution of natural resources and an alternative to the government’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme that could unify all ethnic armed groups within the Union would help to bridge this current gap. Burma News International (BNI) is a unique alliance of 11 independent media organizations, 9 of which represent different ethnic groups from Myanmar. BNI’s bases of operation include Yangon and many of the countries bordering with Myanmar. Our members’ extensive networks provided the means to an end to access all of the detailed information about the various viii Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process ethnic armed groups, community groups and the government that is compiled in this book. As Myanmar undergoes one of the most signifi cant political transformations in the country’s history, BNI will continue to monitor and advocate for both media freedom and transparency leading towards democracy and sustainable peace."
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Burma News International
      Format/size: pdf (5MB, 7MB-reduced versions; 22.6MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/Myanmar-Peace-Process-bu-ocr-tu-red.pdf
      http://burmese.bnionline.net/images/2013/pdf/Myanmar-Peace-Process-Burmese-version.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 07 August 2013


      Title: Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process - A Reference Guide, 2013 (English)
      Date of publication: January 2013
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The new nominally civilian government is making serious efforts to achieve peace in Myanmar after more than 60 years of civil war. Peace is critical for ending human suffering and achieving stability; a precondition for overcoming poverty, ensuring long term development and protecting human rights. Most importantly, peace is essential for implementing a stable democracy. In 2015, Myanmar will become a full member of the ASEAN community in which it is responsible to meet the standards outlined in the ASEAN charter. Although all sides want the confl ict to end, achieving peace is no easy task. The protracted civil war in Myanmar is complicated not only by the sheer number of ethnic armed groups who are competing for regional and domestic interests, but also from the lack of trust and misunderstandings resulting from poor communication and transparency on all sides. Therefore it is crucial to carefully monitor the peace process to improve understanding and clarity necessary for establishing lasting peace. This book serves as a reference guide for media outlets and stakeholders involved in the peace process. It provides an overall picture of the problems resulting from the ongoing confl icts, identifi es the root causes that need to be addressed and maps out the entire structure of the peace plan. By identifying all the key actors, their interests and activities for peace, it becomes possible to make sense of the complicated relationships, as well as points of convergence and confl ict related to their activities. In this sense, the information compiled in this book will help readers locate actors and events that form the larger picture to understand how they are interconnected in the peace process. By both clarifying and tracking the developments, this book has identifi ed some important issues that need to be addressed. One of these includes transparency; confusion and contradicting information about all of the activities is hindering the peace process. Transparency is not only key to effective policy planning and implementation, but also for overcoming distrust and building confi dence between the various actors. An immediate end to the confl icts in Kachin and northern Shan state is also crucial to prevent the crisis from further spiraling out of control. At present there is a divergence between the government and ethnic road map to peace. A political settlement that details power sharing, fair distribution of natural resources and an alternative to the government’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme that could unify all ethnic armed groups within the Union would help to bridge this current gap. Burma News International (BNI) is a unique alliance of 11 independent media organizations, 9 of which represent different ethnic groups from Myanmar. BNI’s bases of operation include Yangon and many of the countries bordering with Myanmar. Our members’ extensive networks provided the means to an end to access all of the detailed information about the various viii Deciphering Myanmar’s Peace Process ethnic armed groups, community groups and the government that is compiled in this book. As Myanmar undergoes one of the most signifi cant political transformations in the country’s history, BNI will continue to monitor and advocate for both media freedom and transparency leading towards democracy and sustainable peace."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma News International
      Format/size: pdf (2MB-OBL version; 21.2MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.bnionline.net/images/2013/pdf/Deciphering-Myanmar%E2%80%99s-Peace-Process-For-Web.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 22 February 2013


      Title: Prospects for Peace in Myanmar: Opportunities and Threats
      Date of publication: 12 December 2012
      Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "This paper examines the peace process in Myanmar from the perspectives of the Myanmar government and Army, and non-state armed groups, as well as ethnic nationality political and civil society actors and conflict affected communities. It argues that this is the best opportunity to resolve ethnic conflicts in the country since the military coup of 1962. However, the peace process will not ultimately succeed unless the government demonstrates a commitment to engage on the political issues which have long structured armed conflicts in Myanmar, and can also bring fighting to an end in Kachin and Shan States. On the political front, important progress was made in October-November 2012 in the relationship between government peace envoys and non-state armed groups. The government seems committed to political talks, although it is not yet clear how and when these will begin in earnest. In some ways, it will be easier for the government to initiate political talks with opposition groups, than to ensure that the Myanmar Army follows the peace agenda. Recent negotiations with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) have made little progress, resulting in a worrying continuation of armed conflict in northern Myanmar. This paper sketches different - sometimes contested - positions regarding the peace process in Myanmar, on the part of different ethnic actors, and analyses their strategies. It goes on to describe and discuss some of the winners and losers in the peace process. The paper argues that, in order to build a sustainable and deep-rooted peace process, it is necessary to involve conflict-affected communities and civil society organisations and above-ground ethnic political parties; it is also necessary to re-imagine peace and conflict in Myanmar as issues affecting the whole of society, including the Burman majority. The paper concludes by sketching a ‘framework agreement’, by which the government and representatives of minority communities could move onto a substantial political discourse.".....CONTENTS: 1. Abstract; 2. Introduction; 3. Key Challenges; 4. Background; 5. 2012: Prospects for Peace; 6. The Myanmar Government and Army; 7. Ethnic Actors; 8. Potential Spoilers; 9. Supporting the Peace Process, Doing No Harm; 10. Ways Forward; 11. References; 12. List of Non State Armed Groups (NSAGs)
      Author/creator: Ashley South
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Peace Reserch Institute, Oslo (PRIO)
      Format/size: pdf (706K)
      Date of entry/update: 12 December 2012


      Title: Myanmar’s current peace processes : a new role for women?
      Date of publication: December 2012
      Description/subject: Introduction: "Myanmar has experienced one of the most complex and long lasting armed conflicts in the world. Since 1948, successive military governments have come to power under the guise of managing diverse ethnic armed groups with demands for self-determination and the granting of equal rights to ethnic nationalities. While a lack of democracy has often been seen as Myanmar’s main challenge, in fact the most influential factor in the country’s ethnic conflict is the militarisation of the government. On the one hand the newly elected government is pushing democratic reforms, and on the other, the emergence of a sustainable and just state of peace remains an issue of concern, especially among the general population. The inclusion of women in the peace processes in Myanmar is minimal but awareness among women in civil society of the importance of inclusion is high. This Opinion Piece will endeavor to assess the roles of women and their contributions in the current complex dynamics in Myanmar, and suggest ways in which they could be developed in the interests of a just, sustainable peace in the country." ....Conclusion: "Despite cultural perceptions and the male-dominated political setting which places constraints on acknowledging women’s leadership, the changing political context is an open door to expand the participation of women in peace processes. One should acknowledge that the awareness-raising on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment programmes, which has been supported by international organisations, is contributing towards women’s ability to expand their participation in the public domain. In addition, the commitment to support Myanmar’s peace processes and the influence from the international community encourage the leaders of all parties involved in current peace processes to reflect on the inclusion of women. Though there is some will and interest from male political leaders to include women in peace processes, it does not come automatically. The peace door is not locked for women but a strong and collective effort is still needed to open the door for women’s participation in the peace processes in Myanmar."
      Author/creator: Ja Nan Lahtaw & Nang Raw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: The Centre for Humanitaian Dialogue (The HD Centre)
      Format/size: pdf (225K-OBL version; 435K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.hdcentre.org/files/Myanmar%20FINAL.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 01 January 2013


      Title: Steps towards peace: Local participation in the Karen ceasefire process
      Date of publication: 07 November 2012
      Description/subject: "This commentary considers Karen villagers' perspectives on impacts of the ceasefire between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Government of the Union of Myanmar. In light of their concerns, this commentary makes workable recommendations about what the most effective next steps could be for negotiating parties and for stakeholders in the ceasefire process. Building on KHRG's previous analysis in Safeguarding human rights in a post-ceasefire in eastern Burma, published in January 2012, this commentary brings to light new evidence of villagers' perspectives. Documentation received since the ceasefire reveals some positive changes, but also raises concerns about ongoing human rights abuses in the post-conflict environment, as a result of ingrained abusive practices and a lack of accountability, particularly in areas where there has been an increase in business, development, natural resource extraction, accompanied by a continued military presence. KHRG believes that the perpetration of abuses is exacerbated, and villagers' options to respond effectively limited, both by the lack of opportunities for genuine local input and a dearth of information-sharing concerning new developments. Analysis for this commentary was prepared based on a collaborative workshop held between all staff members at KHRG's administrative office, as well as field documentation and oral testimony received since January 2012 from villagers in all KHRG research areas, which incorporate all or parts of Kayin and Mon States, and Bago and Tanintharyi Regions..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (66K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12c3.html
      Date of entry/update: 07 November 2012


      Title: Changing Realities, Poverty and Displacement in South East Burma/Myanmar - 2012 Survey (TBC)
      Date of publication: 31 October 2012
      Description/subject: "A significant decrease in forced displacement has been documented by community‐based organisations in South East Myanmar after a series of ceasefire agreements were negotiated earlier this year. While armed conflict continues in Kachin State and communal violence rages in Rakhine State, field surveys indicate that that there has been a substantial decrease in hostilities affecting Karen, Karenni, Shan and Mon communities. In its annual survey of displacement and poverty released today, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) estimates that 10,000 people were forced from their homes during the past year in comparison to an average of 75,000 people displaced every year during the previous decade. While there remain at least 400,000 internally displaced persons in rural areas of South East Myanmar, the tentative return of 37,000 civilians to their villages or surrounding areas reflects hope for an end to displacement. After supporting refugees and internally displaced persons for nearly three decades, TBBC’s Executive Director Jack Dunford is optimistic about the possibility of forging a sustainable solution but conscious that there are many obstacles still to come. “The challenge of transforming preliminary ceasefire agreements into a substantive peace process is immense, but this is the best chance we have ever had to create the conditions necessary to support voluntary and dignified return in safety”, said Mr Dunford. Poverty assessments conducted by TBBC’s community‐based partners with over 4,000 households across 21 townships provide a sobering reminder about the impact of protracted conflict on civilian livelihoods. The findings suggest that 59% of households in rural communities of South East Myanmar are impoverished, with the indicators particularly severe in northern Karen areas where there have been allegations of widespread and systematic human rights abuse. The Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar reported to the United Nations General Assembly last month that truth, justice and accountability are integral to the process of securing peace and national reconciliation. Mr Dunford commented that “after all the violence and abuse, inclusive planning processes can help to rebuild trust by ensuring that the voices of those most affected are heard and that civil society representatives are involved at all stages”." (TBC Press Release, 31 October 2012)..... 9 documents: English full report (Zip-PDF: 22.5Mb); Burmese brochure (PDF: 8.25Mb); English brochure (PDF: 0.9Mb); English Exec Summ. (PDF: 270Kb); English-Chapter 1 (PDF: 800Kb); English-Chapter 2 (PDF: 7.9Mb); English-Chapter 3 (PDF: 9.7Mb); English-Chapter 4 (PDF: 5.6Mb); English-Appendices (PDF: 5.9Mb).....
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: The Border Consortium - TBC (formerly Thailand Burma Border Consortium - TBBC )
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tbbc.org/idps/report-2012-idp-en-press-release.pdf (press release)
      http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/report-2012-idp-full-en-op-red.pdf (slightly reduced version of the full report)
      Date of entry/update: 02 November 2012


      Title: “We Have Seen This Before”: Burma’s Fragile Peace Process
      Date of publication: 01 October 2012
      Description/subject: "Since President Thein Sein came to power, Burma has been undergoing some limited, yet reversible, democratic reforms. In tandem with these reforms are peace negotiation attempts that started in late 2011 resulting in preliminary ceasefires being signed with most major ethnic non-state armed groups. However, armed clashes continue between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army, as well as with several groups that have signed preliminary ceasefires including the Shan State Army – North, Shan State Army – South, the Karen National Liberation Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army. Due to the lack of political dialogue, little progress has been made in the peace process to date. The process has been one-sided, divisive and has failed to lay solid foundations for sustainable peace. From both civil society and ethnic non-state armed groups, however, the message has been clear: a development agenda cannot be a substitute for a political settlement. This briefing paper looks at the different peace plans put forward by the government and ethnic non-state armed groups, the need for political dialogue, problematic negotiation processes and ceasefire agreements, continuing human rights violations and serious concerns about peace fund initiatives. It also includes recommendations to the Government of Burma, to ethnic non-state armed groups and to the international community"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Partnership
      Format/size: pdf (171K-OBL version; 757K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmapartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/We-Have-Seen-This-Before-Burmas-Fragile-...
      Date of entry/update: 09 October 2012


      Title: No easy peace for Myanmar
      Date of publication: 13 September 2012
      Description/subject: "A Norwegian government initiative in support of peace talks between the Myanmar government and ethnic armed groups fighting decades-old insurgencies has come under fire. New efforts to overhaul the so-called Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI) may or may not allay those concerns, let alone achieve lasting peace in Myanmar's long restive ethnic minority areas. The Norwegian initiative was launched after a visit by then railways minister Aung Min, President Thein Sein's chief negotiator with armed ethnic groups and exiled pro-democracy organizations, to Oslo in January. MPSI has aimed to facilitate talks between the government and armed ethnic organizations through funding for consultations with local communities, needs assessments, and the establishment of liaison offices near conflict zones. MPSI is bidding to address conflicts where ceasefires already exist and a peace process between the government and non-state armed groups has been established. Some of the insurgent groups, such as the New Mon State Party (NMSP), have previously held ceasefires with the government. Others, like the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S), have only recently agreed to tentatively stop fighting. A pilot project launched earlier this year with the KNU in Kyauk Kyi township of southern central Pegu Division provides emergency assistance to internally displaced villagers living in surrounding areas. Since then, MPSI has conducted consultations with ethnic-based organizations in Karen, Mon, Shan, Rakhine, and Chin States..."
      Author/creator: Brian McCartan
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 12 September 2012


      Title: New Mon State Party, gov’t sign preliminary agreement
      Date of publication: 01 February 2012
      Description/subject: "The New Mon State Party (NMSP) peace delegation and the Burmese government agreed to a five-point state-level peace program on Wednesday. The New Mon State Party and Burmese government agreed to a five-point peace program on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. The New Mon State Party and Burmese government agreed to a five-point peace program on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Photo: Mizzima The NMSP delegation will submit the five-point preliminary agreement to the NMSP central committee and if it its accepted, Mon officials will sign a cease-fire agreement in the third week of February. The peace talk was held in the Strand Hotel in Mawlamyine in Mon State. The agreement covers a halt to fighting, the formation of peace delegations to conduct national-level peace talks, the selection of liaison offices, an agreement not to travel with weapons except in designated areas, and to stay in agreed upon control areas..."
      Author/creator: Nyi Thit
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Mizzima
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 02 February 2012


      Title: Ending Burma’s Conflict Cycle? Prospects for Ethnic Peace
      Date of publication: February 2012
      Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: * The new cease-fire talks initiated by the Thein Sein government are a significant break with the failed ethnic policies of the past and should be welcomed. However, the legacy of decades of war and oppression has created deep mistrust among different ethnic nationality communities, and ethnic conflict cannot be solved overnight. * A halt to all offensive military operations and human rights abuses against local civilians must be introduced and maintained. * The government has promised ethnic peace talks at the national level, but has yet to provide details on the process or set out a timetable. In order to end the conflict and to achieve true ethnic peace, the current talks must move beyond simply establishing new cease-fires. * It is vital that the process towards ethnic peace and justice is sustained by political dialogue at the national level, and that key ethnic grievances and aspirations are addressed. * There are concerns about economic development in the conflict zones and ethnic borderlands as a follow-up to the peace agreements, as events and models in the past caused damage to the environment and local livelihoods, generating further grievances. Failures from the past must be identified and addressed. * Peace must be understood as an overarching national issue, which concerns citizens of all ethnic groups in the country, including the Burman majority.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland (Burma Policy Briefing Nr 8)
      Format/size: pdf (272K - OBL version; 457K - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/bpb8.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 21 February 2012


      Title: Burma's Ethnic Ceasefire Agreements (Burmese)
      Date of publication: 31 January 2012
      Description/subject: "Since implementing recent political reforms, the Thein Sein government has attempted to make a number of state level ceasefire agreements with both previous ceasefire groups and other anti-government forces. On the 13 January 2012, the Burmese government signed an intial peace agreement with the Karen National Union. The agreement, the third such agreement with ethnic opposition forces within two month, signals a radical change in how previous Burmese governments have dealt with ethnic grievences. Up until the recent negotiations and the outbreak of hostilities in Kachin State, there had been three main ethnic groups with armies fighting against the government. These armies are the Karen National Liberation Army, which has between three and four thousand troops, the Shan State Army – South, which has between six and seven thousand troops, and the Karenni Army, fielding between eight hundred to fifteen hundred troops. In addition to the three main groups there are also the Chin National Front (Chin National Army) with approximately two hundred troops3 and the Arakan Liberation Army with roughly one hundred troops.4 Under previous military regimes, the ethnic question had been dealt with as a military matter and not as a political or constitutional issue. Consequently, the failure of the Burmese government to recognize the true nature of the ethnic struggle resulted in constant civil war. As a result, over a hundred and fifty thousand refugees have been forced to shelter in neighbouring countries due to a conflict that has been charecterized by it myriad human rights abuses. Recent negotiations have changed significantly due to the fact that the Thein Sein government has dropped a number of requirements that previous regimes had made in relation to setting conditions for talks. One of the most important was the fact that a ceasefire must be agreed to prior to discussions taking place. Recent talks have taken place without this condition and unlike previous attempts at peace the Burmese authorities have not demanded weapons to be surrendered first. Another previous condition was the insistence that all talks must take place inside Burma. This was also recently negated with exploratory talks taking place in Thailand with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army – South (RCSS/SSA), The Chin National Front (CNF) and the Karen National Union (KNU) and also in China with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). According to media reports5 the Burmese government has set the following conditions in relation to conducting agreements with the ethnic groups:..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Language: Burmese
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 1)
      Format/size: pdf (184K)
      Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


      Title: Burma’s Ethnic Ceasefire Agreements (English)
      Date of publication: 31 January 2012
      Description/subject: "Since implementing recent political reforms, the Thein Sein government has attempted to make a number of state level ceasefire agreements with both previous ceasefire groups and other anti-government forces. On the 13 January 2012, the Burmese government signed an intial peace agreement with the Karen National Union. The agreement, the third such agreement with ethnic opposition forces within two month, signals a radical change in how previous Burmese governments have dealt with ethnic grievences. Up until the recent negotiations and the outbreak of hostilities in Kachin State, there had been three main ethnic groups with armies fighting against the government. These armies are the Karen National Liberation Army, which has between three and four thousand troops, the Shan State Army – South, which has between six and seven thousand troops, and the Karenni Army, fielding between eight hundred to fifteen hundred troops. In addition to the three main groups there are also the Chin National Front (Chin National Army) with approximately two hundred troops3 and the Arakan Liberation Army with roughly one hundred troops.4 Under previous military regimes, the ethnic question had been dealt with as a military matter and not as a political or constitutional issue. Consequently, the failure of the Burmese government to recognize the true nature of the ethnic struggle resulted in constant civil war. As a result, over a hundred and fifty thousand refugees have been forced to shelter in neighbouring countries due to a conflict that has been charecterized by it myriad human rights abuses. Recent negotiations have changed significantly due to the fact that the Thein Sein government has dropped a number of requirements that previous regimes had made in relation to setting conditions for talks. One of the most important was the fact that a ceasefire must be agreed to prior to discussions taking place. Recent talks have taken place without this condition and unlike previous attempts at peace the Burmese authorities have not demanded weapons to be surrendered first. Another previous condition was the insistence that all talks must take place inside Burma. This was also recently negated with exploratory talks taking place in Thailand with the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army – South (RCSS/SSA), The Chin National Front (CNF) and the Karen National Union (KNU) and also in China with the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). According to media reports5 the Burmese government has set the following conditions in relation to conducting agreements with the ethnic groups:..."
      Author/creator: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (Briefing Paper No. 1 January 2012)
      Format/size: pdf (558K)
      Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


      Title: Safeguarding human rights in a post-ceasefire eastern Burma
      Date of publication: 26 January 2012
      Description/subject: "The ongoing ceasefire negotiations between the Government of Myanmar and the Karen National Union present an important opportunity for bringing lasting peace and improved human rights conditions to local people in eastern Burma. If the ceasefire can end fighting between the two parties, it should end human rights abuses associated with armed conflict. Human rights abuses, however, do not stem only from armed conflict but also from ingrained abusive practices and lack of accountability for perpetrators. In the absence of armed conflict, abuses related to extracting labour, money and resources from villagers and consolidating state control can be expected to continue or even worsen, particularly where there is a correlative increase in industrial, business or development initiatives undertaken without opportunities for genuine local input. Given these concerns, this commentary concludes by presenting recommendations for using the ceasefire negotiations to define monitoring processes that can offer new options for communities already attempting to protect their human rights. Analysis for this commentary was developed in workshops held with staff at KHRG's administrative office in Thailand and with villagers working with KHRG to document human rights abuses in Mon and Karen states and Bago and Tennaserim divisions"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (58K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12c1.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


      Title: Statement on Initial Agreement between KNU and Burmese Government
      Date of publication: 14 January 2012
      Description/subject: "• The 19-member KNU delegation held talks with Railways Minister, U Aung Min, and other representatives of the Burmese government on 12-1-2012, in Pa-an. • The KNU delegation reached an initial agreement with the Burmese government's representatives towards a ceasefire agreement. When the delegation returns to our headquarters, the KNU leadership will discuss about subsequent steps required in this dialogue with the Burmese government. • The KNU welcomes the report by its delegation that the Burmese government's representatives agreed, in principle, to the eleven-point proposal, which the KNU presented in the talks. The KNU leadership will take further steps to continue concrete discussions on how the terms and conditions of the proposal will be materialized on the ground, in detail, before both sides can agree on the final ceasefire agreement. • The eleven points of the KNU proposal are:..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen National Union
      Format/size: pdf (75K)
      Date of entry/update: 14 January 2012


      Title: KNU and Burma government agree to further talks
      Date of publication: 13 January 2012
      Description/subject: "Yesterday, a 19-member Karen National Union delegation held talks with Burma government representatives, led by Railways Minister, Aung Min, in Pa-an, Karen State to discuss a ceasefire agreement. A KNU spokesperson confirmed to Karen News what the talks had achieved. “The KNU delegation reached an initial agreement with the Burma government’s representatives towards a ceasefire agreement. When the delegation returns to our headquarters, the KNU will continue to discuss about subsequent steps in this negotiation with the Burmese government.” The KNU spokesperson said the KNU welcomed the Burma delegation’s agreement-in-principle to the 11 key points they presented at the Pa-an talks..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen News
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 January 2012


      Title: Text of the Unofficial Translation of CNF Ceasefire Agreement
      Date of publication: 07 January 2012
      Description/subject: "07 January 2012: Chinland Guardian is pleased to present the unofficial translation of the preliminary peace agreement between the Chin National Front and the Chin State Government following the two-days peace talks in Hakha this week..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Chinland Guardian
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 12 January 2012


      Title: Breakthrough: CNF Signed Ceasefire Deal with Govt.
      Date of publication: 06 January 2012
      Description/subject: "06 January 2012: In an historic development, the Chin National Front (CNF) has signed a ceasefire agreement with the new Burmese government at the end of a two-day peace negotiation in Chin State capital Hakha. A source present in the negotiation has confirmed to Chinland Guardian that leaders of both sides of the official delegations have entered their signatures on a document containing the official ceasefire agreement..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Chinland Guardian"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 12 January 2012


      Title: Initial Agreement Towards Peace (RCSS/SSA + RUM)
      Date of publication: 07 December 2011
      Description/subject: Initial Agreement Towards Peace between RCSS/SSA + RUM [Republic of the Union of Myanma]... (Unofficial translation)... The RCSS/SSA and state level peacemaking bodies agree to observe the following subjects:
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shanland.org
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 12 January 2012


      Title: Naypyidaw Signs Peace Agreement with SSA-South
      Date of publication: 02 December 2011
      Description/subject: "The Burmese government on Friday signed a ceasefire agreement at state level with the Shan State Army-South (SSA-South), one of the major ethnic militias in Burma's restive border regions, while its military operations show no sign of abating in Kachin State. According to official sources at the meeting in Taunggyi between representatives of the Shan State administration and the SSA-South, led by Brig-Gen Sai Lu, the agreement included not only a ceasefire, but government assurances of economic development, a joint-task force working against illegal drugs in Shan State, and the opening of liaison offices. Sources say the next step in the truce is to hold a series of negotiations between a Union-level peace committee and the SSA-South..."
      Author/creator: Wai Moe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 12 January 2012


      Title: MYANMAR: A NEW PEACE INITIATIVE
      Date of publication: 30 November 2011
      Description/subject: Conclusion: "Myanmar has faced ethnic turmoil and armed conflicts since the early days of its independence. Today this remains probably the single most important issue facing the country. In the last few months, the new government has begun implementing an extraordinary series of social, economic and political reforms and a peace initiative that offers steps no previous government has been willing to take. This has convinced most of the armed groups to agree new ceasefires or enter into peace talks. While serious clashes continue in Kachin State and parts of Shan State, momentum is clearly building behind the government’s initiative. It may offer the best chance in over 60 years for resolving these conflicts. Finding a sustainable end to some of the longest-running armed conflicts in the world would be a historic achievement. But lasting peace is by no means assured. Ethnic minority grievances run deep, and bringing peace will take more than reaching ceasefire agreements with the armed groups. It requires addressing the grievances and aspirations of all minority populations and building trust between communities. The way the country deals with its enormous diversity would need to be fundamentally rethought. This is an issue in which every person in the country has a stake. The international community has an important role to play in support of peace and development in Myanmar. It is crucial first to understand the complexities. No one party to the conflict, including the government, can solve the problem by itself; and pressuring one party to a conflict is never likely to be effective. In particular, resolving once and for all the conflict should not become another benchmark that the government must meet in order to achieve improved relations with the West or have sanctions lifted. With respect to a government that has demonstrated a commitment to major reform and closer ties with the West, there are far better diplomatic tools available to keep a focus on the ethnic conflict. The same is true of the serious human rights abuses associated with that conflict. These will only be ended definitively by reforming the institutional culture of the armed forces, changing key military policies that lead to such abuses, strengthening domestic accountability mechanisms to ensure that the prevailing sense of impunity among soldiers in operational areas is addressed – and by peace. The international community must be ready to move quickly to support emerging peace deals with political and development support. Many of the grievances of ethnic minority communities relate to socio-economic and minority rights, and it is important that there be an immediate dividend for any ceasefires, in order to build the constituency for peace. Supporting socio-economic development, greater regional autonomy and peacebuilding and contributing to greater understanding and trust between communities is vital."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: International Crisis Group (ICG)
      Format/size: pdf (454K - OBL version; 3.17MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/214%20Myanmar%20-%20A%2...
      Date of entry/update: 01 December 2011


      Title: Conflict or Peace? Ethnic Unrest Intensifies in Burma
      Date of publication: June 2011
      Description/subject: "...The breakdown in the ceasefire of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) with the central government represents a major failure in national politics and threatens a serious humanitarian crisis if not immediately addressed. Over 11,000 refugees have been displaced and dozens of casualties reported during two weeks of fighting between government forces and the KIO. Thousands of troops have been mobilized, bridges destroyed and communications disrupted, bringing hardship to communities across northeast Burma/Myanmar.1 There is now a real potential for ethnic conflict to further spread. In recent months, ceasefires have broken down with Karen and Shan opposition forces, and the ceasefire of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) in south Burma is under threat. Tensions between the government and United Wa State Army (UWSA) also continue. It is essential that peace talks are initiated and grievances addressed so that ethnic conflict in Burma does not spiral into a new generation of militarised violence and human rights abuse..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 7, June 2011
      Format/size: pdf (407K)
      Date of entry/update: 25 June 2011


      Title: Burma's New Government: Prospects for Governance and Peace in Ethnic States
      Date of publication: 29 May 2011
      Description/subject: Conclusions and Recommendations: * Two months after a new government took over the reins of power in Burma, it is too early to make any definitive assessment of the prospects for improved governance and peace in ethnic areas. Initial signs give some reason for optimism, but the difficulty of overcoming sixty years of conflict and strongly-felt grievances and deep suspicions should not be underestimated... * The economic and geostrategic realities are changing fast, and they will have a fundamental impact – positive and negative – on Burma’s borderlands. But unless ethnic communities are able to have much greater say in the governance of their affairs, and begin to see tangible benefits from the massive development projects in their areas, peace and broadbased development will remain elusive... * The new decentralized governance structures have the potential to make a positive contribution in this regard, but it is unclear if they can evolve into sufficiently powerful and genuinely representative bodies quickly enough to satisfy ethnic * There has been renewed fighting in Shan State, and there are warning signs that more ethnic ceasefires could break down. Negotiations with armed groups and an improved future for long-marginalized ethnic populations is the only way that peace can be achieved.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI) & Burma Centrum Nederland (BCN). Burma Policy Briefing Nr 6, May 2011
      Format/size: pdf (352K - OBL version; 1.1MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/bpb6.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 30 May 2011


      Title: Dilemmas of Burma in transition
      Date of publication: March 2011
      Description/subject: "Until a government of Burma is able to accept the role of non-state armed groups as providers for civilian populations and affords them legitimacy within a legal framework, sustained conflict and mass displacement remain inevitable. Throughout decades of brutal conflict, which have seen thousands of villages destroyed and millions of people displaced, Burma’s ruling regime has made no effort to provide support for affected civilians. As a result, Burma’s ethnic non-state armed groups (NSAGs) – thought to hold territory covering a quarter of the country’s landmass – play a crucial role as protectors and providers of humanitarian aid. The approach to governance taken by different NSAGs varies greatly, as does the level of willing support given to them by their respective populations. In these traditional cultures, hierarchical leadership structures have evolved over time, often based largely on loyalty to those who provide support and protection. Leaders linked to or part of NSAGs are now firmly established as being responsible for the governance of millions of people in Burma. This situation poses a threat to the state which, in turn, has responded with brute force, perpetuating the cycle of conflict and protracted displacement..."
      Author/creator: Kim Jolliffe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 37
      Format/size: html, pdf (171K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/non-state/Jolliffe.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 October 2014


      Title: Forget About the Sham Burmese Elections It's the growing risk of ethnic violence the world should worry about.
      Date of publication: 05 November 2010
      Description/subject: "As the world prepares to label this weekend's elections in Myanmar an undemocratic farce -- which of course they are -- a brewing potential crisis in the country's border regions is being ignored. While cease-fire agreements have tempered the civil wars that have raged for much of Myanmar's 62-year post-independence history, these conflicts have never been fully resolved. Fighting in the northeastern Kokang region in August 2009 forced more than 30,000 refugees to flee across the border to China. Now, the government's aggressive tactics are increasing tensions in a high-stakes game of ethnic politics, one that carries significant potential for violent conflict..."
      Author/creator: Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt
      Language: English, Español, Spanish
      Source/publisher: "Foreign Policy"
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-east-asia/burma-myanmar/Kleine-ahlbrandt-Forget-Ab...
      Date of entry/update: 11 November 2010


      Title: Myanmar ceasefires on a tripwire
      Date of publication: 30 April 2010
      Description/subject: "Yet another deadline has passed for ethnic ceasefire groups in Myanmar to join the military as part of a new government-controlled Border Guard Force (BGF). With the rainy season approaching and a transition from military to civilian rule underway, opportunities are dwindling for the ruling junta to force the groups to agree before elections are held later this year..."
      Author/creator: Brian McCartan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2010


      Title: Neither War Nor Peace - The Future of the Ceasefire Agreements in Burma
      Date of publication: July 2009
      Description/subject: Introduction: "This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the first ceasefire agreements in Burma, which put a stop to decades of fighting between the military government and a wide range of ethnic armed opposition groups. These groups had taken up arms against the government in search of more autonomy and ethnic rights. The military government has so far failed to address the main grievances and aspirations of the cease-fire groups. The regime now wants them to disarm or become Border Guard Forces. It also wants them to form new political parties which would participate in the controversial 2010 elections. They are unlikely to do so unless some of their basic demands are met. This raises many serious questions about the future of the cease-fires. The international community has focused on the struggle of the democratic opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who has become an international icon. The ethnic minority issue and the relevance of the cease-fire agreements have been almost completely ignored. Ethnic conflict needs to be resolved in order to bring about any lasting political solution. Without a political settlement that addresses ethnic minority needs and goals it is extremely unlikely there will be peace and democracy in Burma. Instead of isolating and demonising the cease-fire groups, all national and international actors concerned with peace and democracy in Burma should actively engage with them, and involve them in discussions about political change in the country. This paper explains how the cease-fire agreements came about, and analyses the goals and strategies of the ceasefire groups. It also discusses the weaknesses the groups face in implementing these goals, and the positive and negative consequences of the cease-fires, including their effect on the economy. The paper then examines the international responses to the cease-fires, and ends with an overview of the future prospects for the agreements"
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute
      Format/size: pdf (1.74MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/TNIceasefires.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


      Title: Burma/ Myanmar: Challenges of a Ceasefire Accord in Karen State
      Date of publication: 2009
      Description/subject: Abstract: "Burma (Myanmar) has seen some of the longest-running insurgencies in the world, which have had a devastating effect on local populations and the country as a whole. While the Karen National Union (KNU), which has fought successive Burmese governments since 1949, is in a critical phase of its life, the KNU/KNLA Peace Council (KPC) is experiencing life under a ceasefire accord with the Burmese government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Major challenges have occurred since the ceasefire and future developments are uncertain. Like all ceasefire groups in the country, the KPC has come under immense pressure to follow the government’s “seven-step road map” to democracy, compete in the 2010 elections, and transform its troops into a border guard force under the control of the Burmese military or face disarmament. This article seeks to provide some insights into a ceasefire group, to analyse the failures and successes of the ceasefire accord, and to outline future challenges to the country.... Keywords: Burma/ Myanmar, Karen, ceasefire groups, ethnic politics.... ISSN: 1868-4882 (online), ISSN: 1868-1034 (print)
      Author/creator: Paul Core
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 28, 3, 95-105
      Format/size: pdf (174K)
      Date of entry/update: 21 August 2011


      Title: The "Balkanization’ of Burma?" - a review of "Political Authority in Burma’s Ethnic Minority States: Devolution, Occupation, and Coexistence", by Mary P. Callahan, and "Assessing Burma’s Ceasefire Accords",
      Date of publication: May 2008
      Description/subject: "Political Authority in Burma’s Ethnic Minority States: Devolution, Occupation, and Coexistence", by Mary P. Callahan, Policy Studies 31, East-West Center, Washington, 2007, P 94; "Assessing Burma’s Ceasefire Accords", by Zaw Oo and Win Min, Policy Studies 39, East-West Center, Washington, 2007, P 91.... Two studies draw a landscape of a fragmented country.... "IT has become fashionable to call up the specter of “balkanization” in Burma. The term, which means the fragmentation of large regions into smaller, violently competitive or antagonistic entities, as occurred in the Balkan wars of the late 19th century and in the breakup of Yugoslavia less than 20 years ago, also invokes images of ethnic cleansing and chaos. Anyone with a grasp of history and geography knows that Burma has actually been fragmented for decades. A study of the map, a tally of the ethnic minorities of Burma and neighboring countries, and an understanding of the effects of 60 years of colonialism and of the following six decades of war—all confirm this conclusion. For those not much interested in human development and human rights, things in Burma are in some ways better now than they ever were. As these two academic monographs by notable Burma experts contend, the country now is arguably at its most stable, peaceful, geographically united and developed juncture since 1948. That doesn’t mean things are good, however.... Callahan argues that the process has produced three broad forms of government in border areas. The first of these, devolution, admits that non-state entities (such as warlords and resistance forces) control the area. The second, occupation, entails government forces establishing uncontested control over a patch of territory. The third, coexistence, involves the cooperation of state and non-state authorities (often uneasily) to control an area. This latter arrangement is hardly ideal, but it supports the contention of Zaw Oo and Win Min that a peace of sorts has been reached.
      Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 5
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2008


      Title: Myanmars Waffenstillstände und die Rolle der internationalen Gemeinschaft
      Date of publication: August 2007
      Description/subject: Ein interessanter Artikel zu dem Zusammenhang von Waffenstillständen, der Nationalversammlung und der Roadmap to Democracy. Weiterhin werde die Interesssen der einzelnen Parteien (ethnsiche Minderheiten, Regierung, internationale Gemeinschaft) dargelegt und Handlungsempfehlungen für die internationale Gemeinschaft abgeleitet; ceasefires, national convention and roadmap to democracy; interests of ethnic minorities, government and international community; recommendations for the international community
      Author/creator: Jasmin Lorch; Dr. Paul Pasch
      Language: German, Deutsch
      Source/publisher: FES
      Format/size: PDF
      Date of entry/update: 06 May 2008


      Title: The Politics of Peace
      Date of publication: November 2005
      Description/subject: The Burmese junta’s failure to honor the spirit and letter of ceasefire agreements could be a roadmap to disaster... "Since seizing power in 1988, Burma’s State Law and Order Restoration Council—now the State Peace and Development Council—has brokered numerous ceasefire agreements with some of the country’s strongest armed ethnic minority groups. These groups have signed on with the regime in the interests of peace and reconciliation, while other groups have resisted the temptation to think that Burma’s ruling junta would ever keep its word. Recent developments suggest that such suspicions are certainly not misplaced. Burma’s ceasefire groups today face an increasingly untenable position. Mixed signals from Rangoon have left them in disarray as the junta makes gestures of peace with one hand and tightens its grip with the other. Government forces have increased their numbers in recent months in Karen, Kachin and Shan states and other ethnic areas. Despite proud claims of bringing peace to much of the country’s war-torn areas, it seems that Rangoon’s War Office has misrepresented the situation. An October 2005 report by the Human Security Centre, titled “Human Security Report: War and Peace in the 21st Century,” ranks Burma at the top of its list of “conflict-prone” countries, ahead of Israel, Iraq and several African nations. The report—three years in the making—covers the years between 1946 and 2003, in which Burma was engaged in 232 armed conflicts..."
      Author/creator: Aung Zaw
      Language: Engllish
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Uncertainty Reigns in Shan State
      Date of publication: November 2005
      Description/subject: Conflicting claims, suspicion and arrests create confusion... "Although the Rangoon regime insists that Shan State is stable, one armed opposition group, the Shan State Army (South), continues to hold out against government pressure to disarm. Relations between Shan groups and the regime are also strained because of the arrest in February of several ethnic leaders, including 82-year-old activist Shwe Ohn. Complicating the situation still further in Shan State is the status of the United Wa State Army, which maintains a de facto ceasefire with the regime while allegedly continuing to engage in a drugs trade protected by their own armed forces. The first ceasefire agreements between Shan ethnic groups and the regime were signed in 1989. The original agreements granted the groups business concessions, particularly in logging, and tax collection autonomy. They also allowed the groups to remain armed—but from early this year the regime has been pressing them to disarm under a program dubbed “Exchange Arms for Peace.”..."
      Author/creator: Aung Lwin Oo
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Waiting Game
      Date of publication: November 2005
      Description/subject: Junta tightens control in Monland... "As in other ethnic regions of Burma, where ceasefire agreements have been a growing source of frustration and bitterness, Monland in southern Burma has also seen its share of broken promises and the increasing likelihood that lasting peace is still a long way off. The New Mon State Party—the region’s principal ethnic opposition group—entered a ceasefire agreement with Rangoon in 1995, at the urging of the country’s military leadership as well as members of Thailand’s political and business communities, who were eager to increase investments in the region. Foreign oil companies, such as France’s Total and Unocal in the US, saw peace in the region as good for business. Each had proposed a natural gas pipeline through contested areas of Mon State—a fact that caused the regime to exert greater pressure in the interest of increasing vital foreign investment. In 1996, the NMSP received 17 industrial concessions in areas such as logging, fishing, inland transportation, trade agreements with Malaysia and Singapore, and gold mining. The regime, however, had cancelled the majority of these contracts by 1998, leaving NMSP leaders with little in terms of economic support and weakening the opposition party..."
      Author/creator: Louis Reh
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Junta serves notice to ceasefire groups
      Date of publication: 14 November 2004
      Description/subject: "A 13-point demand classified as terms of agreement reached between Rangoon and various armed opposition movements since 1989 had recently been doled out to the ceasefire groups by the Lashio-based Burma Army's Northeastern Region Commander, according to sources coming to the border: The typed demand in Burmese was handed out to their representatives during a series of briefings that took place in the wake of the sudden removal from office of Gen Khin Nyunt on 18 October, said the source who had brought a copy to S.H.A.N. yesterday. "The terms of agreement reached during the peace building period between the government and ethnic armed organizations" reads: ..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.shanland.org/politics/2004/Junta_serves_notice_to_ceasefire_groups.htm/
      http://www.shanland.org/index.php?view=article&catid=85%3Apolitics&id=1098%3Ajunta-serves-notice-to...
      Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010


      Title: Borderline Friends
      Date of publication: February 2004
      Description/subject: "The ethnic Karen rebel leader is considering making peace with his long-time enemy. But rather than ending the conflict, some think Rangoon’s ceasefire overtures are driven by other motives. By Aung Zaw and Shawn L. Nance/Mae Sot, Thailand At age 77 and in poor health, Gen Bo Mya walks rather slowly these days. But for many of his followers, the de facto leader of Burma’s largest ethnic insurgent group is moving too fast. On January 15, the Karen elder statesman led a 21-member delegation to Rangoon to negotiate a truce to end Burma’s longest running ethnic conflict. A week later, Bo Mya returned to his home near the Thai-Burma border with a verbal agreement to halt the fighting. A ceasefire agreement would notch an important publicity victory for the military junta and could finally bring peace to embattled Karen State. But the decision to quit fighting is sowing discord in the Karen National Union, or KNU, particularly among senior military commanders, and many fear the move could lead a split in their ranks..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004


      Title: Brothers-In-Peace
      Date of publication: February 2004
      Description/subject: "Here’s a look at the people who have helped broker ceasefire agreements over the past 15 years between Burma’s ethnic insurgent groups and the military junta, reports Naw Seng...: Reverend Saboi Jum; Khun Myat; La Wawm; Dr Saw Simon Thar; Andrew Mya Han; Saw Mar Gay Gyi; Tun Aung Chein; A Soe Myint; Lo Hsing-han; Sere Hla Pe..."
      Author/creator: Naw Seng
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004


      Title: Myanmar: Militärregime geht auf Schmusekurs
      Date of publication: 22 January 2004
      Description/subject: Rangun hofiert Karen-Kommandeur. Verhandlungen mit Rebellen über Waffenruhe. cease fire talks with karen rebells.
      Author/creator: Thomas Berger
      Language: Deutsch, German
      Source/publisher: AG Friedensforschung an der Uni Kassel
      Format/size: html (6,3k)
      Date of entry/update: 01 March 2005


      Title: List of Cease-Fire Agreements With the Junta
      Date of publication: 01 January 2004
      Description/subject: Lists only dates when the agreements (between various ethnic armies and the Burmese military) were made, not current status...
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Research Pages
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Burma’s Ceasefires: More Trouble Than They’re Worth?
      Date of publication: March 2002
      Description/subject: "Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting." This famous maxim from Sun Tzu’s treatise on military strategy, "The Art of War", is said to be the personal motto of Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, Burma’s intelligence chief and third most powerful general. True to this credo, the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has defeated many of its enemies without firing a single shot. The regime won its first ceasefire trophy in 1989, when it reached an agreement with former Communist Party of Burma (CPB) troops based along Burma’s northern border with China. This deal, which followed the fortuitous collapse of the CPB, enabled the regime to mobilize its frontline troops to other areas where insurgencies had raged for decades. Thus the small and ill-equipped ethnic armies of the Karen, Shan, and Mon, among others, came under increased pressure. Gradually, more and more were forced to cut deals of their own, leaving only a dwindling number of diehard groups to continue fighting..." This article has links to related pieces in the same issue.
      Author/creator: Aung Zaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: No Peace Dividend for Divided Karenni
      Date of publication: March 2002
      Description/subject: "Rangoon’s "pay for peace" policy has produced numerous ceasefire deals in Karenni State, but the region is more fractious than ever. As Burma’s smallest state, Karenni State has seen more than its fair share of conflict. It has also seen an extraordinary number of ceasefire agreements signed in the past decade—eight since 1994, including three in 1999 alone. But none of this has added up to anything even remotely resembling peace..."
      Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Precarious Peace in Monland
      Date of publication: March 2002
      Description/subject: "A seven-year-old ceasefire in Mon State is still holding, but just barely. Recent violence could signal a return to civil war in Burma’s southernmost state. By Tony Broadmoor Villagers should have had nothing to fear when Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 550 from the Burmese Army entered the remote village of Kyon Kwee on Jan 28 of this year. A ceasefire agreement had been in place for seven years, the conflict between the Rangoon government and the Mon National Liberation Army (MNLA) was supposedly over and the village was theoretically at peace..." Instead, troops arrested, tortured and disrobed a monk and blocked all paths out of the camp before accusing the villagers of being rebel sympathizers. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident, as rape, forced labor and food confiscations have all increased, say Mon human rights workers.
      Author/creator: Tony Broadmoor
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Shan Struggle Set to Continue
      Date of publication: March 2002
      Description/subject: "With Rangoon refusing to consider a ceasefire, and Bangkok keen to have a buffer against the Wa, Shan rebels seem likely to continue their struggle. At last May’s Shan Resistance Day celebrations held in the mountaintop stronghold of Loi Tai Lang near the Thai border, Shan State Army-South commander Yord Serk pledged to his people: "I promise I’m not going to surrender." Despite being heavily outgunned and outnumbered, the Shan State Army (SSA)-South, formerly known as the Shan United Revolutionary Army (SURA), remains the only Shan army resisting the Burmese government. The Burmese government has responded with a brutal military campaign to rout the SSA-South by targeting civilians as well as soldiers, forcing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, according to interviews and reports from human rights groups. The SSA-South has adopted an anti-drug policy targeting heroin and amphetamine producers in an effort to gain international support. Despite the SSA-South’s support for a ceasefire with Rangoon, the junta’s troops continue to wage their destructive counter-insurgency campaign..."
      Author/creator: John S. Moncreif
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Thais Tired of Paying for Burmese "Peace"
      Date of publication: March 2002
      Description/subject: "Some in Thailand are talking about getting tough with the Wa, Rangoon’s "partners in peace", whose drug-dealing ways have become a bane to Burma’s neighbors.
      Author/creator: Don Pathan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The KNU: To Cease Fire, or Not to Cease Fire?
      Date of publication: March 2002
      Description/subject: "After more than half a century of struggle and nearly a decade of major setbacks, the Karen National Union remains defiant in the face of calls to lay down its arms. By Aung Zaw After 53 years of resistance against Rangoon, the aging leadership of the Karen National Union (KNU) is nothing if not defiant. Arguably weaker now than at any other point in its half-century-long struggle, the KNU and its military wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), have faced numerous setbacks in the past decade. But asked about the prospects of the KNU entering the dubious embrace of Rangoon’s "legal fold", Padoh Mahn Sha, the KNU’s general secretary, did not mince words: "Surrender is out of the question," he told The Irrawaddy recently..."
      Author/creator: Aung Zaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Resignation Rumors Fuel Ceasefire Concerns
      Date of publication: June 2000
      Description/subject: Rumors that Sr Gen Than Shwe may soon step down as head of Burma's ruling junta have raised questions about the possible implications for a number of shaky ceasefire agreements with ethnic insurgent groups.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No .6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Fireworks of Peace
      Date of publication: October 1999
      Description/subject: The military's attempts at ethnic reconciliation have been all show and no substance, writes Thar Nyunt Oo
      Author/creator: Thar Nyunt Oo
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7, No. 8
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #94, Feb 23
      Date of publication: 23 February 1994
      Description/subject: "...There has been a lot of attention given to the Karen National Union's recent statement that they are willing to hold talks with SLORC on their own. Despite the fact that the SLORC continues to refuse the most basic requirements to make these talks a reality, such as a neutral venue with foreign observers, many people worldwide are assuming that the talks will occur regardless, and that the SLORC has suddenly miraculously transformed into a responsible entity that wants peace and development. Many people also assume that with "peace talks" in the works, the SLORC must have stopped its human rights abuses. After all, that's what any sane regime would do. But not the SLORC. And those who are inclined to think otherwise should remember the saying, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it." Anyone who believes that the SLORC's recent "peace" initiatives are sincere should remember past SLORC promises, like free and fair elections, a speedy transfer of power, the complete end of offensive action against the ethnic peoples, and the promises to abide by the Geneva Conventions and the International Declaration on Rights of the Child, among other signed documents now lying tattered, torn and ignored in Rangoon. The current approach some are taking, of increasingly trying to appease and befriend the SLORC because although it is illegitimate, it definitely appears to be entrenched, bears frightening similarity to the appeasement and befriending of Hitler by European nations during the 1930's. Like the SLORC, Hitler signed countless declarations of peace and was always full of talk about "peaceful solutions", and the European countries continued to accept these while ignoring his actions on the ground at a time when they could have stopped him. We all know the price they paid. This is not to say that the SLORC is about to invade the rest of Asia; but there is always a price to be paid for appeasing a gang of thugs, be they Nazis or Burmese Generals. Sadly, it is the innocent people of Burma who pay the heaviest price, now and in the future..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG )
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 22 November 2009


      Title: HISTORISCHE ENTWICKLUNG DER ETHNISCHEN KONFLIKTE IN MYANMAR / BURMA
      Description/subject: Vor der Ankunft der britischen Kolonialmacht waren die burmanischen Königreiche zwar die dominierende politische Kraft, ihre Herrschaft über die Minderheiten blieb aber beschränkt. Zu keinem Zeitpunkt in der vorkolonialen Geschichte bemühten sich die Monarchen darum, die Minderheiten unter Zwang zu assimilieren. Politisch relevant wurde die ethnische Zugehörigkeit erst unter der britischen Kolonialherrschaft, als das Land in das direkt verwaltete Burma proper (Burma an sich) und in die indirekt verwalteten frontier areas (Grenzgebiete), das vornehmliche Siedlungsgebiet der Minderheiten, geteilt wurde. Karen (KNU); Panglong-Abkommen; Waffenstillstandsabkommen; History of ethnic conflicts in Burma; Karen (KNU); Panglong-Agreement; Ceasefire Agreements;
      Author/creator: Heike Löschmann
      Language: Deutsch, German
      Source/publisher: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
      Format/size: html (25k)
      Date of entry/update: 19 October 2007


      Title: Talks between Burmese Military Government and the Karen National Union
      Description/subject: Four rounds of talks in 1995 and 1996. Date, place, negotiators
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Research Pages
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Alliances (armed and non-armed) of non-Burman ethnic groups

      Individual Documents

      Title: Federalism debate fractures Burma’s armed ethnic groups
      Date of publication: 30 July 2013
      Description/subject: "Burma’s armed ethnic groups have fallen out over how to develop a federal union in the former military dictatorship, resulting in two rival conferences to discuss plans to end decades of civil conflict. Inside sources say that a split has emerged between “hard-liners” and those who favour compromising with the government to amend the military-drafted 2008 constitution, which currently grants Naypyidaw control over ethnic minority territories. The dispute has contributed to a major rift in Burma’s ethnic movement, culminating in Burma’s leading ethnic umbrella group, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), severing ties with the multi-ethnic Working Group for Ethnic Coordination (WGEC), which was set up to coordinate negotiations with Naypyidaw, in June. The UNFC is currently hosting an ethnic nationalities conference in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, to discuss federalism and strategies for political dialogue. Meanwhile, the WGEC is planning a similar event in mid-August, which analysts say might “cause confusion” among the ethnic populations..."
      Author/creator: Hanna Hindstrom
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Democratic Voce of Burma (DVB)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 07 August 2013


      • United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)

        • Documents produced by the UNFC

          Websites/Multiple Documents

          Title: Google search results for United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Google
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Posts Tagged ‘United Nationalities Federal Council’ on the Burma Partnership site
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Burma Partnership
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 08 January 2013


          Individual Documents

          Title: Statement of the Ethnic Nationalities Conference, August 2, 2013
          Date of publication: 02 August 2013
          Description/subject: "1. Under the aegis of the UNFC, an Ethnic Nationality Conference was held from July 29 to 31 at a certain place in the liberated area. 2. A total of 122 delegates, representing the UNFC member organizations, 18 resistance organizations, the United Nationality Alliance, 4 political parties of the ethnic nationalities, youth organizations, women organizations, community-based organizations, the overseas ethnic nationality organizations, academics and active individuals. 3. The delegates freely discussed matters relating to the current situation in Burma/Myanmar, enhancement of the unity of the ethnic nationalities and establishment of a future, peaceful, prosperous and genuine Federal Union. 4. The historic conference, in unity, adopted the following important positions and decisions..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (165K)
          Date of entry/update: 08 August 2013


          Title: UNFC Press Statement 5/2013 (re meeting between UNFC and Union Peace Making Work Committee’s Technical Team,
          Date of publication: 14 July 2013
          Description/subject: "1. On July 13, from 9 am to 5 pm, the UNFC Political Dialogue Delegation’s Technical Team, led by Padoh Mahn Mahn, held consultative meeting in Chiangmai, Thailand, with the Union Peace Making Work Committee’s Technical Team, led by U Hla Maung Shwe. 2. At the meeting, the UNFC side proposed for holding the second preliminary political consultative meeting in the first week of August. To this, the government representatives took the position of giving a reply before the end of July 2013..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (49K)
          Date of entry/update: 14 July 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council Statement on EU Review of Sanctions on Burma
          Date of publication: 21 April 2013
          Description/subject: "The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) urges the European Union (EU) to maintain the current level of sanctions on Burma until the Government of Burma takes further steps to demonstrate its commitment to peace, political reform, and respect for human rights. While the UNFC acknowledges the important changes that have taken place in Burma over the last two years, it is clear that the Burma’ s transition is only beginning. S anctions are one of the most important of pressure on the G overnment of Burma to reform. If the EU chooses to remove all sanctions, it will reduce its ability to work to promote, peace, democracy, and human rights in Burma..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) Statement 3/2013
          Format/size: pdf (213K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Union Peacemaking Working Committee (UPWC)-United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) - Joint Statement
          Date of publication: 21 February 2013
          Description/subject: "February 20, 2013... The eleven-member Union Peace Working Committee delegation, led by its Vice Chairman H.E. U Aung Min, and including Union Ministers H.E. U Khin Yi, H.E. U Ohn Myint, and Deputy Attorney General U Htun Htun Oo met with a United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) twelve-member political negotiation team led by Nai Hong Sar and Dr. La Ja to discuss the Framework for Political Dialogue between 9:00 am to 17:00 pm on February 20, 2013 in Chiang Mai, Thailand... Both delegations discussed the following issues in a frank and friendly manner:..."
          Author/creator: David Tharckabaw (trans)
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UNFC via S.H.A.N.
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council Annual Meeting, January 2013 - Statement, (Burmese)
          Date of publication: 11 January 2013
          Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (139K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council Annual Meeting, January 2013 - Statement (English)
          Date of publication: 10 January 2013
          Description/subject: "The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) herewith issue a statement on resolution adopted by the following member and affiliate organizations in the annual meeting held from the 7th to 10th of January 2013 in a place on Thai-Burma border.... Karen National Union (KNU)... Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP)... Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)... Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP)... New Mon State Party (NMSP)... Arakan National Council (ANC)... Pa-Oh National Liberation Organization (PNLO)... Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF)... Lahu Democratic Union (LDU)... Wa National Organization (WNO)... Chin National Front (CNF) – absent..... The member organizations of UNFC, as a united entity, have decided to have comprehensive cease-fire and peace-talks with the government of Myanmar/Burma and would not accept any cease-fire and peace talks between the government and individual member organizations from now on. The UNFC, therefore, officially notifies the government of Myanmar/Burma that the UNFC is a sole negotiation body to the government in terms of comprehensive cease-fire and peace talks with the UNFC member organizations..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (56K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) Press Release
          Date of publication: 09 January 2013
          Description/subject: "The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) general annual meeting has to issue this press release because of the continuing massive military operations by the Burma (Myanmar) government forces against the Kachin Independence O rganization (KIO) base area of Laiza. According to the KIO and media sources, the government forces have been using helicopter gunships, jet fighters and heavy artilleries since 14th December, 2012. In the intensification of war against the KIO and the local civilians, more human rights violations are committed by the Myanmar forces. The government troops’ increasing acts of violence and human rights violations are totally contradictory to the program of peace making by the Myanmar government led by President U Thein Sein. It is also diametrically opposed to the national reconciliation called for by the people of the Union..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (49K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Letter to the US Department of State
          Date of publication: 30 August 2012
          Description/subject: "On behalf of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) of Burma (Myanmar), I would like to extend firstly the warmest greetings and best wishes to you. I would like to express the UNFC’s concern regarding the program of the US New Investment Policy in Burma, allowing the US businesses to invest before there is countrywide ceasefire in the cou ntry. The Political Goal of UNFC is to establish a Genuine Federal Union (of Burma), with full guarantee for equality and the right of self-determination for all the ethnic nationalities. The objectives of the UNFC are (1) To establish nationwide ceasefire and peace in Burma; (2) To establish durable unity amongst all ethnic nationalities through national reconcili ation programs; (3) To promote multi-party democrac y; (4) To practice peaceful co-existence within the Federal Union under the principles of Liberty, Equality and Social justice.
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (61K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Statement of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) Regular Meeting
          Date of publication: 22 July 2012
          Description/subject: "The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) regular meeting for the year 2012 was held at a place in the liberated area on the Thai-Burma border, from July 16 to 18. At the meeting, an in-depth deliberation was made over the war by Bama Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) against the Kachin Independence Organization/Kachin Independence Army (KIO/KIA), a member organization of the UNFC, and the Union Peace Committee’s peace building agenda, publicized by President U Thein Sein government. President U Thein Sein government gives no regard to the UNFC’s call for nationwide ceasefire and political dialogue, and makes war up to this day, against the KIO/KIA, which is a UNFC member organization. Moreover, towards the end of June, its troops used heavy weapons bombardment to capture a base camp of the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army-North (SS PP/SSA-N), which is also a UNFC member organization and which has signed ceasefire agreement..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (72K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: UNFC Statement (Burmese) ညီညြတ္ေသာတိုင္းရင္းသားလူမ်ဳိးမ်ားဖက္ဒရယ္ေကာင္စီ ညီညြတ္ေသာတိုင္းရင္းသားလူမ်�
          Date of publication: 22 July 2012
          Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (76K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Statement of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) Regular Meeting
          Date of publication: July 2012
          Description/subject: "The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) regular meeting for the year 2012 was held at a place in the liberated area on the Thai-Burma border, from July 16 to 18. At the meeting, an in-depth deliberation was made over the war by Bama Tatmadaw (Myanmar Army) against the Kac hin Independence Organization/Kachin Independence A rmy (KIO/KIA), a member organization of the UNFC, and t he Union Peace Committee’s peace building agenda, p ublicized by President U Thein Sein government..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (60K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Letter to the Prime Minister of India
          Date of publication: 21 May 2012
          Description/subject: "...Our UNFC is composed of eleven armed organizations of Kachin, Karen, Kar enni, Chin, Mon, Shan, Arakanese, Pa - oh, Palaung, Lahu and Wa peoples. After nationwide ceasefire, we would like to have representatives of all the armed organizations and representatives of the Union government resolved the political problems , through dia logue and negotiation , in the presence of representatives of the international community . I would like to request you, as leader of the Indian government, to urge U Thein Sein government to establish nationwide ceasefire and to act for the emergence of ne gotiation between all the organizations and the government of the Union of Burma. In closing, I would like to express my best wishes and regards to you , your colleagues in the government and the people of India. May you have success in all your endeavors..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (76K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Statement of Extraordinary Meeting of the UNFC
          Date of publication: 10 May 2012
          Description/subject: The extraordinary meeting of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) attended by the UNFC central executive committee members and top leaders of the member organizations was held from May 8 to 9, 2012, at a certain place on the Thai - Burma border. At this meeting, serious discussion was held on Bamah Tatmadaw ’s military offensive against the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), as the main target
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (140K)
          Alternate URLs: http://www.burmapartnership.org/2012/05/statement-of-extraordinary-meeting-of-the-unfc/
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Political Situation after the By-elections
          Date of publication: 19 April 2012
          Description/subject: "The UNFC had issued its position statement, dated April 3, congratulating Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD for their victory in the by-elections held on April 1, 2012 and had expressed the belief that they would be a viable support for the internal peace process led by President U Thein Sein. The main point is the declaration made by the UNFC to cooperate with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD in their effort, whether inside the parliament or outside of the parliament, for the achievement of their objectives being: ( 1 ) Internal Peace; ( 2 ) Rule of Law; ( 3 ) Amendment of the 2008 Constitution
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) Press release No. 12/ 2012
          Format/size: pdf (117K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) Statement Congratulating Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and NLD for Victory in By-Election Held on April, 2012
          Date of publication: 03 April 2012
          Description/subject: "The landslide victory by the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by national leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Clearly shows the true will of the people and we, the UNFC, warmly support and welcome it, as it is the first step in the transition to the democratic system. 2. We, the UNFC, absolutely believe that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, jointly with current president, U Thein Sein, will be able to endeavor for realization of the stage of political dialogue with the armed ethnic nationally organizations for the realization of a genuine (federal) union, or realization of the genuine federal principle, from this first step of democratic primary victory to the second steps comprising of nationwide ceasefire and then the realization of peace within the country..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (245K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: UNFC Position (Burmese)
          Date of publication: February 2012
          Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (65K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: UNFC Press Statement on the offensive against the Kachin National Union
          Date of publication: 20 January 2012
          Description/subject: "1. The news released by the Union of Myanmar/Burma News Team (UMNT), dated January 18, 2013 begins with a catalogue of military actions taken by the KIO/KIA since the resumption of military campaigns in June 11, 2011 by Bama Tatmadaw (Myanmar Armed Forces ) against the KIO/KIA. 2. In the one - sided attack, the UMNT makes it out as if the KIO/ KIA were the aggressors employing all the dirty tricks to bully the Tatmadaw troops. The news release is nothing but a Nazi - like propaganda war, the use of media to influence public opinion, to paint the KIO/KIA black in the eyes of the people of Burma and the international community..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) Public Relation and News Unit
          Format/size: pdf (75K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council Statement on Peace in the Country (Burmese)
          Date of publication: 04 December 2011
          Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (922K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council Statement on Peace in the Country (English)
          Date of publication: 04 December 2011
          Description/subject: "The armed conflict, which has been going on between the non-Burman nationalities and successive regimes in power in the Union of Burma, is due to denial of equality to the non-Burman nationalities. This lack of equality is the crucial political problem underlying the politics of Burma. Instead of resolving the political problem by political means, use of the military might for suppression or regional development after ceasefire, by the regimes in power is an attempt to break up the struggle of the nationalities for “Political Equality” by trickery and so the country has been driven away from peace for more than 60 years. On August 18, U Thein Sein government made an overture for peace talk by issuing a statement once more. However, talk with individual organizations separately was specified as a pre-condition. We view this as not only as a difficult and slow-moving way but also as an attempt to break up the unity of the UNFC..."
          Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (89K)
          Alternate URLs: http://www.burmapartnership.org/2011/12/the-position-statement-of-unfc-peace-in-the-country/
          http://www.burmapartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/statement.pdf
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: UNFC Letter to Thailand
          Date of publication: 27 October 2011
          Description/subject: "...We are good neighbors of the Thai people and we see Thailand as one of peace and justice loving countries of the World. Accordingly, we would like to appeal to Your Excellency and the government of Thailand, under your Excellency's lea dership, to have sympathy and understanding with our struggle against injustice, feudal imperialism and military Nazism/fascism. We would like to appeal also to you r Excellency to urge the Burmese government to cease military offensives entirely ag ainst all the ethnic nationalities, to relinquish the policies of feudal imperialism and Nazism/fasci sm, punish the troops committing atrocities and hold political dialogue with the ethnic organizations represented by the UNFC for establishment of lasting peace and stability"
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (40K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Appeal of UNFC to the People and International Community
          Date of publication: 08 October 2011
          Description/subject: "At the oath taking ceremony for assuming presidential duties, President U Thein Sein said that he would endeavor for national unity and the growth of the union spirit, which was true nationalism. On August 18, the government made overture for peace talk with the Union Government Statement Number 1/2011. These moves are indications of willingness to build national unity by the new government , led by U Thein Sein . Members of our U nited Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), the armed organizations of the ethnic nationalities, also desire national unity. Even though the two sides have the desire for national unity, why the national unity is in shambles and armed conflict has been con tinuing for more than 60 years? We need to analyze the question. We, members of the UNFC, are not struggling for breaking away from the union. We are simply striving to regain our birth rights, which are the rights of the ethnic nationalities..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (90K)
          Alternate URLs: http://www.burmapartnership.org/2011/10/appeal-of-unfc-to-the-people-and-international-community/
          http://www.burmapartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UNFC+Statement+08-10-2011.pdf
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: UNFC Statement စစ္မွန္ေသာျငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးေဆြးေႏြးပဲြအျမန္ေပၚေပါက္လာရန္ ျပည္သူမ်ား ႏွင့္ နိုင္ငံတကာသ
          Date of publication: 08 October 2011
          Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (49K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Introduction to United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Date of publication: 03 September 2011
          Description/subject: "The UNFC is a representation of reunification of almost all the ethnic resistance forces, particularly between the ceasefire organizations – the Kachin Independent Organization (KIO), Shan State Progress Party (SSPP) and New Mon State Party (NMSP) - and the non - ceasefire organizations – Karen National Union (KNU), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and Chin National Front (CNF). The reunification process started in early 2010, after the SPDC military regime insisted on the ceasefire organizations (CFOs) to transform their armed wings to the Border Guard Force (BGF) or people's militia, which would be subjected totally to the command of Burma Army. At the end of the 16 - year old cease fire period, the SPDC military regime demanded CFOs to transform its armed forces to BGF or people’s militia. Some CFOs such as the KIO, SSPP, NMSP, DKBA, etc. totally rejected the demand, since they had signed the ceasefire agreement, with the hope of gaining the rights to political equality and self-determination of the ethnic nationalities..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (135K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Letter to U Thein Sein: Appeal to seek political solution to the political problems
          Date of publication: 15 August 2011
          Description/subject: ... Respected Mr. President, "It was with great hope that the United Nationalities Federal Council (Union of Burma) had warmly welcomed your commitment to building national unity as outlined in your inaugural speech during your swearing-in ceremony as the new President of the Union of Myanmar..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (116K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: UNFC reply to the open letter of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
          Date of publication: 05 August 2011
          Description/subject: To The People’s Leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. We, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) , received in good order your open letter , dated July 28, 2011, sent to President U Thein Sein and our UNFC member organizations, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the Karen National Union (KNU), the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA). Instead of the UNFC member organizations, to which the letter was addressed, making a reply individually, we, the UNFC comprising of almost all the armed organizations, would like to make a reply regarding our position, on behalf of all the member organizations..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (91K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: Briefing on the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Date of publication: 01 July 2011
          Description/subject: Brief History of Burma (Myanmar...Military Dictatorship...Alliances of Freedom and Democratic Movement...Democratic Alliance of Burma...Ethnic Nationality Council...United Nationalities Federal Council...Aim and Policies of UNFC...
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: UNFC Foreign Affairs Department
          Format/size: pdf (110K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: UNFC - Statement of Expanded Meeting of the Political Leading Board and Central Executive Committee
          Date of publication: 14 May 2011
          Description/subject: "The expanded meeting of the United Nationalities Fe deral Council (UNFC) Political Leading Board and Central Executive Committee was held from May 9 to 12, 2011 successfully in a liberated area in th e border region. The meeting reviewed the domestic as well as the in ternational situations and discussed thoroughly some adjustments necessary for more effe ctive and smooth performance of internal work of th e UNFC. At this meeting, necessary amendments were made to the UNFC Constitution, which was adopted by the Ethnic Nationalities Conference held from Fe bruary 12 to 16, 2011, in accordance with the provi sions of the Constitution. The members of UNFC were selec ted and the 9-member executive committee was formed by consensus decision and in accordance with the amended Constitution..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Format/size: pdf (48K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council Members & Patrons Designated by Member Organizations
          Date of publication: 11 May 2011
          Description/subject: New Members Elected at May 2011 Meeting
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: United Nationalities Federal Council
          Format/size: pdf (149K)
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


        • Reports and other documents about the UNFC

          Websites/Multiple Documents

          Title: Google search results for United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Google
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council (Profile by Myanmar Peace Monitor)
          Description/subject: SUMMARY: Founded: Feb. 16, 2011 Headquarters: Chiang Mai, Thailand... The UNFC is the latest coalition of ethnic armed groups. It was renamed and reformed from the Committee for the Emergence of Federal Union (CEFU), founded in Nov. 2010. The UNFC wants to represent all of the ethnic armed groups during peace negotiations with the government. Previous Ethnic Alliances: National Democratic Front (NDF), 1976-ongoing Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC), 2001-ongoing... Objective: The UNFC wants to establish a Federal Union in Myanmar. They have already formed the Federal Union Army (FUA) to protect ethnic areas..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Myanmar Pece Monitor
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 16 July 2013


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)
          Description/subject: Link to entries on UNFC under "Non_Burman and non-Buddhist groups"
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Online Burma/Myanmar Library
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 08 January 2013


          Individual Documents

          Title: ANALYSIS OF THE UNFC POSITION
          Date of publication: 06 August 2013
          Description/subject: EBO analysis of the UNFC position developed at its Chiangmai meeting of 29-31 July, 2013...contains article-by article analuysis plus a chart of the relative strength of the UNFC and non-UNFC forces.
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office (EBO) Briefing Paper No. 4/2013
          Format/size: pdf (393K)
          Date of entry/update: 07 August 2013


          Title: 2008 charter dumped by Chiangmai conference
          Date of publication: 01 August 2013
          Description/subject: "The 3 day Ethnic Conference organized by the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) that ended yesterday had overwhelmingly spurned the military-drawn and adopted 2008 constitution, following a 3-hour long debate... One participant had called the 194-page composition drafted under the close guidance of the “retired” strongman Than Shwe as an attempt “to prolong the military dictatorship and keep the ethnic peoples under perpetual slavery.”... To a representative from the Women’s League of Burma (WLB), it is a “fearsome” document, as it was written by soldiers who uphold no respect for the womenfolks... The resolution was to draft a new constitution, despite counsel from some that it would mark a head-on confrontation with the military.... The meeting was also like-minded on several other topics: Change, as one put it, is just “oil on the water’s surface.” The country is just “going through the motions” but change has yet to come A nationwide ceasefire agreement without adequate guarantees of a political dialogue and monitoring mechanisms is unacceptable After two years of ceasefire and peace talks, there is little trust between the two sides (“Documents captured in battles still call us ‘insurgents’ and stress ‘total annihilation,’” said a Shan State Army representative) The President’s 8 point guidelines for peace talks received a resounding rejection (“The government is out for negotiated surrender, not negotiated settlement,” said Dr Lian H.Sakhong)..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)
          Format/size: html, pdf (263K)
          Alternate URLs: http://www.english.panglong.org/index.php?view=article&catid=85%3Apolitics&id=5523%3A2008-c...
          Date of entry/update: 07 August 2013


          Title: ALLIED IN WAR , DIVIDED IN PEACE - The Future of Ethnic Unity in Burma
          Date of publication: February 2013
          Description/subject: "On 20 February 2013, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) an 11 member ethnic alliance met with the Burmese Government’s Union Peace Working Committee (UPWC) at the Holiday Inn, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The meeting , supported by the Nippon Foundation, was an attempt by Government negotiators to include all relevant actor s in the peace process. The UNFC is seen as one of the last remaining actors to represent the various armed ethnic groups in the country (for more information see BP No.6 Establishing a Common Framework) and has frequently sought to negotiate terms as an inclusive ethnic alliance...According to peace negotiator Nyo Ohn Myint , discussing the most recent meeting, in February 2013: Primarily they will discuss framework for starting the peace process, beginning with: addressing ways to advance political dialogue; the division of rev enue and resources between the central government and the ethnic states; and how to maintain communica tion channels for further talks. Khun Okker, who attended the meeting, suggested that the February meeting was primarily a trust building exercise for th e UNFC and the Government. While individual armed groups had spoken to U Aung Min throughout their negotiation processes and some had already built up trust with the negotiation team. He believed that the UNFC would be more cautious in its approach in relation to the peace process, especially considering the continuing clashes with UNFC members including the KIO and SSPP/SSA..."
          Author/creator: Paul Keenan, Editor: Lian H. Sakhong
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 12, February 2013)
          Format/size: pdf (215K)
          Date of entry/update: 11 March 2013


          Title: Establishing a common framework: The role of the United Nationalities Federal Council in the peace process and the need for an all-inclusive ethnic consultation
          Date of publication: May 2012
          Description/subject: "While the Burmese Government continues to seek peace with the various ethnic resistance movements individually at the local levels, the United Nationalities Federal Council – Union of Burma (UNFC) is working in the political process to ensure that any state-level talks are held through a common framework. However, there remain a number of concerns to be addressed by member organisations in recognizing a common policy that will benefit all relevant ethnic actors..."
          Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 6 )
          Format/size: pdf (598K - original; 526K - OBL version)
          Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/BCES-BP-No.6(en)-red.pdf
          Date of entry/update: 11 May 2012


          Title: United Nationalities Federal Council. (UNFC), the newest coalition formed in a 5-day conference last week on the Thai-Burma border
          Date of publication: 21 February 2011
          Description/subject: "United Nationalities Federal Council. (UNFC), the newest coalition formed in a 5-day conference last week on the Thai-Burma border could well become the only non-Burman ethnic alliance worth talking about, according to some co-founding members The Committee for the Emergence of Federal Union (CEFU), the core group that organized the conference, 12-16 February, declared its dissolution following the founding of UNFC. It was formed by three former ceasefire groups: Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), New Mon State Party (NMSP) and Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ plus three non-ceasefire groups: Karen National Union (KNU), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and Chin National Front (CNF) in November. By contrast, other existing coalitions, notably the National Democratic Front (NDF), formed since 1976, and the Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC), formed since 2001, are bound to be “history soon”, according to sources who request anonymity. For the NDF, the reason is all of its member organizations, except for Arakan Liberation Front (ALP), have decided to join the UNFC..."
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Democracy for Burma
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 01 September 2012


          Title: Myanmar Peace Monitor - Ethnic Peace Plan
          Description/subject: All ethnic groups believe that only negotiations on the terms of the Panglong Agreement based on self-determination, federalism and ethnic equality will resolve the ethnic conflict in Myanmar. However there is no cohesive plan or body that represents all armed groups. ​ Presently the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) is the most active ethnic alliance. However it does not represent all of the ethnic armed groups. Several of its members are involved in the Working Group on Ethnic Coordination (WGEC), which is administered and financed by the Brussels-based Euro-Burma Office (EBO). The EBO is the main organization responsible for liaising and coordinating with the MPSI. ​ Both the UNFC and WGEC have called for alternatives to the government’s BGF scheme and 2008 constitution. While the government claims that changes are possible by winning seats in parliament, ethnic armed groups are calling for political dialogue outside parliament.  Several of the ethnic armed groups’ main demands (excluding the government’s guiding principles that were previously mentioned) are:
          Language: English
          Source/publisher: Myanmar Peace Monitor
          Format/size: html
          Date of entry/update: 15 May 2013


    • Armed conflict, development and investment

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Myanmar’s military: Money and guns
      Date of publication: 06 December 2013
      Description/subject: "Since the military junta’s announcement in 2010 that they were willing to begin a transition to democracy and implement democratic reforms arms imports from Chinese, Russian and other outside supplies have risen dramatically. Arms imports into the country in 2011 surged to an all time high of nearly $700 million, more than double the highest annual figure since 1989 and remained almost as high in 2012. Fatalities in Burma’s armed conflicts have also risen during these years as a more than decade-long downward trend was reversed following the massive rearming of the military and its subsequent offensives against the Kachin Independence Army, which began in June of 2011..."
      Author/creator: Jacob Sommer
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 July 2014


      Individual Documents

      Title: Natural Resources and Subnational Governments in Myanmar: Key considerations for wealth sharing (English)
      Date of publication: 16 June 2014
      Description/subject: "...The research presented in this discussion paper by Thet Aung Lynn and Mari Oye provides an overview of the current role of subnational government in natural resource management and revenue collection in Myanmar. Natural resources provide a large share of government revenue, and there is potential for growth in these sectors in coming years. The government under President Thein Sein has made reform of the natural resource management system a priority, and the topic remains the subject of great interest among the wider public and civil society. In addition, natural resource management and revenue collection has long been a contentious issue in the country’s numerous ethnic conflicts and will need to be fully considered in the political dialogue. As discussion of potential future reforms takes place, an overview of the current laws, systems, and practices surrounding these areas is intended to lay the groundwork for future research and inform policy debate..."
      Author/creator: Thet Aung Lynn and Mari Oye
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asia Foundation
      Format/size: pdf (1.2MB-reduced version; 2.66MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://asiafoundation.org/resources/pdfs/NaturalResourcesandSubnationalGovernmentsinMyanmar.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 03 July 2014


      Title: Natural Resources and Subnational Governments in Myanmar: Key considerations for wealth sharing ျမန မာႏ င င ၏ သဘာဝသယ ဇာတအရင းအျမစ မ်ားႏ င ေဒသဆ င ရာအစ းရမ်ား ဥ
      Date of publication: 16 June 2014
      Description/subject: "The Myanmar Development Resource Institute's Centre for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD) and The Asia Foundation are pleased to present this fourth volume in the Subnational Governance in Myanmar Discussion Paper Series. Myanmar's government has announced a commitment to both greater transparency in natural resource sectors and to further fiscal decentralization. There has also been increasing discussion of sharing natural resource revenues in the contexts of economic restructuring, constitutional reform, and the peace process. However, there is not yet consensus on what is to be shared, between which entities, how, or why. This discussion paper is intended to provide an overview of the current unknown and known elements of the resource governance system in Myanmar in order to inform future analysis of the potential risks and benefits of changes to the role of subnational governments."
      Author/creator: Thet Aung Lynn and Mari Oye
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Asia Foundation, MDRI-CESD
      Format/size: pdf (1.4MB-reduced version; 2.92MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.asiafoundation.org/resources/pdfs/NaturalResouresandSubnationalGovernmentsMyanmarBurmese...
      Date of entry/update: 04 July 2014


      Title: Myanmar’s arms purchases are a problem
      Date of publication: 11 December 2013
      Description/subject: "It is very important for Burma watchers to have a clear understanding of the goals and interests of the Myanmar Government. Not having a clear understanding imperils the peace and democratization processes and also threatens to embolden radical elements within the regime. Such miscalculations threaten to facilitate further human rights violations and could easily lead to backsliding toward authoritarianism. With this in mind this short opinion piece argues first, that Burma is not part of the Southeast Asian trend in rearmament designed to balance against Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea, second, that Burma is seriously at risk of failing to democratize in a meaningful way and is seriously at risk of following in the path of a faux democracy like Cambodia and third, that policy goals of the Myanmar Government need to be seen in non-sensationalist terms that address issues of post-transition power and wealth sharing amongst the government and opposition groups..."
      Author/creator: Jacob Sommer
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "New Mandala"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 14 July 2014


      Title: Guns, Briefcases and Inequality: The Neglected War in Kachin State
      Date of publication: 21 September 2013
      Description/subject: "Burma Partnership is pleased to announce the launch of a new documentary film today to coincide with the International Day of Peace. The film, entitled “Guns, Briefcases and Inequality: The Neglected War in Kachin State,” demonstrates the need for the government of Burma to engage in meaningful political dialogue with all ethnic nationalities on equal terms, including discussing amendments to the 2008 Constitution. These are necessary in order to address the underlying causes of armed conflict: self-determination, the lack of ethnic rights, and inequality, and to move towards lasting peace throughout the country. The short documentary film also highlights how development projects and natural resource management are exacerbating armed conflict and human rights violations in ethnic areas, without adequate means to justice for the people. The film was written and directed by Daniel Quinlan. It features interviews with Kachin internally displaced persons (IDPs), civil society and community-based organizations, leaders of ethnic non-state armed groups and advocates for human rights and democracy in Burma"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Partnership
      Format/size: Adobe Flash (15 minutes 29 seconds)
      Date of entry/update: 21 September 2013


      Title: BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND ARMED ETHNIC GROUPS
      Date of publication: September 2013
      Description/subject: "Since signing ceasefire and peace agreements with successive Burmese Governments, armed ethnic groups have been able to create a number of business opportunities in the country. As part of the first ceasefire processes that began in the late eighties/early nineties, armed ethnic groups were able to become legally involved in logging, mining, import and export, transportation, and a number of other businesses. Recent ceasefire agreements have also resulted in similar incentives being made and a number of armed ethnic groups have taken the opportunity to create their own companies. Groups hope that if they be come self - sufficient it will remove the burden on the over taxed local population. That said, however, a number of obstacles remain and further support needs to be given in relation to allowing groups the ability to move forward in terms of creating local business opportunities to support their troops and their families..."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong | Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 17)
      Format/size: pdf (133K-reduced version; 166K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-17.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 04 October 2013


      Title: Rain for Myanmar's peace parade
      Date of publication: 25 June 2013
      Description/subject: "A grand ceremony is expected to be held next month in the Myanmar capital of Naypyidaw, where a nationwide ceasefire with various ethnic resistance armies will be announced to an audience of United Nations representatives and other foreign dignitaries. Ten of Myanmar's 11 major ethnic rebel groups who have signed individual ceasefire agreements with the government will be highlighted at the high-profile event. The one main rebel outlier, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), has not yet reached a ceasefire agreement. The most recent round of talks between KIA and government representatives in the Kachin State capital of Myitkyina held between May 28-30 failed to yield the deal government authorities anticipated. The two sides agreed only to a seven-point agreement stating that "the parties undertake efforts to achieve de-escalation and cessation of hostilities" and "to hold a political dialogue" - though no firm commitment was made concerning when such talks would commence..."
      Author/creator: Bertil Lintner
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "Asia Times Online"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 May 2014


      Title: Access Denied - Land Rights and Ethnic Conflict in Burma
      Date of publication: May 2013
      Description/subject: The reform process in Burma/Myanmar by the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein has raised hopes that a long overdue solution can be found to more than 60 years of devastating civil war... Burma’s ethnic minority groups have long felt marginalized and discriminated against, resulting in a large number of ethnic armed opposition groups fighting the central government – dominated by the ethnic Burman majority – for ethnic rights and autonomy. The fighting has taken place mostly in Burma’s borderlands, where ethnic minorities are most concentrated. Burma is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries. Ethnic minorities make up an estimated 30-40 percent of the total population, and ethnic states occupy some 57 percent of the total land area and are home to poor and often persecuted ethnic minority groups. Most of the people living in these impoverished and war-torn areas are subsistence farmers practicing upland cultivation. Economic grievances have played a central part in fuelling the civil war. While the central government has been systematically exploiting the natural resources of these areas, the money earned has not been (re)invested to benefit the local population... Conclusions and Recommendations: The new land and investment laws benefit large corporate investors and not small- holder farmers, especially in ethnic minority regions, and do not take into account land rights of ethnic communities. The new ceasefires have further facilitated land grabbing in conflict-affected areas where large development projects in resource-rich ethnic regions have already taken place. Many ethnic organisations oppose large-scale economic projects in their territories until inclusive political agreements are reached. Others reject these projects outright. Recognition of existing customary and communal tenure systems in land, water, fisheries and forests is crucial to eradicate poverty and build real peace in ethnic areas; to ensure sustainable livelihoods for marginalized ethnic communities affected by decades of war; and to facilitate the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees. Land grabbing and unsustainable business practices must halt, and decisions on the allocation, use and management of natural resources and regional development must have the participation and consent of local communities. Local communities must be protected by the government against land grabbing. The new land and investment laws should be amended and serve the needs and rights of smallholder farmers, especially in ethnic regions.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (161K-OBL version; 3.22MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/accesdenied-briefing11.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 14 May 2013


      Title: Developing Disparity - Regional Investment in Burma’s Borderlands
      Date of publication: 21 February 2013
      Description/subject: "Burma has entered a pivotal stage in its political and economic development. The advent of a new quasi-civilian government has raised the prospect of fundamental reforms. This has sparked great investment interest among governments and the private sector in the region and beyond, to extract the country’s natural-resource wealth, and to develop large-scale infrastructure projects to establish strategic ‘corridors’ to connect Burma to the wider economic region. The country is touted as Asia’s “final frontier” for resources and investment and as Asia’s next “economic tiger”. These large scale investment projects focus on the borderlands, where most of the natural resources in Burma are found. These areas are home to poor and often marginalised ethnic minority groups, and have been at the centre of more than 60 years of civil war in Burma – the longest running in the world. These war-torn borderlands are now in the international spotlight as regions of great potential but continuing poverty and grave humanitarian concern. The report warns that foreign investment in these resource-rich yet conflict-ridden ethnic borderlands is likely to be as important as domestic politics in shaping Burma’s future. Such investment is not conflict-neutral and has in some cases fuelled local grievances and stimulated ethnic conflict. Economic grievances among ethnic groups – often tied to resource extraction from the borderlands to sustain the government and business elites – have played a central part in fuelling the civil war. While regional investment could potentially foster economic growth and improve people’s livelihoods, the country has yet to develop the institutional and governance capacity to manage the expected windfall. Burma is emerging from decades under military rule, and the foreign-funded mega projects have not, to date, benefited local communities. Land-grabbing has increased, and the recent economic laws and new urban wealth have not brought about tangible improvements for the poor. If local communities are to benefit from the reforms, there need to be new types of investment and processes of implementation. The government should direct investment towards people-centred development that benefits household economies. There is a need to resolve conflict through dialogue and reconciliation. These are the hallmarks of a robust and healthy democracy. In their absence, the development of Asia’s final frontier will only deepen disparity between the region’s most neglected peoples and the new military, business and political elites whose wealth is rapidly increasing."
      Author/creator: John Buchanan, Tom Kramer and Kevin Woods (Series Editor, Martin Smith)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute (TNI), Burma Centre Netherlands
      Format/size: pdf (1.7MB-OBL version; 3.37K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/Burmasborderlands-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 21 February 2013


      Title: Bitter Wounds and Lost Dreams: Human Rights Under Assault in Karen State, Burma
      Date of publication: 27 August 2012
      Description/subject: Findings: "Out of all 665 households surveyed, 30% reported a human rights violation. Forced labor was the most common human rights violation reported; 25% of households reported experiencing some form of forced labor in the past year, including being porters for the military, growing crops, and sweeping for landmines. Physical attacks were less common; about 1.3% of households reported kidnapping, torture, or sexual assault. Human rights violations were significantly worse in the area surveyed in Tavoy, Tenasserim Division, which is completely controlled by the Burmese government and is also the site of the Dawei port and economic development project. Our research shows that more people who lived in Tavoy experienced human rights violations than people who lived elsewhere in our sampling area. Specifically, the odds of having a family member forced to be a porter were 4.4 times higher than for families living elsewhere. The same odds for having to do other forms of forced labor, including building roads and bridges, were 7.9 times higher; for being blocked from accessing land, 6.2 times higher; and for restricted movement, 7.4 times higher for families in Tavoy than for families living elsewhere. The research indicates a correlation between development projects and human rights violations, especially those relating to land and displacement. PHR’s research indicated that 17.4% of households in Karen State reported moderate or severe household hunger, according to the FANTA-2 Household Hunger Scale, a measure of food insecurity. We found that 3.7% of children under 5 were moderately or severely malnourished, and 9.8% were mildly malnourished, as determined by measurements of middle-upper arm circumference. PHR conducted the survey immediately following the rice harvest in Karen State, and the results may therefore reflect the lowest malnutrition rates of the year.....Conclusion: PHR’s survey of human rights violations and humanitarian indicators in Karen State shows that human rights violations persist in Karen State, despite recent reforms on the part of President Thein Sein. Of particular concern is the prevalence of human rights violations even in areas where there is no active armed conflict, as well as the correlation between economic development projects and human rights violations. Our research found that human rights violations were up to 10 times higher around an economic development project than in other areas surveyed. Systemic reforms that establish accountability for perpetrators of human rights violations, full political participation by Karen people and other ethnic minorities, and access to essential services are necessary to support a successful transition to a fully functioning democracy..."
      Author/creator: Bill Davis ,MA, MPH; Andrea Gittleman, JD, PHR; Richard Sollom, MA, MPH, PHR; Adam Richards, MD, MPH; Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH; Forword by Óscar Arias Sánchez
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
      Format/size: pdf (749K)
      Date of entry/update: 28 August 2012


      Title: Catalyst for Conflict - Investments cause renewed war, threatening Ta'ang communities in northern Burma
      Date of publication: 22 May 2012
      Description/subject: "Despite recent ceasefire agreements and talk of reform in Burma, since January 2012 ethnic Ta'ang areas of northern Burma have experienced increasing militarization and conflict. Fierce battles have broken out in areas that have not seen fighting for over 20 years. Soldiers from the Burma Army have moved from their main bases to live in villages and now regularly patrol local areas, increasing abuses against local populations including killings, beatings, forced labor, and extortion. The military expansion is directly linked to securing Chinese mega projects. Pipelines that will take oil and gas from Burma to China are currently being built in Ta'ang areas. China is also building two mega dams on the Shweli, the most important river for the Ta'ang, while loggers are cutting down precious teak forests in Ta'ang areas to export timber to China. Control over natural resources and abuses by the Burma Army are at the heart of local grievances in both Kachin and Shan states where conflict has erupted. in July 2011, a new army, the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), was formed under the Palaung state Liberation Front (PSLF) to protect the Ta'ang people. in March this year, pro-government militias in Mantong were given Burma Army weapons to fight the TNLA, using a divide and rule tactic which creates conflict among the Ta'ang people. As fighting and abuses increase, local people are fleeing for their safety. Since December 2011, over 1,000 have become internally displaced, sheltering in Nam Kham and Mantong. Many have also fled to China, particularly young men avoiding forced conscription and portering. This has had devastating impacts on the annual tea harvest, a critical economic activity for the Ta'ang. People in northern Shan State, especially in rural areas, have failed to benefit from the much talked about reform in central Burma. Investments are increasing conflict and abuses while not providing benefit to local people.
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: Ta'ang Students and Youth Organization
      Format/size: pdf (English: 1.2MB-OBL version; 1.61MB-original; Burmese: 1.3MB-OBL version; 4.44MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Catalyst_for_Conflict(bu)-red.pdf
      http://www.palaungland.org/media/Report/catalystforconflict/English.pdf
      http://www.palaungland.org/media/Report/catalystforconflict/Burmese.pdf
      www.palaungland.org
      Date of entry/update: 23 May 2012


      Title: Untold Miseries - Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burma’s Kachin State
      Date of publication: 19 March 2012
      Description/subject: 'When Burmese President Thein Sein took office in March 2011, he said that over 60 years of armed conflict have put Burma’s ethnic populations through “the hell of untold miseries.” Just three months later, the Burmese armed forces resumed military operations against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), leading to serious abuses and a humanitarian crisis affecting tens of thousands of ethnic Kachin civilians. “Untold Miseries”: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Kachin State is based on over 100 interviews in Burma’s Kachin State and China’s Yunnan province. It details how the Burmese army has killed and tortured civilians, raped women, planted antipersonnel landmines, and used forced labor on the front lines, including children as young as 14-years-old. Soldiers have attacked villages, razed homes, and pillaged properties. Burmese authorities have failed to authorize a serious relief effort in KIA-controlled areas, where most of the 75,000 displaced men, women, and children have sought refuge. The KIA has also been responsible for serious abuses, including using child soldiers and antipersonnel landmines. Human Rights Watch calls on the Burmese government to support an independent international mechanism to investigate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by all parties to Burma’s ethnic armed conflicts. The government should also provide United Nations and humanitarian agencies unhindered access to all internally displaced populations, and make a long-term commitment with humanitarian agencies to authorize relief to populations in need.'
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
      Format/size: pdf (1.7MB - OBL version; 2.25MB - original))
      Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/burma0312ForUpload_1.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 20 March 2012


      Title: KIO warns China: Myitsone Dam could spark ‘civil war’
      Date of publication: 20 May 2011
      Description/subject: "In an open letter sent to Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) has asked China to stop the planned Myitsone Dam to be built in Burma’s northern Kachin state, warning that the controversial project could lead to civil war. The English-language letter dated March 16 but only recently made public and obtained by Mizzima states that the KIO ‘informed the military government that KIO would not be responsible for the civil war if the war broke out because of this hydropower plant project and the dam construction’..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Mizzima
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 20 May 2011


      Title: SPDC road construction plans creating problems for civilians
      Date of publication: 27 January 2006
      Description/subject: "In the opinion of one KHRG field researcher, “The SPDC’s road construction plans are related to the Salween dam project.” The dam itself, however, is partly a weapon to extend the regime’s control. The SPDC and its predecessors have tried to military crush all resistance in the Karen hills for over 50 years already without success, so ‘development projects’ like roads and dams are a new tactic for penetrating areas where resistance forces are strong and forcing villagers out of the hills to settle in state-controlled areas. The first to suffer from the road construction are the villagers living under SPDC control, who have to secure the road construction, carry loads, act as messengers and provide food and materials. Many will also have their fields or irrigation systems destroyed and their livelihoods undermined. Then will come the effects on displaced villagers living beyond SPDC control, whose mobility and security will be threatened by the roads and increased militarisation, undermining their food security, physical security, and their children’s access to education. The SPDC forces would like these people to go and live under their control, but the villagers know that if they stay under SPDC control they will have to do forced labour as porters, carrying loads, and as messengers, and will face extortion and looting of their money, livestock and belongings. There is some speculation that the dam project itself, by threatening the territory and supply lines of resistance forces, could also lead to intensified armed conflict, and villagers in the area would be the first to suffer from this. Dozens of villages and huge areas of forest and farmland would be inundated, most likely with no compensation offered to villagers except the option of moving to an SPDC-controlled village where they would be landless labourers, regularly exploited for forced labour. The future is therefore very uncertain for the thousands of Karen villagers living in this region."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2006-B1)
      Format/size: pdf (338 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b1.html
      Date of entry/update: 28 January 2006


      Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #95-C4
      Date of publication: 04 August 1995
      Description/subject: "...SLORC continues to show no remorse whatsoever for its continually expanding program of civilian forced labour throughout Burma. Roads, railways, dams, army camps, tourist sites, an international airport, pagodas, schools - virtually everything which is built in rural Burma is now built and maintained with the forced labour of villagers, as well as their money and building materials. Forced labour as porters fuels the SLORC's military campaigns, while forced labour farming land confiscated by the military, digging fishponds, logging and sawing timber for local Battalions fills the pockets of SLORC military officers and SLORC money-laundering front companies such as Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. Even farming one's own land is more and more becoming a form of forced labour, as SLORC continues to increase rice quotas which farmers must hand over for pitiful prices. Even after a year like 1994, when record floods destroyed crops in much of the country, the quotas must be paid - if not, the farmer is arrested and the Army takes his land, only to resell it or set up yet another forced labour farm. 1995 has seen very small harvests, increased confiscation and looting of rice and money from the farmers, 40 million people struggling to avoid starvation, and SLORC agreeing to sell a million tonnes of rice to Russia for profit - rice which it has confiscated from village farmers for 50 Kyat a basket, or for nothing..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #95-C4)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 22 November 2009


    • Ceasefire Groups

      Individual Documents

      Title: THE SITUATION IN MON STATE
      Date of publication: 16 June 2010
      Description/subject: "As pressure mounts on the ceasefire groups to transform into Border Guard Forces, media attention has focussed on those groups, especially the Wa in Shan State and the possibility of impending conflict. While there is no doubt that the situation there is precarious, with the oncoming rainy season, it is unlikely that there will be any military action until at least November 2010. Instead, the Burma Army has increased its pressure on the New Mon State Party (NMSP), a smaller and easier target, bordering Karen State and Thailand in the South of the country. While no official statements have been made, recent reports suggest that the NMSP is already considered illegal. At a 7 May meeting with the USDA, Major General Thet Naing Win of the South-east Command reportedly told the audience that the NMSP should be considered an illegal armed group. A source within the NMSP confirmed the group's new status.1 With the NMSP's uncertain future, a new political party, the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP), has registered its intention to contest the election. Although, at the time of writing, the new party remains to be officially approved by the election commission, it remains the only glimmer of hope of Mon representation in the near future..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office (EBO) - EBO Analysis Paper No. 1, 2010
      Format/size: pdf (657K)
      Alternate URLs: http://euro-burma.eu/doc/EBO_Analysis_Paper_No_1_2010_-_The_Mon_Situation.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 16 June 2010


      Title: Disquiet on the Northern Front
      Date of publication: April 2010
      Description/subject: The uneasy peace in Kachin State is under constant pressure, as the Burmese junta's border guard force scheme meets continued resistance
      Author/creator: Wai Moe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010


      Title: A Matter of Autonomy and Arms
      Date of publication: March 2010
      Description/subject: The NMSP, one of the smaller ethnic cease-fire groups, defies the Burmese generals by rejecting their border guard force order... "It was dawn when I reached Palanjapan, a remote village near Three Pagodas Pass in Burma’s Mon State. People in every household were busy preparing for celebrations to mark the 63rd anniversary of Mon National Day. Slide Show (View) Following the rhythm of military drum beats, several columns of Mon soldiers dressed in their best green camouflage uniforms and holding aging AK-47 assault rifles marched toward the parade ground in the center of the village, where a crowd of about 1,000 Mon waited for their leaders to officially open the national day ceremony. Nai Htaw Mon, the chairman of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), delivered a speech reaffirming the party’s pledge to work for a federal union and self-determination for the Mon people. “This year is important for our people and our political strength, based on our united nationalist spirit,” Nai Htaw Mon said in a statement. “Until the realization of a genuine multi-party democracy and the self-determination of the Mon people, we will continue to resist and fight hand-in-hand with our allied ethnic brothers.”..."
      Author/creator: Htet Aung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 3
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 17 March 2010


      Title: A Fragile Peace
      Date of publication: February 2010
      Description/subject: The Kachin negotiate with the regime on the border guard force issue, while recruiting and training more soldiers... "At the traditional Manau dance this year—held in Myitkyina, the capital of Burma’s northern Kachin State—Kachin soldiers were not allowed to dance in military uniforms. Earlier, the Burmese regime sent three members of the notorious Press Scrutiny and Registration Division to censor stories in the Kachin language newspaper that published articles about the festival, held annually on Kachin State Day, Jan. 10. To show their unhappiness, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which signed a cease-fire agreement with the junta in 1994, sent only 200 soldiers to the festival. Last year, about 2,000 KIA personnel joined the festivities..."
      Author/creator: Yeni
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17702
      Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


      Title: Peace in Name only
      Date of publication: October 2009
      Description/subject: War and refugees will remain a fact of life in Burma as long as the root causes of conflict in the country’s borderlands remain unaddressed... "The rout of the ethnic Kokang militia, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, in northern Burma in late August has brought into stark relief what millions of people live with in Burma every day: conflict between the central state and non-state armed militias. For decades, clashes between the Burmese regime’s army and its myriad enemies have been forcing people into hiding or across borders. What is different about the recent fighting is that it involved China—not usually a country that tolerates refugees from Burma or instability along its borders..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 7
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 February 2010


      Title: The First Shots are Fired
      Date of publication: October 2009
      Description/subject: Recent clashes on the Sino-Burmese border ended almost as soon as they began, but the threat of an all-out war remains... "The fall of the Kokang capital of Laogai to Burmese government troops on Aug. 24 has put other ethnic cease-fire groups based along Burma’s border with China on the alert and raised questions about how close ties between Naypyidaw and Beijing are likely to affect the future of ethnic struggle in Burma. Although the Burmese junta’s forces managed to seize control of Laogai without firing a single shot, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the main Kokang militia, put up some resistance before retreating to the Chinese side of the border. The guns have since fallen silent, but with other armed groups now preparing for war, many people, including Chinese immigrants, are fleeing before the next outbreak of hostilities..."
      Author/creator: Wai Moe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 7
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 February 2010


      Title: Neither War Nor Peace - The Future of the Ceasefire Agreements in Burma
      Date of publication: July 2009
      Description/subject: Introduction: "This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the first ceasefire agreements in Burma, which put a stop to decades of fighting between the military government and a wide range of ethnic armed opposition groups. These groups had taken up arms against the government in search of more autonomy and ethnic rights. The military government has so far failed to address the main grievances and aspirations of the cease-fire groups. The regime now wants them to disarm or become Border Guard Forces. It also wants them to form new political parties which would participate in the controversial 2010 elections. They are unlikely to do so unless some of their basic demands are met. This raises many serious questions about the future of the cease-fires. The international community has focused on the struggle of the democratic opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who has become an international icon. The ethnic minority issue and the relevance of the cease-fire agreements have been almost completely ignored. Ethnic conflict needs to be resolved in order to bring about any lasting political solution. Without a political settlement that addresses ethnic minority needs and goals it is extremely unlikely there will be peace and democracy in Burma. Instead of isolating and demonising the cease-fire groups, all national and international actors concerned with peace and democracy in Burma should actively engage with them, and involve them in discussions about political change in the country. This paper explains how the cease-fire agreements came about, and analyses the goals and strategies of the ceasefire groups. It also discusses the weaknesses the groups face in implementing these goals, and the positive and negative consequences of the cease-fires, including their effect on the economy. The paper then examines the international responses to the cease-fires, and ends with an overview of the future prospects for the agreements"
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute
      Format/size: pdf (1.74MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/TNIceasefires.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


      Title: A Rocky Road
      Date of publication: November 2005
      Description/subject: Kachin State's growing ethnic and environmental troubles... "In recent years, many political analysts in Burma and abroad have predicted growing strife in the country’s troubled ethnic regions, warning that ceasefire agreements with the ruling junta would not guarantee lasting peace. The current instability in Burma’s Kachin State bears these warnings out..."
      Author/creator: Khun Sam
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Waiting Game
      Date of publication: November 2005
      Description/subject: Junta tightens control in Monland... "As in other ethnic regions of Burma, where ceasefire agreements have been a growing source of frustration and bitterness, Monland in southern Burma has also seen its share of broken promises and the increasing likelihood that lasting peace is still a long way off. The New Mon State Party—the region’s principal ethnic opposition group—entered a ceasefire agreement with Rangoon in 1995, at the urging of the country’s military leadership as well as members of Thailand’s political and business communities, who were eager to increase investments in the region. Foreign oil companies, such as France’s Total and Unocal in the US, saw peace in the region as good for business. Each had proposed a natural gas pipeline through contested areas of Mon State—a fact that caused the regime to exert greater pressure in the interest of increasing vital foreign investment. In 1996, the NMSP received 17 industrial concessions in areas such as logging, fishing, inland transportation, trade agreements with Malaysia and Singapore, and gold mining. The regime, however, had cancelled the majority of these contracts by 1998, leaving NMSP leaders with little in terms of economic support and weakening the opposition party..."
      Author/creator: Louis Reh
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Mon Colonel Resumes Anti-Rangoon Struggle
      Date of publication: September 2001
      Description/subject: "A military commander from the New Mon State Army (NMSA) has severed ties with the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and resumed fighting against Rangoon, according to reliable sources on the Thai-Burma border. Col Naing Pan Nyunt, former Tactical Commander of the NMSA, and about 100 soldiers loyal to him have reportedly already begun engaging in skirmishes with Rangoon troops..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol 9. No. 7 (Intelligence section)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Resignation Rumors Fuel Ceasefire Concerns
      Date of publication: June 2000
      Description/subject: Rumors that Sr Gen Than Shwe may soon step down as head of Burma's ruling junta have raised questions about the possible implications for a number of shaky ceasefire agreements with ethnic insurgent groups.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No .6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: SPDC Build-up in Northern Shan State
      Date of publication: June 2000
      Description/subject: Shan sources say that the proliferation of groups "joining the legal fold" and signing ceasefire agreements with the State Peace and Development Council SPDC, Burma's ruling military junta, has done nothing to slow down the pace of militarization in northern Shan State.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No .6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: War on Drugs, War on the Wa
      Date of publication: April 2000
      Description/subject: In April, Thailand and Burma held a high-level meeting in Tachilek, where Burmese officials agreed to cooperate in fighting the flow of drugs into Thailand. But as it becomes increasingly apparent that Rangoon has no intention of delivering on its promise, Thailand may be looking to take matters into its own hands.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 4-5
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Fireworks of Peace
      Date of publication: October 1999
      Description/subject: The military's attempts at ethnic reconciliation have been all show and no substance, writes Thar Nyunt Oo
      Author/creator: Thar Nyunt Oo
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 7, No. 8
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: ETHNIEN UND BEWAFFNETE ETHNISCHE GRUPPEN IN MYANMAR / BURMA
      Description/subject: Die Karte zeigt eine Übersicht mit befriedeten und nicht befriedeten ethnischen Minderheiten in Burma; map of ethnic minorities with /without ceasefire agreements
      Source/publisher: Wikipedia / Heinrich Böll Stiftung
      Format/size: Html (17k)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.boell.de/weltweit/asien/asien-5372.html
      Date of entry/update: 25 July 2010


      • Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA)

        Individual Documents

        Title: Shooting in Dooplaya District
        Date of publication: 21 November 2012
        Description/subject: "On September 12th 2012, Saw M---, from P--- village, was shot in the leg by DKBA Klo Htoo Baw Platoon Commander Neh Raw, led by Company Commander Saw Pah Dee and based in P--- village, while he was driving his tractor to Waw Lay village in Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District. According to the community member who spoke with Saw M--- after the incident, Commander Neh Raw fired at Saw M---, striking him in the leg, after a request for food, which was inaudible to Saw M--- due to the noise of the tractor, was ignored. According to recent information received by KHRG on October 24th 2012, the community member who spoke with the nurse who has been overseeing Saw M---'s recovery reported that Company Commander Saw Pah Dee ordered Neh Raw to travel to P--- village and express his apology to Saw M---, however, the soldier in question has so far failed to go..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (108K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b82.html
        Date of entry/update: 28 November 2012


        Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik Township and Kya In Township, April to June 2012
        Date of publication: 14 September 2012
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in June 2012 by a community member who described events occurring in Dooplaya District during the period between April 2012 and June 2012, specifically in relation to landmines, education, health, taxation and demand, forced labour, land confiscation, displacement, and restrictions on freedom of movement and trade. After the 2012 ceasefire between the Burma government and the KNU, remaining landmines still present serious risks for local villagers in Kawkareik Township because they are unable to travel. Details are provided about 57-year-old B--- village head, Saw L---, 70-year-old Saw E--- and Saw T---, who each stepped on landmines. During May 2012, Tatmadaw soldiers ordered three villagers' to supply hand tractors to transport materials for them from Aung May K' La village to Ke---, plus Tatmadaw soldiers ordered five hand tractors to transports materials from Kyaik Doh village to Kya In Seik Gyi Town. Also described in the report are villagers' opinions on the ongoing ceasefire and whether or not they feel it is benefiting them, as well as village responses to land confiscation by Tatmadaw forces. After a village head was informed that any empty properties found would be confiscated, villagers in the area stayed temporarily in other peoples' houses on request of the owner..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (215K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b76.html
        Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012


        Title: Villagers return home four months after DKBA and Border Guard clash, killing one civilian, injuring two in Pa'an
        Date of publication: 27 June 2012
        Description/subject: "On February 19th 2012, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) ambushed a truck carrying a group of soldiers from Border Guard Battalion #1015 near Myaing Gyi Ngu town in Pa'an District, after the Border Guard soldiers stole weapons from the DKBA base at M--- village. Two villagers living near the site of the ambush were injured, and one was killed. Since then, movement restrictions have been imposed on Border Guard and DKBA troops operating in the Myaing Gyi Ngu area by the Burma government, which prohibits military units in possession of weapons from travelling within three miles of Myaing Gyi Ngu town. As of June 6th 2012, villagers living near Border Guard and DKBA camps, including the two villagers who were injured on February 19th, were reported to have returned to their villages, after having previously moved away. Directly after the clash in February, community members described their safety concerns and the possible consequences for civilians should the January 12th ceasefire agreement between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Tatmadaw be broken."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (126K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b61.html
        Date of entry/update: 12 July 2012


        Title: Pa'an Interview: Saw Bw---, September 2011
        Date of publication: 13 June 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 in Lu Pleh Township, Pa'an District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw Bw---, a 25-year-old logger from Eg--- village, who described events that occurred while he was carrying out logging work between the villages of A--- and S---. He provides information on military activity in the area, specifically about shifting relations between armed groups, with Border Guard and DKBA troops ceasing to cooperate, and a heightened Tatmadaw presence in the area. Saw Bw--- also explained the disruptive impact of fighting between Border Guard and armed groups in the area on A--- villagers, who are described as fleeing to avoid conflict, as well as providing information on one instance in which A--- villagers were ordered to relocate by the commander of Border Guard Battalion #1017, but instead chose strategic displacement into hiding. He mentions the difficulties that he had in logging following the Border Guard's increased presence in the area. Saw Bw--- also described the presence of landmines in the area around A--- and how his employer paid approximately US $1222.49 to DKBA troops to have them removed. This incident concerning landmines is also described in a thematic report published by KHRG on May 21st, 2012, Uncertain Ground: Landmines in eastern Burma."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (164K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b58.html
        Date of entry/update: 13 July 2012


        Title: Thai Army Increases Troops by DKBA Border
        Date of publication: 04 May 2012
        Description/subject: "BURMA Thai Army Increases Troops by DKBA Border By LAWI WENG / THE IRRAWADDY| May 4, 2012 | Hits: 30 Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on email Share on print The Thai Army has increased troop numbers around Mae Sot. (Photo: Reuters) The Thai Army has deployed more troops at border towns around Mae Sot, in northern Thailand’s Tak Province, due to escalating tensions with the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) after a faction leader was accused of being a drug trafficker. Thai Army chief Gen Prayut Chan O Cha told Thai Rath news on May 3 that his soldiers are taking extra care by the frontier and the number of troops in the area has been increased. “We are already there, but the situation is not yet risky,” he said. The move comes after the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) placed Saw Lah Pwe, the leader of the Brigade 5 breakaway faction of the DKBA, in the top five of its list of Thailand’s 25 most wanted drug dealers..."
        Author/creator: Lawi Weng
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 04 May 2012


        Title: Papun Interview Transcript: Naw P---, November 2011
        Date of publication: 11 April 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during November 2011 in B--- village, Bu Tho Township, Papun District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed 30-year-old hill field farmer Naw P---, who described how B--- villagers were forced to porter supplies for the Border Guard and Tatmadaw, and porter ammunition for the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). She also detailed an incident in which all of the B--- villagers were ordered by Border Guard Company Commander Hpu Meh Ka to repair the B--- village vehicle road and clear vegetation and discarded coconut skins from the roadside, and villagers were violently abused by Border Guard soldiers. Naw P--- also provided information pertaining to the killing of three villagers; the former B--- village head was killed by a remote controlled explosive device in approximately April 2011 whilst portering for the Tatmadaw, and a T--- villager named L--- was killed in 2010 by a Border Guard landmine when portering for the DKBA. Also in Papun District, the DKBA was reported to have killed 50-year-old N--- from W--- village. Tatmadaw, Border Guard, and DKBA soldiers were consistently implicated in the theft and looting of villagers' livestock, as well as demands for food. Tatmadaw soldiers were also described as issuing demands for building materials, such as bamboo poles."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (308K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b35.html
        Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


        Title: Thaton Situation Update: October 2010 to June 2011
        Date of publication: 29 March 2012
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG by a villager describing events occurring in Thaton District between October 2010 and June 2011. It contains updated information concerning the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) Border Guard transformations and Tatmadaw and Border Guard camp locations. It also provides details on the forced recruitment of villagers by former members of the DKBA, who were not accepted into the Border Guard, towards the establishment of pyi thu sit (people’s militia). While the villager who wrote this report notes a significant reduction in the frequency of human rights abuses, they also note the persistence and expansion of several kinds of abuses, namely: indirect demands for forced labour levied on villagers by the Tatmadaw through religious leaders; expropriation of villagers’ lands by extractive industry companies; monetary demands on villages in lieu of forced recruitment of villagers into local pyi thu sit units; and taxation and demands by the Border Guard, accompanied by threats for non-compliance. Furthermore, the villager expressed concerns regarding the impact of abnormal weather patterns on rice and plantation crops, which have exacerbated food scarcity and prompted many villagers to seek work abroad in Thailand and Malaysia."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (136K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b31.html
        Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


        Title: Boom or Bust?
        Date of publication: August 2010
        Description/subject: The Burmese junta is moving ahead with the Myawaddy special economic zone, which may or may not benefit the DKBA... "The Burmese military regime has long talked about, but never implemented, a special economic zone (SEZ) near the Burma-Thailand border. But the junta’s cabinet recently approved the official creation of the SEZ, along with a plan to increase investment in the project. This could result in a business boom for Col. Chit Thu and his Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) cronies who control the area surrounding the SEZ and have already established their own commercial empire on the border. But if the project is too successful, it could turn into a bust for Chit Thu, because the junta might want to keep control in the hands of its own generals..."
        Author/creator: Alex Ellgee
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 8
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 31 August 2010


        Title: Mr. Beard Breaks Away
        Date of publication: August 2010
        Description/subject: Col. Saw Lah Pwe has led a major defection of DKBA troops, and now the remaining DKBA leaders must make a choice between their business interests and their fellow Karen... "Col. Saw Lah Pwe, the commander of Brigade 5 of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), led a late-July defection of as many as 1,500 troops from five DKBA battalions that will potentially join forces with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA)..."
        Author/creator: Saw Yan Naing
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 8
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 31 August 2010


        Title: The Monk in Command
        Date of publication: May 2010
        Description/subject: A charismatic monk with a vision of a peaceful Karen State is credited with making the DKBA decision to reject the junta’s border guard force plan "... Unknown to most Westerners is that a Buddhist monk, U Thuzana, 67, weilds equal or even greater power within the DKBA. He is credited with making the recent DKBA decision to reject the regime’s border guard force order. According to some, U Thuzana is the most powerful person in the DKBA. It is difficult for officers and soldiers not to follow his decisions because of his role in the creation of the DKBA, one of the junta’s closest allies..."
        Author/creator: Mikael Gravers
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 5
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 28 August 2010


        Title: Myaing-gye: Ngu Sayadaw: A Jahan who Shines the light of Dhamma
        Date of publication: 30 July 1998
        Description/subject: "This book is not a biography of Myainggye: Ngu Sayadaw U Thu Za-na. In fact it is a personal record of Sayadaw's life experiences. As mortal being Sayadaw has passed through many ups and downs in his life. This has been recorded and narrated without any bias. Facts, even though they may be bitter are being presented in this book...U Thu Za-na is a young monk with a few years in monkhood (Vassa). The author has reached an agreement with U Thu Za-na—not to write about his biography. Therefore, my purpose is not to write Sayadaw's biography, or for any cause or causes, but merely to write everything as it was, as I saw and understand it. As everybody knows that Myaing-gye: Ngu Sayadaw U Thu Za-na has become a wellknown person in the country. Also rumours have been rife in the country. Some said Sayadaw stands on this side. Some accused him that he is from the other side. Who and What Myaing-gye: Ngu Sayadaw is? This book will after all answer all these questions. The readers will, after reading this book, understand to some extent Who and What Myaing-gye: Ngu Sayadaw is..."
        Author/creator: Myaing Nan Swe; Shin Khay Meinda (trans)
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Democratic Karen Buddhist Association (DKBA)
        Format/size: pdf (646K - OBL version; 13 MB - original scan)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/U%20Thuzanas%20Book%20(for%20PC%20reading).pdf
        Date of entry/update: 07 June 2011


    • Non-Ceasefire Groups

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Daniel Pedersen.org
      Description/subject: Website of author and journalist Daniel Pedersen, devoted largely to the military struggle of Burma's ethnic nationalities, with a strong focus on the Karen. Videos, photos, frontline reports, newsfeeds etc.
      Source/publisher: Daniel Pedersen.org
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 02 January 2011


      Individual Documents

      Title: The world's longest ongoing war (video)
      Date of publication: 11 August 2011
      Description/subject: "For more than 60 years, Karen rebels have been fighting a civil war against the government of Myanmar...In February 1949, members of the Karen ethnic minority launched an armed insurrection against Myanmar's central government. In pictures: Sixty years of war. Over 60 years later, the conflict continues, with more than a dozen ethnic rebel groups waging war against the army in their fight for self-rule. Now, the war is entering a new and bloody stage. Myanmar is the only regime still regularly planting anti-personnel mines. But it is not only the army that uses them. Rebel groups also regularly use homemade landmines or mines seized from the military. As the conflict escalates, civilians are trapped in the middle of some of the worst fighting in decades. 101 East travels to Myanmar, home to the world's longest running civil war."
      Language: English, Karen (English sub-titles)
      Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (101 East)
      Format/size: html, Adobe Flash (25 minutes)
      Date of entry/update: 27 December 2011


      Title: Burma's Longest War: Anatomy of the Karen Conflict
      Date of publication: 28 March 2011
      Description/subject: "Political grievances among Karen and other ethnic nationality communities, which have driven over half a century of armed conflict in Burma/Myanmar, remain unresolved. As the country enters a period of transition following the November 2010 elections and formation of a new government, the Karen political landscape is undergoing its most significant changes in a generation. There is a pressing need for Karen social and political actors to demonstrate their relevance to the new political and economic agendas in Burma, and in particular to articulate positions regarding the major economic and infrastructure development projects to be implemented in the coming years. The country's best-known insurgent organisation, the Karen National Union (KNU), is in crisis, having lost control of its once extensive 'liberated zones’, and lacks a political agenda relevant to all Karen communities. Meanwhile the government's demand that ceasefire groups, such as the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, transform into Border Guard Forces under direct Burma Army control throws into question the future of various armed groups that have split from the KNU since the 1990s. In this context, Thailand-Burma border areas have seen an upsurge in fighting since late 2010. Nevertheless, the long-term prospect is one of the decline of insurgency as a viable political or military strategy. Equitable solutions to Burma's social, political and economic problems must involve settling long-standing conflicts between ethnic communities and the state. While Aung San Suu Kyi, the popular leader of the country's democracy movement, seems to recognise this fact, the military government, which holds most real power in the country, has sought to suppress and assimilate minority communities. It is yet to be seen whether Karen and other ethnic nationality representatives elected in November 2010 will be able to find the political space within which to exercise some influence on local or national politics. In the meantime, civil society networks operating within and between Karen and other ethnic nationality communities represent vehicles for positive, incremental change, at least at local levels."
      Author/creator: Ashley South
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Institute, Burma Centrum Nederland
      Format/size: pdf (2MB - OBL version; 2.3MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/TNI-BurmasLongestWar-AshleySouth-red.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 29 March 2011


      Title: Terror
      Date of publication: 14 July 2007
      Description/subject: Am Montag, dem 24. Januar 2000 besetzen zehn burmesische Terroristen das Zentralkrankenhaus im thailändischen Ratchaburi unweit der Grenze und nehmen Belegschaft und Patienten als Geiseln. Schnell ist in der Presse ausgemacht, dass es sich um die ‘God’s Army’ Rebellen der Zwillinge Johnny und Luther Htoo handeln muß. In einer Kommandoaktion thailändischer Spezialeinheiten werden in der Nacht zum Dienstag alle Geiselnehmer erschossen. KNLA; God`s Army; Kindersoldaten, Child Soldiers
      Language: German, Deutsch
      Source/publisher: Burma Riders
      Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007


      Title: The Longest Fight
      Date of publication: March 2006
      Description/subject: "After 57 years of fighting for independence from the Burmese, the Karen National Union is beset by internal divisions, a lack of resources and an aging leadership..."
      Author/creator: Shah Paung and Harry Priestley
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No3
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Mae Sot under the Microscope
      Date of publication: February 2006
      Description/subject: Australian journalist looks closely at life in a Thai border town... "Restless Souls. Refugees, Mercenaries, Medics and Misfits on the Thai Burma Border, by Phil Thornton, Asia Books, Bangkok; 2005. P240 Borders everywhere attract their fair share of humanitarians, traders, mercenaries, messiahs, opportunists and loons. The beautiful, rugged and long-suffering Burma-Thailand frontier region seems to have exceeded its quota of all of them some time ago, and the Thai border town of Mae Sot is now clogged with foreigners existing as a sort of parallel species to Thai, Burmese, Karen and Muslim inhabitants. Such is its fascination as the entrepôt for trade, refugees, drugs and conflict over the border that Mae Sot and its surroundings represent a microcosm of the deep malaise of Burma. Phil Thornton is an Australian journalist who has lived in Mae Sot for more than five years, working with a range of Karen groups and collecting stories of everyday survival. Restless Souls is a painfully authentic tour through the lives of ordinary people living in a zone of low-intensity conflict in the world’s longest and most ignored civil war, the 58-year struggle of the Karen people against the Burmese military..."
      Author/creator: David Scott Mathieson
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No.2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Soldiers of Misfortune
      Date of publication: February 2006
      Description/subject: Born in 1988, when students fled to Burma’s eastern border, the ABSDF army is now only a shell... "The All Burma Students’ Democratic Front was born out of bloodshed and political necessity. Many of its founding members fled Burma after the 1988 uprising and the brutal military coup that followed, and they formed the ABSDF in Karen National Union-controlled area near the Thailand-Burma border. Years of fighting a relentlessly cruel and well-funded army, diseases endemic to their jungle habitat such as malaria, dengue fever and a variety of respiratory illnesses, and the attrition of their forces, have taken their toll on the ABSDF. Most of the soldiers come from Rangoon or other urban areas, and the adaptation to a jungle environment is slow and difficult. A mere 300 of Burma’s kyaung-thar tatmadaw, or student army, remain in the field..."
      Author/creator: Text by Yeni; photos by Paddy O’Hanlon
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No.2
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: A Soldier's Duty
      Date of publication: November 2005
      Description/subject: The troops of KNLA Battalion 101 stick to their guns... "...The KNU is one of Burma’s oldest and strongest armed ethnic opposition groups, and it has waged war with successive administrations of the Burmese government since 1949. Government troops overran KNU headquarters at Manerplaw in 1995, and since that time the group has lost ground in its fight for greater regional autonomy. In the last decade, other political developments have weakened the KNU. Neighboring Thailand had for many years adopted a policy of tacit collaboration with the Karen and other armed ethnic minority groups along the Thai-Burma border, hoping that they would establish a buffer zone against any encroachment by Burmese forces. This policy has changed in recent years as Thailand seeks to strengthen its economic and political ties with Rangoon. Despite more than a half century of armed conflict, the KNU has since 1995 made several efforts to open diplomatic lines of communication with Burma’s ruling junta to negotiate an equitable ceasefire agreement. In 2004, then deputy chairman Gen Bo Mya flew to Rangoon to hold peace talks with ex-prime minister Gen Khin Nyunt. The meeting—backed by some of Thailand’s top military and business leaders—produced a “gentleman’s agreement” to end hostilities in Karen State. Khin Nyunt’s subsequent ouster later in the year, however, ended any momentum towards an official ceasefire..."
      Author/creator: Shah Paung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Uncertainty Reigns in Shan State
      Date of publication: November 2005
      Description/subject: Conflicting claims, suspicion and arrests create confusion... "Although the Rangoon regime insists that Shan State is stable, one armed opposition group, the Shan State Army (South), continues to hold out against government pressure to disarm. Relations between Shan groups and the regime are also strained because of the arrest in February of several ethnic leaders, including 82-year-old activist Shwe Ohn. Complicating the situation still further in Shan State is the status of the United Wa State Army, which maintains a de facto ceasefire with the regime while allegedly continuing to engage in a drugs trade protected by their own armed forces. The first ceasefire agreements between Shan ethnic groups and the regime were signed in 1989. The original agreements granted the groups business concessions, particularly in logging, and tax collection autonomy. They also allowed the groups to remain armed—but from early this year the regime has been pressing them to disarm under a program dubbed “Exchange Arms for Peace.”..."
      Author/creator: Aung Lwin Oo
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 11
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Bo Mya: In His Own Words
      Date of publication: June 2002
      Description/subject: "The recently published memoirs of former Karen leader Gen Bo Mya offer a glimpse into the inner workings of Burma's longest-running insurgent struggle..."
      Author/creator: Aung Zaw
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 10, No. 5, June 2002
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: It's a Jungle Out There
      Date of publication: June 2002
      Description/subject: "The "Kachin Massacre" was committed in northern Burma by members of the All Burma Students� Democratic Front (ABSDF), an armed group fighting the military. February 12th is a date of great significance for Burma. On that historical day in 1947, national hero Aung San and ethnic nationalities leaders signed the Panglong Agreement, which granted equality and national self-determination for all the people of Burma, and the date has been commemorated ever since. But on the 45th anniversary of what is now known as Union Day, in the jungles of Kachin State, a group of Burmese democracy activists were murdered under shadowy circumstances in 1992..."
      Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe, Naw Seng, Ko Thet
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 10, No. 5, June 2002
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Border Justice Strikes Again
      Date of publication: September 2000
      Description/subject: A rebel group based on the Thai-Burma border has reported that some of its members have disappeared without a trace. Twelve members of the People's Liberation Front PLF have been missing since July and August, according to the group's chairman Aye Saung. In a statement published in the PLF's monthlybulletin, Aye Saung claimed that "a handful of hoodlums and thugs" were responsible for abducting the missing rebels.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8. No. 9 (Intelligence section)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Drugs, Lies and Videotape
      Date of publication: June 2000
      Description/subject: Internal conflict and ideological differences have taken their toll on the decades-old Karenni insurgency, but the Karenni National Progressive Party remains one of the few ethnic-based political organizations in Burma still actively engaged in armed resistance against the Rangoon regime. Now, reports Neil Lawrence, the KNPP is facing a new challenge, as opium and other narcotics once confined to neighboring Shan State make their way into territory controlled by Rangoon's Karenni allies.
      Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8, No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Every Karen Must be Involved in Political Destiny
      Date of publication: June 2000
      Description/subject: Padoe Saw Ba Thin Sein, chairman of the Karen National Union, spoke to The Irrawaddy recently about a host of issues affecting Burma's longest-running insurgency. In this frank interview, he discusses rumors of "secret meetings" with Rangoon, as well as claims that the KNU has been receiving military support from Thailand and Britain. He also touches on his own role in the KNU and the group's policies on drugs, Internally Displaced Persons, and ICRC visits in Karen State.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8, No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Chemical Shells at Kaw Moo Rah
      Date of publication: 24 February 1995
      Description/subject: "Then on the night of February 20-21 1995, SLORC suddenly took Kaw Moo Rah in the space of only 18 hours without even using a ground assault or crossing into Thailand. The Karen soldiers were forced to withdraw, complaining of SLORC shells that caused dizzyness, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness. Whether these shells were some form of tear gas or a stronger nerve agent remains to be proven through medical samples. This preliminary report presents the testimonies of some of the soldiers wounded in the final assault, interviewed 36 hours after they withdrew. After the withdrawal, Karen forces reported 3-4 dead, 2 missing, and 10 wounded. However, KHRG has already independently confirmed at least 20 wounded, and other evidence indicates the number of dead was probably higher than reported as well. Witnesses have already seen SLORC troops dumping several bodies in the Moei River, either Karen troops or SLORC porters. While the SLORC claims that the "Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army" took Kaw Moo Rah, almost all the troops seen there now are Burmese, and although several DKBA flags have been planted along the river for show, it is a large Burmese flag which flies in the most prominent spot at Kaw Moo Rah’s main gate. Along with the alleged ‘chemical’ shells, the soldiers refer to ‘liquid’ shells that caused burning - these appear to be white phosphorus shells, another form of chemical weapon usually used as incendiaries. SLORC is known to frequently use these shells in offensives and to burn down villages. The effects when the phosphorus comes into contact with human flesh are horrifying..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-08)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #95-C1
      Date of publication: 05 February 1995
      Description/subject: "Manerplaw has fallen. The world was caught napping, mainly because it happened faster than anyone could imagine. The main factors were the monk U Thuzana and ..." "...The Thai authorities and UNHCR seem to feel that Karen refugees are only in Thailand because of battles between SLORC and Karen forces, when in fact it is Burma Army repression in their villages which drove most of these people to Thailand. This repression, including slave labour, looting, extortion, destruction of homes and crops, torture, rape, and killings, is only getting worse. In the presence of all the current political upheavals, this is something, which must not be forgotten, and it will continue to be our focus..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #95-C1)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Karen guerillas -- insurgency in Karen State (front-line photos, 1991)
      Date of publication: April 1991
      Description/subject: Photos taken March-April 1991 at Manerplaw and the front line north of Manerplaw, where there was heavy fighting at the time. Several photos of child soldiers. "Burma has been torn by civil war since the end of colonial rule from the British. One of the largest ethnic groups is the Karen-people. For a long time they maintained their own state, Kawthoolei or Karen land, in the east of the country bordering Thailand. From its base in Manorplow the Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed wing the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) led the armed struggle. In the late eighties they where reinforced by Burmese refugees from the All Burma Student Democratic Front (ADSDF) who escaped the crack down on the democracy movement. The failure of different ethnic groups to unite led to great success for the junta in the mid 90's. Today only a fraction of the KNU remains active and many Karens are living as refugees in Thailand. Many other armed groups have struck deals with the military junta (SLORC) or entered the lucrative drug-trade."
      Author/creator: Bjorn Svensson
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Border Guard Forces (all states)
      The armed groups which agreed ceasefires in the late '80s and the '90s but kept their arms and armies, are being asked by the SPDC to integrate their forces into the Burma Army as "Border Guard Forces". Some have agreed, but the larger ones have not.

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: "BurmaNet News": Search results for "border guard force"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Various sources via "BurmaNet News"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: Burma News International: search results for "border guard force"
      Description/subject: 53 results, April 2010
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma News International
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: BurmaNewsGroup: search results for "border guard force"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma News Group
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: Democratic Voice of Burma: search results for "border guard force"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: Google: search results for "border guard force" burma myanmar
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Google
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: IMNA: search results for "border guard force"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: Kachin News: search results for "border guard force"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Kachin News
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 25 July 2010


      Title: Kao Wao News: search results for "border guard force"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Kao Wao News
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: Mizzima: search results for "border guard force"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Mizzima
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: SHAN: search results for "border guard force"
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: The Irrawaddy: search results for "border guard force"
      Description/subject: 183 results (April 2010)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Individual Documents

      Title: THE BORDER GUARD FORCE - The Need to Reassess the Policy
      Date of publication: 27 July 2013
      Description/subject: "The implementation of the Border Guard Force (BGF) program in 2009 was an attempt to neutralise armed ethnic ceasefire groups and consolidate the Burma Army’s control over all military units in the country. The programme was instituted after the 2008 constitution which stated that ‘All the armed forces in the Union shall be under the command of the Defence Services’. As a result the government decided to transform all ethnic ceasefire groups into what became known as Border Guard Forces (BGF). Consequently, this was used to pressure armed ethnic groups that had reached a ceasefire with the government to either allow direct Burma Army control of their military or face an offensive. The BGF and, where there was no border, the Home Guard Force (HGF), had been seen as an easy alternative to fighting armed ceasefire groups. While a number of ceasefire groups including the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) refused to take part in the program, other groups accepted the offer including the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), National Democratic Army – Kachin (NDA-K), Kachin Defence Army (KDA), Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Karenni National People’s Liberation Front (KNPLF) and the Lahu Democratic Front (LDF). Many of these BGF units, especially in Karen State, have carved out small fiefdoms for themselves and along with a variety of local militias continue to place a great burden on the local population. There are consistent reports of human rights abuses by BGF units and a number have been involved in the narcotics trade. While the BGF battalion program had originally been designed to solve the ceasefire group issue its failure, and subsequent attempts by the Government to negotiate peace with non-ceasefire groups, suggests that the role of the BGF units and their continued existence, like that of the NaSaKa, needs to be rethought..."
      Author/creator: Editor: Lian H. Sakhong; Author: Paul Keenan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Centre for Ethnic Studies (Briefing Paper No. 15)
      Format/size: pdf (301K-OBL version; 446K-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaethnicstudies.net/pdf/BCES-BP-15.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 26 July 2013


      Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: Kyone Doh Township, July to November 2012
      Date of publication: 11 June 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in December 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Dooplaya District, between July and November 2012. The report describes problems relating to land confiscation and contains updated information regarding the sale of forest reserve for rubber plantations involving the BGF, with individuals who profited from the sale listed. Villagers in the area rely heavily upon the forest reserve for their livelihoods and are faced with a shortage of land for their animals to graze upon; further, villagers cows have been killed if they have continued to let them graze in the area. The community member explains that although fighting has ceased since the ceasefire agreement, otherwise the situation is the same; taxation demands and loss of livelihoods has resulted in villagers being forced to take odd jobs for daily wages, while some have left for foreign countries in search of work. Villagers have some access to healthcare and education supported by the Government, the KNU and local organizations..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (62K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b33.html
      Date of entry/update: 27 July 2013


      Title: BGF Battalion #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012
      Date of publication: 31 May 2013
      Description/subject: This report is based on information submitted by a community member in June 2012 describing events occurring in April and May 2012.[1] The information described the activities of BGF Battalion #1014, which operates along the border of Thaton and Papun districts. According to the community member, the group that is based out of Hpa-an Township, in Thaton District, has committed different abuses against the villagers who are in Hpa-an Township. Between April and May 2012, the Battalion forced local villagers from Meh K'Na Hkee village tract to clear plantation land for two companies, from whom the Battalion officers received money. In Kyon Mon Thweh village tract, villagers were required to serve as soldiers in a local militia.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (42K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b29.html
      Date of entry/update: 22 June 2013


      Title: Incident Report: Forced recruitment in Thaton District #2, May 2012
      Date of publication: 31 May 2013
      Description/subject: The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses. The community member who wrote this report described an incident that occurred on May 29th 2012 in Kyoh Moh Thweh village tract, Hpa-an Township, Thaton District, where a group of BGF Battalion #1014 soldiers forcibly recruited villagers for a people’s militia. This report also includes information about the consequent problems the villagers endured related to this forced recruitment, such as having to pay money in lieu, or fleeing the area in order to avoid recruitment. In response to previous forced recruitment efforts, the community member reported that several villagers fled the area in order to avoid the forced service. This report has been summarized along with three other Incident Reports received from this area in: “Border Guard #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012,” KHRG, May 2013.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (119K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b27.html, html
      Date of entry/update: 22 June 2013


      Title: Incident Report: Forced recruitment in Thaton District #1, May 2012
      Date of publication: 29 May 2013
      Description/subject: The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses. The community member who wrote this report described that on May 29th 2012, villagers were ordered to be recruited for a one-year service by Moe Nyo, a fomer DKBA leader now serving as a company commander in the BGF Battalion #1014, in order to form a new people's militia group. The cost to avoid service was 50,000 kyat per month, which the villagers reported having difficulties with raising. Some villagers who refused to serve, but lacked the money to opt-out and responded to the order by fleeing their village. This report has been summarized along with three other Incident Reports received from this area in: "BGF Battalion #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012," KHRG, May 2013.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (91K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b26.html
      Date of entry/update: 22 June 2013


      Title: Incident Report: Land confiscation and forced labour in Thaton District, April 2012
      Date of publication: 27 May 2013
      Description/subject: The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses, which describes an incident that occurred on April 25th 2012, when BGF soldiers forced villagers from T--- village, Meh K'Na Hkee village tract, Hpa-an Township, Thaton District, to clear plantations owned by Thein Lay Myaing and Shwe Than Lwin companies, which were located on land confiscated from the villagers. The report identifies the perpetrators as Thein Lay Myaing and Shwe Than Lwin companies, KSDDP and a company affiliated with BGF Battalion #1014, commanded by Tin Win and based out of Law Pu village in Hpa-an Township. This report has been summarized along with three other Incident Reports received from this area in: "BGF Battalion #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012," KHRG, May 2013.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (125K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b24.html
      Date of entry/update: 18 June 2013


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, August to September 2012
      Date of publication: 12 April 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Bu Tho Township, Papun District, in the period between August and September 2012. The community member reports the use of villagers for forced labour by Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1013; from August 5th to September 28th 2012 the Battalion regularly ordered villagers to act as messengers and carry out work in Th'Ree Hta army camp; villagers were also forced to carry ammunitions and food for the soldiers without payment and to cut down bamboo canes. The community member goes on to describe BGF Battalion #1014 Commander Saw Maung Chit's failed attempt to recruit soldiers voluntarily in Meh Pree village tract and Htee Th'Daw Hta village tract, leading him to demand a total of 33 million kyat (US $37,437) from the two village tracts. Further, the report describes the arbitrary arrest, two-day detention and torture of S--- villager, Saw H---, by BGF Battalion #1014 Officer Saw Way Luh. This torture of Saw H--- left him with serious injuries; Officer Saw Way Luh is reported to have explained his torture of Saw H--- by claiming that the villager was a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) spy. Villagers' difficulties regarding health care, food shortages and education are also described in this report..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (268K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b19.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, July to October 2012
      Date of publication: 11 April 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District, during the period between July 2012 to October 2012. It specifically discusses forced labour, torture, the activity of major armed groups in the Bu Tho Township area, including the KNLA, DKBA, Tatmadaw and BGF, as well as villagers' healthcare, education and livelihood problems. The report describes how BGF Battalion #1014, led by Commander Maw Hsee, continues to demand materials and forced labour from villagers in order to build army camps. The report also provides details about a 50-year-old L--- villager, named Maung P---, who was arrested and tortured by the Tatmadaw Military Operation Command Column #2, which is under Battalion #44 and commanded by Hay Tha and Aung Thu Ra, because he asked other villagers to deliver a letter that the Tatmadaw demanded he deliver. The report includes information about the different challenges villagers face in Burma government and non-government controlled areas, as well as the ways villagers access healthcare from the KNU or the Burma government. According to the community member, civilians continue to face problems with their livelihood, which are caused by BGF and DKBA activities, but are improving since the ceasefire; also described are problems faced by villagers caused by natural factors, such as unhealthy crops and flooding. In order to improve crop health, farmers are using traditional remedies, but the community member mentions that those remedies do not address the problems well. Moreover, this report mentions how villagers pursue alternative livelihoods during intervals between farming and to cope with food shortages, including logging and selling wood..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (271K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b18.html
      Date of entry/update: 30 April 2013


      Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: T'Nay Hsah Township, November to December 2012
      Date of publication: 29 March 2013
      Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in December 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Hpa-an District, between November and December 2012. The report details the concerns of villagers in T'Nay Hsah Township, who have faced significant declines in their paddy harvest due to bug infestation. The community member also raises villagers' concerns regarding the cutting down of teak-like trees by developers, for the establishment of rubber plantations. The report describes how this activity seriously threatens villagers' livelihoods, and takes place via the cooperation of companies and wealthy individuals with the Burma government. The report goes on to detail demands placed upon villagers by the Border Guard Force (BGF) to contribute money to pay soldiers' salaries. Though the community member reports that these demands are not as forcibly implemented as in the past; villagers still face threats if they do not comply. Many villagers in the area, however, have chosen not to pay the money requested of them by the BGF.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (129K), html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


      Title: Incident Report: Forced Labour in Papun District #2, February 2012
      Date of publication: 29 March 2013
      Description/subject: "The following incident report was submitted to KHRG in May 2012 by a community member describing an incident that began on February 22nd 2012 in Dwe Lo Township, Papun District, where Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1014 soldiers forced between 70 or 80 villagers to construct their army camp without providing any wage, the necessary building materials for construction or medical care for villagers who became sick while labouring. According to the community member who wrote this report, forced labour demands continue, but are described by villagers as having decreased to a level with which the demands do not significantly infringe upon their normal routine and less precautions are taken..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (161K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b13.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


      Title: Border Guard #1014 demands for labour and goods in Papun District, May 2012
      Date of publication: 25 March 2013
      Description/subject: "This report is based on information submitted to KHRG in May 2012 by a community member[1] describing events occurring in Papun District, in May 2012, involving soldiers from Border Guard Battalion #1014, which is based out of K'Ter Tee and Hpaw Htee Hku villages. Commander Nyunt Thein and his Battalion Commander Maung Chit from the Battalion #1014 were identified, by name, as the ones who committed the abuses. Villagers were forced to build a camp for the Battalion #1014, which was also reported to have looted items from the villagers and forced them to do the camp's work, all of which is uncompensated..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (254K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b9.html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo townships, September to December 2012
      Date of publication: 08 March 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in January 2013 by a community member, who describes events occurring in Papun District during December 2012. Specific abuses include arbitrary arrest of a villager by a KNLA officer, Border Guard demands for money, labour, and items, religious discrimination by the Border Guard and a Buddhist monk, violent abuse, looting and movement restrictions through road closures. The community member reports how one KNLA Commander named Saw Hpah Mee arrested and tortured villager Saw M---, as well as shooting one of his cows, while Saw M--- was travelling to trade cows in Bu Tho Township, on the Thailand-Burma border, but was unaware that the road he used was closed. This report also describes how Border Guard Battalion #1014 soldiers arrested a Muslim villager who was selling his cows on the Thai border, and subsequently looted his money, and how Border Guard Battalion #1013 soldiers forced villagers to work for them and restricting them from trading. Also described in the report is a meeting held on September 10th 2012, during which a Buddhist monk informed villagers of four rules that were created to prohibit Buddhists from interacting with Muslims, which were distributed by the Border Guard. Villagers then reported this to the KNLA and the Tatmadaw, who subsequently held a meeting regarding the rules and explained that religious discrimination should not happen. Details on the incident are published in "Incident Report: Religious discrimination and restrictions in Papun District, September 2012," KHRG, March 2013.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (271K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b7.html
      Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


      Title: Papun Situation Update: Dwe Lo Township, July to October 2012
      Date of publication: 28 February 2013
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights. It describes events occurring in Papun District during the period between July to October 2012. Specifically discussed are Tatmadaw and Border Guard abuses, including forced labour, portering, land confiscation, coercive land sale transactions, and damages to the villagers' livelihood. The community member mentioned that large amounts of the villagers' land were confiscated and damaged, as well as an increase in waterborne diseases, from gold mines that were initially operated by the DKBA, but now villagers are uncertain if the private parties who are negotiating permission to continue from the KNU will be allowed to continue the mines. This report also describes how Border Guard #1013 confiscated more than 75 acres of plantation land in order to build shelters for soldiers' families, which created direct problems for villagers livelihoods. Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion #96 has been forcing villagers to perform various work for the base and for soldiers on patrol, and demanded bamboo poles to repair their camp. Moe Win, a company second-in-command from Tatmadaw Light Infantry Division #44, sexually abused Naw C---, a married woman from T--- village, in her home while she, her baby, and her husband was sleeping. The Company Commander promised Naw C--- 200,000 kyat as compensation and to ensure she not report the crime, but only 100,000 kyat has been paid. This report, and others, will be published in March 2013 as part of KHRG's thematic report: Losing Ground: Land conflicts and collective action in eastern Myanmar..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (343K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b3.html
      Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


      Title: Demands for soldier salaries in Hpa-an District, October 2012
      Date of publication: 01 February 2013
      Description/subject: "On October 17th 2012, three Tatmadaw Border Guard battalions held a meeting for 1,000 villagers from five village tracts in T'Nay Hsah Township, Hpa-an District, in order to announce their new soldiers retention plan for 22 inactive soldiers, and demanded that villagers pay for the plan. Each household was required to provide at least 50,000 kyat, despite villagers' efforts to negotiate with the battalion commanders, and villagers in three villages in T'Nay Hsah were informed they will have to support 13 soldiers throughout 2013, but no payments for this request have been paid yet. This news bulletin is based on information submitted to KHRG in November and December 2012 by a community member in Hpa-an District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (133K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b1.html
      Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


      Title: Papun Interview: Saw N---, January 2012
      Date of publication: 27 July 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during January 2012 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw N---, a 39 year-old married father of four, who is both a hill field farmer and village head from K--- village in Day Wah village tract, who described the forced recruitment of soldiers into the Border Guard, and how he had arranged for the release of a local villager who had been prohibited from leaving the DKBA by making a cash payment totalling 1,000,000 kyat (US $1,135). Also described in the report, are instances of theft of villagers' livestock, forced labour and forced portering instigated by the Border Guard. Saw N--- mentions the continuous physical assault and other abuse of local villagers, specifically by a Border Guard soldier called Thaw Kweh. Saw N--- also provides information on village life in regards to healthcare, food security, and education. Saw N--- mentions that villagers have avoided paying for a government teacher and choose to pay a local teacher, whom they pay 5,000 kyat (US $5.65) per student for a year. Concerns are also raised in regards to construction projects in the local area."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (308K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b70.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


      Title: Papun Interview: Saw D---, January 2012
      Date of publication: 19 July 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during January 2012 in Bu Thoh Township, Papun District, by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw D---, the 44-year-old L--- village head, who described forced labour, Tatmadaw and Border Guard targeting of civilians, demands for food, and denial of humanitarian services, such as a school. He specifically described that both the Border Guard and the KNLA planted landmines around the village and, as a result, the villagers had to flee to another village because they were afraid and unable to continue with their farming. Saw D--- also mentioned that the Tatmadaw often made orders for forced portering without payment, or if they did pay, the payments were not fair for the villagers, including one villager who stepped on a landmine while portering. In addition, he described an incident in which one villager was shot at and arbitrarily tortured while returning from Myaing Gyi Ngu town to L--- village. Saw D--- also raised concerns regarding food shortages and the adequate provision of education for children."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (306K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b66.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


      Title: Papun Interview: Saw T---, December 2011
      Date of publication: 16 July 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed a 40-year-old Buddhist monk, Saw T---, who is a former member of the Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Border Guard, who described activities pertaining to Border Guard Battalion #1013 based at K'Hsaw Wah, Papun District. Saw T--- described human rights abuses including the forced conscription of child soldiers, or the forcing to hire someone in their place, costing 1,500,000 Kyat (US $1833.74). This report also describes the use of landmines by the Border Guard, and how villagers are forced to carry them while acting as porters. Also mentioned, is the on-going theft of villagers money and livestock by the Border Guard, as well as the forced labour of villagers in order to build army camps and the transportation of materials to the camps; the stealing of villagers' livestock after failing to provide villagers to serve as forced labour, is also mentioned. Saw T--- provides information on the day-to-day life of a soldier in the Border Guard, describing how villagers are forcibly conscripted into the ranks of the Border Guard, do not receive treatment when they are sick, are not allowed to visit their families, nor allowed to resign voluntarily. Saw T--- described how, on one occasion a deserter's elderly father was forced to fill his position until the soldier returned. Saw T--- also mentions the hierarchical payment structure, the use of drugs within the border guard and the training, which he underwent before joining the Border Guard. Concerns are also raised by Saw T--- to the community member who wrote this report, about his own safety and his fear of returning to his home in Papun, as he feels he will be killed, having become a deserter himself as of October 2nd 2011."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (331K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b63.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


      Title: Villagers return home four months after DKBA and Border Guard clash, killing one civilian, injuring two in Pa'an
      Date of publication: 27 June 2012
      Description/subject: "On February 19th 2012, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) ambushed a truck carrying a group of soldiers from Border Guard Battalion #1015 near Myaing Gyi Ngu town in Pa'an District, after the Border Guard soldiers stole weapons from the DKBA base at M--- village. Two villagers living near the site of the ambush were injured, and one was killed. Since then, movement restrictions have been imposed on Border Guard and DKBA troops operating in the Myaing Gyi Ngu area by the Burma government, which prohibits military units in possession of weapons from travelling within three miles of Myaing Gyi Ngu town. As of June 6th 2012, villagers living near Border Guard and DKBA camps, including the two villagers who were injured on February 19th, were reported to have returned to their villages, after having previously moved away. Directly after the clash in February, community members described their safety concerns and the possible consequences for civilians should the January 12th ceasefire agreement between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Tatmadaw be broken."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (126K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b61.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 July 2012


      Title: Pa'an Interview: Saw Bw---, September 2011
      Date of publication: 13 June 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 in Lu Pleh Township, Pa'an District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw Bw---, a 25-year-old logger from Eg--- village, who described events that occurred while he was carrying out logging work between the villages of A--- and S---. He provides information on military activity in the area, specifically about shifting relations between armed groups, with Border Guard and DKBA troops ceasing to cooperate, and a heightened Tatmadaw presence in the area. Saw Bw--- also explained the disruptive impact of fighting between Border Guard and armed groups in the area on A--- villagers, who are described as fleeing to avoid conflict, as well as providing information on one instance in which A--- villagers were ordered to relocate by the commander of Border Guard Battalion #1017, but instead chose strategic displacement into hiding. He mentions the difficulties that he had in logging following the Border Guard's increased presence in the area. Saw Bw--- also described the presence of landmines in the area around A--- and how his employer paid approximately US $1222.49 to DKBA troops to have them removed. This incident concerning landmines is also described in a thematic report published by KHRG on May 21st, 2012, Uncertain Ground: Landmines in eastern Burma."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (164K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b58.html
      Date of entry/update: 13 July 2012


      Title: Pa’an Situation Update: September 2011
      Date of publication: 12 May 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in October 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Pa’an District, in the period between September and October 2011. Villagers in T’Nay Hsah Township are reported to be subject to demands for forced labour by Border Guard Battalion #1017, specifically to work on Battalion Commander Saw Dih Dih’s own plantations. Information is also provided on an incident that occurred in T’Nay Hsah Township in which the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Battalion #101’s temporary camp in Kler Law Seh village was attacked with heavy weapons by Border Guard Battalions #1017 and #1019, and by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Division (LID) #22. Since the takeover of the KNLA Battalion #101 camp by Border Guard troops, villagers in T’Nay Hseh Township have experienced an increase in demands for forced labour such as portering, as well as demands for villagers to cook at the Border Guard base and to serve as soldiers in the Border Guard, with payment demanded in lieu of military service. Such abuses are also described in the report, "Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011", published by KHRG on October 24th 2011, and "Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011 to January 2012", published by KHRG on May 2nd 2012. Border Guard troops have also embarked on the extensive laying of landmines near Th--- village, including near villagers' fields, and one villager was reported to have been seriously injured by a landmine whilst serving as a soldier in the Border Guard. Villagers are said to be concerned about the potential impact of the landmines on the welfare of their livestock, with one villager reportedly confronting a Border Guard soldier over this issue."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (129K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b41.html
      Date of entry/update: 15 May 2012


      Title: Thaton Situation Update: October 2010 to June 2011
      Date of publication: 29 March 2012
      Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG by a villager describing events occurring in Thaton District between October 2010 and June 2011. It contains updated information concerning the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) Border Guard transformations and Tatmadaw and Border Guard camp locations. It also provides details on the forced recruitment of villagers by former members of the DKBA, who were not accepted into the Border Guard, towards the establishment of pyi thu sit (people’s militia). While the villager who wrote this report notes a significant reduction in the frequency of human rights abuses, they also note the persistence and expansion of several kinds of abuses, namely: indirect demands for forced labour levied on villagers by the Tatmadaw through religious leaders; expropriation of villagers’ lands by extractive industry companies; monetary demands on villages in lieu of forced recruitment of villagers into local pyi thu sit units; and taxation and demands by the Border Guard, accompanied by threats for non-compliance. Furthermore, the villager expressed concerns regarding the impact of abnormal weather patterns on rice and plantation crops, which have exacerbated food scarcity and prompted many villagers to seek work abroad in Thailand and Malaysia."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (136K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b31.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


      Title: ETHNIC AREAS UPDATE: BURMA HEADS TOWARD CIVIL WAR
      Date of publication: 29 June 2011
      Description/subject: • Despite the 7 November election’s illusory promise of an inclusive democratic system, the situation in ethnic nationality areas continues to deteriorate... • In addition to the ongoing offensives against ethnic non-ceasefire groups, the Tatmadaw increasingly targeted ceasefire groups who rejected the regime’s Border Guard Force (BGF) scheme... • In Shan and Kachin States, the Tatmadaw broke ceasefire agreements signed in 1989 and 1994 respectively... • Ongoing fighting between the Tatmadaw and ethnic ceasefire and non-ceasefire groups displaced about 13,000 civilians in Kachin State, at least 700 in Northern Shan State, and forced over 1,800 to flee from Karen State into Thailand... • Civilians bore the brunt of the Tatmadaw’s military operations, which resulted in the death of 15 civilians in Northern Shan State and five in Karen State... Tatmadaw troops gang-raped at least 18 women and girls in Southern Kachin State... • Desertion continues to hit Tatmadaw battalions, including BGF units, engaged in military operations in ethnic areas... • Reports on the alleged use of chemical weapons by Tatmadaw troops surfaced during offensives against Shan State Army-North forces... • In February, in response to the Tatmadaw’s ongoing attacks in ethnic areas, 12 ethnic armed opposition groups, ceasefire groups, and political organizations agreed to form a new coalition - the Union Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)... • The situation for residents living in conflict zones of ethnic States remains grim as the regime re-launched its ‘four cuts’ policy which targets civilians... • The situation is likely to continue due to Burma’s constitution and the recently enacted laws, including the national conscription law.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: ALTSEAN-Burma
      Format/size: pdf (116K)
      Date of entry/update: 30 June 2011


      Title: Beginning of the End of Peace?
      Date of publication: December 2010
      Description/subject: "...Many observers predict that the recent round of armed clashes and border closures are only the junta’s initial volley against the ethnic militias—both those that have signed cease-fire agreements and those that have not. They say that in the wake of the election, the junta will either launch a major offensive, outlaw all armed ethnic groups, or possibly both..."
      Author/creator: Saw Yan Naing
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 12
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010


      Title: Karen rebels go on offensive in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 16 November 2010
      Description/subject: While Myanmar's generals held their stage-managed elections, an ethnic rebel group forcibly seized control of two border towns and highlighted immediately the polls' ineffectiveness at achieving national reconciliation. Government forces on Tuesday forced the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) out of Myawaddy and Pyathounzu towns, but the attacks already had significant repercussions for the transition from military to civilian rule.
      Author/creator: Brian McCartan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 15 November 2010


      Title: Border Guard Force Plan to Be Sidelined
      Date of publication: 24 May 2010
      Description/subject: "The Burmese military junta will not impose its border guard force (BGF) plan on ethnic cease-fire groups until after the general election, sources close to the War Office in Naypyidaw have told The Irrawaddy..."
      Author/creator: Wai Moe
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy"
      Date of entry/update: 27 May 2010


      Title: Myanmar ceasefires on a tripwire
      Date of publication: 30 April 2010
      Description/subject: "Yet another deadline has passed for ethnic ceasefire groups in Myanmar to join the military as part of a new government-controlled Border Guard Force (BGF). With the rainy season approaching and a transition from military to civilian rule underway, opportunities are dwindling for the ruling junta to force the groups to agree before elections are held later this year..."
      Author/creator: Brian McCartan
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Asia Times Online
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2010


      Title: Ethnic Rebel Groups Defy Junta’s Order
      Date of publication: 23 April 2010
      Description/subject: "...Burma’s military regime is facing a formidable challenge from ethnic rebel groups that are refusing to kowtow to its order that they join the South-east Asian country’s army as border guard forces. The junta’s order that the five armed groups in the country’s northern and eastern borders meet an Apr. 28 deadline is a test of how far the oppressive regime can flex its political muscle ahead of a promised general election later this year. For now, at least, the defiance showed by the ethnic groups - the most powerful of which is the United Wa State Army (UWSA) that has a troop strength of over 20,000 – confirms the limits of the junta’s political powers, say analysts. After all, the latest deadline is the fifth since April last year, when the junta first ordered armed minority groups to transform into a border guard force..."
      Author/creator: Marwaan Macan-Markar
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: IPS
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: KNU/KNLA PEACE COUNCIL’s Response to 22nd April Deadline of Merger with Burma Army
      Date of publication: 07 April 2010
      Description/subject: "...I would like to clarify to you that no matter what name you come up with, we will not agree or respond to any kind of military program which disturbs the peace and security of the lives of our Karen. More than that, you are against your own policy and propaganda in TV and all newspapers..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: KNU/KNLA PEACE COUNCIL
      Format/size: pdf (415K))
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: Disquiet on the Northern Front
      Date of publication: April 2010
      Description/subject: The uneasy peace in Kachin State is under constant pressure, as the Burmese junta's border guard force scheme meets continued resistance
      Author/creator: Wai Moe
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 4
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 19 April 2010


      Title: A Matter of Autonomy and Arms
      Date of publication: March 2010
      Description/subject: The NMSP, one of the smaller ethnic cease-fire groups, defies the Burmese generals by rejecting their border guard force order... "It was dawn when I reached Palanjapan, a remote village near Three Pagodas Pass in Burma’s Mon State. People in every household were busy preparing for celebrations to mark the 63rd anniversary of Mon National Day. Slide Show (View) Following the rhythm of military drum beats, several columns of Mon soldiers dressed in their best green camouflage uniforms and holding aging AK-47 assault rifles marched toward the parade ground in the center of the village, where a crowd of about 1,000 Mon waited for their leaders to officially open the national day ceremony. Nai Htaw Mon, the chairman of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), delivered a speech reaffirming the party’s pledge to work for a federal union and self-determination for the Mon people. “This year is important for our people and our political strength, based on our united nationalist spirit,” Nai Htaw Mon said in a statement. “Until the realization of a genuine multi-party democracy and the self-determination of the Mon people, we will continue to resist and fight hand-in-hand with our allied ethnic brothers.”..."
      Author/creator: Htet Aung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 3
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 17 March 2010


      Title: A Fragile Peace
      Date of publication: February 2010
      Description/subject: The Kachin negotiate with the regime on the border guard force issue, while recruiting and training more soldiers... "At the traditional Manau dance this year—held in Myitkyina, the capital of Burma’s northern Kachin State—Kachin soldiers were not allowed to dance in military uniforms. Earlier, the Burmese regime sent three members of the notorious Press Scrutiny and Registration Division to censor stories in the Kachin language newspaper that published articles about the festival, held annually on Kachin State Day, Jan. 10. To show their unhappiness, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which signed a cease-fire agreement with the junta in 1994, sent only 200 soldiers to the festival. Last year, about 2,000 KIA personnel joined the festivities..."
      Author/creator: Yeni
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 18, No. 2
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://www2.irrawaddy.org/print_article.php?art_id=17702
      Date of entry/update: 28 February 2010


      Title: KNU/KNLA PEACE COUNCIL STATEMENT
      Date of publication: 20 October 2009
      Description/subject: "...Gen Ye Myit is putting pressure on the Karen to accept his proposal of the Border Guard Force. This is similar to last May, when they presented the same approach to the KNU/KNLA Peace Council (PC) for them to accept the same said proposal before the scheduled election of 2010. Ye Myit said that if the Karen would accept his proposal of becoming part of the Border Guard Force then when the democratic government comes into power the KNU/KNLA PC will not be left out nor branded as an illegal armed force. The KNU/KNLA PC clarified that we will not accept the proposal of becoming part of the Border Guard Force as Ye Myit proposed. This is based on 3 main reasons as follows:..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: KNU/KNLA PEACE COUNCIL
      Format/size: pdf (287K)
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: THE KOKANG CLASHES – WHAT NEXT?
      Date of publication: September 2009
      Description/subject: "...Recent clashes in Shan State between the Burma Army and the Myanmar National Democracy Alliance Army (MNDAA or Kokang) have highlighted differences between the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the ethnic ceasefire groups as the 2010 election approaches. Attempts by the SPDC to persuade the ceasefire groups to transform themselves into Border Guard Forces or surrender their arms and contest the forthcoming elections as a political party seem to have failed. Ostensibly, the SPDC is trying pressure the groups to conform to its 2008 Constitution, which states in Chapter VII Clause 338, Defense Services, that “…all armed forces in the union shall be under the command of the defense services”. Faced with a forthcoming constitutional dilemma the regime had little option but to seek an alternative in dealing with the ceasefire groups. Mindful of China’s influence and support for these groups, and also its need to legitimize its actions..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Euro-Burma Office (EBO Analysis Paper No.1/2009)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 29 April 2010


      Title: Neither War Nor Peace - The Future of the Ceasefire Agreements in Burma
      Date of publication: July 2009
      Description/subject: Introduction: "This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the first ceasefire agreements in Burma, which put a stop to decades of fighting between the military government and a wide range of ethnic armed opposition groups. These groups had taken up arms against the government in search of more autonomy and ethnic rights. The military government has so far failed to address the main grievances and aspirations of the cease-fire groups. The regime now wants them to disarm or become Border Guard Forces. It also wants them to form new political parties which would participate in the controversial 2010 elections. They are unlikely to do so unless some of their basic demands are met. This raises many serious questions about the future of the cease-fires. The international community has focused on the struggle of the democratic opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who has become an international icon. The ethnic minority issue and the relevance of the cease-fire agreements have been almost completely ignored. Ethnic conflict needs to be resolved in order to bring about any lasting political solution. Without a political settlement that addresses ethnic minority needs and goals it is extremely unlikely there will be peace and democracy in Burma. Instead of isolating and demonising the cease-fire groups, all national and international actors concerned with peace and democracy in Burma should actively engage with them, and involve them in discussions about political change in the country. This paper explains how the cease-fire agreements came about, and analyses the goals and strategies of the ceasefire groups. It also discusses the weaknesses the groups face in implementing these goals, and the positive and negative consequences of the cease-fires, including their effect on the economy. The paper then examines the international responses to the cease-fires, and ends with an overview of the future prospects for the agreements"
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Transnational Insititute
      Format/size: pdf (1.74MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/TNIceasefires.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 19 July 2009


    • Armed conflict in Burma -- offensives

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Description/subject: The largest body of high-quality reports on the civil war in Burma, especially focussed on the civilian victims.
      Language: English, Karen
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/index.php
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Individual Documents

      Title: Burma's Covered up War: Atrocities Against the Kachin People
      Date of publication: 07 October 2011
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "At the same time as Thein Sein’s government is engaging in public relations maneuvers designed to make it appear that reform is taking place, its army is perpetrating atrocities against the Kachin people on a widespread and systematic basis. Seven months after the November 2010 elections and four months after the convening of parliament which, in the words of the ruling generals, “completed the country’s transition to a multiparty democracy,” the regime launched a new war in Kachin State and Northern Shan State. After a seventeen year ceasefire, the renewed conflict has brought rampant human rights abuses by the Burma Army including, rape, torture, the use of human minesweepers and the forced displacement of entire villages. Human rights abuses in Burma are prevalent because of the culture of impunity put in place at the highest levels of government. The Burmese regime continuously fails to investigate human rights abuses committed by its military and instead categorically denies the possibility that abuses are taking place. Attempts to seek justice for the crimes committed against the Kachin people have resulted in responses ranging from “we do not take responsibility for any landmine injuries” to “the higher authorities will not listen to your complaint”. These human rights violations have led villagers to flee approaching troops, creating tens of thousands of internally displaced persons. The Burmese regime has refused to allow aid groups working inside the country to provide relief to the majority of these displaced people and international groups have failed to provide sufficient cross-border aid, creating a growing humanitarian crisis. While the international community “waits and sees” whether the Burmese regime will implement genuine democratic reforms, the Kachin people are suffering. The time for waiting and seeing is over: now is the time for the world to act. We call on the international community to: Demand that the Burmese regime put an end to the atrocities against the Kachin people.• Provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons and refugees fleeing • the conflict to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Support the establishment by the United Nations of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes • against humanity and war crimes in Burma
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
      Format/size: pdf (862K)
      Date of entry/update: 24 November 2011


      Title: THE NORTH WAR: A KACHIN CONFLICT COMPILATION REPORT
      Date of publication: August 2011
      Description/subject: "This is a resource compilation report which is intended for journalists, aid workers and other researchers who may be interested in the in the June/July 2011 conflict between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and Burma's military regime in Kachin State, Burma. News stories and documents related to the conflict are categorized and reproduced or linked here, with a list of background information sources. They are in chronological order within each category. Project Maje hopes that the ongoing situation in northern Burma, including resource extraction and human rights issues in addition to the KIO conflict, will be covered in increasing depth and scope by journalists and other investigators in the future..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Project Maje
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 17 August 2011


      Title: Insecurity amidst the DKBA - KNLA conflict in Dooplaya and Pa'an districts
      Date of publication: 06 February 2009
      Description/subject: "The DKBA has intensified operations across much of eastern Pa'an and north-eastern Dooplaya districts since it renewed its forced recruitment drive in Pa'an District in August 2008. These operations have included forced relocations of civilians, a new round of forced conscription and attacks on villages. The DKBA has also pushed forward in its attacks on KNLA positions in both districts in an apparent effort to eradicate the remaining KNLA presence and wrest control of lucrative natural resources and taxation points in the lead up to the 2010 elections. Skirmishes between DKBA, SPDC and KNLA forces have thus continued throughout this period. Local villagers have faced heightened insecurity in connection with the ongoing conflict. DKBA, SPDC and KNLA forces all continue to deploy landmines in the area and DKBA forces have fined or otherwise punished local villagers for attacks by KNLA soldiers. This report documents incidents of abuse in Dooplaya and Pa'an districts from August 2008 to February 2009..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F3)
      Format/size: pdf (978 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f3.html
      Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


      Title: Terror
      Date of publication: 14 July 2007
      Description/subject: Am Montag, dem 24. Januar 2000 besetzen zehn burmesische Terroristen das Zentralkrankenhaus im thailändischen Ratchaburi unweit der Grenze und nehmen Belegschaft und Patienten als Geiseln. Schnell ist in der Presse ausgemacht, dass es sich um die ‘God’s Army’ Rebellen der Zwillinge Johnny und Luther Htoo handeln muß. In einer Kommandoaktion thailändischer Spezialeinheiten werden in der Nacht zum Dienstag alle Geiselnehmer erschossen. KNLA; God`s Army; Kindersoldaten, Child Soldiers
      Language: German, Deutsch
      Source/publisher: Burma Riders
      Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007


      Title: Shoot on Sight - The ongoing SPDC offensive against villagers in northern Karen State
      Date of publication: December 2006
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The Burmese army launched a large scale offensive in the districts of Toungoo, Nyaung Lay Bin and Muthraw in northern Karen State in November 2005 targeting the civilian Karen population. This offensive has been ongoing for over a year and it continues today. Villages are being shelled with mortars, looted and burnt to the ground. Crops and food supplies are being destroyed. Burmese soldiers are ordered to shoot on sight, regardless of whether it is a combatant or a defenseless civilian. As a result more than 27,000 people have been forced from their homes, either hiding in the jungle or trying to find refuge in Thailand. The Burmese army continues to increase its military presence in these areas and carry out attacks against villagers. In addition to the increased number of military attacks and militarisation of these districts, which has been ongoing for a number of years, in particular since the Karen National Union (KNU) and State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) agreed to a verbal ceasefire in January 2004, there has also been a rise in human rights abuses perpetrated by the army. These include: force labour and portering demands, land confiscation, rape and other gender based violence, looting and destruction of property, arbitrary taxation, restriction of movement, torture and extra-judicial killings. Despite the fact that this offensive has been underway for over a year now there is not a clear singular reason behind the attacks. However, a number of contributing factors have emerged: the move to the new capital Pyinmana and the establishment of a five kilometre security zone around it, the acquisition of land for national development projects, and the need to secure transportation routes to and from these sites. Additionally, the three districts targeted are considered the ‘heartland’ of Karen resistance to Burmese oppression. Despite the armed struggle though the KNU and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) against the regime, it is the people, the civilian villagers, that pose the biggest threat to local and regional SPDC power these days. The non-violent resistance strategies, such as defying orders from the military and fleeing into the jungle rather than being controlled, employed by the villagers make them active participants in the struggle for peace and justice in Burma, not passive victims. Nonetheless, the reasons behind the offensive do not detract from the fact that the Burmese army is attacking the civilian Karen population without any form of provocation. In addition to purposely attacking villagers the Burmese army is also undermining the grassroots people’s ability to survive. The villagers in the offensive area, who are mainly farmers, were beginning to harvest their crops when the offensive began last November. As villagers had to flee to safety in the jungle, their crops either rotted in the fields or were eaten by animals, leading to food shortages. This acute food shortage will be further exacerbated next year. As the offensive continued over the past twelve months more villagers had to flee the Burmese troops. This meant that they could not prepare for next years crop. Consequently in November and December 2006 there will be no crop to harvest and food scarcity will continue next year, regardless of the political situation. Most of the 27,000 people who have been displaced have very little, if any, food. Their diets are supplemented with food that they can find from the jungle. Due to the severe landmine contamination of the areas, it is extremely dangerous to search for food. In addition to food scarcity internally displaced persons (IDPs) face serious Executive Summary Executive Summary 9 Burma Issues health issues, especially during the wet season. Malaria is prevalent, as are skin diseases, dysentery and malnutrition. It is the children and the elderly who suffer the most under the given conditions. Heavily pregnant women also face additional hardships as they have to flee the same as other villagers, walking for days and giving birth while on the run. Villagers, as a result of military attacks, are more likely to be injured by a landmine or through soldier violence, for example being shot or stabbed. Access to medical services is virtually non-existent, and what is available is gravely insufficient. As a result people often die from preventable and curable diseases and treatable injuries. The regime prevents all non-governmental organisations and United Nations agencies inside Burma giving humanitarian aid to the villagers affected by the offensive. The junta prohibits organisations traveling to these areas and documenting human rights violations and the humanitarian crisis. It is virtually impossible to bypass these regulations, as the region is very mountainous and all transportation routes, apart from walking, are controlled by the SPDC. Some community-based organizations that work cross-border from Thailand manage to bring some assistance to the IDPs, but it is only a tiny amount of what is needed. The SPDC deems the activities of these groups illegal and if the Burmese army catches workers they will simply disappear – never to be heard of or seen again. While the majority of IDPs choose to stay in hiding near their villages as a form of non-violent resistance, others decide to travel to Thailand to seek refuge in the camps along the Thai-Burma border. So far this year Thai authorities have allowed approximately 3,000 people to cross the border and enter a refugee camp near Mae Sariang, Thailand. However, the Thai authorities have not consistently kept the border open and have frequently refused IDPs entrance to the kingdom, reasoning that they are not fleeing fighting, but are merely capitalising on the resettlement opportunities that are being opened up to the refugees in the camp. As a result of the border’s sporadic closure, approximately 1,400 IDPs (a figure that is continually rising) are living in a makeshift camp along the Salween River, on the Burmese side of the border. This temporary IDP settlement receives aid from organisations working along the Thai-Burma border, at the discretion of the Thai authorities, but there are numerous protection issues associated with the camp. There is a Burmese army base that is only an hour’s walk away, making the IDPs vulnerable to a potential attack. This is the worst offensive that the junta has conducted since it joined ASEAN in 1997. However, the offensive is not an isolated event, but rather the continuation of a campaign by the military junta to control the population of Burma. Despite the fact that this offensive has been underway for over a year, the international community is yet to find a solution that will persuade the SPDC to stop their attacks on civilians. Throughout the numerous military campaigns thousands of lives have been lost – all valuable and irreplaceable."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Burma Issues
      Format/size: pdf (646K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/En/reports/OSP.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 26 January 2007


      Title: SPDC military begins pincer movement, adds new camps in Papun district
      Date of publication: 09 August 2006
      Description/subject: "KHRG continues to monitor the activities of large SPDC military columns which are systematically destroying villages in Papun, Nyaunglebin and Toungoo districts. We have just received information from a KHRG researcher in the field that in the past week SPDC Military Operations Command #15 has launched its expected pincer operation in northern Papun district, trying to catch Karen villagers between its Tactical Operations Command #2 coming from the south and Tactical Operations Command #3 coming from the north. These two large multi-battalion columns, with several hundred soldiers each, are attempting to force all villagers out of the hills west of the Yunzalin River (Bway Loh Kloh) in northern Papun district of Karen State. Tactical Operations Command #2 has pushed north from Naw Yo Hta and has now set up a new base at Baw Ka Plaw, just north of Kay Pu; while Tactical Operations Command #3 has approached the same area from the north, coming down from Bu Sah Kee and establishing themselves at a new camp at Si Day. This pincer movement and the establishment of these two new Army camps ensure that the hill villagers in the northern tip of Papun district will remain displaced for the coming months and will lose their entire rice harvest, creating serious concerns about their food security and survival over the coming year."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B10)
      Format/size: html, pdf (459K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b10.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 12 August 2006


    • Children and armed conflict

      Websites/Multiple Documents

      Title: Watchlist Action - Myanmar (Burma)
      Date of publication: 01 May 2013
      Description/subject: Press Releases and Other Documents and updates from 2007...includes links to Security Council material
      Language: English, Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
      Source/publisher: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
      Format/size: html, pdf
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


      Title: Child Soldiers International
      Description/subject: Child Soldiers International, formerly Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers...Search for Myanmar - the structured search at the left has more options than the one at the bottom. Also try pasting Myanmar site:child-soldiers.org into a Google search box
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Child Soldiers International
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
      Description/subject: Click on Myanmar in the drop-down Countries list, or use the Alternate URL
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: html
      Alternate URLs: http://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/countries/myanmar/
      Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013


      Individual Documents

      Title: Extract on Myanmar from: "Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General", 15 May 2014.
      Date of publication: 15 May 2014
      Description/subject: Extract on Myanmar from: Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General , 15 May 2014. General Assembly document (A/68/878), Security Council document (S/2014/339)
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations
      Format/size: pdf (75K-extract; 232K-full report)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=a/68/878
      Date of entry/update: 08 July 2014


      Title: Children and armed conflict: Security Council debate on children and armed conflict, June 2013
      Date of publication: June 2013
      Description/subject: "Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict recommends that delegations participating in the 2013 Security Council debate on children and armed conflict urge the Security Council to commit to the following actions to strengthen implementation of the Children and Armed Conflict agenda..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
      Format/size: pdf (810K)
      Date of entry/update: 06 June 2013


      Title: Myanmar Progresses Towards Armed Forces Without Children
      Date of publication: 20 May 2013
      Description/subject: "New York, 20 May 2013 – Myanmar is making progress towards the realization of its commitment to end the recruitment and use of children in its armed forces. “The signature of an action plan in June 2012 was a major breakthrough and I commend the Government of Myanmar for taking important steps to better protect children,“ said Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. The action plan signed by Myanmar with the United Nations set a timetable for the release and reintegration of children associated with the Tatmadaw, the country’s national army armed forces. The Government also committed to put in place measures preventing future recruitment of underage soldiers. In a report providing information on grave violations against children in Myanmar between April 2009 and January 2013, the Secretary-General noted that children continued to be recruited in the Tatmadaw, but that following the signature of the action plan, the number of new cases of recruitment has decreased..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013


      Title: Briefing on the situation of underage recruitment and use by armed forces and groups in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 15 May 2013
      Description/subject: "Nearly a decade since international engagement on the issue first began and despite the signing of a Joint Action Plan to end the recruitment and use of children between the Myanmar government and the UN in June 2012, children continue to be present in the ranks of the Tatmadaw Kyi (Myanmar army) and the Border Guard Forces, as well as armed opposition groups. Nearly a decade since international engagement on the issue first began and despite the signing of a Joint Action Plan to end the recruitment and use of children between the Myanmar government and the UN in June 2012, children continue to be present in the ranks of the Tatmadaw Kyi (Myanmar army) and the Border Guard Forces (BGFs), as well as armed opposition groups. Some children have been released from the Tatmadaw Kyi but no programs are currently in place to verify the presence of children in the BGFs which function under the command of Tatmadaw Kyi. Research conducted by Child Soldiers International shows that a persistent emphasis on increasing troop numbers - accompanied by corruption, weak oversight and impunity - has historically led to high rates of child recruitment in the Tatmadaw Kyi. An absence of effective, national monitoring mechanisms coupled with significant legal and practical obstacles to hold military personnel criminally accountable for underage recruitment are other factors which contribute to the practice. A system of an incentive-based quota system in the Myanmar military continues to drive the demand for fresh recruits and contributes to underage recruitment which is often coerced In this briefing, Child Soldiers International makes recommendations to the UN Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, which, after nearly four years, is considering the issue of child soldiers in Myanmar..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Child Soldiers International
      Format/size: pdf (235K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.child-soldiers.org/research_report_reader.php?id=663
      Date of entry/update: 06 June 2013


      Title: Chance for Change - Ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 23 January 2013
      Description/subject: "This report shows that despite nearly a decade of international engagement and the June 2012 signing of a Joint Action Plan to end the recruitment and use of children between the Myanmar government and the UN, children continue to be recruited and used as soldiers by the Tatmadaw Kyi (Myanmar army) and the Border Guard Forces (BGFs) in the country. Some releases of children have taken place from the Tatmadaw Kyi but as yet no programs are in place to verify the presence of children in BGFs. Children are also formally and informally associated with the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA) and the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), two armed groups on which research has been conducted for this report. The report recommends that international assistance provided to Myanmar needs to mainstream the prevention of recruitment of children and their use in hostilities by ensuring that recruitment procedures used by the Myanmar army and the BGF are strengthened and effective age verification measures introduced. The report urges the Myanmar Peace Centre (set up by the government with the support of the international community) to ensure that protection of children is made an integral part of on-going negotiations with armed groups. Independent access by the UN and other agencies is vital to ensure the verification and release of children from the ranks of the groups."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Child Soldiers International
      Format/size: pdf (936K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.child-soldiers.org
      Date of entry/update: 28 January 2013


      Title: Meeting Myanmar's former child soldiers
      Date of publication: 04 August 2012
      Description/subject: "Teenagers continue to serve in both the state military and armed groups, despite new approach by country's leaders...Myat Win, a 19-year-old former child soldier, says he was forcibly conscripted into the Myanmar military, taken off a street by a pair of policemen at the tender age of 15 and sent to an army traning centre under deceitful promises, and without the knowledge of his family. According to numerous reports by human rights organisations, many other children of Myanmar have shared Myat Win's fate, while many more may have lost either their futures or their lives upon being forcibly conscripted into the state armed forces. Additionally, an unknown number of child soldiers continue to serve in non-state armed groups, thereby perpetuating the vicious cycle of violence. IN VIDEO Watch Myanmar's former child soldiers tell their own stories Those underage combatants who manage to escape the clutches of their army commanders often cross through the porous border to Thailand. They seek refuge in "safe houses", faced with little choice between being caught by Thai authorities and sent back to succumb to the will of their troop leaders, or living in secrecy without an identity or recourse..."
      Author/creator: Preethi Nallu
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Aljazeera
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2012


      Title: Men at 15 - The child soldiers of Myanmar (video)
      Date of publication: 04 August 2012
      Description/subject: "Under-age combatants - especially those who escaped after being forced to serve in the state armed forces - are currently unable to return home due to a combination of ostracism, the risk of being caught by authorities and a lack of legal protection under domestic laws. At the same time, they are reportedly afforded neither refugee nor asylum seeker status in Thailand because of their "combatant" backgrounds. In the absence of clear international and domestic mechanisms, many former child soldiers remain pariahs, awaiting a better future while confined to safe houses without a legitimate status or legal identity. These former child soldiers claim they were forcibly conscripted by the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). The testimonies were collected in late 2011. Since then, significant changes have reportedly taken place, in terms of the attitude of the new administration, unprecedented levels of cooperation with UN agencies in initiating comprehensive plans to "dismantle" under-age recruitment, and the returning home of current child soldiers. Meanwhile, comprehensive peace talks between 11 different ethnic groups and the government have yielded tangible results, albeit without a full resolution of conflict issues. To further complicate legislation, according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, "state parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities". The optional protocol to the convention calls for all parties to conflict to take "all feasible measures in order that children who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities and, in particular, they shall refrain from recruiting them into their armed forces". Neither convention calls for absolute measures to end conflict, instead resorting to the term "feasible". Also, children who are between 15 and 18 years old are not fully protected, even if under-aged..."
      Author/creator: Preethi Nallu and Kim Jolliffe
      Language: Burmese audio, English subtitles
      Source/publisher: Preethi Nallu and Kim Jolliffe
      Format/size: Adobe Flash (25 minutes)
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2012


      Title: Myanmar's former child soldiers speak out (text and video)
      Date of publication: 04 August 2012
      Description/subject: Three child soldiers and a former Myanmar Army battalion commander describe the treatment of under-age fighters....Hiding with or joining the rebels, fleeing to Thailand or remaining on the run, the fates of Myanmar's former child soldiers differ greatly, though trauma and suffering haunt them all. Under-age combatants - especially those who escaped after being forced to serve in the state armed forces - are currently unable to return home due to a combination of ostracism, the risk of being caught by authorities and a lack of legal protection under domestic laws. At the same time, they are reportedly afforded neither refugee nor asylum seeker status in Thailand because of their "combatant" backgrounds. In the absence of clear international and domestic mechanisms, many former child soldiers remain pariahs, awaiting a better future while confined to safe houses without a legitimate status or legal identity. These former child soldiers claim they were forcibly conscripted by the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). The testimonies were collected in late 2011. Since then, significant changes have reportedly taken place, in terms of the attitude of the new administration, unprecedented levels of cooperation with UN agencies in initiating comprehensive plans to "dismantle" under-age recruitment, and the returning home of current child soldiers. Meanwhile, comprehensive peace talks between 11 different ethnic groups and the government have yielded tangible results, albeit without a full resolution of conflict issues..."
      Author/creator: Preethi Nallu and Kim Jolliffe
      Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ (audio); English (text and sub-titles)
      Source/publisher: Aljazeera
      Format/size: html and Adobe Flash
      Date of entry/update: 10 August 2012


      Title: Papun Interview: Saw T---, December 2011
      Date of publication: 16 July 2012
      Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed a 40-year-old Buddhist monk, Saw T---, who is a former member of the Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Border Guard, who described activities pertaining to Border Guard Battalion #1013 based at K'Hsaw Wah, Papun District. Saw T--- described human rights abuses including the forced conscription of child soldiers, or the forcing to hire someone in their place, costing 1,500,000 Kyat (US $1833.74). This report also describes the use of landmines by the Border Guard, and how villagers are forced to carry them while acting as porters. Also mentioned, is the on-going theft of villagers money and livestock by the Border Guard, as well as the forced labour of villagers in order to build army camps and the transportation of materials to the camps; the stealing of villagers' livestock after failing to provide villagers to serve as forced labour, is also mentioned. Saw T--- provides information on the day-to-day life of a soldier in the Border Guard, describing how villagers are forcibly conscripted into the ranks of the Border Guard, do not receive treatment when they are sick, are not allowed to visit their families, nor allowed to resign voluntarily. Saw T--- described how, on one occasion a deserter's elderly father was forced to fill his position until the soldier returned. Saw T--- also mentions the hierarchical payment structure, the use of drugs within the border guard and the training, which he underwent before joining the Border Guard. Concerns are also raised by Saw T--- to the community member who wrote this report, about his own safety and his fear of returning to his home in Papun, as he feels he will be killed, having become a deserter himself as of October 2nd 2011."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (331K), html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b63.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


      Title: Expanding Accountability Options for Grave Violations: KHRG statement to the UN Security Council, July 9th 2012
      Date of publication: 09 July 2012
      Description/subject: "This paper contains the full text of a five-minute statement delivered by KHRG's Field Director Saw Albert to the UN Security Council during an Arria formula meeting in New York City on July 9th 2012. KHRG's presentation was framed by the Action Plan signed by the Government of Myanmar in Yangon on June 27th 2012 to end the use and recruitment of child soldiers by Tatmadaw armed forces by 2014. During this statement, KHRG stressed the need for a responsive and accessible accountability mechanism for grave violations perpetrated against children in armed conflict that prioritises local perspectives and addresses existing impunity for perpetrators. In acknowledging that international leverage can help create space for communities' own protection strategies and ability to hold perpetrators to account, KHRG also urges support for the development of strong domestic legal frameworks and institutions that will contribute to accountability at the local level."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (231K) , html
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12c2.html
      Date of entry/update: 12 July 2012


      Title: Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General (extract on Myanmar)
      Date of publication: 26 April 2012
      Description/subject: "...Children continued to be recruited by the Tatmadaw. The majority of underage recruits interviewed after release stated that their recruiter had not asked their age, or had falsified age documentation for presentation at the recruitment centre. Reports continued to indicate that, in addition to children who were formally recruited into the Tatmadaw, children were also used by the Tatmadaw for forced labour, including as porters. In Kachin State, there were verified reports in late 2011 of children being used by the Tatmadaw alongside adults as porters on the front line. 69. Reports of recruitment and use of children by non-State actors in Myanmar also continued to be received. In 2010, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) split into two factions, with the majority joining the Tatmadaw as a border guard force, and the remainder allying itself with the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA). In 2011, with respect to both the DKBA border guard force and the separatist DKBA troops, reports were received of forced recruitment of children, unless payment in lieu of recruitment was received. The country task forces on monitoring and reporting was able to verify this practice in Kayin State, Ta Nay Cha and Thandaunggyi townships, in April and August 2011. Reports of increased recruitment by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) were also received in the second half of 2011, as tensions mounted in Kachin and northern Shan State. The country task force also received allegations of children joining KIA purportedly to avoid being used by the Tatmadaw as porters on the front line. The country task force also confirmed one report of a 15-year-old boy recruited by the Kachin Defense Army (KDA) in northern Shan State..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations (A/66/782–S/2012/261)
      Format/size: pdf (76K-extract); 402K - full report
      Alternate URLs: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N12/320/83/PDF/N1232083.pdf?OpenElement
      http://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/countries/myanmar/
      http://www.un.org/children/conflict/_documents/A66782.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


      Title: Myanmar - Summary by United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
      Date of publication: 26 April 2012
      Description/subject: Myanmar: The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/66/782-S/2012/261) issued on 26 April 2012... "The number of complaints of underage recruitment, including children under 15 years of age, continued to rise, from 194 in 2010 to 243 in 2011, reflecting an increased awareness of the age of recruitment by the Tatmadaw, and the existence of reliable vetting mechanisms, including the International Labour Organization forced labour complaints mechanism and community-based structures for complaints about underage recruitment. The Committee for the Prevention of Recruitment of Underage Children in Myanmar received more complaints than in previous years as a result of its extensive public awareness campaign. The vast majority of complaints in 2011 reflected recruitment in Yangon, Ayeyarwaddy and Mandalay regions. Children continued to be recruited by the Tatmadaw. The majority of underage recruits interviewed after release stated that their recruiter had not asked their age, or had falsified age documentation for presentation at the recruitment centre. Reports continued to indicate that, in addition to children who were formally recruited into the Tatmadaw, children were also used by the Tatmadaw for forced labour, including as porters. In Kachin State, there were verified reports in late 2011 of children being used by the Tatmadaw alongside adults as porters on the front line..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013


      Title: Coercion, Cruelty and Collateral Damage: An assessment of grave violations of children’s rights in conflict zones of southern Burma
      Date of publication: January 2012
      Description/subject: "Research by the Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP) has demonstrated that grave violations of children’s rights continue to occur in southern Burma despite the creation, by the United Nations, of the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) pursuant to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1612 on Children and Armed Conflict passed in 2005. The Burmese government has failed to meet the time-bound action plan under Resolution 1612, demonstrated by the fact that WCRP researchers found numerous accounts of ‘grave violations’ under United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1612 on children and armed conflict. These violations, committed by Burmese soldiers against children in southern Burma, include recruitment of child soldiers, killing and maiming, rape and sexual abuse, and forced labor. Though the Burmese government agreed to the implementation of a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM), pursuant to Resolution 1612, to report on instances of these grave violations, WCRP has found that abuses have continued unabated since 2005. The data detailed below provide evidence of widespread and systematic abuses, the vast majority of which were committed by soldiers from the Tatmadaw, the Burmese military. These confirmed cases of grave violations, taken from just 15 villages in two townships, committed over a period of 5 years, suggest that the Burmese government has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to protect children during situations of armed conflict. Limitations imposed by the Burmese government on the UN country team has made it difficult for them to receive, or verify, accounts of grave violations, in turn preventing the MRM from making a noticeable impact on the continued widespread abuse of children in southern Burma. WCRP’s data strongly suggests that the real numbers of abuses against children is vastly greater than officially recognized. Additionally, despite the fact that WCRP’s primary research covered only the period from 2005 through November 2010, recent updated reports suggest that all of the violations documented by WCRP have continued to occur over the course of the past year. Despite the political changes that may be underway in Naypyidaw, children in areas where armed conflict is ongoing continue to suffer grave violations. Thus, the international community must take further action to ensure that the MRM can effectively protect the rights of Burma’s children and realize the objective put forth in Resolution 1612, an end to the grave violations of children’s rights..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Woman and Child Rights Project (WCRP)
      Format/size: pdf (1.1MB - OBL version; 2.1MB - original)
      Alternate URLs: http://rehmonnya.org/archives/2182
      Date of entry/update: 27 January 2012


      Title: Forced recruitment, forced labour: interviews with DKBA deserters and escaped porters
      Date of publication: 13 November 2009
      Description/subject: "...This news bulletin provides the transcripts of eight interviews conducted with six soldiers and two porters who recently fled after being conscripted by the DKBA. These interviews confirm widespread reports that the DKBA has been forcibly recruiting villagers as it attempts to increase troop strength as part of a transformation into a government Border Guard Force in advance of the 2010 elections. The interviews also offer further confirmation that the DKBA continues to use children as soldiers and porters in front-line conflict areas. Three of the victims interviewed by KHRG are teenage boys; the youngest was just 13 when he was forced to join the DKBA..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2009-B11)
      Format/size: pdf (629 KB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09b11.html
      Date of entry/update: 29 November 2009


      Title: Forced recruitment of child soldiers: An interview with two DKBA deserters (English and Burmese)
      Date of publication: 25 August 2009
      Description/subject: "Over the past year, forced recruitment by the DKBA has seen a marked increase as the group has intensified attacks on the KNU/KNLA while also preparing to become a "Border Guard Force" under at least partial command by the SPDC army. Struggling to find sufficient numbers of volunteer soldiers, the DKBA has been ordering villages to provide recruits or pay large sums to hire substitutes. Villagers have also been arrested and forced to enlist, or pay to avoid conscription. The following report includes testimony from two teenage boys, aged 17 and 19, who were detained while working on a farm near their village in Pa'an District, forcibly recruited into the DKBA and taken to a military training camp in Shwe Gko Gkoh, southeastern Pa'an District. On July 20th 2009, just one month after they were initially seized, the boys deserted. Three days later they were interviewed by KHRG.
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
      Format/size: pdf (413K - English; 433K - Burmese), html (English)
      Alternate URLs: http://khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg09b9_karen_language.pdf (Burmese)
      http://khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09b9.html
      Date of entry/update: 07 February 2012


      Title: Child Soldiers: Burma's Sons of Sorrow
      Date of publication: 22 July 2009
      Description/subject: "Since 1988 because of the Burmese peoples' unwillingness to engage in military actions against its own people and their desire for democracy The Burmese Military government has widely used a policy of forcible recruitment into its army. In order to achieve its purposes The Burmese Military Government also committed itself to recruiting under age children to employ as Child Soldiers. Despite evidence to the contrary, the military government of Burma, The State Peace and Development Committee (The SPDC) has always denied and still continues to deny the recruitment of under age soldiers into their army. It retorts that these accusations are the deceptions and lies of western nations and border based Human Rights organizations. In 2003 The Human Rights Watch Report disclosed that there were approximately 70,000 under age soldiers in The Burmese Army. The world now was aware of and recognized the extent of the problem of the forcible recruitment of children and their deployment in military actions by The Burmese Army. Following The Report The United Nations forced the military government of Burma into agreeing to cooperate on the issue and on January 5th 2005 The UN organized A Committee for The Protection of The Recruitment of Child Soldiers. The Committee was namely formed but has been totally ineffective in its actions and the widespread recruitment and deployment of Child Soldiers in military operations still continues today unabated, as this report and the children who have fled The SPDC's Army and arrived at organizations along Burma's borders clearly shows. The UN Commissioner of Children of Children Affairs in Armed Conflicts was sent as a delegate to reach agreement between The UN and The SPDC on the issue but in order to meet The SPDC's need for an annual increase in the size of its army children are being forcibly recruited by any means available. It is a child human trafficking market based upon hunger, fear and the greed for money. For a period of nine(9) months from January to September 2008 our news agency YOMA 3 thoroughly investigated and reported on the forcible recruitment of children and their deployment in military actions by The Burmese Army. The main intention of this report is to provide conclusive evidence to The UN and Human Rights Groups on the continual widespread recruitment of Child Soldiers in Burma and their deployment in military operations. It reveals the methods that are used to The SPDC to carry it out. By again highlighting it as an issue it is hoped it will be totally eradicated. Furthermore it hopes the world community and The UN will bring to account, prosecute and appropriately punish The SPDC and those responsible for their hineous crimes agaist children and humanity."
      Language: English, Burmese
      Source/publisher: Yoma3 News Service
      Format/size: pdf (4.6MB (reduced, for Acrobat 7.0 onwards); 7.31MB (original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.yoma3.org/bookmark/CSreport/Yoma3CSreport220709.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 29 July 2009


      Title: Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 01 June 2009
      Description/subject: Summary: "The present report, which has been prepared pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005), covers the period from 1 October 2007 to 31 March 2009 and is the second report on children and armed conflict in Myanmar to be presented to the Security Council and its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. The report provides information on the grave violations against children in Myanmar and identifies State and non-State parties to the conflict responsible for such violations. It highlights the fact that United Nations agencies and its partners in Myanmar remain constrained by the absence of an agreed action plan and access and security impediments which present a challenge for effective monitoring and reporting efforts, and for the provision of a comprehensive account of grave violations being perpetrated by a range of armed forces and groups in Myanmar. The report notes various levels of contact and some progress in establishing child protection dialogue between the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the United Nations country team, the country task force and the Government, as well as some ceasefire groups. It also recognizes several important ongoing initiatives by the Government of Myanmar to address the issue of underage recruitment into military service since my first report and pursuant to Security Council Working Group conclusions, including actions to discharge underage children, and training and awareness-raising activities for military personnel on international and national law on the prevention of recruitment of children. The report stresses the need for the Governments concerned to facilitate dialogue between the United Nations and the Karen National Union and Karenni National Progressive Party for the purposes of signing an action plan in accordance with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005), following their initial deeds of commitment. Finally, the report contains a series of recommendations aimed at securing strengthened action for the protection of children in Myanmar."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations Security Council (S/2009/278)
      Format/size: pdf (107K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/UNSC-Children_and_armed_conflict_in_Myanmar.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 21 June 2009


      Title: No More Denial: Children Affected by Armed Conflict in Myanmar (Burma)
      Date of publication: May 2009
      Description/subject: "In the midst of Myanmar’s enduring political and socioeconomic turmoil, thousands of children also experience the devastating consequences of protracted armed conflict in parts of the country. For decades Myanmar Armed Forces and associated armed groups have engaged in low-level armed conflict with opposing non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in parts of Kayin (Karen), Kayah (Karenni), Shan, Mon and Chin States. Even in so-called ‘ceasefire areas,’ some NSAGs have retained their arms and in some cases acting as proxy forces of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), wreaking havoc on children and their communities. The high occurrence and brutality of reported human and child rights violations makes it impossible to deny that Myanmar Armed Forces and NSAGs commit grave violations against children in Myanmar’s armed conflict. The SPDC must no longer deny these children access to sufficient and lifesaving humanitarian assistance. Finally, the UN Security Council and the international community must not deny the urgency of protecting children from violence, maltreatment and abuse in Myanmar’s ongoing armed conflict..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
      Format/size: pdf (1.6MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://watchlist.org/reports/pdf/myanmar/myanmar_english_summary.pdf
      http://watchlist.org/reports/pdf/myanmar/myanmar_summary_burmese.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 13 May 2009


      Title: FORGOTTEN FUTURE: CHILDREN AFFECTED BY ARMED CONFLICT IN BURMA
      Date of publication: September 2008
      Description/subject: "...Yan Aung’s childhood ended prematurely. When he was 11 years old he was abducted by two soldiers and forced to join the Tatmadaw, Burma’s armed forces. Although he had no interest in serving in the army, he had to sign a prepared statement af"rming that he had voluntarily enlisted and that he was 18 years old at the time. The year Yan Aung should have completed the fourth grade, he attended basic training at the Pinlaung military training facility. He went on to serve as a private with Light Infantry Battalion No. 135 under the supervision of Captain Aung Aung. At the age of 13 he was sent to Kaingtaung in Southern Shan State to train as a corporal. Shortly after, Yan Aung was sent to Mawchee Township in Karenni State where, under the direction of Major Aung Naing Soe, he took part in an attack against the Karenni Army (KA), the armed faction of the Karenni National Peoples Party (KNPP). During the battle Yan Aung’s friend and fellow child soldier, a 15 yearold boy by the name of Tin Re, was shot and killed right in front of him. After "ve consecutive stints on the frontlines of Burma’s civil war, Yan Aung managed to escape to Thailand. However, along with abandoning military life he also left behind his family and friends. Now he is a refugee, living along the Thai-Burma border. He is 17 years old...."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB)
      Format/size: pdf (1.34MB;10.87MB-original)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.emergencyburma.org/images/CHILDREN%20AND%20ARMED%20img.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 04 February 2009


      Title: Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Myanmar
      Date of publication: 16 November 2007
      Description/subject: Summary: "The present report has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1612 (2005). It is presented to the Security Council and its Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict as the first country report pursuant to paragraphs 2, 3 and 10 of that resolution. The report, which covers the period from July 2005 to September 2007, provides information on the current situation regarding the recruitment and use of children and other grave violations being committed against children affected by armed conflict in the Union of Myanmar. While the monitoring and reporting structures as outlined in the mechanism endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution in 1612 (2005) are in place, the modalities of an effective mechanism, including security guarantees, access to affected areas and freedom of movement of monitors without Government escort, are lacking. This first report therefore sets forth the general scope of the situation based on the information available to the United Nations country task force on monitoring and reporting at the present time. Although there has been progress in terms of dialogue with the Government of Myanmar and two non-State actors, the report notes that State and non-State actors continue to be implicated in grave child rights violations. The Government of Myanmar has made a commitment at the highest level that no child under the age of 18 will be recruited. The Government has set up a high-level Committee for the Prevention of Military Recruitment of Underage Children and a working group for monitoring and reporting on the same issue. Further, there are Government policies and directives prohibiting underage recruitment. To date, the Government has not acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (2000). Two non-State actors (the Karen National Union and the Karenni National Progressive Party) have signed Deeds of Commitment to cease the recruitment and use of children, to declare their adherence to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and have committed themselves to appropriate follow-up action. The Government has committed to bringing its current action plan on the prevention of the recruitment of children into its armed forces, the Tatmadaw Kyi, into line with international standards and to facilitate action plans with the United Wa State Army and other non-State actors. The Government of Myanmar has also recognized the need for the United Nations country task force in Myanmar to engage the Karen National Union and Karenni National Progressive Party in the development of action plans and monitor their compliance in accordance with Security Council resolution 1612 (2005). A principal difficulty with regard to monitoring grave violations of children’s rights remains the lack of access to some locations of concern. Access to conflict-affected areas is severely restricted by the Government, a situation that impacts greatly on monitoring and possible responses to child rights violations."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: United Nations Security Council
      Format/size: pdf (91K-English.) Avaiulable also in French(107.5K) , Russian(341.7K) , Spanish(102.9K) , Arabic(238.6K) , Chinese(263.2K)
      Alternate URLs: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N07/574/91/PDF/N0757491.pdf?OpenElement
      http://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N07/574/91/pdf/N0757491.pdf?OpenElement
      Date of entry/update: 26 November 2007


      Title: Sold to be Soldiers: The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma
      Date of publication: 31 October 2007
      Description/subject: I Summary: The Government of Burma’s Armed Forces: The Tatmadaw; Government Failure to Address Child Recruitment; Non-state Armed Groups; The Local and International Response... II Recommendations 14 To the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) 14 To All Non-state Armed Groups 17 To the Governments of Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, India, and China 18 To the Government of Thailand 18 To the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 18 To UNICEF 19 To the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict 20 To Member States of the United Nations 20 To the UN Security Council 21 To the International Labour Organization 21 To the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar 21 III Methodology22 IV Background24 V The Tatmadaw: The State Military 29 The Tatmadaw’s Staffing Crisis29 Recruitment 32 Key Factors in Child Recruitment33 Children as Commodities: The Recruit Market 41 Recruitment of the Very Young 43 The Su Saun Yay Recruit Holding Camps45 Training 50 Deployment and Active Duty 56 Combat 60 Abuses against Civilians62 Desertion, Imprisonment, and Re-recruitment 63 The Future of Tatmadaw Child Recruitment68 The Government of Burma’s Response to the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers 68 The Committee for the Prevention of Military Recruitment of Underage Children 71 Demobilization73 Reintegration76 Measures for Raising Awareness77 Enforcement of Recruitment Laws and Regulations 81 Government Cooperation with International Agencies 84 VI Child Soldiers in Non-State Armed Groups 94 United Wa State Army 97 Karenni Army 98 Karen National Liberation Army 102 Shan State Army – South 105 Kachin Independence Army 107 Democratic Karen Buddhist Army 109 Kachin Defense Army 111 Mon National Liberation Army 112 Karenni Nationalities People’s Liberation Front 113 Shan Nationalities People’s Liberation Army 115 Rebellion Resistance Force116 KNU-KNLA Peace Council117 VII The International Response120 The United Nations Security Council 120 United Nations Country Team 122 UNICEF 123 ILO 124 Neighboring country and cross-border initiatives 125 VIII Legal Standards 129 Child Recruitment as a War Crime 130 International Standards on Demobilization, Reintegration, and Rehabilitation 131 Acknowledgements 132 Appendices 133 Appendix A: SPDC Plan of Action regarding child soldiers 133 Appendix B: Human Rights Watch letter to the UN Mission of Myanmar, August 22, 2007 137 Appendix C: Reply from the UN Mission of Myanmar, September 12, 2007 139 Appendix D: KNPP Deed of Commitment regarding child soldiers 142 Appendix E: KNLA Deed of Commitment regarding child soldiers 146
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
      Format/size: pdf (2.1MB), html
      Alternate URLs: http://hrw.org/reports/2007/burma1007/ (Full report, html, English. Link to Summary and Recommendations in Japanese);
      http://hrw.org/french/docs/2007/10/31/burma17208.htm (Press release, French, Francais);
      http://hrw.org/spanish/docs/2007/10/31/burma17207.htm (Press Release, Spanish, Espanol)
      Date of entry/update: 31 October 2007


      Title: Despite Promises: Child Soldiers in Burma’s SPDC Armed Forces
      Date of publication: September 2006
      Description/subject: Executive Summary: "Child involvement in armed conflict is a disturbing trend of modern times. Nowhere is this trend more evident and extreme than in Burma, where children are aggressively recruited and forced to join the military. “While going to school, I was taken against my will by an unnamed person. I was brought to Danyingone New Recruitment Center and then to the 9th Basic Military Training School. I attended the training and passed. I was brought to Hpa-An Township, Karen State, to serve in the Signal Battalion.” Former child soldier, recruited into the SPDC armed forces in 2004 at age thirteen The government of Burma, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has been expanding its armed forces—the “Tatmadaw”—at an alarming rate; and this expansion is sustained by the recruitment of children. In 1988 there were approximately 200,000 men serving in the Tatmadaw, in 2004 estimates were nearly 380,000 troops, and it is reported that the SPDC wants to increase that number to 500,000. This report examines the ongoing recruitment and use of child soldiers in Burma. Most children interviewed for this report were forcibly recruited into army ranks; they were coerced and deceived. Other child recruits cited economic hardships and social pressures as their reasons for joining, the very conditions that make them easy targets for SPDC recruiters. Recruiters also use intimidation tactics to convince children to join the armed forces. “Join the military or go to jail,” were the “options” that many children were offered. This fear-inducing strategy is effective, almost guaranteeing that the child will “choose” to join the military. Once recruited, children are detained at local army posts, police stations or recruiting offices. They are instructed on how to fill out registration forms; including lying about their age, as officially children under the age of 18 years are not permitted to join the army. However authorities at all levels circumvent this rule by forcing every recruit to say they are at least 18 years old. “I was brought to the recruitment center, where they [military personnel] immediately started cutting my hair and filling out forms for me. I was only requested to give a thumb print. They asked me how old I was and I told them that I was 14. They told me to say 18. Then I was given a medical examination. At first the doctor wouldn’t let me join the army because I didn’t have any pubic hair. But, the corporal who recruited me bribed the doctor.” Former child soldier, recruited into the SPDC armed forces in 2003 at the age of fourteen According to interviewees, children are then sent to complete military training programs and subsequently sent to the frontlines to fight “enemy” rebel groups or serve as porters, cooks, or servants for higher ranking officers. If sent to the frontlines they rarely know who they are fighting or why. Children report that conditions in the detention centers and training camps are horrible; the barracks are overcrowded and they are bullied by older recruits. Moreover, children are routinely beaten if they make mistakes during training. These conditions cause child soldiers to suffer from mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. Children, still in varying stages of development, are unable to accommodate the stress generated by military activities. As reported by many of the interviewees, child soldiers often cry themselves to sleep in quiet humiliation, scared any show of weakness could invite additional reproach from fellow soldiers and officers. As soldiers, children are forced to perpetrate violence and commit human rights violations. They take part in destroying villages suspected of supporting ethnic insurgent movements; they also participate in extrajudicial killings. Children are not prepared for the physical, emotional or psychological experience of war. Therefore some run away from the army, some attempt suicide, while most attempt to rationalize their experiences, which distorts their fundamental sentiments of right and wrong. The SPDC has promised action and in an effort to quell the recruitment and use of child soldiers, has created the ‘Committee for the Prevention of Military Recruitment of Under-age Children.’ However, rather than spending its time aggressively fighting against the recruitment and use of child soldiers, the committee focuses on contesting allegations from the UN and international and national human rights groups about the use of child soldiers in the country. The SPDC must stop recruiting and using children in the military. The government’s official policies, which prohibit children from entering the military, must be implemented and those who violate such policies should be punished. The SPDC must play a central role in disarming, demobilizing, and rehabilitating (DDR) former child soldiers and invite assistance from international and local organizations willing to help with DDR programs. The SPDC promises change; but despite promises, evidence continues to point to SPDC’s continued recruitment, training, and deployment of child soldiers."
      Language: Burmese
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB)
      Format/size: pdf (2.83MB)
      Date of entry/update: 04 October 2006


      Title: Interview with an SPDC child soldier
      Date of publication: 26 April 2006
      Description/subject: "The SPDC claims that there are no child soldiers in its army and has appointed a Committee to spread this story, while independent outside reports reveal the Burma Army as having more child soldiers than any other army or country in the world. Boys as young as 11 are deliberately targeted by recruiters who trick or beat them into joining, record their ages as 18, and buy and sell them like cattle. They are treated brutally in training, and in the field they are forced to loot villages to survive. This report lets a 15 year old deserter tell his own story, which reveals that the past five years have not brought any improvement in the SPDC's record on recruitment or treatment of child soldiers."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F2)
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006


      Title: Running Scared
      Date of publication: March 2006
      Description/subject: Life in Burma"Volunteer" Army... "In a letter to the United Nations dated May 8, 2002, the Burmese military government stated unequivocally that all its soldiers serve the country without coercion. "The Myanmar [Burma] Tatmadaw [armed forces] is an all volunteer army. There are no conscripts, and the recruitment into Myanmar armed forces is entirely voluntary." "Like so many of the government's claims—especially the unequivocal ones—the statement to the UN bears little resemblance to the truth. Thant Zin, a 17-year-old former soldier, has first-hand experience of the Tatmadaw's voluntary conscription policies. During a trip to see his brother in Taungoo, a small city in central Burma, Thant Zin was approached by soldiers at the train station, told that he would now be a soldier in his country's army and threatened with physical violence when he refused..."
      Author/creator: Yeni
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 14, No3
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 01 May 2006


      Title: Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers: Global Report 2004 -- Myanmar/Burma
      Date of publication: 17 November 2004
      Description/subject: "Thousands of children, possibly tens of thousands, remained in the Myanmar armed forces and forcible recruitment continued to be reported. Child soldiers, mostly aged between 12 and 18, were forced to take part in combat and subjected to harsh living conditions and beatings. Nearly all armed political groups recruited and used child soldiers and several thousand were estimated to remain in the ranks of such groups."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers
      Format/size: pdf (68K)
      Date of entry/update: 18 November 2004


      Title: Deserting from the Rape Commanders
      Date of publication: July 2004
      Description/subject: "A child soldier, recruited into the Burma Army at age 11, tells his gruesome story. Sixteen-year old Maung Myo (not his real name), a deserter from the Burma Army, said he wants to go back home and be reunited with his mother. If he tries he risks being arrested and court-martialed by the military..."
      Author/creator: Shah Paung
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 12, No. 7
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 11 November 2004


      Title: ACTION APPEAL 12-2002: MYANMAR (Burma)
      Date of publication: 11 December 2002
      Description/subject: "Myanmar is believed to have more child soldiers than any other country in the world.[2] More than 70,000 children may be serving in the national army alone, making the government of Myanmar the greatest single user of child soldiers worldwide.[3] The national army, the Tatmadaw Kyi, is known to forcibly recruit children as young as 11. Children, some under the age of 15, are also present in Myanmar's myriad opposition groups, although in far smaller numbers. Of non-state armed groups in Myanmar, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) is the largest user of child soldiers, with some 2,000 in its ranks..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Coalition to stop the use of Child Soldiers
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Adult Wars, Child Soldiers
      Date of publication: 30 October 2002
      Description/subject: Voices of children involved in armed conflict in the East Asia and Pacific Region. 20 interviews with Burmese child soldiers.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: UNICEF
      Format/size: pdf (861K) 84 pages
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: "MY GUN WAS AS TALL AS ME" - Child Soldiers in Burma
      Date of publication: 16 October 2002
      Description/subject: "Burma is believed to have more child soldiers than any other country in the world. The overwhelming majority of Burma's child soldiers are found in Burma's national army, the Tatmadaw Kyi, which forcibly recruits children as young as eleven. These children are subject to beatings and systematic humiliation during training. Once deployed, they must engage in combat, participate in human rights abuses against civilians, and are frequently beaten and abused by their commanders and cheated of their wages. Refused contact with their families and facing severe reprisals if they try to escape, these children endure a harsh and isolated existence. Children are also present in Burma's myriad opposition groups, although in far smaller numbers. Some children join opposition groups to avenge past abuses by Burmese forces against members of their families or community, while others are forcibly conscripted. Many participate in armed conflict, sometimes with little or no training, and after years of being a soldier are unable to envision a future for themselves apart from military service. Burma's military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), claims that all of its soldiers are volunteers, and that the minimum recruitment age is eighteen.4 However, testimonies of former soldiers interviewed for this report suggest that the vast majority of new recruits are forcibly conscripted, and that 35 to 45 percent may be children. Although there is no way to establish precise figures, data taken from the observations of former child soldiers who have served in diverse parts of Burma suggests that 70,000 or more of the Burma army's estimated 350,000 soldiers may be children..."
      Author/creator: Kevin Heppner
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
      Format/size: html (in sections); pdf (570K) 214 pages
      Alternate URLs: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/burma/Burma0902.pdf
      http://www.hrw.org/press/2002/10/burma-1016.htm (press release and other links)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: The impact of armed conflict on the children of Burma
      Date of publication: August 2002
      Description/subject: Submission by the Burma UN Service Office-New York & the Human Rights Documentation Unit National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma To The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict For The preparation of the Secretary-General’s third report to the Security Council on children and armed conflict, on the implementation of resolutions 1261 (1999), 1314 (2000), and 1379 (2001)... EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "Who would want to be a child in Burma? Four decades of military rule, mismanagement and armed conflict have resulted in widespread poverty, poor health care, low educational standards and widespread and systematic human rights abuses. The government spends 40% of the national budget on the military, while spending on healthcare and education is one of the lowest in the world at under 1% (US$0.60 and US$0.28 per capita respectively). The World Health Organization’s 2000 report graded Burma 190th overall in health system of 191 countries surveyed. According to UNICEF, of the 1.3 million children born every year, more than 92,500 will die before they reach their first birthday and another 138,000 children will die before the age of five. The main causes of death are malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, acute respiratory infections, and diarrheal diseases. More than 1 in 3 children under 5 will be malnourished. These health problems are exacerbated by the on-going armed conflict, which disproportionately affects ethnic groups. Children from ethnic groups have extremely limited access to health care and immunization as UN agencies do not have access to these areas. Nor do they have access to internally displaced persons (IDPs) - of which a large proportion are children. Military violence coupled with displacement, forced relocations and resulting food insecurity are the main causes of malnutrition and other related illnesses. These children are also most at risk of serious human rights violations including sexual assault and trafficking. According to UNAIDS, HIV prevalence in 2000 crossed the 1.0% threshold, making Burma one of only three countries in Asia to have an HIV epidemic considered to be ‘generalized’ throughout the population. An estimated 14,000 children have HIV and another 43,000 are AIDS orphans. Data from antenatal clinics record HIV prevalence of 2.8-5.3% among the youngest group (15-24 years old) of pregnant women. The HIV prevalence in military recruits has shown an increase (0.82% among those 15-19 years). Low educational attainment is a serious social, economic and political problem. Only three out of four children enter primary school and of those only two out of five complete the full five years. That is, only 30% of Burmese children get proper primary school education let alone secondary and tertiary education. Female students are disproportionately affected by high dropout rates as fewer than one third of all girls who enroll make it through primary school. As a result, thousands of children are forced to drop out, interrupt or receive substandard education. The ongoing armed conflict has resulted in: the lack of an educational infrastructure; teachers; physical dangers due to lack of security; transience due to forced relocation; and Burmanization policies which force the closure of non-Burman schools in ethnic areas or discriminate against ethnic students. Government displacement programs have taken place at least since the late 1960s have aimed at securing areas, cutting links between civilians and armed groups and reducing the impact of armed groups. Relocation orders by government authorities either specify where the villagers should relocate to - ‘relocation sites’ - or simply state that villagers should leave the area. To prevent villagers from remaining or returning, villages are burnt down and designated ‘free fire zones’. Independent monitoring or assistance to IDPs has not been authorized by the Burmese government. Estimates of the total number of IDPs in Burma range between one and two million. Most asylum seekers arriving in Thailand lived for some time as IDPs. An estimated 400,000 Burmese asylum seekers and refugees are currently living in neighboring countries. The U.S. State Department’s second annual ‘Trafficking in Persons’ report released on 5 June 2002 lists Burma as a country of origin for women and girls trafficked to Thailand, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Pakistan and Japan for sexual exploitation, domestic and factory work. Thailand is believed to be the primary destination with an estimated 40,000 Burmese women and children, most of them from ethnic groups, working as sex workers. A new trend shows that trafficked girls are increasingly virgins who are in demand due to the belief that young girls are less likely to the HIV positive. In practice, young girls are sold as virgins several times until the amount for which they can be sold steadily decreases. When girls are no longer profitable because of pregnancy or disease they are often turned out on the street. Child labor has become increasingly prevalent and visible. Approximately one quarter of children in the age group 10-14 are engaged in paid work and there is a growing number of street children in concentrated urban areas. Street children and orphans are particularly vulnerable to forced recruitment into the armed forces. Burma is believed to be one of the world’s single largest users of child soldiers with up to 50,000 children serving in both government armed forces and armed opposition groups. Burmese law does not specifically prohibit child labor and children are forced to labor on infrastructure development projects and income generating projects for the military, especially in ethnic areas. Children are also forced to serve as porters in combat areas, and frequently suffer beatings, rape and other mistreatment. Porters are used as human minesweepers and human shields during military operations and children are no exception. The number of landmine casualties, although unknown, is now believed to surpass even that of Cambodia. There is more chance of fatality if a child steps on a mine. This report evidences that the present government of Burma is not adhering to Security Council resolutions on children and armed conflict."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma
      Format/size: html (260K), Word (200K), pdf (938K)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/BURMA-submission_to_office_for_children_and_armed_conflict.doc
      http://ncgub.net/NCGUB/Armed-Child%20Report%20%2020050115.pdf
      Date of entry/update: 19 February 2006


      Title: Coalition to stop the use of Child Soldiers - Global Report 2001 : ASIA-THE PACIFIC - MYANMAR
      Date of publication: 12 May 2002
      Description/subject: "Myanmar is estimated to have one of the largest numbers of child soldiers of any country in the world, with up to 50,000 children serving in both government armed forces and armed opposition groups. The ILO has condemned the forced recruitment of children in Myanmar and has taken measures to address the government's use of forced labour. The activities of God's Army, a breakaway Karen group led by young twins, focused world attention on the use of child soldiers by ethnic armed groups. Armed groups in the Shan State have declared they will not recruit children below 18. Fighting continues in many parts of Myanmar with armed opposition groups pitted against the military government or State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) some ethnic based, others political exiles. The Karen movement remains the strongest, although weakened in recent years.[2] A number of opposition forces in Myanmar have accepted cease-fires with the government. These have had the effect of fragmenting opposition groups even further, with some factions continuing to control their territory under arms, breakaway forces continuing their fight against the government, and internecine fighting between different armed groups. Tens of thousands of villagers in contested zones have been forcibly relocated or internally displaced within the region..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Coalition to stop the use of Child Soldiers
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Stillgestanden - rechtsum! Kindersoldaten in Burma
      Date of publication: March 2002
      Description/subject: Johnny und Luther Htoo sind vielleicht die berühmtesten Kindersoldaten der Welt. Die beiden 14-jährigen, Zigarre qualmenden Zwillinge waren die Anführer der sogenannten Armee Gottes, die im Januar 2000 ein Hospital in Thai land stürmte und dabei Hunderte Personen als Geiseln nahm. Aber während diese Aktion Schlagzeilen in aller Welt machte, schenkte man dem zugrunde liegenden Problem der Kindersoldaten in Burma nur wenig Aufmerksamkeit. Child Soldiers, God's Army, Child soldiers in the Tatmadaw, in the rebellion armies
      Author/creator: Tom Kramer, Deutsch von Markus Gerboth
      Language: Deutsch, German
      Source/publisher: Südostasien Jg. 18, Nr.3 - Asienhaus
      Format/size: pdf (43K)
      Date of entry/update: 01 September 2003


      Title: Abuse under Orders: The SPDC and DKBA Armies Through the Eyes of their Soldiers
      Date of publication: 27 March 2001
      Description/subject: "This report looks at the armies of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta ruling Burma and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), a Karen group allied with the SPDC, through the eyes of their own soldiers who have fled: the recruitment, the training, life in the battalions, relations with villagers and other groups, and their views on Burma’s present and future situation. What we find, particularly in the SPDC’s ‘Tatmadaw’ (Army), is conscription and coercion of children, systematic physical and psychological abuse by the officers, endemic corruption, and the rank and file of an entire Army forced into a system of brutality toward civilians. According to Tatmadaw deserters, one third or more of SPDC soldiers are children, morale among the rank and file is almost nonexistent, and half or more of the Army would desert if they thought they could survive the attempt. The Tatmadaw has expanded rapidly since repression of the democracy movement and the creation of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC, former name of the SPDC) in 1988. The Armed Forces as a whole have expanded from an estimated strength of 180,000 to over 400,000, making it the second-largest military in Southeast Asia after Vietnam. Military camps and soldiers are now common all over Burma, especially in the non-Burman ethnic states and divisions. With this increased military presence has come a rise in the scale of abuses and corruption committed by the Army. To achieve this military expansion, children as young as nine or ten are taken into the Army, trained and sent to frontline battalions. Of the six SPDC deserters interviewed for this report, five were under the age of 17 when they joined the Tatmadaw..." The SPDC and DKBA Armies through the Eyes of their Soldiers.Symbolically released on the SPDC's 'Armed Forces Day', this report uses the testimony of former SPDC soldiers to document the deteriorating situation in the ever-expanding Army: the conscription and coercion of 13-17 year old children who now make up as much as 30% of the rank and file, the corruption of the officers and their brutal treatment of their own soldiers, the systematic abuse and exploitation of the civilian population, and the crumbling morale, desertions and suicides. Also looks at the declining relevance of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) as the command structure weakens and units are left to pursue black market businesses to support themselves.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2001-01)
      Format/size: pdf (2.8 MB)
      Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg0101.html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Bewaffneter Konflikt in Myanmar (Birma) Berichtsjahr 2000
      Date of publication: 2001
      Description/subject: Bericht zu den mehr als fnfzig Jahre andauernden bewaffneten Konflikten in Myanmar/Birma fr das Jahr 2000. Trotz eines allgemeinen Rckgangs der Kriegshandlungen, haben sich die Kmpfe im Jahr 2000 fortgesetzt. Die Autorin geht sowohl auf die Kinderarmee "God's Army" als auch die KNU ein. Mit Links zu weiteren Quellen.
      Author/creator: Franziska Stock
      Language: Deutsch, German
      Source/publisher: Forschungsstelle Kriege, Rstung und Entwicklung, AG Kriegsursachenforschung, Institut fr Politische Wissenschaft der Universitt Hamburg
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Asia-Child Soldiers
      Date of publication: 10 May 2000
      Description/subject: A coalition of social activists is scheduled to meet in Nepal next week to discuss ways to enact a global ban on the use of children as soldiers. The activists say the use of children in armed conflicts is widespread in Asia. As VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports from Bangkok, they also say it is not just rebel opposition groups that indulge in the practice.
      Author/creator: Gary Thomas, Bangkok
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Voice of America
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Slaughter of the Innocent Soldiers
      Date of publication: September 1997
      Description/subject: Recruitment • Roles And Duties • Treatment and experiences. They are about 13 or 15 years old, wear army uniforms and carry war weapons. By all other measures they are still children, but it is not war games they play. Burmese history is full of stories of different kings at war with each other and the modern period since 1948 -- when the British surrendered their colonial rule -- has been little different. Almost from the day the British lowered the Union Jack, Burma has been home to a continuous civil war described by some observers as one of the most complicated conflicts in the world.
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 5. No. 6
      Format/size: html
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: No Childhood at All - Child Soldiers in Burma
      Date of publication: June 1997
      Description/subject: "...The phenomenon of child soldiers in Burma can only be understood within the context of militarization of the society as a whole. War in Burma has affected every segment of society, its fallout having severest repercussions for the most disadvantaged groups. The political instability engendered by civil war has left the country in economic crisis and has isolated rural conflict areas from receiving badly-needed development assistance. NGO activities have been severely curtailed, mitigating most attempts to correct the situation. Consequently, many children in Burma are living in grinding poverty, uneducated and in poor health, with under-age labour one of their few choices to make ends meet. The everpresent reality of armed conflict is also deeply embedded in the consciousness of all Burma's peoples. With 36% of all Burma's inhabitants under the age of l5,1 most of the country's population have grown up under the shadow of civil war. The rapid expansion of the armed forces since 1988 has both forced and encouraged recruitment of minors into the ranks. Army entrance is sometimes perceived by children, especially orphans, as offering a protective haven from hunger and abuse. Many children therefore see joining the armed forces of any of the warring parties as their only means of survival. Unfortunately, research suggests that they are likely to find it just the opposite. While Burma has acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as yet there is little indication that its provisions are being followed in good faith, or that recruitment of children into the Tatmadaw has decreased..."
      Language: English
      Source/publisher: Images Asia, Thailand
      Format/size: pdf (513K)
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


      Title: Karen guerillas -- insurgency in Karen State (front-line photos, 1991)
      Date of publication: April 1991
      Description/subject: Photos taken March-April 1991 at Manerplaw and the front line north of Manerplaw, where there was heavy fighting at the time. Several photos of child soldiers. "Burma has been torn by civil war since the end of colonial rule from the British. One of the largest ethnic groups is the Karen-people. For a long time they maintained their own state, Kawthoolei or Karen land, in the east of the country bordering Thailand. From its base in Manorplow the Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed wing the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) led the armed struggle. In the late eighties they where reinforced by Burmese refugees from the All Burma Student Democratic Front (ADSDF) who escaped the crack down on the democracy movement. The failure of different ethnic groups to unite led to great success for the junta in the mid 90's. Today only a fraction of the KNU remains active and many Karens are living as refugees in Thailand. Many other armed groups have struck deals with the military junta (SLORC) or entered the lucrative drug-trade."
      Author/creator: Bjorn Svensson
      Language: English
      Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


    • Landmines

      • Anti-Personnel Landmines - Specialist organisations and commentary

        Websites/Multiple Documents

        Title: "Landmine Monitor" Home Page
        Description/subject: "In June 1998, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines established "Landmine Monitor," a unique and unprecedented civil society based reporting network to systematically monitor and document nations' compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the humanitarian response to the global landmine crisis. Landmine Monitor complements the existing state-based reporting (external link) and compliance mechanisms established by the Mine Ban Treaty..." Landmine Monitor Core Group: Human Rights Watch · Handicap International (Belgium) Kenya Coalition Against Landmines · Mines Action Canada Norwegian People's Aid
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.icbl.org
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Geneva Call - Burma-Myanmar page
        Description/subject: Geneva Call has been engaging NSAs in Burma/Myanmar in an AP mine ban since 2006. Dialogue with the political and military leaders of the NSAs is complemented by activities aimed at encouraging and supporting civil society organizations to undertake mine action activities, supporting efforts to create a change in the Myanmar government’s AP mine policy, and supporting the monitoring of the AP mine ban commitments made by NSAs. To date 6 NSAs have signed the Deed of Commitment banning AP mines:
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Geneva Call
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 11 February 2010


        Title: Geneva Call - Engaging Non-State Actors
        Description/subject: "Geneva Call is an international humanitarian organization dedicated to engaging armed non-State actors (NSAs) to respect and to adhere to humanitarian norms, starting with the ban on anti-personnel (AP) mines. Geneva Call is committed to the universal application of the principles of international humanitarian law and conducts its activities based on the principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence. Geneva Call provides an innovative mechanism for NSAs, who do not participate in drafting treaties and thus may not feel bound by their obligations to express adherence to the norms embodied in the 1997 anti-personnel mine ban treaty (MBT) through their signature to the "Deed of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines and for Cooperation in Mine Action" [PDF File]. The Government of the Republic and Canton of Geneva serves as the guardian of these Deeds. Under the Deed of Commitment, signatory groups commit themselves: • To a total prohibition on the use, production, acquisition, transfer and stockpiling of AP mines and other victim-activated explosive devices, under any circumstances. • To undertake, to cooperate in, or to facilitate, programs to destroy stockpiles, clear mines, provide assistance to victims and promote awareness. • To allow and to cooperate in the monitoring and verification of their commitments by Geneva Call. • To issue the necessary orders to commanders and to the rank and file for the implementation and enforcement of their commitments. • To treat their commitment as one step or part of a broader commitment in principle to the ideal of humanitarian norms. Thirty-five armed groups in Burma, Burundi, India, Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey and Western Sahara have agreed to ban AP mines through this mechanism. The ultimate indicator of progress however, is not the number of Deeds signed but an effective ban and the practice of humanitarian mine action. Geneva Call is pledged to promote the implementation of humanitarian mine action programmes in mine-affected areas under NSA control, to assist signatory groups to fulfil their obligations under the Deed of Commitment and to monitor compliance."...See also the Resources section.
        Language: Arabic, English, Espanol (Spanish) Francais (French),
        Source/publisher: Geneva Call
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Date of entry/update: 27 November 2008


        Title: Geneva International Centre for Humanitatian Demining
        Description/subject: Mine action topics... What we do... Where we work... About us... Mine action resources....."In a world where human security is still hindered by explosive hazards, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) works to eliminate mines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. To achieve this, the GICHD supports national authorities, international organisations and civil society in their efforts to improve the relevance and performance of mine action. Core activities include furthering knowledge, promoting norms and standards, and developing in-country and international capacity. This support covers all aspects of mine action: strategic, managerial, operational and institutional. The GICHD also works for mine action that is not delivered in isolation, but as part of a broader human security framework; this effort is facilitated by the GICHD's new location within the Maison de la Paix in Geneva..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Geneva International Centre for Humanitatian Demining
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 09 October 2014


        Title: International Campaign to Ban Landmines
        Description/subject: "The ICBL calls for: An international ban on the use, production, stockpiling, and sale, transfer, or export of antipersonnel landmines The signing, ratification, implementation, and monitoring of the mine ban treaty Increased resources for humanitarian demining and mine awareness programs Increased resources for landmine victim rehabilitation and assistance."
        Language: English | Deutsch | Español | Français | Italiano | Portugês
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Mine-Free Myanmar
        Description/subject: "Mine Free Myanmar was formerly known as Halt Mine Use in Burma. This campaign was originally launched in 2004 as a country focused campaign of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). This website is aimed at an international audience and seeks to provide regularly updated information regarding efforts to achieve a landmine ban in Myanmar, or Burma as it is also known. Since 2012, a national campaign has been launched, comprised of local NGOs and situated in Rangoon. The ICBL is a global network in over 90 countries that works for a world free of antipersonnel landmines, where landmine survivors can lead fulfilling lives. The Campaign was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its efforts to bring about the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Since then, we have been advocating for the words of the treaty to become a reality, demonstrating on a daily basis that civil society has the power to change the world. As of 1 January 2014, 161 countries, 80% of the world’s governments, have ratified or acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Myanmar/Burma is not one of them."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 31 January 2014


        Title: Nonviolence International SE Asia Home Page
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Nonviolence International
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Individual Documents

        Title: Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor Country Profile for Myanmar/Burma (updated 9 October, 2014)
        Date of publication: 09 October 2014
        Description/subject: Updated Content: Mine action
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.the-monitor.org/index.php/cp/display/region_profiles/theme/3703
        Date of entry/update: 09 October 2014


        Title: Border Prosthetics - Helping amputees with specially made prosthetics on the Myanmar-Thailand border (video)
        Date of publication: 24 June 2014
        Description/subject: "Decades of ethnic conflict have left south eastern Myanmar one of the most landmine-ridden regions in the world. Few landmine victims get the treatment they need inside the country, formerly known as Burma, and so spend days travelling to neighbouring Thailand for medical support. The Mae Tao Clinic provides healthcare to more than 150,000 displaced people every year, from vaccinations, to eye surgery and emergency operations on gunshot wounds. In the clinic’s prosthetics department, where many of the staff are themselves former landmine victims, more than 250 prosthetic limbs are fitted each year. Nidhi Dutt travels to the border town of Mae Sot to meet the people making tailored prosthetics from the simplest of tools for whoever needs them, no matter which side of Myanmar’s civil conflict they are on..."
        Author/creator: Nidhi Dutt
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (The Cure)
        Format/size: Adobe Flash (11 minutes, 19 seconds)
        Date of entry/update: 28 June 2014


        Title: LAND RIGHTS AND MINE ACTION IN MYANMAR
        Date of publication: February 2014
        Description/subject: LAND RIGHTS AND MINE ACTION IN MYANMAR - DO NO HARM: PROPOSALS FOR A SET OF EIGHT CORE PRINCIPLES AND A 14-STEP SEQUENCING PROCESS FOR LAND RIGHTS-SENSITIVE MINE SURVEY AND CLEARANCE IN MYANMAR..... "Vast areas of land in Myanmar are currently contaminated by landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) as a legacy of decades of armed conflict between the national government and a wide range of ethnic armed groups. However, the political climate in Myanmar has been rapidly changing, peace talks have been progressing, and plans are being developed to commence demining of contaminated lands. Programme and policy formulation by mine action related organisations in Myanmar is currently underway, and landmine and ERW survey and clearance operations are expected to commence in the near future. In addition, the Myanmar Mine Action Center (MMAC) is about to be established under the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) and, once it has been activated, will be expected to play the key governmental role in mine action efforts. 2. Mine action is a vital component of broader strategies to secure sustainable peace in countries emerging from conflict and instability. At the same time, mine action is inextricably linked to broader land rights questions because demining frees land that was previously unusable and/or difficult and dangerous to access. If managed poorly or if carried out purely on a technical basis without taking land rights questions into account, de-mining can re-ignite or create new land conflicts, facilitate land grabbing for resource extraction or other large-scale business activities, lead to forced displacement, serve to reinforce or exacerbate economic inequalities, and trigger a range of other undesirable outcomes. It is thus vital that demining efforts in Myanmar be subject to policies and agreements that can prevent such outcomes. It is essential, in other words, that the landmine survey and clearance efforts Do No Harm..." .
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Displacement Solutions
        Format/size: pdf (1.29MB)
        Date of entry/update: 08 October 2014


        Title: Cautious hope for Burma’s ‘second-class citizens’
        Date of publication: 12 December 2011
        Description/subject: "No one knows how many people have been affected by landmines in Burma, the only state to consistently lay mines since 1997. Some who step on mines die immediately, but most will survive to live with severely disabling injuries. For the latter there is little in the way of immediate or long-term medical assistance available from the country’s impoverished medical system. Hope is on the horizon, however. On Friday last week the UN announced the accession of Burma to the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (CRPD). This rights-based document could bring about a significant improvement in the quality of life for landmine victims and other people living with disabilities in the country. For that improvement to happen in the lifetime of current survivors, the convention needs to be implemented, meaning Burma must focus on generating necessary services in the areas where survivors live – given that landmines are mostly laid in the country’s remote border regions whose development has never taken place, this will be no easy feat..."
        Author/creator: YESHUA MOSER PUANGSUWAN
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


        Title: Myanmar takes major step in addressing the needs of Landmine Victims
        Date of publication: 12 December 2011
        Description/subject: "Myanmar Accedes to the international Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (CRPD)...The ICBL had previously been informed by Foreign Ministry officials that the legal review of this convention had been completed, but that the Convention would have to forwarded to the new Parliament for debate and approval. On 9 December, the United Nations received the accession from Myanmar, which will go into effect 6 January 2012. Myanmar’s adherence to the CRPD will be significant for increasing assistance to the countries landmine, and other, disabled..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 July 2012


        Title: The Geneva Call Progress Report 2000-2007
        Date of publication: November 2007
        Description/subject: Abstract: Since the launch of Geneva Call in 2000, significant progress has been made. 34 NSAs from Burma/Myanmar, Burundi, India, Iraq, the Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey and Western Sahara have signed the “Deed of Commitment”, an innovative mechanism that enables NSAs, which by definition cannot accede to the 1997 Ottawa Convention, to subscribe to its norms. Signatory groups have, by and large, complied with their obligations, refraining from using anti-personnel mines and cooperating in mine action with specialized organizations. In addition, nine other NSAs have pledged to prohibit or limit the use of anti-personnel mines, either unilaterally or through a ceasefire agreement with the government. In some countries, the signing of the “Deed of Commitment” by NSAs facilitated the launch of much-needed humanitarian mine action programs in areas under their control, as well as the accession by their respective States to the Ottawa Convention. Of course, many challenges remain, notably the continued use of anti-personnel mines by non-signatory groups, the lack of technical and financial resources to support implementation of the “Deed of Commitment” and insufficient cooperation from some concerned States. Yet, this report illustrates how NSA engagement can be effective in securing their compliance with international humanitarian norms.
        Language: English,
        Source/publisher: Geneva Call
        Format/size: pdf (1.62MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Digital-Library/Publications/Detail/?ots591=0c54e3b3-1e9c-be1e-2c24-a6a8...
        Date of entry/update: 28 July 2010


      • Anti-Personnel Landmines - Standards and mechanisms

        Websites/Multiple Documents

        Title: States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty
        Description/subject: Treaty... Mine Ban Treaty 101... Text of the Mine Ban Treaty... States Parties... States not Parties... Prohibitions... Definitions... Stockpiles... Mine Action... Victim Assistance... Article 7 Reporting... Compliance... National Legislation... Treaty Meetings... United Nations.
        Language: Arabic, Deutsch, English, Espanol, Francais, Italiano, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Date of entry/update: 27 November 2008


        Individual Documents

        Title: Text of the Mine Ban Treaty
        Date of publication: March 1999
        Description/subject: Translations also in: Italian, Japanese, Laotian Lithuanian, Macedonian, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese....The date given for the treaty, March 1999, is the date of its entry into force.
        Language: Albanian, Arabic, Azeri, Bosnian, Burmese, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, Georgian, Greek,
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Alternate URLs: http://www.un.org/Depts/mine/UNDocs/ban_trty.htm
        Date of entry/update: 27 November 2008


        Title: Text of the Mine Ban Treaty in Burmese
        Date of publication: March 1999
        Description/subject: The date given is that of the entry into force of the treaty...Burma is not a State Party.
        Language: Burmese
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: pdf (107K)
        Date of entry/update: 24 July 2010


      • Reports and maps covering anti-personnel landmines and Burma/Myanmar

        Websites/Multiple Documents

        Title: Deeds of Commitment under Geneva Call made by 26 Armed Non-State Actors in Burma/Myanmar
        Date of publication: 2012
        Description/subject: Regarding: Use of anti-personnel landmines; Use of child soldiers; Protection of Children from the Effects of Armed Conflict...made between 2003 and 2012...full texts in English.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Geneva Call
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Date of entry/update: 09 November 2012


        Title: Maps: Townships affected by mines, 2010-2011 - Townships with mine incidents
        Date of publication: November 2011
        Description/subject: "The Myanmar Information Management Unit [UN MIMU] has released two maps which show townships with a known hazard due to the presence of antipersonnel mines, and the number of victims per township in 2010-2011. This is the third map produced in a collaboration between MIMU in Yangon and Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor, since 2009. These maps document how many townships in the countries are known to have some level of mine pollution, and the number of known landmine victims from the townships in the 2010-2011 period. The maps do not provide precise details on the location of mined areas..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: MIMU via http://burmamineban.demilitarization.net
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 November 2011


        Title: Mine-Free Myanmar
        Description/subject: "Mine Free Myanmar was formerly known as Halt Mine Use in Burma. This campaign was originally launched in 2004 as a country focused campaign of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). This website is aimed at an international audience and seeks to provide regularly updated information regarding efforts to achieve a landmine ban in Myanmar, or Burma as it is also known. Since 2012, a national campaign has been launched, comprised of local NGOs and situated in Rangoon. The ICBL is a global network in over 90 countries that works for a world free of antipersonnel landmines, where landmine survivors can lead fulfilling lives. The Campaign was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its efforts to bring about the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Since then, we have been advocating for the words of the treaty to become a reality, demonstrating on a daily basis that civil society has the power to change the world. As of 1 January 2014, 161 countries, 80% of the world’s governments, have ratified or acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Myanmar/Burma is not one of them."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 31 January 2014


        Title: Search for "landmines" on the KHRG site
        Description/subject: Use the drop-down menu of the Database Search. Click on Landmines.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Date of entry/update: 25 November 2008


        Individual Documents

        Title: Landmine Monitor Report Myanmar/Burma, 2013 ( Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ )
        Date of publication: 26 December 2013
        Description/subject: Includes Cluster Munition Monitor Report, 2013
        Language: Burmese/ ျမန္မာဘာသာ
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines
        Format/size: pdf (646K-reduced version; 1.16MB - original)
        Alternate URLs: http://demilitarization.net/docs/lmreports/MBMonitor2013MYN.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 31 January 2014


        Title: Landmine Monitor Report Myanmar/Burma, 2013 (English)
        Date of publication: 26 December 2013
        Description/subject: Includes Cluster Munition Monitor Report, 2013
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines
        Format/size: pdf (540K-OBL version; 1.77MB-original)
        Alternate URLs: http://demilitarization.net/docs/lmreports/MBMonitor2013ENG.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 31 January 2014


        Title: Landmine injuries in Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District since January 2013
        Date of publication: 08 July 2013
        Description/subject: "This news bulletin describes two landmine incidents occurring in February and June 2013 in Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District. On February 2nd 2013, 22-year-old Saw H--- from S--- village was walking home after collecting firewood in Maw Lay Forest when he stepped on a landmine, sustaining temporary injuries to his leg. On June 1st, 45-year-old Maung W--- stepped on a landmine at Chauck Kway. The landmine shrapnel caused major damage to his left leg, and it was amputated as a result. In both incidents, landmines were detonated on frequently used paths, indicating that the mines were likely to have been planted recently. Based on the information submitted from the community member, the Tatmadaw and KNLA are active in these areas, but it is not clear which actor is responsible for originally planting the mines in either incident. This bulletin is based on information submitted to KHRG in February and June 2013 by a community member in Nyaunglebin District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (66K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b44.html
        Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013


        Title: Incident Report: Villager tortured by Tatmadaw commanders in Papun District, December 2012
        Date of publication: 27 June 2013
        Description/subject: "This incident report was submitted to KHRG in January 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Dwe Lo Township, Papun District in December 2012. The community member who wrote this report described an incident that occurred on December 28th 2012, when a female buffalo stepped on a landmine that was placed by Karen National Liberation Army soldiers. Coincidently, on the same day, Saw U---, also known as Saw P---, a 34 year old man from T--- village, went to take a bath in Buh Loh River and while he was on his way back home, he encountered two Tatmadaw soldiers, who called Saw U--- over to them. They were Tatmadaw LID #44, IB #9 Company Commander/ Camp Commander Ko Ko Lwin and Platoon Commander Kyaw Thu. As soon as Saw U--- reached them, Company Commander Ko Ko Lwin punched him in his chest and Platoon Commander Kyaw Thu punched him ten times across both sides of his face. While the soldiers did not ask Saw U--- any questions, they accused him of being in the KNLA; according to the community member who wrote this report and spoke directly with the villager, Saw U--- is not a soldier, but a villager who works on farms."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (272K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b37.html
        http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b37.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013


        Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Kyauk Kyi Township, July to September 2012
        Date of publication: 20 June 2013
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in September 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Nyaunglebin District between July and September 2012, including the imposition of taxes by Tatmadaw soldiers on villagers mining gold, use of a landmine by KNLA soldiers and the distribution of humanitarian aid by multiple international and local organizations. Specifically, the report describes Tatmadaw IB #57 imposing taxation over 40 villagers mining gold for their livelihoods. The report also describes the attempt of the Myanmar Peace Support Initiative to send food supplies by truck to Hsaw Mee Luh base camp in August 2012, as well as the placing and marking of an anti-vehicle mine by KNLA Battalion #9 soldiers between Kat Pe base camp and Mu Theh village. Flooding in Kyauk Kyi area that started in July is also reported, which caused villagers problems with travel and work and destroyed rice paddies. World Food Programme staff visited flood victims and provided some relief during this time as well and, in August, Back Pack Health Worker Team members distributed rice on behalf of Emergency Assistance Team-Burma and also delivered soap and medicine to flood victims in Ma Au Pin village tract. During the period of flooding, villagers were worried that if gold mining operations continued along the Tha Ye stream that polluted water would contaminate their paddies and cause destruction. Villagers thus requested that gold mining stop during the floods. This request was not heeded, and all paddies in 30 acres of flat field farms died during flooding. The report also details that road builders and village officials demanded 200 kyat (US $.21) from each traveler along the road through M--- village, including students from the M--- primary school. Additionally, it details financial offers made to villagers by the Burma government, as well as issues villagers have had with accessing deposits."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (287K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b36.html
        Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013


        Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, January to March 2013
        Date of publication: 18 June 2013
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in March 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District between January and March 2013. The report describes the use of villagers from approximately 40 villages in Htee Th'Daw Hta village tract for forced labour. The perpetrators were led by the presiding monk of Myaing Gyi Ngu, U Thuzana. Villagers, including elderly people, women and children, have been forced to work on the construction of the Htee Lah Eh Hta Bridge. Villagers are required to perform labour for consecutive days and are not informed of what length of time they will be required to work before the project's completion. The report also describes a landmine incident on February 11th 2013, which occurred between P--- village and S--- village in K'Ter Tee village tract, Bu Tho Township. A landmine exploded while five villagers were transporting sand by car for the Green Hill Company and all five villagers in the vehicle were killed. No armed group took responsibility for the incident, though the Green Hill Company compensated 300,000 kyat (US $318.13) to the family of each victim. Additionally, the manager of the company, Ko Myo, donated 200,000 (US $212.10) kyat to each of the victims' families."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (268K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b35.html
        Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013


        Title: Landmine explosion and death of villagers in Papun District
        Date of publication: 13 May 2013
        Description/subject: "This report is based on information submitted by community members in March 2013 describing events occurring in Papun District in February 2013. On February 11th 2013, a landmine exploded in K'Ter Tee village tract, Dwe Lo Township, Papun district. A total of five villagers were killed in the explosion, three of whom were under the age of 18. The villagers were hit by the landmine while transporting sand in a car for the Green Hill Company, a company affiliated with BGF Battalions #1013 and #1014. The group who planted the landmine is unknown. While no groups have taken responsibility for the incident, Green Hill Company paid 300,000 kyat (US $341) to the family of each victim, alongside the manager of the Company, Ko Myo, personally contributing 200,000 kyat (US $227) to each family. This and other landmine incidents received by KHRG between August 2012 and March 2013 were published in a Briefer; see "Landmines shatter peace for villagers in eastern Burma," April 2013.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (283K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b22.html
        Date of entry/update: 18 June 2013


        Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, November 2011 to July 2012
        Date of publication: 12 April 2013
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member, describing events occurring in Papun District from November 2011 to July 2012. The report describes restrictions placed upon villagers' movement by Major Thi Ha of Tatmadaw LIB #212; villagers were told not to travel to their farms and were threatened with being shot at if they were seen outside of their village. Villagers also faced restrictions on their movement as a result of unexploded landmines. The community member also describes the use of villagers for forced labour in May 2012 by BGF Battalions #1013 and #1014, including the collection of materials for the building of an army camp for Battalion #1013. The village heads of P---, as well as two villagers, were ordered to stay at BGF #1014's camp in order to work in the camp and porter for the soldiers. Also described, is an incident prompting fear amongst villagers, in which KNLA Battalion #102 Major Saw Hsa Yu Moo shot a gun in front of a villager's house. The community member raises concerns that, despite the ceasefire, cases of villagers being threatened, forced labour, and risks from landmines, continue to pose serious problems for villagers..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (268K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b20.html
        Date of entry/update: 30 April 2013


        Title: Landmines shatter peace for villagers in eastern Burma
        Date of publication: 08 April 2013
        Description/subject: "To mark International Mine Awareness Day, Karen Human Rights Group published new data collected by community members in eastern Burma that describes the ongoing devastation caused by landmines. Each year the United Nations International Mine Awareness Day draws attention to the global impact of landmines and notes progress towards their eradication. Landmines continue to disrupt the potential for civilians to return to their way of life even after the conflict has subsided. Old landmines pose serious restrictions on villagers' ability to travel safely or resume farming and reconstruction of previously abandoned homes. Fatalities and injuries to people and livestock occur frequently, especially when there is no prior knowledge of the mined areas, making displaced communities particularly vulnerable."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (274K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13_landmine.html
        Date of entry/update: 30 April 2013


        Title: Landmine death and injuries, old mines continue to make travel unsafe in Pa'an District
        Date of publication: 11 December 2012
        Description/subject: "This report is based on information submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Pa'an District, between August 28th 2012 and November 1st 2012, where one landmine exploded in Htee Klay village tract, one landmine exploded in Noh Kay village tract and one landmine exploded in Htee Kyah Rah village tract. These explosions injured a 21-year-old man named Saw P---, who died, a man of around 40-years-old, named Saw B---, who lost one leg, and an unknown Tatmadaw soldier from Light Infantry Battalion #275, who lost both of his legs. One explosion also destroyed the leg of Saw P---'s cow, when it stepped on the mine that killed him. Based on information from a community trained by KHRG, landmines have been planted by both the Border Guard and the Karen Nation Liberation Army, in Noh Kay village tract, T'Nay Hsah Township, Pa'an District, and in Htee Kyah Rah village tract, the community member reported that landmines have been planted by the Tatmadaw and the Karen National Liberation Army."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (117K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b83.html
        Date of entry/update: 23 December 2012


        Title: Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor Report Myanmar/Burma 2012
        Date of publication: 03 November 2012
        Description/subject: Myanmar/Burma:- Mine Ban Treaty status: Not a State Party... Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record: Abstained on Resolution 66/29 in December 2011, as in previous years... Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings: Attended the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in Phnom Penh in November–December 2011... Key developments: Foreign Minister stated Myanmar is considering accession to the Mine Ban Treaty. President Thein Sein requested assistance for clearance of mines. Parliamentarians raised the need for mine clearance.
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor
        Format/size: pdf (654K-English; 617K-Burmese); html
        Alternate URLs: http://demilitarization.net/docs/lmreports/LM2012MYR.pdf (Burmese)
        http://www.the-monitor.org/cp/MM/2012
        http://burmamineban.demilitarization.net/?page_id=280 (links to current and earlier reports back to 1999)
        Date of entry/update: 05 November 2012


        Title: Burma (Myanmar) country profile on Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor (Update 2012-10-02)
        Date of publication: 02 October 2012
        Description/subject: Mine Ban Policy; Casualties and Victim Assistance; Cluster Munition Ban Policy; Support for Mine Action; Mine Action; Complete Profile.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor (2 October 2012 update)
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.the-monitor.org/index.php/publications/display?url=lm/2006/burma.html
        http://www.icbl.org/index.php/icbl/content/view/full/2
        Date of entry/update: 11 December 2010


        Title: Myanmar/Burma - Mine Action Contamination and Impact Mines
        Date of publication: 19 September 2012
        Description/subject: An update was made to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor Country Profile for Myanmar/Burma. Updated Content: Mine Action... Mines are believed to be concentrated on Myanmar’s borders with Bangladesh and Thailand, but are a particular threat in eastern parts of the country as a result of decades of post-independence struggles for autonomy by ethnic minorities. Some 47 townships in Kachin, Karen (Kayin), Karenni (Kayah), Mon, Rakhine, and Shan states, as well as in Pegu (Bago) and Tenasserim (Tanintharyi) divisions[1] suffer from some degree of mine contamination, primarily from antipersonnel mines. Karen (Kayin) state and Pegu (Bago) division are suspected to contain the heaviest mine contamination and have the highest number of recorded victims. The Monitor has also received reports of previously unknown suspect hazardous areas (SHAs) in townships on the Indian border of Chin state.[2] No estimate exists of the extent of contamination, but the Monitor identified SHAs in the following divisions and townships: Karenni state: all seven townships; Karen state: all seven townships; Kachin state: Mansi, Mogaung, Momauk, Myitkyina, and Waingmaw; Mon state: Bilin, Kyaikto, Mawlamyine, Thanbyuzayat, Thaton, and Ye; Pegu division: Kyaukkyi, Shwekyin, Tantabin and Taungoo; Rakhine state: Maungdaw; Shan state: Hopong, Hsihseng, Langkho, Mawkmai, Mongpan, Mongton, Monghpyak, Namhsan Tachileik, Nanhkan, Yaksawk, and Ywangan; Tenasserim division: Bokpyin, Dawei, Tanintharyi, Thayetchaung and Yebyu; and Chin state...."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Landmines and Cluster Munitions Monitor
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 20 September 2012


        Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik Township and Kya In Township, April to June 2012
        Date of publication: 14 September 2012
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in June 2012 by a community member who described events occurring in Dooplaya District during the period between April 2012 and June 2012, specifically in relation to landmines, education, health, taxation and demand, forced labour, land confiscation, displacement, and restrictions on freedom of movement and trade. After the 2012 ceasefire between the Burma government and the KNU, remaining landmines still present serious risks for local villagers in Kawkareik Township because they are unable to travel. Details are provided about 57-year-old B--- village head, Saw L---, 70-year-old Saw E--- and Saw T---, who each stepped on landmines. During May 2012, Tatmadaw soldiers ordered three villagers' to supply hand tractors to transport materials for them from Aung May K' La village to Ke---, plus Tatmadaw soldiers ordered five hand tractors to transports materials from Kyaik Doh village to Kya In Seik Gyi Town. Also described in the report are villagers' opinions on the ongoing ceasefire and whether or not they feel it is benefiting them, as well as village responses to land confiscation by Tatmadaw forces. After a village head was informed that any empty properties found would be confiscated, villagers in the area stayed temporarily in other peoples' houses on request of the owner..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (215K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b76.html
        Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012


        Title: Papun Interview: Saw D---, January 2012
        Date of publication: 19 July 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during January 2012 in Bu Thoh Township, Papun District, by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw D---, the 44-year-old L--- village head, who described forced labour, Tatmadaw and Border Guard targeting of civilians, demands for food, and denial of humanitarian services, such as a school. He specifically described that both the Border Guard and the KNLA planted landmines around the village and, as a result, the villagers had to flee to another village because they were afraid and unable to continue with their farming. Saw D--- also mentioned that the Tatmadaw often made orders for forced portering without payment, or if they did pay, the payments were not fair for the villagers, including one villager who stepped on a landmine while portering. In addition, he described an incident in which one villager was shot at and arbitrarily tortured while returning from Myaing Gyi Ngu town to L--- village. Saw D--- also raised concerns regarding food shortages and the adequate provision of education for children."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (306K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b66.html
        Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


        Title: Papun Interview: Saw Kr---, October 2010
        Date of publication: 18 July 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during October 2010 in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw Kr---, a 23-year-old hill farmer from L--- village, Pla Koh village tract, who described an incident where he was injured after stepping on a landmine while on Home Guard duty in Kaw Mu Day, which resulted in him losing his left leg. Saw Kr--- describes how the Tatmadaw deliberately laid landmines on a public pathway, knowing that villagers were likely to tread on the devices. He also mentions that local villagers are active in defending themselves against Tatmadaw troops in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District. This incident is also described in the report Uncertain Ground: Landmines in eastern Burma, published by KHRG on May 21, 2012."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (283K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b65.html
        Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


        Title: Papun Interview: Saw T---, December 2011
        Date of publication: 16 July 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed a 40-year-old Buddhist monk, Saw T---, who is a former member of the Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Border Guard, who described activities pertaining to Border Guard Battalion #1013 based at K'Hsaw Wah, Papun District. Saw T--- described human rights abuses including the forced conscription of child soldiers, or the forcing to hire someone in their place, costing 1,500,000 Kyat (US $1833.74). This report also describes the use of landmines by the Border Guard, and how villagers are forced to carry them while acting as porters. Also mentioned, is the on-going theft of villagers money and livestock by the Border Guard, as well as the forced labour of villagers in order to build army camps and the transportation of materials to the camps; the stealing of villagers' livestock after failing to provide villagers to serve as forced labour, is also mentioned. Saw T--- provides information on the day-to-day life of a soldier in the Border Guard, describing how villagers are forcibly conscripted into the ranks of the Border Guard, do not receive treatment when they are sick, are not allowed to visit their families, nor allowed to resign voluntarily. Saw T--- described how, on one occasion a deserter's elderly father was forced to fill his position until the soldier returned. Saw T--- also mentions the hierarchical payment structure, the use of drugs within the border guard and the training, which he underwent before joining the Border Guard. Concerns are also raised by Saw T--- to the community member who wrote this report, about his own safety and his fear of returning to his home in Papun, as he feels he will be killed, having become a deserter himself as of October 2nd 2011."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (331K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b63.html
        Date of entry/update: 12 August 2012


        Title: Pa'an Situation Update: T'Nay Hsah Township, September 2011 to April 2012
        Date of publication: 06 July 2012
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in May 2012, by a community member describing events occurring in Pa'an District during the period between September 2011 and April 2012. It describes the planting of landmines by Border Guard soldiers near Y--- and P--- villages, resulting in villagers from B---, N--- and T--- being injured, and some villagers committed suicide after sustaining injuries. It also includes demands for forced labour by Tatmadaw LIBs #358, #547 and #548, in which villagers were required to harvest paddy on government land; this information concerning forced labour is also described in a news bulletin published by KHRG on June 22nd 2012, "Forced labour and extortion in Pa'an District." This report also includes information about the removal of 30 landmines by the Border Guard, before a landmine injury to one soldier halted the removal operations. In order to deal with problems related to insufficient landmine removal, villagers have taken precautions to limit their activities to areas unlikely to be mined. Due to limited opportunities for villagers to earn their livelihoods, some have begun to commercially produce charcoal and alcohol, or breed their livestock for consumption. Parents in these areas are also reportedly sending their children to Bangkok to assist the family income; young girls have also begun to work using their vocational skills to weave traditional bags."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (453K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b62.html
        Date of entry/update: 12 July 2012


        Title: Pa'an Interview: Saw Bw---, September 2011
        Date of publication: 13 June 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 in Lu Pleh Township, Pa'an District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw Bw---, a 25-year-old logger from Eg--- village, who described events that occurred while he was carrying out logging work between the villages of A--- and S---. He provides information on military activity in the area, specifically about shifting relations between armed groups, with Border Guard and DKBA troops ceasing to cooperate, and a heightened Tatmadaw presence in the area. Saw Bw--- also explained the disruptive impact of fighting between Border Guard and armed groups in the area on A--- villagers, who are described as fleeing to avoid conflict, as well as providing information on one instance in which A--- villagers were ordered to relocate by the commander of Border Guard Battalion #1017, but instead chose strategic displacement into hiding. He mentions the difficulties that he had in logging following the Border Guard's increased presence in the area. Saw Bw--- also described the presence of landmines in the area around A--- and how his employer paid approximately US $1222.49 to DKBA troops to have them removed. This incident concerning landmines is also described in a thematic report published by KHRG on May 21st, 2012, Uncertain Ground: Landmines in eastern Burma."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (164K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b58.html
        Date of entry/update: 13 July 2012


        Title: Incident Report: Killings in Papun District, March 2012
        Date of publication: 28 May 2012
        Description/subject: "The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses. It describes an incident involving four villagers at A---, including two home guard members and their relatives, as they were trying to covertly cross a Tatmadaw-controlled road near See Day army camp. Two home guard villagers, Saw M--- and Saw W---, were shot by Tatmadaw soldiers, resulting in the death of Saw M--- and injuring Saw W---. The community member also described a previous incident that took place while home guard villagers were monitoring Tatmadaw troop movements in their area, during which Tatmadaw soldiers reportedly stepped on landmines and were killed during the confrontation."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (254K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b49.html
        Date of entry/update: 25 June 2012


        Title: Pa'an Interview: Saw Ht---, March 2012
        Date of publication: 26 May 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during March 2012 in T'Nay Hsah Township, Pa'an District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw Ht---, from M--- village, who described being injured by a landmine planted by Border Guard forces near villagers' plantations. Saw Ht--- described receiving no assistance from the Border Guard, neither with transportation to hospital or money for medical costs, and explained how he was instead taken to hospital by friends, and his medical treatment fees paid by a local humanitarian organisation. This interview is also available in a thematic report published by KHRG on May 21st, 2012, Uncertain Ground: Landmines in eastern Burma."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (55K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b47.html
        Date of entry/update: 25 June 2012


        Title: Pa'an Interview: Saw Ng---, March 2012
        Date of publication: 26 May 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during March 2012 in T' Nay Hsah Township, Pa'an District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw Ng---, who described his experience while he was hospitalised for a week after stepping on a landmine while out fishing. Saw Ng--- also raised concerns regarding food and livelihood security due to a blast from the landmine that resulted in the deaths of other villagers' livestock. This incident is also described in the report Uncertain Ground: Landmines in eastern Burma, published by KHRG on May 21, 2012."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (147K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b48.html
        Date of entry/update: 25 June 2012


        Title: Pa'an Interview: Saw Hn---, March 2012
        Date of publication: 25 May 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during May 2012 in T'Nay Hsah Township, Pa'an District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed 25-year-old Saw Hn---, from H--- village, who described an incident in which he was injured by a landmine when returning from a fishing excursion to his village in November 2011. Saw Hn--- describes how he was taken to hospital for medical treatment, where he had his leg repaired with a steel plate. Such abuses are also described in a thematic report published by KHRG on May 21st, 2012, Uncertain Ground: Landmines in eastern Burma.
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (147K)
        Date of entry/update: 25 June 2012


        Title: Uncertain Ground: Landmines in eastern Burma
        Date of publication: 21 May 2012
        Description/subject: "Analysis of KHRG's field information gathered between January 2011 and May 2012 in seven geographic research areas indicates that, during that period, new landmines were deployed by government and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in all seven research areas. Ongoing mine contamination in eastern Burma continues to put civilians' lives and livelihoods at risk and undermines their efforts to protect against other forms of abuse. There is an urgent need for humanitarian mine action that accords primacy to local protection priorities and builds on the strategies villagers themselves already employ in response to the threat of landmines. In the cases where civilians view landmines as a potential source of protection, there is an equally urgent need for viable alternatives that expand self-protection options beyond reliance on the use of mines. Key findings in this report were drawn based upon analysis of seven themes, including: New use of landmines; Movement restrictions resulting from landmines; Marking and removal of landmines; Forced labour entailing increased landmine risks; Human mine sweeping, forced mine clearance and human shields; Landmine-related death or injury; and Use of landmines for self-protection."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (2.8MB-OBL version; 4.3MB-original), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg1201.html
        http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg1201.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 21 May 2012


        Title: Pa’an Situation Update: September 2011
        Date of publication: 12 May 2012
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in October 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Pa’an District, in the period between September and October 2011. Villagers in T’Nay Hsah Township are reported to be subject to demands for forced labour by Border Guard Battalion #1017, specifically to work on Battalion Commander Saw Dih Dih’s own plantations. Information is also provided on an incident that occurred in T’Nay Hsah Township in which the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Battalion #101’s temporary camp in Kler Law Seh village was attacked with heavy weapons by Border Guard Battalions #1017 and #1019, and by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Division (LID) #22. Since the takeover of the KNLA Battalion #101 camp by Border Guard troops, villagers in T’Nay Hseh Township have experienced an increase in demands for forced labour such as portering, as well as demands for villagers to cook at the Border Guard base and to serve as soldiers in the Border Guard, with payment demanded in lieu of military service. Such abuses are also described in the report, "Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011", published by KHRG on October 24th 2011, and "Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011 to January 2012", published by KHRG on May 2nd 2012. Border Guard troops have also embarked on the extensive laying of landmines near Th--- village, including near villagers' fields, and one villager was reported to have been seriously injured by a landmine whilst serving as a soldier in the Border Guard. Villagers are said to be concerned about the potential impact of the landmines on the welfare of their livestock, with one villager reportedly confronting a Border Guard soldier over this issue."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (129K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b41.html
        Date of entry/update: 15 May 2012


        Title: Abuses since the DKBA and KNLA ceasefires: Forced labour and arbitrary detention in Dooplaya
        Date of publication: 07 May 2012
        Description/subject: "In the six months since DKBA Brigade #5 troops under the command of Brigadier-General Saw Lah Pwe ('Na Kha Mwe') agreed to a ceasefire with government forces, and in the four months since a ceasefire was agreed between KNLA and government troops, villagers in Kawkareik Township have continued to raise concerns regarding ongoing human rights abuses, including the arbitrary detention and violent abuse of civilians, and forced labour demands occurring as recently as February 24th 2012. One of the villagers who provided information contained in this report also raised concerns about ongoing landmine contamination in two areas of Kawkareik Township, despite the placing of warning signs in one area in January 2012 and the incomplete removal of some landmines by bulldozer from another area in March 2012. The same villager noted that the remaining landmines, some of which are in a village school compound and in agricultural areas, continue to present serious physical security risks to local villagers, as well as disrupt livelihood activities and children's education."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (296K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12f2.html
        Date of entry/update: 10 May 2012


        Title: Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011 to January 2012
        Date of publication: 02 May 2012
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in January 2012 by a villager describing events occurring in Pa'an District between September 2011 and January 2012, and contains updated information concerning military activity in the area, specifically Border Guard Battalion #1017's use of forced labour and their planting of landmines. In September 2011, over 200 villagers from Th---, Sh---, G--- and M--- were forced to harvest beans and corn, an incident which is also described in the report "Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011", published by KHRG on November 25th 2011. Villagers are also described as being forced to porter rations, ammunition and landmines, and carry out various tasks at Battalion #1017's camp. The pervasive presence of landmines has resulted in the deaths of two villagers and injuries to eight others in Sh--- and K--- village tracts, as well as the deaths of villagers' livestock. Information is also provided on the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) ceasefire with the Tatmadaw and their subsequent transformation into the Border Guard, and how this has reduced the capacity of soldiers to engage in mining and logging enterprises. The subsequent increase in pressure on villagers by DKBA and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) troops to resist Border Guard military recruitment demands had meant that village heads often fled, rather than serve their one-year term. Villagers' perspectives on the January 2012 ceasefire agreement between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Burma government are also outlined, as are villagers' responses to abuses, including the introduction of a village head system that rotates on a monthly basis..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (242K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b40.html
        Date of entry/update: 10 May 2012


        Title: Toungoo Situation Update: August to October 2011
        Date of publication: 17 April 2012
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District between August and October 2011. It contains information concerning military activity in the district, specifically demands for forced labour by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #375. Villagers from D--- and A--- were reportedly forced to clear vegetation surrounding their camp and some A--- villagers were also used to sweep for landmines. Villagers in the A--- area faced demands for bamboo poles and some villagers from P--- were ordered to undertake messenger and portering duties for the Tatmadaw. The situation update provides information on two incidents that occurred on September 21st 2011, in which several villagers from Y--- were shot, and four other Y--- villagers were arrested by Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion (IB) #73 and detained until the Y--- village head paid 300,000 kyat (US $366.75) to secure their release. It also provides details of the arrest of five villagers from D--- village by LIB #375 in August 2011, who remained in detention as of November 2011. It documents the killing of two villagers from E--- village by Military Operations Command (MOC) #9, and the shooting of 54-year-old A--- villager, Saw O---, by LIB #375 for violating movement restrictions. Information was also given concerning a mortar attack on W--- village by LIB #603 and IB #92, which was previously reported in the KHRG News Bulletin "Tatmadaw soldiers shell village, attack church and civilian property in Toungoo District, November 2011", in which shells hit the village church and destroyed five villagers’ houses. Tatmadaw soldiers also shot the statue of Mother Mary in W--- village and damaged pictures on the church walls; stole villagers' belongings, including money and staple foods; and destroyed villagers’ household supplies, livestock, and food."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (132K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b36.html
        Date of entry/update: 21 April 2012


        Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw E---, September 2011
        Date of publication: 06 April 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 in Daw Pah Koh Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed D--- village head, Saw E---, who described being forced to serve as a guide for Tatmadaw soldiers in an area known to contain landmines. He also provided information about an incident in which two L--- villagers, Saw M--- and Saw P---, were killed by landmines on June 15th 2011 whilst being forced to guide a group of Tatmadaw soldiers. Saw E--- raised concerns regarding villagers' livelihoods, which have been undermined as a result of abnormal weather conditions. He also explained that the standard of education at D--- village school has suffered as a result of the schoolteachers' absences. To counter forced labour demands levied by the Tatmadaw, Saw E--- described challenging the soldiers for whom he was forced to guide by demanding to know their battalion number and commander's name. He also reported that he had on an occasion only partially complied with their demands, supplying 10 villagers as opposed to the 20 ordered, and discussed how he successfully negotiated with Tatmadaw soldiers to reduce the number of times that he was forced to meet with them each week."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (167K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b34.html
        Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


        Title: Toungoo Situation Update: November 2011 to January 2012
        Date of publication: 01 March 2012
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2012, by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District during the period between November 2011 and January 2012. It discusses augmented troop rotations, resupply operations and the sending of bulldozers to construct a new vehicle road between the 20-mile point on the Toungoo – Kler La road and Kler La. It also contains reports of forced labour, specifically the use of villagers to porter military equipment and supplies, to serve as set tha, and the clearing of vegetation by vehicle roads. Movement restrictions were also highlighted as a major concern for villagers living both within and outside state control, as the imposition of permission documents and taxes limits the transportation of cash crops, and impacts the availability of basic commodities. The villager who wrote this report raised villagers' concerns about rising food prices, the lack of medicine due to government restrictions on its transportation from towns to mountainous areas, and the difficulty in obtaining an education in rural villages beyond grades three and four. The villager who wrote this report flagged the ongoing use of landmines by armed groups and noted that this poses serious physical security risks, particularly where villagers are not notified of landmine-contaminated areas, but also noted that some villagers view the use of landmines by non-state armed groups in positive terms as a deterrent of Tatmadaw activity."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (122K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b22.html
        Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


        Title: Papun Interview: Saw H---, March 2011
        Date of publication: 08 February 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during March 2011 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District, by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw H---, a 34-year-old hillfield farmer and the head of N--- village. Saw H--- described an incident in which a 23-year-old villager stepped on and was killed by a landmine at the beginning of 2011, at the time when he, Saw H--- and three other villagers were returning to N--- after serving as unpaid porters for Border Guard soldiers based at Meh Bpa. Saw H--- also detailed demands for the collection and provision of bamboo poles for construction of soldiers’ houses at Gk’Ter Tee, as well as the payment of 400,000 kyat ((US $ 519.48) in lieu of the provision of porters to Maung Chit, Commander of Border Guard Battalion #1013, by villages in Meh Mweh village tract. These payments were described in the previous KHRG report "Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, April 2011." Saw H--- also described demands for the provision of a pig to Border Guard soldiers three days before this interview took place and the beating of a villager by DKBA soldiers in 2010. He noted the ways in which movement restrictions that prevent villagers from travelling on rivers and sleeping in or bringing food to their farm huts negatively impact harvests and food security. Saw H--- explained that villagers respond to such concerns by sharing food amongst themselves, refusing to comply with forced labour demands, and cultivating relationships with non-state armed groups to learn the areas in which landmines have been planted."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (297K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b14.html
        Date of entry/update: 08 February 2012


        Title: Papun Interview: Saw T---, August 2011
        Date of publication: 27 January 2012
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during August 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw T---, a 74 year-old Buddhist village head who described the planting of what he estimated to be about 100 landmines by government and non-state armed groups in the vicinity of his village. Saw T--- related ongoing instances of forced labour, specifically villagers forced to guide troops, porter military supplies and sweep for landmines, and described an incident in which two villagers stepped on landmines whilst being forced to serve as unpaid porters for Tatmadaw troops. He described a separate incident in which another villager stepped on and was killed by a landmine whilst fleeing from Border Guard soldiers who were attempting to force him to porter for one month. In both cases, victims' families received no compensation or opportunity for redress following their deaths. Saw T--- noted that landmines planted in agricultural areas have not been removed, rendering several hill fields unsafe to farm and resulting in the abandonment of crops. He illustrated the danger to villagers who travel to their agricultural workplaces by recounting an incident in which a villager's buffalo was injured by a landmine. He further explained that villagers' livelihoods have been additionally undermined by frequent demands for food and by looting of villagers' food and animals. Saw T--- highlighted the fact that demands are backed by explicit threats of violence, recounting an instance when he was threatened for failing to comply quicky by a Tatmadaw officer who held a gun to his head. Saw T--- noted that villagers have responded to negative impacts on their food production capacity by performing job for daily wages and sharing food with others and, in response to the lack of health facilities in their community, travel over two hours by foot to the nearest clinic in another village."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (299K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b9.html
        Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


        Title: Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011
        Date of publication: 03 November 2011
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in September 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in T'Nay Hsah Township, Pa'an District during September 2011. It details an incident in which a soldier from Tatmadaw Border Guard #1017 deliberately shot at villagers in a farm hut, resulting in the death of one civilian and injury to a six-year-old child. The report further details the subsequent concealment of this incident by Border Guard soldiers who placed an M16 rifle and ammunition next to the dead civilian and photographed his body, and ordered the local village head to corroborate their story that the dead man was a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) soldier. The report also relates villagers' concerns regarding the use of landmines by both KNLA and Border Guard troops, which prevent villagers from freely accessing agricultural land and kill villagers' livestock and pets, and also relates an incident in September 2011 in which a villager was severely maimed when he stepped on a landmine that had been placed outside his farm."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (219K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b43.html
        Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


        Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, August 2011
        Date of publication: 06 October 2011
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Papun District in January 2011 and human rights consequences for local communities. It contains updated information concerning Tatmadaw military activities and details the following human rights abuses: coordinated attacks on villages by Tatmadaw and Border Guard troops and the firing of mortars and small arms in civilian areas, resulting in displacement of the civilian population and the closure of two schools; the use of landmines by the Tatmadaw and non-state armed groups; and forced portering for the Tatmadaw and Tatmadaw Border Guards. The report also mentions government plans for a logging venture and the construction of a dam. Moreover, it documents villagers’ responses to human rights concerns, including strategic displacement to avoid attacks and forced labour entailing physical security risks to civilians; advance preparation for strategic displacement in the event of Tatmadaw attacks; and seeking the protection of non-state armed groups against Tatmadaw attacks and other human rights threats."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (266K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b35.html
        Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


        Title: Tenasserim Interview: Saw K---, August 2011
        Date of publication: 15 September 2011
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in August 2011. The KHRG researcher interviewed Saw K---, a 30-year-old medic with the Backpack Health Worker Team (BPHWT), an organisation that provides health care and medical assistance to displaced civilians inside Burma. Saw K--- described witnessing a joint attack by Tatmadaw soldiers from three different battalions on a civilian settlement in Ma No Roh village tract, Te Naw Th'Ri Township, Tenasserim Division in January 2011. Saw K--- reported that mortars were fired into P--- village, causing residents and Saw K---, who was providing healthcare support in P--- village at that time, to flee. Saw K--- reported that Tatmadaw soldiers subsequently entered P--- village and burned down 17 houses, as well as rice barns and food stores belonging to villagers, before planting landmines in the village. According to Saw K---, the residents of P--- have not returned to their homes, and have been unable to coordinate to restart the school that was abandoned in P--- because most households now live at dispersed sites in the area."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (150K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b30.html
        Date of entry/update: 01 February 2012


        Title: Papun Interview: Maung Y---, February 2011
        Date of publication: 02 September 2011
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted in February 2011 in Dweh Loh Township, Papun District, by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Maung Y---, a 32 year-old married hill field farmer, who described an incident that occurred on February 5th 2011, in which he and eight other villagers were arrested at gunpoint by Tatmadaw Border Guard Battalion #1013 soldiers and arbitrarily detained. During this time, Maung Y--- reported that they were forced to porter military rations and sweep for landmines using basic tools. He described how one villager was denied access to medical treatment and forced to porter despite serious illness, and reported that families of the detained villagers were forced to pay arbitrary amounts of money to the Battalion #1013 troops in order to secure their release. Maung Y--- also reported that, after this incident, his village was ordered by Battalion #1013 to produce and deliver 7,000 thatch shingles, as well as to provide four more villagers to serve as porters. In response to this, Maung Y--- reported that villagers had, at the time of interview, refused to comply with these forced labour demands."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (684K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b28.html
        Date of entry/update: 01 February 2012


        Title: Papun Situation Update: Dweh Loh Township, May 2011
        Date of publication: 02 September 2011
        Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in May 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Dweh Loh Township, Papun District between January and April 2011. It contains information concerning military activities in 2011, specifically resupply operations by Border Guard and Tatmadaw troops and the reinforcement of Border Guard troops at Manerplaw. It documents twelve incidents of forced portering of military rations in Wa Muh and K'Hter Htee village tracts, including one incident during which villagers used to porter rations were ordered to sweep for landmines, as well as the forced production and delivery of a total of 44,500 thatch shingles by civilians. In response to these abuses, male villagers remove themselves from areas in which troops are conducting resupply operations, in order to avoid arrest and forced portering. This report additionally registers villagers' serious concerns regarding the planting of landmines by non-state armed groups in agricultural workplaces and the proposed development of a new dam on the Bilin River at Hsar Htaw. It includes an overview of gold-mining operations by private companies and non-state armed groups along three rivers in Dweh Loh Township, and documents abuses related to extractive industry, specifically forced relocation and land confiscation."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (628K - OBL version; 1.1MB - original), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b26.html
        http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b26.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 01 February 2012


        Title: Papun Incident Reports: November 2010 to January 2011
        Date of publication: 24 August 2011
        Description/subject: This report contains 12 incident reports written by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions, based on information provided by 12 different villagers living in hiding sites in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District between November 2010 and January 2011.[1] The twelve villagers described human rights concerns for civilians prior to and during displacement to their current hiding sites, including: deliberate firing of mortars and small arms into civilian areas; burning and destruction of houses, food and food preparation equipment; theft and looting of villagers' animals and possessions; and use of landmines by the Tatmadaw, non-state armed groups, and local gher der 'home guard' groups in civilian areas, resulting in at least one civilian death and two civilian injuries. The reports register villagers' serious concerns about food security in hiding areas beyond Tatmadaw control, caused by effective limits on access to arable land due to the risk of attack when villagers cultivating land proximate to Tatmadaw camps, depletion of soil fertility in cultivable areas, and a drought during the 2010 rainy season which triggered widespread paddy crop failure.[2] To address the threat of Tatmadaw attacks targeting villagers, their food stores and livelihoods activities, villagers reported that they form gher der groups to monitor and communicate Tatmadaw activity; utilise early-warning systems; and communicate amongst themselves and with non-state armed groups to share information about Tatmadaw troop movements. Two villagers stated that the deployment of landmines by gher der groups and KNLA soldiers prevents access to civilian areas by Tatmadaw troops and facilitates security for villagers to pursue their agricultural activities. Another villager described how his community maintained communal agricultural projects to support families at risk from food shortages. These reports were received by KHRG in May 2011, along with other information concerning the situation in Papun District, including 11 other incident reports, 25 interviews, 137 photographs and a general update on the situation in Lu Thaw Township.[3]
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (840K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b25.html
        Date of entry/update: 12 February 2012


        Title: The world's longest ongoing war (video)
        Date of publication: 11 August 2011
        Description/subject: "For more than 60 years, Karen rebels have been fighting a civil war against the government of Myanmar...In February 1949, members of the Karen ethnic minority launched an armed insurrection against Myanmar's central government. In pictures: Sixty years of war. Over 60 years later, the conflict continues, with more than a dozen ethnic rebel groups waging war against the army in their fight for self-rule. Now, the war is entering a new and bloody stage. Myanmar is the only regime still regularly planting anti-personnel mines. But it is not only the army that uses them. Rebel groups also regularly use homemade landmines or mines seized from the military. As the conflict escalates, civilians are trapped in the middle of some of the worst fighting in decades. 101 East travels to Myanmar, home to the world's longest running civil war."
        Language: English, Karen (English sub-titles)
        Source/publisher: Al Jazeera (101 East)
        Format/size: html, Adobe Flash (25 minutes)
        Date of entry/update: 27 December 2011


        Title: Pa'an interviews: Conditions for villagers returned from temporary refuge sites in Tha Song Yang
        Date of publication: 06 May 2011
        Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcripts of seven interviews conducted between June 1st and June 18th 2010 in Dta Greh Township, Pa'an District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed seven villagers from two villages in Wah Mee Gklah village tract, after they had returned to Burma following initial displacement into Thailand during May and June 2009. The interviewees report that they did not wish to return to Burma, but felt they had to do so as the result of pressure and harassment by Thai authorities. The interviewees described the following abuses since their return, including: the firing of mortars and small arms at villagers; demands for villagers to porter military supplies, and for the payment of money in lieu of the provision of porters; theft and looting of villagers' houses and possessions; and threats from unexploded ordnance and the use of landmines, including consequences for livelihoods and injuries to civilians. All seven interviewees also raised specific concerns regarding the food security of villagers returned to Burma following their displacement into Thailand."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (836K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b5.html
        Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


        Title: Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor - Myanmar/Burma
        Date of publication: 01 March 2011
        Description/subject: "The Myanmar Army (Tatmadaw) has used antipersonnel mines extensively throughout the long-running civil war. It appears that the army’s use of mines decreased significantly during 2009 and 2010, as the level of conflict with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) waned, and the army withdrew from many frontline bases where it previously laid mines. In one specific report of army use, in June 2009, Light Infantry Battalions 372 and 373 reportedly laid antipersonnel mines in the Saw Wa Der area, Taungoo district, in northern Karen (Kayin) state, which resulted in the death of a 20-year-old villager. Myanmar Defense Products Industries (Ka Pa Sa), a state enterprise at Ngyaung Chay Dauk in western Pegu (Bago) division, produces fragmentation and blast antipersonnel mines, including a non-detectable variety. Authorities in Myanmar have not provided any information on the types and quantities of stockpiled antipersonnel mines. Landmine Monitor has previously reported that, in addition to domestic production, Myanmar has obtained and used antipersonnel mines of Chinese, Indian, Italian, Soviet, United States, and unidentified manufacture. Myanmar is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines... Non-state armed groups: Many ethnic rebel organizations exist in Myanmar. At least 17 non-state armed groups (NSAGs) have used antipersonnel mines since 1999, however some of these groups have ceased to exist or no longer use mines..." ..... N.B. BURMESE TRANSLATION (MARCH 2011)
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor
        Format/size: html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.the-monitor.org/custom/index.php/region_profiles/print_profile/125
        Date of entry/update: 02 March 2011


        Title: Human rights abuses and obstacles to protection: Conditions for civilians amidst ongoing conflict in Dooplaya and Pa'an districts
        Date of publication: 21 January 2011
        Description/subject: "Amidst ongoing conflict between the Tatmadaw and armed groups in eastern Dooplaya and Pa'an districts, civilians, aid workers and soldiers from state and non-state armies continue to report a variety of human rights abuses and security concerns for civilians in areas adjacent to Thailand's Tak Province, including: functionally indiscriminate mortar and small arms fire; landmines; arbitrary arrest and detention; sexual violence; and forced portering. Conflict and these conflict-related abuses have displaced thousands of civilians, more than 8,000 of whom are currently taking refuge in discreet hiding places in Thailand. This has interrupted education for thousands of children across eastern Dooplaya and Pa'an districts. The agricultural cycle for farmers has also been severely disrupted; many villagers have been prevented from completing their harvests of beans, corn and paddy crops, portending long-term threats to food security. Due to concerns about food security and disruption to children's education, as well as villagers' continuing need to protect themselves and their families from conflict and conflict-related abuse, temporary but consistent access to refuge in Thailand remains vital until villagers feel safe to return home. Even after return, food support will likely be necessary until disrupted agricultural activities can be resumed and civilians can again support themselves."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
        Format/size: pdf (Main text, 688K; Appendix 188K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11f2_appendixes.pdf (Appendix)
        http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11f2.html
        Date of entry/update: 26 February 2012


        Title: Humanitarian Impact of Landmines in Burma/Myanmar
        Date of publication: January 2011
        Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "While the existing data available on landmine victims indicate that Burma/Myanmar1 faces one of the most severe landmine problems in the world today, little is known about the actual extent of the problem, the impact on affected populations, communities’ mine action needs and how different actors can become more involved in mine action. The Government of Burma/Myanmar has prohibited almost all forms of mine action with the exception of a limited amount of prosthetic assistance to people with amputated limbs through general health programmes. Some Mine Risk Education (MRE) is also conducted in areas which are partly or fully under the control of armed non-State actors (NSAs) as is victim assistance and some survey work, however, without Government authorisation. Since starting operations in 2006, Geneva Call and DCA Mine Action, like other local and international actors wishing to undertake mine action, have been struggling to identify how best to do this in the limited humanitarian space available in Burma/Myanmar. Lack of Government permission to start mine action activities and difficult access to mine-affected areas are two of the main obstacles identified by these actors. In response to this apparent conflict between interest and opportunity, Geneva Call and DCA Mine Action decided to produce a report on the landmine problem in Burma/Myanmar, which would pay particular attention to what can be done to address the identified needs. The report is based on research carried out between June and September 2010. Thirty two different stakeholders in Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh and China were interviewed in order to better understand the current, medium- and long-term effects of the landmine problem on affected local communities and to identify possible mine action interventions. The problem with anti-personnel mines in Burma/ Myanmar originates from decades of armed conflict, which is still ongoing in some parts or the country. Anti-personnel mines are still being used today by the armed forces of the Government of Burma/ Myanmar (the Tatmadaw), by various non-State actors (NSAs), as well as by businessmen and villagers. Ten out of Burma/Myanmar’s 14 States and Divisions are mine contaminated. The eastern States and Divisions bordering Thailand are particularly contaminated with mines. Some areas bordering Bangladesh and China are also mined, and mine accidents have occurred there. An estimated five million people live in townships that contain mine-contaminated areas, and are in need of Mine Risk Education (MRE) to reduce risky behaviour, and victim assistance for those already injured. With estimates of mine victim numbers still unclear due to a lack of reliable data, the report finds that a significant proportion of the children affected in landmine accidents in NSA areas are child soldiers. In Karenni/Kaya State every second child is a child soldier; in Karen/Kayin State every fourth child is a child soldier. The Government’s refusal to grant permission for mine action activities and the ongoing conflict have left no real space for humanitarian demining in Burma/Myanmar. However, some demining activities are being undertaken by the Tatmadaw and by NSAs, although it is unclear whether these activities should be regarded as military or humanitarian demining. Similarly, the complicated domestic situation only leaves limited space for implementing comprehensive surveys. Those surveys that have been carried out by Community Based Organizations (CBO), show significant mine contamination. However such surveys can only be an indicator of the reality on the ground as they are limited in geographical scope. At present, local CBOs and national NGOs have better access to mined areas than the UN and international NGOs. However, CBOs and national NGO mine action activities are limited to MRE and victim assistance-related activities because of the Government restrictions placed on other forms of mine action. These activities are only conducted on a discreet level – MRE is provided under general Risk Reduction or health programmes while victim assistance falls under general disability assistance programmes. A national ban on anti-personnel mines and a ban by the major NSA users of landmines do not seem to be realistic in the near future. Nevertheless, the success of local/regional bans on anti-personnel mines, especially in the western part of Burma/Myanmar could serve as an inspiration and a positive harbinger of progress for this country marred by decades of internal strife and war."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Geneva Call, DCA Mine Action
        Format/size: pdf (2.87MB - original; 2.5MB - OBL version)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/2011_GC_BURMA_Landmine_RPT_CD-Rom_ENG-red.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 02 February 2011


        Title: Myanmar/Burma - The World's Least Known Landmine Tragedy
        Date of publication: 2011
        Description/subject: 15 images of landmine victims..."Myanmar, or Burma, is home to one of the world's longest running civil wars. Conflict has occurred since the country gained independence in 1947. Mine warfare has been a feature of the conflict throughout that time. Mines are thought to be used by all parties to the conflict. No one knows how many people have been killed or maimed by mines. This photo exhibit provides a glimpse into the lives of a few of those who survived their mine injury and now live tenuous lives near the border with Thailand..." This exhibition has been co-sponsored by DanChurchAid (DCA) and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Author/creator: Photo: Giovanni Diffidenti; Art installation: Laura Morelli; Text: Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Giovanni Diffidenti, Photojournalist
        Format/size: html; jpeg
        Date of entry/update: 13 May 2012


        Title: Villagers injured by landmines, assisted by neighbours in southern Toungoo
        Date of publication: 22 October 2010
        Description/subject: "In a span of just four days at the end of March 2010, two civilians from Wo--- village were injured by landmines while engaging in regular livelihoods activities outside their village in southern Toungoo District. In both cases, fellow community members assisted the injured villagers, carrying them to the nearest medical facility, nearly two hours away on foot. These incidents illustrate the risks mines pose to communities and local livelihoods in southern Toungoo. Local villagers believe risks from the continued deployment of landmines around their villages, agricultural projects and other areas essential to civilian livelihoods are exacerbated by lack of access to information about mined areas."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B10)
        Format/size: pdf (637K), html
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10b10.html
        Date of entry/update: 28 October 2010


        Title: Townships with Known Hazard of Antipersonnel Mines
        Date of publication: 15 June 2010
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: Myanmar Information Management Unit (MIMU). Map ID: MIMU195v02
        Format/size: pdf (678K)
        Date of entry/update: 25 July 2010


        Title: Exploitative abuse and villager responses in Thaton District
        Date of publication: 25 November 2009
        Description/subject: "...SPDC control of Thaton District is fully consolidated, aided by the DKBA and a variety of other civilian and parastatal organisations. These forces are responsible for perpetrating a variety of exploitative abuses, which include a litany of demands for 'taxation' and provision of resources, as well as forced labour on development projects and forced recruitment into the DKBA. Villagers also report ongoing abuses related to SPDC and DKBA 'counter insurgency' efforts, including the placement of unmarked landmines in civilian areas, conscription of people as porters and 'human minesweepers' and harassment and violent abuse of alleged KNLA supporters. This report includes information on abuses during the period of April to October 2009..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F20)
        Format/size: html, pdf (531 KB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f20.html
        Date of entry/update: 29 November 2009


        Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 4: Landmines and Other Explosive Devices
        Date of publication: 23 November 2009
        Description/subject: "...Throughout 2008, the HRDU documented a total of at least 28 deaths and a further 64 injuries occurring through explosions and explosive devices in Burma. Each of these incidents is described in detail over the following pages. However, it must be noted here, as elsewhere throughout the Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008, that while these figures are high, the HRDU believes that they are still quite conservative and that the number of fatalities arising from exposure to landmines and other explosive devices in Burma is higher than that reported..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
        Format/size: pdf (1.17MB)
        Date of entry/update: 05 December 2009


        Title: Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Burma (Myanmar)
        Date of publication: 10 November 2009
        Description/subject: Ten-Year Summary" "The Union of Myanmar has remained outside efforts to ban antipersonnel mines. Government forces and armed ethnic groups have used antipersonnel mines regularly and extensively throughout the last decade. Between 2003 and 2007, six insurgent groups agreed to ban antipersonnel mines. Myanmar remains one of the few countries still producing antipersonnel mines. Continuing hostilities between the Myanmar government and ethnic minority armed opposition groups have increased mine contamination, but political conditions have not permitted any humanitarian mine clearance program. The precise extent of mine or explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination, although significant, remains unknown. Landmine Monitor identified 2,325 casualties (175 killed, 2002 injured, and 148 unknown) from 1999 to 2008. Despite this high level of casualties, mine/ERW risk education was either non-existent or inadequate in areas with reported casualties. Assistance to mine/ERW survivors and persons with disabilities in Myanmar is marginal due to many years of neglect of healthcare services by the ruling authority. Myanmar governing authorities have not developed a victim assistance program or strategy..."
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html, pdf (Burmese version 438K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/LandmineMonitor09Bur.pdf (Burmese)
        Date of entry/update: 24 November 2009


        Title: The Enemy Underfoot
        Date of publication: August 2009
        Description/subject: Landmines are a threat to life and limb in Karen State... "The victims face a future without an arm or a leg, or with just one eye if they have not been blinded for life. Some try to sleep, groaning when they roll over. Others sit up and talk with relatives, trying to come to terms with the disability that will afflict them for the rest of their lives. These are the victims of landmines who have been lucky enough to make it to Mae Sot General Hospital, near the Thai-Burmese border in Thailand�s Tak Province. a 23-year-old KNla soldier, Saw Naing Naing, lost his right eye and both hands in a landmine explosion. (Photo: Alex Ellgee/The Irrawaddy) Formerly enemies on the battlefield, soldiers from both the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) who were injured during three weeks of clashes in the KNLA Brigade 7 area in June now find themselves lying in adjacent beds in this small district hospital..."
        Author/creator: Saw Yan Naing
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 5
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 26 December 2009


        Title: Townships [in Burma/Myanmar] with Known Hazard of Antipersonnel Mines
        Date of publication: 13 May 2009
        Description/subject: Data compiled by Landmine Monitor. This map does not indicate how extensive mine pollution is in any indicated Township. Explosive symbol denotes townships in which antipersonnel mines have claimed casualties between 1 January 2007 to 1 June 2009. All other data 1 January 2008 to 1 June 2009.
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: MIMU, Landmine Monitor/ International Campaign to Ban Landmines (Map ID/ေျမပံု အမွတ္- MIMU195v01)
        Format/size: pdf (489K)
        Date of entry/update: 21 July 2009


        Title: Insecurity amidst the DKBA - KNLA conflict in Dooplaya and Pa'an districts
        Date of publication: 06 February 2009
        Description/subject: "The DKBA has intensified operations across much of eastern Pa'an and north-eastern Dooplaya districts since it renewed its forced recruitment drive in Pa'an District in August 2008. These operations have included forced relocations of civilians, a new round of forced conscription and attacks on villages. The DKBA has also pushed forward in its attacks on KNLA positions in both districts in an apparent effort to eradicate the remaining KNLA presence and wrest control of lucrative natural resources and taxation points in the lead up to the 2010 elections. Skirmishes between DKBA, SPDC and KNLA forces have thus continued throughout this period. Local villagers have faced heightened insecurity in connection with the ongoing conflict. DKBA, SPDC and KNLA forces all continue to deploy landmines in the area and DKBA forces have fined or otherwise punished local villagers for attacks by KNLA soldiers. This report documents incidents of abuse in Dooplaya and Pa'an districts from August 2008 to February 2009..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F3)
        Format/size: pdf (978 KB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f3.html
        Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


        Title: "Inside News" December 2008 - Volume 3 Issue 4
        Date of publication: December 2008
        Description/subject: BURMA LANDMINE ISSUE 2009: UN Security Council - act now!...Understand us...KNU LANDMINE POLICY...Mine incidents rise...Landmine deaths double...Pizza-oven helps mine victims walk...Worried about mines, but who will feed us?...How to help -- when there's no doctor...Ranger's deliver aid...No place to call home...Landmines show no mercy...Once were enemies...More attacks - more landmines...Uncle Maw Keh offers hope to landmine victims...Burma's Killing Fields...Lucky to be alive...
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP)
        Format/size: pdf (2MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.newsinside.wordpress.com/ ("Inside News" blog)
        Date of entry/update: 31 March 2009


        Title: Landmine Monitor Report 2008: Burma (Myanmar)
        Date of publication: 21 November 2008
        Description/subject: Mine Ban Treaty status: Not a State Party... Use: Government and NSAG use continued in 2007 and 2008.... Stockpile: Unknown... Contamination: Antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, ERW... Estimated area of contamination: Extensive... Demining progress in 2007: None reported... Mine/ERW casualties in 2007: Total: 438 (2006: 243); Mines: 409 (2006: 232); Unknown: 29 (2006: 11)... Casualty analysis: Killed: 47 (2006: 20); Injured: 338 (2006: 223); Unknown: 53 (2006: 0)... Estimated mine/ERW survvors: Unknown, but substantial... RE capacity: Unchanged�inadequate... Availability of services in 2007: Inadequate... Funding in 2007: International: $185,000 (2006: none reported)... Key developments since May 2007: 2007 saw a very substantial increase in reported casualties, despite government claims of reduced conflict. ICRC support of government rehabilitation centers was suspended.
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html (English); pdf (1.3MB - Burmese)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/LandmineMonitor08bu-red.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 25 July 2010


        Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2007: Landmines
        Date of publication: 09 September 2008
        Description/subject: "Antipersonnel landmines continued to be deployed in significant numbers in Burma during 2007, despite a growing international consensus that the use of landmines is unacceptable and that their use should be unconditionally ceased. As of mid-August 2007, 155 countries, or 80 percent of the world’s nations were State Parties to the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (also known as and henceforth referred to as the ‘Mine Ban Treaty’), leaving only 40 countries outside the treaty. [1] Such widespread support of the Mine Ban Treaty recognises that landmines often kill indiscriminately, and in doing so, pose an unacceptable level of risk to civilian and non-combatant populations. According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the “Mine Ban Treaty has made the new use of antipersonnel mines, especially by governments, a rare phenomenon”. However, the ICBL concedes that Burma is one of only two countries (along with Russia) which represents the exception to the “near-universal stigmatization of the use of antipersonnel mines”, and that the most extensive deployment of antipersonnel landmines by “government forces” during 2007 occurred in Burma. [2] A report released in September 2007 speculated that as many as two million landmines were buried in Burma, with the vast majority of these deployed in the ethnic minority territories bordering neighbouring countries..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs5/HRDU-archive/Burma%20Human%20Righ/pdf/landmines.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 26 November 2008


        Title: Mortar attacks, landmines and the destruction of schools in Papun District
        Date of publication: 22 August 2008
        Description/subject: "SPDC abuses against civilians continue in northern Karen State, especially in Lu Thaw township of Papun District. Because these villagers live within non-SPDC-controlled "black areas", the SPDC believes it has justification to attack IDP hiding sites and destroy civilian crops, cattle and property. These attacks, combined with the SPDC and KNLA's continued use of landmines, have caused dozens of injuries and deaths in Papun District alone. Such attacks target the fabric of Karen society, breaking up communities and compromising the educations of Karen youth. In spite of these hardships, the local villagers continue to be resourceful in providing security for their families and education for their children. This report covers events in Papun District from May to July 2008..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F12)
        Format/size: pdf (687 KB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f12.html
        Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


        Title: Landmines: reason for flight, obstacle to return
        Date of publication: 22 April 2008
        Description/subject: "Burma/Myanmar has suffered from two decades of mine warfare by both the State Peace and Development Council and ethnic-based insurgents. There are no humanitarian demining programmes within the country. It is no surprise that those states in Burma/Myanmar with the most mine pollution are the highest IDP- and refugee-producing states. Antipersonnel mines planted by both government forces and ethnic armed groups injure and kill not only enemy combatants but also their own troops, civilians and animals. There is no systematic marking of mined areas. Mines are laid close to areas of civilian activity; many injuries occur within half a kilometre of village centres. Although combatants have repeatedly said that they give ‘verbal warnings’ to civilians living near areas which they mine, no civilian mine survivor interviewed by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines reported having had verbal warnings..."
        Author/creator: Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 30
        Format/size: pdf (English, 293K; Burmese, 175K)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30Burmese/9.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 30 November 2008


        Title: Landmine Monitor Report 2007: Burma (Myanmar)
        Date of publication: 06 November 2007
        Description/subject: Mine Ban Treaty status: Not a State Party... Stockpile: Unknown... Contamination: APMs; some AVMs and ERW... Estimated area of contamination: Extensive... Demining progress in 2006: None reported... MRE capacity: Increased but remains inadequate... Mine/ERW casualties in 2006: Total: 243 (2005: 231)... Mines: 232 (2005: 231): Unknown devices: 11 (2005: 0)... Casualty analysis: Killed: 20 (2 civilians, 2 children, 6 military, 10 unknown) (2005: 5); Injured: 223 (4 civilians, 2 children, 16 military, 201 unknown) (2005: 225)... Estimated mine/ERW survivors: 10,605 (2005: 8,864)... Availability of services in 2006: Decreased-inadequate... Key developments since May 2006: Both the military junta and non-state armed groups continued to use antipersonnel mines extensively. Prolonged military operations in eastern states bordering Thailand increased mine contamination; Burmese migrants gave first reports of mine contamination in Mandalay division. Mine/ERW casualties increased in 2006. ICRC closed five field offices and was unable to serve conflict casualties in border areas. A survey identified 464 mine/ERW casualties in Karen state.
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html, pdf (602K - Burmese)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs6/LandmineMonitor07Bur.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 25 November 2008


        Title: Landmine chapter of the Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2006
        Date of publication: June 2007
        Description/subject: "Landmines continued to be deployed in Burma during 2006. According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), only three countries; namely: Burma, Nepal and Russia, continued to use landmines during 2006; with the most extensive use reported to have occurred in Burma. [1] Meanwhile, there is a growing international consensus on the need to ban the use of landmines across the globe. This consensus is reflected both in the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, commonly known as the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT), and in various recent United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions that call for the universalization of this treaty. [2] The MBT has now been ratified by three-quarters of the world's nations. This growing consensus reflects a common recognition of the destructive and indiscriminate effects of anti-personnel landmines. Landmines can remain functional years after hostilities have ceased, and often inflict injury in situations that might otherwise appear peaceful. Civilians may falsely perceive that their environment is safe following the cessation of conflict, unaware of the concealed threat posed by existing landmines..."
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
        Format/size: html, pdf (892K - Burmese)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs6/LandmineMonitor06Bur.pdf
        http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs4/HRDU2006_19-Landmines_Ch16.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 26 November 2008


        Title: "Inside News" January-March 2007 - Volume 2 Issue 10
        Date of publication: March 2007
        Description/subject: SPECIAL ISSUE ON LANDMINES:- Burma's Landmine Tragedy...EDITORIAL: Landmines have no friends...Human mine sweepers...Beaten, starved and forced through mine fields...Explosive Nightmares...Reducing the risk of landmine injury...Beware landmines!...Avoid the following places...KNU landmine policy...Landmine Monitor Report 2006...Where's there no doctor — treating a landmine victim...Soldiers destroy village life...Landmines — a chronic emergency...Mines are deadly!...Landmines are never safe...Villagers used to clear mines...Clear Path offers help...Landmines — everyone suffers
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP)
        Format/size: pdf (2.9MB)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.newsinside.wordpress.com ("Inside News" blog)
        Date of entry/update: 31 March 2009


        Title: Landmine Monitor Report 2006: Burma (Myanmar)
        Date of publication: October 2006
        Description/subject: "Key developments since May 2005: Both the military junta and non-state armed groups have continued to use antipersonnel mines extensively. The Myanmar Army has obtained, and is using an increasing number of antipersonnel mines of the United States M-14 design; manufacture and source of these non-detectable mines—whether foreign or domestic—is unknown. In November 2005, Military Heavy Industries reportedly began recruiting technicians for the production of the next generation of mines and other munitions. The non-state armed group, United Wa State Army, is allegedly producing PMN-type antipersonnel mines at an arms factory formerly belonging to the Burma Communist Party. In October 2005, the military junta made its first public statement on a landmine ban since 1999. There were at least 231 new mine casualties in 2005. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-France closed its medical assistance program and withdrew from Burma, due to restrictions imposed by the authorities."
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs09/LandmineMonitor06Bur.pdf (Burmese)
        Date of entry/update: 24 July 2010


        Title: Landmine chapter of the Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2005
        Date of publication: July 2006
        Description/subject: "The deployment of anti-personnel landmines increased by the SPDC and its forces Burma during 2005. This increase has transpired despite widespread international condemnation over the use of landmines due to the extensive indiscriminate humanitarian consequences of the devices. As a result of growing international consensus against the manufacture, deployment and trade of landmines, government and non-governmental bodies drafted the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (a.k.a., the Mine Ban Treaty) in 1997. This treaty to date has been signed by 122 countries. Burma, however, has refused to sign the treaty. More recently, the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of Resolution 59/84, which called for universally accepting the Mine Ban Treaty, in December 2004. Burma was one of 22 countries that abstained from the voting process. In addition, Burma failed to send an observer to the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty that took place in Nairobi, Kenya in November-December 2004 (source: Landmine Monitor Report 2005: Toward a Mine-Free World, ICBL, 23 November 2005). The SPDC claims that ongoing insurgency and armed conflict within the country prevent them from acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty..."
        Language: English
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 26 November 2008


        Title: Landmine Monitor Report 2005: Burma (Myanmar)
        Date of publication: October 2005
        Description/subject: "Key developments since May 2004: Myanmar"atrocity demining") was reported in 2004-2005, as in previous years. No humanitarian mine clearance has taken place in Burma. No military or village demining has been reported since May 2004. At a UNHCR seminar in November 2004, the mine threat was identified as one of the most serious impediments to the safe return of internally displaced persons and refugees. Mine risk education is carried out by NGOs on an increasing basis, in refugee camps and within other assistance efforts. The number of mine incidents and casualties remains unknown, but NGOs providing assistance to mine survivors indicate that casualties have increased. Mine action and other humanitarian assistance programs were disrupted by changes in the government in October 2004..."
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html, pdf (262K - Burmese)
        Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs6/LandmineMonitor05Bur.pdf
        Date of entry/update: 10 December 2005


        Title: Burma’s Killing Fields
        Date of publication: September 2005
        Description/subject: Landmines take a heavy toll in lives and livelihoods... "A dozen or so years ago, Mee Reh was helping to secure a rebel-held area of Burma’s eastern Karenni State with landmines. Today he is helping to secure a new life for landmine victims. Mee Reh, 38, is one of 11 workers making artificial limbs at a small workshop in a Karenni refugee camp in Thailand’s northern Mae Hong Son province. The enterprise is run by Handicap International, an international organization working to ban the use of landmines and to help landmine victims. Mee Reh is himself the victim of a landmine explosion, losing a leg while he was in action with Karenni National Progressive Party forces against Burma Army troops in the early 1990s. He found medical care in neighboring Thailand, where he was fitted with an artificial leg. After his recovery he found work in the Handicap International Workshop, which has so far manufactured around 100 prostheses. Although there are no official statistics on landmine casualties in Burma, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines estimates that around 1,500 people die or suffer serious injury every year..."
        Author/creator: Yeni
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 9
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 30 April 2006


        Title: Landmine chapter of the Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2004
        Date of publication: July 2005
        Description/subject: "...The immense violence that has been inflicted upon civilians throughout the world from anti-personnel landmines has led to the growing international acceptance of the necessity of their eradication. On 5 December 1997, in response to this realization, 122 countries came together and signed the Mine Ban Treaty (also known as the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction). In opposition to the worldwide trend however, Burma has to date not acceded to nor signed the treaty and continues to be not only a regular user of landmines, but also a producer. Since the Mine Ban Treaty’s inception in 1997, Burma has abstained from voting on every resolution of the UN General Assembly which supports it and continues to state that the problem of insurgency prevents them from signing the treaty. Anti-personnel landmines are victim-activated weapons that indiscriminately kill and maim civilians, soldiers, elderly people, women, children and animals. These devices can remain functioning long after military personnel have departed and even after the cessation of hostilities. As a result of their autonomous nature, landmines often inflict injury in situations that might otherwise appear peaceful. Civilians often perceive environments to be safe after the cessation of open conflict and attempt to resume their means of livelihood. Accordingly, one study suggests that a third of Burma’s landmine casualties are civilians. Despite the numerous ceasefires that have been signed between the Burmese government and various insurgent groups, landmine casualties in the country still appear to be rising. Burma currently suffers amongst the highest numbers of landmine victims each year of any country. Despite the growing carnage resulting from the use of landmines, Burma remains, along with Russia, the only other country to have been deploying them on a regular basis since 1999..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 26 November 2008


        Title: The Wounds of War
        Date of publication: April 2005
        Description/subject: Battered Burma’s unanswered question: when will the fighting end?... "The horrors of war are all too visible on Myo Myint’s scarred body. The former Burma Army trooper has only one arm and one leg. The fingers of one hand are just stumps, he’s almost blind in one eye and pieces of landmine shrapnel still lodge in his body. Myo Myint: Crippled and disillusioned by war Myo Myint is one of countless thousands of men and women maimed for life in Burma’s ongoing civil war, which has been raging for more than half a century—one of Asia’s longest unsolved conflicts..."
        Author/creator: Kyaw Zwa Moe
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 4
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006


        Title: Border landmines have far reaching effects
        Date of publication: 14 December 2004
        Description/subject: Dhaka, Dec 14: "The demarcation of border areas, under the joint-border forces of Burma and Bangladesh, have been suspended since 1998, due to the presence of landmines in those areas. The absence of joint-border forces of the two countries has increased the occurrences of cross border arms smuggling, drug and human trafficking, and cross border robberies, said a report in a weekend journal of Bangladesh. The demarcation of the border area under the joint forces of the two countries began in 1984, but ended after only 14 years..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Narinjara News
        Format/size: html (7K)
        Date of entry/update: 27 December 2004


        Title: Landmine chapter of the Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2003-2004
        Date of publication: November 2004
        Description/subject: "...The atrocities related to landmines in Burma are not limited to the injury and death of non-military personnel but also include their use to violate Article 13 of the UN Declaration of Human rights, that of an individual’s freedom of movement both internally and internationally. In order to restrict the movement of supplies and information to insurgent groups, well-established routes to and from villages have been mined. Villages themselves have also been mined in attempts to prevent the return of both forcibly relocated communities as well as, in some areas, refugees. Though totals are not known, the number of casualties related to landmines appears to be increasing. This has been especially noticeable over the last five to six years. The growth of landmine related casualties is at least partially the result of the cumulative effect of continued deployment over the years. As of 2003, nine out of Burma’s fourteen states and divisions were mine-affected..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 26 November 2008


        Title: Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Burma (Myanmar)
        Date of publication: October 2004
        Description/subject: Key developments since May 2003: Myanmar"atrocity demining,"Halt Mine Use in Burma."... * Mine Ban Policy * Use; * Production, Transfer, Stockpiling; * Non-State Actors Use; * NSA-Production, Transfer, Stockpiling; * Landmine Problem; * Mine Clearance and Mine Risk Education; * Landmine Casualties68; * Survivor Assistance90; * Disability Policy and Practice.
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: International campaign to ban landmines
        Format/size: html (English); pdf (Burmese, 157K)
        Date of entry/update: 20 November 2004


        Title: Landmine chapter of the Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2002-2003
        Date of publication: October 2003
        Description/subject: "Anti-personnel landmines are victim-activated weapons that indiscriminately kill and maim civilians, soldiers, elderly people, women, children and animals. They can cause injury and death long after the end of hostilities. In Asia, Burma is currently second only to Afghanistan in the number of new landmine victims, surpassing even Cambodia. Contrary to trends in the rest of the world, the SPDC has not signed the Mine Ban Treaty and abstained from the 1999 UN General Assembly vote on the treaty. Of Burma’s 14 states and divisions, 9 of them are affected by landmines. Evidence suggests that in Karen State there is one landmine victim everyday. Civilians become landmine victims in two ways: when they are forced by the military to act as human minesweepers (see below); and when they accidentally step on mines planted in areas where civilians reside. More than 14 percent of mine victims in Burma stepped on landmines within half a kilometer from the center of their village. In efforts to block supply routes for armed ethnic organizations, the SPDC plants mines on supply and escape routes used by villagers and refugees. Villages from which people have fled or have been forcibly relocated from are also mined to prevent the villagers from returning, as well as to block access to food, supplies and intelligence to opposition groups. Landmines have also been planted along streams, paths, roads and passes that are used by civilians, including those fleeing Burma. It is estimated that there is one civilian death for every two military casualties associated with landmines. (Source: Landmine Monitor report-2002.)..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentaion Unit, NCGUB
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 10 November 2003


        Title: Landmine Monitor Report 2003: Burma (Myanmar)
        Date of publication: 09 September 2003
        Description/subject: Key developments since May 2002: "Myanmar’s military has continued laying landmines. At least 15 rebel groups also used mines, two more than last year: the New Mon State Party and the Hongsawatoi Restoration Party. Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and ICBL Coordinator Liz Bernstein visited the country in February 2003."..."Myanmar’s ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Myanmar abstained from voting on the pro-Mine Ban Treaty UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74 in November 2002. SPDC delegates have not attended any of the annual meetings of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty or the intersessional Standing Committee meetings...Myanmar has been producing at least three types of antipersonnel mines: MM1, MM2, and Claymore-type mines...Myanmar’s military forces have used landmines extensively throughout the long running civil war...Nine out of fourteen states and divisions in Burma are mine-affected, with a heavy concentration in East Burma. Mines have been laid heavily in the Eastern Pegu Division in order to prevent insurgents from reaching central Burma. Mines have also been laid extensively to the east of the area between Swegin and Kyawgyi...No humanitarian demining activities have been implemented in Burma...SPDC military units operating in areas suspected of mine contamination have repeatedly been accused of forcing people, compelled to serve as porters, to walk in front of patrols in order to detonate mines..."
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Date of entry/update: 09 September 2003


        Title: Landmine Monitor Report 2002: Burma (Myanmar)
        Date of publication: 13 September 2002
        Description/subject: "Key developments since May 2001: Myanmar?s military has continued laying landmines inside the country and along its borders with Thailand. As part of a new plan to ?fence the country,? the Coastal Region Command Headquarters gave orders to its troops from Tenasserim division to lay mines along the Thai-Burma border. Three rebel groups, not previously identified as mine users, were discovered using landmines in 2002: Pao People?s Liberation Front, All Burma Muslim Union and Wa National Army. Thirteen rebel groups are now using mines. Myanmar?s ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Myanmar abstained from voting on the pro-Mine Ban Treaty UN General Assembly Resolution 56/24M in November 2001. SPDC delegates have not attended any of the annual meetings of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty or the intersessional Standing Committee meetings. Myanmar declined to attend the Regional Seminar of Stockpile Destruction of Anti-personnel Mines and other Munitions, held in Malaysia in August 2001. Myanmar did not respond to an invitation by the government of Malaysia to an informal meeting, held on the side of the January 2002 intersessional meetings in Geneva, to discuss the issue of landmines within the ASEAN context (other ASEAN non-signatories, such as Vietnam, did attend). Myanmar was one of the two ASEAN countries that did not participate in the seminar, ?Landmines in Southeast Asia,? hosted by Thailand from 13?15 May 2002. However, two observers from the Myanmar Ministry of Health attended the Regional Workshop on Victim Assistance in the Framework of the Mine Ban Treaty, held in Thailand from 6-8 November 2001, sponsored by Handicap International (HI). One health officer attending the meeting acknowledged that if Myanmar joined the mine ban it would be a good preventative health measure..."
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL)
        Format/size: html, pdf
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: Landmine chapter of the Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2001-2002
        Date of publication: September 2002
        Description/subject: "Landmines are weapons that kill and maim indiscriminately, whether it be civilians, soldiers, elderly people, women, children or animals. They cause injury and death long after the official end of a war. Contrary to trends in the rest of the world, rather than reduce or abolish the use of landmines, the SPDC has actually increased production of anti-personnel landmines and at least in the case of the Burma-Bangladesh border, is actively maintaining minefields. In Asia, Burma is currently second only to Afghanistan in the number of new landmine victims, surpassing even Cambodia. The SPDC has not signed the Mine Ban Treaty and abstained from the 1999 UN General Assembly vote on the treaty, saying, “A sweeping ban on landmines is unnecessary and unjustified. The problem is the indiscriminate use of mines, as well as the transfer of them.” Although the SPDC is not known to export landmines, mines from China, Israel, Italy, Russia and the United States have been found planted inside Burma, indicating past or present importation of them. By their own admission, accepting transferred (imported) landmines makes them part of the problem..."
        Language: English
        Source/publisher: Human Rights Documentation Unit of the NCGUB
        Format/size: html
        Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


        Title: "Health Messenger" Issue 17 -- Special Issue on Landmines
        Date of publication: August 2002
        Description/subject: GENERAL HEALTH: Overview of Landmine Problems in Myanmar (Michiyo Kato &Yeshua Moser-Puangswan, NIV SEA); Basic Information about Landmines (Htun Htun Oo, TCFB); Trauma Care Foundation Burma (Htun Htun Oo, TCFB); Chain of Survival (Htun Htun Oo, TCFB); Mine Injuries and Their Management (Htun Htun Oo, TCFB)... FROM THE FIELD: Orthopaedic Programme of the ICRC-Myanmar (Marco Emery, ICRC, Myanmar); Data Collection on Mine Victims and the Impact of Landmines (Christophe Tiers, HI); Mental Health Assessment among Refugees in Three Camps in Mae Hong Son, Thailand (Dr. Ann Burton, IRC)...HEALTH EDUCATION: Mine Awareness (Christophe Tiers, HI); Eight Reasons to Ban Landmines (Christophe Tiers, HI)... SOCIAL: Real life stories (Christophe Tiers, HI).
        Language: English, Burmese
        Source/publisher: Aide Medicale Internationale (AMI)
        Format/size: pdf (963K)
        Date of entry/update: 23 January 2005


        Title: Landmine chapter of the Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2000
        Date of publication: October 2001
        Description/subject: "Landmines are weapons that kill and maim indiscriminately, whether it be civilians, soldiers, elderly, women, children or animals and cause injury and death long after the official end of a war. Contrary to trends in the rest of the world, rather than reduce or abolish the use of landmines, the SPDC has actually increased production of anti-personnel landmines and at least in the case of the Burma-Bangladesh border, is actively maintaining minefields. In Asia, Burma is curre