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Home > Main Library > Human Rights > Labour Rights > Labour rights: reports of violations in Burma > Forced Labour > Non-ILO Reports on forced labour, including forced portering, in Karen (Kayin) State

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Non-ILO Reports on forced labour, including forced portering, in Karen (Kayin) State

Individual Documents

Title: Violent abuse and forced labour in Bu Tho Township, November and December 2012
Date of publication: 23 July 2013
Description/subject: "This news bulletin is based on information submitted by a community member in January 2013 describing events occurring in Papun District between November and December 2012, including physical abuse and forced labour. The community member reported that, in November 2012, Corporal Saw Maw Nay Say of Tatmadaw Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1014 beat Saw P---, a livestock trader, and confiscated money from him. The report also notes that, a month later, Tatmadaw BGF Battalion #1013 Commander Htee Theh Htoo ordered the investigating KHRG community member to perform forced labour, without knowing that he was affiliated with KHRG. The community member reported that he had to porter rations between BGF #1013 bases in K'Ter Tee village to Meh Mweh village. The community member also raised concerns that abuses were still occurring in the area as of late 2012 despite the January 2012 ceasefire agreement."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (255K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b47.pdf
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013


Title: Papun Situation Update: Dwe Lo Township, March 2012 to March 2013
Date of publication: 16 July 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in May 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District mostly between March 2012 and March 2013, and also provides details on abuses since 2006. The report specifically describes incidents of forced labour, theft, logging, land confiscation and gold mining. The situation update describes military activity from August 2012 to January 2013, specifically Tatmadaw soldiers from Infantry Battalion (IB) #96 ordering villagers to make thatch shingles and cut bamboo. Moreover, soldiers stole villagers' thatch shingles, bamboo canes and livestock. It also describes logging undertaken by wealthy villagers with the permission of the Karen National Union (KNU) and contains updated information concerning land confiscation by Tatmadaw Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalions #1013 and #1014. The update also reports on gold mining initiatives led by the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) that started in 2010. At that time, civilians were ordered to work for the DKBA, and their lands, rivers and plantations were damaged as a result of mining operations. The report also notes economic changes that accompanied mining. In previous years villagers could pan gold from the river and sell it as a hedge against food insecurity. Now, however, options are limited because they must acquire written permission to pan in the river. This situation update also documents villager responses to abuses, and notes that an estimated 10 percent of area villagers favour corporate gold mining, while 90 percent oppose the efforts..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (292K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b45.html
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013


Title: Persistent forced labour demands stop in six villages in Bilin Township as of September 2012
Date of publication: 04 July 2013
Description/subject: "This report is based on information submitted to KHRG in July 2012 and April 2013 by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions, describing events occurring in Bilin Township, Thaton District between April 2012 and April 2013. In April 2012, approximately 721 villagers from six villages had to provide 5,000 bamboo poles and more than 20,000 thatch shingles without compensation for Tatmadaw Light Infantry Division (LID) #44's Lay Kay army camp. LID #44 soldiers also ordered villagers to serve as messengers for their camp without payment. D--- villagers again were ordered to provide thatch for repairing barracks at Lay Kay army camp in September 2012, but according to the community member who regularly visits the Lay Kay area, the Tatmadaw has not made any further orders for forced labour in the area since then."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (811K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b41.pdf
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: html, pdf (268K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b35.pdf
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013


Title: Incident Report: Forced labour in Thaton District, April 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 April 24th 2012, where soldiers from BGF Battalion #1014 ordered the villagers of T---, W---, V--- and X---, in Hpa-an Township, Thaton District, to do forced labour on plantation land that they had confiscated for private companies, for three weeks without providing any pay, food or tools. The information was learned when the community member interviewed Saw B---, a 36 year-old chairman from W--- village. 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: html, pdf (118K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b25.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b27.pdf
Date of entry/update: 18 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: htmlpdf, (125K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b24.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b24.pdf
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: html, pdf (268K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b19.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b19.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 May 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: html, pdf (267K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b20.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b20.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 April 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: html, pdf (271K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b18.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b18.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2013


Title: Papun Situation Update: Forced labour in Bu Tho Township, January to February 2013
Date of publication: 11 April 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in February 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District, from January to February 2013. During this period, the community member describes continuous demands for forced labour in Bu Tho Township by Border Guard Force #1013 and #1014 led by Battalion Commander Saw Hla Kyaing and Saw Maung Chit, respectively. Specifically, villagers in Meh P'Ree and Kyaw Pah village tracts were demanded to collect building materials for Border Guard Force soldiers; serve as messengers; perform sentry duties; and do domestic duties in the army camp and porter for the soldiers. Further, the community member describes the use of villagers for forced labour by U Thuzana, the presiding monk of Myaing Gyi Ngu; all family members from every household in five village tracts, including women and children, were forced to work on the construction of a bridge..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (291K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b21.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b21.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 April 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: html, pdf (161K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b13.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b13.pdf
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: html, pdf (253K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b9.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b9.pdf
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Moo Township, June to November 2012
Date of publication: 11 December 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Nyaunglebin District, during the period between June and November 2012. The community member suggests that human rights abuses have decreased in the Moo Township area by 60 percent after the signing of the preliminary ceasefire agreement by the Karen National Union and the Burma government. The community member raises difficulties faced by villagers, including the consequences on agriculture production of unseasonable rain, and goes on to describe human rights abuses that have continued to take place, including the restriction of movement and forced labour. In Moo Township, landmines planted by the Tatmadaw and the Karen National Liberation Army remain underground, causing villagers to feel unsafe to travel. The report describes how, on October 13th 2012, Officer Aung Ko Ko from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #590, Column #4, released an order to take action on villagers without written permission to travel to hill fields, farm huts and betel nut plantations: thus restricting freedom of movement and trade. On September 16th 2012, D--- villagers were ordered by LIB #599 soliders to cut bamboos and wood used for making fences. The existence of Tatmadaw camps has also been an obstacle to villagers doing their livelihoods safely."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (116K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b84.html
Date of entry/update: 23 December 2012


Title: Civilian and Military order documents: August 2009 to August 2012
Date of publication: 03 October 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains a total of 58 translated copies of order documents issued by military and civilian officials of Burma's central government, as well as 'Border Guard' battalions, to village heads in eastern Burma between August 2009 and August 2012, including 44 order documents issued since February 2011. To provide additional context for forced labour incidents documented by KHRG community members during 2012, original excerpts from 23 pieces of KHRG field information are also included. These documents cumulatively serve as primary evidence of ongoing exploitative local governance in rural Burma. During 2012, systemic forms of forced labour consisted of military camp maintenance or building; portering; labour for community or development projects; and agricultural labour. This report thus supports the continuing testimonies of villagers regarding regular demands for labour, money, food and other supplies to which their communities are subject to by local civilian and military authorities. The order documents collected here include demands for attendance at meetings; the provision of money and food; the production and delivery of thatch, bamboo and other materials; forced labour as messengers and porters for the military; forced labour on road construction and repair; the provision of information on individuals, households and non-state armed groups; and the imposition of movement restrictions. In almost all cases, demands were uncompensated and backed by implicit or explicit threats of violence or other punishments for non-compliance. Most demands articulated in the orders presented in this report involved some element of forced labour in their implementation."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (7.56MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg1202.html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012


Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw H---, April 2011
Date of publication: 05 September 2012
Description/subject: This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during April 2011 in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed a 37 year-old township secretary, Saw H---, who described abuses committed by several Tatmadaw battalions, including forced relocation, land confiscation, forced labour, restrictions on freedom of movement, denial of humanitarian access, targeting civilians, and arbitrary taxes and demands. Saw H--- provided a detailed description of three development projects that the Tatmadaw has planned in the area. Most notable is Toh Boh[1] hydroelectric dam on the Day Loh River, which is expected to destroy 3,143 acres of surrounding farmland. Asia World Company began building the dam in Toh Boh, Day Loh village tract during 2005. The other two projects involved the confiscation of 2,400 acres, against which the villagers formed a committee to petition for compensation and were met with threats of imprisonment. Saw H--- also described how 30 people working on the dam die each year. Also mentioned is the Tatmadaw's burning of villagers' cardamom plantations, and the villagers' attempts to limit the fire damage using fire lines. It is also described by Saw H--- how some villagers have chosen to remain in KNLA/KNU-controlled areas and produce commodities for sale, despite the attendant increase in the price of goods purchased from Tatmadaw-controlled villages, while others have fled to refugee camps in other countries. For photos of the Toh Boh Dam taken by a different community member in March 2012, see "Photo Set: More than 100 households displaced from Toh Boh Dam construction site in Toungoo," published by KHRG on August 23rd
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (225K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b72.html
Date of entry/update: 05 November 2012


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: Mergui/Tavoy Interview: Saw K---, April 2012
Date of publication: 18 July 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during April 2012 in Ler Mu Lah Township, Mergui/Tavoy District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed 40-year-old G--- village head, Saw K---, who described abusive practices perpetrated by the Tatmadaw in his village throughout the previous four year period, including forced labour, arbitrary taxation in the form of both goods and money, and obstructions to humanitarian relief, specifically medical care availability and education support. Saw K--- also discussed development projects and land confiscation that has occurred in the area, including one oil palm company that came to deforest 700 acres of land next to G--- village in order to plant oil palm trees, as well as the arrival of a Malaysian logging company, neither of which provided any compensation to villagers for the land that was confiscated. However, the Malaysian logging company did provide enough wood, iron nails and roofing material for one school in the village, and promised the villagers that it would provide additional support later. Saw K--- raised other concerns regarding the food security, health care and difficulties with providing education for children in the village. In order to address these issues, Saw K--- explained that villagers have met with the Ler Mu Lah Township leaders to solve land confiscation problems, but some G--- villagers have had to give up their land, including a full nursery of betel nut plantations, based on the company’s claim that the plantations were illegally maintained."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (136K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b64.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: Dta Greh and Lu Pleh Townships, September 2011
Date of publication: 05 July 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a community member describing events that occurred in Pa'an District in September 2011. It contains updated information concerning military activity, specifically Border Guard and Tatmadaw troops' demands for villagers to provide forced labour. Villagers from Eg--- were ordered by Border Guard troops to repair the vehicle road between Eg--- and M---, and were forced to clear vegetation from Border Guard Advisor Hpah Nwee's rubber plantation – an incident that was previously reported by KHRG in June 2012 in "Pa'an Interview: Saw T---, September 2011". Villagers who were sick or could not spare the time to meet the forced labour demands had to hire other villagers to work in their place, highlighting how such demands can prevent villagers from engaging fully in their livelihood activities."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (254K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b55.html
Date of entry/update: 13 July 2012


Title: Forced labour and extortion in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 22 June 2012
Description/subject: "During March, April and May 2012, residents of five village tracts in Pa'an District were ordered to perform forced labour without payment and pay arbitrary fees in lieu of forced labour and for damage to crops by animals. Villagers from Htee Hpoh Kyaw, Mya P'Deh and Noh Ta Pweh village tracts in T'Nay Hsah Township were ordered to cultivate land for Tatmadaw and Border Guard troops, while T'Kaw Bee village tract residents were ordered to transport building materials from Kawkareik town and perform forced labour building a water well for the DKBA. Most recently, in May 2012, residents of Htee Wah Blaw village tract were ordered to pay a total of 600,000 kyat (US $733.50) in lieu of sending six villagers to serve as porters for Border Guard troops."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (952K), html
Date of entry/update: 13 July 2012


Title: Forced labour in Bilin Township
Date of publication: 31 May 2012
Description/subject: "During April 2012, residents of four village tracts in Bilin Township faced demands from Tatmadaw LID #44 for building materials, including 5,000 bamboo poles and more than 20,000 thatch shingles, as well as for service as set tha messengers. Villagers responded to demands for building materials by providing less than the amount ordered and, in at least one case, by confronting armed soldiers and requesting payment, which was denied. The use of villagers to perform unpaid set tha messenger service at the Tatmadaw LID #44 camp in Lay Kay was ongoing as of April 30th 2012."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (293K), html (6.6K)
Date of entry/update: 25 June 2012


Title: Incident Report: Papun District, June 2011
Date of publication: 24 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, and is based on information provided by 27-year-old Naw K---, a resident of Ny--- village in Dweh Loh Township. She described an incident that occurred on the evening of June 6th 2011, in which she was arrested by Tatmadaw IB #96 troops when returning to her home and forced to porter along with two other villagers, Saw W--- and Kyaw M--- before later escaping, an incident that was previously reported by KHRG in December 2012 in "Papun Situation Update: Dweh Loh Township, Received in November 2011". Security precautions taken by Tatmadaw troops on resupply operations are also mentioned, with Naw K--- describing how the two other villagers were shot at by IB #96 soldiers as they approached the agricultural area surrounding D--- village prior to their arrest. Naw K--- also highlights other issues associated with forced portering, specifically how requiring villagers to travel through unfamiliar areas contaminated by landmines places villagers at increased risk of landmine injury."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (255K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b44.html
Date of entry/update: 13 June 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 Interview Transcript: Saw B---, December 2011
Date of publication: 19 April 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in W--- village, Daw Hpa Hkoh Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed 50-year-old Saw B---, a church leader in W--- village, who described demands for forced labour by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #378 in November 2011, including cutting and portering bamboo poles for the rebuilding of LIB #378 military camp near W--- village, and portering food and performing messenger duty. Saw B--- raised concerns regarding food and livelihood security due to the destruction of W--- villagers' cardamom and coffee plantations by rats. He also explained how the Tatmadaw accused villagers of providing assistance to the Karen National Liberation Arm (KNLA) and placed explicit restrictions on the movement of villagers going to work in their cardamom and coffee plantations, which negatively impacts harvests and food security, in addition to restrictions on the transportation of batteries and medicine. Saw B--- also described the death of one villager due to the lack of medical facilities in the village. Other concerns raised include the absence of accessible education beyond grade seven, an insufficient number of teachers, and the omission of the Karen language from the W--- village school curriculum. Saw B--- noted that since the 2010 General Elections in Burma, the Tatmadaw began to increasingly frame demands for forced labour in terms of loh ah pay; a term traditionally referring to voluntary service for community projects. Saw B--- explained that villagers have responded to such concerns by deciding amongst themselves to only send those villagers who are available to go for forced labour, as well as by sharing food and lending money during times of hardship, and teaching the Karen language in church on Sundays."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (133K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b38.html
Date of entry/update: 21 April 2012


Title: Toungoo Situation Update: Received in November 2011
Date of publication: 19 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 prior to October 2011. It frames present village conditions within the context and consequences of the 2005 – 2008 Northern Offensive by Tatmadaw forces and details the following human rights abuses: forced relocation of villages; movement restrictions; forced labour by adult and child villagers; arbitrary taxation and demands; beating and torture of villagers, especially of village leaders; and attacks on and killing of villagers. This situation update also documents a number of villagers' concerns related to village leadership systems, livelihood challenges, the provision of education for children and food shortages. Moreover, this report describes ways by which villagers have sought to mitigate aspects of the abuses and concerns noted above, namely villagers bribing soldiers in order to allow them to transport more supplies than permitted to their village and establishing a rotating village governance system."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (124K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b37.html
Date of entry/update: 21 April 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: 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: 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 Interview Transcript: Saw L---, December 2011
Date of publication: 04 April 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in Day Loh Muh village tract, Daw Pa Ko Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw L---, who described the destruction of Y--- villagers' cardamom and coffee fields in 2006 for the construction of a Tatmadaw camp. He also noted the forced portering of building materials and food rations, the forced construction of a food storage building, and demands for bamboo poles in the period between 2006 and 2007. Saw L--- described how in 2010 and 2011, villagers from Y--- and surrounding villages were forced by Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #306 to clear vegetation from the road between Lay Loh Day village and the military camp. Saw L--- also talked about the torture of A--- village heads for failing to comply with orders for food from LIB #306. He also detailed an incident in which a villager, Saw P--- from B--- village, was killed by Tatmadaw soldiers. Other concerns noted include food shortages, exacerbated by the rising price of food; the cost of medical treatment; and the prohibition on the transportation of medicine. The absence of accessible education beyond grade four, and the omission of the Karen language from the Y--- village school curriculum were also raised."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (381K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b33.html
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


Title: Villagers used as human shields in Pa’an District, October 2011
Date of publication: 23 March 2012
Description/subject: "The following report was written by a villager trained by KHRG to document human rights abuses, and describes an incident that occurred in October 2011 in M--- village, H--- village tract, Dta Greh Township, in which soldiers from Tatmadaw LIB #230 forced villagers to carry injured soldiers and act as human shields from M--- village to T--- village, following fighting between LIB #230 and the KNLA. Male villagers were forced to porter, whilst women and children were used to protect the soldiers from KNLA gunfire. The villagers were detained overnight and released the following morning. Tatmadaw soldiers reportedly also looted villagers’ money and food upon entering M--- village."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (743K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b29.html
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: August to October 2011
Date of publication: 16 March 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in January 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Dooplaya District, during the period between August and October, 2011. The villager who wrote this report provides information concerning increasing military activity in Kyone Doh Township, including the confiscation of 600 acres of farmland for building a camp in Da Lee Kyo Waing town by Border Guard Battalion #1021, and the construction of new military camps, one by LIB #208 in Htee Poo Than village and another by the KPF near to Htee Poo Than village. The villager who wrote this report also noted demands from the Burmese Army that local villagers cover half of the cost of the construction of two bridges in Kyone Doh Township, as well as ongoing taxation demands from various armed groups, including the KNU, SPDC, Border Guard, DKBA, KPF, KPC and a distinct branch of the KPC known as Kaung Baung Hpyoo, and expressed serious concerns about the intended use of villagers to provide unpaid labour on infrastructure projects that will be implemented by civilian and military officials, as well as the severe degradation of forest and agricultural land due to an expansion of commercial rubber plantations..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (133K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b28.html
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


Title: Toungoo Interview Transcript: Saw M---, December 2011
Date of publication: 16 March 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in Daw Pa Ko Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed 41-year-old Saw M---, a religious leader in K--- village, who described an incident which occurred on June 12th 2011 during which two K--- villagers, 32-year-old Saw H--- and 45-year-old Saw A---, were forced to guide Tatmadaw LIB # [censored for security] troops on active patrol. The two villagers were subsequently killed during fighting, which broke out when the LIB # [censored for security] patrol encountered KNLA soldiers on the vehicle road between K--- village and D--- village. Saw M--- told the villager who conducted this interview that the families of the two villagers who were killed received no compensation from the Tatmadaw, but have received support from the KNLA and from members of the local community. This incident was described in the previous KHRG report "Toungoo Interview: Saw D---, September 2011" and quotes from this interview are also included in the recent Toungoo field report "Ongoing forced labour and movement restrictions in Toungoo District"...."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (385K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b27.html
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


Title: Ongoing forced labour and movement restrictions in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 12 March 2012
Description/subject: "In Toungoo District between November 2011 and February 2012 villagers in both Than Daung and Tantabin Townships have faced regular and ongoing demands for forced labour, as well movement and trade restrictions, which consistently undermine their ability to support themselves. During the last few months, the Tatmadaw has demanded villagers to support road-building activities by providing trucks and motorcycles to send food and materials, to drive in front of bulldozers in potentially-landmined areas, to clean brush, dig and flatten land during road-building, and to transport rations during MOC #9 resupply operations as recently as February 7th 2012."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (314K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12f1.html
Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


Title: Papun Interview Transcript: Saw L---, June 2011
Date of publication: 02 March 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted in Dweh Loh Township, Papun District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw L---, a 49 year old Buddhist paddy farmer, who described demands for forced labour by Tatmadaw soldiers, including portering and guide duty, as well as clearing vegetation for the Border Guard. Saw L--- stated that villagers undertaking forced labour for the Tatmadaw were denied medical treatment and provided with unsuitable rations, such as stale rice. Forced recruitment into the Border Guard was also cited, with villagers from three different villages forced to pay US $389.61 in lieu of military service. Saw L--- also described Tatmadaw soldiers' demands for chicken and rice as putting pressure on already strained resources, and contributing to villagers' food insecurity. Saw L--- noted that some villagers who are unable to produce enough rice engage in daily wage labour in order to meet their basic food requirements, and that villagers who live in Lay Poh Hta village tract have developed support networks at the village level and reportedly share food with others in times of crisis."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (288K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b23.html
Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


Title: Thaton Interview Transcript: Saw S---, April 2011
Date of publication: 01 March 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during April 2011 in Pa'an Township by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw S---, a 43-year-old Buddhist farmer who, at the time of the interview, described ongoing demands by Tatmadaw soldiers and police, particularly for the production and delivery of building materials such as thatch shingles and bamboo poles, for the rebuilding of a police station and for villagers to perform messenger duty. He also noted that villagers faced arbitrary taxation demands for Karen State Festival and for sporting events organised by the Burma government. Other concerns include food shortages, worsened by flooding in the district, and a lack of accessible healthcare, as the nearest hospital is located in Pa'an town. To alleviate the strain associated with village head duties, Saw S--- described how villagers have implemented a system whereby the villagers serve as village head on a monthly basis, as well as negotiating with township officials to lessen the burden of taxation demands Villagers also reportedly share food to offset the impact of food shortages."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (168K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b21.html
Date of entry/update: 13 March 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: Maung R---, August 2011
Date of publication: 29 February 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions in Bu Tho Township, Papun District. The villager interviewed Maung R---, a 31-year-old village head, who described extensive demands for forced labour, specifically for villagers to porter military rations, produce thatch shingles and bamboo poles, and tend to plantations owned by Border Guard soldiers. He also detailed demands for money including mandatory payments in lieu of recruitment for portering duties and arbitrary taxation. Threats against villagers were used to ensure compliance with these demands. Past instances of forced recruitment into the Border Guard were mentioned, as well as cases of direct violence, including an attack against villagers with three reported deaths. Other concerns expressed include the absence of basic medical care, and the poor quality of farmland which contributes to food insecurity and can force villagers to seek daily wage work in order to meet their basic food requirements. To mitigate this insecurity villagers employ a range of tactics including the sharing of food, as described by Maung R--- below."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (288K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b20.html
Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw T---, September 2011
Date of publication: 28 February 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 in Than Daung Township by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw T---, a 46 year old betelnut and cardamom plantation farmer who described movement and trade restrictions during 2011, specifically the closure of a vehicle road, that disrupted the transport of staple food supplies, as previously reported by KHRG in "Toungoo Situation Update: May to July 2011". Saw T--- described past instances of the theft and looting of food supplies and the burning of cardamom plantations and noted that the sale price of villagers' agricultural outputs has fallen, while the cost of basic commodities has risen. He also described previous incidents in which a villager portering for Tatmadaw soldiers was shot whilst attempting to escape, and one villager was killed and another seriously injured by landmines, providing insight into the way past experience with violence continues to circumscribe villagers' options for responding to abuse. Saw T---nonetheless described how villagers hide food to prevent theft, and covertly trade in food staples and other commodities to evade movement and trade restrictions. Saw T--- also noted that villagers have introduced a monthly rota system in order to share village head duties."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (388K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b19.html
Date of entry/update: 29 February 2012


Title: Thaton Interview Transcript: Saw T---, April 2011
Date of publication: 24 February 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during April 2011 in Pa'an Township, Thaton District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw T---, a 60-year-old Buddhist farmer and village head, who described demands for forced labour that occurred during 2011, including for guide duty and the production of thatch shingles and bamboo poles. Saw T---noted that Karen language is not permitted to be taught in the village school, and expressed concerns over the absence of a medical clinic in the village and a lack of rain during the previous year that resulted in a marked decrease in paddy outputs. Saw T--- noted that villagers share food to deal with increasing food insecurity and described an instance in which villagers only partially complied with a forced labour demand, producing and delivering only 300 thatch shingles to Tatmadaw soldiers, instead of the 500 that had been demanded."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (284K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b18.html
Date of entry/update: 25 February 2012


Title: Thaton Interview: U Kh---, December 2011
Date of publication: 17 February 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed U Kh---, a 48-year-old farmer who described being forced to porter for Tatmadaw LIB #220 troops for four days at the beginning of September 2011 during which time he witnessed the looting of villagers' animals, as well as the arrest and detention of two P--- villagers to serve as recruits for Border Guard troops and subsequent demands for the payment of 200,000 kyat (US $259.74) in lieu of each recruit. He described the firing of mortars and small arms in civilian areas and detailed demands for food, weapons, and a motorboat to Border Guard troops. U Kh--- mentioned that he anticipated widespread food shortages as a result of extensive flood damage to paddy crops during the 2011 monsoon season and noted that demands for unpaid forced labour further strained villagers' ability to pursue their own livelihoods effectively. U Kh--- explained that villagers counter burdensome demands by negotiating with local commanders to reduce the number of recruits and pay a smaller sum than demanded in lieu of the provision of recruits"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (287K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b17.html
Date of entry/update: 17 February 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: Thaton Interview: Naw D---, May 2011
Date of publication: 08 February 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted in May 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Naw D---, a 48-year-old community leader in a government-controlled area of Pa’an Township, Thaton District, who described regular and ongoing demands for villagers to perform forced labour as messengers for local civilian and military officials, as well as challenges faced by villagers with regard to the cost and provision of education for children and access to healthcare. Naw D--- also expressed concerns regarding the debt burden on villagers who rent agricultural land and farm using rented animals and equipment; according to Naw D---, villagers are forced to provide landowners a disproportionate share of their harvested yields, leaving insufficient paddy for themselves and their families, leading to subsequent food shortages. She explained certain strategies villagers have adopted to address concerns, including the establishment of a community healthcare committee and a community health fund which work to assist villagers with health-related issues and to cover the costs incurred by villagers seeking care outside the village."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (287K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b15.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: Toungoo Interview: Saw D---, September 2011
Date of publication: 27 January 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during September 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw D---, a 37-year-old village head and betelnut farmer, who described serious abuses committed by soldiers in Than Daung Township under the command of MOC #9 during 2011, including an incident in which soldiers fired at and killed a 48-year-old villager while he was making charcoal and a separate incident in which two villagers were killed while being forced to guide Tatmadaw troops, when the soldiers came under fire from a non-state armed group. Saw D--- also described repeated demands for forced labour by soldiers from Tatmadaw LIB #378, under MOC #9, including one incident in which more than 100 villagers were forced to carry military rations for a month. Saw D--- also chose to highlight instances of past abuse including: arbitrary arrest, detention and violent abuse of religious leaders; theft and looting of villagers' livestock, food, and personal belongings; and the harrassment of female villagers. Saw D--- noted that villagers counter limited access to and cost of healthcare treatment at government facilities by using traditional cures in their own village and also respond to food insecurity by sharing food and pursuing alternative means of supporting their livelihoods with jobs for daily wages."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (317K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b10.html
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


Title: Thaton Situation Update: Thaton Township, August 2011
Date of publication: 20 January 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing ongoing abuses occurring in Thaton Township in 2011, including frequent demands for forced labour from six villages, for villagers to serve as guards at a Tatmadaw LIB #218 camp, and for payments in lieu of forced labour. It outlines some difficulties faced by civilians in pursuit of their livelihoods, including the negative impact of forced labour demands, the lack of employment options available for villagers attempting to support their families and the destruction of paddy crops caused by flooding during the 2011 monsoon. It details restrictions on access to healthcare, specifically the high cost of medical treatment at government clinics and the denial of access for healthcare groups, and also expresses villagers’ frustrations at obstacles to children’s education caused by the need for children to work to support their families and the prohibitive costs of school attendance and supplies."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (245K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b7.html
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Incident report: Four villagers forced to guide Tatmadaw troops in Thaton District
Date of publication: 19 January 2012
Description/subject: "The following incident report was written by a villager trained by KHRG to document human rights abuses, and details an incident that occurred in May 2011 during which Tatmadaw soldiers from LIB #216 arrested four villagers in Bilin Township, including two village headwomen, and forced them to accompany troops on active patrol. The two village headwomen told the villager who wrote this report that the Tatmadaw soldiers did not provide them with water nor allow them to return to their own village at night, forcing them to sleep in a monastery with the soldiers. One of the women said that the Tatmadaw soldiers told her that they were afraid they were going to be shot at by KNLA soldiers at the time she was forced to accompany them. The following morning, the four villagers successfully negotiated with the Tatmadaw commanding officers to secure their release and received 8,000 kyat (US $ 10.39) split unevenly between the four of them as compensation."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (269K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b5.html
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Pa'an Interview: Naw K---, September 2011
Date of publication: 13 January 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in September 2011. The KHRG researcher interviewed Naw K---, a 45 year old woman from L--- village in Pa'an District, who described an incident in which Tatmadaw LID #22 and Tatmadaw Border Guard soldiers forced local villagers to porter military supplies and equipment while wearing Border Guard uniforms during a joint attack on a KNLA Battalion #101 camp at Kler Law Hseh. In the interview below, Naw K--- explained that, while she was attending a funeral in Th--- village, many Th--- villagers were absent from the village, some having already been arrested by Border Guard soldiers to serve as porters and others having fled the village due to fears that they would be arrested to porter. Naw K--- told KHRG that the Th--- village head informed her that he had to wear a Border Guard uniform while forced to accompany Border Guard soldiers during their attack on the KNLA camp at Kler Law Hseh and she witnessed him departing Th--- village in the company of Border Guard soldiers. This incident was previously described in the KHRG report "Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011," published on October 24th 2011. In addition, Naw K--- also mentioned additional forced labour demands placed on local villagers to work on government-owned agricultural projects. She also described how villagers attempt to mitigate the harmful effects of forced labour demands through negotiation with commanding officers, and strategic temporary displacement to avoid arrest."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (222K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b2.html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


Title: Thaton Interview: Naw L---, February 2011
Date of publication: 10 January 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted in February 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Naw L---, a female village head from Bilin Township, Thaton District. Naw L--- described being interrogated and threatened at meetings with local Tatmadaw officers, including at times when she was pregnant. She described the killing of her son-in-law by then-DKBA Brigade #333 soldiers, and the defection of a Tatmadaw soldier to the KNLA, after which Tatmadaw soldiers arbitrarily arrested and tortured villagers and ordered Naw L--- to provide a firearm to replace the one taken by the defecting soldier. She also described how Tatmadaw soldiers forced H--- villagers to banish persons suspected of being KNLA soldiers and burn down their houses. Naw L--- explained that villagers face ongoing demands for forced labour, including forced portering of military rations, messenger and guide duty, for Tatmadaw, Border Guard and KNLA troops, but that she and her villagers employ a multitude of strategies to resist or mitigate abuse, including partial-compliance with forced labour demands; cultivating relationships with different, and oppositional, armed groups; lying about non-state armed groups’ soldiers and their operations; and successfully raising complaints to commanding officers about abuses perpetrated by their inferiors."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (284K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b1.html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: August to October 2011 [News Bulletin]
Date of publication: 09 December 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District between August and October 2011. The report describes the an incident of forced labour in which villagers were forced to clear undergrowth from a palm oil plantation at IB #60 military headquarters, as well as arbitrary demands for villagers to provide money, firewood, wooden logs and food to Tatmadaw troops. The villager who wrote this report notes that governmental administrative reforms at the village tract level have resulted in increased demands for payment from civilian officials at a time when flooding in flat areas of paddy cultivation adjacent to the Sittaung River at the end of the 2011 monsoon has substantially impacted villagers’ food security. The villager also raises local communities’ concerns regarding the proposed construction of a dam on the Theh Loh River; and requirements that civilians provide guarantees that non-state armed groups will not attack Tatmadaw troops, which villagers fear will lead to reprisals from Tatmadaw soldiers if fighting does occur. This report also documents several ways in which villagers in Ler Doh Township have responded to abuses, including the formation of Mu Kha Poe village security groups to monitor Tatmadaw troop activity and warn other community members of incoming Tatmadaw patrols and attacks;; and cooperation with other villagers and with local community-based aid groups to secure food support, communication equipment, education materials and medical treatment."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (867K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b52.html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


Title: Toungoo Situation Update: July to October 2011
Date of publication: 29 November 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District during the period between July and October 2011. It details incidents of violence against civilians, including: shooting and killing by Tatmadaw LIB #540 of two villagers hunting monkeys in an area adjacent to a Tatmadaw camp; arbitrary detentions of eight civilians, of whom only three have been released by LIB #539 and IB #73; and the beating of a village head following a KNLA attack against Tatmadaw troops. The villager also cites examples of a range of abuses affecting villagers' livelihoods, including: forced labour repairing a road and producing and delivering bamboo poles to a Tatmadaw camp; theft and damage of villagers' possessions by patrolling Tatmadaw troops, including destruction of villagers' durian and dogfruit trees; the imposition of movement restrictions preventing villagers from sleeping in their field huts, backed by an explicit threat of violence against villagers violating the ban; de facto movement restrictions on villagers due to Tatmadaw activity; and arbitrary demands for payment by Tatmadaw troops. This report also raises concerns about the health situation in Tantabin Township following the 2011 monsoon, including an outbreak of cholera that interfered with the harvest of cardamom, durian and paddy crops, and may have adverse consequences on villagers' food and financial security during the coming year. The report also notes that some villagers access health services from the KNU Health Department and other relief groups in response to constraints on access to health care in areas of Tantabin Township outside consolidated Tatmadaw control."
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (349K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b49.html
Date of entry/update: 19 January 2012


Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw F---, October 2011
Date of publication: 25 November 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during October 2011 in Than Daung Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw F---, a 55-year-old resident of W--- village who fled his village and hid in the forest during a joint attack by soldiers from Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion (IB) #92 and Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #603. According to Saw F---, on October 12th 2011, following a clash with Karen National Liberation (KNLA) soldiers at a location 45 minutes on foot from W---, Tatmadaw soldiers fired approximately 50 mortar rounds into W--- and nearby civilian areas and then entered W---, where soldiers fired small arms deliberately at villagers' houses, the Roman Catholic church and religious and cultural items; killed villagers' animals; and looted or damaged villagers' property including food stores, clothing, roofing materials and money. Saw F--- also reported that W--- villagers have had to provide forced labour delivering bamboo poles to Tatmadaw camps on multiple occasions in the past year; that the W--- school has been forced to close twice due to Tatmadaw accusations that villagers are communicating with non-state armed groups; and that villagers face obstacles in accessing healthcare due to their distance from the nearest health facility and the cost of travel. A full account of the attack on W---, including photo documentation and excerpts of this interview, is available in the bulletin "Tatmadaw soldiers shell village, attack church and civilian property in Toungoo District," published by KHRG on November 25th 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (588K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b47.html
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Toungoo Situation Update: October 2011
Date of publication: 25 November 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing a joint attack on a village in Than Daung Township by soldiers from Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion #92 and Light Infantry Battalion #603. During the attack the Tatmadaw soldiers fired mortars into the village, prompting residents to flee into the nearby forest; soldiers then entered and fired small arms inside the village, and looted, damaged, or destroyed food, money and other property belonging to the villagers who had fled. A full account of the attack on W---, based on this and one other situation update written by a different villager, an interview with a resident of W---, and photo documentation is available in the bulletin "Tatmadaw soldiers shell village, attack church and civilian property in Toungoo District," published by KHRG on November 25th 2011.This report also notes that villagers in the area face demands for forced labour for local Tatmadaw units three or four times every year, specifically to serve as porters and guides for Tatmadaw troops and to clear vegetation from Tatmadaw camp perimeters. The villager who wrote this report further noted local concerns related to the provision of health care and education, as well as some of the strategies adopted by villagers in response to human rights concerns, including harvesting crops at night to protect livelihoods during Tatmadaw operations, and using traditional practices to treat illnesses in areas where Tatmadaw forces restrict transport of and trade in medicines."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (368K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b48.html
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Ler Doh Township, May to July 2011
Date of publication: 18 November 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Ler Doh [Kyauk Kyi] Township, Nyaunglebin District, between May and July 2011. It provides details on human rights abuses committed by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #345 including: demands for forced labour clearing vegetation around Tatmadaw camps, serving as set tha at Tatmadaw camps, and collecting and delivering building materials and firewood; the imposition of movement restrictions and the requirement that villagers purchase travel permission documents to access agricultural workplaces; arbitrary demands for food and payment; and an order to dismantle field huts. This report also notes that villagers were directly ordered by LIB #345 Captain Thet Zaw Win not to discuss or report demands for payment, and describes cooperation between public and military sector officials to levy demands for payment. This report also mentions that some villagers have responded to abuses by negotiating with Tatmadaw officers to avoid orders to dismantle their field huts, and by moving to areas beyond consolidated Tatmadaw control to access humanitarian support and pursue livelihoods activities."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (222K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b45.html
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Thaton Situation Update: June to October 2011
Date of publication: 18 November 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Pa'an Township, Thaton District between June and October 2011, specifically forced labour demands for villagers to clear vegetation from roads, to rebuild Tatmadaw Border Guard camps, to porter for three-month periods, and to guide and serve as human shields for Tatmadaw soldiers on active patrol duty. This report also details demands for villages to provide recruits and payments to support recruits' salaries to Tatmadaw Border Guard Battalion #1014; arbitrary demands for payment in lieu of the provision of villagers to fill demands for forced labour; as well as an explicit threat of violence issued against village heads if they failed to comply with a Battalion #1014 demand to send villagers as porters. The report further documents the imposition of movement restrictions preventing villagers from accessing agricultural workplaces, and raises concerns about the future food security of residents living in areas proximate to the Salween River whose paddy fields were flooded and destroyed during the last rainy season."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (245K)
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Pa'an Situation Update: September 2011
Date of publication: 24 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in September 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Pa'an District in September 2011. It details an incident in which Tatmadaw and Tatmadaw Border Guard soldiers forced local villagers to porter military supplies and equipment while wearing Border Guard uniforms during a joint attack on a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) encampment at Kler Law Hseh. The villager who wrote this situation update also reported that since this attack Border Guard soldiers have been based in the Kler Law Hseh area and have forced villagers to porter or make payments in lieu of portering, as well as perform forced labour on military-owned agricultural projects. The villager also reported two distinct incidents in which Tatmadaw and Border Guard troops have confiscated villagers' land in order to build a military camp and cultivate bean plantations."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (122K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b38.html
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


Title: Pa'an Situation Update: June to August 2011
Date of publication: 17 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in September 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Pa'an District between June 2011 and August 2011. It details recent Tatmadaw and Tatmadaw Border Guard activity, including camp locations and troop strength, and incidents related to a forced relocation order issued to eight villages in Lu Pleh Township by Tatmadaw Border Guard units on July 15th 2011. After the July 20th deadline for relocation, Tatmadaw and Border Guard forces commenced joint attacks against six of the villages ordered to relocate, including multiple days of heavy shelling and machine gun fire which the villager who submitted this report described as indiscriminate. On July 20th 2011 Border Guard troops also deliberately killed villagers' livestock and fired mortars into civilian areas of R--- village, injuring a 50-year-old woman, while retreating from an attack by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) on the Border Guard camp in R---. This report further documents Tatmadaw Border Guard demands for forced labour and forced porters. The villager who submitted this update raises villagers' concerns related to flooding along the Dta Greh [Hlaing Bwe] River during the 2011 monsoon season, and the abandonment of schools and loss of trade and livelihood opportunities due to forced relocation. This report notes that, in response to the abuses and concerns mentioned above, villagers in Pa'an District adopt strategies that include: moving to areas beyond Tatmadaw control, monitoring local security conditions, and hiding food stores in the jungle."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (404K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b40.html
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


Title: Toungoo Situation Update: April to July 2011
Date of publication: 13 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District between April and July 2011. It describes a May 2011 attack on villages and the destruction of paddy and rice stores in the Maw Thay Der area of Tantabin Township, previously reported by KHRG, and relates the following human rights abuses by Tatmadaw forces: restrictions on movement and trade; including regular closure of vehicle roads and levying of road tolls; forced production and delivery of thatch shingles and bamboo poles; forced portering of military rations; and the theft and looting of villagers' livestock. This report also explains how community members share food when confronting food insecurity, and attempt to ensure that children receive education despite financial barriers and teacher shortages."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (175K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b37.html
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: August 2011
Date of publication: 12 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Kawkareik, Kya In and Waw Raw (Win Yaw) townships of Dooplaya District between April and August 2011. The villager describes human rights abuses committed by soldiers from at least three Tatmadaw battalions, including: shelling of villages, resulting in civilian injuries and destruction of houses and food supplies; demands for the fabrication and delivery of thatch and bamboo, and for the provision of food; restrictions on villagers; detention, physical abuse, and killing of villagers; shooting of villagers; and a demand for villagers, including children, to clear the perimeter of a Tatmadaw camp. The villager also expresses concern that these abuses disrupt villagers' livelihoods and the provision of education for children."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (210K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b36.html
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


Title: Tenasserim Interview: Saw T---, December 2010
Date of publication: 05 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted in December 2010 in Te Naw Th’Ri Township, Tenasserim Division by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw T---, a 59-year-old village head who, at the time of interview, was in hiding from Tatmadaw troops in an area of Tenasserim Division beyond government control. Excerpts from Saw T---’s interview with KHRG have been published in the previous KHRG field report “Militarization, Development and Displacement: Conditions for villagers in southern Tenasserim Division” however, the full transcript of his testimony is now available below. Saw T--- described witnessing attacks on villagers by Tatmadaw soldiers and cited regular demands for villagers to serve as forced porters for the Tatmadaw and other forms of forced labour as one of the main factors which originally motivated him to go into hiding. Saw T--- explained that villagers in hiding employ a range of strategies to avoid Tatmadaw forces, including coordinating security strategies and sharing information with villagers at other hiding sites, maintaining contact with and seeking protection from non-state armed groups, cultivating crops that are easy to harvest quickly, travelling covertly to villages in mixed-administration areas in order to engage in trade and other livelihoods activities, and crossing vehicle roads during the night."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (158K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b34.html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


Title: Tenasserim Interview: Saw P---, Received in May 2011
Date of publication: 01 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during May 2011 in Te Naw Th’Ri Township, Tenasserim Division by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw P---, the 36-year-old head of a village in which Tatmadaw soldiers maintain a continuous presence. Saw P--- described the disappearance of a male villager who has not been seen since February 2010 when he was arrested by Tatmadaw soldiers as he was returning from his hill plantation, on suspicion of supplying food assistance to Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) troops. Saw P--- also described human rights abuses and livelihoods difficulties faced regularly by villagers, including: forced labour, specifically road construction and maintenance; taxation and demands for food and money; theft of livestock; and movement restrictions, specifically the imposition of road tolls for motorbikes and the prohibition against travel to villagers’ agricultural workplaces, resulting in the destruction of crops by animals. Saw P--- also expressed concerns about disruption of children’s education caused by the periodic commandeering of the village school and its use as a barracks by Tatmadaw soldiers. He explained how villagers respond to abuses and livelihoods challenges by avoiding Tatmadaw soldiers, harvesting communally, sharing food supplies and inquiring at the local jail to investigate the disappearance of a fellow villager."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (243K) html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b33.html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


Title: Tenasserim Situation Update: Te Naw Th'Ri Township, April 2011
Date of publication: 26 September 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in April 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Te Naw Th'Ri Township, Tenasserim Division between June 2010 and April 2011. The report details abuses related to land confiscation by Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) officials; forced labour, including forced USDP membership; and attacks on villages in hiding, including the burning of houses, food stores, a school dormitory and supplies by Tatmadaw forces. This report also contains updated information concerning active Tatmadaw units in five areas of Tenasserim Division and relates health and education concerns of villagers in hiding in three areas of Te Naw Th'Ri Township."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (950K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b32.html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


Title: Pa'an Situation Update: April 2011
Date of publication: 21 September 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains a situation update submitted to KHRG in April 2011 and written by a villager describing events occurring in Lu Pleh and Dta Greh townships in Pa'an District between February and April 2011. It contains information on incidents of forced labour by the Tatmadaw, including the use of villagers to build huts, deliver palm leaves for thatching buildings and provide unpaid forced labour during gold-mining and logging operations. It also documents the forced relocation of villagers from upland areas, and relates an incident in which a Tatmadaw deserter, who was later summarily executed by Tatmadaw troops, shot and injured a 53-year-old woman in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District. In response to human rights and related humanitarian concerns, including access to health care, the researcher reported that villagers travel covertly to seek medical care from cross-border groups, sell betel leaves to supplement incomes and laminate currency in plastic to prevent it from becoming damaged. This situation report also contains updated information on military activity in Pa'an District, specifically the defection of Tatmadaw Border Guard soldiers in February 2011 to a breakaway faction of the DKBA that had previously refused to transform into Border Guard battalions, and to the KNLA."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (763K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b31.html
Date of entry/update: 01 February 2012


Title: Tenasserim Interview: Saw C---, Received in May 2011
Date of publication: 09 September 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted prior to Burma's November 2010 elections in Te Naw Th’Ri Township, Tenasserim Division by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw C---, a 30-year-old married hill field farmer who told KHRG that he was appointed to the position of village head by his local VPDC in an area of Te Naw Th’Ri Township that is frequently accessed by Tatmadaw troops, and in which there is no KNLA presence. Saw C--- described human rights abuses faced by residents of his village, including: demands for forced labour; theft and looting of villagers' property; and movement restrictions that prevent villagers from accessing agricultural workplaces. He also cited an incident in which a villager was shot and killed by Tatmadaw soldiers while fishing in a nearby river, and his death subsequently concealed; and recounted abuses he witnessed when forced to porter military rations and accompany Tatmadaw soldiers during foot patrols, including the theft and looting of villagers’ property and the rape of a 50-year-old woman. Saw C--- told KHRG that villagers protect themselves in the following ways: collecting flowers from the jungle to sell in local markets in order to supplement incomes, failing to comply with orders to report to a Tatmadaw camp, and using traditional herbal remedies due to difficulties accessing healthcare. He noted, however, that these strategies can be limited, for example by threats of violence against civilians by Tatmadaw soldiers or scarcity of plants commonly used in herbal remedies."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (169K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b29.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: Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw Sa---, May 2011
Date of publication: 05 August 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Naw Sa---, a 26-year-old villager who described human rights and humanitarian conditions in her village, in a mixed administration area under effective Tatmadaw control. Naw Sa--- cited the following human rights concerns: forced relocation and displacement; demands for provision of food; shelling of civilian areas, resulting in civilian injuries; arrest and detention of villagers; physical violence against detained villagers; forced labour, including sentry duty; and movement restrictions. She also explained the challenges to accessing medical care and adequate education for children faced by members of her community; and described how villagers returned to work covertly on their agricultural projects in order to protect their livelihoods, after they were ordered by the Tatmadaw to abandon their village."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (690K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b23.html
Date of entry/update: 12 February 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Saw My---, May 2011
Date of publication: 04 August 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Saw My---, a 45 year-old farmer who described his experiences when he was forced to leave his village in a mixed-administration area and live for two years in a neighbouring village, including specific incidents in which Tatmadaw soldiers fired small arms at children in school uniforms, forced women to serve as human shields for Tatmadaw columns during patrols, and ordered villagers at gunpoint to leave their homes and possessions during the rainy season. He further cited the following abuses: movement restrictions; forced labour; and arbitrary taxation and demands. Saw My--- also highlighted the difficulties his village currently faces accessing health care and education, but explained that villagers counter these difficulties by using traditional medicine and by hiring and supporting local teachers."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (713K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b22.html
Date of entry/update: 18 February 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw Ka---, May 2011
Date of publication: 03 August 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Naw Ka---, a 50-year-old villager who described the situation prior to and after her community was forcibly relocated by the Tatmadaw in 2007. Naw Ka--- cited the following human rights abuses in her testimony: forced labour, including sentry duty and portering; arrest and detention, including physical violence against detained villagers; forced relocation; and movement restrictions. The interviewee also described the humanitarian challenges people in her community have faced, including serious constraints on access to adequate education for children, healthcare, and food. In order improve their humanitarian situation, Naw Ka--- explained how residents of her village decided to return to their homes in 2010 without formal permission from the Tatmadaw, despite villagers' fears that this action entailed serious risks to their physical security."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (706K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b21.html
Date of entry/update: 18 February 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Saw Th---, May 2011
Date of publication: 02 August 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher during May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Saw Th---, a 37-year-old farmer and village elder, who described his experiences living in Tatmadaw-controlled relocation sites for over two years and in a village in a mixed-administration area, in which various Tatmadaw battalions and non-state armed groups operated. Saw Th--- described the following abuses: forced relocation; movement restrictions; taxation and demands; and forced labour including forced portering and camp maintenance. He said he believed that forced labour demands have decreased due to media attention on the issue. Saw Th--- also explained that villagers pursued agricultural livelihoods activities secretly while living in forced relocation sites, to lessen the impact of movement restrictions; and used herbal medicines because medical infrastructure and access to medical care were inadequate."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (694K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b20.html
Date of entry/update: 18 February 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Saw S---, May 2011
Date of publication: 30 July 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Saw S---, a 17 year-old student who compared his experiences living in a Tatmadaw-controlled relocation site, and in his own village in a mixed-administration area under effective Tatmadaw control. Saw S--- described the following abuses: killing of villagers; forced relocation; movement restrictions; taxation and demands; theft and looting; and forced labour including portering, sentry duty, camp maintenance and road construction. Saw S--- also discussed the impact of forced labour and movement restrictions on livelihoods; access to, and cost of, health care; and constraints on children's access to education, including the prohibition on Karen-language education. In order to address these issues, Saw S--- explained that villagers attempt to bribe military officers with money to avoid relocation, and with food and alcohol to lessen forced labour demands; conceal from Tatmadaw commanders that villagers sometimes leave the village to work without valid permission documents; and go into hiding to protect their physical security when conflict occurs near the village."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (744K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b19.html
Date of entry/update: 18 February 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw P---, May 2011
Date of publication: 26 July 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Naw P---, a 40-year-old farmer who described her experiences living in a Tatmadaw-controlled relocation site, and in her original village in a mixed-administration area under effective Tatmadaw control. Naw P--- described the following human rights abuses: rape and sexual violence; indiscriminate firing on villagers by Tatmadaw soldiers; forced relocation; arrest and detention; movement restrictions; theft and looting; and forced labour, including use of villagers as military sentries and porters. Naw P--- also raised concerns regarding the cost of health care and about children's education, specifically Tatmadaw restrictions on children's movement during perceived military instability and the prohibition of Karen-language education. In order to address these concerns, Naw P--- told KHRG that some villagers pay bribes to avoid forced labour and to secure the release of detained family members; lie to Tatmadaw commanders about the whereabouts of villagers working on farms in violation of movement restrictions; and organise covert Karen-language education for their children."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (158K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b18.html
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2012


Title: Toungoo Interviews: March and April 2011
Date of publication: 20 July 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcripts of three interviews conducted during March and April 2011 in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The three female interviewees described the following abuses: attacks on villages, villagers and livelihoods; killing of villagers; theft and looting; taxation and demands; forced displacement; and forced labour, including the production and supply of building materials and forced portering. They also raised concerns regarding food shortage, the provision of education for children during displacement caused by Tatmadaw attacks, and access to healthcare. One of the women explained that villagers communicate with non-state armed groups and other villagers to share information about Tatmadaw movements, prepare secret caches of food in the forest outside their village in case of a Tatmadaw attack, and hold school classes outside of their village in agricultural areas during displacement caused by Tatmadaw attack. These interviews were received along with other information from Toungoo District, including a general update on the situation in Toungoo District, ten incident reports, seven other interviews and 350 photographs.Toungoo Interviews: March and April 2011
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (286K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b16.html
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2012


Title: Thaton Situation Updates: May 2010 to January 2011
Date of publication: 18 May 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes two situation updates written by villagers describing events in Thaton District during the period between May 13th 2010 and January 31st 2011. The villagers writing the updates chose to focus on issues including: updates on recent military activity, specifically the rebuilding of Tatmadaw camps, and the following human rights abuses: demands for forced labour, including the provision of building materials; and movement restrictions, including road closure and requirements for travel permission documents. In these situation updates, villagers also express serious concerns regarding food security due to abnormal weather in 2010; rising food prices; the unavailability of health care; and the cost and quality of children's education."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (256K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b7.html
Date of entry/update: 29 February 2012


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: 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: Villagers flee to avoid fighting and portering: Conflict continues to impact civilians in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 04 December 2010
Description/subject: "Civilians in Dooplaya District continue to be impacted by conflict between the Tatmadaw and armed Karen groups, who have increased fighting in the area since November 7th 2010. The situation around Palu village remains highly unstable; in order to avoid conflict and conflict-related abuse, civilians are moving frequently between their homes and fields, more secure locations outside the village and along the Moei River, and both official and unofficial locations in Thailand's Phop Phra District. Residents of the community have told KHRG that they believe male villagers face a serious threat of being forcibly recruited as porters to support re-supply operations of Tatmadaw units deployed in the area, and that men in Palu are actively avoiding encountering Tatmadaw troops."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (494K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10b16.html
Date of entry/update: 19 February 2012


Title: Forced Labour, Movement and Trade Restrictions in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 01 March 2010
Description/subject: "This field report documents the continuing and worsening demands for forced labour and restrictions on movement and trade imposed on villagers in Toungoo District by the SPDC army. These exploitative and restrictive practices undermine the livelihoods of both individuals living under SPDC control and villagers who have opted to live in hiding. Heavy demands for forced labour limit the time that villagers in relocation sites or SPDC-controlled areas can devote to securing their livelihoods; this strain is exacerbated by increasing restrictions on villagers' freedom to travel for farming and trade, the latter of which is essential for obtaining basic foodstuffs and other necessities in many parts of Toungoo. This situation in turn reduces the availability and accessibility of essential food and medicines to villagers in hiding, who continue to resist SPDC exploitation despite grave risks to their physical security. This report covers incidents between June 2009 and January 2010."
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F2)
Format/size: pdf (678K - English version; 690K - Karen version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg10f2_karen_language.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 October 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: 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: Patrols, movement restrictions and forced labour in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 28 September 2009
Description/subject: "This report documents the situation for villagers in Toungoo District, both in areas under SPDC control and in areas contested by the KNLA and home to villagers actively evading SDPC control. For villagers in the former, movement restrictions, forced labour and demands for material support continue unabated, and continue to undermine their attempts to address basic needs. Villagers in hiding, meanwhile, report that the threat of Burma Army patrols, though slightly reduced, remains sufficient to disrupt farming and undermine food security. This report includes incidents occurring from January to August 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F16)
Format/size: pdf (850 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f16.html
Date of entry/update: 28 October 2009


Title: SPDC and DKBA order documents: August 2008 to June 2009
Date of publication: 27 August 2009
Description/subject: "This report includes translated copies of 75 order documents issued by Burma Army and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army officers to village heads in Karen State between August 2008 and June 2009. These documents serve as supplementary evidence of ongoing exploitative local governance in rural Burma. The report thus supports the continuing testimonies of villagers regarding the regular demands for labour, money, food and other supplies to which their communities are subject by local military forces. The order documents collected here include demands for attendance at meetings; the provision of money and alcohol; the production and delivery of thatch shingles and bamboo poles; forced labour as messengers and porters for the military; forced labour on road repair; the provision of information on individuals and households; registration of villagers in State-controlled 'NGOs'; and restrictions on travel and the use of muskets. In almost all cases, such demands are uncompensated and backed by an implicit threat of violence or other punishment for non-compliance. Almost all demands articulated in the orders presented in this report involve some element of forced labour in their implementation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2009-04 )
Format/size: pfd (1.2 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg0904.html
Date of entry/update: 15 November 2009


Title: Military movements, forced labour and extortion in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 15 May 2009
Description/subject: "In some areas of Nyaunglebin District, north-western Karen State, frontline army camps from which SPDC troops withdrew at the end of 2008 remain empty. Elsewhere in the district, however, the Burma Army is active with regular patrols amongst villages in both the plains and hills. In those areas where the SPDC maintains a consolidated hold on the civilian population, Burma Army personnel continue to demand forced labour and extort money and supplies from local communities. This report describes the military situation in Nyaunglebin District from January to March 2009 as well as the Burma Army's continued use of forced labour and extortion of the local population..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F10)
Format/size: pdf (651 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f10.html
Date of entry/update: 30 October 2009


Title: SPDC and DKBA road construction, forced labour and looting in Papun District
Date of publication: 31 March 2009
Description/subject: "Late last year, during SPDC reconstruction work on two main roads leading from Papun town to SPDC camps in the Kyauk Nya and Dagwin areas of Bu Tho Township, KNU/KNLA forces took the opportunity to launch secret guerrilla attacks against the SPDC site. Believing that local Karen villagers had cooperated with KNLA forces, the SPDC began to force villagers and convict porters to work on the roads and also killed and looted villagers' animals and property when it patrolled villages in the area. DKBA forces have also recently demanded forced labour and forced recruitment from Papun villagers during this time. The incidents detailed in this report occurred between December 2008 and February 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F5)
Format/size: pdf (546 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f5.html
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


Title: SPDC and DKBA extortion and forced labour in Thaton District
Date of publication: 26 November 2008
Description/subject: "Militarisation in practice is not always uniform. As the SPDC and DKBA rotate their army units in Thaton District, western Karen State, villagers confront shifting patterns of authority and abuse. While villagers living around the SPDC's army camp at Yoh Gkla continue to face forced labour, extortion and threats of arbitrary detention and execution, the local SPDC battalion that has been deployed there since July 2008 has patrolled less frequently than its predecessor. This decreased patrolling has led to a weakened ability to enforce movement restrictions on villagers. This report documents incidents which took place between July and October 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F16)
Format/size: pdf (520 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f16.html
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


Title: Routine forced labour in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 29 October 2008
Description/subject: "For those villagers living under the control of SPDC and DKBA forces in Pa'an District, certain forms of forced labour have now become routine. Such 'routine' forced labour includes: cultivation of rainy season and dry season rice crops on fields owned by DKBA officers, maintaining rubber plantations, roadside clearance of forest overgrowth following the rainy season, portering military supplies out to soldiers operating at 'frontline' army camps, collecting, preparing and delivering bamboo and thatch for use in the repair and construction of the region's many army camps, and temporarily serving as camp-based messengers. Combined, these various forms of forced labour significantly cut into crucial time villagers need for their own agricultural and other livelihoods activities. This report looks at cases of forced labour from July to September 2008 and includes a short video of recent forced labour in Pa'an District..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F15)
Format/size: pdf (670 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f15.html
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Human minesweeping and forced relocation as SPDC and DKBA step up joint operations in Pa'an District (English and Karen)
Date of publication: 20 October 2008
Description/subject: "Since the end of September 2008, SPDC and DKBA troops have begun preparing for what KHRG researchers expect to be a renewed offensive against KNU/KNLA-controlled areas in Pa'an District. These activities match a similar increase in joint SPDC-DKBA operations in Dooplaya District further south where these groups have conducted attacks against villagers and KNU/KNLA targets over the past couple of weeks. The SPDC and DKBA soldiers operating in Pa'an District have forced villagers to carry supplies, food and weapons for their combined armies and also to walk in front of their columns as human minesweepers. This report includes the case of two villagers killed by landmines during October while doing such forced labour, as well as the DKBA's forced relocation of villages in T'Moh village tract of Dta Greh township, demands for forced labourers from the relocated communities and the subsequent flight of relocated villagers to KNLA-controlled camps in Pa'an District as a means to escape this abuse; all of which took place in October 2008."
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (English, 534K; Karen, 446K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg08b11_karen_language.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08b11.html
Date of entry/update: 13 March 2012


Title: Daily demands and exploitation: Life under the control of SPDC and DKBA forces in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 18 September 2008
Description/subject: "In SPDC- and DKBA-controlled Pa'an District villagers face regular, and sometimes daily, demands for labour, money, food and other supplies from local military units. With troop rotation ensuring the constant presence of active troops patrolling these areas, villagers are given little respite from the demands which place a constant drain on their time, incomes and food supplies. In addition to forced labour, extortion and arbitrary taxation, looting by soldiers is rife and families face increased and arbitrary fees for their children's education. Such continual exploitation undermines villagers' livelihoods and makes family survival unsustainable, leading many villagers to instead seek more sustainable livelihood opportunities in other areas of Burma or neighbouring Thailand. This report focuses on the situation in Dta Greh township of Pa'an District, detailing incidents which occurred between January and July 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F13)
Format/size: pdf (573 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f13.html
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Forced labour and extortion in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 08 August 2008
Description/subject: "At a time when civilians in Pa'an District are already struggling with rising food prices and unemployment, an increasing number of villagers are being subjected to forced labour and extortion by local SPDC and DKBA forces. This is especially true in eastern Karen State, near the Thoo Mweh (Moei) river, where DKBA commanders are forcing villagers to ignore their own livelihoods in order to help these leaders cultivate their personal rubber plantations. The result of these abuses is a worsening food crisis and constant economic migration to other areas both in Burma and in neighbouring Thailand, places where villagers hope to find more sustainable employment opportunities. This report describes the situation in the Dta Greh and T'Nay Hsah townships of Pa'an District from January to June 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F11)
Format/size: pdf (511 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f11.html
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Military expansion and exploitation in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 05 August 2008
Description/subject: "With the SPDC Army's continued expansion in Nyaunglebin District, local villagers not under military control have had to once again flee into the surrounding forest while troops have forcibly interned other villagers in military-controlled relocation sites. These relocation sites, typically in the plains of western Nyaunglebin, alongside army camps or SPDC-controlled vehicle roads, serve as containment centres from which army personnel appropriate labour, money, food and supplies to support the military's ongoing expansion in the region. Extortion by military officers operating in Nyaunglebin District has included forced 'donations' allegedly collected for distribution to survivors of Cyclone Nargis in the Irrawaddy Delta. This field report looks at the situation in Nyaunglebin up to the end of May 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F10)
Format/size: pdf (697 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f10.html
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Exploitative governance under SPDC and DKBA authorities in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 11 July 2008
Description/subject: "With largely consolidated control over Dooplaya District in southern Karen State the SPDC and DKBA, as the two dominant (and allied) military forces, operate under a system of coexistence. The local civilian population, in turn, faces exploitative governance on two fronts as both SPDC and DKBA soldiers seek to extract money, labour, food and other supplies from them. Enforcing heavy movement restrictions on top of persistent exploitative demands, local communities are facing deteriorating livelihood opportunities, increasing poverty, and a constriction of educational and health care opportunities. Persistent human rights abuses thus foster the economic pressures fuelling the continuing migration of rural communities in Dooplaya District to refugee camps in Thailand and towards livelihood opportunities at urban centres in Burma and Thailand. This report examines the situation of abuse in Dooplaya District from January to June 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F8)
Format/size: pdf (666 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f8.html
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Attacks, forced labour and restrictions in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 01 July 2008
Description/subject: "While the rainy season is now underway in Karen state, Burma Army soldiers are continuing with military operations against civilian communities in Toungoo District. Local villagers in this area have had to leave their homes and agricultural land in order to escape into the jungle and avoid Burma Army attacks. These displaced villagers have, in turn, encountered health problems and food shortages, as medical supplies and services are restricted and regular relocation means any food supplies are limited to what can be carried on the villagers' backs alone. Yet these displaced communities have persisted in their effort to maintain their lives and dignity while on the run; building new shelters in hiding and seeking to address their livelihood and social needs despite constraints. Those remaining under military control, by contrast, face regular demands for forced labour, as well as other forms of extortion and arbitrary 'taxation'. This report examines military attacks, forced labour and movement restrictions and their implications in Toungoo District between March and June 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F7)
Format/size: pdf (880 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f7.html
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Oppressed twice over: SPDC and DKBA exploitation and violence against villagers in Thaton District
Date of publication: 20 March 2008
Description/subject: "Throughout Thaton District the SPDC has persistently worked to expand and entrench military control not only by increasing its own troops, but also by heavily relying on the DKBA as a local proxy force. Both groups exploit the civilian population to support their respective military hierarchies and local villagers thus face a double burden on their lives. This report looks at various forms and specific incidents of forced labour, extortion, violence and other abuse against villagers in Thaton District which SPDC and DKBA personnel have perpetrated up to February 2008..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2008-F4)
Format/size: pdf (672 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f4.html
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


Title: Militarisation, violence and exploitation in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 15 February 2008
Description/subject: "While the SPDC leadership proposes dates for a constitutional referendum and eventual multiparty elections it nonetheless continues without the slightest hesitation the violent subjugation of villagers in northern Karen State. The area of Toungoo District is now saturated with SPDC troops and the local civilian population living under military control as well as those living in hiding are facing constricting options for their lives. The SPDC has continued to increase the military build-up of the area deploying more troops, building new camps and bases and constructing and upgrading vehicle roads to facilitate troop deployment and the stocking of army camps. In this context attacks on villages, arbitrary detentions, killings, forced labour and extortion have continued consistent with the regime's policy of civilian subjugation and in opposition to its claims of a potential return to civilian rule through the current constitution-vetting process..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2008-F2)
Format/size: pdf (1.1 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f2.html
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


Title: Attacks, killings and increased militarisation in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 11 January 2008
Description/subject: "With the dry season in northern Karen State well under way, the SPDC continues to intensify its militarisation of the area. In Nyaunglebin District this intensification has come in the form of an increased troop build-up with the regime deploying new military units, establishing new camps and bases and attacking displaced civilian communities in hiding. Maintaining a shoot-on-sight policy SPDC soldiers operating in Nyaunglebin have shot and killed or otherwise severely injured displaced villagers and destroyed rice storage barns and civilian rice supplies across the district. In those areas more firmly under SPDC control, soldiers have ordered villagers to labour building army camps, porter mortar shells and army rations and repair SPDC-controlled vehicle roads in support of the region's growing military presence. This report looks at the human rights situation in Nyaunglebin District from October to December 2007..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2008-F1)
Format/size: pdf (788 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f1.html
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


Title: Forced labour, extortion and the state of education in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 16 October 2007
Description/subject: "As world attention focused last month on the large-scale public demonstrations in Rangoon and other major urban centres around Burma, the magnitude of domestic frustration over the military's systematic impoverishment of the civilian population became evident to the international community. This frustration is keenly felt by the people of Dooplaya District in southern Karen State and found expression last month in local anti-regime gatherings. Amongst other abuses, forced labour and extortion in their many guises have been leading causes in the economic collapse and resultant frustration with militarisation in Dooplaya District. A crucial factor making these abuses even more oppressive in Dooplaya and other areas of Karen State as compared with central Burma is the multiplicity of armed groups which compete with each other and with the region's civilian administration for the spoils of village-level exploitation. Across Dooplaya District the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Army; the regime's district and township-level civilian administration; the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA); and the Karen Peace Force (KPF) all continue to fatten themselves off of the toil of village labour. Amongst other detrimental consequences, this persistent predation has undermined opportunities for educational advancement and the application of such education beyond traditional village livelihoods or subservience within the local system of militarisation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F8)
Format/size: pdf (586 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f8.html
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2009


Title: State agencies, armed groups and the proliferation of oppression in Thaton District
Date of publication: 24 September 2007
Description/subject: "Throughout SPDC-controlled areas of Karen State the regime has been developing civilian agencies as extensions of military authority. On top of this, the junta has continued to strengthen the more traditional forms of militarisation and, at least in Thaton District, has firmly backed the expansion of DKBA military operations to control the civilian population and eradicate KNLA forces which continue to actively patrol the area. The people of Thaton District thus face a myriad of State agencies and armed groups which have overburdened them with demands for labour, money and supplies. While engaging with these groups, addressing the demands placed on them and attending to their own livelihoods, local villagers have sought to manage a delicate balance of seemingly impossible weights..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F7)
Format/size: pdf (1 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f7.html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Shouldering the Burden of Militarisation: SPDC, DKBA and KPF order documents since September 2006
Date of publication: 14 August 2007
Description/subject: "Forced labour continues to be among the most pervasive of human rights abuses in Burma and a leading cause of displacement, both internally and as refugees into neighbouring countries. Villagers living in Karen State have expressly condemned the regular, and in many cases daily, demands for forced labour imposed upon them. According to these individuals forced labour has lead to collapsing livelihoods, increased poverty and severe difficulties in addressing health, education and other community needs; leading them to respond with varied strategies including flight and displacement. Such views have been consistent in thousands of KHRG interviews with local villagers conducted over the past 15 years. Despite these testimonies the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the military regime currently ruling Burma, continues to deny the practice of forced labour. However, order documents explicitly demanding forced labour and signed by SPDC officers are regularly collected by KHRG field researchers working throughout Karen State. These documents provide tangible evidence of the continued large-scale perpetration of forced labour in Karen State by military officers and civilian officials of the SPDC, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army and the Karen Peace Force. This report has been written to provide contextual details on the widespread and systematic perpetration of forced labour as background to a compendium of 145 order documents sent to villages in Karen State since September 2006, translations of which are included in the appendices below. These order documents have been compiled for submission to the International Labour Organisation's Committee of Experts meeting in September 2007..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2007-02)
Format/size: pdf (1.54 Mb, 111 pages)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg0702.html
Date of entry/update: 15 November 2009


Title: Provoking Displacement in Toungoo District: Forced labour, restrictions and attacks
Date of publication: 30 May 2007
Description/subject: "The first half of 2007 has seen the continued flight of civilians from their homes and land in response to ongoing State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military operations in Toungoo District. While in some cases this displacement is prompted by direct military attacks against their villages, many civilians living in Toungoo District have told KHRG that the primary catalyst for relocation has been the regular demands for labour, money and supplies and the restrictions on movement and trade imposed by SPDC forces. These everyday abuses combine over time to effectively undermine civilian livelihoods, exacerbate poverty and make subsistence untenable. Villagers threatened with such demands and restrictions frequently choose displacement in response - initially to forest hiding sites located nearby and then farther afield to larger Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps or across the border to Thailand-based refugee camps. This report presents accounts of ongoing abuses in Toungoo District committed by SPDC forces during the period of January to May 2007 and their role in motivating local villagers to respond with flight and displacement..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F4)
Format/size: pdf (527 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f4.html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Bullets and Bulldozers: The SPDC offensive continues in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 19 February 2007
Description/subject: "The first two months of 2007 have done nothing to lessen the intensity of attacks against the villagers of Toungoo District. SPDC forces continue to send in more troops and supplies, build new camps and upgrade older ones using forced village labour, convict porters and heavy machinery brought in for this purpose. Local villagers have been the ones to suffer from the increased military build-up and infrastructure 'development' as such programmes have put the SPDC in a stronger position to enforce their authority over civilians in rural areas and undermine the efforts of local peoples to evade military forces and maintain their livelihoods. Employing the new roadways and camps to shuttle troops and supplies deeper into areas beyond military control, SPDC forces continue to expand their reach in terms of extortion of funds, food and supplies; extraction of forced labour; and restriction of all civilian movement, travel and trade. These abuses have combined to exacerbate poverty, worsen the humanitarian situation and restrict the options of villagers living in these areas..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F1)
Format/size: pdf (819 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f1.html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Oppression by proxy in Thaton District
Date of publication: 21 December 2006
Description/subject: "With the onset of the cold season the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) has been able to push ahead with military attacks against villages and displaced communities in the northern districts of Karen State. In Thaton District and other areas further south, however, the military is more firmly in control, fewer displaced communities are able to remain in hiding, and SPDC rule is facilitated by the presence of its ally the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). By increasingly relying on DKBA forces to administer Thaton, the SPDC has been able to free up soldiers and resources which can then be deployed elsewhere. To force the civilian population into submission, the DKBA has scoured villages throughout Thaton - detaining, interrogating and torturing villagers and conscripting them to serve as army porters. Commensurate with its increased control over the civilian population, DKBA soldiers have subjected villagers to regular extortion, arbitrary and excessive 'taxation', forced labour, land confiscation and restrictions on movement, trade and education which all serve to support ongoing military rule in Thaton. By systematising control over local villagers, the SPDC and DKBA have been able to implement 'development' projects that financially benefit and further entrench the military hierarchy. Amongst such initiatives, the construction in Thaton District of the United Nations-supported Asian Highway, connecting Burma with neighbouring countries, has involved uncompensated land confiscation and forced labour..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F11)
Format/size: pdf (619 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f11.html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Toungoo District: The civilian response to human rights violations
Date of publication: 15 August 2006
Description/subject: "Attacks on villages in Toungoo and other northern Karen districts by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) since late 2005 have led to extensive displacement and some international attention, but little of this has focused on the continuing lives of the villagers involved. In this report KHRG's Karen researchers in the field describe how these attacks have been affecting local people, and how these people have responded. The SPDC's forced relocation, village destruction, shoot-on-sight orders and blockades on the movement of food and medicines have killed many and created pervasive suffering, but the villagers' continued refusal to submit to SPDC authority has caused the military to fail in its objective of bringing the entire civilian population under direct control. This is a struggle which SPDC forces cannot win, but they may never stop trying..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F8)
Format/size: pdf (588 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f8.html
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2009


Title: Forced Relocation, Restrictions and Abuses in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 10 July 2006
Description/subject: "This report presents information on ongoing abuses in Nyaunglebin (Kler Lweh Htoo) District, Karen State committed by SPDC forces during the period of March to May 2006. Attacks on hill villagers have continued as SPDC units seek to depopulate the hills and force all villagers to relocate to military-controlled villages in the plains and along roadways. However, those villagers living in SPDC-controlled areas are subject as well to continued abuses including arbitrary arrest and detention, extortion, restricted movement and forced labour..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F6)
Format/size: pdf (645 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f6.html
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2009


Title: Pa'an District: Land confiscation, forced labour and extortion undermining villagers' livelihoods
Date of publication: 11 February 2006
Description/subject: "Villagers in northern Pa'an District of central Karen State say their livelihoods are under serious threat due to exploitation by SPDC military authorities and by their Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) allies who rule as an SPDC proxy army in much of the region. Villages in the vicinity of the DKBA headquarters are forced to give much of their time and resources to support the headquarters complex, while villages directly under SPDC control face rape, arbitrary detention and threats to keep them compliant with SPDC demands. The SPDC plans to expand Dta Greh (a.k.a. Pain Kyone) village into a town in order to strengthen its administrative control over the area, and is confiscating about half of the village's productive land without compensation to build infrastructure which includes offices, army camps and a hydroelectric power dam - destroying the livelihoods of close to 100 farming families. Local villagers, who are already struggling to survive under the weight of existing demands, fear further forced labour and extortion as the project continues..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2006-F1)
Format/size: pfd (739 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f1.html
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2009


Title: SURVIVING IN SHADOW: Widespread Militarization and the Systematic Use of Forced Labour in the Campaign for Control of Thaton District
Date of publication: 17 January 2006
Description/subject: " This report examines the situation faced by Karen villagers in Thaton District (known as Doo Tha Htoo in Karen). The district lies in what is officially the northern part of Mon State and also encompasses part of Karen State to the west of the Salween River . Successive Burmese regimes have had strong control over the parts of the district to the west of the Rangoon-Martaban road for many years. They were also able to gain 'defacto' control over the eastern part of the district following the fall of the former Karen National Union (KNU) stronghold at Manerplaw in 1995. The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) is also strong in the district, particularly in the eastern stretches of Pa'an township. Although diminished in recent years, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the KNU, is still quite active in the district. The villagers in the district have had to contend with all three of these armed groups. The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and DKBA demand forced labour, taxes, and extortion money from the villagers while also severely restricting their movements. While the demands for some forms of forced labour such as portering have declined over the past few years, the villagers continue to be regularly called upon by both the SPDC and the DKBA to expand the ever-increasing network of roads throughout the district, as well to fulfil the frequent orders to supply staggering quantities of building materials. A number of new SPDC and DKBA controlled commercial ventures have also appeared in the district in recent years, to which the villagers are also forced to 'contribute' their labour. In 2000, the SPDC confiscated 5,000 acres of land for use as an immense sugarcane plantation, while more recently in late 2004, the SPDC again confiscated another 5,000 acres of the villagers' farmland, all of which is to become a huge rubber plantation, co-owed and operated by Rangoon-based company Max Myanmar. In addition, the villagers are punished for any perceived support for the KNLA or KNU. All such systems of control greatly impoverish the villagers, to the extent that now many of them struggle just to survive. Most villagers have few options but to try to live as best they can. SPDC control of the district is too tight for the villagers to live in hiding in the forest and Thailand is too far for most villagers to flee to. The villagers are forced to answer the demands of the SPDC and DKBA, of which there are many, while trying to avoid punishment for any supposed support of the resistance. They have to balance this with trying to find enough time to work in their fields and find enough food to feed their families. This report provides a detailed analysis of the human rights situation in Thaton District from 2000 to the present. It is based on 216 interviews conducted by KHRG researchers with people in SPDC-controlled villages, in hill villages, in hiding in the forest and with those who have fled to Thailand to become refugees. These interviews are supplemented by SPDC and DKBA order documents selected from the hundreds we have obtained from the area, along with field reports, maps, and photographs taken by KHRG field researchers. All of the interviews were conducted between November 1999 and November 2004. A number of field reports dated up until June 2005 have also been included. The report begins with an Introduction and Executive Summary. The detailed analysis that follows has been broken down into ten main sections. The villagers tell most of the story in the main sections through direct quotes taken from recorded interviews. The full text of the interviews and the field reports upon which this report is based are available from KHRG upon approved request."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 January 2006


Title: Seeing Through the Smoke of Ceasefires
Date of publication: 09 June 2005
Description/subject: "Drawing upon recent KHRG reports, this Commentary asks the question why the Karen ceasefire is not generating a human rights dividend for Karen villagers, and looks for the answer in the nature of conflict in Burma. It finds the conflict to be much broader than that between armed entities, pitting villagers against the military junta in a daily struggle for control of their lives. The villagers' role in this struggle is too often ignored, both by outside actors who insist on treating villagers as passive bystanders to their own context, and by activists who seek to subjugate everything to the narrow struggle for an elitist Burmese 'democracy'. Double standards are used to further marginalise rural, agrarian, and non-Burman voices, when the real need now is for these voices to be heard more in political processes. The Commentary also discusses forced labour trends in Karen areas, and the new ways KHRG is documenting the human rights situation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Commentaries (KHRG #2005-C1)
Format/size: pdf (498 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05c1.html
Date of entry/update: 16 November 2009


Title: Papun District: Forced Labour, Looting and Road Construction in SPDC-Controlled Areas
Date of publication: 20 May 2005
Description/subject: "Villagers in Papun District who live under the control of nearby SPDC army camps are reporting that this year they are doing less forced labour as porters because convict porters are being brought in, and less forced labour repairing roads because much of this work is being done by SPDC soldiers - but that forced labour as unarmed sentries, Army camp servants, logging for the DKBA, and particularly cutting thatch and bamboo to build and repair SPDC and DKBA army camps, are still taking enough of their time to jeopardise their livelihoods. Worse yet, SPDC soldiers doing road work are destroying the villagers' fields and irrigation systems, putting this year's rice crop under serious threat. This has made the villagers deeply angry and frustrated, but any attempts to protest have been met with threats and gun-barrels. With the SPDC now beginning work on new roads and Army camps to secure the construction of massive dams on the Salween River, this situation is only likely to worsen in the near future..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F5)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2005


Title: Nyaunglebin District: Food supplies destroyed, villagers forcibly displaced, and region-wide forced labour as SPDC forces seek control over civilians
Date of publication: 04 May 2005
Description/subject: "Between October 2004 and January 2005 SPDC troops launched forays into the hills of Nyaunglebin District in an attempt to flush villagers down into the plains and a life under SPDC control. Viciously timed to coincide with the rice harvest, the campaign focused on burning crops and landmining the fields to starve out the villagers. Most people fled into the forest, where they now face food shortages and uncertainty about this year's planting and the security of their villages. Meanwhile in the plains, the SPDC is using people in relocation sites and villages they control as forced labour to strengthen the network of roads and Army camps - the main tools of military control over the civilian population - while Army officers plunder people's belongings for personal gain. In both hills and plains, increased militarisation is bringing on food shortages and poverty..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F4)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2005


Title: From Prison to Frontline: Portering for SPDC Troops during the Offensive in Eastern Karen State, Burma, September-October 2003.
Date of publication: January 2005
Description/subject: "...In November 2003, in the wake of the joint military offensive by the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) and the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army), Burma Issues set about documenting the systematic use of prisoners as porters for military purposes. This practice constitutes an egregious human rights abuse. Research for the project began with interviews with twenty-two escapees who had taken refuge near the Thai-Burma border. We dealt with issues such as their prison lives, their journey to the conflict area, their treatment at the hands of the soldiers, their experiences in battle, and also their experiences relating to landmines. We then proceeded to conduct more in-depth research to supplement this invaluable first hand information. We have compiled the analysis and present our findings in this report..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Issues
Format/size: pdf (545K - OBL version; 709K - original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/images/stories/pdfreports/from%20prison%20to%20frontline.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 June 2005


Title: Enduring Hunger and Repression: : Food Scarcity, Internal Displacement, and the Continued Use of Forced Labour in Toungoo District
Date of publication: September 2004
Description/subject: "This report describes the current situation faced by rural Karen villagers in Toungoo District (known as Taw Oo in Karen). Toungoo District is the northernmost district of Karen State, sharing borders with Karenni (Kayah) State to the east, Pegu (Bago) Division to the west, and Shan State to the north. To the south Toungoo District shares borders with the Karen districts of Nyaunglebin (Kler Lweh Htoo) and Papun (Mutraw). The westernmost portion of the district bordering Pegu Division consists of the plains of the Sittaung River, which are heavily controlled by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta which presently rules Burma. The rest of the district to the east is covered by steep and forested hills that are home to Karen villagers who live in small villages strewn across the hills. For years, the SPDC has endeavoured to extend its control through the hills, but their efforts thus far have been hampered by the continued armed resistance of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). Within the areas that are strongly controlled by the SPDC, the villagers must live with constant demands for forced labour, food, and money from the SPDC battalions that are based in the area. Villages that do not comply with SPDC demands risk being relocated and burned. Many villages have been burned and their inhabitants forcibly relocated to sites where the SPDC may more easily control and exploit them. Those villagers who do not move to the relocation sites flee into the jungles where they live as internally displaced persons (IDPs). Several thousand villagers now live internally displaced in the mountains of Toungoo District. These villagers live in almost constant fear of SPDC Army units, and must run for their lives if they receive word that a column of soldiers is approaching. SPDC Army columns routinely shoot displaced villagers on sight. The villagers here continue to suffer severe human rights violations at the hands of the SPDC Army soldiers, including, but not limited to summary arrest, torture, forced labour, extortion, extrajudicial execution, and the systematic destruction of crops and food supplies. Although a verbal ceasefire is in place between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the SPDC, not much has changed for the villagers in the district. KNLA and SPDC military units still occasionally clash. The SPDC has taken advantage of the ceasefire to move more troops into the area and to build new camps. These new camps and troops have meant that the villagers now have to do forced labour building the new camps and portering supplies up to the camps. There are also more troops and camps to demand food and money from the villagers. The many new camps have made it more difficult for internally displaced villagers work their fields or to go to find food..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (9.5MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2004/khrg0401a.html
Date of entry/update: 16 November 2004


Title: Eastern Pa'an District: Forced Labour, Food Security and the Consolidation of Control
Date of publication: 23 March 2004
Description/subject: "The SPDC and DKBA continued to consolidate their control over Pa'an District in 2003, especially in the mountainous eastern part of the district. Fighting between the SPDC and the DKBA was ongoing up until the ceasefire talks began in December 2003, culminating in an offensive against the KNLA's 7th Brigade headquarters in October. In order to expand their influence DKBA units are actively recruiting in the area. Villagers must also face demands from both the SPDC and the DKBA for forced labour, building materials and extortion money. Fulfilling these demands have left the villagers with little time to work their fields. Many villagers are unable to get enough food to eat, making food security a serious issue in the area..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 November 2009


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: Operation Than L'Yet: Forced Displacement, Massacres and Forced Labour in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 25 September 2002
Description/subject: "In January 2002 it appeared that the SPDC considered most of Dooplaya district of southern Karen State to be pacified and under their control. But then Light Infantry Division 88 was sent in and commenced Operation Than L'Yet, forcibly relocating as many as 60 villages by July. Villagers were rounded up and detained without food for days, or force-marched to Army-controlled relocation sites after their houses were burned. Village heads, women and children were tortured. People who tried to flee into the forests were shot on sight, including one brutal massacre of ten people, six of them children under 15. Over a thousand people fled into Thailand, and several thousand more are still trying. Another five thousand are in Army relocation camps, where they have been provided with nothing and are struggling to survive on rice gruel and whatever roots they can forage. Their movements are tightly controlled and they are being used as forced labour to build roads, bridges and Army camps which will help Division 88 to clamp down further on the district. They are also forced to work as porters for the Army columns which go out to loot and destroy even more villages. KHRG researchers expect a renewed onslaught after the rains end in October, when Division 88 will probably set out to hunt down those still in hiding and may extend the forced relocations to more areas."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Information Update (KHRG #2002-U5)
Format/size: html (34K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Labour Orders Since The Ban
Date of publication: 08 February 2002
Description/subject: The report includes the direct translations of 453 order documents and letters received by village leaders in Karen State and Pegu Division of Burma. All but a few of them are demands for forced labour issued by State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military units and local authorities, while the remaining few are letters and notes written by village heads about the forced labour they have been ordered to provide. All of these orders and letters were written and issued after November 1st 2000, which is the date when SPDC Secretary-1 Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt signed an order prohibiting the further use of forced labour by military and civilian authorities (see Appendix B). The orders translated here carry dates up to November 2001, more than a year after Khin Nyunt’s order was supposedly implemented, and a perusal of all of them shows that there has been no reduction in forced labour in any of the regions covered by this report. Villagers and village heads throughout these regions also consistently testify to KHRG that there has been no reduction in forced labour in their areas, and their testimonies are presented in other KHRG reports. Meanwhile, though the most recent documents translated herein are dated November 2001, similar orders are still being issued and gathered by KHRG..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2002-01)
Format/size: pdf (1 Mb, 187 pages)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2002/khrg0201.html
Date of entry/update: 15 November 2009


Title: Forced Labour Briefing Notes
Date of publication: 10 February 1998
Description/subject: "...hese notes list some of the main types of forced labour currently experienced by villagers in most of the main rural Karen areas of Burma, including Karen State, Tenasserim Division, parts of Mon State and Pegu Division, and the Irrawaddy Delta. This list does not include all the types of forced labour, it only tries to give an idea of the main types. For further details on labour conditions and the implementation of this forced labour please see KHRG’s written submission to the ILO Commission of Inquiry dated August 1997. Details and supporting evidence of the situation in each of the areas listed below is available in existing and upcoming KHRG reports. Presently the SPDC is rapidly expanding the concentration of its armed forces in most Karen areas, and the burden of forced labour on all villagers is increasing even more quickly; each Battalion is demanding more and more forced labour of villagers, and the number of these Battalions is also increasing. Several major military offensives have been conducted over the past year, particularly in Dooplaya and Tenasserim, and an offensive is expected soon in Papun District of Karen State. The SPDC has greatly extended its control in Karen areas in the past year, and is continuing on a program to gain complete control over all Karen areas. Forced labour is used both to gain control (as porters, camp labour, etc.) and once control is established (as camp labour, forced labour on roads and other "development", growing cash crops for the military, etc.)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG Articles & Papers)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 November 2009


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


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary # 94
Date of publication: 06 June 1994
Description/subject: "...Just when we think the SLORC already has enough in its inventory of brutality, it amazes us by coming up with even more dirty tricks. Now the regional SLORC commanders have called most of the village heads in Thaton District to a meeting, and informed them that "In the future, for every one of our soldiers who dies we will execute 5 of your villagers." This order appears to have come from Rangoon, and it is a frightening omen of the way SLORC is going. The SLORC's demands for "compensation" from villagers are ever-increasing. Every time they lose a truck to a Karen landmine, they now systematically demand 50,000 Kyat from each of up to 10 or 12 surrounding villages, and 100,000 from the nearest village. One written order from 42 Infantry Battalion states that the next time a truck explodes, they will demand 1 million Kyat, which must be paid within 7 days or all surrounding villages will be burned down - and from then on, villagers will be forced to ride along on all SLORC trucks. Along with the existing heavy burdens of "porter fees" and food looting, villagers are now forced to pay "taxes" on every farm field and on many of their tools such as woodcutting saws. In many villages, every time they boil their sugarcane into jaggery, the SLORC then either comes and confiscates it or "buys" it from them, then forces them to "buy" it back at a much higher price. Soldiers no longer eat their own rations - they force the villagers to buy them at inflated prices, then loot food back from the villagers..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Commentary (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 November 2009


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #94, Jan 19
Date of publication: 16 January 1994
Description/subject: "...On December 24, 1993, the officers of SLORC No. 301 Burma Regiment ordered the village headmen of Kyo Waing and No Kaneh villages, in Thaton District, to ensure that security is maintained in their respective village tract areas. They were forced to sign papers guaranteeing that if a single bomb explodes or a shot is fired in the entire village tract, they will pay compensation of 50,000 Kyat to SLORC, and if one truck is damaged by a land mine they will pay 100,000 Kyat. What wasn't written on the paper was that these headmen will also pay with their lives and those of several of their villagers. Already the SLORC has shelled defenceless villages with mortars without warning and massacred villagers this year in that area for much lesser "crimes", like "not guarding the road" and "failing to pay protection money when ordered". All this at a time when SLORC delegates are travelling the world talking about the SLORC's "peace initiatives". But what means more - what the SLORC says at the UN, or what it does in Burma? Sadly, many foreign governments are now looking at their wallets and hedging on a decision. They should have a talk with the headmen of Kyo Waing and No Kaneh if they want to learn what "peace initiative" means to the SLORC - or better yet, they should go and try living in those villages for a year. While their governments consider resuming multi-million dollar "development aid" to the SLORC military, about 400 people in Thaton District have died since September from a dysentery epidemic because they had no medicine and no outside aid. The SLORC executes anyone in the area caught with medicine as a "rebel supplier". Aid could have reached them from the Thai border, if it had been sent..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 November 2009