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Home > Main Library > Internal armed conflict > Internal armed conflict in Burma > Armed conflict in Burma - Impact on village life, including health and education

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Armed conflict in Burma - Impact on village life, including health and education
Only a selection. Most of the human rights violations against non-Burman ethnic groups are conducted by the military in the general context of the civil war. See also entries under "Ethnic Discrimination", in the Human Rights Section and under "Internal Displacement".

Individual Documents

Title: Hpa-an Situation Update: Hlaingbwe, Nabu, Paingkyon and Hti Lon townships, May to July 201 4
Date of publication: 28 November 2014
Description/subject: This Situation Update describes events occurring in Hlaingbwe, Nabu, Paingkyon and Hti Lon townships, Hpa-an District during the period between May and July 2014, including destruction of villagers’ farm land due to road construction and drug awareness and eradication efforts carried out by armed groups.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (7.3K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-57-s1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2014


Title: Hpapun Situation Update: Lu Thaw Township, March to May 2014
Date of publication: 28 November 2014
Description/subject: This Situation Update describes events occurring in Lu Thaw Township, Hpapun District, during the period between March and May 2014, including Tatmadaw activities, landmines, and the situation regarding civilian livelihoods, health care and education.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (186.9K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/14-38-s1.pdf
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2014


Title: State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2013 (Burma/Myanmar section)
Date of publication: 24 September 2013
Description/subject: "State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2013" presents a global picture of the health inequalities experienced by minorities and indigenous communities. The report finds that minorities and indigenous peoples suffer more ill-health and receive poorer quality of care. - See more at: http://www.minorityrights.org/12071/state-of-the-worlds-minorities/state-of-the-worlds-minorities-and-indigenous-peoples-2013.html#sthash.4jaxgXrf.dpuf
Language: English
Source/publisher: Minority Rights Group (MRG)
Format/size: pdf (153K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.minorityrights.org/12071/state-of-the-worlds-minorities/state-of-the-worlds-minorities-a...
Date of entry/update: 03 October 2013


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

http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b33.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 July 2013


Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: Kya In Seik Kyi Township, September 2012
Date of publication: 07 June 2013
Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in September 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Dooplaya District, during September 2012. Specifically detailed is the situation and location of armed groups (Tatmadaw, DKBA and BGF); the villagers’ situation and opinions of the KNLA; and development projects in the area. This report also contains information about Tatmadaw practices such as the killing of villager’s livestock without permission or compensation; forcing villagers to be guides; and use of villagers’ tractors; villagers were however, given payment for this. The report also describes villagers’ difficulties associated with the payment of government-required motorbike licenses, as well as difficulties regarding the education system. The lack of healthcare in local villages is described, as well as the ailments that villagers suffer from. Further, this report includes information about antimony mining projects in the area carried out by companies such as San Mya Yadana Company and Thu Wana Myay Zi Lwar That Tuh Too Paw Yay owned by Hkin Zaw. Antimony mining is reported to have been going on for four years and the presence of mining companies is reported to have led to food price increases in the area. The community member describes how large mining companies have contributed water pipes and money to a village school. The biggest mining project in the region led by Hkin Maung is discussed and it is reported that mining companies working in the area have permission from the KNU and pay taxes to the KNU. This report and others, was published in March 2013 in Appendix 1: Raw Data Testimony of KHRG’s thematic report: Losing Ground: Land Conflicts and collective action in eastern Myanmar.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (135K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b32.html
http://www.khrg.org/sites/default/files/khrg13b32.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 July 2013


Title: Woman raped and killed in Pa'an District, October 2012
Date of publication: 11 December 2012
Description/subject: "This report information was submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Pa'an District, during October 2012. On October 14th, a 21-year-old M--- villager, named Naw W---, was killed after being raped by a 23-year-old man from P--- village, Saw N---. Saw N--- reportedly used amphetamines that were manufactured and distributed by Border Guard Battalion #1016. According to villagers in T'Nay Hsah Township, the drug has caused problems for local communities, which are looking for ways to control use and distribution."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (38K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b85.html
Date of entry/update: 23 December 2012


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


Title: 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: Attacks on Health and Education: Trends and incidents from eastern Burma, 2010-2011
Date of publication: 06 December 2011
Description/subject: "This report presents primary evidence of attacks on education and health in eastern Burma collected by KHRG during the period February 2010 to May 2011. Section I of this report details KHRG research methodology; Section II analyses general trends in armed conflict and details a loose typology of attacks identified during the reporting period. Section III applies this typology to 16 particularly illustrative incidents, and analyses them in light of relevant international humanitarian law and UN Security Council resolutions 1612, 1882 and 1998. These incidents were selected from a database detailing 59 attacks on civilians documented by KHRG between February 2010 and May 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html. pdf (166K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/2011/12/khrg1105/attacks-health-and-education-trends-and-incidents-eastern-burm...
Date of entry/update: 19 January 2012


Title: Civilian and Military order documents: March 2008 to July 2011
Date of publication: 05 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes translated copies of 207 order documents issued by military and civilian officials of Burma's central government, as well as non-state armed groups now formally subordinate to the state army as 'Border Guard' battalions, to village heads in eastern Burma between March 2008 and July 2011. Of these documents, at least 176 were issued from January 2010 onwards. These documents serve as primary evidence of ongoing exploitative local governance in rural Burma. This 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 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 recruitment into armed ceasefire groups; forced labour as messengers and porters for the military; forced labour on bridge 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. Almost all 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 (656K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1103.html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


Title: MYANMAR: Displacement continues in context of armed conflicts (Overview)
Date of publication: 19 July 2011
Description/subject: "In November 2010 the first national elections since 1990 were held in Myanmar. While the party set up by the previous government and the armed forces retain most legislative and executive power, the elections may nevertheless have opened up a window of opportunity for greater civilian governance and power-sharing. At the same time, recent fighting between opposition non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and government forces in Kayin/Karen, Kachin, and Shan States, which displaced many within eastern Myanmar and into Thailand and China, is a sign that ethnic tensions remain serious and peace elusive. Since April 2009, armed conflict between the armed forces and NSAGs has intensified, as several NSAGs that had concluded a ceasefire with the government in the 1990s refused to obey government orders to transform into army-led border guard forces. Displacement in the context of armed conflict is not systematically monitored by any independent organisation inside the country. Most available information on displacement comes from organisations based on the Thai side of the Thailand-Myanmar border. Limited access to affected areas and lack of independent monitoring make it virtually impossible to verify their reports of the numbers and situations of internally displaced people (IDPs). Although the conflicts in other areas of Myanmar have probably also led to displacement, the only region for which estimates have been available was the southeast, where more than 400,000 people were believed to be living in internal displacement in 2010. More than 70,000 among them were estimated to be newly displaced. People displaced due to conflict in Myanmar lack access to food, clean water, health care, education and livelihoods. Their security is threatened by ongoing fighting, including where conflict parties reportedly target civilians directly. Although the limited access of humanitarians to most conflict-affected areas has hampered the provision of assistance and protection, the Government of Myanmar took a positive step in 2010 by concluding an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the provision of assistance to conflict-affected communities."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
Format/size: pdf (249K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/IDMC-Myanmar_Overview_July2011.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2011


Title: MYANMAR: Displacement continues in context of armed conflicts A profile of the internal displacement situation 19 July, 2011
Date of publication: 19 July 2011
Description/subject: CONTENTS: OVERVIEW; DISPLACEMENT CONTINUES IN CONTEXT OF ARMED CONFLICTS; CAUSES, BACKGROUND AND PATTERNS OF MOVEMENT; OVERVIEW OF THE CAUSES OF DISPLACEMENT IN MYANMAR; BACKGROUND TO CONFLICT AND INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT IN MYANMAR; CURRENT SITUATION OF CEASEFIRES AND BORDER GUARD FORCE ISSUE; POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS; RECENT FIGHTING; IDP POPULATION FIGURES; NUMBERS OF IDPS; PHYSICAL SECURITY AND INTEGRITY; LANDMINES; BASIC NECESSITIES OF LIFE; FOOD AND WATER; HEALTH, NUTRITION AND SANITATION; PROPERTY, LIVELIHOODS, EDUCATION AND OTHER ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS; LIVELIHOODS; EDUCATION; NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE; NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE AND HUMANITARIAN ACCESS ; LIST OF SOURCES USED
Language: English
Source/publisher: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
Format/size: pdf (120K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/IDP-profile-Myanmar-2011-07.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 September 2011


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: Militarization, Development and Displacement: Conditions for villagers in southern Tenasserim Division
Date of publication: 22 March 2011
Description/subject: "Villagers in Te Naw Th'Ri Township, Tenasserim Division face human rights abuses and threats to their livelihoods, attendant to increasing militarization of the area following widespread forced relocation campaigns in the late 1990s. Efforts to support and strengthen Tatmadaw presence throughout Te Naw Th'Ri have resulted in practices that facilitate control over the civilian population and extract material and labour resources while at the same time preventing non-state armed groups from operating or extracting resources of their own. Villagers who seek to evade military control and associated human rights abuses, meanwhile, report Tatmadaw attacks on civilians and civilian livelihoods in upland hiding areas. This report draws primarily on information received between September 2009 and November 2010 from Te Naw Th'Ri Township, Tenasserim Division."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (481K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11f3.html
Date of entry/update: 26 February 2012


Title: More arrests and movement restrictions: Conflict continues to impact civilians in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 30 November 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. Villagers in the Palu area have left on multiple occasions in the last six days, and continue to report that they are struggling to complete harvests and protect homes from looting while also fearing conflict and conflict related abuses. KHRG continues to document movement restrictions and arbitrary arrests, including the arrest and detention of six more villagers over the last three days."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B15)
Format/size: pdf (904K)
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2010


Title: Arrest, looting and flight: Conflict continues to impact civilians in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 25 November 2010
Description/subject: Villagers in eastern Dooplaya District continue to fear for their safety amid ongoing conflict between Tatmadaw and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) forces in and around their villages. Temporary displacement remains a preferred strategy for many civilians seeking protection from conflict and instability. The ability of villagers to access protection in Thailand, however, has been inconsistent, limiting the options available to civilians who feel that they cannot safely remain in their villages. Incidents reported by residents of Tatmadaw-controlled Waw Lay village, meanwhile, indicate that villagers and Tatmadaw forces continue to distrust each other, and that this mutual suspicion, and abuses that result from it, is a major protection concern for civilians in Waw Lay.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B13)
Format/size: pdf (328K)
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


Title: School closures and movement restrictions: conflict continues to impact civilians in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 19 November 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. In the large border town of Myawaddy, and surrounding villages, residents today reported the closure of schools and warnings of impending attacks. Villages to the south of Myawaddy, meanwhile, report movement restrictions that are complicating their ability to seek refuge in Thailand or tend to crops at a key juncture in the agricultural cycle.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B12)
Format/size: pdf (39K)
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


Title: Protection concerns expressed by civilians amidst conflict in Dooplaya and Pa’an districts Civilians continue to be at risk of conflict and conflict-related abuse in Dooplaya and Pa’an districts as fighting continues following new hostilities
Date of publication: 17 November 2010
Description/subject: "Civilians continue to be at risk of conflict and conflict-related abuse in Dooplaya and Pa’an districts as fighting continues following new hostilities between the Tatmadaw and DKBA. Fighting since November 7th 2010 has caused the largest single exodus of refugees fleeing to Thailand in more than 12 years. Villagers attempting to protect themselves inside Burma, as well as villagers already seeking refuge in adjacent areas in Thailand, have described to KHRG a variety of concerns: instability and continued armed conflict, as well as risks related to increased militarization including the functionally indiscriminate use of mortars and small arms in civilian areas, arrests, reprisals, sexual violence and forced labour portering military equipment. An Appendix containing 18 full transcripts of these interviews is also available on the KHRG website. Until their concerns are addressed, civilians in Dooplaya and Pa’an will continue need support that facilitates their protection from acute harm, including the option of temporary refuge in Thailand."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F9
Format/size: pdf (548K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10f9_Appendixes.pdf (Annexes - 18 interviews)
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


Title: Diagnosis: Critical – Health And Human Rights in Eastern Burma
Date of publication: 19 October 2010
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report reveals that the health of populations in conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma, particularly women and children, is amongst the worst in the world, a result of official disinvestment in health, protracted conflict and the abuse of civilians..."Diagnosis: Critical" demonstrates that a vast area of eastern Burma remains in a chronic health emergency, a continuing legacy of longstanding official disinvestment in health, coupled with protracted civil war and the abuse of civilians. This has left ethnic rural populations in the east with 41.2% of children under five acutely malnourished. 60.0% of deaths in children under the age of 5 are from preventable and treatable diseases, including acute respiratory infection, malaria, and diarrhea. These losses of life would be even greater if it were not for local community-based health organizations, which provide the only available preventive and curative care in these conflict-affected areas. The report summarizes the results of a large scale population-based health and human rights survey which covered 21 townships and 5,754 households in conflict-affected zones of eastern Burma. The survey was jointly conducted by the Burma Medical Association, National Health and Education Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team and ethnic health organizations serving the Karen, Karenni, Mon, Shan, and Palaung communities. These areas have been burdened by decades of civil conflict and attendant human rights abuses against the indigenous populations. Eastern Burma demographics are characterized by high birth rates, high death rates and the significant absence of men under the age of 45, patterns more comparable to recent war zones such as Sierra Leone than to Burma’s national demographics. Health indicators for these communities, particularly for women and children, are worse than Burma’s official national figures, which are already amongst the worst in the world. Child mortality rates are nearly twice as high in eastern Burma and the maternal mortality ratio is triple the official national figure. While violence is endemic in these conflict zones, direct losses of life from violence account for only 2.3% of deaths. The indirect health impacts of the conflict are much graver, with preventable losses of life accounting for 59.1% of all deaths and malaria alone accounting for 24.7%. At the time of the survey, one in 14 women was infected with Pf malaria, amongst the highest rates of infection in the world. This reality casts serious doubts over official claims of progress towards reaching the country’s Millennium Development Goals related to the health of women, children, and infectious diseases, particularly malaria. The survey findings also reveal widespread human rights abuses against ethnic civilians. Among surveyed households, 30.6% had experienced human rights violations in the prior year, including forced labor, forced displacement, and the destruction and seizure of food. The frequency and pattern with which these abuses occur against indigenous peoples provide further evidence of the need for a Commission of Inquiry into Crimes against Humanity. The upcoming election will do little to alleviate the situation, as the military forces responsible for these abuses will continue to operate outside civilian control according to the new constitution. The findings also indicate that these abuses are linked to adverse population-level health outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable members of the community—mothers and children. Survey results reveal that members of households who suffer from human rights violations have worse health outcomes, as summarized in the table above. Children in households that were internally displaced in the prior year were 3.3 times more likely to suffer from moderate or severe acute malnutrition. The odds of dying before age one was increased 2.5 times among infants from households in which at least one person was forced to provide labor. The ongoing widespread human rights abuses committed against ethnic civilians and the blockade of international humanitarian access to rural conflict-affected areas of eastern Burma by the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), mean that premature death and disability, particularly as a result of treatable and preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections, will continue. This will not only further devastate the health of communities of eastern Burma but also poses a direct health security threat to Burma’s neighbors, especially Thailand, where the highest rates of malaria occur on the Burma border. Multi-drug resistant malaria, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and other infectious diseases are growing concerns. The spread of malaria resistant to artemisinin, the most important anti-malarial drug, would be a regional and global disaster. In the absence of state-supported health infrastructure, local community-based organizations are working to improve access to health services in their own communities. These programs currently have a target population of over 376,000 people in eastern Burma and in 2009 treated nearly 40,000 cases of malaria and have vastly increased access to key maternal and child health interventions. However, they continue to be constrained by a lack of resources and ongoing human rights abuses by the Burmese military regime against civilians. In order to fully address the urgent health needs of eastern Burma, the underlying abuses fueling the health crisis need to end."
Language: Burmese, English, Thai
Source/publisher: The Burma Medical Association, National Health and Education Committee, Back Pack Health Worker Team
Format/size: pdf (OBL versions: 5.3MB - English; 4.4MB Thai; 3.5MB-Burmese) . Larger, original versions on BPHWT site
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Diagnosis_critical(th)-red.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs11/Diagnosis_critical(bu)-red.pdf
http://www.backpackteam.org/?page_id=208
Date of entry/update: 05 September 2011


Title: Supporting local responses to extractive abuse: Commentary on the ND-Burma report "Hidden Impact..."
Date of publication: 06 September 2010
Description/subject: "Eighteen years of KHRG field research indicates that regular extractive abuses by the SPDC Army and NSAGs threaten local livelihoods and are a fundamental human rights concern for villagers throughout eastern Burma. These abuses appear to be the product of the established SPDC Army and NSAG practice of supporting military units via extraction of significant material and labour resources from the local civilian population, enforced by implicit or explicit threats of violence. These findings were recently affirmed by ND-Burma, which last week released a report documenting the prevalence and impact of arbitrary taxation for communities across Burma. This commentary is designed to support ND-Burma’s report, by offering additional recommendations based upon evidence that civilians have developed and employed a range of strategies for protecting themselves from extractive abuse or its consequences. These responses vary between contexts, and have been formulated based on first-hand awareness of the local dynamics of abuse and potential space for safe response. Seeking to understand, and then support, these local protection efforts should be the starting point for any external actors interested in improving human rights conditions in eastern Burma in both the short and long term."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-C1)
Format/size: pdf (219K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10c1
Date of entry/update: 08 September 2010


Title: Self-protection under strain: Targeting of civilians and local responses in northern Karen State
Date of publication: 31 August 2010
Description/subject: "The SPDC Army continues to attack civilians and civilian livelihoods nearly two years after the end of the 2005-2008 SPDC Offensive in northern Karen State. In response, civilians have developed and employed various self-protection strategies that have enabled tens of thousands of villagers to survive with dignity and remain close to their homes despite the humanitarian consequences of SPDC Army practices. These protection strategies, however, have become strained, even insufficient, as humanitarian conditions worsen under sustained pressure from the SPDC Army, prompting some individual villagers and entire communities to re-assess local priorities and concerns, and respond with alternative strategies - including uses of weapons or landmines. While this complicates discussions of legal and humanitarian protections for at-risk civilians, uses of weapons by civilians occur amidst increasing constraints on alternative self-protection measures. External actors wishing to promote human rights in conflict areas of eastern Burma should therefore seek a detailed understanding of local priorities and dynamics of abuse, and use this understanding to inform activities that broaden civilians' range of feasible options for self-protection, including beyond uses of arms..."
Language: English, Burmese, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-04)
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB - full report, English; 986K - Summary, Burmese; 804K - Summary, Karen)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg1004_briefer_Burmese.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg1004_briefer_Karen.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


Title: Southern Papun District: Abuse and the expansion of military control
Date of publication: 30 August 2010
Description/subject: This report presents information on the human rights situation in village tracts along the southern end of the Ka Ma Maung to Papun road in southern Dweh Loh and Bu Tho townships. SPDC and DKBA units maintain control over strategic points in lowland areas of this part of southern Papun, including relocation sites and vehicle roads, and support their presence by levying a range of exploitative demands on the local civilian population. SPDC and DKBA forces also continue to conduct offensive military operations in upland areas of southern Papun; for villagers living beyond permanent military control, these activities entail exploitative abuses, movement restrictions and, in some cases, violence including military attacks. Communities in both lowland and upland areas employ a variety of strategies to protect themselves and their livelihoods from SPDC and DKBA abuses and the effects of abuse. Strategies documented in this report include negotiation; paying fines in lieu of compliance with demands; discreet semi- or false compliance, or overt non-compliance or refusal to meet demands; strategic displacement to areas beyond consolidated SPDC or DKBA control; and actively monitoring local security conditions to inform decisions about further self-protection responses. This is the last of four reports detailing the situation in Papun District's southern townships that have been released in August 2010. Incidents described below occurred between September 2009 and April 2010.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F8)
Format/size: pdf (779K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10f8
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


Title: Central Papun District: Village-level decision making and strategic displacement
Date of publication: 27 August 2010
Description/subject: This report details a sequence of events in one village in central Papun District in late 2009. The report illustrates how the community responded to exploitative and violent human rights abuses by SPDC Army units deployed near its village in order to avoid or reduce the harmful impact on livelihoods and physical security. It also provides a detailed example of the way local responses are often developed and employed cooperatively, thus affording protection to entire communities. This report draws extensively on interviews with residents of Pi--- village, Dweh Loh Township, who described their experiences to KHRG field researchers, supplemented by illustrations based on these accounts by a Karen artist. This is the third of four field reports documenting the situation in Papun District's southern townships that will be released in August 2010. The incidents and responses documented below occurred in November 2009.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F7)
Format/size: pdf (692K; 1.9MB- illustrated)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10f7_illustrations.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


Title: Central Papun District: Abuse and the maintenance of military control
Date of publication: 23 August 2010
Description/subject: This report presents information on the human rights situation in village tracts in central Papun District located near the northern section of the Ka Ma Maung to Papun Road, south of Papun Town in Bu Tho Township. Communities must confront regular threats to their livelihoods and physical security stemming from the strong SPDC and DKBA presence in, and control of the area, as these military units support themselves by extracting significant material and labour resources from the local civilian population. Villagers have reported movement restrictions and various exploitative abuses, including arbitrary taxation, forced portering, forced labour fabricating and delivering materials to military units, forced mine clearance and forced recruitment for military service. Some communities have also reported threats or acts of violent abuse, typically in the context of enforcing forced labour orders or where villagers have been accused of contacting or assisting KNLA forces operating in the area. This is the second of four reports detailing the situation in Papun District's southern townships that will be released in August 2010. Incidents documented in this report occurred between April 2009 and February 2010.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-C1)
Format/size: pdf (779K)
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


Title: Southwestern Papun District: Transitions to DKBA control along the Bilin River
Date of publication: 18 August 2010
Description/subject: "This report documents the human rights situation in communities along the Bilin to Papun Road and along the Bilin River in western Dweh Loh Township, Papun District. SPDC forces remain active in these areas, but DKBA soldiers from Battalions #333 and #999 have increased their presence; local villagers have reported that they continue to face abuses by both actors, but KHRG has received a greater number of reports of DKBA abuses, especially regarding exploitative demands, movement restrictions and the use of landmines in civilian areas. This report is the first of four reports detailing the situation in southern Papun that will be released in August 2010. Incidents documented in this report occurred between November 2009 and March 2010...Since late 2009, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) has strengthened its presence in southwestern Dweh Loh Township, Papun District, increasing troop levels and camps, commencing gold mining operations on the Bilin River, and enforcing movement restrictions on the civilian population. Residents of the village tracts near the Bilin River and along the Bilin to Papun road, which follows the eastern bank of the Bilin River north through the centre of Dweh Loh Township (see map), have told KHRG field researchers that they have faced heavy demands for forced labour to support the increased DKBA presence, detracting from the time they can spend on livelihoods activities. Communities with a DKBA camp nearby have had livelihoods further curtailed, as DKBA soldiers have enforced strict curfews and other movement restrictions that have prevented villagers from spending sufficient time in their fields. Units from the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) Army, meanwhile, remain deployed in southwestern Papun, and villagers living near active SPDC Army camps report that they continue to face exploitative demands and irregular violent abuses from SPDC troops. According to KHRG’s most recent information, as of March 2010 DKBA soldiers from Battalions #333 and #999 were occupying more than 28 camps in Wa Muh, Meh Choh, Ma Lay Ler, and Meh Way village tracts in western Dweh Loh Township; SPDC soldiers from Infantry Battalion (IB) #96 and Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #704, under Military Operations Command (MOC) #4 Tactical Operations Command (TOC) #1,1 were also active in the same area. While there does not appear to have been a formal transfer of authority from SPDC to DKBA Battalions in these areas, reports from local villagers suggest that they now face greater exploitative demands and human rights threats from increased DKBA military control in southwestern Papun District. Troops from Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) 5th Brigade are also active in southwestern Papun, chiefly placing landmines and making sporadic ‘guerrilla’ style attacks on the SPDC and DKBA.2
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F5)
Format/size: pdf (683K)
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


Title: KHRG Photo Gallery 2010
Date of publication: 15 June 2010
Description/subject: The first instalment of KHRG's Photo Gallery 2010 presents 131 still images selected from photos taken by field researchers since July 2009. Of these photos, 56 were taken during the latter half of 2009 and 75 were taken during 2010. This edition of the gallery is divided into six subtopics, including Forced relocation and displacement, Life under military control, Convict porters, Children in armed conflict, Soldiers, army camps and weapons, and Land and livelihoods. KHRG is committed to documenting not just the way that villagers are victims of human rights abuses, but also the myriad protection strategies they employ to resist abuse as well as maintain cultural practices and continuity in their lives. Consequently, all sections of this report include a wide variety of photo selections, not just photos of villagers as victims. Since the last photo gallery was released, KHRG has continued to document abuses of the type documented in earlier editions. Villagers already under government control continue to report abuses related to SPDC and DKBA attempts to consolidate control and support ongoing militarization of the countryside. Elsewhere, the SPDC Army continues efforts to expand control, particularly into upland areas in northern Karen State. Though the Northern Karen State Offensive appears to have drawn to a close, attacks on villagers in hiding nonetheless continue. According to the most recent figures, more than 60,000 villagers[1] remain displaced and in hiding. Beginning in May 2009, soldiers from the SPDC and DKBA also became more active in southern Papun District and northern Pa'an districts. In spite of difficulties, however, villagers continue to employ a variety of protection strategies for resisting abuse. Photos included in the Photo Gallery are identified with alphanumeric characters shown below each image. All photos are by KHRG except where otherwise noted.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: jpeg
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


Title: DKBA burns village and forces residents to relocate in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 04 June 2010
Description/subject: DKBA soldiers in Dta Greh Township, Pa'an District, have burnt the small village of Gk'Law Lu and forced its residents to relocate. This incident is the second time Gk'Law Lu has been burnt and relocated by DKBA soldiers: the village was first burnt and residents forcibly relocated in October 2008. Relocated families, meanwhile, may face serious threats to their livelihoods if potential DKBA travel restrictions and risks from landmines limit access to farm fields in their home village.
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B9)
Format/size: pdf (428K - English version; 501K - Karen version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg10b9_karen_language.pdf
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


Title: Attacks on cardamom plantations, detention and forced labour in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 13 May 2010
Description/subject: This field report documents recent human rights abuses committed by SPDC soldiers against Karen villagers in Toungoo District. Villagers in SPDC-controlled areas continue to face heavy forced labour demands that severely constrain their livelihoods; some have had their livelihoods directly targeted in the form of attacks on their cardamom fields. In certain cases individuals have also been subjected to arbitrary detention and physical abuse by SPDC soldiers, typically on suspicion of having had contact with the KNU/KNLA after being caught in violation of stringent movement restrictions. Villagers living in or travelling to areas beyond SPDC control, meanwhile, continue to have their physical security threatened by SPDC patrols that practice a shoot-on-sight policy in such areas. This report covers incidents between January and April 2010.
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F4)
Format/size: pdf (918K - English version; 1251K - Karen version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg10f4_karen_language.pdf
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


Title: Cross-border DKBA attack displaces households in Thailand
Date of publication: 30 April 2010
Description/subject: "On April 21st 2010 DKBA soldiers from Battalion #7 of Brigade #999 crossed into Thailand and burned three huts in the Thai village of Hsoe Hta in Tha Song Yang District, Tak Province. The raid was ordered by Batallion #7 Column Commander Bpweh Kih, who believed that the villagers had been in contact with the KNLA and were withholding information about four DKBA soldiers who had recently deserted from a DKBA camp at Bpaw Bpah Hta, Pa’an District. The incident falls into a broader recent pattern of cross-border violence and killings by the DKBA, often against suspected KNLA supporters; it also gives substance to statements made by deserters during interviews with KHRG that indicate they would be summarily executed if recaptured by the DKBA..."
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B7)
Format/size: pdf (454K - English version; 542K - Karen version)
Alternate URLs: http://khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg10b7_karen_language.pdf
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


Title: The “Everyday Politics” of IDP Protection in Karen State
Date of publication: 2009
Description/subject: Abstract: "While international humanitarian access in Burma has opened up over the past decade and a half, the ongoing debate regarding the appropriate relationship between politics and humanitarian assistance remains unresolved. This debate has become especially limiting in regards to protection measures for internally displaced persons (IDPs) which are increasingly seen to fall within the mandate of humanitarian agencies. Conventional IDP protection frameworks are biased towards a top-down model of politicallyaverse intervention which marginalises local initiatives to resist abuse and hinders local control over protection efforts. Yet such local resistance strategies remain the most effective IDP protection measures currently employed in Karen State and other parts of rural Burma. Addressing the protection needs and underlying humanitarian concerns of displaced and potentially displaced people is thus inseparable from engagement with the “everyday politics” of rural villagers. This article seeks to challenge conventional notions of IDP protection that prioritise a form of state-centric “neutrality” and marginalise the “everyday politics” through which local villagers continue to resist abuse and claim their rights..."..... ISSN: 1868-4882 (online), ISSN: 1868-1034 (print)
Author/creator: Stephen Hull
Language: English
Source/publisher: Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 28, 2, 7-21.
Format/size: pdf (124K)
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2011


Title: Setting Up the Systems of Repression: The progressive regimentation of civilian life in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 07 September 2006
Description/subject: "While attention has been focused on the SPDC’s violent attacks against villages in northern Karen State, the regime has been implementing a much more systematic campaign of repression in southern Karen State. The SPDC militarily occupied this region nine years ago, and has since been creating its model of society – through extending roads and military control to every corner of the region, establishing and training local controlling authorities, forcing villagers to join SPDC organisations, forced registration of all people and resources, forced double-cropping and other agricultural programmes without the required support, movement restrictions and crippling taxation on trade and mobility, and land reallocation to those complicit with the regime. All of these are part of the process of setting up local control mechanisms to implement the SPDC’s hierarchical vision of society, in which the main purpose of the civilian population is to serve the military and support those in power. In return, local people get nothing except additional work, and violent punishment including torture and killings whenever they are perceived to be uncooperative or disrespectful. Little or nothing is provided for their education or health, while their crops and possessions are systematically looted to keep them poor. Drawing on the SPDC’s own order documents and over a hundred interviews with villagers in the region, this report finds that people in Dooplaya feel worse off than ever before, and that their suffering is not caused by conflict or lack of foreign aid, but by SPDC repression..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-04)
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg0604.html
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2006


Title: Offensive columns shell and burn villages, round up villagers in northern Papun and Toungoo districts
Date of publication: 07 June 2006
Description/subject: "...SPDC troops in northern Papun district continue to escalate their attacks, shooting villagers, burning villages and destroying ricefields. Undefended villages in far northern Papun district are now being shelled with powerful 120mm mortars. Three battalions from Toungoo district have rounded up hundreds of villagers as porters and are detaining their families in schools in case they're needed; this column is now heading south with its porters, apparently intending to trap displaced villagers in a pincer between themselves and the troops coming north from Papun district. A similar trapping movement is being performed along the Bilin river, as 8 battalions come from two directions to wipe out every village in their path. Up to 4,000 villagers in Papun district's far north have been displaced in the past week, and 1,500 to 2,000 more along the Bilin River..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B7)
Format/size: html, pdf (800K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 June 2006


Title: "We have hands the same as them": Struggles for local sovereignty and livelihoods by internally displaced Karen villagers in Burma
Date of publication: 29 May 2006
Description/subject: "...For the past thirty years hundreds of thousands of Karen villagers in Burma have been living a precarious existence, regularly moving between their villages and displacement in the forests or state-controlled relocation sites, struggling to retain access to their land and livelihoods against a military-run state determined to exert absolute control over their movements, their land, their cropping methods, their produce, and all other aspects of their lives. Outside attention on this situation tends to focus on the armed conflict between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the state military junta, and concludes that this is a simple case of 'conflict-induced displacement' which requires a peace agreement between combatants and 'return' of displaced villagers with help from the state. This paper challenges this analysis. It examines the nature and dynamics of Karen internal displacement through perspectives expressed by villagers themselves, and finds it to be an ongoing and fluid process of villagers evading state control while attempting to retain access to their land and livelihoods, rather than a spatial displacement from zones of armed conflict. The primary cause of displacement is not armed conflict, but state efforts to consolidate territorial sovereignty over civilians who are used to local-level sovereignty and 'non-state' identities. Villagers respond with survival strategies which in themselves constitute resistance to state control of their land, livelihoods, and lives. These 'weapons of the weak' used by Karen villagers have arguably weakened the state more than all the battles fought by the armed resistance, and the state has responded with brutal campaigns against their villages. The 2004 ceasefire between the state and Karen armed forces, which the state has used to further penetrate and militarise Karen areas, has only created further displacement and has made this conflict more open and urgent. The paper argues that the solution to Karen internal displacement is not the 'return', 'reintegration' and state-directed aid espoused by the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and by some international actors, which would only represent victory for the state in this conflict; instead, it advocates recognising and supporting villagers' efforts to resist state control and retain local sovereignty over their lands and livelihoods. (This paper was presented at the Land, Poverty, Social Justice and Development conference in The Hague, The Netherlands in January 2006. It updates and refines the ideas presented in the earlier paper Sovereignty, Survival and Resistance: Contending Perspectives on Karen internal displacement in Burma [KHRG Working Paper #2005-W1])..." _A Paper for Presentation to the Workshop on ‘Urban Lands, Territoriality and Other Issues’, as part of the International Conference on Land, Poverty, Social Justice and Development_
Author/creator: Kevin Heppner
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG Articles & Papers)
Format/size: pdf (651 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/papers/wp2006w1.htm
Date of entry/update: 26 November 2009


Title: Civilians as Targets (KHRG Commentary)
Date of publication: 19 May 2006
Description/subject: “Now the SPDC has come up to burn houses and kill villagers. They’re not here to shoot KNLA soldiers.” – Karen National Liberation Army officer, Papun district... "A major military offensive is now going on, launched by Burma’s State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military regime and focused on northern Karen State. It began in November – as SPDC offensives usually do, in early dry season – with SPDC columns shelling and burning Karen villages in southeastern Toungoo district. Even villagers in SPDC-controlled villages were prohibited from travelling along the roads in an apparent attempt to starve villagers out of the hills. In February, a parallel offensive was launched throughout Nyaunglebin district, also focused on destroying civilian villages, food supplies and ricefields. Over 15,000 villagers have now been displaced in these two districts, and more are on the move each day. The offensive is still spreading: in April and May, more troops have been sent into Papun district and have started attacking villages there, and now 27 SPDC battalions totalling 4,000-5,000 troops are poised to launch a new wave of attacks against villages in this district. Unlike most SPDC offensives, the signs are that this one will continue straight through the monsoon season despite the difficulties of moving and supplying troops in these mountainous forests without roads..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-C1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 May 2006


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: 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: Broken Trust, Broken Home
Date of publication: February 2004
Description/subject: "Fifty-five years of civil war have decimated Burma’s Karen State, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes. Most would like to return—by their own will when the fighting stops. By Emma Larkin/Mae Sot, Thailand When Eh Mo Thaw was 16 years old, a Burmese battalion marched into his village in Karen State and burned down all the houses. Eh Mo Thaw and his family were herded into a relocation camp where they had to work for the Burma Army, digging ponds and growing rice to feed the Burmese troops. They had no time to grow food for themselves and many were not able to survive. Villagers caught foraging for vegetables outside the camp perimeter were shot on sight. "Many people died," says Eh Mo Thaw. "I also thought I would die." Eh Mo Thaw managed to escape from the camp with his family. For 20 years, he hid in the jungle, moving from place to place whenever Burmese troops drew near. Eventually he found himself on the Thai border and, when Burmese forces stormed the area, he had no choice but to cross the border into Thailand and enter a refugee camp..."
Author/creator: Emma Larkin
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol 12, No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2004


Title: RECLAIMING THE RIGHT TO RICE: FOOD SECURITY AND INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT IN EASTERN BURMA
Date of publication: October 2003
Description/subject: TABLE OF CONTENTS:- 1. Food Security from a Rights-based Perspective; 2. Local Observations from the States and Divisions of Eastern Burma:- 2.1 Tenasserim Division (Committee for Internally Displaced Karen Persons); 2.2 Mon State (Mon Relief and Development Committee); 2.3 Karen State (Karen Human Rights Group) 2.4 Eastern Pegu Division (Karen Office of Relief and Development); 2.5 Karenni State (Karenni Social Welfare Committee); 2.6 Shan State (Shan Human Rights Foundation)... 3. Local Observations of Issues Related to Food Security:- 3.1 Crop Destruction as a Weapon of War (Committee for Internally Displaced Karen Persons); 3.2 Border Areas Development (Karen Environmental & Social Action Network); 3.3 Agricultural Management(Burma Issues); 3.4 Land Management (Independent Mon News Agency) 3.5 Nutritional Impact of Internal Displacement (Backpack Health Workers Team); 3.6 Gender-based Perspectives (Karen Women’s Organisation)... 4. Field Surveys on Internal Displacement and Food Security... Appendix 1 : Burma’s International Obligations and Commitments... Appendix 2 : Burma’s National Legal Framework... Appendix 3 : Acronyms, Measurements and Currencies.... "...Linkages between militarisation and food scarcity in Burma were established by civilian testimonies from ten out of the fourteen states and divisions to a People’s Tribunal in the late 1990s. Since then the scale of internal displacement has dramatically increased, with the population in eastern Burma during 2002 having been estimated at 633,000 people, of whom approximately 268,000 were in hiding and the rest were interned in relocation sites. This report attempts to complement these earlier assessments by appraising the current relationship between food security and internal displacement in eastern Burma. It is hoped that these contributions will, amongst other impacts, assist the Asian Human Rights Commission’s Permanent People’s Tribunal to promote the right to food and rule of law in Burma... Personal observations and field surveys by community-based organisations in eastern Burma suggest that a vicious cycle linking the deprivation of food security with internal displacement has intensified. Compulsory paddy procurement, land confiscation, the Border Areas Development program and spiraling inflation have induced displacement of the rural poor away from state-controlled areas. In war zones, however, the state continues to destroy and confiscate food supplies in order to force displaced villagers back into state-controlled areas. An image emerges of a highly vulnerable and frequently displaced rural population, who remain extremely resilient in order to survive based on their local knowledge and social networks. Findings from the observations and field surveys include the following:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burmese Border Consortium
Format/size: pdf (804K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/BBC-Reclaiming_the_Right_to_Rice.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2003


Title: Extortion: The Peoples' Slow Destruction
Date of publication: September 2003
Description/subject: "... villagers are being denied the very basic right to an adequate means of survival. This change in direction shows the Burmese military are now being somewhat savvy about how they deny people this right. Human rights abuses can give very real, very immediate and very factual evidence of the abuse through documentation. The impact of economic extortion on the other hand may not be fully realized until well into the future. But what an impact it will have. The employment of this type of tactic has the potential to cause permanent and long-lasting damage to the future of health, education, economic prosperity, social and civil structures and political stability. It will erode the already basic infrastructure and threaten internal security. These are things that will be more difficult to measure, both in its’ impact and its retribution of the perpetrator..."
Author/creator: R Sharples
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Issues"
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 December 2003


Title: SPDC & DKBA ORDERS TO VILLAGES: SET 2003-A
Date of publication: 22 August 2003
Description/subject: "This report presents the direct translations of 783 order documents and letters, selected from a total of 1,007 such documents. The orders dictate demands for forced labour, money, food and materials, place restrictions on movements and activities of villagers, and make threats to arrest village elders or destroy villages of those who fail to obey. Over 650 of those selected were sent by military units and local authorities of Burma’s ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) junta to village elders in Toungoo, Papun, Nyaunglebin, Thaton, Pa’an and Dooplaya Districts, which together cover most of Karen State and part of eastern Pegu Division and Mon State (see Map 1 showing Burma or Map 2 showing Karen State). The remainder were sent by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) or the Karen Peace Army (KPA), groups allied with the SPDC. All but a few of the orders were issued between January 2002 and February 2003..." Papun, Pa’an, Thaton, Nyaunglebin, Toungoo, & Dooplaya Districts General Forced Labour (Orders #1-150); Forced Labour Supplying Materials (#150-191); Set to a Village I: Village A, Papun District (#192-200); Set to a Village II: Village B, Papun District (#201-226); Set to a Village III: Village C, Thaton District (#227-241); Set to a Village IV: Village D, Dooplaya District (#242-251); Extortion of Money, Food, and Materials (#252-335); Crop Quotas (#336-346); Restrictions on Movement and Activity (#347-354); Demands for Intelligence (#355-426); Education, Health (#427-442); Education (#427-439); Health (#440-442); Summons to ‘Meetings’ (#443-652); DKBA & KPA Letters (#653-783); DKBA Recruitment (#653); DKBA General Forced Labour (#654-685); DKBA Demands for Materials and Money (#686-719); DKBA Restrictions (#720-727); DKBA Meetings (#728-771); KPA Letters (#772-783); Appendix A: The Village Act and the Towns Act; Appendix B: SPDC Orders ‘Banning’ Forced Labour.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group ( KHRG #2003-01)
Format/size: html, pdf (5.4MB) 405 pages
Date of entry/update: 17 November 2003


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


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


Title: Flight, Hunger and Survival: Repression and Displacement in the Villages of Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts
Date of publication: 22 October 2001
Description/subject: "This report documents in detail the plight of villagers and the internally displaced in these two northern Karen regions. Since 1997 the SPDC has destroyed or relocated over 200 villages here, forcing tens of thousands of villagers to flee into hiding in the hills where they are now being hunted down and shot on sight by close to 50 SPDC Army battalions. The troops are now systematically destroying crops, food supplies and farmfields to flush the villagers out of the hills, making the situation increasingly desperate. Meanwhile, those living in the SPDC-controlled villages and relocation sites are fleeing to the hills to join the displaced because they can no longer bear the heavy burden of forced labour, extortion, restrictions on their movement and random torture and executions. KHRG's most intensive research effort to date, this report draws on over 300 interviews with people in the villages and forests, thousands of photographs and hundreds of documents assembled by KHRG researchers in the past 2 years." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2001-03)
Format/size: PDF version 9770K (yes, almost 10 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg0103.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Ethnic Minorities: Targets of Repression
Date of publication: 13 June 2001
Description/subject: Myanmar's ethnic minorities, comprising one third of the population, continue to suffer disproportionately from a wide variety of human rights violations compared to the majority Burman people. This is particularly true of minorities living in areas where ethnically-based armed opposition groups are fighting against the tatmadaw, or Myanmar army. These groups live primarily in the Tanintharyi Division and in the Shan, Mon, Kayah and Kayin States in the east of the country. The army maintains an increasingly large presence in these areas, particularly in the so-called "black" or "grey" zones where armed opposition groups are active. As troops move through the countryside they pass through farming villages searching for insurgents and seeking intelligence about their movements from the farmers. While on patrol troops steal villagers' livestock, rice, money, and personal possessions, seize them for forced labour duty, and sometimes torture or even kill them for imputed links with the armed opposition.These human rights violations have been occurring for decades, and in spite of some recent positive developments in Myanmar, continue to be perpetrated by the tatmadaw." KEYWORDS: ETHNIC GROUPS / DISPLACED PEOPLE / ARMED CONFLICT / EXTRAJUDICIAL EXECUTION / FORCED LABOUR / TORTURE/ILL-TREATMENT / HARASSMENT / FARMERS / RACIAL DISCRIMINATION / REFUGEES / NON-GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES / MILITARY
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html, pdf (9.8 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/015/2001/en/7b0ffc39-d927-11dd-ad8c-f3d4445c118e/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/014/2001/en
Date of entry/update: 26 July 2010


Title: Thaton District: SPDC using violence against villagers to consolidate control
Date of publication: 20 March 2001
Description/subject: Information from KHRG researchers in Thaton District, which spans the border of northern Mon State and Karen State. SPDC troops already have a relatively strong hold on the area, but they have been intimidating and torturing villagers in an effort to wipe out any remaining support for the Karen resistance, and forcing villagers to join militia-like SPDC paramilitary groups.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update #2001-U2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Freedom from Racial Discrimination
Date of publication: 09 March 2001
Language: English, French, Spanish
Source/publisher: Amnesty International
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/IOR41/003/2001http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/IOR41... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/IOR41/003/2001/en/f813e644-dc2f-11dd-9f41-2fdde0484b9c/ior4... (Spanish)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/IOR41/003/2001/en
Date of entry/update: 21 November 2010


Title: Northeastern Pa'an District: Villagers Fleeing Forced Labour Establishing SPDC Army Camps, Building Access Roads and Clearing Landmines
Date of publication: 20 February 2001
Description/subject: Information on a new flow of refugees from northeastern Pa'an District into Thailand. The villagers say that they fled their village in mid-January 2001 because SPDC troops are using them as porters, forced labour on an access road, and Army camp labour in order to strengthen the regime's control over this contested area. Worst of all, the villagers say they are being ordered to clear landmines in front of the SPDC Army's road-building bulldozer, and to make way for new Army camps.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update #2001-U1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: A Village on Fire: the Destruction of Rural Life in Southeastern Burma
Date of publication: 31 October 2000
Description/subject: "...Under military control, rural Burma's subsistence farming village is losing its viability as the basic unit of society. Internally displaced people are usually thought to have fled military battles in and around their villages, but this paradigm doesn't apply to Burma. In the thousands of interviews conducted by the Karen Human Rights Group with villagers who have fled their homes, approximately 95 percent say they have not fled military battles, but rather the systematic destruction of their ability to survive, caused by demands and retaliations inflicted on them by the SPDC military. Where there is fighting, it is fluid and sporadic, and most villagers can avoid it by hiding for short periods in the forest. Once the SPDC occupies the area around their village, however, the suffering is inescapable. Villages, rooted to the land, are defenseless and vulnerable, and villages can be burned -- destroying rural life in southeastern Burma. "
Author/creator: Kevin Heppner
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Cultural Survival Quarterly" Issue 24.3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Peace Villages and Hiding Villages: Roads, Relocations, and the Campaign for Control in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 15 October 2000
Description/subject: Roads, Relocations, and the Campaign for Control in Toungoo District. Based on interviews and field reports from KHRG field researchers in this northern Karen district, looks at the phenomenon of 'Peace Villages' under SPDC control and 'Hiding Villages' in the hills; while the 'Hiding Villages' are being systematically destroyed and their villagers hunted and captured, the 'Peace Villages' face so many demands for forced labour and extortion that many ofthem are fleeing to the hills. Looks at forced labour road construction and its relation to increasing SPDC militarisation of the area, and also at the new tourism development project at Than Daung Gyi which involves large-scale land confiscation and forced labour. Keywords: Karen; KNU; KNLA; SPDC deserters; Sa Thon Lon activities; human minesweepers; human shields; reprisals against villagers; abuse of village heads; SPDC army units; military situation; forced relocation; strategic hamletting; relocation sites; internal displacement; IDPs; cross-border assistance; forced labour; torture; killings; extortion, economic oppression; looting; pillaging; burning of villages; destruction of crops and food stocks; forced labour on road projects; road building; restrictions on movment; lack of education and health services; tourism project; confiscation of land and forced labour for tourism project;landmines; malnutrition; starvation; SPDC Orders. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-05)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Conflict and Displacement in Karenni: the Need for Considered Responses
Date of publication: May 2000
Description/subject: Click on the on the html link above to go to a neater, paginated table of contents or on the pdf links below to go straight to the document .... PDF File 1: Cover and Contents. PDF File 2: Boundaries; Climate; Physical Features; Population; Ethnic Groups in Karenni; Gender Roles in Karenni; Agriculture, Land Distribution and Patterns of Recourse; Resources; Water; Communication, Trade and Transport Conflict in Karenni; A History of Conflict; The Pre-Colonial Period; The Colonial Period; Independence in Burma and the Outbreak of Civil War in the Karenni States; State and Non-State Actors including Armed Groups and Political Parties; The Role of the Tatmadaw; The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP); The Karenni National Peoples Liberation Front (KNPLF); The Shan State Nationalities Liberation Organisation (SSNLO); The Kayan New Land Party (KNLP; The NDF and CPB Alliances and their Impact in Karenni; War in the Villages; The Formation of Splinter Groups in the 1990s; The Economics of War; The Relationship between Financing the War and Exploitation of Natural Resources; The Course of the War; Cease-fires.... PDF file 3: Conflict-Induced Displacements in Karenni -- Defining Population Movements; Conflict Induced Displacement; Displacement in 1996; Displacements by Township; Relocation Policy; Services in Relocation Sites; Smaller Relocation Sites and so-called Gathering Villages; Displacement into Shan State; Displacement as a Passing Phenomenon; Displacement, Resettlement and Transition; Women outside Relocation Sites. Development Induced Displacement -- Displacements in Loikaw City; Confiscation of Land by the Tatmadaw; Displacement as a Result of Resource Scarcity; Food Scarcity; Water Shortages; Voluntary Migrations. Health and education needs and responses: Health Policy; Health Services; Health Status of the Population; Communicable Diseases; Nutrition; Reproductive and Womens Health; Landmine Casualties; Iodine Deficiency and Goitre; Vitamin A Deficiency; Water and Sanitation; Responses to Health Needs; Education Policy; Educational Services and Coverage; Traditional Attitudes to Education; Educational Services in Karenni; Responses to Educational Needs; Responses from the Thai-Burma border; Responses by International Humanitarian Agencies from Inside Burma. Appendices: A Comparison of Populations in Relocation Sites in Karenni; Refugee Arrivals at the Thai Border; Displacements by Township; Examples of Population Movements.
Author/creator: Vicky Bamforth, Steven Lanjouw, Graham Mortimer
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Ethnic Research Group (BERG)
Format/size: 3 pdf files: (1) Cover and Contents (472K); (2) Text-pp1-47 (782K); 3 Text pp48-128 (1300K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Considered_responses-1.pdf
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Considered_responses-2.pdf
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/Considered_responses-3.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Birmanie: Repression, Discrimination Et Nettoyage Ethnique En Arakan
Date of publication: April 2000
Description/subject: Mission Internationale d’Enquête Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme... L’Arakan: A. Présentation de l’Arakan; B. Historique de la présence musulmane en Arakan; C. Organisation administrative, forces répressives et résistance armée. .. Le retour forcé et la réinstallation des Rohingyas - hypocrisie et contraintes: A. Les conditions du retour du Bangadesh après l’exode de 1991-92; B. Réinstallation et réintégration. Répression, discrimination et exclusion en Arakan: A. La spécificité de la répression à l’égard des Rohingyas; B. Les Arakanais : une exploitation sans issue. .. Nouvel Exode: A. Les années 1996 et 1997; B. L’exode actuel.
Language: Francais, French
Source/publisher: Federation International des Droits de l'Homme
Format/size: pdf (479K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma: Repression, Discrimination and Ethnic Cleansing in Arakan
Date of publication: April 2000
Description/subject: International Mission of Inquiry by the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues. I. Arakan: A. Presentation of Arakan - A buffer State; B. Historical background of the Muslim presence in Arakan; C. Administration organisation, repressive forces and armed resistance... II. The forced return and the reinstallation of the Rohingyas: hypocrisy and constraints: A. The conditions of return from Bangladesh after the 1991-92 exodus; B. Resettlement and reintegration. .. III. Repression, discrimination and exclusion in Arakan: A. The specificity of the repression against the Rohingyas; B. The Arakanese: an exploitation with no way out. .. IV. A new exodus: A. The years 1996 and 1997; B. The current exodus.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Federation International des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH)
Format/size: pdf (446K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Beyond All Endurance
Date of publication: 20 December 1999
Description/subject: The Breakup of Karen Villages in Southeastern Pa'an District
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Voice of the Hungry Nation
Date of publication: October 1999
Description/subject: This document presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma. The Tribunal’s work will appeal to all readers interested in human rights and social justice, as well as anyone with a particular interest in Burma. The Asian Human Rights Commission presents this report in order to stimulate discourse on human rights and democratization in Burma and around the world.
Language: English
Source/publisher: People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma
Format/size: English version
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmadebate.org/archives/fall99bttm.html#hungry
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Caught in the Middle
Date of publication: 15 September 1999
Description/subject: The Suffering of Karen Villagers in Thaton District
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Voice of the Hungry Nation
Date of publication: September 1999
Description/subject: an edited version of a report by the People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma, which was published by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in October 1999.
Author/creator: People's Tribunal on Food Scarcity and Militarization in Burma
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Debate", Vol. VI, No. 3
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: the Kayin Karen State, Militarization and Human Rights
Date of publication: June 1999
Description/subject: In February 1999 Amnesty International delegates interviewed dozens of Karen refugees in Thailand who had fled mostly from Papun, Hpa'an, and Nyaunglebin Districts in the Kayin State in late 1998 and early 1999. They cited several reasons for leaving their homes. Some had previously been forced out of their villages by the tatmadaw, or Myanmar army, and had been hiding in the forest. Conditions there were poor, as it was almost impossible for them to farm. They also feared being shot on sight by the military because they occupied "black areas", where the insurgents were allegedly active. Many others fled directly from their home villages in the face of village burnings, constant demands for forced labour, looting of food and supplies, and extrajudicial killings at the hands of the military. All of these people were farmers who typically grew small plots of rice on a semi-subsistence level.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/12/99)
Format/size: pdf (155 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/012/1999/en/497059da-e117-11dd-b0b0-b705f60696a0/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/012/1999/en
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


Title: Death Squads and Displacement - Systematic Executions, Village Destruction and the Flight of Villagers in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 24 May 1999
Description/subject: "This report is a detailed analysis of the current human rights situation in Nyaunglebin District (known in Karen as Kler Lweh Htoo), which straddles the border of northern Karen State and Pegu Division in Burma. Most of the villagers here are Karen, though there are also many Burmans living in the villages near the Sittaung River. Since late 1998 many Karens and Burmans have been fleeing their villages in the area because of human rights abuses by the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military junta which currently rules Burma, and this flight is still ongoing. Those from the hills which cover most of the District are fleeing because SPDC troops have been systematically destroying their villages, crops and food supplies and shooting villagers on sight, all in an effort to undermine the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) by driving the civilian population out of the region. At the same time, people in the plains near the Sittaung River are fleeing because of the ever-increasing burden of forced labour, cash extortion, and heavy crop quotas which are being levied against them even though their crops have failed for the past two years running. Many are also fleeing a frightening new phenomenon in the District: the Sa Thon Lon Guerrilla Retaliation units, which appeared in September 1998 and since then have been systematically executing everyone suspected of even the remotest contact with the opposition forces, even if that contact occurred years or decades ago. Their methods are brutal, their tactics are designed to induce fear, and they have executed anywhere from 50 to over 100 civilians in the District since September 1998..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports(KHRG #99-04)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: False Peace: Increasing SPDC Military Repression in Toungoo District of Northern Karen State
Date of publication: 25 March 1999
Description/subject: "This report describes the current situation for rural Karen villagers in Toungoo District (known in Karen as Taw Oo), which is the northernmost region of Karen State in Burma. The western part of the district forms part of the Sittaung River valley in Pegu (Bago) Division, and this region is strongly controlled by the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military junta which rules Burma. Further east, the District is made up of steep and forested hills penetrated by only one or two roads and dotted with small Karen villages; in this region the SPDC is struggling to strengthen its control in the face of armed resistance by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). (Click here to see map) In the strongly SPDC-controlled areas, the villagers suffer from constant demands for forced labour and money from all of the SPDC military units based there, and from the constant threat of punishments should their village fail to comply with any order of the military. In the eastern hills, many villages have been forcibly relocated and partly burned as part of the SPDC’s program of attempting to undermine the resistance by attacking the civilian villagers. Here people are suffering all forms of serious human rights abuses committed by SPDC troops, including random killings, burning of homes, the systematic destruction of crops and food supplies, forced labour, looting and extortion..." Increasing SPDC Military Repression in Toungoo District of Northern Karen State
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #99-02)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Nyaunglebin Distirict: Internally Displaced People and SPDC Death Squads
Date of publication: 15 February 1999
Description/subject: KHRG Information Update
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Dooplaya under the SPDC: Further Developments in the SPDC Occupation of South-Central Karen State
Date of publication: 23 November 1998
Description/subject: "In early 1997, the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) military junta ruling Burma mounted a major offensive against the Karen National Union (KNU) and succeeded in capturing and occupying most of the remainder of Dooplaya District in central Karen State. Since that time the SLORC has changed its name to the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC), but its occupation troops have continued to strengthen their control over the rural Karen villagers who live in the region. Almost all of the people in the region are Karen, though there are minorities of ethnic Mon, Thai, and Indian-Muslim people in parts of central and western Dooplaya. This report provides an update on the current situation for villagers in Dooplaya’s farming communities under the SPDC occupation. Some of the main issues covered are general human rights abuses against the villagers, which include arbitrary killings, torture, detention, rape, forced labour, forced relocations, looting and extortion; the special plight of the Dta La Ku, a Karen religious minority who have been targetted for persecution by armies on all sides of the conflict but who are almost completely ignored by the outside world; the effects on villagers of the changing military-political situation in the region, including the activities of the Karen Peace Army (KPA) and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), rival armies both allied with the SPDC; and the effects of the ongoing struggle between the SPDC and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), both of which are increasingly using landmines in the area. Differences and similarities are examined between the situation in Dooplaya’s central plain, the mountainous eastern ‘hump’ which projects into Thailand, and the district’s far south..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #98-09)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Labour in Myanmar (Burma)
Date of publication: 02 July 1998
Description/subject: "Report of the Commission of Inquiry appointed under article 26 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization to examine the observance by Myanmar of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)"...Full Text (about 400 pages) The central ILO report on forced labour in Burma. Appendix III contains 246 interviews, largely with people from non-Burman ethnic groups - Chin, Rohingya, Arakanese, Karen, Karenni, Shan, Pa-O, Mon. The interviews cover forced labour, but also many other violations of human rights such as killings (executions), rape, torture, looting, forced relocation (forced displacement) violence against women, violence against children, looting. ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Labour Office
Format/size: Main link (html by section); 2nd html link, complete text - for searching online (1800K); Word - for download (2010K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/myanmar-OBL.htm
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs/myanmar-COI-OBL.doc
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Atrocities in the Shan State
Date of publication: 15 April 1998
Description/subject: The last two years have seen a profound deterioration in the human rights situation throughout the central Shan State in Myanmar. Hundreds of Shan civilians caught in the midst of counter-insurgency activities have been killed or tortured by the Burmese army. These abuses, occurring in a country which is closed to independent monitors, are largely unknown to the outside world. Denial of access for human rights monitors and journalists means that the full scale of the tragedy can not be accurately calculated. Therefore the information presented below represents only a part of the story.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/05/98)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/005/1998/en/f6c634ab-daea-11dd-903e-e1f5d1f8bceb/asa1... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/005/1998/en/e22f5c7f-daea-11dd-903e-e1f5d1f8bceb/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/005/1998
Date of entry/update: 26 July 2010


Title: Forgotten Victims of a Hidden War: Internally Displaced Karen in Burma
Date of publication: April 1998
Description/subject: 1. The Karen and Kawthoolei: The Karen; Kawthoolei; The Kawthoolei districts || 2. Displacement and counter-insurgency in Burma: Population displacement in Burma; Protracted ethnic conflict in Burma; Counter-insurgency: the four-cuts || 3. The war in Kawthoolei: Seasonal offensives: the moving front line and refugee flows, 1974-92; Cease-fires (1992-94) and the renewal of offensives (1995-97) || 4. Internal displacement in Kawthoolei: Counter-insurgency and displacement in Kawthoolei; Displacement in Kawthoolei; The situation of IDPs in Kawthoolei districts; Extent of population displacement in Kawthoolei; Patterns of displacement; Factors preventing the IDPs returning home; Factors preventing the IDPs becoming refugees in Thailand; Vulnerability of IDPs; Note on forced relocations sites || 5.Assistance: International responses to IDPs; International responses to IDPs in Burma; Responses inside Burma; The response from the border area to Karen IDPs || 6.Protection: Refugees on the Thai-Burma border: international assistance with limited protection; The case of the repatriation of the Mon; The Karen: the problem of security; Assistance and protection: refugees and IDPs; The need for leverage; Transition from armed conflict || Appendix III: Interview at Mae La (This version lacks the maps and tables)
Author/creator: Brother Amoz, Steven Lanjouw, Saw Pay Leek, Dr. Em Marta, Graham Mortimer, Alan Smith, Saw David Taw, Pah Hsaw Thut, Saw Aung Win, Saw Kwe Htoo Win
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Ethnic Research Group (BERG) and Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Format/size: PDF (570K, 505K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.internal-displacement.org/8025708F004CE90B/(httpDocuments)/0787CA1BCAB95999802570B700599932/$file/Berg+Karen+IDP+report.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Wholesale Destruction: The SLORC/SPDC Campaign to Obliterate All Hill Villages in Papun and Eastern Nyaunglebin Districts (Information Update)
Date of publication: 15 February 1998
Description/subject: "This report is an abridged and illustrated version of the previously released "Wholesale Destruction: The SLORC/SPDC Campaign to Obliterate All Hill Villages in Papun and Eastern Nyaunglebin Districts" (Karen Human Rights Group, February 15, 1998, KHRG #98-01). It consists of a detailed breakdown of the campaign to wipe out the villages, supported by excerpts from KHRG interviews with villagers in the area and newly arrived refugees in Thailand which were conducted in June and December 1997. The information for this report was gathered by KHRG through over 60 interviews with villagers in hiding and refugees, visits to approximately 30 of the destroyed villages and many hiding-places of villagers. An index of the interviews as well as the full texts of most are available on approved request as an annex to the original version of "Wholesale Destruction." Interview numbers are noted in the captions following quotations. The names of all those interviewed have been changed. False names appear in quotation marks. All other names, such as those of the dead, are real. The notation ‘F’ or ‘M’ indicates gender. Village names listed in the captions are the interviewees’ home villages. All are in Papun District, unless listed as ‘Shwegyin township’ which is in Nyaunglebin District. Some other details and names have also been omitted or changed for security reasons. For example, in some cases village names are given as X--- or replaced with xxxx and yyyy..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #98-01)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Kawthoolei and Teak: Karen Forest Management on the Thai-Burmese Border
Date of publication: October 1997
Description/subject: "The Karen State of Kawthoolei has been heavily dependent on teak extraction to fund the Karen National Union struggle against the Burmese military junta, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Raymond Bryant explores the social and economic structure of Kawthoolei, and the way in which resource extraction was more than simply a source of revenue � it was also an integral part of the assertion of Karen sovereignty..."
Author/creator: Raymond Bryant
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Watershed" Vol.3 No.1 July - October 1997
Format/size: pdf (59K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Ethnic Minority Rights under Attack
Date of publication: 22 July 1997
Description/subject: This report focuses . . . human rights violations against members of ethnic minority groups. These abuses, including extrajudicial executions; ill-treatment in the context of forced portering and labour; and intimidation during forcible relocations occur both in the context of counter-insurgency operations, and in areas where cease-fires hold. The State Law and Order Restoration Council SLORC, Myanmar's military government) continues to commit human rights violations in ethnic minority areas with complete impunity. This high level of human rights violations and the attendant political instability in Myanmar pose a major regional security issue for the country's new ASEAN partners. One dimension of this is the unprecedented numbers of refugees from Myanmar now in Thailand: a conservative estimate of some 200,000 refugees live in Thai cities and in camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. All of the refugees whom Amnesty International recently interviewed, and whose testimonies form the basis of this report, said that they had fled because they could no longer survive under the harsh forced labour and relocation practices of the SLORC. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English and French
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/20/97)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/020/1997/en
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/020/1997/en/cfed5a5a-ea43-11dd-8810-c1f7ccd3559e/asa1... (French)
Date of entry/update: 24 November 2010


Title: Attacks on Karen Refugee Camps
Date of publication: 18 March 1997
Description/subject: "This report covers 4 of the main attacks on Karen refugee camps in Thailand which occurred in January 1997: the burning and destruction of Huay Kaloke and Huay Bone refugee camps on the night of 28 January, the armed attack on Beh Klaw refugee camp on the morning of 29 January, and the shelling of Sho Kloh refugee camp on 4 January. These attacks left several people dead and about 10,000 refugees homeless and completely destitute. Even now, Huay Kaloke and Huay Bone remain nothing but open plains of dust and ash under the hot sun. No one feels safe to remain in these places, but the Thai authorities are forcing them to.Huay Bone's over 3,000 refugees have either fled to Beh Klaw or have been forced to move to Huay Kaloke, and the Thai authorities still have a plan to move Sho Kloh's over 6,000 refugees to Beh Klaw, which is unsafe and already overcrowded with over 25,000 people. Refugees in other camps are also living in fear; Maw Ker refugee camp 50 km. south of Mae Sot has been constantly threatened with destruction, as has Mae Khong Kha refugee camp much further north in Mae Sariang district. People in these camps often end up spending their nights in the forests or countryside surrounding their camps, not daring to sleep in their homes at night..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #97-05)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Abuses in Chin State
Date of publication: 15 March 1997
Description/subject: The Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) was formed in 1996 to begin independently documenting the human rights situation in Chin State of northwestern Burma. The information in this report was collected by CHRO and translated and organised partly with the assistance of KHRG. We have reproduced it in this form to help give the events in Chin State as wide exposure as possible.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #97-03)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Attacks on Karen Villages: Far South
Date of publication: 10 March 1997
Description/subject: "This report concerns an area in southern Tenasserim Division, about 180 km. (110 mi.) north of Burma’s southernmost point which lies at Kawthaung (Victoria Point). Apart from the Andaman Sea coastline, the area inland is hilly, forested, and not so heavily populated as most parts of the country. The people are Burmans, Muslims, Mons, Karens and Thais - the Thais are not Tai Yai (Shan), they are of the same ethnicity as the Thais of southern Thailand. In this area the Karen are a minority, having only a handful of villages, but they are often singled out for heavier burdens of forced labour and other forms of persecution. Part of the reason for this is the existence of Karen National Union (KNU) and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA 12th Battalion) in the area, headquartered at Kaw Thay Lu adjacent to the Thai border..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Human Rights Violations Against Ethnic Minorities
Date of publication: 08 August 1996
Description/subject: Amnesty International is concerned that the Burmese army has arbitrarily detained, extrajudicially killed, tortured and ill-treated members of ethnic minorities in the Shan and Mon States and the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Division in eastern Myanmar. This report is drawn from January and February 1996 interviews with dozens of members of the Shan, Akha, Lahu, Karen, and Mon ethnic minorities in Thailand. Most of these refugees are farmers and villagers who said they had fled from their homes because their lives were made impossible by the security forces.
Language: English and French
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/38/96)
Format/size: pdf (41K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/038/1996/en/c708ee19-eaee-11dd-b22b-3f24cef8f6d8/asa1... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/038/1996/en
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: DKBA/SLORC Cross-Border Attacks
Date of publication: 01 August 1996
Description/subject: "Since its inception in December 1994, the ‘Democratic Karen Buddhist Army’ (DKBA) has vowed to destroy all Karen refugee camps and force Karen refugees back to Burma. Since early 1995, the DKBA has been conducting cross-border raids into Thailand to attack and burn Karen refugee camps, kidnap or kill Karen leaders and refugee camp leaders, and loot both refugee camps and Thai villages. The DKBA allied itself with SLORC as soon as it was formed, and SLORC has been supporting them in the aim of terrorising refugees into returning to Burma. Furthermore, as SLORC forces have captured more and more of the territory directly adjacent to the Thai border, SLORC troops have also been conducting their own cross-border looting raids and attacks, as well as participating (particularly in early- to mid-1995) in the DKBA’s attacks. The purpose of this report is not to provide a comprehensive list of DKBA and SLORC attacks and incursions into Thailand; as the information in the report shows, these are so regular and widespread that it would be difficult or impossible to do so. Instead, this report presents a sample of the kind of attacks and incursions which have been happening in order to give the reader an overview of the situation in which Karen refugees are now living, and the reason why they go to bed in fear most nights..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-31)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Thai-Burmese Border: Shan, Karen, Karenni (KHRG Commentary)
Date of publication: 18 July 1996
Description/subject: "The State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) junta ruling Burma is now using mass forced relocations of entire geographic regions as a major element of military strategy. While this is not new to SLORC tactics, they have seldom or never done it to such an extent or so systematically before. The large-scale relocations began in Papun District of Karen State in December 1995 and January 1996, when up to 100 Karen villages were ordered to move within a week or be shot [see "Forced Relocation in Papun District", KHRG #96-11, 4/3/96]. These were all the villages in the region between Papun and the Salween River, an area about 50-60 km. north-south and 30 km. east-west. Most of them were ordered to move to sites beside military camps at Papun, Kaw Boke, Par Haik and Pa Hee Kyo, where SLORC was gathering people to do forced labour on the Papun-Bilin and Papun-Kyauk Nyat roads. However, the main reasons for the forced relocation were to cut off all possible support for Karen guerrilla columns in the area, most of which has only been SLORC-controlled since mid-1995, and to create a free-fire zone which would also block the flow of refugees from inside Karen State to the Thai border. Recently, though, SLORC troops in the area have limited their movements rather than combing the area, allowing some villagers to trickle back to their villages. This may be partly because of rainy season or because of the current SLORC-Karen National Union ceasefire talks, but it is probably largely because SLORC realised it could not control the result - people were fleeing into hiding in the jungle, some were fleeing to Thailand, but none were heading for the relocation camps..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Shelling Attack on Sho Kloh Refugee Camp (Information Update)
Date of publication: 19 June 1996
Description/subject: "At 6:10 p.m. on Thursday June 13, DKBA/SLORC on the Burma side of the Moei River commenced shelling Sho Kloh refugee camp, home to about 10,000 Karen refugees 110 km. north of the Thai town of Mae Sot. The camp is about 1 km. inside Thai territory. Over the space of 20 minutes, the attackers fired 4 to 6 mortar shells, later identified as Chinese 60mm. shells (which are part of SLORC's armoury but not of opposition groups). The shells were aimed at the centre of the camp. The first impacted by a stream towards one side of the camp, and the following shells were 'walked in' (target adjusted step by step) until they hit near the hospital (the hospital was also the target of a previous armed DKBA assault against the camp). Another shell exploded close to the Buddhist temple..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Interviews With SLORC Army Deserters
Date of publication: 18 May 1996
Description/subject: "The following accounts of life in SLORC's Army were given by four deserters who fled to opposition-held territory or to Thailand, one fleeing in Tenasserim Division of southern Burma around New Year of 1996, the other three fleeing Pa'an District, much further north, in March 1996. As they fled two different battalions in two different areas, their treatment and experiences differ somewhat; however, for the most part their stories are similar and reflect the hardship and brutality of life as a rank and file soldier in the SLORC Army. In the interviews, the soldiers mention radio broadcasts on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and VOA (Voice of America). These two foreign Burmese-language shortwave services are almost the only source of objective news to people in Burma. Some other abbreviations used: MNLA = Mon National Liberation Army, which made a ceasefire deal with SLORC in June 1995; DKBA = Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army, a Karen faction created in December 1994 which is now allied with SLORC; KNU = Karen National Union, the main Karen opposition organization; IB = (SLORC) Infantry Battalion; LIB = (SLORC) Light Infantry Battalion..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-19)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Kayin Karen State: the Killings Continue
Date of publication: April 1996
Description/subject: "In the last eight years the Burmese army, known as the tatmadaw, has killed unarmed civilians as part of its counter-insurgency campaigns against the Karen National Union (KNU) in the Kayin (Karen) State, eastern Myanmar. Karen civilians who were fleeing from troops as they approached a village have been shot dead in what appears to be a de facto shoot-to-kill policy of anyone who runs from the tatmadaw. Others have been reportedly killed because the tatmadaw suspected these individuals of supporting the KNU in some way. The army has killed still other victims seemingly at random, in an apparent effort to terrorize villagers into severing their alleged connections with KNU soldiers. Amnesty International is gravely concerned by these killings; they are part of a long-standing pattern of extrajudicial executions by the tatmadaw of members of the Karen ethnic minority..." Keywords: extrajudicial killings, military, non-governmental entities, harassment, torture, ill-treatment, forced labour, wthnic groups, women, farmers, photographs.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/10/96)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Notes on Landmine Use: SLORC and KNLA
Date of publication: 03 March 1996
Description/subject: "...The technical mine information below was obtained from KNLA sources and was current as of early 1994, though it is apparently still current. The notes regarding effect on civilians are mainly from KHRG observations. Abbreviations: SLORC = State Law & Order Restoration Council, the junta ruling Burma; KNLA = Karen National Liberation Army, the Karen resistance force; DKBA = Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army, a Karen faction allied with SLORC..." "...The most common landmine used is the American M-76, of which the Burmese now manufacture their own copies. Almost all of these found used to be American-made, but now more are the Burmese copies. They are the "classic" landmine design, made of heavy-duty metal, cylindrical, about 2" diameter and 4-5" high, with a screw-in top the diameter of a pencil which extends a couple of inches above the body of the mine - this screw-in top is surmounted by a plunger the size of a pencil eraser which is what sets off the mine. The safety pin goes through the plunger, and can be used to rig a tripwire. However, most common use is to bury the mine with only the plunger above ground, generally hidden by leaf litter. The body of the mine is Army green, stencilled with yellow lettering: for example "LTM-76 A.P. MINE / DI-LOT 48/84" (copied off a recovered SLORC mine). "A.P." means Anti-Personnel. This mine is designed to kill or maim people. The person who steps on it is almost certainly killed, and anyone in a 5-metre radius is wounded..." These informal notes were prepared in response for specific requests for information on landmine use. They are not intended to present a complete picture of landmine use.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Articles & Papers)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 November 2009


Title: The Situation in Northwestern Burma
Date of publication: 30 January 1996
Description/subject: This report contains information about the situation for civilians in Chin State, Arakan State and Sagaing Division of northwestern Burma. Despite the fact that there is little or no fighting in the areas covered by this information, the people in these areas are suffering SLORC human rights abuses which are very similar to those being experienced by villagers and townspeople in war zones at the opposite end of the country. The similarity makes it clear that such abuses are not "isolated occurrences", as some foreign governments and international agencies would have us believe, but systematic SLORC policy. Even in areas where there is no fighting, SLORC continues to send in more Army Battalions to exert direct control over the civilian population. Ten years ago, the 17 townships of Arakan State only contained 10 Army battalions - now every township has at least 3 battalions, and the number continues to increase. Similar increases are occurring in Chin State and Sagaing Division.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-06)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC/DKBA Activities: Pa'an District
Date of publication: 14 January 1996
Description/subject: "The report was given in an interview with KHRG in early January by a civilian medic and human rights monitor who just returned from Pa’an District. The area he visited, also known as part of KNU 7th Brigade, was until 1995 mainly controlled by the KNU and not much bothered by SLORC; however, SLORC’s extensive offensives throughout 1995 have greatly weakened KNU presence in the area. In the process, SLORC installed the DKBA in the area and the two groups now effectively control it. The most disturbing news is that in order to try to complete its control over the area, SLORC is now imposing a blockade on food and medical supplies into the area, while simultaneously sending the DKBA into the villages to systematically loot whatever food the villagers have. It seems unlikely that this can be intended solely to hurt the few KNLA soldiers still in the area, because SLORC knows they get their supplies across the border. It is more likely that the intent is simply to starve Karen villagers, to wipe out some of the Karen population and to create a human disaster in order to weaken the KNU’s position in ceasefire talks. Regardless of the intent, this is already heading toward a human disaster which may be impossible to prevent if the SLORC and DKBA continue to rule the area. In addition to this, it is important to note that the area described in this report is one of the areas to which the Thai authorities now say it is safe to repatriate refugees..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-05)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The Shelling of Wah Baw Village
Date of publication: 12 January 1996
Description/subject: "In the morning the celebration started at 8 a.m., and then at 8:45 a.m. the SLORC attacked. They attacked and destroyed all the things. It was #106 Battalion [LIB], deployed in Hla Mine, and #343 Battalion [LIB], deployed in Ye. They combined together to do this operation, about 240 soldiers altogether. They are under Southeast Command [commanded by Maj. Gen. Ket Sein]. We think they arrived outside the village in the early morning, before dawn. We think they left their battalion camps at night. They split into two groups: one group took their place on the hill beside the village, and one group raided the village. At that time we were in the field [the celebration was held in an open field just outside the village, where the villagers had erected a stage]. They just fired, and attacked the village without seeing any enemy there. And they ransacked every house, and they took everything. At the same time we were all running because we heard the shooting, and then the troops on the hill saw that all the people were jumping up and running away, and they shelled into the field, into the crowd. I think the shells were 60 mm. [small mortar], not as strong as 81 mm., because in my experience I have seen 81 and 120 mm., and they are very explosive, very strong. But these shells were not that strong, the vibrations were not as strong. We couldn’t count how many shells! For about one hour they fired, both with their small weapons and their artillery [mortars]..." _Attack on civilians, execution, kneecapping, shooting livestock, looting / destruction of property, porters, Ye-Tavoy railway labour, land confiscation / forced labour for military contracts with foreign companies.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-04)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: New Attacks on Karen Refugee Camps
Date of publication: 05 May 1995
Description/subject: Camps: Mae Ra Mu Klo (Mae Ra Ma Luang) camp, Baw Noh (Meh Tha Waw) camp, Kamaw Lay Ko camp "This report provides details of the attacks on Mae Ra Ma Luang, Baw Noh and Kamaw Lay Ko refugee camps. It has 2 parts: Summary of Attacks, which describes the events, and Interviews with some of the refugees who were there. Names which have been changed to protect people are denoted by enclosing them in quotation marks. Some camps go by several names: Mae Ra Ma Luang is the official Thai name of the camp Karens call Mae Ra Mu Klo (this camp was called Mae Ma La Luang in the KHRG report "SLORC's Northern Karen Offensive"). Baw Noh is the common name for the camp officially known as Meh Tha Waw. In the interviews, many people refer to the DKBA soldiers as "Yellow Headbands" ("ko per baw" in Karen) because of the yellow headbands they wear - this name has become common usage among Karens. Please feel free to use this report in any way which may help stop the suffering of the people of Burma..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-16)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porters: SLORC's Salween Offensive
Date of publication: 08 April 1995
Description/subject: Rounding up porters (Stories #1,2,3,4), "iron cage" trains (#1,2), women porters (#1,2,4), torture (#1,2,3,4), killings (#1,2,3), abandoned villages (#1,4), porters in battle (#3), urban forced relocation (#2), economic conditions (#2), conditions in Dagyon "New Town" (#2), DKBA (#2,3). Note: For further details on this offensive see "SLORC’s Northern Karen Offensive", KHRG #95-10, 29/3/95.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-12)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC's Northern Karen Offensive
Date of publication: 29 March 1995
Description/subject: "The purpose of this report is not to describe the military details of the fall of Manerplaw and other areas, as these subjects have been covered elsewhere. Instead, this report focusses on the effects on the civilian population of this year’s SLORC/DKBA offensive in the Moei and Salween river areas along the Thai/Burma border. Some information on the formation of the DKBO/DKBA and the fall of Manerplaw is given in order to make the other information more understandable, but the main issues covered in the report are the destruction of villages, forced relocations, new flows of refugees, movements of existing refugee camps and terrorist attacks in Thailand, all of which are part of the ongoing SLORC/DKBA offensive. The first section of the report gives a detailed summary of events and how they fit into the overall picture, while the second section consists of detailed interviews with villagers involved in various aspects of the situation. There have been countless rumours flying up and down the border area, so many reported incidents have taken a great deal of time and effort to check and confirm. Rumoured events which proved impossible to confirm have either been omitted from the report or noted as unconfirmed reports..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porters: SLORC's 6th Brigade Offensive
Date of publication: 22 March 1995
Description/subject: "At the beginning of March 1995, after taking Manerplaw and Kawmoora, SLORC began an offensive against the Karen National Union's 6th Brigade area, 50 to 100 km. south of the border town of Myawaddy, where the KNU had set up its new mobile leadership headquarters. Several SLORC Battalions were sent to the area and are now attacking throughout the region. The KNU leadership has already moved on but the attacks continue to intensify, making it clear that this is not just an offensive aimed at the Karen leadership, but at all Karen-controlled areas. SLORC troops are using the extensive network of logging roads, built by Thai logging companies with KNU concessions throughout the area, to move quickly. Karen soldiers are not heavily defending most locations, claiming that they are sparing their men for future mobile columns as they adopt more of a mobile guerrilla strategy. Thousands of refugees are already fleeing the area and have formed 2 new refugee camps in Thailand, and thousands more are likely to come. Hundreds of conscripted civilian porters have also fled the SLORC troops already. They say that SLORC is conducting large-scale porter sweeps in towns and villages of southern Burma, and that the high ratio of porters to soldiers in this offensive (often 3 to 10 porters for every soldier) is leading to the escape of large numbers of porters. The six men whose stories are given below were interviewed by an independent observer on March 18, 1995..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-11)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Chemical Shells at Kaw Moo Rah: Supplementary
Date of publication: 20 March 1995
Description/subject: "Medical and clothing samples from some of the soldiers exposed to the gas attack at Kaw Moo Rah are still under analysis overseas, and no results have been communicated to us as yet. However, some further pieces of information have been provided by various sources. Shortly after the fall of Kaw Moo Rah, Lt. Gen. Tin Oo (Secretary-2 of SLORC) was in Thailand at the invitation of Thai Army Commander-in-Chief Wimol Wongwanich. Tin Oo's contacts while in Thailand were primarily only with Thai military leaders. Just after his return to Burma, Thai journalists questioned Gen. Chettha Thanajaro, Assistant Army Chief of Staff of Thailand. In an article entitled "Burmese Admit They Used Chemicals to Fight Karens" on February 28th, the Thai-language Daily News paraphrased Gen. Chettha's words as follows: "Concerning the Australian government's protest over SLORC's use of chemicals against the Karen, Tin Oo replied that they had to wipe out the thieves and rebels that are against the government. He said that although the use of chemicals is not right, it is necessary."..." _With a testimony Karen soilder who was in the frontline bunkers during SLORC's final assault on Kaw Moo Rah:_
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-08-A)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porters: Manerplaw and Kaw Moo Rah Areas
Date of publication: 25 February 1995
Description/subject: In December 1994, SLORC began a major offensive against Kaw Moo Rah, then in January 1995 it began a major offensive against Karen headquarters at Manerplaw. Both strongholds were overrun, Manerplaw on January 27 and Kaw Moo Rah on February 21. SLORC has claimed that they were not involved in these offensives other than to provide 'logistical support' to the breakaway Karen troops of the 'Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army' (DKBA) whom it claims overran Manerplaw and Kaw Moo Rah all by themselves. However, the porters interviewed in this report say otherwise: they were used by several different SLORC Battalions in the assault, but not one of them saw a single DKBA soldier. Fighting is still ongoing as the SLORC attempts to overrun the entire Thai border region. In all of these offensives, it has been rounding up porters of all ethnic and religious backgrounds from villages and towns as far afield as southern Mon State, hundreds of kilometres away. The 'Manerplaw area porters' in this report were used in the southern prong of SLORC's offensive on the Manerplaw area, both before and after Manerplaw was taken. They were interviewed in refugee camps in Thailand in the first part of February. Their names have been changed and some other personal details omitted in order to protect them. Please feel free to use the information in this report in any way which can help end this horrendous form of slave labour in Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-07)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Escaped Porters: Kaw Moo Rah Battle
Date of publication: 04 February 1995
Description/subject: _Transport of porters (Stories #1,3), Food and living conditions (#1,3), Beatings (#1,3), Killings (#1,3), Porters in fighting zone (#1,2,3), Making bunkers (#1,2,3), Porters carrying soft drinks (#1), Boy soldiers (#3), Treatment of escaped porters (#1,3), Psychological warfare (#2,3), Extortion and other abuses (#3), Soldier suicide (# 3)._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG # 95-06)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Reports from Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 31 January 1995
Description/subject: "The following testimonies were given by civilian villagers in Nyaunglebin District (Karen name Kler Lwe Htoo District), northeast of Rangoon and Pegu along the Sittaung River. Names which have been changed to protect people are given in quotation marks. All other names are real. Some details have been omitted from stories to protect people. All numeric dates are written in dd-mm-yy format. Please feel free to use this report in any way which may help the peoples of Burma, but do not forward it to any SLORC representatives..." TOPIC SUMMARY: Torture (Stories #1,2,3,5), Water Torture (#2), Torture of elderly woman (#2), Execution (#1,5), Detention (#1,2.3), Shooting at civilians (#1), Rape (#4), Sex with animals (#4), Forced labour (#2,3,4), Porters (#2), Forced labour on SLORC farms (#3), Fees/extortion (#2,3,4), Forced relocation (#2), Fleeing villages (#1,3,4, S).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC's Attack on Halockhani Refugee Camp
Date of publication: 30 August 1994
Description/subject: On July 21, 1994 SLORC troops from Infantry Battalion 62 shocked the world by attacking a Mon refugee camp at Halockhani. Worst of all for SLORC, it happened just as its representatives were going to attend the annual Foreign Ministers’ meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok for the first time. This report attempts to describe the attack through the eyes of some of its victims.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Testimony of SLORC Army Defectors
Date of publication: 07 August 1994
Description/subject: "TOPIC SUMYARY:SLORC recruiting methods (p.2,5,7,8,10111), drafting old men and teenagers (p.2,6,7,8,10), abuse during military training (p.3,6,8), theft of food, medicines & salary by officers (p.3,6,9,11), censorship of letters (p.4,6-7,8), beating/torture of soldiers (p.3,6,8,9,10), officers ordering their own wounded shot (p.4,6,10), execution Karen POWs (p.4), execution, enslavement and abuse of villagers (p.4-5,7,9,10,11,), using porters in battle (p.4), situation inside Burma (p.5,7,9,10)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Comments by SLORC Army Defectors
Date of publication: 20 June 1994
Description/subject: "The following comments were made recently in independent interviews with defectors from the SLORC Army in Mergui/Tavoy District, in the Tenasserim Division of southern Burma. Some of them defected earlier this year, while others defected over a year ago. However, all of their comments still apply because as the SLORC Army continues to rapidly expand, conditions continue to deteriorate for both civilians and rank-and-file soldiers. In fact, as the comments of these former soldiers make clear, it seems that only the senior officers are deriving any benefit at all from the systematic oppression of the civilian population. The monthly salary before deductions of a private soldier, 450 Kyat, is not even enough to buy milled rice for two people for a month at current prices - not to mention that people also need other food to eat with their rice. Meanwhile, inflation continues to rage throughout the country as the Kyat becomes increasingly worthless..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Is the SLORC Using Bacteriological Warfare?
Date of publication: 15 March 1994
Description/subject: "On August 12, 1993 in the middle of the night, villagers in a large part of the Donthami and Yunzalin river watersheds (between the Bilin and Salween Rivers, in Thaton and Mudraw [Papun] districts) heard SLORC planes fly low over their areas. The planes dropped dozens, maybe scores (the number is unknown) of strange devices consisting of a 2-metre parachute with a "white box" and one or two balloons hanging underneath. The next morning the villagers started finding the devices in forests and fields. SLORC troops in the area never tried to recover the devices. Between 3 days and 2 weeks later, villagers in the drop area and some areas downriver started getting sick with a disease resembling cholera or shigella. The symptoms were very serious diarrhoea with faeces "like rice water", in some cases combined with watery vomiting, bringing death by severe dehydration within one to two days..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The SLORC's 1993 Offensive Against Karen Civilians
Date of publication: 10 July 1993
Description/subject: "When Burma’s SLORC junta mounted its biggest ever offensive against the headquarters of Karen and democratic forces in Manerplaw in 1992, it was universally condemned for the swath of destruction and terror its Army cut through the country. This year, the SLORC claims to have ceased all such offensives, and is busily trying to repair its international image. However, it continues to mount smaller offensives, and in SLORC-controlled areas of Karen State, it has unleashed a major military offensive against Karen civilians, a campaign of terror and forced relocation which is now taking place out of sight of the world community. Fresh SLORC troops have been sent in, particularly 99 Light Infantry Division, with orders to systematically subjugate the Karen civilian population through terror and forced relocation. Entire regions of western Karen State are being declared free-fire zones, while civilian populations are being driven into relocation camps and garrison villages, where they form a pool of slave labour and porters for future offensives..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porter Testimonies: the SLORC's Saw Hta Offensive
Date of publication: 10 January 1993
Description/subject: "On October 5, 1992, SLORC Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw told the United Nations General Assembly that the SLORC was no longer attacking the ethnic peoples of Burma. On October 6, 1992, the SLORC launched an unprovoked offensive on the northern Karen village and trading post of Saw Hta, on the Salween River near the southern border of Karenni (Kayah) State. As usual in their offensives, the SLORC press-ganged thousands of civilians to carry all their ammunition and supp1ies to the front lines. Initially they brought hundreds of convicts from Mandalay and other prisons for this brutal and often fatal work. Then they began rounding up thousands of Shan villagers far to the north in central Shan State. These men were forced onto Army trucks and brought like caged animals several days and nights drive over rough roads, hundreds of kilometres southward to Pah Saung in southern Karenni (Kayah) State. There they were immediately saddled with loads of ammunition and supplies and force marched over the mountains into northern Karen State to the front line at Saw Hta. This tactic of hauling porters half way across the country is sometimes used by the SLORC to prevent the porters escaping. The SLORC believes that uneducated villagers will be too afraid to attempt escape so far from their home State, in areas where they do not speak the language or know the culture. The SLORC officers reinforce this by constantly telling the porters that the Karen Army will kill them if they catch them; and after a lifetime of exposure to propaganda, the villagers have no way of knowing this isn't true. Even so, the SLORC's brutality has driven hundreds to attempt escape, although thus far only about 80 have been successful. The vast majority of the porters are either still in the SLORC Army's hands, or lying dead on the paths from Pah Saung The following interviews arc with a few of the men who have successfully escaped to the Karen lines. Their names have been changed to protect them and their families, although the names of the dead which they give are real. Names of their home villages have been deliberately omitted, as well as other unnecessary details which could be used by the SLORC to trace them. Please feel free to use this information in any way which could help put a stop to this horrendous abuse of human beings..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Report by an Escaped SLORC Munitions Porter
Date of publication: 13 November 1992
Description/subject: Including details on conditions in Mandalay Prison..."The following account was given through an interview in Burmese with a porter recently escaped from the SLORC’s current offensive in the northern Karen area of Saw Hta. He was serving a criminal sentence in Mandalay Prison when he was taken to Saw Hta as a munitions porter, so his description includes details of his arrest and imprisonment, conditions in Mandalay Prison, and his life as a porter. At the time of the interview he was still suffering from an open gash on the back of his head inflicted by a beating with a G3 rifle butt. On arrival, he also had severe bruises on his back caused by other rifle butt beatings..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Testmonies of Porters Escaped from the SLORC Army
Date of publication: 26 February 1992
Description/subject: "Dec. 91-Feb 92. Burman men, women, children: forced portering; porters used in battle, and as human shields; abandonment of wounded porters; Gang rape (sometimes ending in death) including rape of children; torture (burning); inhuman treatment(beating, incl. beating to death, deprivation of food, sleep, water, medical care; lack of clothes & blankets in freezing conditions); killing (incl. by burning); arbitrary detention; looting; pillaging (burning down of villages)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Testimony of Porters Escaped from SLORC Forces
Date of publication: 25 January 1992
Description/subject: "Following are the accounts of four women who were conscripted as munitions porters by the SLORC army, No. 1 Light Infantry Battalion, on or about December 23, 1991. They served for 22 days, experiencing all manners of suffering and atrocities, before escaping into the hands of the Karen National Union on about January 16, 1992. Because of their weakened state after escaping and their understandable shyness about discussing what they’d been through, learning their stories was a slow process. The testimonies included here are actually summaries of what came out over the course of several conversations in Burmese. Many of their experiences were common to all 4 women, so to avoid too much repetition not all the details of every incident have been copied into all four stories. For example, all four women described the looting and ransacking the SLORC soldiers did in villages, but it isn’t detailed in every written summary. The stories of the sick Karen boy and the women’s escape, which are written in Daw Hla Myaing’s testimony, were actually told in detail by all four women..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003