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Home > Main Library > Food Security > Food Security in Burma/Myanmar > Destruction/theft of crops and food stores, killing/theft of livestock

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Destruction/theft of crops and food stores, killing/theft of livestock

Individual Documents

Title: Toungoo Situation Update: Tantabin Township, January to March 2012
Date of publication: 20 May 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in March 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Tantabin Township, Toungoo District. It provides information on rations resupply operations by Tatmadaw MOC #9 along the vehicle road from Kler La army camp to Bu Hsa Hkee army camp from January to March 2012, in which soldiers from MOC #9 and LID #66 burnt the vehicle road and the roadside in order to clear vegetation for security purposes, resulting in the destruction of villagers' cardamom and betelnut plantations. The community member also described attacks on villagers' livelihoods and food supply, with the burning of 177 acres of villagers' cardamom plantations by LID #66 alone at the end of March 2012. Recent evidence of abuse by IB #35, under the control of LID #66, in forced relocation sites, such as using villagers for forced labour to clear weeds around military camps, is also provided. In one instance, Y--- villagers responded to the burning of the vehicle road by clearing away dry leaves in order to prevent the fire from spreading to their adjacent plantations, however, MOC #9 soldiers proceeded to burn the villagers' plantations nonetheless."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (185K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b43.html
Date of entry/update: 13 June 2012


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


Title: Toungoo Interview Transcript: Saw B---, December 2011
Date of publication: 19 April 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in W--- village, Daw Hpa Hkoh Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed 50-year-old Saw B---, a church leader in W--- village, who described demands for forced labour by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #378 in November 2011, including cutting and portering bamboo poles for the rebuilding of LIB #378 military camp near W--- village, and portering food and performing messenger duty. Saw B--- raised concerns regarding food and livelihood security due to the destruction of W--- villagers' cardamom and coffee plantations by rats. He also explained how the Tatmadaw accused villagers of providing assistance to the Karen National Liberation Arm (KNLA) and placed explicit restrictions on the movement of villagers going to work in their cardamom and coffee plantations, which negatively impacts harvests and food security, in addition to restrictions on the transportation of batteries and medicine. Saw B--- also described the death of one villager due to the lack of medical facilities in the village. Other concerns raised include the absence of accessible education beyond grade seven, an insufficient number of teachers, and the omission of the Karen language from the W--- village school curriculum. Saw B--- noted that since the 2010 General Elections in Burma, the Tatmadaw began to increasingly frame demands for forced labour in terms of loh ah pay; a term traditionally referring to voluntary service for community projects. Saw B--- explained that villagers have responded to such concerns by deciding amongst themselves to only send those villagers who are available to go for forced labour, as well as by sharing food and lending money during times of hardship, and teaching the Karen language in church on Sundays."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (133K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b38.html
Date of entry/update: 21 April 2012


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


Title: Toungoo Interview Transcript: Saw L---, December 2011
Date of publication: 04 April 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during December 2011 in Day Loh Muh village tract, Daw Pa Ko Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw L---, who described the destruction of Y--- villagers' cardamom and coffee fields in 2006 for the construction of a Tatmadaw camp. He also noted the forced portering of building materials and food rations, the forced construction of a food storage building, and demands for bamboo poles in the period between 2006 and 2007. Saw L--- described how in 2010 and 2011, villagers from Y--- and surrounding villages were forced by Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #306 to clear vegetation from the road between Lay Loh Day village and the military camp. Saw L--- also talked about the torture of A--- village heads for failing to comply with orders for food from LIB #306. He also detailed an incident in which a villager, Saw P--- from B--- village, was killed by Tatmadaw soldiers. Other concerns noted include food shortages, exacerbated by the rising price of food; the cost of medical treatment; and the prohibition on the transportation of medicine. The absence of accessible education beyond grade four, and the omission of the Karen language from the Y--- village school curriculum were also raised."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (381K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b33.html
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


Title: Pa’an Interview Transcript: Naw D---, November 2011
Date of publication: 14 March 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during November 2011 in Dta Greh Township, Pa’an District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed 70-year-old Naw D---, a dry paddy hill field farmer from M--- village, who described an incident that took place on October 29th 2011, during which a mortar was fired towards M--- village, and Tatmadaw soldiers from IB #230 looted a full sack of rice costing 750 baht (US $25) and 5,000 baht (US $166) in cash, as well as betelnuts and betel leaves whilst she was in her hill field and the rest of her family had fled their home and were hiding from the mortar fired in M--- village. Naw D--- discussed how this theft has considerably undermined her family’s economic and food security, and described how she threatened to inform the soldiers’ commander about the incident..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (134K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b25.html
Date of entry/update: 12 April 2012


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


Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Newsletter, December 2011 - Robbery and extortion in Shan State
Date of publication: December 2011
Description/subject: Commentary: Stealing and Extortion of Livestock; Random shooting and stealing of cattle; Villager’s cows shot and stolen, tractor conscripted for forced labour, in Kae-See and Si-Paw; A draught buffalo shot and stolen, a truck taken for forced labour, in Kae-See; A pig extorted, a cow shot and stolen, in Murng-Nai; A buffalo shot and stolen, porters conscripted, in Murng-Kerng; A cow killed, its legs cut and stolen, in Murng-Nai; Shooting and stealing of pigs; A pig shot and stolen in Lai-Kha; A pig forcibly taken away in front of its owner, in Murng-Nai; A pig shot and stolen while the owners were away, in Kun-Hing; A pig stolen, villagers forced to serve as guides and porters, in Kae-See; Extortion of chickens; Extortion of chickens in Murng-Nai; Extortion of chickens and other food stuff, conscription of vehicles, in Murng-Kerng.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013


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


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


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


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


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


Title: Acute food shortages threatening 8,885 villagers in 118 villages across northern Papun District
Date of publication: 11 May 2011
Description/subject: "At least 8,885 villagers in 118 villages in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District have either exhausted their current food supplies or are expecting to do so prior to the October 2011 harvest. The 118 villages are located in nine village tracts, where attacks on civilians by Burma's state army, the Tatmadaw, have triggered wide scale and repeated displacement since 1997. As tens of thousands of civilians in northern Karen State have been displaced, over-population in hiding areas where civilians can more effectively avoid attacks has created shortages of arable land, depleted soil fertility and reduced potential crop yields. Civilians forced to cultivate land or live near Tatmadaw camps, meanwhile, have faced recent attacks, including indiscriminate shelling and attacks on food supplies, buildings and livelihoods. These existing obstacles to food security were compounded by an unusually dry rainy season in 2010, coupled with other environmental factors, causing the 2010 harvest to fail. The impact of acute food shortages on the civilian population is magnified by budgetary constraints of local relief organisations, which can access the affected area but are currently unable to provide emergency assistance to many of those facing food shortages. This regional report is based on research conducted by KHRG researchers in Lu Thaw Township in February and March 2011, including 41 interviews with villagers and village and village tract leaders in the affected areas. This research was augmented by interviews with members of local relief organisations in February, March and April 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (1.31MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1101.html
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1101%20-%20Briefer.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


Title: Tatmadaw attacks destroy civilian property and displace villages in northern Papun District
Date of publication: 08 April 2011
Description/subject: "Tatmadaw forces continue to deliberately target civilians, civilian settlements and food supplies in northern Papun District. On February 25th 2011 shelling directed at communities in Saw Muh Bplaw, Ler Muh Bplaw and Plah Koh village tracts in Lu Thaw Township displaced residents of 14 villages as they sought temporary refuge at hiding sites in the forest. After villagers fled, Tatmadaw troops looted civilians' possessions, burned parts of settlement areas and destroyed buildings and food stores in Dteh Neh village. No civilian deaths or injuries were reported to result from this shelling; local village heads confirmed that all villagers affected managed to flee to safe locations during the shelling, many because of warnings received through a locally-developed system to alert community members of attacks. This report is informed by KHRG photo documentation, as well as interviews with and written testimony from a total of nine village heads, village tract leaders and village officials from communities located or hiding in the affected area. An additional 41 interviews conducted during February and March 2011 in Lu Thaw Township were also drawn upon."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (1.35MB) html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b4.html
Date of entry/update: 27 February 2012


Title: Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Newsletter, December 2010 - Robbery and extortion in Shan State
Date of publication: December 2010
Description/subject: Commentary: Extortion and Stealing of Livestock... Situation of shooting and stealing of villagers’ cattle in Shan State... Villager’s buffalos shot for meat in Murng-Ton... Extortion and stealing of chickens and cattle in Kun-Hing... A farmer’s buffalo, used for ploughing rice field, shot and stolen, in Larng-Khur... Vegetables extorted, cow shot for meat, in Murng-Kerng... Villager’s Buffalo shot dead in Murng- Yai... Situation of extortion and stealing of pigs and chickens... Extortion and stealing of chickens and pigs in Murng-Kerng... Extortion of chickens, rice and money, in Loi-Lem... Stealing of chickens in Lai-Kha... Intimidation and extortion of chickens in Larng-Khur.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 January 2013


Title: Landmines, Killings and Food Destruction: Civilian life in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 09 August 2007
Description/subject: "The attacks against civilians continue as the SPDC increases its military build-up in Toungoo District. Enforcing widespread restrictions on movement backed up by a shoot-on-sight policy, the SPDC has executed at least 38 villagers in Toungoo since January 2007. On top of this, local villagers face the ever present danger of landmines, many of which were manufactured in China, which the Army has deployed around homes, churches and forest paths. Combined with the destruction of covert agricultural hill fields and rice supplies, these attacks seek to undermine food security and make life unbearable in areas outside of consolidated military control. However, as those living under SPDC rule have found, the constant stream of military demands for labour, money and other supplies undermine livelihoods, village economies and community efforts to address health, education and social needs. Civilians in Toungoo must therefore choose between a situation of impoverishment and subjugation under SPDC rule, evasion in forested hiding sites with the constant threat of military attack, or a relatively stable yet uprooted life in refugee camps away from their homeland. This report documents just some of the human rights abuses perpetrated by SPDC forces against villagers in Toungoo District up to July 2007..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Report (KHRG #2007-F6)
Format/size: pdf (1.24 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg07f6.html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2009


Title: Forced Labour, Extortion and Abuses in Papun District
Date of publication: 29 July 2006
Description/subject: "As the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) continues its Karen State offensive into the rainy season, villagers living in Lu Thaw township in northern Papun District have come under increasing pressure as a consequence of the military encroachment onto their land. KHRG field researchers have documented attacks on villages, destruction of crops and targeted killings in the area. Villagers residing in Dweh Loh and Bu Tho townships further south, outside the area of the systematic offensive against villages, confront a different pattern of abuse involving constant demands for labour, money, food and building supplies. These villagers are confronted with a situation of heightened insecurity as a consequence of the persistent demands of SPDC and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) forces..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F7)
Format/size: pdf (511 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f11.html
Date of entry/update: 01 August 2006


Title: Photo Set 2005-A
Date of publication: 27 May 2005
Description/subject: "Over 900 photos taken by KHRG researchers in the field from mid 2002 to early 2005, documenting the human rights situation and responses to it by villagers in Karen areas of Burma. This Photo Set contains a photo essay from Nyaunglebin District as well as sections on Attacks on Villages & Village Destruction; Forced Relocation and Restrictions; Detention and Torture; Shootings and Killings; Forced Labour; Food and Livelihoods; Women; Children; Flight & Displacement; Landmines; and Soldiers... Preface; Terms and Abbreviations; Table of Contents: 1. A Short Story in Pictures: Village Destruction, Displacement and Survival in Nyaunglebin District; 2. Attacks on Villages and Village Destruction... 3. Forced Relocation and Restrictions... 4. Detention and Torture... 5. Shootings and Killings... 6. Forced Labour: 6.1 Portering; 6.2 Convict Porters; 6.3 Guides, Messengers, and Meetings; 6.4 Roads; 6.5 Forced Labour Maintaining Army Camps, Army Farms, and Securing Villages; 6.6 Supplying Materials... 7. Food and Livelihoods: 7.1 Destruction of Crops and Livelihoods; 7.2 Abandoned Fields; 7.3 Confiscation of Fields; 7.4 Restrictions on Access to Food; 7.5 Crop Quotas, Taxation and Extortion; 7.6 Looting; 7.7 The Work of Karen Relief Organisations... 8. Women: 8.1 Violence Against Women; 8.2 Women and Forced Labour; 8.3 Women, Livelihoods and Displacement; 8.4 Health... 9. Children: 9.1 Violence Against Children; 9.2 Children and Forced Labour; 9.3 Children and Internal Displacement; 9.4 Orphans; 9.5 Health; 9.6 Education: 9.6.1 Education for displaced children; 9.6.2 Education in SPDC-controlled villages; 9.7 Child Soldiers... 10. Flight and Displacement: 10.1 Life on the Run; 10.2 Food and Survival; 10.3 Health; 10.4 Education; 10.5 Flight to Thailand... 11. Landmines: 11.1 The Mines; 11.2 The Victims... 12. Soldiers... Appendix 1: KHRG Map of Burma... Appendix 2: Map of Karen Districts... Appendix 3: Map Room (more detailed maps).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-P1)
Format/size: jpeg, html
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2005


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


Title: KNU Mergui-Tavoy District - Monthly Human Rights Situation Report June 2004
Date of publication: June 2004
Description/subject: FORCED LABOR; TORTURE; RAPE; LOOTING.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department, Karen National Union
Format/size: html (22K)
Date of entry/update: 01 September 2004


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: 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: Field Reports: Thaton District
Date of publication: 25 January 1995
Description/subject: "The following testimonies and information have been gathered by our human rights monitors from civilian villagers in the Bilin River area and eastward toward the Salween River, in Thaton District of Karen and northeastern Mon States. 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. In the testimonies, SLORC soldiers sometimes mention ‘Ringworm’ and 'Kaw Thoo Lei' - they use both terms to mean 'Karen soldiers’. 'KNU' is short for Karen National Union, the Karen government. 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 #1,2,3,4,5,6,8), Execution , (#2,3,4 5,6,7,11), Detention (#1,8,9), Shooting at villagers (#1,3,4,6,7,8,11), Forced labour (#5,7), Looting (#6,10,11), Extortion (#3,4), Burning homes (#6,10,11), Destroying food supplies (#9,10), Threatening a monk (#10), SLORC response when villagers report abuse (#2,3,4), People fleeing villages (#1,3,4,8)..." Bilin, Pa'an, Papun Townships, Thaton District. May-Dec 94; Karen M, F. IT (beating); torture; arbitrary detention; killing; extortion;depletion of village; looting (lists of some items); pillaging (looting and destruction of crops and foodstuffs -- lists); EO; burning of houses.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003