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Home > Main Library > Internal armed conflict > Internal armed conflict in Burma > Conflict in particular States > Armed conflict in Karen State > Armed conflict in Karen State - military activities and their impact on village life, including livelihood, health, education and land tenure security

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Armed conflict in Karen State - military activities and their impact on village life, including livelihood, health, education and land tenure security

Individual Documents

Title: Legal Memorandum: War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Eastern Myanmar
Date of publication: 05 November 2014
Description/subject: Conclusion: "...This memorandum describes a Myanmar military counterinsurgency offensive that involved the widespread targeting of civilians in northern Kayin State and eastern Bago Division. Myanmar Army soldiers fired mortars at villages, opened fire on fleeing villagers, destroyed homes, laid landmines in civilian locations, forced villagers to work and porter, and captured and executed civilians. The impact on the population was massive. Tens of thousands of individuals were displaced during the campaign and many were killed. In Thandaung Township—the area which was the focus of the Clinic’s investigation—nearly every village was affected by the Offensive and almost all of the villagers residing in black areas were forced to flee. Evidence collected by the Clinic during the investigation demonstrates that the actions of Myanmar Army personnel during the Offensive constitute crimes under international criminal law. These crimes include the war crimes of attacking civilians, displacing civilians, destroying or seizing the enemy’s property, pillage, murder, execution without due process, torture, and outrages upon personal dignity, and the crimes against humanity of forcible transfer of a population, murder, enslavement, torture, and other inhumane acts. The Clinic has also collected evidence relevant to the war crime of rape, as well as the crimes against humanity of rape and persecution. More research and analysis is necessary to determine whether these crimes could be included in a criminal case associated with the Offensive..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School
Format/size: pdf (850-reduced version; 4.4MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://hrp.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014.11.05-IHRC-Legal-Memorandum.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2014


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


Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Ler Doh Township, November 2012 to January 2013
Date of publication: 09 April 2013
Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in January 2013 by a community member describing events occurring in Nyaunglebin District during the period between November 2012 and January 2013. Specifically, it describes the confiscation of more than 2375.14 acres of villagers' land by Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion #60. One villager was required by Light Infantry Battalion #264 soldiers to collect 250,000 kyat per month from the villagers who operate gold ore processing machines. The community member also describes how, despite the January 2012 ceasefire being in effect, the Tatmadaw continues to increase resupply missions in the area, which has created alarm amongst local civilians. As part of a CIDKP pilot project, 173 sacks of rice have been distributed to Muh Theh villagers. The community member reports that there was an increase in medical care in the area, where Tatmadaw medics travelled with armed soldiers to three towns in KNU-controlled areas in Kyauk Kyi Township, while FBR medics travelled with unarmed KNLA soldiers to Tatmadaw-controlled areas. In response to the land confiscation, villagers' reported their complaints by submitting a letter to the Burma government, however, no response had been received as of January.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (462K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b17.html
Date of entry/update: 30 April 2013


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


Title: Incident Report: Violent abuse in Papun District, October 2012
Date of publication: 01 April 2013
Description/subject: "...The incident occurred on October 15th 2012 in Htee Th'Daw Hta village tract, Bu Tho Township, Papun District, when Saw P--- allowed his cow to graze on a vehicle road that had been closed by Saw Pah Mee, a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Commander. Upon encountering Saw P--- in the area under his control, Commander Saw Pah Mee blindfolded, punched, and left Saw P--- tied up overnight, as well as shooting one of his cows. The incident report also mentions the violent abuse of a Muslim villager, Saw L---, by Border Guard Commander #1014 Commander Maw Nee Hseh; details of this incident were described by the same community member in a previously published report: "Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho and Dwe Lo townships, September to December 2012," KHRG, March 2013..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (273K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b15.html
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2013


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


Title: Papun Situation Update: Lu Thaw Township, March to November 2012
Date of publication: 25 February 2013
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District during the period between July 2012 and November 2012. It describes how the Tatmadaw continues to resupply and repair military infrastructure despite ongoing ceasefire talks with the KNU, as well as make new preparations for gold extraction projects. The Tatmadaw also tried to build relations with civilians by providing free food placed beside vehicle roads, but fears of poisoned food and mistrust prevented the civilians from accepting the food. On March 19th 2012, soldiers from the Tatmadaw LID #66 killed two villagers, 30 year-old Saw K--- and 19 year-old Saw E---, and injured one, 28 year-old Saw N---, when they crossed a road in K'Kyay Hta; the Tatmadaw took the 160,000 kyat that the victims were carrying. The civilians in the internally displaced persons areas still do not dare to show themselves to the Tatmadaw, and continue to monitor troop movement along vehicle roads. The situation update also discusses villagers' concerns regarding the ceasefire, describing how civilians want peace so that they can return to work on their land. Currently, heavy rains in 2011 and crop maladies have caused food security problems for many communities. In response, communities support one another with food transportation and use of traditional medicine cooperatives, which are still developing local involvement and action plans..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (410K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2013/khrg13b2.html
Date of entry/update: 22 March 2013


Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, June 2012
Date of publication: 12 October 2012
Description/subject: This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in June 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District, during June 2012. Specifically discussed are Nay Pyi Daw military operations along Papun-Ka' Ma Moo vehicle road. It includes details on the location and names of the different NPD military camps that are based along the Papun-K'Ma Moh vehicle road.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (252K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b79.html
Date of entry/update: 08 November 2012


Title: Papun Situation Update: Northern Lu Thaw Township, March to June 2012
Date of publication: 05 September 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in June 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District, during the period between March and June 2012. Specifically described is the location of Tatmadaw operations in the twelve village tracts inside the Northern Lu Thaw Township, and the living conditions of the villagers from those village tracts. This report details military activities, such as sending rations and repairing bridges, and it also includes concerns the villagers have related to the military's activities and the permanence of the 2012 ceasefire. Other detailed information about the livelihood, healthcare, education, and the responsive strategies of the villagers, is also provided."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (268K); html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b75.html
Date of entry/update: 05 November 2012


Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, received April 2012
Date of publication: 10 June 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in April 2012 by a community member trained by KHRG describing events occurring in Bu Tho Township, Papun District, prior to April 2012. It contains updated information concerning an increase in Tatmadaw and Border Guard military activity since the January 2012 ceasefire agreement with the KNU, including more frequent transportation of rations, building materials and weapons, and an increase in troop deployment. It describes how Tatmadaw LIB #341, #434, #340, and #642 have established permanent bases by the Papun vehicle road, and how troops reportedly remain stationed at numerous bases along the Thailand-Burma border. Land confiscation for infrastructure projects and the construction of military bases and plantations is highlighted as a significant issue, and continued natural resource extraction also serves to limit the amount of cultivatable land available. State-led development projects at the village level are also cited as contributing to land confiscation as a result of demands for land from government officials involved. Information is also provided on the construction of a new village in Meh Pree Township by a monk in command of approximately 20-30 soldiers. Villagers continue to face demands for food and goods, such as thatch shingles, and demands for forced labour. Significantly, demands for money, or for villagers to serve as soldiers and guides or to perform sentry duty, has reportedly ceased, and there has been a reduction in travel restrictions since January 2012. Some limited landmine clearance is reported to have occurred after villagers discussed the problem with a Tatmadaw officer. Other villagers have adapted to the reduction of suitable farmland by trading livestock and transporting food to sell. Villagers also refused to comply with demands for land in exchange for electricity, and confronted officials over the issue."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (566K)
Date of entry/update: 13 July 2012


Title: Sustained Tatmadaw resupply operations in Thaton, Nyaunglebin and Papun during ceasefire
Date of publication: 31 May 2012
Description/subject: "During the first three months after the January 2012 ceasefire between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Burma government, villagers in Thaton, Nyaunglebin and Papun districts have raised concerns about Tatmadaw activity related to resupply operations, troop reinforcements and the transport of heavy artillery. LID #44 soldiers were deployed for road security purposes during military resupply operations at the end of January along the Bilin riverbank in Thaton District, while further north in Nyaunglebin District, LIB #702 transported rations, mortars and troop reinforcements, while Tatmadaw soldiers burned the vehicle road near three army camps. In Papun District, the vehicle road was repaired in early February before Tatmadaw soldiers transported supplies and troop reinforcements to camps in the area around Wa Klee Koo. The restricted scope of Tatmadaw operations since the ceasefire negotiations in January has allowed some villagers in Papun District to return to previously abandoned agricultural land. Villagers nonetheless complained of movement restrictions during military resupply operations, and expressed concerns that, because Tatmadaw troops have been reinforced and are now well-supplied, they will be in an advantageous position if the current ceasefire is broken."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (578K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b51.html
Date of entry/update: 25 June 2012


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


Title: Dooplaya Situation Update: August 2011 to September 2011 [News Bulletin]
Date of publication: 09 December 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in September 2011 by a villager describing events and military activities occurring in Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District, during the period between August and September 2011. The villager describes the shelling of civilian areas by DKBA troops resulting in the destruction of a villager’s house, and villagers’ fears of violence by DKBA forces following the defection of a DKBA soldier to Tatmadaw Border Guard troops and his transport through the area around their community. The report also details demands for payment issued by KNU/KNLA Peace Council soldiers; discusses the death of a KNU/KNLA Peace Council officer by natural causes; and raises villagers’ concerns about the flooding of bean and corn plantations along the Moei River at the beginning of September which resulted in destruction of farmers’ seeds and crops."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (203K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b53.html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


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


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