MONTHLY HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION REPORT

TENASSERIM DIVISION

Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department, Karen National Union

January, 2002

Contact: ehna@ksc.th.com

 

 

   EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING

   EXTORTION

   FORCED PORTERING

   MILITARY

   LIVING STANDARDS

 

EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLING

 

Burmese troops beat to death a villager without any reason in the east of Tavoy town, Tenasserim division, southern Burma. On January 19, 2002, Burmese troops from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 402, led by Battalion Commander Nay Myo Aung have beaten a villager in Hkaw Hpaw (Myaykanbaw) village to death. The victim is named Saw Kwa Ner, about 34 years old. No villager could explain why the troops killed him.

 

 

Burmese troops shot to death a villager without any reason in the east of Tavoy Township, Tenasserim division, southern Burma. On January 23, 2002, Burmese troops from Infantry Battalion 104 were on patrol in the area of Htee Kler Hta. The troops came across a villager and opened fire to him without any questions. He was hit by bullets and died on the spot. He was identified as Saw Doh Ko Pi, 21 years old, son of Saw Yan Aung from nearby Kler Hpu village.

 

 

Burmese troops killed a villager and took all his money in the east of Tavoy district, Tenasserim division, southern Burma. On January 24, 2002, Burmese troops from Infantry Battalion 402, arrested a villager named Saw Hser Wah, 27 years old, son of Saw Uh Na in Kameik village. The troops shot and killed him and took 30,000 Thai baht from him. Saw Hseh Waht was from the neighboring village Kaw Htee Lor.

 

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EXTORTION

 

Burmese troops based in Yadana gas pipeline area, in Yebyu Township, Tavoy district, Tenasserim division demanded housing materials from local villagers. On January 21, 2002, Battalion Commander Maung Nay Oo from Infantry Battalion 282, which is based in Po Hpa Hta area demanded bamboo and roofing leaves from Pasawlaw village. Each household has to send 4 bamboo poles and 4 pieces of roofing leaves.

 

 

Burmese troops based in Yadana gas pipeline area, in Yebyu township, Tavoy district, Tenasserim division demanded roofing leaves and betel nuts from local villagers. Column Commander Thet Min from Burmese army's Light Infantry Battalion 402, which is based in between Chaung Hsome and Kalainaung demanded 1,000 Loh leaves (some kind of leaf used for roofing) and 50,000 betel nuts from Shin Ta Pe village on Jaunry 27, 2002. The villagers have to send them without fail.

 

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FORCED POTERING

 

Burmese troops forced at least four hundred villagers from four townships within Tavoy district, Tenasserim division as porters while the troops transferred. It was learnt that on January 13, 2002, ten Light Infantry Battalions from No.8 Light Infantry Division (LID) change places with No.9 Light Infantry Division's battalions on the Thai-Burmese border. Those troops forced at least 100 people from each township in Tavoy district to carry their military supplies. There are four townships in Tavoy district, which are Theyetchang, Long Lon, Yebyu, and Tavoy township.

 

 

On January 13, 2002, No.8. Light Infantry Division (LID) took over the field duty from No.9. LID, and its battalion LIB 402 take responsible for Myitta village and its surrounding area and LIB 408 for Hkaw Paw (Myaykanbaw) village. These villages are in the east and northeast of Tavoy about 30 miles and 409 miles respectively.

These transferred battalions started to operate in these surrounding villages and whenever they went out for military activities, they called the villagers from the nearby village as forced porters to carry their burdens and to show them the way.

LIB 408 which is stationed at Hkaw Paw village ordered all the villagers from Wa Shu Hko, Hkaw Paw, Kler Hpoo, Kameik, Naw Troo Taw, Hto Ki Hpo Nor, Khaw Htee Lor and Hpway Hpo Kla villages which belong to Hkaw Paw village tract not to accept and support the KNU insurgents. Those who disobey and violate this order will be taken action against fiercely, said the commander.

Moreover, all the villages in this tract must participate in the regional development programmes conducted by the LIB 408 battalion on every Saturday with one person per family.

The developments conducted by LIB 408 are Taung Thon Lon, Hkaw Paw and Wa Shu Hko car road construction and maintenance works, site clearing on both sides of that road, clearing inside and outside the perimeter for their military camp, digging of communication trench around the camp, digging and construction of bunkers, fencing the whole camp with bamboo etc;.

The villagers have to carry food, water and necessary tools along with them from their houses. No wages were paid for their labour said the information from the related area on January 27, 2002

 

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MILITARY

 

It has learnt that, Burmese army's battalions in Tavoy district have given a basic military training to the villagers in Tavoy district, Tenasserim division since December last year. Ten Light Infantry Battalions from four townships within Tavoy district started to give basic military training to local villagers in December. Every young woman and man from every family must go to the training. The real purpose of the training is to use local villagers to take the security in the area, while Burmese troops move to the frontline.

 

 

Burma Army HQ in Rangoon sent 46 truckloads of ammunition to Tavoy township in Tavoy district, Tenasserim division. On January 3, 2002, 46 trucks carrying ammunition arrived to No.342 ammunition arsenal in The Byin Chang village, Tavoy township. The ammunition includes small arms and mortar artillery.

 

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LIVING STANDARDS

 

Money

Kyat rate

23/1/2002/

100 Thai baht = 1550 Kyat (Thai-Burmese border, Na E Tong)

100 Thai baht = 1600 Kyat (Thai-Burmese border, Three Pagodas pass)

100 Thai baht = 1630 Kyat (Tavoy town)

1 US$ = 750 Kyat (FEER 11 Feb.11)

1 US$ = 43.805 THB (FEER 11 Feb.11)

 

Rice price

Tavoy town 23/1/2002

Best quality = 210 kyat/pyi

Low quality = 100 kyat/pyi

(1 pyi = 2 kilogram)

 

Meat

Pork = 1,000 kyat/viss

Chicken = 900 kyat/viss

Goat = 1200 kyat/viss

Beef = 800 kyat/viss

(1 viss = 1.5 kilogram)

 

Petrol

Thai petrol = 1,100 kyat/gallon

Burmese petrol = 950 kyat/gallon

 

Daily wages

Male = 300-500 kyat/day

Female = 200-300 kyat/day

 

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