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Press Release
Information Department, ABSDF
Date: January 22, 1996

(1) DKBO Sets Up Their Own Radio Station

The DKBO (Democratic Buddhist Karen Organization), the breakaway
faction of the Karen rebels, has set up a radio station with the
help of the Burmese military, sources which monitor foreign and
local radios in Burma said.

'Thapyay' or the eugenia tree as the station is called by the
Buddhist Karens is known to be operating under the direct
supervision of the Burmese Army's Psychological Warfare
Department. In Burmese the name symbolizes auspicious victory. 

It is broadcast three times a day: from 07:00 to 08:30 in the
morning, from 12:00  to 13:00 in the afternoon and from 19:00 to
20:00 hours in the evening. It can be monitored at 6354 MHZ. The
base or the whereabouts of the radio station is not known to the

The radio station is said to have broadcast slanderous attacks on
the KNU (Karen National Union) and the ABSDF (All Burma Students
Democratic Front). It also airs reports that are conspicuous
attempts to urge these groups to 'return to the legal fold'. 

In a separate report, another source informed the ABSDF that the
SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council) is preparing to
launch an offensive against the 4th Brigade of the Karen National
Union (KNU) in February 1996. This military operation is
codenamed "Pyi Lone Nyein" or the peace-in-the-whole-country.
Burmese army 44, 66 and regional troops are believed to be
deployed for the offensive.   


(2) Over One Hundred Die at Boke Pyin Prison Labor Camp

Reliable sources inside Burma informed the ABSDF that 108 out of
530 prison inmates have died at a prison labor camp in the south
of Burma in one year. According to the sources from that area,
530 inmates were sent to Boke Pyin Prison Labor Camp last year.
As the new year began the statistics for 1995 showed that 108
people have died of hunger, lack of proper medical care,
worsening living conditions and the severity of word load. An
increase in the number of escape attempts by prisoners has also
contributed to the increasing death toll as Army troops open fire
on escapees.

The report also mentioned the use of prisoners as porters in the
military operations. At the time of reporting, 80 out of the
remaining prisoners were being used as porters.


(3) Forced Labor for Mergui-Moe Taung-Kaw Thaung (Victoria Point)
Motor Road  

Forced labor is being used for the construction of a motor road
connecting Mergui-Moe Taung-Kaw Thaung (Victoria Point), reported
the sources from the area in Tenasserim Division in the south of

The report also confirmed that battalions 358,224 and 103 of
regional Burmese Army have been rounding up the villagers in the
area for use in the construction. It said that each family in the
area is required to dig 10 x 70 feet for the road. The villagers
are ordered to bring their own food and tools. It is said that
there is no proper medical care. The villagers are said to have
fled their villages since October 1995.


(4) Forced Labor in Tenasserim Township

As of January, 1996, a total of 383 from 10 villagers have been
forced to work on various forced labor camps. These villages in
the Tenasserim township - Than Law, West Than Law, Ban Laung, Tha
Kwet (6) mile, Kywel Htein Gonn, Taung Wein, Yei Pho, Lamu, Sin
Kaung and Ganan Gwin - have had to send 80, 40, 50, 30, 25, 13,
60, 25, 30, 30 villagers respectively for the forced labor.

ABSDF, Information Department
Tel/Fax: 66-2-379 2002