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KHRG Orders 96-E, pt 1/2 (fwd)

                 SLORC ORDERS TO VILLAGES:  SET 96-E
                         Central Karen State

        An Independent Report by the Karen Human Rights Group
                 July 31, 1996     /     KHRG #96-30



Following are the direct translations of some written orders sent from
SLORC Army units to Karen villages in the area south of Kawkareik, in
south-central Karen State.  Most of them are demands for villages to send
forced labourers, while some also demand food and building materials.
Some are simply a summons for village elders to attend 'meetings' - these
meetings at army camps are to dictate forced labour and extortion
payment demands, and even though the Camp may be 3 to 5 miles away a
60-year old elder is expected to drop everything and walk there.  As a
result, many village elders fail to attend them, which only leads to further
threats of 'action' against the elders and the village; several examples of
this can be seen in this report.  To show the effect of such orders, at the
end of the report is an account given by a woman who went for the forced
labour demanded in Order #4, which turned out to be 6 days in the hot
sun planting rubber trees until she had to be carried away semi-
unconscious from fever.

Most of the orders were issued between January and May 1996.  Some at
the end of the report were received by the same villages at the end of 1994,
but are included here to show the similarity over time - nothing is
improving in this area.  In fact, a new flow of refugees from some of these
villages toward the Thai border has begun in July 1996.  Over 100
families have already reached the border, telling of SLORC and DKBA
(Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) troops who are moving slowly further
into the area, looting and building roads with forced labour as they go.

For every order reproduced here, hundreds more are issued every week;
these should be seen only as a small representative sampling.  Most of
these orders were sent to village leaders, sometimes referred to as
'Chairman', who are held responsible for complying with all orders and are
the first to be arrested or tortured if they fail.  The phrase "Should you
fail it will be your responsibility" can mean arrest/torture of elders,
burning of all or part of the village, shelling the village, forced
relocation, etc.

Most of these orders were handwritten, some typed, then signed and
stamped by SLORC officers.  Some were duplicated with carbon paper and
sent to several villages.  Photocopies of the Burmese originals (with
village names blacked out) are available on approved request.  We have
attempted to accurately reproduce the visual page layout of each order,
and underlining, etc. are as they appear in the order.  'Stamp:' gives the
translation of the unit stamp affixed to most of the orders.  Italic text in
square brackets has been added by KHRG for clarification where
necessary.  In some instances, this occurs where Burmese grammar omits
subject pronouns which are necessary in English.

As in the originals, numeric dates are shown in dd/mm/yy format.  LIB =
Light Infantry Battalion; IB = Infantry Battalion.  Where necessary for
safety, details have been blanked out with 'xxxx', 'yyyy', etc.  Even so,
please do not pass this report to any SLORC representatives.

TOPIC SUMMARY:  Army camp labour (Order #2,3,5,6,10), road labour (#1,17),
rubber plantation labour (#4, p.11-12), paddy quotas (#15),
demands for food (#4,9,19,23), for building materials (#6,7), for carts
for firewood (#14), summons to 'meetings' (#3,9,11-13,18,19,22-24),
threat to shell the village (#19), threat to relocate village (#20),
threats to villages which fail to provide intelligence reports (#20,21),
death penalty for possession of Karen Youth Organisation literature (#16),
account of villager who did forced labour as ordered (p.11-12).

                                Order #1

#XXX Infantry Battalion         To:   Chairman
   General Staff Dept.                xxxx village

Subject:	To call volunteer labourers

I inform you to come without fail for voluntary work to repair the Ta Mine
Gone - Chaung Taung road in order to make travel easy for students and
travellers.  We will start on 1-5-96 at 6 a.m.  One person of each house in
each village must come and bring mattock [large hoe] and basket along
with them.

Remark:  Should you fail, it will be the Chairman's responsibility, I inform

Place:     IB XXX                                        [Sd.]
Date:      28-4-96                              (for) Battalion Commander

[Note: this is a typed form letter, multiple copies produced using carbon
paper, with the village name, 'place', and 'date' written in.  It was
sent to several villages.]

                                 Order #2

To:     Village Head (xxxx [village])                          15-3-96

Subject:	To call volunteer labourers for the camp

1) Tomorrow send 15 people from you gentlemen's village.
2) They must arrive by 8 a.m. and each one must bring a machete and a
3) As I have sent an order to each village, I inform you to come without

          Stamp:                                      [Sd.]
#XXX Light Infantry Battalion                    Company Commander
        #X Company                                xxxx Army Camp

Remark: xxxx [village] 15 people + yyyy [village] 15 people.
        Total 30 people.

[Note: in "I inform you to come without fail", the term used translates
directly as "inform", but is used in a way which makes its Burmese
meaning  closer to "warn".]

                                 Order #3

        Stamp:                                            Date: 26-4-96
#XXX Infantry Battalion        To:  Headman
   XXXX - Kawkareik                 xxxx village

Subject:	To call volunteer labourers

Regarding the above subject, in order to repair XXXX camp, I
inform you to bring 30 labourers led by you yourself, together with 3 days'
provisions.  Each one must bring along a machete and must come to XXXX camp
tomorrow, 27-4-96, at 6 a.m.

Remark:  Village headman, you must attend the meeting at 12 noon.

                                           (for) Battalion Commander
                                            #XXX Infantry Battalion

                                 Order #4

To:     Village Headwoman                                 Date: 19-3-96
	xxxx [village]

30 volunteer labourers requested by IB XXX have not arrived yet.  The
Battalion Commander asked you to come and arrive by 16-3-96, so today is
3 days overdue.

The Battalion Commander scolded the camp.  So come and arrive
tomorrow.  Village headwoman, come to the camp tomorrow.  Other
villages will also come tomorrow.  I was told that a truck from the Army
will pick you up [here].  So you must come.

                       Headwoman, come to the camp.

     URGENT                                         [Sd.]
                                                Camp Commander
                                                xxxx Army Camp

                                               (Bring one duck.)

[The Camp Commander has been "scolded" by his Battalion Commander
who visited from battalion headquarters for not obtaining forced labourers
which the Battalion Commander had requested.  It appears that the
Battalion Commander has told the Camp Commander that he will send a
truck from headquarters tomorrow to take the villagers to the worksite,
and they had better be there ready to go or the Camp Commander's neck
is on the line.  A total of 300 villagers were demanded for this labour from
10 villages.  The work, which continued into April, turned out to be 6-day
shifts planting rubber trees in the hot sun to establish a plantation 3
square for military profit.  See the account of one of the labourers on
pages 11-12 at the end of this report.]

                                 Order #5

#XXX Infantry Battalion          To:  Chairman
      #X Column                       xxxx village

1)  Special meeting to be held on 10-5-96, I inform you and I warn you to
    come without fail (without fail).
2)  I inform you to bring one labourer to take his turn [doing labour] along
    with you on that day.
3)  Should you fail, I inform you and warn you again that we will take

Place:  xxxx village                               (for) Column Commander
Date:   8-5-96                                           Column X
                                                   #XXX Infantry Battalion

[Note: On the back in red ink is written "Important Matter".  IB #XXX is
notorious for burning several villages in southern Karen State.]

                                 Order #6

#XXX Infantry Battalion   To: Chairmen                   Date: 14-3-96
                              xxxx and yyyy [villages]   [sic: really

There will be voluntary labour from your villages, gentlemen, on 15-1-96.

When you come and work for voluntary labour, I inform you to bring along
one wooden post with each villager, with a circumference of one 'nyo' [the
span from tip of the thumb to tip of the index finger] or one 'twa'
[handspan, from tip of the thumb to tip of the little finger] and a length
9 'taung' [from elbow to fingertip], which you must cut near XXXX village.

Bring along sand-carrying baskets and dirt-carrying baskets.
Make them up. [i.e. make some if you have none]

                                                    [Sd. - 14/1/96]
                                               (for) Battalion Commander

                                 Order #7

To:     Headman                                            Date: 30-4-96
	xxxx village

Subject:	To send bamboo and small wooden posts.

Regarding the above subject, we inform you to bring 1,000 bamboos and
50 wooden posts from xxxx village to yyyy army camp by 5/5 [5 May] to
repair the camp.

                                             Company Commander
                                                 yyyy camp

                                 Order #8

#XXX Light Infantry Battalion         To: Village Head
        #X Company                        xxxx / yyyy [villages]

As soon as you receive this letter, bring quickly 2 bullock carts to the

                                                    [Sd. - 7/5]
                                                  Company Commander
                                                     #X Company
                                                      #XXX LIB

                                 Order #9

To:     Mother Daw xxxx                                        29/4/96

Come tomorrow to the camp.  Bring some betelnut and betel leaf.

                                                     [Sd. - 29/4]
                                                   Company Commander
                                                    xxxx Army Camp

                                 Order #10

To:	Mother

Yesterday, you didn't come for voluntary labour.  So today, Mother, come
for a while.

                                                    [Sd. - 22/4]
                                                  Company Commander
                                                   xxxx Army Camp

["Mother" is the village headwoman.  In this context, "you didn't come"
really means "your village didn't come"; the headwoman is expected to
take the villagers and supervise their work.]

                                 Order #11

To:	Auntie xxxx / Auntie yyyy

Both of you come quickly, not after 12 noon.
							16/5 [16 May]

[This is a summons from a SLORC officer to 2 village elders; on the back
it is addressed to the village headwoman.]

                                 Order #12

To:	Mother Headwoman

Right now, as soon as you receive this letter, come and meet at the camp.

                                                     [Sd. - 16/4]
                                                   Company Commander
                                                       xxxx Camp

                                 Order #13

#XXX Light Infantry Battalion         To:   Headwoman
         #X Company                         xxxx village

Mother, Daw xxxx, as soon as you receive this letter come quickly to the

                                                     [Sd. - 7/5]
                                                  Company Commander
                                                     #X Company
                                                      #XXX LIB

                                 Order #14

        Stamp:                                            Date: 10-1-96
#XXX Infantry Battalion          To: Chairman
      #X Column                      xxxx village

Subject:        Battalion asking for one 'lan' [arm's length] of firewood

We know that you have not sent the firewood ordered from you.
Therefore, I inform you to send the one 'lan' of firewood I ordered to the
Battalion headquarters without fail by 12-1-96.

Should you fail, it will be your responsibility.

                                                  (for) Column Commander