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Part I of Exodus: an Update on the
- Subject: Part I of Exodus: an Update on the
- From: brelief@xxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 12:16:00
Subject: Part I of Exodus: an Update on the current situation in Karenni, from Green November 32
EXODUS: AN UPDATE ON THE CURRENT SITUATION IN KARENNI
18 August 1996
Information compiled by Green November 32, Mae Hong Son
Additional Sources: ABSDF, Karenni Public Relations and Information
Department and Karenni Social Welfare Committee
We gratefully acknowledge the invaluable support provided by Khu Oo Reh, the
Karenni Information Minister, and his staff, in supplying and verifying
information, making logistical arrangements, and allowing us to use their
maps. Without their kind assistance, this report could not have been completed.
This update was prepared with information collected since early May to
summarize the relocations of villages in Karenni. During heavy fighting in
March, the SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council) army seized all
of the KNPP (Karenni National Progressive Party) military positions at their
former stronghold on the northern Thai-Karenni border, and in April, KNPP
guerilla units moved inside the state. Following this, during May and June,
in an obvious attempt to cut off any local village support for the KNPP,
almost 100 villages between the Pon and Salween rivers were given orders to
relocate, most by 7 June 1996. Villagers who did not go to the designated
relocation sites in Shadaw and Ywa Thit were to be shot on sight as rebel
supporters. All villages were to be burned after they were vacated. This
order has subsequently been extended to most other areas in Karenni, with
the exception of those under the control of the KNPLF (Karenni Nationalities
People's Liberation Front).
Villagers have now fled in the thousands to the Karenni border refugee camps
in Mae Hong Son. As of 12 August 1996, almost 3,200 had been registered at a
completely new section of Camp 2. During some days in July, there were more
than one hundred new arrivals. By the end of July, more people were still
hiding in the jungle near their old villages, but SLORC troops had begun to
sweep the Pon Salween area looking for remaining villagers. Active fighting
was also taking place in this area. Many villages have now been destroyed by
troops to prevent their reoccupation, and rice stores have been burned to
prevent their seizure by remaining villagers or KNPP troops. In addition, it
appears that, in an attempt to quash all remaining resistance by the KNPP,
the SLORC are imposing conditions tantamount to martial law throughout Karenni.
In order to protect the identities of those interviewed, names of
individuals interviewed have been changed or omitted. However, village names
have been used to present as accurate a picture as possible of events. The
interviews appended were conducted by field workers with refugees and
officials at the camp. Most of the factual information as well as the maps
have been supplied by the Karenni Public Relations and Information
Department. We apologize for any variations in the spelling of village names.
This report updates and replaces the previous report of 19 June 1996. Please
note additions and corrections in the text.
SLORC Offensive against the KNPP
The cease-fire between the KNPP and the SLORC agreed to in March last year
lasted a fragile three months before it broke on 29 June 1995, sending the
first waves of new refugees to Karenni border camps near the Thai provincial
capital of Mae Hong Son. From that time until February, fighting flared
sporadically between the two groups as several attempts were made to mend
the agreement. Throughout 1995 and early 1996, SLORC troops throughout
Karenni conscripted forced laborers and porters for military duty and
exacted increasingly heavy fees from villagers to support their offensive
against the KNPP, code-named "Tad Lon Hein," or "echo all over the state."
The offensive intensified in the last days of February 1996, and in the
first week of March, air strikes were employed against KNPP and supporting
ABSDF (All Burma Students' Democratic Front) bases on the mountains of Taung
Ga Done ridge, adjacent to Karenni Refugee Camp 2. These bases and the
refugee camp were subsequently abandoned, and the last of the KNPP border
military bases, Kaut Kaut, fell to the SLORC on 27 March 1996.
Even after the bombing attacks, KNPP officials stated that they would be
willing to return to the table for further cease-fire negotiations, but the
SLORC have refused to resume talks. Having lost their border operations
area, the KNPP began sending small teams of guerilla fighters inside
Karenni. In a statement issued 11 May 1996, the KNPP reported several
successful ambushes of troops in the area between the Pon and Salween
rivers. Some villagers in the area were killed in reprisal by SLORC troops
following the attacks. KNPP officials at this time reiterated their beliefs
that the SLORC would not halt their military operations until all KNPP
resistance in Karenni had been eliminated. A statement made at the end of
April by SLORC Minister of Tourism Lieutenant General Kyaw Ba seems to
confirm that. Commenting on the SLORC's recent exoneration of opium warlord
Khun Sa, he said that the SLORC could forgive Khun Sa following his
surrender, as this was in keeping with the Burmese way; however the KNPP,
who remained recalcitrant, would not be granted any clemency. "We will smash
them," he said.
Importance of a KNPP Delegation to the National Convention
In early May, the SLORC summarized their progress to date on the National
Convention in writing and ratifying a new constitution. Shortly after,
crack-downs began on members of the National League for Democracy (NLD),
intensifying in late May before the party's first major meeting since Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi's release. When the NLD announced they would draw up their
own parallel constitution, SLORC countered that any group attempting to
produce a national constitution would be banned, underlining the importance
to the SLORC of promulgating their own unaltered constitution. Karenni
sources believe from statements made over the last several months by U Ohn
Gyaw, SLORC Foreign Minister, that the SLORC are now determined to force the
KNPP to "lay down their arms and return to the legal fold," primarily so
that a delegation may be formed to attend the National Convention. After
three years of constitutional drafting, the SLORC appear eager to conclude
the writing and ratification as soon as possible.
New Battalions in Karenni
Over the course of the nearly year-long offensive against the KNPP, the
SLORC has moved over thirty battalions of approximately 350 troops each into
Karenni. There were 27 battalions already in place in March-April, then an
extra ten, including five from 99 Division, were moved in following the
surrender of Khun Sa's MTA troops in Shan State. Throughout the course of
the offensive, there has been a great deal of forced conscription in
Karenni; many of these recruits are young and inexperienced, and many have
defected to the opposition.
During the first week of May, villagers near Shadaw were ordered to
surrender all transportation vehicles to the Loikaw troops. Not only trucks
and cars but also a total of one hundred fifty trologies, three-wheeled
motorized tillers, were commandeered to move troops and equipment into the
area. (A new trology cost 180,000 kyat in 1995.) By 10 May 1996, ten new
SLORC battalions had been sent to Shadaw from Meiktila base in Mandalay
division. These troops have now established camps surrounding Shadaw.
Shortly after the vehicles were seized, farmers in the area were ordered not
to transport rice on any of the roads in the area. Anyone doing so would be
assumed to be supplying KNPP rebel troops, and would be arrested. This has
effectively prevented villagers from selling their surplus rice or buying
additional rice if it is needed. None of the vehicles that were seized have
as yet been returned. The following battalions are now known to be stationed
in Karenni: Infantry Battalions (IBs) 54, 72, 102, 249, and 250, and Light
Infantry Battalions (LIBs) 109, 315, 306, 336, 337, 421,422, 427, 428, 429,
430, and 530. Another four battalions (077, 705, 411, and 425) are reported
to be there, but it is not certain whether they are LIBs or IBs. As fighting
continues inside, orders for troop reinforcements are being issued by
Central Command Control in Rangoon.
There have been reports that KNPLF forces are cooperating with the SLORC
troops in some relocation areas. It is not known whether MTA troops are also
cooperating or not, but ten villagers from Tee Kaw Lay who were arrested and
tortured by LIB 425 troops reported after their escape that many of the men
Previous Relocations in Karenni
This is not the first time Karenni has seen a massive forced relocation. In
1992, villages around Demawso and Prusoe were relocated to sites in the
township. No provisions were made for the large concentrations of people
into small areas before the movement took place. As a result, more than 400
died of starvation and disease at the relocation camps. This information
became known only because, during this time, an assistant to the Catholic
bishop video-taped the relocation sites, and the video was used by the
church to get some limited aid to the people. The church were reportedly
able to negotiate a deal guaranteeing some distribution of rice and other
humanitarian aid for those relocated, because the donations were given in
foreign exchange currency. Later one or two bishops were arrested for being
in the prohibited area. (The same man was caught video-taping at the Shadaw
relocation site and detained by the authorities at the end of June. He is
still being detained at the IB 54 battalion in Loikaw.)
In the mostly Pa Ku ethnic area around Mawchi, relocation orders have been
given to various villages at least twice in the past ten years, and more
than twenty villages have been burned over that period. As a result, even
before the present relocation, many villages had fled south into Karen areas.
Many of the Shan villages in the north also fled into former Khun Sa areas
of Shan State during the last offensive. The majority of mostly Shan and Pa
Ku villages around Mae Se have already fled to Thailand over the last four
During the May mobilization of troops, villages between the Pon and Salween
Rivers flowing north to south through Karenni began receiving orders to
relocate to centralized security areas. The villagers were told this
movement was necessary to protect them and prevent KNPP troops from
harassing them. In fact, support for the KNPP is wide-spread throughout this
area, which provides a large portion of new KNPP recruits. The first
relocation orders appeared to be in reprisal for several KNPP ambushes on
SLORC troops. During one attack on a convoy of trucks en route to a new
Shadaw base, one sixteen year-old soldier from 530 LIB was seized and
brought back to a KNPP base. (This young soldier had been recruited at the
age of fourteen, having first been forcibly taken from a video hall in the
Delta area to porter for SLORC troops. See interview, attached.)
According to a KNPP statement, the relocations began in early May, when 296
households from fourteen surrounding villages were ordered to relocate to
Ywa Thit, in the south of the state. Villagers fleeing this relocation order
first started arriving at Karenni refugee camps on 20 May 1996. Subsequently
on 31 May 1996, the remaining settlements in the river valley received
orders under the authority of the Central Command Control to move, most by 7
June 1996. Villages south of Thee Tho Ku were to move by 25 June 1996. Local
orders were issued by IB 54, and LIBs 337 and 530. Most of these
approximately 98 villages have been ordered to relocate to Shadaw Township,
in the north of the state. Some villages were able lo negotiate extensions
to their relocation deadlines, but all villages were to have moved by 17
June 1996, when troops would begin checking village by village for anyone
who had stayed behind. Some villagers resisted the relocation orders, and
were given a final deadline of 27 July 1996. At that time, all remaining
villagers were to be shot on sight as rebel-supporters, and all dwellings
were to be burned to prevent reoccupation. Soldiers also told
the villagers the roads and paths surrounding settlements would mined after
the residents had relocated.
At one of the relocation sites, villagers were told by the SLORC commander,
"This temporary project is being undertaken to consolidate you people in the
areas we control, because we want the KNPP to surrender without incident to
the SLORC and return to the legal fold, after which, you will be allowed to
return home." The formation of massive concentration camps is SLORC's gambit
to prevent villagers from supporting the KNPP. The estimated population of
Karenni is between 200,000 and 300,000; as many as 80,000 villagers have
been ordered to relocate. Many of the people who first went to Shadaw have
since arrived at the border refugee camps. It is not known how many
villagers who followed the relocation orders still remain at Shadaw.
Villages in the Demawso area have been relocated to several sites. Around
Pruso, the villages of Daw Tanaw, Daw Ta Kle, Ke Biso, Daw Bye Ku, Daw Law
Ku, and Ler Kut Ku were told to move to Ke Lya by 25 June 1996. Villages
near Tue Po Klo on the Demawso-Daw Nye Ku car-road were ordered to relocate
to Tee Po Klo. Those near Da Tama Gyi were given orders to moved to Da Tama
Gyi and Daw Nye Khu by 25 June 1996. Rice fields and ground-nut crops in the
area have been destroyed, as well as village rice stores. The villagers have
been forced to build fences around Daw Tama Gyi village for LIB 420 and 423
operations. Most of the villagers east of the Pon attempting to flee went
west, unless they could afford to move north to Loikaw.
All arterial roads to cities and major towns such as Pasaung, Bawlake, and
Mawchi now have been blocked to prevent movement in the area. As a result,
some people from Pasaung and Mawchi who were travelling in the area have
been unable to return to their homes in town and are now staying near the
villages under the protection of KNPP troops.
At least 30 villages around Mawchi and were given orders to move by 17 July
1996, to five sites in Mawchi township, between upper and lower Mawchi: Se
Ba Gwe, Lokalo Kwe The, Mawchi Aw Ywa, Se Thon Gon, and Se Chauk Gon. The
villages ordered to relocate include Sho Do Ko, Plaw Htee, Kaw Thu Doe, Ywa
The Doh, Le Law litee, To Do Lay Ko, Paw Per, Ko Thuro, Bwe Lo, Bo Klo, Pwaw
Doh, Ho Sa Kee, Bu ko, Kwa Kee and Ler Boh.
Another eight villages in the Pasaung vicinity were given a 20 June 1996
deadline to relocate to sites in their areas. The villages ordered to moved
include Na Kee, Bo Haw Ku, Ya Tha Ga, Ye Mu Der, Ka Pwe Doh, Ka Pwe Pa, and
Ka Thu Doh. Ge Lo, Ywa The Kah, Bhu Ko and Kwa Kee have been burned,
including all fields and rice stores. Subsequently, villagers at Bu Ko and
Kwa Kee have refused to move and are still hiding in the jungle. Some these
villages have now been mined, and five people as well as four or five
buffalo have died after stepping on mines.
East of Salween (border area)
Ten villages east of the Salween near the border were ordered to relocate,
many with almost no notice, by 25 June 1996. The order followed fighting at
Daw Plaw Du 20-21 June 1996 between KNPP and SLORC troops, in which four
SLORC soldiers were killed and four others wounded. Most of these villages
have now been burned. In many cases, the villagers hid in the forest and
witnessed the burnings.
The Mae Se township area has now been surrounded by security forces, and
anyone travelling in the area needs a pass. As mentioned before, there are
relatively few villages that could be relocated there as most of the
villages have already been evacuated.
The headmen in villages in the Loilemley area, north of Loikaw, were also
given relocation orders. However, they were able to negotiate an agreement
under which they signed papers guaranteeing there would be no fighting in
their areas. If any fighting occurs, they will also be relocated as well as
punished for transgressing the agreement. Accordingly, villages around Lin
Phon Gyi were forced to move to Pan Kan area by 15 August 1996, when KNPP
troops attacked SLORC troops near Su Plaung village. Security forces
throughout the municipality are being extended by IB 54.
Villages that have been burned include Dew Tama, Si Ko Le, Tay Tho Ku,
Thirida, Daw Sar Si, Daw Kraw Aw, Ge Lo, Ywa The Kah, Bhu Ko and Kwa Kee.
Now 500 - 700 soldiers in the Pon - Salween valley are searching the
relocation areas for those who have stayed behind. It is estimated by the
Karenni Public Relations and Information Department that as many as 75,000
people have been affected by the relocation orders.
CONDITIONS AT THE RELOCATION SITES
Those who arrived at Shadaw were first being housed in the primary, middle,
and high schools, as well as at temples and churches, or being billeted with
families. They were told they would eventually be given 8-yard square plots
on which to build homes. In late July, local authorities began ordering the
relocatees to build barracks-style houses for accommodation. Each long-house
holds fifty people. Construction has been difficult, because the area has
little remaining forest cover, and the people have to travel great distances
in search of bamboo and other building materials.
Initially, most families were surviving on the little food they had managed
to carry with them, as few rations have been issued. Those few households
that did receive rations got only four to six milk-tins of rice per family
per day, adequate for the needs of two to three people. As food supplies
began to diminish, authorities first allowed and later ordered people to
return to their villages to collect more food. The authorities then issued
temporary 5-day travel passes for 5 kyats. Passes were issued only to one
house-hold member. Some villagers did go back to their villages to collect
more rice and then return to Shadaw, but others chose to escape, leaving
Shadaw with their families by night and later coming to the border. Because
of this, it is believed that passes are no longer being issued. At the same
time, authorities began selling food in the relocation site at exorbitant
prices that few could afford (for example, one oil-tin of rice was 400
kyat). With the prospect of imminent food shortages, these prices have now
been lowered somewhat, but most at the relocation site are still not getting
In addition, those who returned to Shadaw with food had their rice taken
from them and put in a common store. The rice was then rationed by
authorities in inadequate quantities. While dispensing rations, the
authorities video-taped the distribution to show how they were assisting
poor villagers with village development programs. In most cases, the rations
were taken back after the filming ended.
Some villagers were also ordered to bring their cattle back to the site. All
livestock was then seized for military rations. There is no suitable grazing
land in the area, so likely most cattle have already been slaughtered for
consumption by the troops. No one is permitted to travel from their assigned
living quarters without permission, and all have been forbidden to try to
locate relatives from other villages. Relocatees have been told they will be
issued family registration passes for 30 kyats once they settle in their new
homes. At least two children have disappeared in unknown circumstances.
Anyone requiring medical care must travel to the hospital at Loikaw; no
medicines are provided in Shadaw. Over 110 deaths from disease have now been
reported at Shadaw. Most are believed to be from gastrointestinal disorders
and influenza, however, the causes cannot really be known as there is no
medical diagnosis at the site, and most of the relocated villagers have had
little experience with such illnesses before. There has also been a recent
outbreak of severe conjunctivitis, and many new arrivals from Shadaw at
Karenni Camp 2 are now suffering from the disease.
As Shadaw is located between deforested mountain-tops, the water supply is
inadequate for the large number of people now living there. One small stream
first passes through the town where it is used by the local residents and
then supplies the relocation site. As a result, the water has become
extremely dirty, and the spread of diseases especially dysentery through the
water supply grows more serious as rainy season proceeds. Those at the site
must travel a great distance in search of other water supplies and transport
them back to their living quarters. According to new arrivals at Karenni
Camp 2, who escaped the relocation area on the pretext of returning to their
village to collect belongings, two children have drowned attempting to draw
water from the well. Water shortages especially are likely to become acute
in dry season.
Although relocation orders were issued by battalion leaders, orders in the
relocation sites do not come directly from the military. It is believed
local commanders issue orders to local township officials. At present all
orders at site are being given by the Shadaw local authorities, who were
initially holding meetings with the new arrivals every three days to inform
them of the regulations governing their stay. No higher military or civilian
officials from Loikaw or other areas have arrived, and in their absence, the
Shadaw authorities appear to be writing the rules for resettlement as they
go along. There is little evidence of a long-term plan to accommodate the
needs for adequate food supply, medical care, or water. Residents are also
reportedly unhappy about the strain that has been placed on the area's
The Ywa Thit relocation site is under the control of about 100 soldiers from
99 division. At the end of June, a total of about 270 families had moved
there. Initially, people stayed at the monastery, the schools, at others'
homes, and in paddy-fields. Later they were told to build small houses
approximately 1.5 by 2 meters, each of which was to house two families.
According to one man who fled to the border in the first week of July, his
family was given no provisions in all the time they were there. All that
time, they were also not allowed to leave the confines of the relocation
area, so they were dependent on local people for food. Relocatees were later
given limited privileges to forage for vegetables in the forest and told to
help villagers with their farms. However, according to unnamed witnesses,
Htun Sein, 40 years of age, was shot dead by authorities on 10 June 1996
when he returned to Ywa Thit with a friend at 6 p.m., breaking the 4 p.m.
curfew. The other man with him escaped.
Water from both the wells and streams was said to be extremely dirty and in
short supply. As a result, there were many cases of dysentery, malaria, and
flu with very high fever. The only medicine available was that sold at the
pharmacy next to the hospital.
At Ywa Thit, relocated villagers are also being forced to bring firewood and
water for the troops, and to cut bamboo. The area is surrounded by SLORC
troops, with companies doing security rotations for the area.
While two villages, a total of twelve families or 66 people, have escaped
from Ywa Thit, the rest who reached the relocation site are believed to be
there still. When the group escaped, they were followed by SLORC troops. The
last family of four was arrested attempting to cross the Salween, and their
present whereabouts are unknown.
A number of the villages around Mawchi given relocation orders chose to hide
in the fields outside their villages rather than enter the relocation sites.
Some are still staying in the area with KNPP soldiers. Mobile medical teams
have been sent to provide assistance to these people, but are now short of
medicine. The fruit trees in relocated villages, especially coconuts,
mangoes, and bananas, have been cut down and burned by SLORC troops to
prevent KNPP troops from using them as a food source, and all rice stores
have been burned.
Around Mawchi and Pasaung, villagers have been staying at the Baptist church
and in abandoned houses, as well as in the fields.
At the five Mawchi relocation sites, initially no food was provided.
Eventually, the SLORC troops began selling food, again at exorbitant prices,
because so many people had escaped the sites. Now in some areas, rice is
being distributed, with 2/3 litres being given per adult per day, and l/3
litre per child. Reportedly the same situation exists in the Bawlake and
Pasaung sites. At the beginning of August, at some Mawchi relocation sites,
the Catholic Church had donated additional rice for the relocatees. This
rice was reportedly being rationed at a rate of eight milk tins per person
per week, about one third of what most villagers would normally eat.
As of early August, every family relocated to Mawchi has been ordered to
provide recruits for the militia. Those that did not would be fined 6,000
kyat. Relocated villagers are also forced to do labor for the troops every
day, usually cutting bamboo or building fences. In addition, each family has
been ordered to give 2,500 kyat in porter fees.
ARRESTS AND DETENTIONS
There have been numerous reports of arrests and detentions, for which no
eye-witness confirmation exists at present. The following information
represents only fraction of the number of arrests believed to have been made.
Five clergymen, including three Baptist ministers and two Roman Catholic
priests have been arrested and detained since the beginning of July by IB
54, under the command of Captain Soe Aung. At least ten civilians were also
arrested in the beginning of July, including the following people:
Name Sex Age Village Occupation
Saw Htoo Saw M 27 Kon Nam Headmaster
Sein Win M 25 Kon Nam Teacher
Naw Htoo Heh F 23 Kon Nam Teacher
Saw Maung She M 45 Kon Nam unknown
Nga Reh M 36 Tee Plaw Der unknown
Paw Meh F 38 Loikaw unknown
Saw La Mon M 65 Loikaw unknown
She Peh and his three brothers, and Kay Ray and his brother-in-law were
also arrested, but no other details are known. Ten civilians were also
detained and tortured at Daw Plaw Du on 20 June 1996, but all managed to
escape after several days. The video-camera man from the Roman Catholic
diocese office has also been detained since June by military intelligence.
The conditions under which he is being held are unknown.
NEW ARRIVALS AT KARENNI REFUGEE CAMPS
Villagers told to relocate to Shadaw began appearing in the Karenni refugee
camps in the first week of June. Most are Kayah, one of the ethnic
sub-groups of the Karenni most populous in the Pon - Salween area. Although
some whole villages have arrived together, many groups initially reported
that some members of their villager were still hiding in the forest,
especially those unable to move due to age or infirmity.
Fighting is now taking place between the Pon and Salween Rivers. It is
believed that the few villagers who had remained in the area with KNPP
troops are now doing their best to escape to the refugee camps, if they can
manage the dangerous journey. As of 29 July 1996, there were 3,053 new
arrivals. Reportedly by the end of the first week of August, this number
had increased to over 3,200.
The entire relocation has taken place during rainy season, making travel on
the steep, muddy footpaths especially difficult for children and elderly.
Because of this, most of the people who have made it across the border are
relatively young and healthy, with few over forty-five years of age. Four
women have given birth on the way, and at least two are in good condition.
According to a man from Daw Leh Ku, in another village, Tee Tho Ku, the
villagers delayed their departure when a twenty-one year old woman went into
labor. SLORC troops arrived before the villagers were able to flee and razed
the village, forcing the villagers to accompany them to Shadaw under armed
To reach the refugee camps, all groups must cross the Salween river, which
is now swollen with rain. At first, small unmotorized wooden boats were
used for the crossing. The boats are extremely unstable, and every year
many people drown attempting to cross the river. Many of the women arriving
still wear traditional dress and cannot swim, because the bands around their
knees and their heavy silver jewellery restrict their mobility. By the
middle of July, most of these boats had been destroyed, and villagers were
attempting to construct new ones with the assistance of KNPP troops.
Because all these villagers have fled on foot, walking four to five days
along mountain trails, they are only able to carry enough to supply their
needs during the journey. Most have arrived with baskets weighing around 20
kilograms, containing some clothing and blankets, cooking utensils, and
basic foodstuffs such as rice, chilies, and salt. They have been forced to
leave behind almost everything they own -- their personal possessions,
household goods, livestock, including buffalos and cows, and large
quantities of harvested rice, amounting in some villages to thousands of sacks.
As they arrive in the camp, the villagers must stay in increasingly crowded
conditions. Some are now sharing houses with refugees who arrived only two
to four months ago themselves. Aid organizations have supplied plastic
sheeting for temporary shelters as well as emergency rations and medical
assistance. A large number of new houses have already been built. As rainy
season continues, building material such as leaves for roofing are becoming
scarcer. In addition, as the camps are situated in a watershed area
administered by the Royal Thai Forestry Department, new construction is
confined to designated areas and cutting of trees is strictly regulated.
The concentration of the population in a relatively small area necessarily
means over-harvesting of bamboo and forest vegetables, and probable water
scarcity when the rains stop.
The greatest fear at present is that health workers may be unable to cope
with further influxes of people. The 50-bed hospital is currently full
every day. Some new arrivals delay getting medial treatment simply because
they do not want to wait in the crowded clinic area. As many as 100 per day
come for out-patient treatment, and many patients must be seen through home
visits. In this malarial area, rainy season poses the greatest threats
especially for the elderly and young, and gastrointestinal disorders and a
virulent strain of influenza have been extremely common. One medic
estimated every household had at least one member needing some kind of
treatment. In the past month, 16 people have died of disease, including one
20 year old woman. At present approximately 85 women in Camp 2 are pregnant.
to be continued.