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	I am just wondering which source sent this information.  PDF or

On 7 Oct 1997 ftubus@xxxxxxx wrote:

> Flooding in Burma (August 1997)
> September 28, 1997
> In August 1997, heavy rain caused floods in four of Burma's States and
> Divisions (Irrawaddy, Pegu, Mon and Karen) killing at least one thousand
> of local peoples' lives and destroying one fifth of the whole country's
> 12 million acres of rice fields, according to the confirmed estimates.
> The most affected people were along the Salween, Sittaung and Belin
> rivers. Many villag4es between the Sittaung River and the Belin River
> were swept into the Bay of Martaban at mid night in the middle of
> August.
> Sittaung river
> Burma has only two paper mills and both are located along the Sittaung
> valley, Yeni Paper Mill, at the upper part of the river and Sittaung
> Paper Mill at the lower part. The Mills demand to cut down thousands of
> tons of trees per year and it causes land erosion in the Sittaung
> Valley. Moreover, the SLORC built many small and medium size dams (all
> together 76 dams through out the country, most of which were built
> without concern for the environment) by the local peoples' work force
> for the SLORC army owned rice fields and electricity for the army
> compound.
> In Pegu Division, Kyauk Kyi, Nyuaung Lay Bin, Shwe Kyin and Waw
> townships were under water for 10 to 20 days in August. Waw township
> alone lost over 900 villagers who were staying around the mouth of the
> Bay of Martaban. The water level reached higher than the Sittaung Bridge
> for about 5 days and Pu Gyine dam's embankment was broken. The villagers
> who survived had canoes and were able to cross to the other side of
> Sittaung river, Thein Zayat, where the elevation is higher than other
> places in that area. The local people lost most of their livestock.
> Sources said the 80 percent of rice fields in Waw Township were damaged.
> The most affected villages were Pagan, Oat Po, Pauk Tann, Sin Ywar, Gwa
> Gyi, Jee Kalay, Myit Kye and Lay Ein Suu which were the residence of
> about 1200 families and each village lost at least 100 people.
> The junction of the Sittaung River and Shwe Kyin stream was the most
> critical place in Shwe Kyin township. The water level reached 7 feet
> above the danger level in Shwe Kyin in August. In Kyauk Kyi and Nyaung
> Lay Bin townships, the flood started in the third week of July (the full
> moon day of the Burmese month Wakhaung) when about 50 percent of rice
> fields were destroyed. Small bridges were broken. Ten days later, the
> water level had fallen a little. But at the end of the first week of
> August, the flood worsened again for 15 days. Most of the rice fields in
> those areas were covered with water as high as 3 feet for 10 days.
> Farmers said that they could not grow rice again for this year and
> expressed there was no hope for saving these rice fields and worrying
> about future.
> On August 24, the minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement
> Maj.-Gen. Soe Myint inspected Waw Township and said some regions in the
> country suffered flash floods and Waw was one of the worst. Maj.-Gen.
> Soe Myint is the one who forced local villagers to build dams even at
> nighttime for rice fields of IB, 60 and LIB 351 in Kyauk Kyi, as he was
> commander of the Southern Command. Dams built of poor materials, using
> unskilled labor and built under insufficient light would certainly be
> unsafe and unreliable. But the SLORC policy seems to just concentrate on
> quantity and not be concerned with the strength of dams and the
> ecological impact.
> Belin River
> Belin River, which flows into the Bay of Martaban, crosses Karen State
> and Mon State. One of the tragic events occurred in Kyeik Hto Township,
> near the famous Kyeik Htee Yo pagoda. In the middle of August, Hnat Pyaw
> Taw village, which lies beneath Yathea mountain was destroyed by a land
> slide and also flooding from the Belin river and Thea Pyu stream at
> mid-night. There were about 100 families living there and only around 60
> people survived.
> One day before Hnat Pyaw Taw village was destroyed, the SLORC soldiers
> tried to demolish the ordination hall of Kyeik Htee Yo pagoda to build a
> hotel. Monks and holy men begged not to demolish it but the soldiers
> continued. Therefore, people were saying the flooding was caused because
> of the bad behavior of the SlORC in relation to the religious building.
> So the authorities arrested many people and ordered that nobody tell of
> the incident and flooding in Kyeik Hto Township.
> Salween River
> Myaing Gyi Ngu, the headquarters of the DKBA, which is located due north
> of a big island in the Salween River was badly flooded and because it is
> quite far from towns, people in Myaing Gyi Ngu had to face starvation
> and the lack of medicine. Therefore, many DKBA members and their
> families left their headquarters and defected to the KNU (Karen National
> Union) Pa-an district authorities.
> Rice fields from the southern part of Pa-an town were badly destroyed.
> Htone Ein and Zar Tha Pyin villages lost many houses and livestock.
> The Irrawaddy division, the rice bowl of Burma, was also significantly
> flooded. In Myaung Mya, Bogalay and Hinzada, 70 percent rice fields were
> destroyed. Even though these floods occurred through out the country,
> the SLORC paid very little attention to the issue. Newspapers were busy
> with articles of ASEAN matters for the whole month of August. Flood
> alerts and weather reports were lost among the SLORC's propaganda. Even
> news of 29 Thais were died in the flooding appeared in the SLORC's media
> in August, the Burmese people have not been informed of details of
> flooding in Burma.
> Hsaw Wah Deh
> Human Rights and Trade Union Rights Section

Kyaw Zay Ya
Indiana University