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JULY 31, 1997

Near the Ma-hlwe-taung mountain range in Ye township, Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 343 is in contract for repair and maintenance of the Ye-Ta-voy road and railway. On 31-07-97,  heavy rain caused  landslide on the nearby mountain  burying alive 20 prisoner-turned-forced laborers, 5 soldiers, 5 civilian passengers and 2 trucks. The passengers were from a bus which, due to heavy rain, had to stop and sleep that night at that Ma-hlwe-taung forced labor camp.
After the incident, LIB 343 reported to the superiors about its inability to take responsibility for road and rail repair. On 19-08-97, officials from TOTAL company came and studied the landslide and said it would take 2 months to repair the road. On 19-09-97, the road repair work restarted.

September 10, 1997

At Man-aung ( a Karen village) of Ye township, a landslide buried 70 houses killing 12 villagers,  9 adults and 3 children.

At Min-hla (AKA) Late-pope village of Ye township, has 100 houses. Up to now, forced porter conscription has been going on forcing the villagers to provide 7 porters a day. If they can not provide the full number, the villagers have to pay at the rate of 500 Kyat per porter that they fail to find. The nearby villages, such as A-kan village, Kyaug-ywa village and etc. have also to face the same problem. Many people have fled from their villages to avoid the portage.

An army column led by CSM Tin Hlaing, extorted money from workers of  log and bamboo rafts, in Ye township at the following rates.

On one ton of log:
- for army camp at Chaung-ywa village			        500 Kyat;
- for army camp at Kyauk-me-jaung village			500 Kyat;
- for army camp at Ye-da-dar-jee Gate				500 Kyat;
- for forest ranger of the Forestry department                 1500 Kyat;

On 100 stems of bamboo:
- for army camp at Chaung-ywa village			        200 Kyat;
- for army camp at Kyauk-me-jaung village			100 Kyat;
- for army camp at Ye-da-dar-jee Gate				100 Kyat;
- for forest ranger of the Forestry department                  200 Kyat;

Chaung-ywa village in Ye township will be forcibly relocated after the monsoon, according to the Slorc?s plan. At that village, all villagers are forced to carry  water daily for the army camp stationed there.

In Ye township,  U San Kyi?s palm grove was confiscated by the township LORC  for the expansion of the Ye city area. But in reality, it was divided and distributed among the officials of Infantry Battalion (IB)61 including the second in command, Major Hla Win, who took  3 plots for himself.

In July 1997, at Late-pope village, soldiers from LIB 353 gang-raped 5 girls including Naw Phaw Lweh, a 25 years old daughter of  U Net Kyar. They also forcibly took commodities worth 50000 Kyat from a shop owned by Ko Myint Oo(28), a man from that village.

In Ye township, LIB 343 forcibly confiscated a villager?s rubber plantation of 10 acres,  situated near the SLORC-owned ice factory. Then, a market place was constructed and sold for the battalion fund. A room of 15 feet by 15 feet was sold at the rate of 150,000 Kyat. 

Major Hla Win from IB 61 issued orders conscripting forced porters from villages of  Kan-ni, Yit-chaung, Ah-byaw, Chauk-taing, Kine-daw, Baw-doe and etc.,  for the repair of Ye-Ta-voy rail and road. When the villagers did not comply with the order, he summoned the village headmen and threatened to    totally wipe out the villagers,  if they further refused to follow his order.



July 30, 1997

A number of people were arrested at Kaw-thaung township in Tanessarim division. Some of them were released on 970915. Four of the released persons shown below were interviewed:

1) U Hla Hun (45);
2) Maung Kyi Khaing (18);
3) U Maung Kweh (37); 
4) U Tin Htun (24);
 ( All of them are Burman, Buddhist and peasants from Chauk-tine village, Min-don township of Ma-gway Division, in central Burma.)

What they said about their experience is as follows:

They were from the same village and they came to Kaw-thaung to look for jobs. In Kaw-thaung, they stayed at the Shway-min-win monastery. At 11:00 PM on 30-07-97,  about 30 people from local LORC, the army, police and  fire brigade came and arrested them. Then they were  taken to the Pa-dauk-shway-wa Ward LORC office. They were put together with  20 other people, also arrested. They were kept there all night without sleep. The next morning, they were taken to the police station where there were about 150 other persons, detained for use as porters. 
In the evening, about 60 soldiers, led by Captain Win Thein from LIB 431, came and took all the detained persons by trucks to Kaw-thaung harbor. Then  they were taken by ship to Chain-meh-taung. They arrived at Chain-meh-taung the next morning and were made to carry ammunitions and food supplies. One person had to carry 20 Viss ( 70 pounds) of load. They had to cross streams and climb mountains. At least, they had to walk 10 miles a day, for 20 days to reach Ywar-hay-lu camp. Along the trip, they were given small amount of food, according to scale. It was not enough and they were always hungry, but no more food was provided. Some soldiers sold rice at  50 Kyat per  condensed-milk tin. The porters had to buy this rice. If they could not walk quickly enough, were scolded and beaten. If the porters got sick, no medicine or treatment was given. Some soldiers sold the medicines to the sick porters. On the way, 13 porters fled. They had to carry supplies two times from Ywa-hay-lu ca!
mp t
o Koe-theh-lu camp. On other days, they had work on the construction of the army camp and other work there. 

Altogether about 60 porters had died within 2 months of portage, mainly due to lack of food, exhaustion, sickness, lack of proper treatment and medicine for the sick. 

All  the rest were released on 15-09-97.



September 16, 1997

At the Le-sa-karn village in Ye-byu township of Tanessarim division, a lightning struck 3 soldiers from LIB 343, killing  one  and wounding 2.