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The Thai Army Third Division Killed (r)

Dear Ken and Wisakha Kawasaki,
	Thank for the dissemination of follwing information.  If all Burma
campaign groups can focus to make campaigns to push UNHCR for taking
active role in protecting the refugees, it may be a great help to rescue
the refugees from the trouble, I think.  I believe that UNHCR never ever
takes active role to protect the refugees on the Thailand-Burma border and
and the refugees have never been assisted by it (except for UNHCR's
socalled missions that mean touring the refugee camps).  I think that it
is important to push UNHCR (both Geneva and Thailand) right now for taking
active role.  If we can push UNHCR now, I believe that the efforts will
help a great deal to the security of the refugees.  
	Even though, Thailand didn't signed in the convention, UNHCR
should still do its stated tasks.
Hope that all Burma campaign groups think a little bit about pushing UNHCR
from now on.
Kyaw Zay Ya

On 17 Nov 1997 brelief@xxxxxxx wrote:

> The Thai Army Third Division Killed Refugees from Burma
> Background
> Due to the SLORC's new offensive in the Karen State in February 1997,
> crossing the Thai Burma border, thousands of people from Burma are still
> entering the territory of Thailand to take refugee there. In Maesod
> District, Tak province, the Thai authorities allowed the refugees to
> establish a  camp called Noe Boe and stay there. However, since October,
> 1997, the Thai authorities didn't permit the hundreds of new refugees to
> join the Noe Boe camp and let them stay at two small villages entitled Kwi
> Le Taw and Hti Shaw Khee, near Noe Boe camp. 
> Current Information
> --------------------
> On November11, 1997, the army personnels from Thai Army Division No (3) got
> to Kwi Le Taw; ordered the refugees to return to Burma and move back to Baw
> Naw Hta, a village on Thai Burma border, two hundred meters distance from
> SLORC' military post and issued an ultimatum that Thai army will take strong
> action against the refugees if they didn't observe that order within three
> days. 
> At 5:00 a.m. of November 15, Thai military column comprising 80 soldiers led
> by Captain Naung Lon Chaing from Battalion (44), Division (3) got to Kwi Le
> Taw village and fired the refugees with M79 and M16 rifles for twenty
> minutes. To escape from the bullets, the refugees including mothers carrying
> their kids ran away at random. A three month old kid slipped from his
> mother's hand; fell to the ground and died. Altogether three refugees
> including two who were shot dead passed away. A female refugee got wounded
> at her leg. 
> The other three male refugees who got wounded were tied up; their eyes were
> blindfolded; and taken away to somewhere by the Thai army. Out of these
> three refugees, one was anonymous; the other two were Phoe Che Doe and
> Plarwar. Other refugees who did not get wounded were kicked, beaten by the
> rifle butts and forcefully expelled to Baw Naw Hta. Then the tents of the
> refugees were burnt down.   
> According to reliable sources, Thai Army Division (3) will perform the
> similar action on the refugees from Hti Shaw Khee.   
> Foreign Affairs Committee
> National Council of the Union of Burma
> Date November 17, 1997
> According to the latest information received at 14:30 on November 17, the
> number of the refugees who died were altogether five. They are as follows: 
> 1. Youth 
> 2. Plawar ( 45 years old, from Thaminlet village)
> 3. Se Doe Ke ( 28 years old, from Thein Khwe village)
> 4. Ta Ka Paw Htu ( 30 years old from Ta Le Khi village)
> 5.  Anonymous ( 20 years old, he was forced to run and shot dead at the back)
>  - - - - - - - - - - 
> Burmese Relief Center--Japan urges that respectful letters deploring these
> unfortunate killings and appealing for increased protection of Burmese
> asylum seekers be written immediately to:
> the new Prime Minister of Thailand, 
> Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai
> c/o the Government Spokesman:  <govspkmn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> or via air mail:
> PM Chuan Leekpai
> Office of the Prime Minister
> Government House
> Nakhon Pathom Rd.
> Bangkok, 10300, Thailand
> The King of Thailand, HM Kig Bhumibol Adulyadej
> c/o His Royal Secretary
> Office of the King
> Bangkok, Thailand
> Fax: + 66-2-280-0557
> Fax: +66-2-224-3259
> Please forward copies of your letters to:
> <webmaster@xxxxxxxx>
> http://www2.gol.com/users/brelief/Index.htm

Kyaw Zay Ya
Indiana University