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Situation on the SLORC soldiers(2-2 (r)

Please read also on the SLORC soldiers in my report on the Chin State. The
Situation in the Chin State

At present the CNF is very concerned about the Myanmar Youth Sport Festival
to be held in Haka, the capital of the Chin State sometime in March 1988.
The Burman military has forced the people from around the stadium to
relocate outside of town. These people have lived around the stadium for
centuries. Their houses were bulldozed and they had to move to new locations
outside of the city without any compensation.

Any domestic animal that wanders off into the Haka stadium is caught by the
military and becomes the property of the military. They end up on the dinner
table of the officers of the Burma Army.

Burmese astrologers have predicted that unless three men were executed at
the stadium the Myanmar Youth Sport festival would not be a success. The
town people knew that a man was executed at the stadium just before
Christmas 1997, because the military brought the body to the hospital where
it was identified. At the beginning of January 1998, the Headmaster of the
Haka State High School, Mr. Kong Lwe was walking alone at dusk. A white
cloth was thrown on him and he was taken to the stadium. Knowing the story
about the prediction of the astrologers Mr. Kong Lwe, and the dead body that
had been brought to the hospital, knew that he was about to be killed. When
his captors were about to remove the white cloth, he pleaded with them that
he be allowed to pray. When the soldiers opened the white cloth, the officer
recognized the identity of the teacher. The soldiers did not kill the
headmaster and he was released.

The army is also building an army camp at Rungtlang in the outskirts of Haka
town. Burmese astrologers have predicted that four children under the age of
fifteen years have to be killed at the camp for the camp to function
properly. Until today there have been no reports of persons killed at the

In preparation for the Sport Festival, the Burma Army ordered the people
around the Chin Hills to stop the usual clearing of their fields. The Army
also forbids the people from burning their fields for the whole month of
March. For the slash-and-burn method of farming, it is most important that
the burning of the fields is done sometime in March and the tree stumps and
leaves are completely burned out. The rains usually start to fall before the
end of March. If the fields are burned after rainfall, the leaves and tree
stumps fail to burn, resulting in less production of grain for the
villagers. The Burma Army is therefore purposely condemning the Chin
population to be hungry this year.

The Burma Army also forbids the villagers from going out of their villages.
The people of Haka and Thantlang are not to visit each other. In the town of
Haka, if a person can give Colonel Thet Toe Thein, the issuer of the order,
two hundred kyats directly, that person might be allowed to go to his field
or outside of town. This means that the people are basically under house
arrest. If someone needs to go out of his or her village he or she has to
get a permit from the village council chairman. Even with that request from
the village council chairman, the Military intelligence can reject, at will,
the permission to leave the village. This not only restricts the people from
visiting other villages but also restricts people from going out to to tend
their fields. Thus, it is a sentence for the Chin villagers to be hungry and

High school students are forced to learn dances to be performed at the
Myanmar Youth Sport festival. They are not allowed to go to their villages
even when their dance practice is finished. They are forced to work in road
construction without pay. The CNF issued a statement, which appeals to the
people to boycott the Sport festival.

At the border to Mizoram, the army outposts closed the roads leading to
Mizoram. Notices are posted at the border outposts of the Burmese Army
threatening that people who attempt to cross the border will be killed. The
Burma Army arrests Christians who gather for prayer meetings after dark.
However, prayer meetings are allowed only at daytime.

The usual power-abuse by Burma Army officers as part of the Ne Win Doctrine
is rampant in the Chin State. On December 6, 1997, Captain Thein Theik Kyu
odered the Village Council chairman of Zongte village to deliver five young
girls to his camp. Although the girls were delivered as ordered, the girls
refused to be molested, as the Captain wanted. Therefore the Captain ordered
the village council chairman to come outside of the village. He was beaten
the whole day. The soldiers helped the captain in the beating.

At Lungler out post the Burma Army unit at Hmunhalh arrested eight people.
They were accused of helping the Chin National Front. They were severely
beaten by the soldiers. They beat the pastor so badly that his eyeballs were
knocked out of skull and he is now blind. The other seven were hanged by
their necks their feet barely touching the ground. The ropes made deep cuts
on their necks. They could not eat for about two weeks after they were

In January 1997, Vung Do Neam of Theizang village was collecting materials
for making brooms in the woods near her village in Theizang. She was caught
by a group of soldiers, seven to be exact, who were collecting firewood
along the road. She was dragged to the deep woods, away from the road, and
her cloths were torn off from her body. She was gang-raped by five soldiers.
At her pleading that she was in pain, the sixth soldier did not rape her.
The seventh soldier also did not want to be involved. When Vung Do Neam
complained to the Burma Army headquarters in Kalemyo, The Burmese Army
officer accused Vung Do Neam of being a prostitute. In retaliation for her
reporting to the authorities, the Burma accused the village of Theizang of
stealing teak from the forest. All the teak deck platforms of the Theizang
villagers were confiscated.

The history of Assam and Manipur describes the army of the Burmese kings as
the most cruel and ruthless. For example, the Burmese occupied Manipur for
seven years. Half of the population of Manipur left their country to escape
the brutality and cruelty of the Burman. At one time Manipur?s population
was reduced to three thousand. Even today, the Meitei people live outside of
Manipur. Today?s Burmese Army is no different from former Burmese Kings?
armies. It is unfortunate that I received the information on the habit of
the Burma Army during the Golden Eagle operation in 1995 only now. The
Golden Eagle operation was a joint operation by the Burma Army and Indian
Army to wipe out insurgence groups in the Indo-Burman border areas. The
operation was reported in some detail in the North-East Sun, an Indian News
Magazine. What it did not report was the fate of soldiers of the UNLP and
PLA who took refuge in the Chin villages hoping that they would receive
international recognition. The PLA and UNLP soldiers gave up their fight
against the Indian forces and asked the protection of the Burmese people by
taking refuge in the Chin villages. When the Chin villages delivered these
former insurgents to the Burmese Army, the Burma Army forced them to dig
their own graves and then shot them to death.

Dr. Ba Maw, the Burmese Dictator under the Japanese occupation, said that
the Burman did things to hurt the feelings of their minorities, other
nationalities. The Burman might forgot what they did, but the non-Burman
will remember these things forever and they will come to haunt the Burman
later. The circumstances created by the Burma Army in the Chin State must be
listed among the things the Burman has done to hurt the Chin people, but no
Chin will ever forget the cruel treatment they received from the officers of
the Burmese Army. It will be written in their history. The cruelty of the
Burman will live forever in their legends. It will have an immense effect on
future relationships between the Burman and the Chin.

The morale of low-ranking soldiers of the Burma Army is at its lowest
perhaps in the entire history of the Burma Army. When army units went out
for operations, the main concern of the officers is that the soldiers do not
run away with their guns and ammunition. Soldiers run away even in broad
daylight, if the opportunity arises. Units have killed their own soldiers
for running away. When the army units camp at night, the gun that the sentry
used was tied to the officer in-charge by a chain. All other guns were tied
together so that nobody could disappear with the guns. Villagers around the
CNF camp reported that Burma Army units would shoot into trees and ground
and withdraw. They reported to their base that they had encountered the CNF.
It is clear that the morale of the soldiers of the Burma Army is very low. A
CNF soldier who was caught by the Burma Army while buying supplies at a Chin
village was released after spending two and half years in Sittwe jail. He
related that in Sittwe jail three-fourth of the two thousand or inmates were
army deserters. Not only are ordinary soldiers deserting, but also captains
and lieutenants.

There are many new recruits of the CNF who are sixteen years of age. They
have come to the CNF as an alternative to living idly in the villages. They
could not continue their studies and attend classes because the colleges are
closed. I personally know that there are thousands of these youngsters in
the Chin Hills. Some left the Chin Hills and now roam in towns without any
real purpose. The government has provided drugs chiefly so that the youth
would be drawn to drug habits out of boredom rather than to real life. There
is nothing the youth can do. Even farming has been forbidden them because
the government does not allow them to go to their fields.

My own conclusion: The Burmese Army is giving a clear message to the Chin
villages they have no alternative but to grow cash crops that can be grown
under the cover of the forest (i.e., poppy) by not allowing them to clear
and burn the forest for the fields. The Burmese Army is using every
opportunity to grow poppy in other parts of the country. The other plan the
Burmese might be executing is to drive away the Chin population from their
villages across their borders. They have done the same to the Rohingyas.
Whatever it is, the closing of rice imports from Burma to the Chin Hills and
policy of not farming in the hills, the Burmese must be planning something
that will drive the Chin to their limits.

-----Original Message-----
To: Recipients of burmanet-l <burmanet-l@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Monday, May 11, 1998 4:43 PM
Subject: Situation on the SLORC soldiers(2-2)

>Documented by Hsaw Wah Deh-FTUB(TUR/HR)
>Situation of soldiers
>Non commissioned officers' salaries vary from 600 Kyats to 1,500 Kyats,
>which is obviously not sufficient for a soldier even with issued rations.
>There are schools and clinics in most of the battalions for soldiers'
>family members.
>The SLORC creates projects to get more income for its army such
>as-agriculture and farming projects, baking bricks, crushing stones,
>working on roads and rail roads constructions and annexing profitable
>factories (garment and cement factories).
>The army owned rice fields, bean fields, rubber plantations and sugar cane
>plantations can be seen everywhere.  Because of the lack of the agriculture
>knowledge, local villagers are forced to grow and maintain the plants.
>However, the profit is not shared among NCOs and the villagers who take
>care of the plants.   It is completely controlled by commanders of
>battalions.  A rubber plantation field owned by the LIB. 205 near Thaton
>was sold to the drug lord Khun Sa in 1997, but soldiers received nothing.
>Some battalions baked 1 million to 1.5 millions of bricks annually and sold
>bricks to construction sites at 5 Kyats per brick.  Raw materials and work
>force are free but the profit is mostly for high ranking officials.  The
>LIB. 406 from Tenisserim division baked 1.2 millions of bricks a year and
>only distributed 100 Kyats a month to its soldiers and the rest of the
>money is unknown.
>After the international condemn of forced labor practice in Burma, the
>junta changed to use soldiers instead of civilian labour on some of the
>constructions.  Civilians received nothing for their work contribution but
>soldiers on construction sites get two extra uniforms, extra rations and
>receive money for their work.  LIB. 402, 406 and other battalions, which
>worked on the Ye-Tavoy railroad, were paid.  The soldiers received 200
>Kyats for laying 100 cubic feet of stones and 140 Kyats for digging 100
>cubic feet of the earth.
>In fact, most of the soldiers are starving.  They joined the army not for
>their creed.  They do not trust the leaders, because the leaders never
>trust them.  There is always dissatisfaction and mistrust between the
>combat troops and the intelligence.  However, although, there is no mutiny
>yet, the junta is aware of that possibility in the army.
> A former sergeant who served over 10 years in the SLORC army, now working
>in Thailand expressed, "The army is good, the problem is there is no good
>person in the army."
>*SLORC   State Law and Order Restoration Council, actually it changed name
>as the State Peace and Development Council.  Although the junta has changed
>this name trying to change the image, as there is still no improvement on
>peace and development, we still use SLORC in this article.
>* LIB         Light Infantry Battalion
>* KNU       Karen National Union