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Home > Main Library > Human Rights > Discrimination > Race or Ethnicity: Discrimination based on > Racial or ethnic discrimination in Burma: reports of violations > Racial or ethnic discrimination in Burma: reports of violations against specific groups > Discrimination against the Karen

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Discrimination against the Karen

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: "Inside News"
Description/subject: 4 issues a year on landmines, forced relocation, Burma army attacks, IDP health, education and many other issues affecting Internally Displaced Karen People.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP)
Format/size: pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.newsinside.wordpress.com/ ("Inside News" blog)
Date of entry/update: 31 March 2009


Title: Karen Emergency Relief Fund
Description/subject: "The purpose of the Karen Emergency Relief Fund Inc. is to provide humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter, medical and health supplies, and to provide educational and self-help projects for the Karen people. The Relief Fund recognizes that the Karens are an indigenous, ethnic minority group of about 11 million people who have lived in the mountainous region along the border of Burma and Thailand for many centuries. Due to the ongoing strife in Burma, it is estimated that there are more than 300,000 displaced Karens who have fled into the jungle and are living in huts and makeshift camps in the border area. Those who have escaped into Thailand have not been given official refugee status, consequently they receive no direct assistance from the United Nations or from the Red Cross. Alongside impoverished Karen organizations the Karen Emergency Relief Fund maintains an office in Mae Sot, Thailand. In 2000 K.E.R.F established a therapy program for the victims of rape and torture which is directed by a skilled and innovative psychotherapist. No other agency was addressing the consequences of these widespread and vicious crimes. The Karen Emergency Relief Fund Inc. is recognized by the IRS as a non-profit, tax deductible organization, and has no paid employees. All funds raised are distributed to the Karens or to organizations acting on their behalf. The Board of Directors of the Karen Emergency Relief Fund Inc. is comprised of physicians, clergypersons and business professionals from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The organization was created on July 20, 1997. "
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Emergency Relief Fund
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Description/subject: The largest body of high-quality reports on the civil war in Burma, especially focussed on the civilian victims.
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/index.php
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group - reports in Karen language
Description/subject: Reports from 2006 to 2010
Language: Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html, pdf (76K)
Date of entry/update: 25 June 2012


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Photo Sets
Description/subject: Several thousand photographs from 1993 covering different ethnic groups.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, jpeg
Date of entry/update: 24 November 2010


Title: Karen National League
Description/subject: The Karen National League, as a non-armed Karen organization, seeks to uplift the lot of the Karen people and bring about the rule of law and true democracy to Burma. It engages in any and all lawful activities incidental to the foregoing purposes.
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Teacher Working Group (KTWG)
Description/subject: "The Karen Teacher Working Group (KTWG) was organized in 1997 in response to the needs of Karen teachers working in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border and in the Karen-controlled areas of Karen State, Burma. We are a local Karen non-governmental organization (NGO) with no parent organization and our structure reflects our commitment to maximizing community participation in and ownership of all our programs. The KTWG currently has 68 full-time members. Our members come from the communities in which we are involved. We provide culturally-based and situationally relevant programs in Karen to ensure that local needs find local solutions. Our main goal is to equip teachers with skills which enable them to respond to the everchanging needs of our youth and our People. We advocate active student-centered classrooms which encourage problem solving, creativity and critical thinking. These are the skills that will enable us to build our future."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Teacher Working Group (KTWG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Website
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Mergui-Tavoy Monthly Human Rights Situation Reports (2000-2004)
Description/subject: Reports from 2000 to 2004
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department, Karen National Union
Format/size: Frequency: monthly
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Individual Documents

Title: "No Place To Hide" Killings, Abductions and Other Abuses Against Ethnic Karen Villagers and Refugees
Date of publication: 01 June 1995
Description/subject: "...The human rights situation in Myanmar's Kayin (Karen) State has deteriorated sharply since December 1994 when the Democratic Kayin Buddhist Organization (DKBO) broke away from the armed ethnic minority group, the Karen National Union (KNU). After the split the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC, Myanmar's ruling military authorities) decided to support the DKBO and renew its offensive against KNU bases in the eastern part of the Kayin State. Hundreds of civilians were arbitrarily seized by Myanmar's armed forces and forced to carry heavy loads for them. Porters were beaten and sometimes even killed if they could no longer carry their loads. As a result of the offensive, at least 10,000 refugees fled to Thailand from previously KNU-controlled areas. Beginning in February 1995 DKBO and SLORC forces began to attack refugee camps in Thai territory, abducting and killing a number of refugees in the process. Thousands of refugee homes were burned, leaving thousands homeless. Amnesty International is gravely concerned about the future of over 70,000 refugees, who are at risk of a full range of human rights violations, including forced portering, torture and killings, if they return to Myanmar. This decision has had serious human rights ramifications for both the population there and the Karen refugees in neighbouring Thailand. As in previous large-scale offensives, thousands of civilians were arbitrarily detained and forced to act as porters for the Myanmar army, the tatmadaw. As in former years, the porters were subjected to systematic ill-treatment, frequent beating and, in some cases, extrajudicial killing if they could no longer carry their appointed load..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA/16/13/95)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 May 2005


Title: "They Came and Destroyed Our Village Again"-- The Plight of Internally Displaced Persons in Karen State
Date of publication: 09 June 2005
Description/subject: "...While the nonviolent struggle of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi against the Burmese military government’s continuing repression has captured the world’s attention, the profound human rights and humanitarian crisis endured by Burma’s ethnic minority communities has largely been ignored.4 Decades of armed conflict have devastated ethnic minority communities, which make up approximately 35 percent of Burma’s population. The Burmese army, or Tatmadaw, has for many years carried out numerous and widespread summary executions, looting, torture, rape and other sexual violence, arbitrary arrests and torture, forced labor, recruitment of child soldiers, and the displacement and demolition of entire villages as part of military operations against ethnic minority armed opposition groups. Civilians bear the brunt of a state of almost perpetual conflict and militarization. Violations of international human rights and humanitarian law (the laws of war) by the Tatmadaw have been particularly acute in eastern Karen state, which runs along the northwestern border of Thailand...One result of the Tatmadaw’s brutal behavior has been the creation of large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees among Burma’s ethnic minority communities. Conflict and its consequences have been going on for so long that in many ethnic minority-populated areas, continuous forced relocations and displacement––interspersed with occasional periods of relative stability––have become a fact of life for generations of poor villagers. The scale of the IDP problem in Burma is daunting. Estimates suggest that, as of late 2004, as many as 650,000 people were internally displaced in eastern Burma alone. According to a recent survey, 157,000 civilians have been displaced in eastern Burma since the end of 2002, and at least 240 villages destroyed, relocated, or abandoned. The majority of displaced people live in areas controlled by the government, now known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), or by various ethnic armed groups that have agreed to ceasefires with the government. But approximately eighty-four thousand displaced people live in zones of ongoing armed conflict, where the worst human rights abuses continue. Many IDPs live in hiding in war zones. Another two million Burmese live in Thailand, including 145,000 refugees living in camps. Karen State is the location of some of the largest numbers of IDPs in Burma. Since 2002, approximately 100,000 people have been displaced from Karen areas,which include parts of Pegu and Tenasserim Divisions. Though a provisional ceasefire was agreed in December 2003 between the SPDC and the Karen National Union (KNU), sporadic fighting continues. Tatmadaw military operations against the KNU’s army, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), in the first months of 2005 caused numerous deaths and injuries to civilians in poor villages along the Thai border. They also forced many civilians to flee internally or to Thailand. For example, at least 9,000 civilians were displaced in Toungoo District, in the far north of Karen State bordering Karenni State, and in Nyaunglebin District in northwest Karen State, during major Tatmadaw offensives between November 2004 and February 2005. The majority of Karen IDPs have been forced out of their homes as a direct result of the Tatmadaw’s “Four Cuts” counter-insurgency strategy, in which the Burmese army has attempted to defeat armed ethnic groups by denying them access to food, funds, recruits, and information from other insurgent groups..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html, pdf (2.3MB., 415K) 72 pages
Alternate URLs: http://hrw.org/reports/2005/burma0605/burma0605.pdf (text and maps)
http://hrw.org/reports/2005/burma0605/burma0605text.pdf (text only)
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2005


Title: 'Peace', or Control? The SPDC’s use of the Karen ceasefire to expand its control and repression of villagers in Toungoo District, Northern Karen State
Date of publication: 22 March 2005
Description/subject: "Under the informal KNU-SPDC ceasefire, the SPDC Army should be scaling down its activities in the hills of Toungoo District, but instead it has increased military operations since December 2004. Using the increased freedom of movement it has gained under the ceasefire, the Army has sent out columns to consolidate control over civilians in the remotest parts of this mountainous district. Using villagers as forced labour to improve military access roads and haul supplies to support remote outposts, the Army is trying to flush out the displaced villagers who have evaded its control thus far. As the Army gains freedom of movement, villagers throughout the District find themselves less free to move, their trade routes, access to food and medicine markets, and even the paths to their fields blocked by SPDC movement restrictions, checkpoints, Army patrols and landmines..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F3)
Format/size: html, pdf (57 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05f3.pdf
Date of entry/update: 20 July 2010


Title: 'All the information I've given you, I faced it myself': Rural testimony on abuse in eastern Burma since November 2010
Date of publication: 15 December 2011
Description/subject: "...Human rights abuses faced by ethnic communities across rural eastern Burma have continued since November 2010, and are consistent with patterns KHRG has documented since 1992. Drawing from a dataset of 1,270 oral testimonies, sets of images and documentation written and collected over the last year by villagers trained to monitor human rights conditions in their own communities, this report presents information on 17 categories of abuse and quantifies their occurrence across KHRG research areas. By placing recent testimony from villagers in the context of twenty years of abusive practices, this report should make clear that developments since the 2010 elections have neither expanded villagers' options for claiming their human rights, nor addressed the root causes of abuse in rural eastern Burma. External assessments of developments in Burma that ignore local perspectives on continuing human rights abuse thus exclude the input of the most knowledgeable and engaged stakeholders – who also stand to lose the most from inaccurate conclusions drawn without their participation. The testimony presented in the report should thus function as a critique of any attempt to assess changes in Burma that ignores local perspectives, and a call to heed the concerns of rural people who are gauging, on a day-to-day basis, the way past, present and continuing abuse impacts the future for communities in eastern Burma..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: 1.7MB - main report; 1.52MB - Appendix 1; 2.27MB - Appendix 2; 866K - Appendix 3
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1106.pdf - main report
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1106_Appendix_I.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1106_Appendix_II.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg1106_Appendix_III.pdf
Date of entry/update: 15 December 2011


Title: "Suffering in Silence: The Human Rights Nightmare of the Karen People of Burma"
Date of publication: January 2001
Description/subject: "A new book by the Karen Human Rights Group and edited by Claudio O. Delang, is now available at several online booksellers. The book reproduces three of KHRG's 1999 reports to show the human rights situation in 3 Karen regions, each of them under a different degree of SPDC control. Together, they show that while tactics vary in nature and brutality between different regions, the end result in all three areas is the disintegration of village life. The reports are tied together by an introduction and summary background of Burma, and the book also contains many photos from KHRG's archive in black and white..." Details of the online sales are on the site.
Author/creator: Claudio O. Delang (ed)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (338 K)
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


Title: A Campaign of Brutality (updated)
Date of publication: April 2008
Description/subject: "For over fifty years, the dictators of Burma have waged war against their own civilian population. The demonstrations of 2007 by mostly ethnic Burmans in the cities were put down brutally. The war against the ethnic peoples continues. It is a war backed by a military that has 400,000 soldiers and is supported by 50% of the nation's budget. The Burma Army's methodology is to conduct largescale offensives like the one described in this report, followed by consolidation of territory gained and expansion of control and then the launching of new attacks. There are more than one million displaced people. During these offensives, the Burma Army attacks and burns villages, rapes, tortures, and kills people, destroys their sources of livelihood, and lays landmines to prevent their return. The people support pro-democracy groups that attempt to resist the attacks and control of the Burma Army. Even under this great oppression, the people have not given up. While in hiding, they help each other set up schools, hold worship services, and organize to best make use of the resources they have. After the Burma Army leaves their village, they return to salvage what they can. This refusal to give up constitutes one of the greatest examples of civil disobedience of our time. This report outlines one offensive conducted by the Burma Army against the Karen people in northern Karen State, eastern Burma. It also provides an insight into other means by which the dictators attempt to control and exploit the population in the ethnic areas and provides an analysis of Burma Army strategy and tactics and how the ethnic resistance counters these. It describes the situation of the internally displaced people (IDPs) and makes recommendations for action. Finally, it tells the story of a people living on the edge of survival who have not given up and need help. Burma Army Ofe nsi ve: northern ka ren state The Burma Army's most recent offensive in northern Karen State killed over 370 men, women and children and displaced over 30,000 people, most of whom are now in hiding, in two years of attacks that began in February of 2006 and continue through 2008. Over 33 new Burma Army camps were built in the areas of Papun, Nyaunglebin and Toungoo districts in 2006 alone, with over 103 new camps by March 2008. The slow but unrelenting attacks and building of new camps seem to be driven by a plan to dominate, chase out or crush any people in these areas. This was the largest offensive in Karen State since 1997. It began in February 2006, with troops from over fifty battalions attacking through the rainy season, and the construction of 10 new main camps and 42 smaller support camps. The Burma Army is now completing the construction of two new roads that effectively cut the northern Karen State into quarters. The disruption of their food production, burning of their homes and the shoot-on-sight orders of the Burma Army have made staying in their homeland untenable for thousands of people. Of the over 30,000 displaced, over 7,000 have already left their homes for the Thai border. Story: Na w Eh Ywa Paw The dictatorship of Burma has dehumanized the ethnic peoples of Burma, killing, raping and terrorizing the population with impunity. The power of the oppressor is unrestrained. Naw Eh Ywa Paw ("The Flower That Loves God") is a 9-year-old Karen girl who was shot during the offensive by the Burma Army in an attack that killed her father, Saw Maw Keh, and grandmother. This is her story. The attack itself took place on 27 March, 2006, as the people from Ka Ba Hta village were fleeing the advancing Burma Army, which had been sweeping the entire area. The villagers had been hiding in a gully, but, thinking that it would be safer to climb higher, had begun to leave the gully and climb to the top of the ridge. They did not know the Burma Army was waiting for them. Saw Maw Keh was carrying his mother up the steep slope and was in the lead of the group. Behind him was his family, including Naw Eh Ywa Paw. From where the Burma Army was waiting there is a clearing (it is the villagers' own rice field) that is about 40 yards wide and 15 yards deep down to the edge of the jungle above the gully. The Burma Army soldiers were waiting at the top of the ridge and looking down into this clearing towards the gully. Saw Maw Keh carried his mother up the ridge out 9 of the gully and into the clearing. The Burma Army soldiers waited until he and his mother were in the cleared area, about 10-15 yards away from their position behind the logs, and then opened fire. The shock of having a line of troops open fire at point-blank range must have been tremendous. Saw Maw Keh dropped his mother (we are not sure if she was shot off his back or fell). She cried out to him saying, "Don" As he turned to help her they both were shot dead. The others scattered and, as they tried to flee, Naw Eh Ywa Paw was shot through the back, with the bullet exiting near her stomach. We met them 13 days later on our way to their area and treated the wounded girl. Fortunately, the bullet had passed from her back out through her side without hitting any organs. During their escape, the girl's wounds were treated by another family and due to their care there was no infection. We prayed for the girl and her family and they cried and cried for their father (husband), and grandmother. She eventually recovered and, with her mother, brother and sisters, moved to a new hiding place near their old village in Mon Township, Karen State. The Burma Army is now attacking the place where she and others are hiding, and so she is on the run again. The Burma Army needs to be stopped, and she, her family and the other Karen people need to be able to go home. This is an emergency situation and Naw Eh Ywa Paw and her people under attack need immediate protection, humanitarian assistance, and support for their pro-democracy organizations." (Updated, April 2004)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Free Burma Rangers
Format/size: pdf (7.4MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.freeburmarangers.org/Features/20070315_NorthernKarenState.pdf (URL of earlier version dated February 2007)
Date of entry/update: 12 January 2009


Title: A Gray Area
Date of publication: July 1987
Description/subject: Accounts of Burmese Military Human Rights Abuse in Tenasserim Area, 1983-1986.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Project Maje
Format/size: PDF (297K) 11 pages
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: A strategy of subjugation: The Situation in Ler Mu Lah Township, Tenasserim Division
Date of publication: 21 December 2001
Description/subject: "This report aims to provide an update on the situation in Tenasserim Division, Burma’s southernmost region. It is based primarily on interviews from Ler Mu Lah township in central Tenasserim Division, but also gives an overview of some background and developments in other parts of the Division. At the end of the report two maps are included: Map 1 showing the entire Division, and Map 2 showing the northern part of Tenasserim Division and the southern part of Karen State’s Dooplaya District. Many of the villages mentioned in the report and the interviews can be found on Map 1, while Map 2 includes some of the sites mentioned in relation to flows of refugees and their forced repatriation..." An update on the situation in central Tenasserim Division since the Burmese junta's mass offensive to capture the area in 1997. Unable to gain complete control of the region because of the rugged jungle, harassment by resistance forces and the staunch non-cooperation of the villagers, the SPDC regime has gradually flooded the area with 36 Battalions which have forced many villages into relocation sites where the villagers are used as forced labour to push more military roads into remote areas. Thousands continue to hide in the forests despite being hunted and having their food supplies destroyed by SPDC patrols. They have little choice, though, because if they flee to the Thai border they encounter the Thai Army 9th Division, which continues to force refugees back into Burma at gunpoint." Additional keywords: Tanintharyi, Burman, Mon, Karen, Tayoyan, road building, free-fire zones, destruction of villages, resistance groups, extortions, internal displacement, refoulement, forced repatriation, killing, torture, shooting, restrictions on movement, beating to death, shortage of food, 9th Division (Thai Army). ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2001-04)
Format/size: html, pdf (1.2 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg0104.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Abuse in Pa'an District, Insecurity in Thailand: The dilemma for new refugees in Tha Song Yang
Date of publication: 08 September 2009
Description/subject: "This report presents information on abuses in eastern Pa'an District, where joint SPDC/DKBA forces continue to subject villagers to exploitative abuse and attempt to consolidate control of territory around recently taken KNLA positions near the Ler Per Her IDP camp. Abuses documented in this report include forced labour, conscription of porters and human minesweepers as well as the summary execution of a village headman. The report also provides an update on the situation for newly arrived refugees in Thailand's Tha Song Yang District, where at least 4,862 people from the Ler Per Her area have sought refuge; some have been there since June 2nd 2009, others arrived later. This report presents new information for the period of June to August 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F14)
Format/size: pdf (860 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f14.html
Date of entry/update: 30 October 2009


Title: Abuses and Relocations in Pa'an District (Information Update)
Date of publication: 01 August 1997
Description/subject: "The situation in Pa’an District of central Karen State continues to worsen, particularly in the eastern parts of the District close to the Dawna mountains and the Thai border. The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) is conducting guerrilla operations in the Dawna Range, which runs north-south parallel to the Thai border, and penetrating into the plains to the west. As a result, SLORC is terrorizing the Karen villages lying just west of the Dawna Range, and began forcibly relocating some of these villages in November 1996. By February 1997 the villages of Ta Ku Kraw, Kwih Pa Taw and Noh Law Bler (comprising a total of over 150 households) were forced to move, and Ta Ku Kraw was burned. They were ordered to move to Naw Deh, where some have gone and are now living in makeshift shelters with no way to survive. However, most of them fled into hiding in the forest where they are now struggling to survive. Then in February and March 1997, SLORC ordered the villages of Tee Hseh Ker, Naw Ter Kee, Bee T’Ka, Kaw Per Nweh Ko, Kwih Sgheh, Tee Baw Blaw, Ler Dah and possibly several more to move. Bee T’Ka, the largest of these, has over 300 households but was given only 3 days to move to Taung Zone army camp, and the villagers were told that anyone seen there after 6 March would be shot on sight. The village was quickly abandoned as the villagers fled to the homes of relatives or to the forest. Later in March, the KNLA used the absence of the villagers as an opportunity to make a heavy attack against SLORC troops near the village. SLORC suffered significant casualties, so they sent word out for the villagers to come back in order that they could have a human shield around them. However, most villagers ignored the call in fear and are still scattered throughout the area..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #97-08)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Abuses in SPDC-controlled areas of Papun District
Date of publication: 29 April 2006
Description/subject: "speaks of the routine abuses being suffered by villagers supposedly 'living in peace' under SPDC control. Instead, villagers here tell of SPDC soldiers poisoning their livestock, confiscating their land for Army camps, burning their homes and relocating their villages for their own convenience. Forced labour is constant, and arbitrary detention with torture is a routine occurrence. Stories from the hundreds of convict porters being brought into the district also tell of the brutality and corruption they have suffered at the hands of the Burmese justice system and the military..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F3)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2006


Title: Abuses in Tee Sah Ra Area
Date of publication: 01 April 1996
Description/subject: "The information below was sent in as field reports from independent human rights monitors and the newly formed Hsaw Wah Deh human rights reporting group, an independent group of Karens interested in documenting the situation in the villages. This report focusses on the Tee Sah Ra / Ker Ghaw area of Kawkareik Township, north of Myawaddy and about 15 km. west of the border with Thailand. In the area SLORC are working closely with DKBA to clamp down on the civilian population. There is still some presence of Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) in the area, and this report shows the nature and extent of SLORC and DKBA's retaliation against villagers whenever the KNLA attacks them..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-15)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: ABUSES LINKED TO THE FALL OF MANERPLAW
Date of publication: 01 March 1995
Description/subject: "This report documents the gross violation of human rights of the civilian population during the Burmese offensive against the KNU from November 1994 to February 1995.t is based on data collected by Human Rights Watch/Asia during a research mission to the Thai-Burmese border in January and February 1995. We interviewed over fifty men who had been forcibly taken as porters by the Burmese military to carry heavy artillery and other supplies to mountain tops near Manerplaw, the KNU headquarters on the Moei River between Thailand and Burma. The men were taken from their places of work, from cinemas, trains and even their own homes from October onwards. From the moment of capture, the men were subject to physical abuse and inhumane treatment. Many had been severely beaten by the soldiers when they slipped or fell from exhaustion, and all had witnessed the deaths of fellow porters. We also spoke to villagers who had been the victims of reprisals by the Burmese military following ambushes by the KNU. In one case, many Christians from a single congregation were beaten as they arrived for Sunday service; in another, the women and children of one village were forced to sit all day in the sun and all night in the cold while eight men suspected of being KNU supporters were hung by their ankles from trees. The following day, the whole village was ordered to move close to a Burmese army camp, a tactic frequently used by the Burmese military to cut off any possible support for rebel groups..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 May 2005


Title: AFRAID TO GO HOME - RECENT VIOLENT CONFLICT AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN KAREN STATE
Date of publication: 07 November 2014
Description/subject: "This report is based on field interviews with local villagers and leaders of Karen armed groups, as well as media coverage of the recent conflict. It describes events that led to recent armed conflict between the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) and the combined force of the Burmese Army (BA) and Border Guard Force (BGF) in Karen State. Next, the report gives a detailed account of clashes that occurred along the Salween River in Hpa-an and Hpapun (Mutraw) districts. It also describes the current situation faced by more than 2,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), many of whom are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. It relates accounts of forced labor, looting of homes, confiscation of property, and increased militarization. Finally, it discusses how the recent fighting appears to be part of a calculated military strategy by the BA/BGF to control territory in Karen State, possibly motivated by plans to construct the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween River. KRW’s primary goal in releasing this report is to raise awareness about the current situation in Karen State. Restricted access to the conflict areas has made reporting on the situation difficult. Confusing and conflicting reports by the media are common, and the Burmese Army even detained and killed a journalist who was reporting on the conflict. Many of the IDPs interviewed for this report refused to answer questions, out of fear for their safety and the safety of their families. Currently, there is a crucial need for up-to-date and accurate information, and to bring the human rights violations and need for humanitarian aid to the attention of the international community. We also aim to highlight the human cost of the recent fighting in Karen State, and to situate recent events in the context of the broader, decades-long conflict in the region. In order to ensure the protection of civilians in Karen State, KRW makes the following recommendations:.."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Rivers Watch
Format/size: pdf (1.2MB)
Date of entry/update: 14 November 2014


Title: Attacks and displacement in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 09 April 2010
Description/subject: "At least 2,000 villagers have been displaced by SPDC Army attacks on villages in northern and central Kyauk Kyi Township, Nyaunglebin District. At least four villagers have been killed, while abandoned villages have been burned, including one clinic. More than ten schools have also been abandoned, disrupting students during their exam period. SPDC Army battalions conducted resupply operations at the end of February and KHRG field researchers predict attacks will soon resume."
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B6)
Format/size: pdf (524K - English; 1040K - Karen; 312K - Appendix)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg10b6_karen_language.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10b6_Appendix.pdf
Date of entry/update: 13 October 2010


Title: Attacks on cardamom plantations, detention and forced labour in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 13 May 2010
Description/subject: This field report documents recent human rights abuses committed by SPDC soldiers against Karen villagers in Toungoo District. Villagers in SPDC-controlled areas continue to face heavy forced labour demands that severely constrain their livelihoods; some have had their livelihoods directly targeted in the form of attacks on their cardamom fields. In certain cases individuals have also been subjected to arbitrary detention and physical abuse by SPDC soldiers, typically on suspicion of having had contact with the KNU/KNLA after being caught in violation of stringent movement restrictions. Villagers living in or travelling to areas beyond SPDC control, meanwhile, continue to have their physical security threatened by SPDC patrols that practice a shoot-on-sight policy in such areas. This report covers incidents between January and April 2010.
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F4)
Format/size: pdf (918K - English version; 1251K - Karen version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg10f4_karen_language.pdf
Date of entry/update: 10 October 2010


Title: Attacks on Karen Refugee Camps
Date of publication: 18 March 1997
Description/subject: "This report covers 4 of the main attacks on Karen refugee camps in Thailand which occurred in January 1997: the burning and destruction of Huay Kaloke and Huay Bone refugee camps on the night of 28 January, the armed attack on Beh Klaw refugee camp on the morning of 29 January, and the shelling of Sho Kloh refugee camp on 4 January. These attacks left several people dead and about 10,000 refugees homeless and completely destitute. Even now, Huay Kaloke and Huay Bone remain nothing but open plains of dust and ash under the hot sun. No one feels safe to remain in these places, but the Thai authorities are forcing them to.Huay Bone's over 3,000 refugees have either fled to Beh Klaw or have been forced to move to Huay Kaloke, and the Thai authorities still have a plan to move Sho Kloh's over 6,000 refugees to Beh Klaw, which is unsafe and already overcrowded with over 25,000 people. Refugees in other camps are also living in fear; Maw Ker refugee camp 50 km. south of Mae Sot has been constantly threatened with destruction, as has Mae Khong Kha refugee camp much further north in Mae Sariang district. People in these camps often end up spending their nights in the forests or countryside surrounding their camps, not daring to sleep in their homes at night..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #97-05)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: ATTACKS ON KAREN REFUGEE CAMPS: 1998 (Information Update)
Date of publication: 29 May 1998
Description/subject: "In March 1998, three Karen refugee camps in Thailand were attacked by heavily armed forces that crossed the border from Burma. Huay Kaloke camp was burned and almost completely destroyed, killing four refugees and wounding many more; 50 houses and a monastery were burned in Maw Ker camp, and 14 were wounded; and Beh Klaw camp was shelled, though the attackers were repelled. The attacks were carried out by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), backed by troops and support of the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military junta currently ruling Burma ..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #98-04)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Attacks on Karen Villages: Far South
Date of publication: 10 March 1997
Description/subject: "This report concerns an area in southern Tenasserim Division, about 180 km. (110 mi.) north of Burma’s southernmost point which lies at Kawthaung (Victoria Point). Apart from the Andaman Sea coastline, the area inland is hilly, forested, and not so heavily populated as most parts of the country. The people are Burmans, Muslims, Mons, Karens and Thais - the Thais are not Tai Yai (Shan), they are of the same ethnicity as the Thais of southern Thailand. In this area the Karen are a minority, having only a handful of villages, but they are often singled out for heavier burdens of forced labour and other forms of persecution. Part of the reason for this is the existence of Karen National Union (KNU) and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA 12th Battalion) in the area, headquartered at Kaw Thay Lu adjacent to the Thai border..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Attacks, killings and the food crisis in Papun District
Date of publication: 04 February 2009
Description/subject: "SPDC abuses against civilians continue in northern Karen State, especially in the Lu Thaw and Dweh Loh townships of Papun District. Abuses have been particularly harsh in Lu Thaw, most of which has been designated a "black area" by the SPDC and so subject to constant attacks by Burma Army forces. Villagers who decide to remain in their home areas are often forced to live in hiding and not only face constant threats of violence by the SPDC, but also a worsening food crisis due to the SPDC's disruption of planting cycles. This report covers events in Papun District from August 2008 to January 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F2)
Format/size: pdf (578 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f2.html
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


Title: Attempted rapes and other abuses in northern Karen districts
Date of publication: 15 March 2006
Description/subject: "This bulletin documents the resumption of full-scale forced labour in the villages of central Toungoo district and increases in extortion and forced labour imposed on villagers in Dweh Loh township of Papun district. The continued impunity of SPDC soldiers to commit violent abuses is reflected in the stories of attempted rapes which have occurred in both districts."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 March 2006


Title: Beyond All Endurance
Date of publication: 20 December 1999
Description/subject: The Breakup of Karen Villages in Southeastern Pa'an District
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Beyond All Endurance (Interview Annex)
Date of publication: 20 December 1999
Description/subject: "This report consists of several parts: this preface, an introduction/summary, a detailed description of the situation including quotes from interviews and order documents, an index of the interviews used, and finally the full text of some selected interviews used in the report. Click here to see the full text of interviews in the Interview Annex to this report..." The Breakup of Karen Villages in Southeastern Pa'an District
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #99-08)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Burma Army
Date of publication: 15 July 2007
Description/subject: Die Armee der SPDC Militärdiktatur ist mittlerweile auf eine Truppenstärke von 500.000 Soldaten angewachsen und jetzt selbst nur noch durch ein System der Angst zu kontrollieren. Fast jeder hat einen Vorgesetzten und die Exekution ist nur einen Schuß entfernt. Der militärische Geheimdienst ist überall und selbst die höheren Ränge werden oft ‘Reinigungen’ nach sowietischem Vorbild unterzogen. Karen; Flüchtlinge; Burma Army; Refugees
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Burma Riders
Date of entry/update: 21 August 2007


Title: Caught in the Middle
Date of publication: 15 September 1999
Description/subject: The Suffering of Karen Villagers in Thaton District
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Central Karen State: Villagers Fleeing Forced Relocation and Other Abuses Forced Back by Thai Troops
Date of publication: 29 September 1999
Description/subject: KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update #99-U4)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Central Papun District: Abuse and the maintenance of military control
Date of publication: 23 August 2010
Description/subject: This report presents information on the human rights situation in village tracts in central Papun District located near the northern section of the Ka Ma Maung to Papun Road, south of Papun Town in Bu Tho Township. Communities must confront regular threats to their livelihoods and physical security stemming from the strong SPDC and DKBA presence in, and control of the area, as these military units support themselves by extracting significant material and labour resources from the local civilian population. Villagers have reported movement restrictions and various exploitative abuses, including arbitrary taxation, forced portering, forced labour fabricating and delivering materials to military units, forced mine clearance and forced recruitment for military service. Some communities have also reported threats or acts of violent abuse, typically in the context of enforcing forced labour orders or where villagers have been accused of contacting or assisting KNLA forces operating in the area. This is the second of four reports detailing the situation in Papun District's southern townships that will be released in August 2010. Incidents documented in this report occurred between April 2009 and February 2010.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-C1)
Format/size: pdf (779K)
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


Title: Central Papun District: Village-level decision making and strategic displacement
Date of publication: 27 August 2010
Description/subject: This report details a sequence of events in one village in central Papun District in late 2009. The report illustrates how the community responded to exploitative and violent human rights abuses by SPDC Army units deployed near its village in order to avoid or reduce the harmful impact on livelihoods and physical security. It also provides a detailed example of the way local responses are often developed and employed cooperatively, thus affording protection to entire communities. This report draws extensively on interviews with residents of Pi--- village, Dweh Loh Township, who described their experiences to KHRG field researchers, supplemented by illustrations based on these accounts by a Karen artist. This is the third of four field reports documenting the situation in Papun District's southern townships that will be released in August 2010. The incidents and responses documented below occurred in November 2009.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F7)
Format/size: pdf (692K; 1.9MB- illustrated)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10f7_illustrations.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


Title: Chemical Shells at Kaw Moo Rah
Date of publication: 24 February 1995
Description/subject: "Then on the night of February 20-21 1995, SLORC suddenly took Kaw Moo Rah in the space of only 18 hours without even using a ground assault or crossing into Thailand. The Karen soldiers were forced to withdraw, complaining of SLORC shells that caused dizzyness, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness. Whether these shells were some form of tear gas or a stronger nerve agent remains to be proven through medical samples. This preliminary report presents the testimonies of some of the soldiers wounded in the final assault, interviewed 36 hours after they withdrew. After the withdrawal, Karen forces reported 3-4 dead, 2 missing, and 10 wounded. However, KHRG has already independently confirmed at least 20 wounded, and other evidence indicates the number of dead was probably higher than reported as well. Witnesses have already seen SLORC troops dumping several bodies in the Moei River, either Karen troops or SLORC porters. While the SLORC claims that the "Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army" took Kaw Moo Rah, almost all the troops seen there now are Burmese, and although several DKBA flags have been planted along the river for show, it is a large Burmese flag which flies in the most prominent spot at Kaw Moo Rah’s main gate. Along with the alleged ‘chemical’ shells, the soldiers refer to ‘liquid’ shells that caused burning - these appear to be white phosphorus shells, another form of chemical weapon usually used as incendiaries. SLORC is known to frequently use these shells in offensives and to burn down villages. The effects when the phosphorus comes into contact with human flesh are horrifying..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-08)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Chemical Shells at Kaw Moo Rah: Supplementary
Date of publication: 20 March 1995
Description/subject: "Medical and clothing samples from some of the soldiers exposed to the gas attack at Kaw Moo Rah are still under analysis overseas, and no results have been communicated to us as yet. However, some further pieces of information have been provided by various sources. Shortly after the fall of Kaw Moo Rah, Lt. Gen. Tin Oo (Secretary-2 of SLORC) was in Thailand at the invitation of Thai Army Commander-in-Chief Wimol Wongwanich. Tin Oo's contacts while in Thailand were primarily only with Thai military leaders. Just after his return to Burma, Thai journalists questioned Gen. Chettha Thanajaro, Assistant Army Chief of Staff of Thailand. In an article entitled "Burmese Admit They Used Chemicals to Fight Karens" on February 28th, the Thai-language Daily News paraphrased Gen. Chettha's words as follows: "Concerning the Australian government's protest over SLORC's use of chemicals against the Karen, Tin Oo replied that they had to wipe out the thieves and rebels that are against the government. He said that although the use of chemicals is not right, it is necessary."..." _With a testimony Karen soilder who was in the frontline bunkers during SLORC's final assault on Kaw Moo Rah:_
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-08-A)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Civilians as Targets (KHRG Commentary)
Date of publication: 19 May 2006
Description/subject: “Now the SPDC has come up to burn houses and kill villagers. They’re not here to shoot KNLA soldiers.” – Karen National Liberation Army officer, Papun district... "A major military offensive is now going on, launched by Burma’s State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military regime and focused on northern Karen State. It began in November – as SPDC offensives usually do, in early dry season – with SPDC columns shelling and burning Karen villages in southeastern Toungoo district. Even villagers in SPDC-controlled villages were prohibited from travelling along the roads in an apparent attempt to starve villagers out of the hills. In February, a parallel offensive was launched throughout Nyaunglebin district, also focused on destroying civilian villages, food supplies and ricefields. Over 15,000 villagers have now been displaced in these two districts, and more are on the move each day. The offensive is still spreading: in April and May, more troops have been sent into Papun district and have started attacking villages there, and now 27 SPDC battalions totalling 4,000-5,000 troops are poised to launch a new wave of attacks against villages in this district. Unlike most SPDC offensives, the signs are that this one will continue straight through the monsoon season despite the difficulties of moving and supplying troops in these mountainous forests without roads..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-C1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 May 2006


Title: CLAMPDOWN IN SOUTHERN DOOPLAYA: Forced relocation and abuses in newly SLORC-occupied area (Information Update)
Date of publication: 18 September 1997
Description/subject: "Forced relocation and abuses in newly SLORC-occupied area. KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports(KHRG #97-11)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Conditions in the Gas Pipeline Area
Date of publication: 01 August 1995
Description/subject: "This report does not aim to give comprehensive details of the pipeline project to date, as this has been done elsewhere. Instead, this report focusses on presenting some information and interviews related to developments in the pipeline route area, particularly since the beginning of 1995. The information and interviews used have been obtained from several sources, including the Mergui-Tavoy Information Service, the Committee for Publicity of People's Struggle in Monland, independent sources and KHRG interviews..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-27)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Conditions in the Irrawaddy Delta
Date of publication: 04 August 1995
Description/subject: "The following is from an interview with a 56-year-old man from Myaungmya Town, deep in the Irrawaddy Delta west of Rangoon, who left the Delta in June 1995. The Irrawaddy Delta is populated by a few million people, 50% of them Karen and 50% Burmans. In recent decades it has been sealed off from the outside world more than almost any other area of Burma, and the Tatmadaw (Burmese Army) has been able to get away with any form of repression it likes. In 1991, the Karen National Union managed to send some soldiers and weapons into the Delta in an effort to restart the resistance struggle there which had been quiet for decades, but the troops were exposed. In events which became known as the Bogalay Crisis, the Tatmadaw launched a huge offensive into the area to wipe out the small number of KNLA forces and all seeds of civilian resistance. Villages were burned, helicopter gunships strafed villages and schools, and thousands of Karen community leaders, pastors and schoolteachers were arrested, sentenced en masse and imprisoned. The Tatmadaw began a brutal campaign of repression, killings and disappearances against Karen in the area, which still remains almost completely unknown to the outside world. As a result, the SLORC now feels confident enough of its control in the area that it has recently opened up some parts of it to tourism..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-29)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Conditions North of Myawaddy
Date of publication: 10 January 1996
Description/subject: "The following reports were collected by independent Karen civilian human rights monitors who visited the area north of Myawaddy in November and December 1995. This area is under firm SLORC control. The DKBA (Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army, often referred to in this report as "Ko Per Baw" - the "Yellow Headbands") also operates in the area in cooperation with SLORC. The Thai Government claims that now that fighting has died down in this and some other areas, it will soon be time to drive all the refugees back across to villages there. For the security of the villagers, some details have been omitted or replaced by ‘xx’. Note: in the report there are some references to "#88 Battalion", a Light Infantry Battalion operating in the area which is part of SLORC #33 Light Infantry Division (one Division consists of 10 battalions). This should not be confused with #88 Light Infantry Division. #88 Division is also in the area, represented by 4 Battalions: #415, 416, 108, and 10, which operate between Palu, 50 km. south of Myawaddy, and Kawmoora, 15 km. north of Myawaddy. The reference to #88 in Report #2 below is definitely #88 Battalion, but the troops mentioned in Reports 3 and 4 may be from either 88 Battalion or 88 Division..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-03)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Consolidation of Control: The SPDC and the DKBA in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 07 September 2002
Description/subject: "Since 1997 most of Pa?an District in central Karen State ... has been firmly controlled by forces of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), with the assistance of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). Both groups are still fighting the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA, the armed wing of the Karen National Union) in the Dawna Range area, a strip in the far east of the district adjacent to the border with Thailand, but the remainder of the district sees little fighting, with the KNLA only able to mount small scale hit-and-run guerrilla attacks against SPDC and DKBA positions. In consolidating their control, both the SPDC and the DKBA have been increasingly restricting and exploiting the Karen villagers who make up almost the entire population of the district. Although most of the villagers remain in their villages under SPDC and DKBA control, their lives are difficult and they are becoming increasingly impoverished. The continued use of forced labour, the demands for money and food from the villagers, and the resulting poverty have driven many to flee to refugee camps or to join the illegal migrant labour market in Thailand. Landmines have also become a serious problem in the area, with villagers making up the majority of mine victims..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Information Update (KHRG #2002-U4)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Continued Militarisation, Killings and Fear in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 02 June 2005
Description/subject: "This report documents the killings of two villagers by SPDC and DKBA forces in Dooplaya District of southern Karen State, some of the continuing restrictions and forced labour faced by people living there, and the climate of fear and oppression such abuses are creating. The informal SPDC-KNU ceasefire is not stopping the two sides from shooting at each other, and there is no ceasefire at all barring soldiers from shooting at civilians. Killings and abuses are still carried out with complete impunity, and this is unlikely to change as long as the region remains heavily militarised. Includes maps and photos...In early January 2004 Burma’s State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta and the Karen National Union (KNU) agreed to an informal ceasefire pending negotiations for a more lasting agreement. Negotiations have not proceeded any further. Though the informal ceasefire still stands, sporadic fighting continues to occur. One example comes from Dooplaya District of southern Karen State (see map), where SPDC forces pursuing Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA, armed wing of the KNU) soldiers in order to ambush them in March 2005 shot dead a woman shopkeeper and wounded an 80 year old woman and one other villager. Under SPDC protection, forces of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) also continue to abuse and kill villagers with impunity. As a result of such incidents, villagers in Dooplaya District continue to live in fear; there may be a ceasefire between armed groups, but no ceasefire is in place preventing armed groups from shooting at villagers. In addition, forced labour and restrictions on the movements and activities of villagers remain in place, and continue to create great hardship for many people. Whether the ceasefire is observed or not, the heavy militarisation of Dooplaya poses serious threats to the physical and food security of villagers..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F6)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 02 June 2005


Title: Continuing Hardships for Villagers in Northern Karen Districts
Date of publication: 15 November 1998
Description/subject: "Villagers in the northern districts of Karen State and Karen areas of eastern Pegu Division and northeastern Mon State continue to suffer SPDC operations involving village destruction, forced relocations, uprooting of their crops and forced labour. Areas referred to in this report include Taungoo (Karen name Taw Oo) District, Nyaunglebin (Kler Lwe Htoo) District, Papun (Mudraw) District, and Thaton (Doothatu) District. This information was recently reported by KHRG monitors based in or visiting these areas. The situation in Taungoo District will be reported in detail in an upcoming KHRG report..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Continuing SLORC Actions in Karen State
Date of publication: 26 May 1994
Description/subject: Pa'An, Bilin and Thaton Townships, Jan-April 94 (some events 93). One Burmese Indian man, most Karen men, women, children: Torture; inhuman treatment (beating of monk); looting, incl. from monastery; economic oppression; extortion; forced labour incl. forced portering; human mine-sweepers; killing; reprisal killings; ransoming; forced relocation; homosexual rape of a child; beating, ransoming and forced portering by a child; disappearance; human shields; curfews; threat to kill five villagers if one SLORC soldier is killed. ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Covering up Genocide: Gambari’s betrayal (KHRG Commentary)
Date of publication: 26 May 2006
Description/subject: " The ongoing offensives by Burma’s ruling State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military junta have already been analysed in KHRG’s previous Commentary (#2006-C1), released just one week ago on May 19th. That commentary demonstrated that these attacks are not targeting the armed opposition, but are deliberately aimed at destroying the homes and food supplies of Karen hill villagers and shooting men, women and children on sight in a systematic attempt to wipe them out. International law, particularly the UN Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948), defines this as genocide, and it also stands in violation of every international human rights convention and of international humanitarian law as expressed in the Geneva Conventions. However, in the past week it has become clear that the United Nations Secretariat is attempting to cover up this genocide and bring about a normalisation of relations with the SPDC regime, without even insisting that the regime stop its military attacks on civilians. From May 18th to 20th, UN under-secretary general for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari visited Rangoon. Second to Kofi Annan in the UN bureaucracy, he is the most senior UN official to visit Burma in years. The visit came at a time when international outcry against the SPDC’s attacks on Karen villagers was reaching its height, and activists and the US government were demanding that Burma be placed on the agenda of the UN Security Council. On April 28th this year, the Council passed Resolution 1674 noting that the “deliberate targeting of civilians … and the commission of systematic, flagrant and widespread violations of international humanitarian and human rights law … may constitute a threat to international peace and security” and expressing its “readiness to consider such situations and, where necessary, to adopt appropriate steps”. So one would expect Gambari to have spent much of his time insisting that the SPDC immediately cease its genocidal attacks against Karen villagers. He did not. Instead he focused most of his efforts on encouraging the SPDC to release one person – Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) political party. He expressed “concern” over the Karen offensive – UN language for “we have noticed, but we will not interfere” – and suggested that the SPDC cease the attacks, but then went on to talk about how the SPDC could go about securing more foreign aid...."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #2006-C2)
Format/size: pdf (40 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06c2.html
Date of entry/update: 26 May 2006


Title: Crimes against humanity in eastern Myanmar
Date of publication: 05 June 2008
Description/subject: "For two and a half years, a military offensive by the Myanmar army, known as the tatmadaw, has been waged against ethnic Karen civilians in Kayin (Karen) State and Bago (Pegu) Division, involving a widespread and systematic violation of international human rights and humanitarian law. These violations constitute crimes against humanity. Unlike previous counter-insurgency campaigns against the Karen National Union (KNU) and its armed wing (the Karen National Liberation Army, KNLA) for nearly 60 years, the current offensive has civilians as the primary targets. The current operation is the largest in a decade and is unique in that, unlike previous seasonal operations that have generally ended at the start of the yearly rains between May and October, this offensive has continued through two consecutive rainy seasons and shows no signs of stopping as a third season is underway. 2 An estimated 147,800 people are reported to have been, and remain, internally displaced in Kayin State and eastern Bago Division. Many of them have also been subjected to other widespread and systematic violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including unlawful killings; torture and other illtreatment; enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests; the imposition of forced labour, including portering; the destruction of homes and whole villages; and the destruction or confiscation of crops and food-stocks and other forms of collective punishment. Civilian Karen villagers told Amnesty International of living in fear for their lives, dignity, and property, after having been subjected to or witnessed torture, extrajudicial executions, forced labour and destruction of homes. Such violations were described as directed at civilians, simply on account of their Karen ethnicity or location in Karen majority areas, or retribution for activities by the KNLA. Amnesty International has documented how these violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been preceded or accompanied by consistent threats and warnings by the tatmadaw that they would take place, and by statements by Myanmar government officials. The organization is thus concerned that the violations are the result of official State Peace and Development Council (SPDC, the Myanmar government) and tatmadaw policy. Moreover, the tatmadaw apparently enjoys impunity for violations committed against Karen civilians. The prevailing impunity for such crimes, with a lack of avenues for redress for victims, has contributed to Myanmar’s ongoing human rights crisis. Crimes against humanity are certain acts that, committed in times of war or peace, form part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population. According to Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, acts—including murder, enslavement, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance, and other inhumane acts—may constitute crimes against humanity “when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack …” This definition reflects customary international law binding on all states, regardless of whether or not they are parties to the Statute..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/011/2008)
Format/size: pdf (505K)
Date of entry/update: 06 March 2009


Title: Damming at Gunpoint (English)
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: BURMA ARMY ATROCITIES PAVE THE WAY FOR SALWEEN DAMS IN KAREN STATE... "As Thailand proceeds with plans to join Burma’s military regime in building a series of dams on the Salween River to gain “cheap” electricity, this report reveals the atrocities being inflicted on the people of Northern Karen State to pave the way for two of the planned dams. The Upper Salween (Wei Gyi) Dam and Lower Salween (Dar Gwin) Dam are planned to be built on the river where it forms the border between Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province and Burma’s Karen State. Together they will produce about 5,300 MW of electricity. It is estimated that the reservoir for the Upper Dam will stretch for 380 kilometers inside Karen and Karenni States of Burma. Both dams are located at the eastern edge of Papun district in Karen State. Once a Karen liberated area, during the last decade Papun has been the site of repeated military offensives and anti-insurgency campaigns by the regime’s troops to crush the Karen resistance. Before 1992, there were only ten Burma Army garrisons in Papun district. Today there are fifty-four garrisons, including twelve along the Salween river bank, fortified with heavy artillery. The military campaigns have decimated the local population. 210 villages have been destroyed, and villagers forcibly relocated to 31 relocation sites, where movement has been strictly controlled, and villagers are subject to forced labour and other human rights abuses. Tens of thousands of villagers have fled to Thailand as refugees; others live in hiding in the jungle, where they live in constant fear of being found and tortured or killed. In 1992, there were estimated to be about 107,000 people in Papun district. Now this has been halved to about 54,000, of whom about 35,000, or 60%, are internally displaced in the jungles. The rest have fled to Thailand or other parts of Burma. Out of 85 original villages in the mountainous area of Eastern Papun directly adjoining the planned dam sites, only a quarter remain. Most of the communities who had farmed and traded along the Salween River have fled to Thailand, and many farms in the fertile tributary valleys have been lying fallow for over a decade. Over 5,000 villagers remain hiding in the jungle, facing severe food shortages and health problems. Roads to the planned dam sites have been built using forced labour, and landmines have been planted alongside the roads. There has been no consultation with local communities about the dam plans. If the dams are built, the floodwaters will permanently displace many of the communities currently in hiding or living as refugees in Thailand. The increased military security for the dam sites will also inevitably mean further abuses against local populations. The Salween dams fit into the ongoing strategy of the Burmese military regime to use “development” projects to gain funding and collusion from neighbouring countries to subjugate ethnic resistance movements, and exploit the natural resources in the ethnic areas. Karen Rivers Watch makes the following recommendations:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Rivers Watch
Format/size: pdf (617K - OBL version; 1.82MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmariversnetwork.org/images/stories/publications/english/dammingatgunpointenglish.pdf
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2012


Title: Death Squads and Displacement - Systematic Executions, Village Destruction and the Flight of Villagers in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 24 May 1999
Description/subject: "This report is a detailed analysis of the current human rights situation in Nyaunglebin District (known in Karen as Kler Lweh Htoo), which straddles the border of northern Karen State and Pegu Division in Burma. Most of the villagers here are Karen, though there are also many Burmans living in the villages near the Sittaung River. Since late 1998 many Karens and Burmans have been fleeing their villages in the area because of human rights abuses by the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military junta which currently rules Burma, and this flight is still ongoing. Those from the hills which cover most of the District are fleeing because SPDC troops have been systematically destroying their villages, crops and food supplies and shooting villagers on sight, all in an effort to undermine the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) by driving the civilian population out of the region. At the same time, people in the plains near the Sittaung River are fleeing because of the ever-increasing burden of forced labour, cash extortion, and heavy crop quotas which are being levied against them even though their crops have failed for the past two years running. Many are also fleeing a frightening new phenomenon in the District: the Sa Thon Lon Guerrilla Retaliation units, which appeared in September 1998 and since then have been systematically executing everyone suspected of even the remotest contact with the opposition forces, even if that contact occurred years or decades ago. Their methods are brutal, their tactics are designed to induce fear, and they have executed anywhere from 50 to over 100 civilians in the District since September 1998..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports(KHRG #99-04)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Destruction of All Hill Villages in Papun District (Information Update)
Date of publication: 25 June 1997
Description/subject: "Since the beginning of 1996, SLORC has launched campaigns in many parts of Burma to forcibly move or wipe out all rural villages which are not under the direct physical control of an Army camp. In February/March 1997, SLORC began a campaign to obliterate all villages in the hills of Papun District, northern Karen State. The initial wave of village destruction was carried out through March 1997, but since the beginning of June 1997 SLORC patrols have stepped up their efforts to destroy all signs of habitation and food supplies wherever villagers had managed to rebuild. KHRG has compiled and confirmed a list of 68 villages which have been completely burned and destroyed and 4 more which have been partially burned. These are all Karen villages, averaging about 15 households (population 100) per village. This list is by no means complete, and right now SLORC patrols continue to burn villages in the area..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Destruction of Villages in Northern Pa'an District (Information Update)
Date of publication: 01 October 1998
Description/subject: "An SPDC campaign to destroy Karen villages in northern Pa’an District has already led to the displacement of several thousand villagers, and over 3,000 of these villagers have crossed the border into Thailand. The area they are fleeing is on the eastern slopes of the Dawna Range close to the Thai border, part of Dta Greh township (Dta Greh is called Pain Kyone in Burmese, and the SPDC considers it part of Hlaing Bwe township)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Development by Decree: The politics of poverty and control in Karen State
Date of publication: 24 April 2007
Description/subject: "In pursuit of domestic submission and international recognition of its legitimacy the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) currently ruling Burma pronounces daily on the manifold military-implemented development programmes initiated across the country which, it argues, are both supported by and beneficial to local communities. Villagers in Karen State, however, consistently reject such claims. Rather, these individuals describe a systematic programme of military expansionism with which the junta aims to establish control over all aspects of civilian life. In the name of development, the regime's agenda in Karen State has involved multifarious infrastructure and regimentation projects that restrict travel and trade and facilitate increased extortion of funds, food, supplies and labour from the civilian population, thereby exacerbating poverty, malnutrition and the overall humanitarian crisis. Given the detrimental consequences of the SPDC's development agenda, villagers in Karen areas have resisted military efforts to control their lives and livelihoods under the rubric of development. In this way these villagers have worked to claim their right to determine for themselves the direction in which they wish their communities to develop. Drawing on over 90 interviews with local villagers in Karen State, SPDC order documents, official SPDC press statements, international media sources, reports by international aid agencies and academic studies this report finds that rather than prosperity, the SPDC's 'development' agenda has instead brought increased military control over civilian lives, undermined villagers' rights and delivered deleterious humanitarian outcomes contradictory to the very rhetoric the junta has used to justify its actions."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG 2007-01)
Format/size: pdf (English: 5MB - OBL version; 9MB - original; Karen, 6.9MB)), html (intro and executive summary)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg0701_burmese.pdf
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs13/Development_by_decree(Karen).pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2007/khrg0701.html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2007


Title: Developments in the SLORC/SPDC Occupation of Dooplaya District (Information Update)
Date of publication: 25 February 1998
Description/subject: "Dooplaya District of central Karen State, a large region which stretches from the Myawaddy - Kawkareik - Kyone Doh motor road in the north to the Three Pagodas Pass area in the south, was largely controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU) until 1995. In that year a major SLORC (State Law & Order Restoration Council) offensive completed SLORC’s control of the Thai border from Myawaddy southward to Wah Lay and captured the northern part of the ‘hump’, a mountainous portion of Dooplaya which projects eastward into Thailand. In a much larger offensive in February-March 1997, SLORC succeeded in capturing almost all of the remainder of Dooplaya District. Over 10,000 new refugees fled to Thailand and are now interned in Noh Po refugee camp, but most villagers remained inside the district, either trapped by the speed of the SLORC advance or hoping to survive under the SLORC/SPDC occupation. Many of these villagers have subsequently fled or tried to flee to Thailand due to forced labour and other abuses by the occupation troops... "
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Dignity in the Shadow of Oppression - The abuse and agency of Karen women under militarisation
Date of publication: 22 November 2006
Description/subject: "As the State Peace and Development council continues with its aggressive campaign to expand military control over all areas of Karen State, local villagers confront brutal and systematic abuses perpetrated by the junta's armed forces. In light of such abuse, external representations of Karen women have fallen back on stereotypes of women in armed conflict which depict nothing but their helplessness and vulnerability. The findings of this report, however, demonstrate that such representations can be both inaccurate and harmful. They miss the many ways in which Karen women are actively responding to abuse and resisting militarisation, and furthermore undermine local women's attempts to determine for themselves how they, their families and communities are to develop. Such portrayals foster external perceptions and intervention that neglect local concerns and the strategies that these women are already employing to claim their rights. In this report, KHRG examines the patterns of military abuses against Karen women, the many ways these have affected their lives, the manner in which these women have responded to abuse and the ways that this relationship between military abuse and women's agency has led to changes in the roles of women in Karen society...."
Language: English, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-05)
Format/size: pdf (2MB-English; 1.5MB -Karen)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg0605_karen_language.pdf
Date of entry/update: 15 March 2008


Title: Displacement of Villagers in Southern Pa'an District
Date of publication: 14 September 1998
Description/subject: "The region commonly known as Pa’an District forms a large triangular area in central Karen State, bounded in the west and north by the Salween River and the town of Pa’an (capital of Karen State), in the east by the Moei River where it forms the border with Thailand, and in the south by the motor road from Myawaddy (at the Thai border) westward to Kawkareik and Kyone Doh. Pa’an District is also known as the Karen National Liberation Army’s (KNLA’s) 7th Brigade area. The western parts of Pa’an District and the principal towns have been controlled by the SLORC/SPDC military junta for 10 years or longer, while the eastern strip adjacent to the Thai border has come largely under their control over the past 3 years. The easternmost strip of Pa’an District near the Moei River is separated from the rest of the district by the main ridge of the steep Dawna Mountains..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: DKBA/SLORC Cross-Border Attacks
Date of publication: 01 August 1996
Description/subject: "Since its inception in December 1994, the ‘Democratic Karen Buddhist Army’ (DKBA) has vowed to destroy all Karen refugee camps and force Karen refugees back to Burma. Since early 1995, the DKBA has been conducting cross-border raids into Thailand to attack and burn Karen refugee camps, kidnap or kill Karen leaders and refugee camp leaders, and loot both refugee camps and Thai villages. The DKBA allied itself with SLORC as soon as it was formed, and SLORC has been supporting them in the aim of terrorising refugees into returning to Burma. Furthermore, as SLORC forces have captured more and more of the territory directly adjacent to the Thai border, SLORC troops have also been conducting their own cross-border looting raids and attacks, as well as participating (particularly in early- to mid-1995) in the DKBA’s attacks. The purpose of this report is not to provide a comprehensive list of DKBA and SLORC attacks and incursions into Thailand; as the information in the report shows, these are so regular and widespread that it would be difficult or impossible to do so. Instead, this report presents a sample of the kind of attacks and incursions which have been happening in order to give the reader an overview of the situation in which Karen refugees are now living, and the reason why they go to bed in fear most nights..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-31)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Dooplaya District: Consolidation of control in central Dooplaya
Date of publication: 31 January 2002
Description/subject: "As the SPDC consolidates its military hold on central Dooplaya District, thousands of people who were forced to relocate in 1999 and 2000 are now being allowed back to their villages. However, on their return they find their villages being used as support for the Army, and they face heavy demands for forced labour, money, food and materials to support all of the Army camps which have now been set up around their villages..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update #2002-U2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Dooplaya District: Fighting And Human Rights Abuse Still Continue After Ceasefire
Date of publication: 18 February 2005
Description/subject: "Dooplaya district is in southern Karen state (see map). The villagers here have suffered human rights abuses by the Burmese military regime for many decades. An informal ceasefire between the current State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) regime and the Karen National Union (KNU) was agreed in early January 2004. Even after the verbal ceasefire, however, occasional armed clashes have still occurred in Dooplaya district. The villagers who live close to the SPDC camps still have to do forced labour as porters, and respond to demands for Loh ah pay (“volunteer” labour, actually short-term forced labour). There are also some demands for money, food, and materials for camp building. Looting, abuse, and killing still occur as well. In addition the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and Karen Peace Force (KPF)[1], two groups allied with the SPDC, also demand forced labour, logs, bamboo, and thatch when they need them..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 March 2005


Title: Dooplaya under the SPDC: Further Developments in the SPDC Occupation of South-Central Karen State
Date of publication: 23 November 1998
Description/subject: "In early 1997, the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) military junta ruling Burma mounted a major offensive against the Karen National Union (KNU) and succeeded in capturing and occupying most of the remainder of Dooplaya District in central Karen State. Since that time the SLORC has changed its name to the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC), but its occupation troops have continued to strengthen their control over the rural Karen villagers who live in the region. Almost all of the people in the region are Karen, though there are minorities of ethnic Mon, Thai, and Indian-Muslim people in parts of central and western Dooplaya. This report provides an update on the current situation for villagers in Dooplaya’s farming communities under the SPDC occupation. Some of the main issues covered are general human rights abuses against the villagers, which include arbitrary killings, torture, detention, rape, forced labour, forced relocations, looting and extortion; the special plight of the Dta La Ku, a Karen religious minority who have been targetted for persecution by armies on all sides of the conflict but who are almost completely ignored by the outside world; the effects on villagers of the changing military-political situation in the region, including the activities of the Karen Peace Army (KPA) and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), rival armies both allied with the SPDC; and the effects of the ongoing struggle between the SPDC and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), both of which are increasingly using landmines in the area. Differences and similarities are examined between the situation in Dooplaya’s central plain, the mountainous eastern ‘hump’ which projects into Thailand, and the district’s far south..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #98-09)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Ein Sommer voller Angst und Verzweifelung: Burmesische Flüchtlinge im thailändisch-burmesischen Grenzgebiet
Date of publication: 2002
Description/subject: Karen refugees in the thai-burmese border area. Halockani refugee camp run by the Mon National Committee. Mit dem Beginn der großen Militäroffensive burmesischer Truppen gegen die bewaffneten Guerillabewegungen der nationalen Minderheiten haben seit Anfang dieses Jahres nun auch immer mehr Angehörige der Karen Volksgruppe im thailändischen Grenzgebiet Zuflucht gesucht. Das vom Mon National Committee unterhaltene Halockani-Flüchtlingslager der Mon-Volksgruppe hat daher seine Tore im Sommer auch für Karen-Flüchtlinge geöffnet und Versorgungsgüter zur Verfügung gestellt.
Author/creator: Hans-Günther Wagner
Language: Deutsch, German
Source/publisher: Netzwerk engagierter Buddhisten
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Enduring Hunger and Repression: : Food Scarcity, Internal Displacement, and the Continued Use of Forced Labour in Toungoo District
Date of publication: September 2004
Description/subject: "This report describes the current situation faced by rural Karen villagers in Toungoo District (known as Taw Oo in Karen). Toungoo District is the northernmost district of Karen State, sharing borders with Karenni (Kayah) State to the east, Pegu (Bago) Division to the west, and Shan State to the north. To the south Toungoo District shares borders with the Karen districts of Nyaunglebin (Kler Lweh Htoo) and Papun (Mutraw). The westernmost portion of the district bordering Pegu Division consists of the plains of the Sittaung River, which are heavily controlled by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta which presently rules Burma. The rest of the district to the east is covered by steep and forested hills that are home to Karen villagers who live in small villages strewn across the hills. For years, the SPDC has endeavoured to extend its control through the hills, but their efforts thus far have been hampered by the continued armed resistance of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). Within the areas that are strongly controlled by the SPDC, the villagers must live with constant demands for forced labour, food, and money from the SPDC battalions that are based in the area. Villages that do not comply with SPDC demands risk being relocated and burned. Many villages have been burned and their inhabitants forcibly relocated to sites where the SPDC may more easily control and exploit them. Those villagers who do not move to the relocation sites flee into the jungles where they live as internally displaced persons (IDPs). Several thousand villagers now live internally displaced in the mountains of Toungoo District. These villagers live in almost constant fear of SPDC Army units, and must run for their lives if they receive word that a column of soldiers is approaching. SPDC Army columns routinely shoot displaced villagers on sight. The villagers here continue to suffer severe human rights violations at the hands of the SPDC Army soldiers, including, but not limited to summary arrest, torture, forced labour, extortion, extrajudicial execution, and the systematic destruction of crops and food supplies. Although a verbal ceasefire is in place between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the SPDC, not much has changed for the villagers in the district. KNLA and SPDC military units still occasionally clash. The SPDC has taken advantage of the ceasefire to move more troops into the area and to build new camps. These new camps and troops have meant that the villagers now have to do forced labour building the new camps and portering supplies up to the camps. There are also more troops and camps to demand food and money from the villagers. The many new camps have made it more difficult for internally displaced villagers work their fields or to go to find food..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (9.5MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2004/khrg0401a.html
Date of entry/update: 16 November 2004


Title: Escaped Porters: Kaw Moo Rah Battle
Date of publication: 04 February 1995
Description/subject: _Transport of porters (Stories #1,3), Food and living conditions (#1,3), Beatings (#1,3), Killings (#1,3), Porters in fighting zone (#1,2,3), Making bunkers (#1,2,3), Porters carrying soft drinks (#1), Boy soldiers (#3), Treatment of escaped porters (#1,3), Psychological warfare (#2,3), Extortion and other abuses (#3), Soldier suicide (# 3)._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG # 95-06)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Every Karen Must be Involved in Political Destiny
Date of publication: June 2000
Description/subject: Padoe Saw Ba Thin Sein, chairman of the Karen National Union, spoke to The Irrawaddy recently about a host of issues affecting Burma's longest-running insurgency. In this frank interview, he discusses rumors of "secret meetings" with Rangoon, as well as claims that the KNU has been receiving military support from Thailand and Britain. He also touches on his own role in the KNU and the group's policies on drugs, Internally Displaced Persons, and ICRC visits in Karen State.
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 8, No. 6
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Expansion of the Guerrilla Retaliation Units and Food Shortages
Date of publication: 16 June 2003
Description/subject: KHRG Information Update #2003-U1 June 16, 2003 "The situation faced by the villagers of Toungoo District (see Map 1) is worsening as more and more parts of the District are being brought under the control of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) through the increased militarisation of the region. At any one time there are no fewer than a dozen battalions active in the area. Widespread forced labour and extortion continue unabated as in previous years, with all battalions in the District being party to such practices. The imposition of constant forced labour and the extortion of money and food are among the military’s primary occupations in the area. The strategy of the military is not one of open confrontation with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) – the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU) - but of targeting the civilian population as a means of cutting all lines of support and supply for the resistance movement. There has not been a major offensive in the District since the SPDC launched Operation Aung Tha Pyay in 1995-96; however since that time the Army has been restricting, harassing, and forcibly relocating hill villages to the point where people can no longer live in them. Many of the battalions launch sweeps through the hills in search of villagers hiding there in an effort to drive them out of the hills and into the areas controlled by the SPDC. Fortunately, the areas into which many of them have fled are both rugged and remote, making it difficult for the Army to find them. For those who are discovered, once relocated, they are then exploited as a ready source for portering and other forced labour..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 July 2003


Title: Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 29 June 2009
Description/subject: "While recent media attention has focused on the joint SPDC/DKBA attacks on the KNLA in Pa'an District and the dramatic exodus of at least 3,000 refugees from the area of Ler Per Her IDP camp into Thailand, the daily grind of exploitative treatment by DKBA forces continues to occur across the region. This report presents a breakdown of DKBA Brigade #999 battalions, some recent cases of exploitative abuse by this unit in Pa'an District and a brief overview of the group's transformation into a Border Guard Force as part of the SPDC's planned 2010-election process, in which the DKBA has sought to significantly expand its numbers. Amongst those forcibly recruited for this transformation process was a 17-year-old child soldier injured in the fighting at Ler Per Her, whose testimony is included here..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F11)
Format/size: pdf (549 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f11.html
Date of entry/update: 30 October 2009


Title: Extortion and restrictions under the DKBA in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 16 March 2009
Description/subject: "Recent reports suggest that, in negotiations with State authorities, the DKBA has been able to ensure its long-term political future in Burma by transforming itself into a 'Border Security Force', a title that would nominally place the group within the SPDC hierarchy. Consequently, the DKBA's ongoing restrictions and extortion in T'Nay Hsah and Dta Greh townships of eastern Pa'an District (near the Thai border) may be expected to continue even after the planned 2010 elections. This report examines cases of abuse against villagers by SPDC and DKBA forces in Pa'an District from the end of 2008 to March 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F4)
Format/size: pdf (534 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f4.pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 October 2009


Title: False Peace: Increasing SPDC Military Repression in Toungoo District of Northern Karen State
Date of publication: 25 March 1999
Description/subject: "This report describes the current situation for rural Karen villagers in Toungoo District (known in Karen as Taw Oo), which is the northernmost region of Karen State in Burma. The western part of the district forms part of the Sittaung River valley in Pegu (Bago) Division, and this region is strongly controlled by the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) military junta which rules Burma. Further east, the District is made up of steep and forested hills penetrated by only one or two roads and dotted with small Karen villages; in this region the SPDC is struggling to strengthen its control in the face of armed resistance by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). (Click here to see map) In the strongly SPDC-controlled areas, the villagers suffer from constant demands for forced labour and money from all of the SPDC military units based there, and from the constant threat of punishments should their village fail to comply with any order of the military. In the eastern hills, many villages have been forcibly relocated and partly burned as part of the SPDC’s program of attempting to undermine the resistance by attacking the civilian villagers. Here people are suffering all forms of serious human rights abuses committed by SPDC troops, including random killings, burning of homes, the systematic destruction of crops and food supplies, forced labour, looting and extortion..." Increasing SPDC Military Repression in Toungoo District of Northern Karen State
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #99-02)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Field Reports: 6th Brigade Area
Date of publication: 31 May 1995
Description/subject: "This report contains two elements: human rights abuses in the Kya In Seik Gyi area and testimonies of porters who have escaped SLORC’s offensive against Maw Kee in the Karen National Union’s Sixth Brigade area..." TOPIC SUMMARY: Shootings/killings of villagers (Story #2), torture of villagers (#1,2), torture of family members of suspects (#1,2), abuse of women (#1,2), burning villages (#1), extortion (#1,8), SLORC corruption (#1,6,8), hospital harassment of SLORC victims (#2), blaming abuses on KNU (#2), porters from urban areas (#3-8), killing porters (#3,7), torture of porters (#3-8), porters in battle (#4).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Field Reports: Mergui-Tavoy District
Date of publication: 29 July 1995
Description/subject: "From information provided by the Mergui-Tavoy Information ServiceTOPIC SUMMARY: Ye-Tavoy railway labour (Items #1,4,5), porters (#1-5), army camp labour (#1,2,5), other labour (#2,5), extortion (#1,2,5), looting (#2), killings (#2,3), village burning (#2), land/villages to be destroyed for hydro dam (#1), land destroyed/confiscated for army camps (#2), crop confiscation (#1,2), abuse of women (#2), situation in the schools (#4)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Field Reports: Papun & Nyaunglebin Districts
Date of publication: 25 May 1995
Description/subject: "Papun (Mudraw) District and Nyaunglebin District" [P=Papun (p. 1-2), N=Nyaunglebin (p. 3-7); number indicates incident or story number]: Murder of villagers (#P2,P5,P6,P7,P8,P10,N1), arrest/torture of villagers (#P3,P4,P9,N1), abuse of porters (#N2,N3,N4), women and child porters (#P1), porters wounded/killed by landmines (#P1,N1,N3), other forced labour (#N1), looting (#N1,N2).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Field Reports: Taungoo and Other Districts
Date of publication: 29 February 1996
Description/subject: "This report provides a summary of some of the daily events in Taungoo, Papun, Thaton, Nyaunglebin and Dooplaya districts since September 1995. The information was obtained by KHRG in the form of field reports from human rights monitors and relief workers in Karen districts and from radio messages transmitted by Karen military units in frontline areas. It is far from complete, and should be considered only a representative sampling of the kind of SLORC activities occurring in these areas. Other KHRG reports should also be consulted in order to get a more detailed picture of events. Taungoo District is presently one of the worst hit. SLORC is trying to wipe out all possibility of civilian support for the few KNLA (Karen National Liberation Army) forces still left in the area by forcibly relocating villages, burning villages and crops, destroying food supplies and shooting villagers. Similar abuses are occurring in Papun District as SLORC is forcing all villages to move in order to create a free-fire zone along the Salween River in order to cut KNLA supply lines and block the flow of refugees to Thailand. In Thaton and Nyaunglebin districts, the slightest skirmish with KNLA troops is followed by massive retaliation against villages in the area by SLORC, and in Dooplaya district most villagers are expecting an offensive to begin at any time. All of this is happening at a time when the KNU (Karen National Union) is trying to proceed with ceasefire negotiations with SLORC - however, SLORC appears to believe that it can gain a stronger negotiating position by terrorizing and driving the Karen population into desperation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Field Reports: Taungoo, Thaton & Pa'an Districts
Date of publication: 18 July 1996
Description/subject: "This report provides a summary of some of the daily events in villages of Taungoo, Thaton, and Pa'an districts between February and May 1996. It is an update to "Field Reports: Taungoo and Other Districts" (KHRG #96-10, 29/2/96). The information was obtained by KHRG in the form of field reports from human rights monitors and relief workers in Karen districts and from radio messages transmitted by Karen military units in frontline areas. It is far from complete, and should be considered only a representative sampling of the kind of SLORC activities occurring in these areas. Other KHRG reports should also be consulted in order to get a more detailed picture of events..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Field Reports: Thaton District
Date of publication: 25 January 1995
Description/subject: "The following testimonies and information have been gathered by our human rights monitors from civilian villagers in the Bilin River area and eastward toward the Salween River, in Thaton District of Karen and northeastern Mon States. Names which have been changed to protect people are given in quotation marks. All other names are real. Some details have been omitted from stories to protect people. In the testimonies, SLORC soldiers sometimes mention ‘Ringworm’ and 'Kaw Thoo Lei' - they use both terms to mean 'Karen soldiers’. 'KNU' is short for Karen National Union, the Karen government. All numeric dates are written in dd-mm-yy format. Please feel free to use this report in any way which may help the peoples of Burma, but do not forward it to any SLORC representatives. TOPIC SUMMARY Torture (Stories #1,2,3,4,5,6,8), Execution , (#2,3,4 5,6,7,11), Detention (#1,8,9), Shooting at villagers (#1,3,4,6,7,8,11), Forced labour (#5,7), Looting (#6,10,11), Extortion (#3,4), Burning homes (#6,10,11), Destroying food supplies (#9,10), Threatening a monk (#10), SLORC response when villagers report abuse (#2,3,4), People fleeing villages (#1,3,4,8)..." Bilin, Pa'an, Papun Townships, Thaton District. May-Dec 94; Karen M, F. IT (beating); torture; arbitrary detention; killing; extortion;depletion of village; looting (lists of some items); pillaging (looting and destruction of crops and foodstuffs -- lists); EO; burning of houses.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Flüchtlinge innerhalb Burmas
Description/subject: Innerhalb Burmas, dem heutigen Myanmar, leben 2 Millionen Menschen auf der Flucht, Internally Displaced People (IDP) genannt. Auch viele Karen leben in den unzugänglichen Dschungelgebieten nahe der Grenze zu Thailand.
Author/creator: N.a.
Language: German, Deutsch
Source/publisher: Helfen ohne Grenzen
Format/size: Html (13k)
Date of entry/update: 18 August 2007


Title: Flight of Dta La Ku Villagers in Dooplaya District (Information Update)
Date of publication: 24 September 1998
Description/subject: "Dooplaya District covers much of the southern half of Karen State, from the Myawaddy - Kyone Doh - Pa’an motor road in the north to the Three Pagodas Pass area 160 kilometres (100 miles) further south. In early 1997 the SLORC regime mounted a major military operation and successfully occupied almost all of this area, though the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) is still very active in guerrilla operations. While the SLORC/SPDC has gradually increased its repression to establish control over the area, they have also formed and employed a Karen proxy army called the Karen Peace Army (KPA) under Thu Mu Heh, a former KNLA officer who defected in 1997. The SPDC removed the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) from most of the region and made a show of giving ‘authority’ over the area to the KPA..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Flight, Hunger and Survival: Repression and Displacement in the Villages of Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts
Date of publication: 22 October 2001
Description/subject: "This report documents in detail the plight of villagers and the internally displaced in these two northern Karen regions. Since 1997 the SPDC has destroyed or relocated over 200 villages here, forcing tens of thousands of villagers to flee into hiding in the hills where they are now being hunted down and shot on sight by close to 50 SPDC Army battalions. The troops are now systematically destroying crops, food supplies and farmfields to flush the villagers out of the hills, making the situation increasingly desperate. Meanwhile, those living in the SPDC-controlled villages and relocation sites are fleeing to the hills to join the displaced because they can no longer bear the heavy burden of forced labour, extortion, restrictions on their movement and random torture and executions. KHRG's most intensive research effort to date, this report draws on over 300 interviews with people in the villages and forests, thousands of photographs and hundreds of documents assembled by KHRG researchers in the past 2 years." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2001-03)
Format/size: PDF version 9770K (yes, almost 10 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2001/khrg0103.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Labour and the DKBA in T’Nay Hsah Township, Pa’an District
Date of publication: 22 February 2005
Description/subject: "Much of the fighting between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) and the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has stopped in T’Nay Hsah township of Pa’an District, but this has not resulted in much improvement in the lives of the villagers in the area. Instead, the DKBA and SPDC have been using the opportunity to strengthen their positions in the area. DKBA and SPDC troops have been building and repairing roads and stocking up on rations and ammunition for a possible resumption of hostilities. The labour needed for the roads and the portering has been provided local villagers under the orders of SPDC and DKBA officers. The DKBA in the area has also been conscripting villagers into its ranks..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-B2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 March 2005


Title: Forced Labour Around Taungoo Town
Date of publication: 28 July 1996
Description/subject: "The interviews in this report are with two Karen refugees who recently visited relatives in the plains just east of Taungoo town, in the far north of Karen State. Their accounts focus on the land destruction and forced labour of many villages east of Taungoo for the Pa Thee Chaung (Pa Thee River) hydroelectric dam project, as well as other kinds of forced labour such as standing guard along the roadsides. The Pa Thee dam project started about 2 years ago and is supposed to be completed this year. It has been done entirely with forced labour of villagers, and no compensation has been given to villages, in particular Ywa Gyi village, which have lost their homes and land to the project..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-28)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Labour Briefing Notes
Date of publication: 10 February 1998
Description/subject: "...hese notes list some of the main types of forced labour currently experienced by villagers in most of the main rural Karen areas of Burma, including Karen State, Tenasserim Division, parts of Mon State and Pegu Division, and the Irrawaddy Delta. This list does not include all the types of forced labour, it only tries to give an idea of the main types. For further details on labour conditions and the implementation of this forced labour please see KHRG’s written submission to the ILO Commission of Inquiry dated August 1997. Details and supporting evidence of the situation in each of the areas listed below is available in existing and upcoming KHRG reports. Presently the SPDC is rapidly expanding the concentration of its armed forces in most Karen areas, and the burden of forced labour on all villagers is increasing even more quickly; each Battalion is demanding more and more forced labour of villagers, and the number of these Battalions is also increasing. Several major military offensives have been conducted over the past year, particularly in Dooplaya and Tenasserim, and an offensive is expected soon in Papun District of Karen State. The SPDC has greatly extended its control in Karen areas in the past year, and is continuing on a program to gain complete control over all Karen areas. Forced labour is used both to gain control (as porters, camp labour, etc.) and once control is established (as camp labour, forced labour on roads and other "development", growing cash crops for the military, etc.)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG Articles & Papers)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 November 2009


Title: Forced Labour in the Irrawaddy Delta
Date of publication: 16 May 1996
Description/subject: "The area is fertile farmland with a population which is half Karen and half Burman. Out of sight of the rest of the world and with no easy escape for the people who live there, it has seen some of the SLORC’s worst human rights abuses, particularly after a failed attempt by the Karen National Union to start a Karen uprising there in 1991. Now the region suffers from extensive forced labour on SLORC road-building projects and tourism-related projects such as Bassein Airport and the Nga Saw beach project..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-18)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Labour, Extortion and Abuses in Papun District
Date of publication: 29 July 2006
Description/subject: "As the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) continues its Karen State offensive into the rainy season, villagers living in Lu Thaw township in northern Papun District have come under increasing pressure as a consequence of the military encroachment onto their land. KHRG field researchers have documented attacks on villages, destruction of crops and targeted killings in the area. Villagers residing in Dweh Loh and Bu Tho townships further south, outside the area of the systematic offensive against villages, confront a different pattern of abuse involving constant demands for labour, money, food and building supplies. These villagers are confronted with a situation of heightened insecurity as a consequence of the persistent demands of SPDC and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) forces..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F7)
Format/size: pdf (511 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f11.html
Date of entry/update: 01 August 2006


Title: Forced recruitment, child soldiers and abuse in the army: Interviews with SPDC deserters
Date of publication: 27 April 2009
Description/subject: "This report includes interviews with two deserters who fled the Burma Army in 2008 and spoke to KHRG about their experiences in February 2009. The interviews cover issues of forced recruitment, child soldiers, corruption and theft within the army, low moral and desertion, and the brutal treatment of both civilians and fellow soldiers by armed forces personnel..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F9)
Format/size: pdf (256 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f9.html
Date of entry/update: 30 October 2009


Title: Forced Relocation in Kyauk Kyi Township
Date of publication: 10 June 1993
Description/subject: "Nyaunglebin District. Feb 93. Karen men, women: Forced relocation to undrained land; Only Karen villages made to move; SLORC's control of rice to control the population; forced labour (incl. portering). Description of the difficult economic conditions. Extortion; ransoming; looting. Translation of an official SLORC Relocation Order; economic oppression..." _ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced_
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Relocation in Papun District
Date of publication: 04 March 1996
Description/subject: "SLORC has seriously stepped up its campaign to clear the entire rural population out of Papun District and make the entire area a free-fire zone. Since December 1995, orders have been issued to every rural village under SLORC control from Kyauk Nyat in the north to Ka Dtaing Dtee in the south, from the Salween River (the Thai border) in the east to at least 10 km. west of Papun - an area 50-60 km. north to south and 30 km. east to west. This area is rugged hills dotted with small villages, averaging 10-50 households (population 50-300) per village. Estimates are that 100 or more villages may be affected. Every village has been ordered to move either to SLORC Army camps surrounding Papun, such as Papun, Kaw Boke, Par Haik, or Ka Hee Kyo (all along the Papun - Kyauk Nyat road route) or to DKBA headquarters far to the south at Khaw Taw (Myaing Gyi Ngu) in Pa'an District. The orders have all been issued by SLORC. Generally a SLORC column enters the village with only a few DKBA soldiers accompanying them, and the SLORC officer issues the order. Villagers confirm that DKBA never operates in the area by themselves anymore - DKBA soldiers only appear in small groups as part of SLORC columns. SLORC units involved in the operation include Light Infantry Battalions (LIB) 340, 341, 434, and Infantry Battalion (IB) 5..." KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-11)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Relocation in Thaton District (Preliminary Report)
Date of publication: 09 January 1993
Description/subject: "Bilin and Pa'an Townships of Thaton Dist. Dec 92-Jan 93. Karen men, women and children: SLORC's official announcement of its "Key Village" or strategic hamleting strategy for its Border Areas Development Plan. Analysis by KHRG of the implications of the strategy, followed by interview and list of villages forced to relocate since 5 Dec 92. Forced relocation; Threat of shooting for non-compliance; detention; forced labour incl. forced portering; inhuman treatment(beating); extortion; looting; economic oppression; killing..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Relocation of Villages in Htan Ta Bin Township, Toungoo District, by SLORC
Date of publication: 16 August 1992
Description/subject: "Forced relocation of villages (lists) and extortion..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forgotten Victims of a Hidden War: Internally Displaced Karen in Burma
Date of publication: April 1998
Description/subject: 1. The Karen and Kawthoolei: The Karen; Kawthoolei; The Kawthoolei districts || 2. Displacement and counter-insurgency in Burma: Population displacement in Burma; Protracted ethnic conflict in Burma; Counter-insurgency: the four-cuts || 3. The war in Kawthoolei: Seasonal offensives: the moving front line and refugee flows, 1974-92; Cease-fires (1992-94) and the renewal of offensives (1995-97) || 4. Internal displacement in Kawthoolei: Counter-insurgency and displacement in Kawthoolei; Displacement in Kawthoolei; The situation of IDPs in Kawthoolei districts; Extent of population displacement in Kawthoolei; Patterns of displacement; Factors preventing the IDPs returning home; Factors preventing the IDPs becoming refugees in Thailand; Vulnerability of IDPs; Note on forced relocations sites || 5.Assistance: International responses to IDPs; International responses to IDPs in Burma; Responses inside Burma; The response from the border area to Karen IDPs || 6.Protection: Refugees on the Thai-Burma border: international assistance with limited protection; The case of the repatriation of the Mon; The Karen: the problem of security; Assistance and protection: refugees and IDPs; The need for leverage; Transition from armed conflict || Appendix III: Interview at Mae La (This version lacks the maps and tables)
Author/creator: Brother Amoz, Steven Lanjouw, Saw Pay Leek, Dr. Em Marta, Graham Mortimer, Alan Smith, Saw David Taw, Pah Hsaw Thut, Saw Aung Win, Saw Kwe Htoo Win
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Ethnic Research Group (BERG) and Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Format/size: PDF (570K, 505K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.internal-displacement.org/8025708F004CE90B/(httpDocuments)/0787CA1BCAB95999802570B700599932/$file/Berg+Karen+IDP+report.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Free-Fire Zones in Southern Tenasserim (Information Update)
Date of publication: 20 August 1997
Description/subject: "In September 1996, the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) military junta ruling Burma began a campaign of forced relocations and forced-labour road building in the Palauk-Palaw, Mergui and Tenasserim regions in Tenasserim (Taninthari) Division of southern Burma. The campaign, which intensified in January 1997, involved the forced relocation and destruction of at least 60 Karen villages as well as clampdowns on Burman and Mon villages in a region measuring about 140 km. north-south and 20-30 km. east-west. This land corridor lies between the Andaman Sea coastal motor road in the west and the Tenasserim River valley in the east, from Palauk (100 km. south of Tavoy) in the north to Tenasserim town in the south (see map with this report)..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #97-09)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: From Prison to Frontline: Portering for SPDC Troops during the Offensive in Eastern Karen State, Burma, September-October 2003.
Date of publication: January 2005
Description/subject: "...In November 2003, in the wake of the joint military offensive by the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) and the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army), Burma Issues set about documenting the systematic use of prisoners as porters for military purposes. This practice constitutes an egregious human rights abuse. Research for the project began with interviews with twenty-two escapees who had taken refuge near the Thai-Burma border. We dealt with issues such as their prison lives, their journey to the conflict area, their treatment at the hands of the soldiers, their experiences in battle, and also their experiences relating to landmines. We then proceeded to conduct more in-depth research to supplement this invaluable first hand information. We have compiled the analysis and present our findings in this report..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Issues
Format/size: pdf (545K - OBL version; 709K - original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/images/stories/pdfreports/from%20prison%20to%20frontline.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 June 2005


Title: Functionally Refoulement: Camps in Tha Song Yang District abandoned as refugees bow to pressure
Date of publication: 01 April 2010
Description/subject: "Two temporary refugee camps established during June 2009 in Tha Song Yang District, Tak Province, Thailand, to provide refuge for villagers that fled increased conflict and exploitative abuse in Pa’an District have now been all but entirely abandoned. The camps were home to more than 2,409 refugees as recently as January 2010; over the last two months, the camp populations have dwindled as small groups have departed one by one. On March 31st and April 1st, the last residents of the Nong Bua and Mae U Su sites left in two large groups, of 24 and 102 families respectively. This report details the circumstances of the refugees’ departure, including interviews that indicate refugees left because of a persistent campaign of harassment by soldiers of the Royal Thai Army (RTA), who pressured the refugees to return to Burma in spite of warnings that safe return is not currently possible. The report also details the dangers returned refugees may face, including risks from landmines as well as violent and exploitative abuse by the DKBA and SPDC Army. This section also includes details regarding the death and injury of two young boys that accidentally detonated an unexploded M79 round they found outside the village of Mae La Ah Kee on March 31st 2010. Highlighting the risks returned refugees may face, the boys came from a family that had been forced out of the Mae U Su site by RTA soldiers at the end of the rainy season 2009."
Language: Eng;lish
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F3)
Format/size: pdf (756K - report; 312K - appendices)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10f3_Appendixes.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 October 2010


Title: Human Rights in Rural Burma (Information Update)
Date of publication: 30 April 1998
Description/subject: "In November 1997 the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) military junta ruling Burma changed its name to the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC). However, there was no change in the four key leaders of the junta, and judging by the testimonies of villagers throughout Burma and the continuation of all of the regime’s military operations, there has been no change in policy; in fact, the forced relocations and related abuses occurring in many rural parts of the country have only intensified, making it appear that the SPDC regime is even more ruthless and repressive than the SLORC ever was. Like many dictatorships, the SLORC/SPDC is an extremely paranoid regime, believing that it must control every inch of territory and the daily lives of every citizen of Burma; that if it relaxes its repression for one moment, the people will rise and destroy it. This mentality explains the junta’s refusal to negotiate or compromise with its opponents, even in situations where there would be nothing to lose by doing so. SPDC leaders regularly state that "only the Army can hold the country together", and they feel that to do this the Army must control absolutely everything which happens in the country..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Articles and Papers)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Human Rights Trends in Rural Eastern Burma
Date of publication: 29 June 1999
Description/subject: "...The human rights situation for people in rural villages of eastern Burma continues to worsen, affecting subsistence farmers and poor labourers of all ethnicities, Burman and non-Burman. This is occurring not only in the context of campaigns against resistance forces, but as an overall SPDC strategy of complete subjugation of the population in all areas whether there is fighting or not. In areas where there is no longer any resistance at all, abuses such as executions and rape tend to decrease somewhat, but extortion, looting and the systematic use of forced labour all increase until many villagers find that they can no longer survive in their traditional way of life..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Articles and Papers
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Hunger Wielded as a Weapon in Thaton District
Date of publication: 20 September 2006
Description/subject: "In March and April 2006, SPDC and DKBA units deliberately targeted and destroyed dozens of hill fields belonging to villagers from three villages in Bilin township of Thaton District in the southwest of Karen State. Burning the fields too early in the growing cycle severely restricts the proportion of the field that can be planted, which in turn limits the size of the harvest. Both the SPDC and the DKBA know this and the burning of these fields represents a systematic campaign of crop destruction intended to obstruct the villagers’ access to food and in effect starve them out of the hills. The villagers already suffer from food shortages, and this latest move by the military will only aggravate the situation. The next paddy harvest due in November will be severely reduced as a result, and these villagers will face even more serious food shortages for the coming year..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B11)
Format/size: pdf (490K)
Date of entry/update: 21 September 2006


Title: IDPs, land confiscation and forced recruitment in Papun District
Date of publication: 01 July 2009
Description/subject: "In the northernmost township of Papun District, Burma Army troops deployed as part of an ongoing offensive in northern Karen State were withdrawn from 13 of 46 army camps in the district between the end of 2008 and the start of 2009. Although this has opened some space for villagers, they report continued patrols, restricted access to farmland and severe food shortages. Elsewhere in the district where SPDC control is more comprehensive, villagers report forced labour and land confiscation for road construction as well as conscription as 'human minesweepers' and into the local government militia. This report presents information on ongoing abuses committed by SPDC forces in Papun District from February to May 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F12)
Format/size: pdf (498 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f12.html
Date of entry/update: 30 October 2009


Title: Incident report: Four villagers forced to guide Tatmadaw troops in Thaton District
Date of publication: 19 January 2012
Description/subject: "The following incident report was written by a villager trained by KHRG to document human rights abuses, and details an incident that occurred in May 2011 during which Tatmadaw soldiers from LIB #216 arrested four villagers in Bilin Township, including two village headwomen, and forced them to accompany troops on active patrol. The two village headwomen told the villager who wrote this report that the Tatmadaw soldiers did not provide them with water nor allow them to return to their own village at night, forcing them to sleep in a monastery with the soldiers. One of the women said that the Tatmadaw soldiers told her that they were afraid they were going to be shot at by KNLA soldiers at the time she was forced to accompany them. The following morning, the four villagers successfully negotiated with the Tatmadaw commanding officers to secure their release and received 8,000 kyat (US $ 10.39) split unevenly between the four of them as compensation."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (269K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b5.html
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Incident Report: Villager shot and killed in Pa’an District, October 2011 [News Bulletin]
Date of publication: 01 December 2011
Description/subject: Dec 1st, 2011 The following report was written by a villager trained by KHRG to document human rights abuses, and details an incident that occurred on October 29th 2011 in P--- village, during which soldiers from Tatmadaw IB #230 fired small arms at three civilians as they fled their house in P--- village, and two KNLA soldiers who had been cooking food in the house. Saw A---, a 36-year-old married farmer who had returned to P--- to help his wife’s family harvest paddy, was shot in the head and killed as the group ran away from the house The villager who wrote this report visited P--- village two weeks after the incident occurred to document the incident: the villager took the 32 photographs included in this report; spoke with Saw A---’s brother-in-law and mother-in-law, who were the other two civilians who fled the IB #230 soldiers and witnessed Saw A---’s death; and spoke with another P--- resident who heard the gunfire and witnessed the soldiers entering the house after the group fled. The full transcript of a recorded audio interview with Saw A---’s brother-in-law is available in the bulletin "Pa’an Interview: Saw C---, November 2011" published by KHRG on December 1st 2011.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (500K - OBL version; 930K - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b50.html
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b50.pdf
Date of entry/update: 19 January 2012


Title: Incident Reports
Date of publication: 27 January 1992
Description/subject: Forced relocation of villagers in Mergui District (Sept 91): rape of Karen women; forced relocation. Karen civilian casualties in the Delta region (from Oct 91): men, elders and pastors; bombing and strafing of a school (41 children killed); mass killing; torture; religious intolerance; torture and detention of pastors; disappearance (list of victims). Arrests, looting and murder of civilians in Mergui and Tavoy districts (June, Sept, Oct, 91): Karen, Tavoyan men, women, children (list of victims, including a Christian pastor and his children). ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg92/index.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Incident Reports from Toungoo District
Date of publication: 23 September 1992
Description/subject: Portering; extortion; Inhuman treatment (beating a porter to unconsciousness then burying him up to his neck.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Incidents Reported from Karen Villages
Date of publication: 15 November 1993
Description/subject: "March-October 92, Nyaunglebin District. Karen men, women, children: Torture; Violence against Women; rape: arbitrary detention; extortion; ransoming; rape and subsequent death of a 7-year old girl; economic catastrophe caused by economic oppression; pillaging (destruction of crops and livestock); malnourished children; high child mortality; forced relocation; Tatmadaw impounds and controls distribution of rice; army defectors; persecution of the Karen Women's Organisation; looting; killing; forced labour incl. portering; SLORC spies. June-October 93, Dooplaya District: Burning, destruction of village, church and monastery; torture and killing of village headman; looting; inhuman treatment; arbitrary detention; extortion; forced portering; ransoming; Use of villagers as a shield. Reprisals; forced labour for road- and bridge-building. List of villages pressed into forced labour; forced marriage..." _ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced_
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Incoming Field Reports
Date of publication: 23 September 1994
Description/subject: "Karen men, women, children. Arbitrary detention; ransoming; inhuman treatment (beating). Corresponding Orders to the villages. Dwe Law Township (Papun): reprisal killing; arbitrary detention; hostage taking; torture. Thaton District: extortion; killing; torture; pillaging (destroying paddy); looting. Nyaunglebin District: Forced portering; Inhuman treatment:(beating, deprivation of food and medicine); killing..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Incoming Field Reports
Date of publication: 29 April 1994
Description/subject: _Tavoy District: forced conscription; penalties and rewards. Papun District: torture; killing; looting. Kyauk Kyi Township: killing; gang rape; looting; burning village; forced relocation; extortion. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced_
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Inside the DKBA
Date of publication: 31 March 1996
Description/subject: "This report is intended to provide some insight into the current workings of the DKBA (Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army) through interviews with people who are or have been part of the DKBA, people who have been prisoners of the DKBA, and other general information sources such as the 1996 DKBA Calendar. The report consists of 2 parts: a summary of information about the DKBA, followed by related interviews. For more background on the formation and operations of the DKBA, the reader should see other KHRG reports such as "SLORC's Northern Karen Offensive" (KHRG #95-10, 29/3/95), "New Attacks on Karen Refugee Camps" (KHRG #95-16, 5/5/95), "SLORC / DKBA Activities in Kawkareik Township" (KHRG #95-23, 10/7/95), "SLORC / DKBA Activities: Northern Karen Districts" (KHRG #95-24, 18/7/95), "SLORC / DKBA Activities: Pa'an District" (KHRG #96-05, 14/1/96), "Forced Relocations in Papun District" (KHRG #96-11, 4/3/96), etc..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-14)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Interview Annex to "Starving Them Out"
Date of publication: 31 March 2000
Description/subject: Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG (#2000-02A)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Interviews from Northern Pa'an District
Date of publication: 04 August 1996
Description/subject: "The following interviews are with villagers from Dta Greh Township in Pa’an District of Karen State. (In Burmese, Dta Greh is called Pain Kyone and SLORC considers it to be in Hlaing Bwe township.) The area is 40-50 km. northeast of Pa’an, just west of the Dawna Range and the Thai border. SLORC (Burmese military junta), DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, allied to SLORC), and KNU (Karen National Union, fighting SLORC and DKBA) forces all operate in the area, and the villagers are caught in the middle, having their livestock killed and their money extorted from them by all 3 groups. Furthermore, anyone or any village suspected of helping one group is certain to be punished by one of the others, including the possibility of executions or destruction of the village. SLORC in particular has a policy of relocating and destroying villages which have the potential to provide voluntary or involuntary support to KNU forces. As part of this policy, in Dta Greh township SLORC ordered the villages of Ta Ku Klaw and Kwee Pa Taw to relocate to Naw Ter Hta in January, while Noh Law Bler village was ordered to move to Tee Per. Then in May, Tee Po Lay Kee and K’Law Lu villages were ordered to move to Tee Per and these villages were immediately burned down by SLORC and DKBA forces..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-33)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Interviews from the Irrawaddy Delta
Date of publication: 26 July 1996
Description/subject: "The following accounts were given in interviews with people from the Irrawaddy Delta region southwest of Rangoon. The area is fertile farmland with a population which is half Karen and half Burman. Out of sight of the rest of the world and with no easy escape for the people who live there, it has seen some of the SLORC’s worst human rights abuses, particularly after a failed attempt by the Karen National Union to start an armed Karen uprising there in 1991. The events of late 1991, now known in the area as the ‘Bogalay Crisis’, led to a retaliation by SLORC in which thousands of Karen villagers, elders and clerics were imprisoned, tried en masse and sentenced to several years in prison, disenfranchised or executed. SLORC declared the entire region a ‘black area’, meaning combat units and tactics and summary military executions, torture and detention are practiced there with complete impunity. (SLORC divides the map into ‘white’, meaning fully SLORC-controlled; ‘brown’, meaning resistance forces operate in the area; and ‘black’, meaning the area is viewed as being resistance-controlled.) Even now, though there has been no armed resistance whatsoever since 1991, parts of the area are still treated as ‘black’. Now the region suffers from extensive forced labour on SLORC road-building projects and tourism-related projects such as Bassein Airport and the Nga Saw beach project, as well as draconian crop confiscation and land confiscation schemes. As one of the farmers in this report testifies, hundreds of farmers in Nyaung Done Township were arrested, detained, and lost their land in May 1996 simply because they couldn’t hand over a rice quota under a new SLORC dry-season paddy scheme..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Interviews With SLORC Army Deserters
Date of publication: 18 May 1996
Description/subject: "The following accounts of life in SLORC's Army were given by four deserters who fled to opposition-held territory or to Thailand, one fleeing in Tenasserim Division of southern Burma around New Year of 1996, the other three fleeing Pa'an District, much further north, in March 1996. As they fled two different battalions in two different areas, their treatment and experiences differ somewhat; however, for the most part their stories are similar and reflect the hardship and brutality of life as a rank and file soldier in the SLORC Army. In the interviews, the soldiers mention radio broadcasts on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and VOA (Voice of America). These two foreign Burmese-language shortwave services are almost the only source of objective news to people in Burma. Some other abbreviations used: MNLA = Mon National Liberation Army, which made a ceasefire deal with SLORC in June 1995; DKBA = Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army, a Karen faction created in December 1994 which is now allied with SLORC; KNU = Karen National Union, the main Karen opposition organization; IB = (SLORC) Infantry Battalion; LIB = (SLORC) Light Infantry Battalion..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-19)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Farmers in the Irrawaddy Delta: Suffering under the SLORC
Date of publication: 13 August 1992
Description/subject: "Late 91-May 92. Karen men, women, children: Disappearances; arbitrary detention; looting; pillaging; extortion; forced conscription; forced labour; violation of ethnic language education rights..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Commentary #96
Date of publication: 26 May 1996
Description/subject: "Killing, torture, land confiscation, forced relocation... in Karen areas. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #96-C2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary # 94
Date of publication: 06 June 1994
Description/subject: "...Just when we think the SLORC already has enough in its inventory of brutality, it amazes us by coming up with even more dirty tricks. Now the regional SLORC commanders have called most of the village heads in Thaton District to a meeting, and informed them that "In the future, for every one of our soldiers who dies we will execute 5 of your villagers." This order appears to have come from Rangoon, and it is a frightening omen of the way SLORC is going. The SLORC's demands for "compensation" from villagers are ever-increasing. Every time they lose a truck to a Karen landmine, they now systematically demand 50,000 Kyat from each of up to 10 or 12 surrounding villages, and 100,000 from the nearest village. One written order from 42 Infantry Battalion states that the next time a truck explodes, they will demand 1 million Kyat, which must be paid within 7 days or all surrounding villages will be burned down - and from then on, villagers will be forced to ride along on all SLORC trucks. Along with the existing heavy burdens of "porter fees" and food looting, villagers are now forced to pay "taxes" on every farm field and on many of their tools such as woodcutting saws. In many villages, every time they boil their sugarcane into jaggery, the SLORC then either comes and confiscates it or "buys" it from them, then forces them to "buy" it back at a much higher price. Soldiers no longer eat their own rations - they force the villagers to buy them at inflated prices, then loot food back from the villagers..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Commentary (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 November 2009


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary # 98
Date of publication: 19 April 1998
Description/subject: "There is no doubt that life is currently becoming worse for the vast majority of people in Burma, in both urban and rural areas. In urban areas, people are plagued by high inflation, rapidly increasing prices for basic commodities such as rice and basic foodstuffs, the tumbling value of the Kyat, wages which are not enough to feed oneself, corruption by all arms of the military and civil service, and the ever-present fear of arbitrary arrest for the slightest act or statement that betrays opposition to the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) junta..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #98-C1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #2000-C2
Date of publication: 06 April 2000
Description/subject: After they get a lot of paddy, they report to other countries that their country produces a lot of paddy. But really they beat civilians and take the paddy from us. They are just starting to do this now so we still have enough rice to eat, but if they keep doing this for many years, I don't think there will be enough.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Commentaries (KHRG #2000-C2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #94, Feb 23
Date of publication: 23 February 1994
Description/subject: "...There has been a lot of attention given to the Karen National Union's recent statement that they are willing to hold talks with SLORC on their own. Despite the fact that the SLORC continues to refuse the most basic requirements to make these talks a reality, such as a neutral venue with foreign observers, many people worldwide are assuming that the talks will occur regardless, and that the SLORC has suddenly miraculously transformed into a responsible entity that wants peace and development. Many people also assume that with "peace talks" in the works, the SLORC must have stopped its human rights abuses. After all, that's what any sane regime would do. But not the SLORC. And those who are inclined to think otherwise should remember the saying, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it." Anyone who believes that the SLORC's recent "peace" initiatives are sincere should remember past SLORC promises, like free and fair elections, a speedy transfer of power, the complete end of offensive action against the ethnic peoples, and the promises to abide by the Geneva Conventions and the International Declaration on Rights of the Child, among other signed documents now lying tattered, torn and ignored in Rangoon. The current approach some are taking, of increasingly trying to appease and befriend the SLORC because although it is illegitimate, it definitely appears to be entrenched, bears frightening similarity to the appeasement and befriending of Hitler by European nations during the 1930's. Like the SLORC, Hitler signed countless declarations of peace and was always full of talk about "peaceful solutions", and the European countries continued to accept these while ignoring his actions on the ground at a time when they could have stopped him. We all know the price they paid. This is not to say that the SLORC is about to invade the rest of Asia; but there is always a price to be paid for appeasing a gang of thugs, be they Nazis or Burmese Generals. Sadly, it is the innocent people of Burma who pay the heaviest price, now and in the future..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG )
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 November 2009


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #95-C2
Date of publication: 09 May 1995
Description/subject: "...SLORC is now directly involved in planning, preparing, coordinating and executing acts of international terrorism. Its role in the attacks on refugee camps in Thailand cannot be denied, despite all its claims that the attacks are only the work of the DKBA ('Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army'). Eyewitnesses have seen SLORC soldiers participating in almost every attack, while letters and orders from SLORC officers have referred to their 'control' over the DKBA. Furthermore, the latest wave of attacks, which employed several hundred men operating on different parts of the border with mortar support from a SLORC-controlled area on the Burma side of the border, simply could not have been planned and coordinated without direct SLORC involvement. If the refugees return, SLORC stands to gain alot of international legitimacy while simultaneously obtaining alot of free labourers for its military 'development' projects. Initially the DKBA tried to use agressive persuasion and threats. Then when that didn't work quickly enough, DKBA and SLORC began attacking the refugee camps, kidnapping or killing camp leaders and religious leaders, shooting refugees and threatening everyone with further attacks (see "SLORC's Northern Karen Offensive", KHRG #95-10, 29/3/95). Since February, these attacks have been happening several times a week and at almost every camp. By April, camp security forces had formed and were beginning to thwart many of the attacks. Some refugees were returning to Burma, but only a small minority. Then on April 25, SLORC and the DKBA launched the apparent 'Third Phase' of the strategy by hitting Mae Ra Ma Luang (which hadn't been attacked before) and Kamaw Lay Ko camps on the same day, then hitting Baw Noh camp on April 28 (see "New Attacks on Karen Refugee Camps", KHRG #95-16, 5/5/95). These attacks were completely different: they attacked brazenly with at least 50 or 100 heavily armed troops, in broad daylight in 2 out of 3 cases, and they showed no hesitation to attack Thai forces even without being provoked. At Baw Noh, they even had Burmese 81 mm. mortar support fired from the Burma side of the border. Furthermore, the attacks were no longer targetted at specific camp leaders or just a few houses, but aimed to destroy the camps wholesale by burning them down. 170 houses were burned in Mae Ra Ma Luang, 300 in Kamaw Lay Ko and over 700 in Baw Noh. During the attacks, DKBA troops made it clear to refugees that they also had orders to capture or kill foreign aid workers in the camps if possible..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #95-C2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #95-C3
Date of publication: 22 July 1995
Description/subject: Human Rights violations by SLORC and DKBA in Karen areas "...Everyone in the world who is interested in Burma, and even many people who aren't, are now talking about the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. But for most of the 40 million rural villagers in Burma, that is all very far away and there are more immediate and important issues to think about - like survival until next week. In Burman areas villagers are starving under the weight of SLORC demands for extortion money. Shan villagers are under increasingly heavy attack by a huge SLORC military force which is burning their villages and taking them as porters (with the tacit consent of the international community, which seems to consider all men, women and children in Shan State villages to be heroin-trafficking fiends). SLORC has broken its ceasefire with the Karenni National Progressive Party by taking thousands of villagers as porters and sending several Battalions to invade areas ceded to the Karenni in the ceasefire deal just 2 months ago. Several battalions of SLORC troops have resumed their attacks on Karen areas in Mergui-Tavoy District's Kaser Doh Township, forcing entire villages to flee. Further north in Papun District, SLORC troops have been marauding villages together with DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) units, looting, burning, and terrorizing villagers into relocation camps. Refugees spill across the border into Thailand, several thousand from Karenni, several thousand more try from Shan State but are blocked by Thai weaponry, and close to a thousand from Papun District, saying that there are a few thousand more trying to come, hiding and starving in the jungle, blockaded by walls of SLORC troops. In Rangoon, one woman walks out of her house into the street. Which is the true reality of Burma?.."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #95-C3)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #97
Date of publication: 20 September 1997
Description/subject: "Forced labour, Killing, torture, looting and pillaging, burning of villages, in Karen, Karenni and Shan areas.."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #97-C2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #97
Date of publication: 28 July 1997
Description/subject: "Forced labour, forced relocation, destruction of villages, killings, torture, in Karen, Karenni areas, including Tenasserim. Muslims. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #97-C1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #99-C1
Date of publication: 25 May 1999
Description/subject: "... The rainy season appears to be beginning early this year, and as the rains begin many people look back and evaluate the past dry season. Though the period since October/November 1998 has not featured a major military offensive, the situation for rural villagers in eastern Burma has continued to deteriorate and there have been some extremely worrying new developments. In general, the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) regime has continued to use increased militarisation, forced relocations and tighter controls on villagers as a means of consolidating its control over remote regions, and as a result more and more villagers are becoming internally displaced each month while life becomes even more desperate for those who are already displaced and hiding in the forests. This dry season the SPDC has also added a new weapon to its arsenal which is now terrorising villagers and driving many of them to flight: the ‘Sa Thon Lon Guerrilla Retaliation’ execution squads. Sa Thon Lon is an abbreviation for the Bureau of Special Investigations, a branch of the SPDC’s Directorate of Defence Services Intelligence (DDSI) headed by Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, who is also Secretary-1 of the SPDC..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG #99-C1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Karen Human Rights Group Commentary #99-C2
Date of publication: 16 September 1999
Description/subject: "...From 1988 to 1992, the most common word in the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) military junta’s rhetoric was ‘crush’ – Crush all Destructive Elements, Crush All Those Seeking the Disintegration of the Union – and this was backed up by constant military offensives against non-Burman ethnic peoples and pro-democracy groups. From mid-1992 until 1994, the rhetoric changed as the SLORC began courting the favour of the international community by signing several ceasefire deals and talking about ‘peace’, ‘development’, ‘open market economics’ and ‘proceeding towards multi-party democracy’. The international community, always eager for trade with resource-rich and cheap-labour countries, began to respond warmly, even though the human rights situation on the ground continued to worsen..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #99-C2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: KHRG Information Update (September 1999)
Date of publication: 27 August 1999
Description/subject: Central Karen State: New Refugees Fleeing Forced Relocation, Rape and Use as Human Minesweepers. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: KHRG Photo Gallery 2006
Date of publication: 31 March 2007
Description/subject: "This gallery presents 1,000 photos taken by KHRG researchers in the field throughout 2006 and the first days of 2007, divided into thematic sections including a major section documenting the SPDC's attacks on northern Karen villages throughout the year and the response of villagers living there."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html (11K)
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2007


Title: KHRG Photo Gallery: 2005
Date of publication: 06 April 2006
Description/subject: This gallery presents over 300 photos taken throughout 2005 and the opening days of 2006 by Karen Human Rights Group researchers in rural southeastern Burma. It follows up on KHRG Photo Set 2005A (May 2005), which gives more information and background on the situation in these regions. This gallery provides less background information - it is more of an update to our past photo sets, providing a compendium of photos from the field. It will soon be followed by a similar gallery for 2006, which will be built progressively online as photos are received...Taken together, the photos presented here try to provide a holistic view of the suffering imposed on villagers in Karen regions, but also to show their resilience and resourcefulness in resisting this suffering despite the immense force deployed against them and the lack of anything but a tiny trickle of outside help. We hope that the viewer will take away an awareness of the scale of human rights abuses being committed and the resulting suffering, but also a recognition of the strength of the villagers and their capacity and right to control their own lives and the political and humanitarian processes which affect them... 1. Destruction and Flight in Hee Daw Khaw village 2. Occupation and Displacement in Ler Wah area 3. Forced Labour 3.1 Convict Porters 4. Detention, Torture and Killings 5. Landmines 6. Extortion and Looting 7. Land Destruction and Confiscation 8. Movement Restrictions 9. Displacement and Campaigns Against Villagers 10. Living with the Army 11. Education and 'Development' Projects 12. Soldiers Appendix 1: KHRG Map of Burma Appendix 2: Map of Karen Districts Appendix 3: Map Room (for more detailed maps)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-P1)
Format/size: html,
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2006


Title: KHRG Photo Set 2001-A
Date of publication: 14 September 2001
Description/subject: "Over 400 photos from Papun, Nyaunglebin, Toungoo, Thaton, Pa'an and Dooplaya Districts showing many aspects of the situation for villagers over the past year. Contains sections on Forced Labour; Forced Relocations & Restrictions; Attacks on Villages & Village Destruction; Detention & Torture; Shootings & Killings; Flight & Displacement; Landmines; Soldiers; and Children."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2001-P1)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: KHRG Shelling Attack on Sho Kloh Refugee Camp (Information Update)
Date of publication: 19 June 1996
Description/subject: "At 6:10 p.m. on Thursday June 13, DKBA/SLORC on the Burma side of the Moei River commenced shelling Sho Kloh refugee camp, home to about 10,000 Karen refugees 110 km. north of the Thai town of Mae Sot. The camp is about 1 km. inside Thai territory. Over the space of 20 minutes, the attackers fired 4 to 6 mortar shells, later identified as Chinese 60mm. shells (which are part of SLORC's armoury but not of opposition groups). The shells were aimed at the centre of the camp. The first impacted by a stream towards one side of the camp, and the following shells were 'walked in' (target adjusted step by step) until they hit near the hospital (the hospital was also the target of a previous armed DKBA assault against the camp). Another shell exploded close to the Buddhist temple..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Legal Memorandum: War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Eastern Myanmar
Date of publication: 05 November 2014
Description/subject: Conclusion: "...This memorandum describes a Myanmar military counterinsurgency offensive that involved the widespread targeting of civilians in northern Kayin State and eastern Bago Division. Myanmar Army soldiers fired mortars at villages, opened fire on fleeing villagers, destroyed homes, laid landmines in civilian locations, forced villagers to work and porter, and captured and executed civilians. The impact on the population was massive. Tens of thousands of individuals were displaced during the campaign and many were killed. In Thandaung Township—the area which was the focus of the Clinic’s investigation—nearly every village was affected by the Offensive and almost all of the villagers residing in black areas were forced to flee. Evidence collected by the Clinic during the investigation demonstrates that the actions of Myanmar Army personnel during the Offensive constitute crimes under international criminal law. These crimes include the war crimes of attacking civilians, displacing civilians, destroying or seizing the enemy’s property, pillage, murder, execution without due process, torture, and outrages upon personal dignity, and the crimes against humanity of forcible transfer of a population, murder, enslavement, torture, and other inhumane acts. The Clinic has also collected evidence relevant to the war crime of rape, as well as the crimes against humanity of rape and persecution. More research and analysis is necessary to determine whether these crimes could be included in a criminal case associated with the Offensive..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School
Format/size: pdf (850-reduced version; 4.4MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://hrp.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014.11.05-IHRC-Legal-Memorandum.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2014


Title: Letters from the Irrawaddy Delta
Date of publication: 06 December 1993
Description/subject: "91-93. Karen men, women, children: On 4 Oct 91 3000 people were jailed. 200 died. Farms were confiscated; 1000 urban people were jailed. Large-scale killings; rape; looting; forced labour. Religious intolerance: arbitrary detention (pastors jailed, Christians forced to follow Buddhist rites and prohibited from studying Gospel); forced conscription, including children; burning of villages; inhuman treatmentin the course of forced labour; looting; strafing of villages from the air; Mass killings; killing of headman; extortion; child malnutrition; disappearances..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Life as a Village Head
Date of publication: 01 July 1995
Description/subject: "Testimony by a refugee woman in Thailand who used to be a village headwoman in Kawkareik Township..." "Villages can have several types of "village heads". First there are village elders, who become elders according to traditional practices and are recognized and respected by all the villagers; one of them is generally chosen as the village head. Then there is the "SLORC village head", sometimes called the "Village LORC [Ya Wa Ta] chairman". This person is appointed by SLORC, often against his or her will, to chair the Village LORC committee, whose members are also appointed by SLORC frequently against their will. The Village LORC committee is responsible for all village liaison with SLORC, organizing and sending people for forced labour, extortion money, food, etc., and constantly going to the local Army camps to give intelligence reports and receive orders. Village LORC members are tortured or killed whenever an order is not obeyed or whenever the village is suspected of aiding resistance forces, which explains why most people do not want this job. In this woman's village, it appears that the villagers choose the SLORC village head by rotation rather than having the SLORC choose. Then in Karen areas there is usually a KNU village head, who handles liaison with Karen soldiers and organizing the food, porters, recruits etc. which they demand. SLORC is constantly trying to find out who is the KNU village head so that they can execute him - often KNU village heads have to flee the village, and if his family is left behind then SLORC will generally arrest and torture them instead..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-21)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Life in Burma’s Relocation Sites
Date of publication: January 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: :Widespread human rights violations have been occurring in ethnic areas of Burma since the late nineteen sixties. This report, based on a 2008/9 field survey, focuses on the government’s use of mass displacement and relocation designed to destabilize the ethnic populations of Karen State. The government first initiated a policy of ethnic relocation in Karen State in 1975 as part of what became known as the four cuts campaign, a policy intended to deprive the ethnic resistance movement of food, money, intelligence and recruits. While noting the existence of such earlier camps, this report specifically examines the lives of people living in sites after a further concerted effort to control the civilian population was initiated in 2006. This report identifies three types of site created by the military regime. The first, roughly translated from Burmese as ‘model’ villages, are some of the most recent examples and have been created under the guise of development; the second type, initiated in 1979, are primarily security driven and have resulted in highland villages being relocated to the plains; the third, which are also security initiated and mainly located in Taungoo, consists of villages cleared from areas of military infrastructure. Villagers in this latter type, unlike the previous two, have been given no provision for relocation; rather, the population was told to vacate the area with little regard as to where they would go. Relocated villagers, despite the fact that purported contact with resistance forces has all but been eradicated, continue to face severe abuses by Burmese authorities. Forced labour on infrastructure projects and military controlled business is widespread. Villagers are ordered to act as sentries, messengers, porters and minesweepers by the Burma Army. Corruption and illegal taxation is prevalent in all the sites assessed. In addition, the opportunity for making a living has been drastically reduced. Malnutrition, especially in infants, has increased and is exacerbated by army restrictions that prevent villagers from access to food, medicine and education. This report identifies serious issues of concern that continue to affect the ethnic populations of Burma. It highlights the government’s disregard for the rights of its people and its blatant use of the local population as little more than a captive workforce to be used as the military dictates."
Author/creator: Paul Keenan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Ethnic Nationalities Council
Format/size: pdf (3.6MB)
Date of entry/update: 03 August 2010


Title: Living Conditions Around Pa'an Town
Date of publication: 05 May 1993
Description/subject: "Description with agricultural details by someone who worked in the Agriculture Corporation of the effect of SLORC's "official" and unofficial extortion, which impoverishes the people; Extortionate "beautification" schemes which frequently force people out of their homes; land confiscation; forced labour; eviction from towns; forced relocation; economic oppression..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Male Porter Testimonies
Date of publication: 17 February 1993
Description/subject: "Late 92, Burman M (from cities): Killing; extortion; inhuman treatment(beating, incl. beating to death, deprivation of sleep, food, water, medicine); abandonment of wounded soldiers; porters forced to go ahead of the march as human minesweepers..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Media Release - Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar
Date of publication: 25 April 2007
Description/subject: Response by the Office of the (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar to the report, "Development by Decree: The politics of poverty and control in Karen State" published by the Karen Human Rights Group on 24 April 2007.
Language: English
Source/publisher: United Nations Information Centre, Yangon
Format/size: pdf (9.7K)
Date of entry/update: 01 May 2007


Title: Media release – response to UN statement on KHRG report
Date of publication: 26 April 2007
Description/subject: "(Bangkok, April 26th 2007) – On Wednesday April 25th 2007, the United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar released a statement in response to KHRG’s recently released report Development by Decree: The politics of poverty and control in Karen State. KHRG welcomes the UN’s response and appreciates the Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator’s acknowledgement that it agrees with the report’s findings on the problems confronting the delivery of humanitarian aid in Burma. KHRG is encouraged about the possibility for greater openness and discussion regarding the methods used by aid agencies in the implementation of their programmes. However, a number of points in the UN’s media statement need clarification..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (49KB)
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2007


Title: More SLORC Abuses: Thaton & Pa'an Districts
Date of publication: 23 April 1994
Description/subject: "March, April 94. Karen men, women, children: Torture and killing of a child; killing; systematic looting; torture; forced labour incl. portering; deforestation from military bridge-building; economic oppression; SLORC-wise chicken; pillaging; extortion; women and children forced to sweep for mines; babies on the breast and children go hungry when their mothers are taken as porters; violence against women; human shields, including babies; wounding of child; reprisals; shelling of villages; depletion of villages; displaced people; forced relocation; soldiers tell villagers to get the Karen to agree to "peace-terms". ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: More SLORC Orders to Karen Villages
Date of publication: 11 May 1994
Description/subject: "July 93-April 94. 42 SLORC Orders for: labourers, money, wood, carts, food. There are orders asking the village head to go to meetings with the officers. One order asks for signed statements that a given regiment has not taken money from villagers. The Orders frequently contain threats to shell or burn down the village in case of non-compliance; extortion; economic oppression; forced labour..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Murder of a Refugee by SLORC
Date of publication: 24 May 1995
Description/subject: "This report documents the death of Saw Tha Po, age 41 and father of 3, a Karen Buddhist refugee in Huay Bone (Don Pa Kiang) refugee camp 20 km. north of the Thai town of Mae Sot. On March 25, 1995 he crossed the Moei River to gather charcoal and never came back, shot dead by SLORC troops only 500 m. from the border. He and a friend were ambushed by 7 soldiers from SLORC Light Infantry Battalion #9, part of #44 Light Infantry Division. They were commanded by Company Commander Khine Zaw Lin. If refugees cannot even get 500 m. into Burma without being shot, it is horrifying to think what will happen to many of them when the Thai Army hands them over directly into the hands of SLORC forces..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-18)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Murder, Rape & Extortion in Kyauk Kyi
Date of publication: 08 December 1993
Description/subject: _Sept-Oct 93. Karen and Burman men, women: List of people disappeared, presumed killed; one case of rape and a number held to ransom. Army Units and officers responsible are listed._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Kayin Karen State: the Killings Continue
Date of publication: April 1996
Description/subject: "In the last eight years the Burmese army, known as the tatmadaw, has killed unarmed civilians as part of its counter-insurgency campaigns against the Karen National Union (KNU) in the Kayin (Karen) State, eastern Myanmar. Karen civilians who were fleeing from troops as they approached a village have been shot dead in what appears to be a de facto shoot-to-kill policy of anyone who runs from the tatmadaw. Others have been reportedly killed because the tatmadaw suspected these individuals of supporting the KNU in some way. The army has killed still other victims seemingly at random, in an apparent effort to terrorize villagers into severing their alleged connections with KNU soldiers. Amnesty International is gravely concerned by these killings; they are part of a long-standing pattern of extrajudicial executions by the tatmadaw of members of the Karen ethnic minority..." Keywords: extrajudicial killings, military, non-governmental entities, harassment, torture, ill-treatment, forced labour, wthnic groups, women, farmers, photographs.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/10/96)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: the Kayin Karen State, Militarization and Human Rights
Date of publication: June 1999
Description/subject: In February 1999 Amnesty International delegates interviewed dozens of Karen refugees in Thailand who had fled mostly from Papun, Hpa'an, and Nyaunglebin Districts in the Kayin State in late 1998 and early 1999. They cited several reasons for leaving their homes. Some had previously been forced out of their villages by the tatmadaw, or Myanmar army, and had been hiding in the forest. Conditions there were poor, as it was almost impossible for them to farm. They also feared being shot on sight by the military because they occupied "black areas", where the insurgents were allegedly active. Many others fled directly from their home villages in the face of village burnings, constant demands for forced labour, looting of food and supplies, and extrajudicial killings at the hands of the military. All of these people were farmers who typically grew small plots of rice on a semi-subsistence level.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/12/99)
Format/size: pdf (155 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/012/1999/en/497059da-e117-11dd-b0b0-b705f60696a0/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/012/1999/en
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


Title: Myawaddy-Kawkareik Area Reports
Date of publication: 15 January 1995
Description/subject: "Karen State; Sept-Nov 94. Karen M, F. Forced relocation; arbitrary detention; torture; shelling of villages; extortion; forced labour; looting; financial reprisals; IT (beating); abandonment of village; killing. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-03)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myawaddy-Kawkareik Area Update
Date of publication: 06 August 1995
Description/subject: "This report can be considered as supplementary to the report "SLORC/DKBA Activities in Kawkareik Township", KHRG #95-23, 10/7/95. The Myawaddy-Kawkareik area is in central Karen State, not far west of the Thai border. The following account of the current situation there was given by a Buddhist Karen officer in the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) in an interview on July 15, 1995. Despite losing bases at Manerplaw and Kawmoora in early 1995, the KNLA is still very active in guerrilla operations in Kawkareik Township and other areas. In Kawkareik Township, SLORC has given some local authority to the DKBA (Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army), but SLORC troops are still the predominant force in the area. It should be noted that the DKBA's Pa Nwee and Pa Tha Da, both of whom figured prominently in report #95-23, are not mentioned in this account because both of them have apparently been transferred by SLORC; Pa Nwee, initially thought to have been executed by SLORC, has reportedly been seen at the SLORC base at Meh Tha Waw, while Pa Tha Da was promoted by SLORC after proving his skills at looting and abuse of civilians, and has been transferred to parts as yet unknown..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-30)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Networks of Noncompliance: Grassroots resistance and sovereignty in militarised Burma
Date of publication: 10 November 2008
Description/subject: "...This paper examines state repression and state-society conflict in Burma through the lens of rural and urban resistance strategies. It finds very well developed 'networks of noncompliance' through which civilians evade and undermine state control over their lives, and that SPDC's brutal tactics represent not control, but a lack of control. Using concrete examples, the paper argues that outside agencies ignore this state-society struggle over sovereignty at their peril: by ignoring the interplay of intervention with local politics and militarisation, claiming a 'humanitarian neutrality' which is impossible in practice, and portraying civilians as helpless pawns, those who intervene and those who document the situation risk undermining the very civilians they wish to help, while facilitating further state repression. It calls for greater honesty and awareness in interventions, combined with greater outside engagement with villagers in their resistance strategies. Only days after this paper was first presented at the Yale University Agrarian Studies Colloquium, some of its cautions about the naïveté of claiming humanitarian neutrality in Burma's politicised and militarised context were tragically realised, when Cyclone Nargis devastated parts of the country and international aid agencies were forced to confront firsthand the SPDC's raw disdain for its own civilian population. Some gave in and chanelled aid through the Burmese military, much of which never reached the target populations...".....Paper for Agrarian Studies Colloquium, April 25, 2008 by Kevin Malseed, Advisor, Karen Human Rights Group Program Fellow in Agrarian Studies, Yale University
Author/creator: Kevin Malseed
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG Articles & Papers)
Format/size: pdf (426 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08w3.html
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2009


Title: New Attacks on Karen Refugee Camps
Date of publication: 05 May 1995
Description/subject: Camps: Mae Ra Mu Klo (Mae Ra Ma Luang) camp, Baw Noh (Meh Tha Waw) camp, Kamaw Lay Ko camp "This report provides details of the attacks on Mae Ra Ma Luang, Baw Noh and Kamaw Lay Ko refugee camps. It has 2 parts: Summary of Attacks, which describes the events, and Interviews with some of the refugees who were there. Names which have been changed to protect people are denoted by enclosing them in quotation marks. Some camps go by several names: Mae Ra Ma Luang is the official Thai name of the camp Karens call Mae Ra Mu Klo (this camp was called Mae Ma La Luang in the KHRG report "SLORC's Northern Karen Offensive"). Baw Noh is the common name for the camp officially known as Meh Tha Waw. In the interviews, many people refer to the DKBA soldiers as "Yellow Headbands" ("ko per baw" in Karen) because of the yellow headbands they wear - this name has become common usage among Karens. Please feel free to use this report in any way which may help stop the suffering of the people of Burma..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-16)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: New flights of villagers in southeastern Pa'an District
Date of publication: 21 December 1999
Description/subject: "There are now only a few days left in the current millennium, which leads one to think both of the future, of all the hope which it may or may not hold, and of the past, of how much the world has changed in a short thousand years - for that matter, the incredible pace of change just within the past century. From horses to the traffic in Asia’s megacities, from flightless to frequent flyer programs, from the abacus to the computer. Whether these things really reflect progress or not is open to debate (particularly each time your computer crashes), but the fact remains that for many people it is difficult to even imagine living the different pace and style of life of a century ago..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group Commentaries (KHRG #99-C3)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: New Refugees from Karen Areas
Date of publication: 17 February 1994
Description/subject: "Thaton, Pa'An & Papun Districts. Late 93, early 94. Karen, Burman men, women, children: Forced labour incl. forced portering; Human shields; looting; killing; torture; rape of children; extortion; inhuman treatment (beating); mine-sweeping; old women, children and pregnant women taken as porters; different types of portering; beating to death; killing of children, incl in reprisal; pillaging; forced relocation; reprisals. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: New SPDC military moves force more villagers to flee
Date of publication: 04 July 2006
Description/subject: "The SPDC is continuing its attacks on Karen hill villages throughout northern Karen State, trying to entirely depopulate the northern hills. SPDC columns have regrouped and resupplied and are now launching attacks into hill regions not previously reached by the offensive. If successful, this offensive threatens to completely annihilate the unique way of life and culture of the hill Karen, a distinct group within the Karen population, by either forcing them into relocation sites where they cannot practice their culture and livelihood, or simply killing them off and destroying all remnants of their existence..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (555K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b9.html
Date of entry/update: 04 July 2006


Title: Nyaunglebin / Toungoo Districts: Re-emergence of Irregular SPDC Army Soldiers and Karen Splinter Groups in Northern Karen State
Date of publication: 24 October 2005
Description/subject: "The situation observed in Nyaunglebin and Toungoo Districts ... of northern Karen State has for many years been highly volatile. Even now, with the existence of the verbal ceasefire between the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the Karen National Union (KNU), forced labour and extortion is rife and thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) live in hiding in the forests. The ceasefire has done little to help the lot of the villagers living in these areas. The SPDC has taken advantage of their relative freedoms of movement and activity under the ceasefire agreement, leading to recent developments in these two districts which threaten to make life for the villagers living there even harder. ... Since its formation in September 1998, the Dam Byan Byaut Kya (‘Guerrilla Retaliation Units’) have terrorised the villagers of first Nyaunglebin and later also Toungoo District, seeking out and punishing any villagers suspected of having contact with the resistance..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-B6)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05b6.html
Date of entry/update: 26 October 2005


Title: Nyaunglebin District: Food supplies destroyed, villagers forcibly displaced, and region-wide forced labour as SPDC forces seek control over civilians
Date of publication: 04 May 2005
Description/subject: "Between October 2004 and January 2005 SPDC troops launched forays into the hills of Nyaunglebin District in an attempt to flush villagers down into the plains and a life under SPDC control. Viciously timed to coincide with the rice harvest, the campaign focused on burning crops and landmining the fields to starve out the villagers. Most people fled into the forest, where they now face food shortages and uncertainty about this year's planting and the security of their villages. Meanwhile in the plains, the SPDC is using people in relocation sites and villages they control as forced labour to strengthen the network of roads and Army camps - the main tools of military control over the civilian population - while Army officers plunder people's belongings for personal gain. In both hills and plains, increased militarisation is bringing on food shortages and poverty..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F4)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2005


Title: Nyaunglebin district: SPDC operations along the Shwegyin River, and the villagers' response
Date of publication: 09 December 2005
Description/subject: "This report combines text and photos to describe events from September to November 2005, when the SPDC violated the ceasefire by sending a large Army column to attack and occupy a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) base in Nyaunglebin District. Just before the rice harvest was to begin, the SPDC Army shelled local villages, captured the base, and began systematically destroying the local villagers' homes, utensils and implements to undermine the ability of villagers to live in the area. The villagers evaded them and moved into the hills east of the river, where they established shelters close by - from which the men could monitor SPDC activities - and further in the hills, where their families could set up food supplies and care for children and the elderly. Meanwhile, KNLA units harassed the SPDC column and prevented it from crossing the Shwegyin River to pursue the villagers. On November 3rd the SPDC withdrew, having failed to bring any villagers under their control. The villagers quickly returned to begin a much-belated rice harvest, which will probably yield less than half the required rice for the coming year..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F8)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 12 December 2005


Title: Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw Sa---, May 2011
Date of publication: 05 August 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in May 2011 with a villager from Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District. The researcher interviewed Naw Sa---, a 26-year-old villager who described human rights and humanitarian conditions in her village, in a mixed administration area under effective Tatmadaw control. Naw Sa--- cited the following human rights concerns: forced relocation and displacement; demands for provision of food; shelling of civilian areas, resulting in civilian injuries; arrest and detention of villagers; physical violence against detained villagers; forced labour, including sentry duty; and movement restrictions. She also explained the challenges to accessing medical care and adequate education for children faced by members of her community; and described how villagers returned to work covertly on their agricultural projects in order to protect their livelihoods, after they were ordered by the Tatmadaw to abandon their village."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (690K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b23.html
Date of entry/update: 12 February 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: August to October 2011 [News Bulletin]
Date of publication: 09 December 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Ler Doh Township, Nyaunglebin District between August and October 2011. The report describes the an incident of forced labour in which villagers were forced to clear undergrowth from a palm oil plantation at IB #60 military headquarters, as well as arbitrary demands for villagers to provide money, firewood, wooden logs and food to Tatmadaw troops. The villager who wrote this report notes that governmental administrative reforms at the village tract level have resulted in increased demands for payment from civilian officials at a time when flooding in flat areas of paddy cultivation adjacent to the Sittaung River at the end of the 2011 monsoon has substantially impacted villagers’ food security. The villager also raises local communities’ concerns regarding the proposed construction of a dam on the Theh Loh River; and requirements that civilians provide guarantees that non-state armed groups will not attack Tatmadaw troops, which villagers fear will lead to reprisals from Tatmadaw soldiers if fighting does occur. This report also documents several ways in which villagers in Ler Doh Township have responded to abuses, including the formation of Mu Kha Poe village security groups to monitor Tatmadaw troop activity and warn other community members of incoming Tatmadaw patrols and attacks;; and cooperation with other villagers and with local community-based aid groups to secure food support, communication equipment, education materials and medical treatment."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (867K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b52.html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


Title: Nyaunglebin Situation Update: September to October 2011 [News Bulletin]
Date of publication: 17 January 2012
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Nyaunglebin District, during the period between September and October 2011. It details an incident that occurred in October 2011, in which a villager was shot and injured while working in his betelnut field; the villager who wrote this report noted that some villagers living in these areas respond to the threat of violence by fleeing approaching Tatmadaw patrols. Following the shooting, Tatmadaw troops imposed movement restrictions that prevented villagers from traveling to or staying in their agricultural workplaces in the area where the shooting occurred. This report includes additional information about the use of villagers to provide forced labour at Tatmadaw camps, specifically to perform sentry duty along roads, and also raises villagers' concerns about food security after unseasonable rain prevented villagers in some areas from burning brush on their hill fields preparatory to planting and paddy crops in other areas were destroyed by insects and by flooding during the monsoon."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (215K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b4.html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


Title: Offensive columns shell and burn villages, round up villagers in northern Papun and Toungoo districts
Date of publication: 07 June 2006
Description/subject: "...SPDC troops in northern Papun district continue to escalate their attacks, shooting villagers, burning villages and destroying ricefields. Undefended villages in far northern Papun district are now being shelled with powerful 120mm mortars. Three battalions from Toungoo district have rounded up hundreds of villagers as porters and are detaining their families in schools in case they're needed; this column is now heading south with its porters, apparently intending to trap displaced villagers in a pincer between themselves and the troops coming north from Papun district. A similar trapping movement is being performed along the Bilin river, as 8 battalions come from two directions to wipe out every village in their path. Up to 4,000 villagers in Papun district's far north have been displaced in the past week, and 1,500 to 2,000 more along the Bilin River..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B7)
Format/size: html, pdf (800K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b7.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 June 2006


Title: One Year On: Continuing abuses in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 17 November 2006
Description/subject: "The SPDC offensive against civilian villagers in northern Karen State has continued unabated through the rainy season as SPDC Army soldiers attempt to consolidate their control over the region and depopulate all areas that lie beyond their direct control. Now that the rainy season is drawing to a close and the rice harvest has begun, the SPDC is laying preparations to once again intensify their attacks against the villagers. The district has been flooded with thousands more soldiers, and many new SPDC Army camps have been built and are now fully stocked with food and weapons. There are presently over 3,700 SPDC Army soldiers in Toungoo District forcibly relocating entire villages, destroying food supplies, and shooting anyone who refuses to comply with their demands. Literally thousands of internally displaced persons are living in hiding in the forest where they are hunted and their food supplies are deliberately destroyed by the soldiers. The tactics being employed by the soldiers are calculated to intentionally bring about the demise of the Karen hiding in the forest, and while they continue to resist these abuses, the villagers are rapidly running out of options as the situation continues to deteriorate..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-06)
Format/size: pdf (2.68MB), html (not full report)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg0606a.html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2007


Title: Ongoing accounts of village-level resistance
Date of publication: 31 July 2009
Description/subject: "External accounts of life in rural Burma have long been shaped by narrow stereotypes of helpless victims and intransigent oppressors. However, as KHRG has increasingly documented, such portrayals fail to accurately reflect the dynamics of life under military rule and the (albeit disadvantaged) efforts which regular people employ to resist abuse, renegotiate relations of power and assert control over their lives. As international engagement in Burma increases, a far more nuanced understanding of local-level political processes remains crucial to developing a rights-based approach to aid provision. To that end, the present report provides summaries of three recent incidents in which villagers sought to negotiate a change or reduction in military demands. All three accounts deal with orders issued by DKBA forces in Papun and Thaton districts of Karen State during May and June 2009. In a departure from the usual KHRG reporting-style, these accounts have been supplemented with illustrations based on villagers' descriptions of events provided to KHRG by an independent illustrator..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F13)
Format/size: pdf (860 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f13.html
Date of entry/update: 30 October 2009


Title: Ongoing Impunity: Continued Burma Army Atrocities Against the Kachin People
Date of publication: June 2012
Description/subject: Summary: "This report provides an update of atrocities committed by the Burma Army against civilians since it broke its 17-year ceasefire with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) one year ago. It highlights the particular suffering of women during the conflict, who have been forced to be porters, used as sex slaves, gang-raped and killed. Since the start of the conflict, there has been a huge deployment of Burmese troops into Kachin State and northern Shan State. Currently about 150 battalions are being used to crush the KIA, tripling the number of Burmese troops in the area. These troops have deliberately targeted civilians for abuse, causing villagers to flee in terror, leaving large swathes of countryside depopulated. There is strong evidence that Burmese troops have used rape systematically as a weapon of war. In the past year, KWAT has documented the rape or sexual assault of at least 43 women and girls, of whom 21 were killed. The rapes have been widespread, occurred in thirteen townships, by ten different battalions. Women have been openly kept as sex slaves by military officers, and gang-raped in church. There has been complete impunity for these crimes. When the husband of a Kachin woman abducted by the Burmese military tried to press charges, the Naypyidaw Supreme Court dismissed the case without even hearing his evidence. The continued abuse against civilians has swelled the numbers of internally displaced persons in Kachin State to over 75,000, most of whom are sheltering in makeshift camps along the China border, where little international aid has reached them. KWAT is calling on the international community to denounce the ongoing human rights abuses, and maintain pressure on the Burmese government to immediately implement a nationwide ceasefire, pull back Burma Army troops from ethnic areas and start dialogue with the United Nationalities Federal Council towards a process of genuine political reform."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB-OBL version; 8.2MB-original))
Alternate URLs: http://www.kachinwomen.com/images/stories/publication/ongoing_iimpunity%20.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 June 2012


Title: Ongoing SLORC Looting in Karen Villages
Date of publication: 28 December 1993
Description/subject: _Thaton District Nov-Dec 93. An 8-page list of items looted in one village: food, livestock, clothes, household items; economic oppression._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Operation Than L'Yet: Forced Displacement, Massacres and Forced Labour in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 25 September 2002
Description/subject: "In January 2002 it appeared that the SPDC considered most of Dooplaya district of southern Karen State to be pacified and under their control. But then Light Infantry Division 88 was sent in and commenced Operation Than L'Yet, forcibly relocating as many as 60 villages by July. Villagers were rounded up and detained without food for days, or force-marched to Army-controlled relocation sites after their houses were burned. Village heads, women and children were tortured. People who tried to flee into the forests were shot on sight, including one brutal massacre of ten people, six of them children under 15. Over a thousand people fled into Thailand, and several thousand more are still trying. Another five thousand are in Army relocation camps, where they have been provided with nothing and are struggling to survive on rice gruel and whatever roots they can forage. Their movements are tightly controlled and they are being used as forced labour to build roads, bridges and Army camps which will help Division 88 to clamp down further on the district. They are also forced to work as porters for the Army columns which go out to loot and destroy even more villages. KHRG researchers expect a renewed onslaught after the rains end in October, when Division 88 will probably set out to hunt down those still in hiding and may extend the forced relocations to more areas."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Information Update (KHRG #2002-U5)
Format/size: html (34K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Pa'an District: Food Security in Crisis for Civilians in Rural Areas
Date of publication: 30 March 2005
Description/subject: Released on March 30, 2005... This bulletin examines the factors causing many villagers in Pa'an district to say that they now face a deepening food and money shortage crisis which is threatening their health and survival. Based on villagers' testimony, the main factors appear to be recurring forced labour for both SPDC and DKBA authorities, made worse in some areas by orders for farmers to double-crop on their land and the encroachment of new SPDC military bases on villages and farmland.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-B3)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2005


Title: Pa'an Interview: Naw G---, November 2011
Date of publication: 19 January 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during November 2011 in Lu Pleh Township, Pa'an District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Naw G---, a 40-year-old Buddhist hillfield farmer who described an incident in which her son-in-law, Saw A---, 36, was shot and killed by patrolling Tatmadaw soldiers from IB #230. Naw G--- explained that Saw A--- was cooking with KNLA soldiers in Naw G---'s house, when Tatmadaw soldiers entered P--- village. According to Naw G---, the soldiers fired at Saw A--- as he fled the house and the bullets hit the left side of his head, killing him instantly. A separate report of this incident written by the villager who conducted this interview, including 23 photos taken by the same villager, is available here. An interview with Naw G---'s son who was also present during the attack is available here."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (258K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b6.html
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Pa’an District: Land confiscation, forced labour and extortion undermining villagers’ livelihoods
Date of publication: 11 February 2006
Description/subject: "Villagers in northern Pa'an District of central Karen State say their livelihoods are under serious threat due to exploitation by SPDC military authorities and by their Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) allies who rule as an SPDC proxy army in much of the region. Villages in the vicinity of the DKBA headquarters are forced to give much of their time and resources to support the headquarters complex, while villages directly under SPDC control face rape, arbitrary detention and threats to keep them compliant with SPDC demands. The SPDC plans to expand Dta Greh (a.k.a. Pain Kyone) village into a town in order to strengthen its administrative control over the area, and is confiscating about half of the village's productive land without compensation to build infrastructure which includes offices, army camps and a hydroelectric power dam - destroying the livelihoods of close to 100 farming families. Local villagers, who are already struggling to survive under the weight of existing demands, fear further forced labour and extortion as the project continues."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 14 February 2006


Title: Pa’an Interview: Saw C---, October 2011 [News Bulletin]
Date of publication: 01 December 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during October 2011 in Lu Pleh Township, Pa’an District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw C---, a 23-year-old unmarried hill field farmer, who described an incident in which his brother-in-law, Saw A---, 36, was shot and killed by patrolling Tatmadaw soldiers from IB 230 in the Kler Day area of Lu Pleh Township, Pa’an District. Saw C--- explained that he, his mother Naw G---, two KNLA soldiers who were cooking in the house at the time, and his brother-in-law Saw A--- fled their house when Tatmadaw soldiers entered P--- village and that, as they fled, the soldiers fired at them. According to Saw C---, one of the bullets hit Saw A--- on the right side of his head, killing him immediately. A separate report of this incident written by the villager who conducted this interview, which includes 23 photos taken by the same villager, is available in the bulletin "Incident report: Villager shot and killed in Pa’an District, October 2011" published by KHRG on December 1st 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (426K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b51.html
Date of entry/update: 19 January 2012


Title: Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts:
Date of publication: 09 September 2004
Description/subject: "The Karen National Union (KNU) and the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) declared a verbal ceasefire in January 2004 as a first step towards future discussions. Consequently, both the KNU and the SPDC reportedly ordered their military units to cease offensive operations. Talks were again held in January and February, but no agreements were made regarding the delineation of territory, the return of villagers to their villages, a cessation of forced labour or the ending of any other human rights abuses. The SPDC has instead used the ceasefire as an opportunity to resupply its troops and to improve its road network without having to fear ambushes from the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). Local villagers have been conscripted to provide much of the labour needed to do this. SPDC military units have also continued to demand building materials, food and money from the villagers. Villages have been ordered relocated and villagers have been summarily executed by SPDC columns. Talks between the KNU and SPDC have not been held since the February talks were called off because the SPDC claims it has been too busy with its National Convention. This Information Update looks at the situation in Nyaunglebin and Papun Districts since the ceasefire began in January 2004..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2004-U2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 March 2005


Title: Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts: Internally displaced villagers cornered by 40 SPDC Battalions; Food shortages, disease, killings and life on the run.
Date of publication: 09 April 2001
Description/subject: Food shortages, disease, killings and life on the run.Based on new interviews and reports from KHRG field researchers, this update summarises the increasingly desperate situation for villagers in these two districts. In the hills, the people of several hundred villages are still in hiding, their villages destroyed by SPDC troops. Their survival situation is now desperate as 40 SPDC Battalions continue to systematically destroy their rice supplies and crops and landmine their fields, and shoot them on sight. In the villages under SPDC control, people suffer under an impossible burden of many kinds of forced labour and extortion.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG (Information Update #2001-U3)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts: The SPDC's Dry Season Offensive Operations
Date of publication: 05 April 2002
Description/subject: "The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) began its 2001-2002 dry season offensive operations with a three-pronged push in Papun District and eastern Nyaunglebin District. This has been followed by moves into northern Papun District and along the Salween River where it forms the border with Thailand (see Map 2: Papun District). The main attacks came at the beginning of the rice harvest season, forcing villagers to leave much of their crop in the fields where some was eaten and the rest destroyed by the SPDC soldiers. Most villagers had little left from the previous year?s harvest and these new attacks almost guarantee that they will not have enough rice to see them through to the next harvest at the end of 2002. .."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Information Update (KHRG #2002-U3)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts: Villagers Flee as SPDC Troops Resume Burning and Landmining of Villages
Date of publication: 25 April 2000
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update #2000-U1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Papun District: Forced Labour, Looting and Road Construction in SPDC-Controlled Areas
Date of publication: 20 May 2005
Description/subject: "Villagers in Papun District who live under the control of nearby SPDC army camps are reporting that this year they are doing less forced labour as porters because convict porters are being brought in, and less forced labour repairing roads because much of this work is being done by SPDC soldiers - but that forced labour as unarmed sentries, Army camp servants, logging for the DKBA, and particularly cutting thatch and bamboo to build and repair SPDC and DKBA army camps, are still taking enough of their time to jeopardise their livelihoods. Worse yet, SPDC soldiers doing road work are destroying the villagers' fields and irrigation systems, putting this year's rice crop under serious threat. This has made the villagers deeply angry and frustrated, but any attempts to protest have been met with threats and gun-barrels. With the SPDC now beginning work on new roads and Army camps to secure the construction of massive dams on the Salween River, this situation is only likely to worsen in the near future..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F5)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2005


Title: Papun District: Mass Forced Relocations (Information Update)
Date of publication: 18 February 1996
Description/subject: "SLORC has seriously stepped up its campaign to clear the entire rural population out of Papun District and make the entire area a free-fire zone. Since December 1995, orders have been issued to every rural village under SLORC control from Kyauk Nyat in the north to Ka Dtaing Dtee in the south, from the Salween River (the Thai border) in the east to at least 10 km. west of Papun - an area 50-60 km. north to south and 30 km. east to west. This area is rugged hills dotted with small villages, averaging 10-50 households (population 50-300) per village. Estimates are that 100 or more villages are affected. Every village has been ordered to move either to SLORC Army camps surrounding Papun, such as Papun, Kaw Boke, or Par Haik, or to DKBA headquarters far to the south at Khaw Taw (Myaing Gyi Ngu) in Pa’an District. The orders have all been issued by SLORC. Generally a SLORC column enters the village with only a few DKBA soldiers accompanying them, and the SLORC officer issues the order. Villagers confirm that DKBA never operates in the area by themselves anymore - DKBA soldiers only appear in small groups as part of SLORC columns. SLORC units involved in the operation include Light Infantry Battalions (LIB) 340, 341, 434, and Infantry Battalion (IB) 5..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Papun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, August 2011
Date of publication: 06 October 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in August 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Papun District in January 2011 and human rights consequences for local communities. It contains updated information concerning Tatmadaw military activities and details the following human rights abuses: coordinated attacks on villages by Tatmadaw and Border Guard troops and the firing of mortars and small arms in civilian areas, resulting in displacement of the civilian population and the closure of two schools; the use of landmines by the Tatmadaw and non-state armed groups; and forced portering for the Tatmadaw and Tatmadaw Border Guards. The report also mentions government plans for a logging venture and the construction of a dam. Moreover, it documents villagers’ responses to human rights concerns, including strategic displacement to avoid attacks and forced labour entailing physical security risks to civilians; advance preparation for strategic displacement in the event of Tatmadaw attacks; and seeking the protection of non-state armed groups against Tatmadaw attacks and other human rights threats."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (266K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b35.html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2012


Title: Papun Situation Update: Dweh Loh Township, Received in November 2011 [News Bulletin]
Date of publication: 12 December 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Dweh Loh Township, Papun District, between December 2010 and September 2011. This report provides additional information about the summary execution of Saw K---, previously reported by KHRG in October 2011 in the bulletin “Villager executed in Papun District”, and also documents the arbitrary arrest of civilians who were subsequently forced to porter for Tatmadaw troops. It also describes de facto movement restrictions caused by the indiscriminate firing of heavy weapons and machine guns into travel routes and agricultural areas surrounding villages as a security precaution during Tatmadaw resupply operations. The report details the ways in which villagers in areas beyond government control engage in covert trade with villagers living in areas under government control and employ early-warning systems to flee Tatmadaw patrols."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (261K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b55.html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


Title: Papun Update: SPDC attacks on villages continue
Date of publication: 06 October 2006
Description/subject: "As the rainy season nears its end, SPDC operations in northern Papun District persist. Civilians living in Lu Thaw township in northern Papun District who fled from military attacks on their villages earlier in the current offensive have been joined by those more recently displaced. So long as military forces remain active in the area of their abandoned homes, these villagers are unable to return to tend their crops, collect possessions and reclaim their land. In these situations of displacement, villagers confront daily food shortages, unhygienic conditions and the constant threat of detection by military forces. With the establishment of new army camps, the likely construction of more roads and a possible large-scale relocation site at Pwah Ghaw, the ability of displaced villagers to maintain their livelihood, evade military forces and retain some measure of control over their land is becoming highly restricted. Nevertheless, the threat of regular abuse and ceaseless demands in military-controlled areas prompt villagers living in hiding to continue to evade capture and military subjugation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F10)
Format/size: pdf (671K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f10.html
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2006


Title: Patrols, movement restrictions and forced labour in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 28 September 2009
Description/subject: "This report documents the situation for villagers in Toungoo District, both in areas under SPDC control and in areas contested by the KNLA and home to villagers actively evading SDPC control. For villagers in the former, movement restrictions, forced labour and demands for material support continue unabated, and continue to undermine their attempts to address basic needs. Villagers in hiding, meanwhile, report that the threat of Burma Army patrols, though slightly reduced, remains sufficient to disrupt farming and undermine food security. This report includes incidents occurring from January to August 2009..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2009-F16)
Format/size: pdf (850 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg09f16.html
Date of entry/update: 28 October 2009


Title: Photo Set 2005-A
Date of publication: 27 May 2005
Description/subject: "Over 900 photos taken by KHRG researchers in the field from mid 2002 to early 2005, documenting the human rights situation and responses to it by villagers in Karen areas of Burma. This Photo Set contains a photo essay from Nyaunglebin District as well as sections on Attacks on Villages & Village Destruction; Forced Relocation and Restrictions; Detention and Torture; Shootings and Killings; Forced Labour; Food and Livelihoods; Women; Children; Flight & Displacement; Landmines; and Soldiers... Preface; Terms and Abbreviations; Table of Contents: 1. A Short Story in Pictures: Village Destruction, Displacement and Survival in Nyaunglebin District; 2. Attacks on Villages and Village Destruction... 3. Forced Relocation and Restrictions... 4. Detention and Torture... 5. Shootings and Killings... 6. Forced Labour: 6.1 Portering; 6.2 Convict Porters; 6.3 Guides, Messengers, and Meetings; 6.4 Roads; 6.5 Forced Labour Maintaining Army Camps, Army Farms, and Securing Villages; 6.6 Supplying Materials... 7. Food and Livelihoods: 7.1 Destruction of Crops and Livelihoods; 7.2 Abandoned Fields; 7.3 Confiscation of Fields; 7.4 Restrictions on Access to Food; 7.5 Crop Quotas, Taxation and Extortion; 7.6 Looting; 7.7 The Work of Karen Relief Organisations... 8. Women: 8.1 Violence Against Women; 8.2 Women and Forced Labour; 8.3 Women, Livelihoods and Displacement; 8.4 Health... 9. Children: 9.1 Violence Against Children; 9.2 Children and Forced Labour; 9.3 Children and Internal Displacement; 9.4 Orphans; 9.5 Health; 9.6 Education: 9.6.1 Education for displaced children; 9.6.2 Education in SPDC-controlled villages; 9.7 Child Soldiers... 10. Flight and Displacement: 10.1 Life on the Run; 10.2 Food and Survival; 10.3 Health; 10.4 Education; 10.5 Flight to Thailand... 11. Landmines: 11.1 The Mines; 11.2 The Victims... 12. Soldiers... Appendix 1: KHRG Map of Burma... Appendix 2: Map of Karen Districts... Appendix 3: Map Room (more detailed maps).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-P1)
Format/size: jpeg, html
Date of entry/update: 09 June 2005


Title: Porter Stories: Central Karen State
Date of publication: 31 October 1996
Description/subject: "This report contains the testimony of three Muslim men who suffered and witnessed serious SLORC human rights abuses in central Karen State in mid-1996, including forced portering, forced road labour, executions, torture and looting. It is important to note that all of these occurred in a part of Karen State where there has been very little fighting over the past year, where SLORC claims to have brought "peace". The testimony of these men - particularly "Htun Win", who was beaten unconscious and left for dead because he could no longer carry his load - show that brutal treatment of porters and other villagers by the SLORC Army are not restricted to conflict situations or major military offensives, but are daily Army routine. Their stories also give an idea of how Muslims, who are generally mistreated and discriminated against by everyone in Burma, are particularly targetted for the heaviest abuses by the SLORC Army..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-34)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porter Testimonies: Kawmoora Region
Date of publication: 31 December 1992
Description/subject: _Oct-Dec 92. Karen, M,F. Forced portering (incl. women and children) in the course of the Saw Hta offensive; rape; abandonment of wounded porters; inhuman treatment (beating, deprivation of medicine resulting in death); killings._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porter Testimonies: the SLORC's Saw Hta Offensive
Date of publication: 10 January 1993
Description/subject: "On October 5, 1992, SLORC Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw told the United Nations General Assembly that the SLORC was no longer attacking the ethnic peoples of Burma. On October 6, 1992, the SLORC launched an unprovoked offensive on the northern Karen village and trading post of Saw Hta, on the Salween River near the southern border of Karenni (Kayah) State. As usual in their offensives, the SLORC press-ganged thousands of civilians to carry all their ammunition and supp1ies to the front lines. Initially they brought hundreds of convicts from Mandalay and other prisons for this brutal and often fatal work. Then they began rounding up thousands of Shan villagers far to the north in central Shan State. These men were forced onto Army trucks and brought like caged animals several days and nights drive over rough roads, hundreds of kilometres southward to Pah Saung in southern Karenni (Kayah) State. There they were immediately saddled with loads of ammunition and supplies and force marched over the mountains into northern Karen State to the front line at Saw Hta. This tactic of hauling porters half way across the country is sometimes used by the SLORC to prevent the porters escaping. The SLORC believes that uneducated villagers will be too afraid to attempt escape so far from their home State, in areas where they do not speak the language or know the culture. The SLORC officers reinforce this by constantly telling the porters that the Karen Army will kill them if they catch them; and after a lifetime of exposure to propaganda, the villagers have no way of knowing this isn't true. Even so, the SLORC's brutality has driven hundreds to attempt escape, although thus far only about 80 have been successful. The vast majority of the porters are either still in the SLORC Army's hands, or lying dead on the paths from Pah Saung The following interviews arc with a few of the men who have successfully escaped to the Karen lines. Their names have been changed to protect them and their families, although the names of the dead which they give are real. Names of their home villages have been deliberately omitted, as well as other unnecessary details which could be used by the SLORC to trace them. Please feel free to use this information in any way which could help put a stop to this horrendous abuse of human beings..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porters: Kyauk Kyi Township, November 1992
Date of publication: 10 November 1993
Description/subject: Porters captured from Pegu town: Forced portering; killing of 14 yr-old boy; inhuman treatment.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porters: Manerplaw and Kaw Moo Rah Areas
Date of publication: 25 February 1995
Description/subject: In December 1994, SLORC began a major offensive against Kaw Moo Rah, then in January 1995 it began a major offensive against Karen headquarters at Manerplaw. Both strongholds were overrun, Manerplaw on January 27 and Kaw Moo Rah on February 21. SLORC has claimed that they were not involved in these offensives other than to provide 'logistical support' to the breakaway Karen troops of the 'Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army' (DKBA) whom it claims overran Manerplaw and Kaw Moo Rah all by themselves. However, the porters interviewed in this report say otherwise: they were used by several different SLORC Battalions in the assault, but not one of them saw a single DKBA soldier. Fighting is still ongoing as the SLORC attempts to overrun the entire Thai border region. In all of these offensives, it has been rounding up porters of all ethnic and religious backgrounds from villages and towns as far afield as southern Mon State, hundreds of kilometres away. The 'Manerplaw area porters' in this report were used in the southern prong of SLORC's offensive on the Manerplaw area, both before and after Manerplaw was taken. They were interviewed in refugee camps in Thailand in the first part of February. Their names have been changed and some other personal details omitted in order to protect them. Please feel free to use the information in this report in any way which can help end this horrendous form of slave labour in Burma.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-07)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porters: SLORC's 6th Brigade Offensive
Date of publication: 22 March 1995
Description/subject: "At the beginning of March 1995, after taking Manerplaw and Kawmoora, SLORC began an offensive against the Karen National Union's 6th Brigade area, 50 to 100 km. south of the border town of Myawaddy, where the KNU had set up its new mobile leadership headquarters. Several SLORC Battalions were sent to the area and are now attacking throughout the region. The KNU leadership has already moved on but the attacks continue to intensify, making it clear that this is not just an offensive aimed at the Karen leadership, but at all Karen-controlled areas. SLORC troops are using the extensive network of logging roads, built by Thai logging companies with KNU concessions throughout the area, to move quickly. Karen soldiers are not heavily defending most locations, claiming that they are sparing their men for future mobile columns as they adopt more of a mobile guerrilla strategy. Thousands of refugees are already fleeing the area and have formed 2 new refugee camps in Thailand, and thousands more are likely to come. Hundreds of conscripted civilian porters have also fled the SLORC troops already. They say that SLORC is conducting large-scale porter sweeps in towns and villages of southern Burma, and that the high ratio of porters to soldiers in this offensive (often 3 to 10 porters for every soldier) is leading to the escape of large numbers of porters. The six men whose stories are given below were interviewed by an independent observer on March 18, 1995..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-11)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porters: SLORC's Bu Sah Kee Operation
Date of publication: 14 November 1993
Description/subject: _August-Sept 93. Toungoo Dist. Karen men, women, children: Forced labour; beating to death; more than 100 schoolchildren with their teachers pressed into porterage. Killing; inhuman treatment(beating, deprivation of food)._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Porters: SLORC's Salween Offensive
Date of publication: 08 April 1995
Description/subject: Rounding up porters (Stories #1,2,3,4), "iron cage" trains (#1,2), women porters (#1,2,4), torture (#1,2,3,4), killings (#1,2,3), abandoned villages (#1,4), porters in battle (#3), urban forced relocation (#2), economic conditions (#2), conditions in Dagyon "New Town" (#2), DKBA (#2,3). Note: For further details on this offensive see "SLORC’s Northern Karen Offensive", KHRG #95-10, 29/3/95.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-12)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Recent Attacks on Villages in Southeastern Toungoo District Send Thousands Fleeing into the Forests and to Thailand
Date of publication: 16 March 2006
Description/subject: "Since November 2005, the SPDC has been mounting military-style assaults on civilian villages in Toungoo District, causing thousands of villagers to flee into the surrounding forests or to head for refugee camps in Thailand. To illustrate this, this bulletin pays special attention to the attack on Hee Daw Khaw village on November 26th 2005, and its subsequent destruction on November 28th 2005."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B3)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 March 2006


Title: Recent Incidents in Thaton District
Date of publication: 30 September 1994
Description/subject: "Karen villages. Wounding; killing; torture; looting; extortion. Minutes of a SLORC meeting and Orders requiring villagers to send workers for bridge and other construction projects..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Recently Received SLORC Orders to Karen Villages
Date of publication: 14 July 1993
Description/subject: Translations and originals of 9 orders (Jan-April 93) from SLORC officers, most of which are for labour.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Refugees at Klay Muh Hta
Date of publication: 24 June 1994
Description/subject: "(later corrected to "Klay Muh Klo") This is a refugee camp set up on the Burma side of the border North of Mae Sot, after Thailand refused entry to more refugees. In 3 months it grew to 5000 before the rainy season reduced the flow. The Thais have said that supplies for more than 5000 will not be allowed. If implemented, this policy will precipitate a crisis when the dry season begins, as it now has (Nov 94). Pa'an and Thaton Districts, March-June 94. Karen, Burman men, women, children; Rape; forced labour; inhuman treatment (deprivation of food, beating sometimes ending in death); extortion; decimated village; rape; forced marriage; pregnant women beaten, miscarry; villagers made to plant trees for SLORC profit; mine-sweeping; killing; forced portering,incl. children; inhuman treatment during portering; depletion of villages, eg one from 150 to 20 families; another from 100 to 10, largely on account of forced labour; no time to do their own work; economic oppression..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Refugees from Pa'an District
Date of publication: 18 March 1996
Description/subject: "The descriptions below were given by recently arrived refugees from southern Pa'an District in central Karen State, interviewed in refugee camps in Thailand in February 1996. For background on this area, the reader should see 'SLORC / DKBA Activities in Kawkareik Township' (KHRG #95-23, 10/7/95) and other related KHRG reports. The refugees in this report are all from the area around Bee T'Ka, north of Kawkareik towards Hlaing Bwe. In this area, SLORC and DKBA are ruling in tandem, with a limited presence of KNLA still in the area. Villagers are finding that now they have to pay fees and provide forced labour for both SLORC and DKBA, and that the DKBA have no qualms about handing over villagers to be tortured or executed by SLORC. Two names which always occur in the testimony of villagers, and have appeared in KHRG reports before, are Pa Tha Dah (aka Pa Tha Da, Kyaw Tha Da, Saw Tha Da) and his brother Nuh Po (aka Kyaw Nuh Po, Saw Nuh Po). They are two former Bee T'Ka farmers who joined DKBA for the power it gives them, and have become even more notorious than SLORC in the area for their looting, torture, and gratuitous abuse of villagers. As a result, SLORC had them promoted to officer rank in the DKBA..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-13)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Refugees from the SLORC Occupation
Date of publication: 25 May 1997
Description/subject: "This report attempts to give an idea of the situation faced by villagers in the midst of these offensives through interviews with those who have fled their villages, both before and after the occupation by SLORC. It is important to note that if it was only fighting that these people wanted to avoid, they could easily have hidden in the forest during the usually brief period the fighting lasted, then returned after SLORC had occupied the village. The reason these people didn’t do so is clear from their testimonies: it is not fighting which most of them have fled, but the forced labour, arbitrary arrests, looting, extortion and other abuses which they know occur whenever SLORC occupies an area, particularly an area which has not been occupied before. For many of these people this offensive has brought SLORC to their villages for the first time in recent memory. These interviews are only with some of those who have fled their villages so far. While they do not constitute a full chronicle of the situation, they should help give some idea of what villagers are going through in these newly occupied areas. We hope to continue reporting on the situation in these areas as it develops and new information becomes available..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #97-07)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Relocations in the Gas Pipeline Area
Date of publication: 20 April 1997
Description/subject: "In February 1997, 5 villages in Kywe Thone Nyi Ma village tract of Ye Pyu Township, Tenasserim Division were forced to move by SLORC: the villages of Mae Taw, Cha Bone, Chaung Phyar, Mae Yaung and Mae Than Taung. These villages lie just 10-15 km. north of the Yadana gas pipeline being built by SLORC's MOGE oil company, French company Total, and American company Unocal. American company Texaco is also beginning work on the Yetagun pipeline in the area. The forced relocations were conducted by SLORC Light Infantry Battalion #273, which is directly responsible for gas pipeline security and is based in Kanbauk, on the pipeline route adjacent to the oil companies' base camp. LIB #273 also provides security for the base camp itself. The gas pipeline is to run just south of the Heinze Basin, a large inlet on the Andaman Sea coast. The 5 relocated villages lie near the coast just north of the mouth of the Heinze Basin,while the pipeline is to come ashore near Hpaungdaw, just south of the mouth of the Heinze Basin. The reason given for the relocations was that there is a 'dacoit' (bandit) group operating along the coast between these 5 villages and Hpaungdaw. Ostensibly to seek out this bandit group and its stash of loot, SLORC troops stormed Mae Taw village, tied up and tortured the village leaders, disrobed, abused and robbed a monk, kept everyone in the village tied up at the monastery for 4 days while they searched and looted every house, then burned 4 houses and said that every villager in the region must move to a village which has an Army camp. They then went to the 4 other villages in the area to do the same, though they found many of the villagers there had already fled after hearing what happened in Mae Taw village. The 5 villages now lie abandoned, the villagers having scattered to the large village of Kywe Thone Nyi Ma (on an island in the Heinze Basin, with a camp of LIB 273) or northward to Ye or Thanbyuzayat..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Report from Thaton District
Date of publication: 10 March 1993
Description/subject: "Early 93. Karen men, women, children: Women as village heads (men more likely to be beaten or tortured); General description of oppression. Killing; extortion; looting; shelling of village; forced labour (incl. children) incl. mine-sweeping; forced relocation; torture; killing of child; pillaging; rape of woman carrying baby; shelling of village..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Reports from Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 31 January 1995
Description/subject: "The following testimonies were given by civilian villagers in Nyaunglebin District (Karen name Kler Lwe Htoo District), northeast of Rangoon and Pegu along the Sittaung River. Names which have been changed to protect people are given in quotation marks. All other names are real. Some details have been omitted from stories to protect people. All numeric dates are written in dd-mm-yy format. Please feel free to use this report in any way which may help the peoples of Burma, but do not forward it to any SLORC representatives..." TOPIC SUMMARY: Torture (Stories #1,2,3,5), Water Torture (#2), Torture of elderly woman (#2), Execution (#1,5), Detention (#1,2.3), Shooting at civilians (#1), Rape (#4), Sex with animals (#4), Forced labour (#2,3,4), Porters (#2), Forced labour on SLORC farms (#3), Fees/extortion (#2,3,4), Forced relocation (#2), Fleeing villages (#1,3,4, S).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Reports from the Karen Provinces
Date of publication: 11 September 1992
Description/subject: "The following information from several Karen provinces has been received in reports from various offices at the district level. Their reports make it very clear that the SLORC’s claim that it had suspended the offensive against the Karen people in April was utterly false. This report is by no means complete. De Nay Cha, Doo Yaw, Dta Greh, Neh Bu, Hlaing Bwe Townships; Doothatu (Thaton), Kler Lu Htoo) (Nyaunglebin), Taw Oo (Taungoo), Mudraw (Papun) Provinces: forced portering, forced labour in army camps; ill treatment (death after porter duty); economic oppression (expropriation of animals, food, land confiscation etc); shelling of villages not providing; threats of reprisals against villagers if there is fighting in the area; kidnapping and ransoming of elderly villagers; extortion (lists of payments by villagers) leading to abandonment of villages, internal displacement and refugee flows; forced relocation (lists of relocated villages)..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Road Construction in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 16 March 1996
Description/subject: "SLORC has been initiating more and more projects nationwide to build hundreds of roads with forced labour, primarily with the idea that more roads mean better military access to the countryside, which in turn means more effective military control over the population. Though in some cases they receive foreign money to build these roads, they prefer to keep the money and order out thousands of villagers to do forced labour for nothing. The same villagers are also forced to pay "fees" for the road construction as though it is for their benefit. Heavy machinery is very rarely used; SLORC prefers to use the manual labour of thousands of villagers..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-12)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Routine forced labour in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 29 October 2008
Description/subject: "For those villagers living under the control of SPDC and DKBA forces in Pa'an District, certain forms of forced labour have now become routine. Such 'routine' forced labour includes: cultivation of rainy season and dry season rice crops on fields owned by DKBA officers, maintaining rubber plantations, roadside clearance of forest overgrowth following the rainy season, portering military supplies out to soldiers operating at 'frontline' army camps, collecting, preparing and delivering bamboo and thatch for use in the repair and construction of the region's many army camps, and temporarily serving as camp-based messengers. Combined, these various forms of forced labour significantly cut into crucial time villagers need for their own agricultural and other livelihoods activities. This report looks at cases of forced labour from July to September 2008 and includes a short video of recent forced labour in Pa'an District..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Field Reports (KHRG #2008-F15)
Format/size: pdf (670 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08f15.html
Date of entry/update: 01 November 2009


Title: Safeguarding human rights in a post-ceasefire eastern Burma
Date of publication: 26 January 2012
Description/subject: "The ongoing ceasefire negotiations between the Government of Myanmar and the Karen National Union present an important opportunity for bringing lasting peace and improved human rights conditions to local people in eastern Burma. If the ceasefire can end fighting between the two parties, it should end human rights abuses associated with armed conflict. Human rights abuses, however, do not stem only from armed conflict but also from ingrained abusive practices and lack of accountability for perpetrators. In the absence of armed conflict, abuses related to extracting labour, money and resources from villagers and consolidating state control can be expected to continue or even worsen, particularly where there is a correlative increase in industrial, business or development initiatives undertaken without opportunities for genuine local input. Given these concerns, this commentary concludes by presenting recommendations for using the ceasefire negotiations to define monitoring processes that can offer new options for communities already attempting to protect their human rights. Analysis for this commentary was developed in workshops held with staff at KHRG's administrative office in Thailand and with villagers working with KHRG to document human rights abuses in Mon and Karen states and Bago and Tennaserim divisions"
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (58K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12c1.html
Date of entry/update: 29 January 2012


Title: Seeing Through the Smoke of Ceasefires - KHRG Commentary
Date of publication: 10 June 2005
Description/subject: "Drawing upon recent KHRG reports, this Commentary asks the question why the Karen ceasefire is not generating a human rights dividend for Karen villagers, and looks for the answer in the nature of conflict in Burma. It finds the conflict to be much broader than that between armed entities, pitting villagers against the military junta in a daily struggle for control of their lives. The villagers' role in this struggle is too often ignored, both by outside actors who insist on treating villagers as passive bystanders to their own context, and by activists who seek to subjugate everything to the narrow struggle for an elitist Burmese 'democracy'. In human rights, aid and political discourse on Burma, double standards are applied which further marginalise rural, agrarian, and non-Burman voices, when the real need now is for these voices to be heard more in political processes. The Commentary also discusses the SPDC's efforts to evade international pressure for its use of forced labour by hiding the evidence, using convict labour, and putting its child soldiers to work on roads, and the effects these tactics are having on rural villagers. Finally, it explains KHRG's efforts to expand our research agenda and make our reports more useful."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-C1)
Format/size: html, pdf (498K)
Date of entry/update: 10 June 2005


Title: Self-protection under strain: Targeting of civilians and local responses in northern Karen State
Date of publication: 31 August 2010
Description/subject: "The SPDC Army continues to attack civilians and civilian livelihoods nearly two years after the end of the 2005-2008 SPDC Offensive in northern Karen State. In response, civilians have developed and employed various self-protection strategies that have enabled tens of thousands of villagers to survive with dignity and remain close to their homes despite the humanitarian consequences of SPDC Army practices. These protection strategies, however, have become strained, even insufficient, as humanitarian conditions worsen under sustained pressure from the SPDC Army, prompting some individual villagers and entire communities to re-assess local priorities and concerns, and respond with alternative strategies - including uses of weapons or landmines. While this complicates discussions of legal and humanitarian protections for at-risk civilians, uses of weapons by civilians occur amidst increasing constraints on alternative self-protection measures. External actors wishing to promote human rights in conflict areas of eastern Burma should therefore seek a detailed understanding of local priorities and dynamics of abuse, and use this understanding to inform activities that broaden civilians' range of feasible options for self-protection, including beyond uses of arms..."
Language: English, Burmese, Karen
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-04)
Format/size: pdf (1.9MB - full report, English; 986K - Summary, Burmese; 804K - Summary, Karen)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg1004_briefer_Burmese.pdf
http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg1004_briefer_Karen.pdf
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


Title: Setting Up the Systems of Repression: The progressive regimentation of civilian life in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 07 September 2006
Description/subject: "While attention has been focused on the SPDC’s violent attacks against villages in northern Karen State, the regime has been implementing a much more systematic campaign of repression in southern Karen State. The SPDC militarily occupied this region nine years ago, and has since been creating its model of society – through extending roads and military control to every corner of the region, establishing and training local controlling authorities, forcing villagers to join SPDC organisations, forced registration of all people and resources, forced double-cropping and other agricultural programmes without the required support, movement restrictions and crippling taxation on trade and mobility, and land reallocation to those complicit with the regime. All of these are part of the process of setting up local control mechanisms to implement the SPDC’s hierarchical vision of society, in which the main purpose of the civilian population is to serve the military and support those in power. In return, local people get nothing except additional work, and violent punishment including torture and killings whenever they are perceived to be uncooperative or disrespectful. Little or nothing is provided for their education or health, while their crops and possessions are systematically looted to keep them poor. Drawing on the SPDC’s own order documents and over a hundred interviews with villagers in the region, this report finds that people in Dooplaya feel worse off than ever before, and that their suffering is not caused by conflict or lack of foreign aid, but by SPDC repression..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-04)
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg0604.html
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2006


Title: Shoot on Sight - The ongoing SPDC offensive against villagers in northern Karen State
Date of publication: December 2006
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The Burmese army launched a large scale offensive in the districts of Toungoo, Nyaung Lay Bin and Muthraw in northern Karen State in November 2005 targeting the civilian Karen population. This offensive has been ongoing for over a year and it continues today. Villages are being shelled with mortars, looted and burnt to the ground. Crops and food supplies are being destroyed. Burmese soldiers are ordered to shoot on sight, regardless of whether it is a combatant or a defenseless civilian. As a result more than 27,000 people have been forced from their homes, either hiding in the jungle or trying to find refuge in Thailand. The Burmese army continues to increase its military presence in these areas and carry out attacks against villagers. In addition to the increased number of military attacks and militarisation of these districts, which has been ongoing for a number of years, in particular since the Karen National Union (KNU) and State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) agreed to a verbal ceasefire in January 2004, there has also been a rise in human rights abuses perpetrated by the army. These include: force labour and portering demands, land confiscation, rape and other gender based violence, looting and destruction of property, arbitrary taxation, restriction of movement, torture and extra-judicial killings. Despite the fact that this offensive has been underway for over a year now there is not a clear singular reason behind the attacks. However, a number of contributing factors have emerged: the move to the new capital Pyinmana and the establishment of a five kilometre security zone around it, the acquisition of land for national development projects, and the need to secure transportation routes to and from these sites. Additionally, the three districts targeted are considered the ‘heartland’ of Karen resistance to Burmese oppression. Despite the armed struggle though the KNU and Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) against the regime, it is the people, the civilian villagers, that pose the biggest threat to local and regional SPDC power these days. The non-violent resistance strategies, such as defying orders from the military and fleeing into the jungle rather than being controlled, employed by the villagers make them active participants in the struggle for peace and justice in Burma, not passive victims. Nonetheless, the reasons behind the offensive do not detract from the fact that the Burmese army is attacking the civilian Karen population without any form of provocation. In addition to purposely attacking villagers the Burmese army is also undermining the grassroots people’s ability to survive. The villagers in the offensive area, who are mainly farmers, were beginning to harvest their crops when the offensive began last November. As villagers had to flee to safety in the jungle, their crops either rotted in the fields or were eaten by animals, leading to food shortages. This acute food shortage will be further exacerbated next year. As the offensive continued over the past twelve months more villagers had to flee the Burmese troops. This meant that they could not prepare for next years crop. Consequently in November and December 2006 there will be no crop to harvest and food scarcity will continue next year, regardless of the political situation. Most of the 27,000 people who have been displaced have very little, if any, food. Their diets are supplemented with food that they can find from the jungle. Due to the severe landmine contamination of the areas, it is extremely dangerous to search for food. In addition to food scarcity internally displaced persons (IDPs) face serious Executive Summary Executive Summary 9 Burma Issues health issues, especially during the wet season. Malaria is prevalent, as are skin diseases, dysentery and malnutrition. It is the children and the elderly who suffer the most under the given conditions. Heavily pregnant women also face additional hardships as they have to flee the same as other villagers, walking for days and giving birth while on the run. Villagers, as a result of military attacks, are more likely to be injured by a landmine or through soldier violence, for example being shot or stabbed. Access to medical services is virtually non-existent, and what is available is gravely insufficient. As a result people often die from preventable and curable diseases and treatable injuries. The regime prevents all non-governmental organisations and United Nations agencies inside Burma giving humanitarian aid to the villagers affected by the offensive. The junta prohibits organisations traveling to these areas and documenting human rights violations and the humanitarian crisis. It is virtually impossible to bypass these regulations, as the region is very mountainous and all transportation routes, apart from walking, are controlled by the SPDC. Some community-based organizations that work cross-border from Thailand manage to bring some assistance to the IDPs, but it is only a tiny amount of what is needed. The SPDC deems the activities of these groups illegal and if the Burmese army catches workers they will simply disappear – never to be heard of or seen again. While the majority of IDPs choose to stay in hiding near their villages as a form of non-violent resistance, others decide to travel to Thailand to seek refuge in the camps along the Thai-Burma border. So far this year Thai authorities have allowed approximately 3,000 people to cross the border and enter a refugee camp near Mae Sariang, Thailand. However, the Thai authorities have not consistently kept the border open and have frequently refused IDPs entrance to the kingdom, reasoning that they are not fleeing fighting, but are merely capitalising on the resettlement opportunities that are being opened up to the refugees in the camp. As a result of the border’s sporadic closure, approximately 1,400 IDPs (a figure that is continually rising) are living in a makeshift camp along the Salween River, on the Burmese side of the border. This temporary IDP settlement receives aid from organisations working along the Thai-Burma border, at the discretion of the Thai authorities, but there are numerous protection issues associated with the camp. There is a Burmese army base that is only an hour’s walk away, making the IDPs vulnerable to a potential attack. This is the worst offensive that the junta has conducted since it joined ASEAN in 1997. However, the offensive is not an isolated event, but rather the continuation of a campaign by the military junta to control the population of Burma. Despite the fact that this offensive has been underway for over a year, the international community is yet to find a solution that will persuade the SPDC to stop their attacks on civilians. Throughout the numerous military campaigns thousands of lives have been lost – all valuable and irreplaceable."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Issues
Format/size: pdf (646K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmaissues.org/En/reports/OSP.pdf
Date of entry/update: 26 January 2007


Title: SLORC & DKBA in Papun District
Date of publication: 03 August 1996
Description/subject: "Some of the interviews in this report are with Karen villagers who fled Papun District in northern Karen State to become refugees in Thailand in April and May 1996, and some are with villagers still living in Papun District, some in their villages and some in hiding. Much of this area used to be partly or completely controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU), until it was captured by SLORC in its major 1995 offensive with the help of DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, the rival of KNU). After that, these villages started being ordered to move to the DKBA’s headquarters at Khaw Taw (Burmese name Myaing Gyi Ngu, on the Salween River near Ka Ma Maung) as the DKBA attempted to establish a captive civilian support base. Many resisted, and in December 1995 and January 1996, SLORC and DKBA troops gave final orders to about 100 villages to move to Khaw Taw or to SLORC military camps near Papun. Most villagers fled into hiding in the forests or tried to head for the Thai border. (See "Forced Relocation in Papun District", KHRG #95-11, 4/3/96.) As shown by the interviews in this report, SLORC troops in the area conducted several executions and burned some villages as a result..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-32)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Abuses in Hlaing Bwe Area
Date of publication: 16 March 1994
Description/subject: "(Pa'An District). From Dec. 93. Karen villagers: Description by an ethnic Burman of the systematic violation of human rights by SLORC troops, especially of Karen. Forced labour, incl. portering and mine-sweeping; torture; killings; orphans; bulldozing of a village without warning to build a military camp; looting; extortion; economic oppression..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Activities at Harvest Time
Date of publication: 16 November 1993
Description/subject: _Papun Dist. Sept-Nov 93. Karen men, women, children: Karen villages and fields being shelled by SLORC. Killing; wounding; economic oppression destruction of the village economy; looting; pillaging; forced labour (road-building, mine-sweeping -- women and children); confiscation of land._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Activities in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 22 February 1994
Description/subject: "Incl. Kyauk Kyi Township. Nov-Dec 93. Karen and Burman men, women, children: Forced labour on Buddhist festival; monk preaches at labour site; people forced to join the USDA and go on the rallies; extortion; SLORC profiteering; encouragement of inter-marriage; human mine-sweepers; hostage-taking (child); economic oppression; desertion of villages..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Activities in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 23 February 1994
Description/subject: _Ya Da Shi Township. Ongoing since 92: Forced labour on fish-pond and other SLORC commercial projects, many deaths; land confiscation; guarding roads; USDA extortion; economic oppression; inhuman treatment._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Murders in Mergui/Tavoy District
Date of publication: 17 December 1993
Description/subject: Sept 93. Karen men, women, children: Reprisals; torture; _killing (list); arbitrary detention; extortion incl. ransoming and making Christians pay for Buddhist offerings; forced labour; militia training to Burmans; forced relocation. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced_
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Karen Villages
Date of publication: 04 March 1994
Description/subject: _Jan-Dec 93. Sixteen signed and stamped Orders from commanding officers for labour, money, food, summoning the village head, issuing curfew instructions etc. Frequently threatening._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Karen Villages: Set 94-D
Date of publication: 24 August 1994
Description/subject: Translations of 18 Orders accompanied by Burmese originals, dated October 93-March 94, frequently accompanied by threats. Forced relocation; extortion; forced labour ("providing volunteers"). ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 94-E
Date of publication: 02 September 1994
Description/subject: The report includes the direct translations of some SLORC written orders sent to villages in the area of the Ye-Tavoy railway line between Mon State and Tenasserim Division, which is currently being constructed entirely by the slave labour of tens of thousands of Mon, Karen, Tavoyan and Burman villagers (see the related report "The Ye-Tavoy Railway", KHRG 13/4/94). These orders are now months old, but copies of them have only recently been obtained by the Karen Human Rights Group. The work has been ongoing since late 1993, and similar orders are still being issued now. All of the orders were signed by SLORC officers or officials, and in most cases were stamped with the unit stamp. Photocopies of the order documents themselves are available on request. Where necessary, the names of people, villages, and army camps have been blanked out and denoted by ‘xxxx’ to protect villagers. Many of the orders end with phrases like "Should you fail to obey it will be your responsibility". The villagers know that this means that should they fail for any reason, SLORC will likely send troops to loot the village, destroy some houses, seize porters, execute villagers, or in some cases shell the village with mortars. Note: While SLORC stands for State Law & Order Restoration Council, it administers locally through State or Divisional LORC, Township LORC, Village Tract LORC and Village LORC. This abbreviation LORC (Law & Order Restoration Council) is used throughout this report.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Set 94-E)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 95-a. Ye-Tavoy Railway, Other Labour, & Extortion
Date of publication: 05 January 1995
Description/subject: Mon State & Tenasserim Division. May-Dec 94; Forced Labour; Threats of violence; extortion; reprisals; forced relocation. ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 95-B: Newly Occupied Areas, Papun District
Date of publication: 01 May 1995
Description/subject: "Since December 1994, SLORC has been conducting a widespread offensive west of the Salween River to occupy northern Karen State's Papun District..." See the related reports "SLORC's Northern Karen Offensive", KHRG #95-10, 29/3/95, and "Porters: SLORC's Salween Offensive", KHRG #95-12, 8/4/95]._
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #95-14)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 95-D: Ye-Tavoy Railway / Gas Pipeline Area
Date of publication: 22 May 1995
Description/subject: "This report can be considered as supplementary to "SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 95-C", KHRG #95-15, 2/5/95. Photocopies of the order documents themselves may be enclosed with this report, and if not they are available on request. Villages in the area receive a constant stream of orders and threats such as these. For each order included here, there are hundreds more which have been issued. Many are lost or destroyed, while others are impossible to obtain. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to those who helped us obtain copies of these documents..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #95-17)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 95-E: Extortion, Threats, & Censorship
Date of publication: 02 July 1995
Description/subject: TOPIC SUMMARY: Extortion of cash and goods (#2,3,5-14,17,18,20), extortion of timber (#7,8, 10,11), arrest (#3,15,16), threats to arrest (#1,6,8,21,24), threats to destroy villages (#2,13,19), forced labour (#4,22,23), coverup of a Tatmadaw shooting (#25), attempts to block the Karen Youth Organization (#26-28), restrictions on Mon language education (#29), speech censorship (#30).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #95-22)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 96-A, Kya In & Kawkareik Area
Date of publication: 20 February 1996
Description/subject: "Following are the direct translations of SLORC typed and handwritten orders sent to Karen villages in the Kya In and Kawkareik areas of Karen State. All of these orders were signed by SLORC Army (Tatmadaw) officers or SLORC officials, and most of the orders bear the rubber stamps of the issuing military unit. Many of them were copied and sent to many villages. Photocopies of the original orders (with certain details such as village names blacked out) are available on request. Most of the following orders involve demands for forced labour, money, food, building materials, rice confiscation quotas, etc., along with forced relocation orders, threatening demands for village heads to go to the Army camp, and others. Hundreds of such orders are issued every week, so those translated in this set should only be considered a representative sampling. The elders of a village generally receive several such orders every week. Some of the orders mention "voluntary labourers", a SLORC euphemism for forced labour; as the orders make very clear, serious action will be taken if the "volunteers" fail to show. Another common expression is "If you fail, it will be your responsibility". This means you can expect to be arrested and tortured, and it will be your own fault. Action taken against villages for failure to obey such orders often includes arrest, detention and torture of elders, increased forced labour or extortion quotas, troops coming and looting the village, burning houses and food supplies, or shelling the village..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #96-08)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC ORDERS TO VILLAGES: SET 96-B, Taungoo District
Date of publication: 23 February 1996
Description/subject: "Following are the direct translations of SLORC typed and handwritten orders sent to Karen villages in Taungoo District in mid-1995. At that time SLORC was intensifying its "Four Cuts" program in the area, ordering villages to move and burning villages and food supplies in order to cut off all possibility of civilian support for the few Karen resistance forces still remaining in the area. This campaign is still continuing - since January 1996 many more villages have been ordered to move to Army labour camps under threat of death, the flow of goods from Taungoo to villages in the area has been cut off, and hundreds of villagers have been taken as porters and other forced labour (see related KHRG reports). The written orders being used right now are not yet available, but they are doubtless almost identical to those in this report. The following orders are just a small sample of the hundreds issued in the area. All of these orders were signed by SLORC Army (Tatmadaw) officers, and most of the orders bear the rubber stamps of the issuing military unit. Many of them were copied and sent to many villages. Photocopies of the original orders (with certain details such as village names blacked out) are available on request..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG_Set 96-B)(KHRG #96-09)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 96-C
Date of publication: 27 May 1996
Description/subject: Ye-Tavoy Railway, Dooplaya District "This report contains direct translations of several SLORC orders sent to villages in 1995. Orders #1 thru #15 were issued in the Ye-Tavoy railway area and concern railway labour. The Burmese copies of these orders were provided to KHRG by XXXX. Orders #16 and #17 were issued to Karen villages further north in Dooplaya District..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #96-22)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 96-E: Central Karen State
Date of publication: 31 July 1996
Description/subject: "Following are the direct translations of some written orders sent from SLORC Army units to Karen villages in the area south of Kawkareik, in south-central Karen State. Most of them are demands for villages to send forced labourers, while some also demand food and building materials. Some are simply a summons for village elders to attend 'meetings' - these meetings at army camps are to dictate forced labour and extortion payment demands, and even though the Camp may be 3 to 5 miles away a 60-year old elder is expected to drop everything and walk there. As a result, many village elders fail to attend them, which only leads to further threats of 'action' against the elders and the village; several examples of this can be seen in this report. To show the effect of such orders, at the end of the report is an account given by a woman who went for the forced labour demanded in Order #4, which turned out to be 6 days in the hot sun planting rubber trees until she had to be carried away semi-unconscious from fever..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #96-30)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 96-F_ Central Karen State
Date of publication: 10 December 1996
Description/subject: "Following are the direct translations of some written orders sent from SLORC Army units to Karen villages in the area south of Kawkareik, in south-central Karen State. They include demands for forced labour on roads and at Army camps, extortion money, food, building materials, and intelligence. Some are simply a summons for village elders to attend 'meetings' - these meetings at army camps are to dictate forced labour and extortion payment demands, and even though the Camp may be 3 to 5 miles away a 60-year old elder is expected to drop everything and walk there. As a result, many village elders fail to attend them, which only leads to further threats of 'action' against the elders and the village; several examples of this can be seen in this report..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #96-35)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 97-B: Central Karen State (Information Update)
Date of publication: 14 September 1997
Description/subject: "The article is the direct translations of some written orders sent from SLORC Army units to Karen villages in Pa’an District of central Karen State, southeastern Burma. They include demands for villagers to do forced labour as porters, at Army camps and on the Pata - Daw Lan road, demands for food, extortion money, bullock carts and building materials, demands for villagers to provide their rice quotas to the Army and threats against those who fail to comply, and orders issued to villages by the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, which is allied with SLORC) demanding supplies. Some are simply a summons for village elders to attend ‘meetings’ - these meetings at army camps are to dictate forced labour and extortion payment demands, and even though the Camp may be 3 to 5 miles away a 60-year old elder is expected to drop everything and walk there. As a result, many village elders fail to attend them, which only leads to further threats of ‘action’ against the elders and the village..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #97-10)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC ORDERS TO VILLAGES: SET 98-A (Information Update)
Date of publication: 01 March 1998
Description/subject: Pa'an District, Central Karen State The article is the direct translations of some written orders sent from SLORC Army units to Karen villages in southern Pa’an District of central Karen State, southeastern Burma. Though SLORC (State Law & Order Restoration Council) has now changed its name to SPDC (State Peace & Development Council), these orders were issued shortly before the name change. They include demands for villagers to do forced labour as porters and messengers, at Army camps and on the road from Nabu to Pa’an, as well as demands for food, building materials, and extortion money. Some are simply a summons for village elders to attend ‘meetings’ - these meetings at army camps are to dictate forced labour and extortion payment demands, and even though the Camp may be 3 to 5 miles away a 60-year-old elder is expected to drop everything and walk there. As a result, many village elders fail to attend them, which only leads to further threats of ‘action’ against the elders and the village. At the end of this report we have also included the translation of a letter from a villager in central Pa’an District to a KHRG human rights monitor, describing a meeting between SLORC officials and Village-level LORC representatives... "
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #97-10)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Rape in Thaton District
Date of publication: 01 February 1993
Description/subject: Nov-Dec 92. Karen F, C: rape of woman in bed with her children; looting; killing.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Shootings & Arrests of Refugees
Date of publication: 14 January 1995
Description/subject: Karen State. Aug-Nov 94. Karen Men, women, children. List of people killed, wounded, arrested, disappeared, by SLORC. Killings; wounding; EO; ransoming; looting, pillaging; forced portering; torture; arbitrary detention; extortion; inhuman treatment (beating); forced labour.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-02)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC Victims in Nyaunglebin District
Date of publication: 01 September 1994
Description/subject: Shwegin Township, from 11 July 94, Karen, Burman. Men, women, children; Robbery; arbitrary detention; extortion; beating; torture, incl of women; killing; looting; forced labour, incl portering; hostage-taking, incl of child; violence against women; abuse of children.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC's Use of Women Porters
Date of publication: 16 February 1993
Description/subject: "Late 92. Karen, men, women, children: Forced portering; killing; torture; forced labour (incl. mine-sweeping); use of human shields (porters forced to put on army uniforms and go ahead of the march); use of porters to carry ammunition to the soldiers during fighting; abandonment of wounded porters; gang rape; old women and children used as porters; inhuiman treatment (beating, deprivation of sleep, food, water and medicine); rape; looting; extortion; women and children forced to do mine-sweeping..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC's Northern Karen Offensive
Date of publication: 29 March 1995
Description/subject: "The purpose of this report is not to describe the military details of the fall of Manerplaw and other areas, as these subjects have been covered elsewhere. Instead, this report focusses on the effects on the civilian population of this year’s SLORC/DKBA offensive in the Moei and Salween river areas along the Thai/Burma border. Some information on the formation of the DKBO/DKBA and the fall of Manerplaw is given in order to make the other information more understandable, but the main issues covered in the report are the destruction of villages, forced relocations, new flows of refugees, movements of existing refugee camps and terrorist attacks in Thailand, all of which are part of the ongoing SLORC/DKBA offensive. The first section of the report gives a detailed summary of events and how they fit into the overall picture, while the second section consists of detailed interviews with villagers involved in various aspects of the situation. There have been countless rumours flying up and down the border area, so many reported incidents have taken a great deal of time and effort to check and confirm. Rumoured events which proved impossible to confirm have either been omitted from the report or noted as unconfirmed reports..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC/DKBA Activities in Kawkareik Township
Date of publication: 10 July 1995
Description/subject: SLORC: Killings (Stories #4,5), torture (#2,5,6,12), abuse ofwomen (#2,5, 12), detention (#5), forced labour (#1,2,6,7,12),looting (#1,6), extortion (#1,4,5,9,12), retaliation againstvillagers after soldiers desert (#4,5,9), executions of DKBA(#1,11), threats against Karen refugees (#1);DKBA: Killings (#4,9), torture (#3,8,9,10), abuse of women(#3-5,8,9), detention (#8), forced labour (#3,7,8), looting(#1,4,5,6,8), extortion (#10), threats / actions againstvillagers (#2,3,5,6,8, 9), against Christians (#3,4,5,10),against KNU families (#3-6,8,9,11), against refugees (#1,6,7);GENERAL: Armed monks (#2,3,7), monks against DKBA (#1,2,3,4,9), Buddhist / Christian relations (#1,3,4,9,10), opinion of Buddhist Karen soldier (#10), SLORC control of DKBA (#1,3, 11), Ko Per Kit (#3,12), closure of Karen schools (#1,3), life as a village head (#12).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-23)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC/DKBA Activities: Northern Karen Districts
Date of publication: 18 July 1995
Description/subject: "This report covers some recent events in Papun (Karen name Mudraw), Thaton, and Nyaunglebin (Karen name Kler Lwe Htoo) Districts in the northern half of Karen State and part of Pegu Division. It focusses on the effects on civilian villagers of the ongoing activities and collaboration of SLORC and DKBA - the 'Democratic Karen Buddhist Army', formed in December 1994 by the monk U Thuzana but primarily operating under the orders of SLORC... " Papun District (#P1-P19,N1,T1,T2), Nyaunglebin District (N1), Thaton District (T1,T2), situation in Khaw Taw (K1,T1,T2,P1). SLORC burning villages (P1,P2,P10, P11,T1), DKBA burning villages (P1,P11,P16-P19,T1), SLORC looting/extortion (P1,P2,P9-P13,T1), DKBA looting/extortion (P11,P16,P18,T1,T2), killings (P12,P19,N1,T1), arrest/torture (P1,P3-P5,P10,P11, P13), attempted rape (P2,P5), abuse of women (P1,P2,P4, P5,P10), forced labour (P9,P10,P16,T1,T2), porters/human minesweepers (P2,P3-5, P11,P15,P18). Forced or threatened relocation to Khaw Taw (P1,P9-P11, P16-P18,T2,K1), to other places (P1,P2, P6,P7), DKBA threats/acts against Christians (P10,P11,P15,P17), SLORC / DKBA disputes (T2, K1), SLORC military offensives (P8,P12,N1), new refugees (P9-P19,N1), shooting of a refugee by Thai helicopter (P14-P15), thoughts of refugees on going back to Burma (P9-P19). ... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-24)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SLORC/DKBA Activities: Pa'an District
Date of publication: 14 January 1996
Description/subject: "The report was given in an interview with KHRG in early January by a civilian medic and human rights monitor who just returned from Pa’an District. The area he visited, also known as part of KNU 7th Brigade, was until 1995 mainly controlled by the KNU and not much bothered by SLORC; however, SLORC’s extensive offensives throughout 1995 have greatly weakened KNU presence in the area. In the process, SLORC installed the DKBA in the area and the two groups now effectively control it. The most disturbing news is that in order to try to complete its control over the area, SLORC is now imposing a blockade on food and medical supplies into the area, while simultaneously sending the DKBA into the villages to systematically loot whatever food the villagers have. It seems unlikely that this can be intended solely to hurt the few KNLA soldiers still in the area, because SLORC knows they get their supplies across the border. It is more likely that the intent is simply to starve Karen villagers, to wipe out some of the Karen population and to create a human disaster in order to weaken the KNU’s position in ceasefire talks. Regardless of the intent, this is already heading toward a human disaster which may be impossible to prevent if the SLORC and DKBA continue to rule the area. In addition to this, it is important to note that the area described in this report is one of the areas to which the Thai authorities now say it is safe to repatriate refugees..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-05)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Southern Papun District: Abuse and the expansion of military control
Date of publication: 30 August 2010
Description/subject: This report presents information on the human rights situation in village tracts along the southern end of the Ka Ma Maung to Papun road in southern Dweh Loh and Bu Tho townships. SPDC and DKBA units maintain control over strategic points in lowland areas of this part of southern Papun, including relocation sites and vehicle roads, and support their presence by levying a range of exploitative demands on the local civilian population. SPDC and DKBA forces also continue to conduct offensive military operations in upland areas of southern Papun; for villagers living beyond permanent military control, these activities entail exploitative abuses, movement restrictions and, in some cases, violence including military attacks. Communities in both lowland and upland areas employ a variety of strategies to protect themselves and their livelihoods from SPDC and DKBA abuses and the effects of abuse. Strategies documented in this report include negotiation; paying fines in lieu of compliance with demands; discreet semi- or false compliance, or overt non-compliance or refusal to meet demands; strategic displacement to areas beyond consolidated SPDC or DKBA control; and actively monitoring local security conditions to inform decisions about further self-protection responses. This is the last of four reports detailing the situation in Papun District's southern townships that have been released in August 2010. Incidents described below occurred between September 2009 and April 2010.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-F8)
Format/size: pdf (779K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2010/khrg10f8
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2010


Title: Sovereignty, Survival and Resistance: Contending Perspectives on Karen Internal Displacement in Burma
Date of publication: 01 March 2005
Description/subject: Abstract: "This paper examines the nature and dynamics of Karen internal displacement in Burma through perspectives expressed by villagers themselves, and then contrasts their view of the situation with that projected by international labels and definitions. Initially, it contrasts the prevalent way of viewing internal displacement, which it argues is built upon state sovereignty, and a ‘popular sovereignty’ perspective which attempts to understand displacement by beginning from the viewpoint of local people rather than internationally-accepted definitions. It then looks at Karen internal displacement using the latter perspective and finds it to be an ongoing and sociocultural process rather than a spatial displacement from ‘home’. Though occurring in a context of armed conflict, it is not caused by armed conflict but by state efforts to consolidate territorial sovereignty over civilians who are used to local-level sovereignty and ‘non-state’ identities. Villagers therefore respond with survival strategies which in themselves constitute resistance to state authority. International perspectives, however, ignore this when they apply misleading assumptions and oversimplifications like ‘conflict-induced displacement’ and overdetermine people’s identities with labels like ‘IDP’ which depict people as helpless bystanders to their own context. Such labels ignore people’s capacities to respond to their own situation and the resistance aspect in their responses, and lead to top-down relief-based solutions which favour the repressive state and weaken the position of displaced people themselves. The importance of which epistemology is chosen to understand internal displacement situations is illustrated by the contrast between covert local-level aid to Karen village survival strategies, which is unabashedly political and empowers people in their resistance to state control, versus UNHCR’s agreement with Burma’s military junta to prepare the ground for refugee repatriation, which claims ‘humanitarian neutrality’ but strengthens the state, ignores local perspectives and poses a serious threat to the lives and livelihoods of the internally displaced. The paper concludes that most interventions in internal displacement situations fail to improve conditions for the displaced because they apply internationally-developed labels to people and situations which ignore local perspectives and dynamics, and calls for a new look at ‘internal’ displacement which is much more politically engaged and gives much greater weight to local visions."
Author/creator: Kevin Heppner
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Working Paper #2005-W1)
Format/size: pdf (727K) 52 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/papers/wp2005w1.htm
Date of entry/update: 19 June 2005


Title: SPDC & DKBA Orders to Villages (Set 2000-A)
Date of publication: 29 February 2000
Description/subject: Papun, Toungoo, Dooplaya & Pa'an Districts "The report includes the direct translations of close to 300 written orders sent from State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) Army units and local authorities to villages in Papun, Toungoo, Dooplaya and Pa’an Districts of Karen State, southeastern Burma (click here to see the Map). They were issued during the period mid-1998 through December 1999 and have been selected from over 350 such orders. They include orders restricting the movements and activities of villagers, demands for forced labour, support for military operations, extortion of money, food, goods and building materials, and orders summoning village elders to attend ‘meetings’ at which SPDC Army officers or officials dictate demands for forced labour, money and materials and threaten the village for any failure to comply. Many of the orders demanding forced labour were issued well after May 14, 1999, which is when the SPDC leadership claims to have issued a general order to all of their military and administrative units to halt conscription of forced labour under the Villages Act and Towns Act, colonial-era laws which allow authorities to press-gang labour under certain circumstances. In practice, the military and SPDC authorities violate the conditions of these Acts (for example, that only able-bodied and unemployed men be conscripted) in most of their demands, and almost never even make reference to these Acts when demanding forced labour from villages..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2000-01)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SPDC & DKBA Orders to Villages: Set 2001-A
Date of publication: 18 May 2001
Description/subject: Papun, Pa'an, Thaton, Nyaunglebin, Toungoo, & Dooplaya Districts.This report presents direct translations of over 500 order documents and letters sent to villages by SPDC military units and authorities from late 1999 through January 2001. Over 300 of them contain demands for forced labour, negating the SPDC's claims to have put a stop to the practice. Others were used to restrict the movements and activities of villagers, demand crop quotas, extortion money, food and building materials without payment, and order villagers to cooperate with SPDC occupation troops in several different ways. Many of them threaten to arrest and detain village elders, shell villages with mortar fire, shoot villagers, or pillage, burn or relocate villages if they fail to comply. This report, our longest in almost 10 years of human rights documentation, is part of KHRG's ongoing project to translate and publish these orders as evidence(previous sets can be seen in "SPDC & DKBA Orders to Villages: Set 2000-B" and other earlier reports); even as it went to print, we had already obtained over 300 newer order documents which we are currently processing for upcoming release.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2001-02)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SPDC & DKBA Orders to Villages: Set 99-C
Date of publication: 04 August 1999
Description/subject: Karen and Mon States "The report the direct translations of some written orders sent from SPDC and DKBA Army units and local authorities to villages in Pa’an and Dooplaya Districts of Karen State and Kyaik Mayaw township of Mon State, southeastern Burma. All of them were issued in the period November 1998 - July 1999. They include orders announcing the commencement of a major forced labour canal project in Mon State in April 1999, orders for forced donations by dozens of villages to an Army-organised Buddhist temple festival, demands for village donations to establish an SPDC-recognised school, a letter of resignation which an NLD member in Karen State was forced or coerced to sign, dozens of demands for forced labour of various kinds, demands for money, food and building materials, and orders issued by the DKBA in Pa’an District. There are also orders summoning village elders to attend ‘meetings’ at which SPDC Army officers or officials dictate demands for forced labour, money and materials and threaten the village for any failure to comply..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #99-06)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SPDC and DKBA order documents: August 2008 to June 2009
Date of publication: 27 August 2009
Description/subject: "This report includes translated copies of 75 order documents issued by Burma Army and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army officers to village heads in Karen State between August 2008 and June 2009. These documents serve as supplementary evidence of ongoing exploitative local governance in rural Burma. The report thus supports the continuing testimonies of villagers regarding the regular demands for labour, money, food and other supplies to which their communities are subject by local military forces. The order documents collected here include demands for attendance at meetings; the provision of money and alcohol; the production and delivery of thatch shingles and bamboo poles; forced labour as messengers and porters for the military; forced labour on road repair; the provision of information on individuals and households; registration of villagers in State-controlled 'NGOs'; and restrictions on travel and the use of muskets. In almost all cases, such demands are uncompensated and backed by an implicit threat of violence or other punishment for non-compliance. Almost all demands articulated in the orders presented in this report involve some element of forced labour in their implementation..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #2009-04 )
Format/size: pfd (1.2 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2009/khrg0904.html
Date of entry/update: 15 November 2009


Title: SPDC and DKBA order documents: January 2009 to June 2010
Date of publication: 14 September 2010
Description/subject: Abstract: "This report includes translated copies of 94 order documents issued by State Peace and Development Council Army and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army officers to village heads in Karen State between January 2009 and June 2010. These documents serve as supplementary evidence of ongoing exploitative local governance in rural Burma. The report thus supports the continuing testimonies of villagers regarding the regular demands for labour, money, food and other supplies to which their communities are subject by local military forces. The order documents collected here include demands for attendance at meetings; the provision of money and food; the production and delivery of thatch shingles and bamboo poles; forced labour as messengers and porters for the military; forced labour on bridge repair, the provision of information on individuals and households; and restrictions on trade. In almost all cases, such demands are uncompensated and backed by an implicit or explicit threat of violence or other punishment for non-compliance. Almost all demands articulated in the orders presented in this report involve some element of forced labour in their implementation.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-05)
Format/size: pdf (604K)
Date of entry/update: 26 September 2010


Title: SPDC Attacks on Villages in Nyaunglebin and Papun Districts and the Civilian Response
Date of publication: 11 September 2006
Description/subject: "Despite the difficulty of sustaining regular military operations under rainy season conditions, the SPDC has continued to press its soldiers to continue the northern Karen State offensive that began in November 2005. Rather than a campaign against armed opposition groups, however, the SPDC has been engaged in hostilities against rural villagers living outside of direct military control in areas of Toungoo, Nyaunglebin and Papun Districts. Soldiers have bombarded villages with high-powered mortars, razed homes and food stores, burned crops and shot fleeing civilians on sight. By attacking in this manner, the SPDC has attempted to force all villagers into military-controlled villages and relocation sites in the plains, along car roads and near army bases. At these sites the military can more easily exploit civilians for the food, labour, finances and supplies needed to support individual military personnel and the wider structures of militarisation. However, the SPDC has so far been unsuccessful in bringing all civilians under their control as villagers have consistently fled to evade advancing troops. In such situations of displacement, villagers have employed their own strategies to resist the militarisation of their lives and retain their dignity in the face of systematic human rights abuses. This report presents information on SPDC military attacks against villages in Nyaunglebin and Papun Districts of northern Karen State as well as the responses and resistance strategies of local villagers during the period of March to June 2006..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F9)
Format/size: pdf (930K), html
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f9.html
Date of entry/update: 06 October 2006


Title: SPDC military begins pincer movement, adds new camps in Papun district
Date of publication: 09 August 2006
Description/subject: "KHRG continues to monitor the activities of large SPDC military columns which are systematically destroying villages in Papun, Nyaunglebin and Toungoo districts. We have just received information from a KHRG researcher in the field that in the past week SPDC Military Operations Command #15 has launched its expected pincer operation in northern Papun district, trying to catch Karen villagers between its Tactical Operations Command #2 coming from the south and Tactical Operations Command #3 coming from the north. These two large multi-battalion columns, with several hundred soldiers each, are attempting to force all villagers out of the hills west of the Yunzalin River (Bway Loh Kloh) in northern Papun district of Karen State. Tactical Operations Command #2 has pushed north from Naw Yo Hta and has now set up a new base at Baw Ka Plaw, just north of Kay Pu; while Tactical Operations Command #3 has approached the same area from the north, coming down from Bu Sah Kee and establishing themselves at a new camp at Si Day. This pincer movement and the establishment of these two new Army camps ensure that the hill villagers in the northern tip of Papun district will remain displaced for the coming months and will lose their entire rice harvest, creating serious concerns about their food security and survival over the coming year."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B10)
Format/size: html, pdf (459K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06b10.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 August 2006


Title: SPDC mortar attack on school in Papun District
Date of publication: 24 February 2010
Description/subject: "One 15-year-old student is dead and two other students are injured after an 81 mm mortar fired into an IDP hiding site in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District, landed in a school set up by the villagers. As of February 21st, the site’s 353 residents remained in hiding and are actively seeking to avoid being shot-onsight by SPDC Army troops that remain in their area."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2010-B5)
Format/size: pdf ( 684K - English version; 409K - Karen version)
Alternate URLs: http://khrg.org/reports/karenlanguage/khrg10b5_karen_language.pdf
Date of entry/update: 12 October 2010


Title: SPDC Operations in Kler Lweh Htoo (Nyaunglebin) District
Date of publication: 30 April 2006
Description/subject: "#2006-F4)documents rapidly increasing repression and attacks on villages and villagers since November 2005 in an attempt to force villagers out of the hills and gain total control of the area. Heavily armed patrol columns have been burning villages, destroying crops and shooting villagers, both adults and children, on sight. The SPDC columns are avoiding resistance forces, focusing their attacks instead on undefended villages because it is the villagers they are after. Even in plains areas already strongly controlled by SPDC forces, villages are being burned and their occupants herded into relocation sites, while Army units steal their food supplies and torture their village elders as a means of intimidation. These activities have increased even more since February 2006, with researchers in the area reporting that these are the worst SPDC attacks against villagers since 1997..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG 2006-F4)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 April 2006


Title: SPDC Orders to Villages: Set 99-A
Date of publication: 10 February 1999
Description/subject: Pa'an, Toungoo, Dooplaya and Papun Districts "Following are the direct translations of some written orders sent from SPDC Army units and local authorities to Karen villages in Pa’an, Toungoo, Dooplaya and Papun Districts of Karen State, southeastern Burma. They include orders for villages to move, threats that villages helping SPDC Army deserters or contacting resistance groups will be severely punished, demands for villagers to do forced labour as porters, messengers, road labourers, at Army camps and other forms of forced labour, as well as demands for food, building materials, and extortion money. Some are simply a summons for village elders to attend ‘meetings’ at which SPDC Army officers or officials dictate demands for forced labour, money and materials and threaten the village for any failure to comply..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #99-0)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SPDC Orders to Villages: Set 99-B: Thaton and Pa'an Districts
Date of publication: 19 April 1999
Description/subject: "Following are the direct translations of some written orders sent from SPDC and DKBA Army units and local authorities to Karen villages in Thaton and Pa’an Districts of Karen State, southeastern Burma. All of them were issued in the period September 1998 - March 1999. They include orders restricting the movement of villagers, demands for forced labour, money, food and materials, a DKBA notification about landmine operations in Pa’an District, an SPDC letter about education of children in the village, and even a letter from an SPDC officer to village elders reminiscing about his time in their village and apologising for the things he did ‘under orders’. Many of them simply summon village elders to attend ‘meetings’ at which SPDC Army officers or officials dictate demands for forced labour, money and materials and threaten the village for any failure to comply..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG #99-03)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SPDC troops commence full offensive in Papun district
Date of publication: 01 June 2006
Description/subject: "In April 2006, State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) Army units in Papun district of northern Karen State began attacking civilian villages, leading to fears that the offensive in neighbouring Toungoo and Nyaunglebin districts was likely to expand. On May 16th KHRG reported the arrival of seven new SPDC battalions in Papun district, bringing the number of battalions in the district to at least 27,[1] and predicted an imminent wave of new attacks against villages (see Villagers displaced as SPDC offensive expands into Papun district, 16/5/06). In the past week these troops have begun to move and to attack villages. A KHRG researcher in the district reports that at present three SPDC columns are sweeping in three directions throughout the northern half of the district, burning houses and destroying food supplies. More troops are expected to arrive soon to extend these attacks further, and the offensive is now almost certain to continue through the rainy season..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B6)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 01 June 2006


Title: SPDC Violates the Ceasefire During Karen New Year Celebrations; the Attack on Kah Law Ghaw Village, Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 03 February 2005
Description/subject: "Karen New Year, the largest celebration on the Karen calendar, was disrupted this year when SPDC Army soldiers once again violated the fragile ceasefire existing between the SPDC Army and the KNU. Karen New Year was observed on January 10 this year and was commemorated throughout all of the Karen areas. For only the second time in the village’s existence, large-scale celebrations were held in Kah Law Ghaw village of Kawkareik township, Dooplaya District with villagers coming from many nearby villages to join in the celebrations. On January 10, a column of soldiers from IB #230, LIB #356, and LIB #545 (all of which are subordinate to Sa Ka Ka [Military Operations Command] #12) had advanced to within 1000 metres of Kah Law Ghaw village..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-B1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 March 2005


Title: Starving Them Out: Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
Date of publication: 31 March 2000
Description/subject: "This report consists of an Introduction and Executive Summary, followed by a detailed analysis of the situation supported by quotes from interviews and excerpts from SPDC order documents sent to villages in the region. As mentioned above, an Annex to this report containing the full text of the remaining interviews can be seen by following the link from the table of contents or from KHRG upon approved request..." Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-02)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: State repression and the creation of poverty in southern Karen State
Date of publication: 23 February 2007
Description/subject: "With most of southern Karen State’s Dooplaya district under SPDC control since 1997, villagers face increasing regimentation, restrictions and exploitation by the SPDC and its armed allies that make life virtually unsustainable. The main aspects of this regimentation were already described in detail by KHRG in the report Setting Up the Systems of Repression: The progressive regimentation of civilian life in Dooplaya District (KHRG #2006-04, September 2006). This report follows the same themes, updating the situation by drawing on KHRG’s continued interviewing and reporting in the field since September 2006. Forced agricultural programmes, forced labour, and forced recruitment to SPDC-run organisations and administrative structures are combining with systematic state-run extortion, looting, and confiscation of land and crops to artificially create poverty and hunger, forcing many villagers to send family members to Thailand to work illegally for the family’s survival. While some UN agencies claim that these are simple matters of poverty that have nothing to do with state repression, villagers are increasingly taking matters into their own hands by finding daring and creative ways to evade or refuse the demands placed on them by the SPDC and other authorities and undermine the power of these groups over their lives..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (697K)
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2007


Title: Statement by Naw Htoo Paw
Date of publication: 21 April 1992
Description/subject: "Kyauk Kyi Township, Jan-Feb 92. F, Karen: Forced labour (building an army camp); rape; IT; worry about children left in the village..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Statement of Naw Mya Thaung
Date of publication: 24 January 1992
Description/subject: Shwegung Township. Karen women, children: mass gang rape; (including of children and old women; killing; beating of a monk; looting; pillaging (destroying property and burning crops)in a Karen village, which was subsequently abandoned.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Statements by Internally Displaced People: Karen Civilians Displaced by SLORC Activities in Thaton District
Date of publication: 28 April 1993
Description/subject: "Pa'An Township, Thaton District. Late 92-early 93. Karen M,F,C: Difficulty supporting children under SLORC oppression; Looting; pillaging (incl. killing of 30 cows);EO; rape; torture; ransoming; forced relocation; beating of children; forced labour, incl. portering; extortion; disappearances..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Strengthening the Grip on Dooplaya (Information Update)
Date of publication: 10 June 1998
Description/subject: In early 1997, the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) military junta ruling Burma mounted a major offensive against the Karen National Union (KNU) and succeeded in capturing and occupying most of the remainder of Dooplaya District in central Karen State. Since that time the SLORC has changed its name to the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC), but its occupation troops have continued to strengthen their control over the rural Karen villagers who live in the region. This report provides an update on the current situation for villagers in Dooplaya’s farming communities under the SPDC occupation and for some of those who have attempted to flee to Thailand. It looks closely at the difficulties currently faced by the Dta La Ku, a Karen religious minority who have been targetted for persecution by armies on all sides of the conflict but who are almost completely ignored by the outside world, and at the formation of a new Army in the Dooplaya region: the "Nyein Chan Yay A’Pway", or "Peace Force", who call themselves the "Karen Peace Army" in English and are working closely with the SPDC regime. For further background on the 1997 offensive in Dooplaya and its immediate aftermath, see the previously released reports "Refugees from the SLORC Occupation" (KHRG #97-07, 25/5/97) and "Clampdown in Southern Dooplaya" (KHRG #97-11, 18/11/97). "Developments in the SPDC Occupation of Dooplaya District..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #98-05)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Suffering in Silence: The Human Rights Nightmare of the Karen People of Burma
Date of publication: 2000
Description/subject: "...This book presents the voices of ethnic Karen villagers to give an idea of what it is like to be a rural villager in Burma: the brutal and constant shifts of forced labor for the Army, the intimidation tactics, the systematic extortion and looting by Army and State authorities, the constant fear of arbitrary arrest, rape, torture, and summary execution, the forced relocation and burning of hundreds of civilian villages and the systematic uprooting of their crops. Three detailed reports produced by the Karen Human Rights Group in 1999 are used to give the reader a sampling of the life of Karen villagers, both in areas where there is armed resistance to the rule of the SPDC junta and in areas where the junta is fully in control. ..."
Author/creator: Claudio O. Delang, Kevin Heppner
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://books.google.com/books?id=HmxvcEgWap4C
Date of entry/update: 09 May 2008


Title: Summary of Forced Labour in Burma (Information Update)
Date of publication: 07 August 1997
Description/subject: "These notes are intended to provide a brief summary of the systematic use of forced labour by the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) military junta ruling Burma. For further details and supporting evidence, we suggest that the Commission refer to the other reports already submitted by the Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG). These supporting documents include written/typed order documents sent to villages by SLORC military units and administrative bodies demanding that villages provide forced labour under threat of retribution should they fail..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #97-S1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: SURVIVING IN SHADOW: Widespread Militarization and the Systematic Use of Forced Labour in the Campaign for Control of Thaton District
Date of publication: 17 January 2006
Description/subject: " This report examines the situation faced by Karen villagers in Thaton District (known as Doo Tha Htoo in Karen). The district lies in what is officially the northern part of Mon State and also encompasses part of Karen State to the west of the Salween River . Successive Burmese regimes have had strong control over the parts of the district to the west of the Rangoon-Martaban road for many years. They were also able to gain 'defacto' control over the eastern part of the district following the fall of the former Karen National Union (KNU) stronghold at Manerplaw in 1995. The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) is also strong in the district, particularly in the eastern stretches of Pa'an township. Although diminished in recent years, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the KNU, is still quite active in the district. The villagers in the district have had to contend with all three of these armed groups. The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and DKBA demand forced labour, taxes, and extortion money from the villagers while also severely restricting their movements. While the demands for some forms of forced labour such as portering have declined over the past few years, the villagers continue to be regularly called upon by both the SPDC and the DKBA to expand the ever-increasing network of roads throughout the district, as well to fulfil the frequent orders to supply staggering quantities of building materials. A number of new SPDC and DKBA controlled commercial ventures have also appeared in the district in recent years, to which the villagers are also forced to 'contribute' their labour. In 2000, the SPDC confiscated 5,000 acres of land for use as an immense sugarcane plantation, while more recently in late 2004, the SPDC again confiscated another 5,000 acres of the villagers' farmland, all of which is to become a huge rubber plantation, co-owed and operated by Rangoon-based company Max Myanmar. In addition, the villagers are punished for any perceived support for the KNLA or KNU. All such systems of control greatly impoverish the villagers, to the extent that now many of them struggle just to survive. Most villagers have few options but to try to live as best they can. SPDC control of the district is too tight for the villagers to live in hiding in the forest and Thailand is too far for most villagers to flee to. The villagers are forced to answer the demands of the SPDC and DKBA, of which there are many, while trying to avoid punishment for any supposed support of the resistance. They have to balance this with trying to find enough time to work in their fields and find enough food to feed their families. This report provides a detailed analysis of the human rights situation in Thaton District from 2000 to the present. It is based on 216 interviews conducted by KHRG researchers with people in SPDC-controlled villages, in hill villages, in hiding in the forest and with those who have fled to Thailand to become refugees. These interviews are supplemented by SPDC and DKBA order documents selected from the hundreds we have obtained from the area, along with field reports, maps, and photographs taken by KHRG field researchers. All of the interviews were conducted between November 1999 and November 2004. A number of field reports dated up until June 2005 have also been included. The report begins with an Introduction and Executive Summary. The detailed analysis that follows has been broken down into ten main sections. The villagers tell most of the story in the main sections through direct quotes taken from recorded interviews. The full text of the interviews and the field reports upon which this report is based are available from KHRG upon approved request."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 January 2006


Title: Suu Kyi's release covers up Dooplaya offensive; forced labour and forced recruitment; persecution of Muslims
Date of publication: 26 September 2002
Description/subject: "This Commentary looks at the direct relation between political events in Rangoon and the mass forced relocations in Dooplaya district, the continued killings of internally displaced villagers in northern Karen State, and the resurgence of forced labour since the departure of the International Labour Organisation investigators. It concludes that the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the SPDC-NLD 'talks' have been used as smokescreens so that military repression can be increased throughout the country, and that the international community must demand an end to the killings and massive human rights abuses before assigning any relevance whatsoever to the Rangoon talks. The plight of Burma's Muslim communities is also discussed, as the SPDC shows signs of wanting to take advantage of global anti-Muslim sentiment to launch new pogroms and restrictions against this already grossly persecuted population. "
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #2002-C1)
Format/size: pdf (127K), html (24K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2002/khrg02c1.html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Tatmadaw soldiers shell village, attack church and civilian property in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 25 November 2011
Description/subject: "On October 12th 2011, soldiers from Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #603 and Infantry Battalion (IB) #92 shelled and then attacked on foot W--- village in the Htee Tha Saw area of Than Daung Township following a clash with Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) soldiers approximately 45 minutes on foot from W--- village. According to Saw F---, a resident of W--- village who fled and hid in the forest during the attack, Tatmadaw soldiers fired approximately 50 mortar rounds into W--- and nearby civilian areas and then entered W---, where soldiers fired small arms deliberately at villagers' houses, the Roman Catholic church and religious and cultural items; killed villagers' animals; and looted or damaged villagers' property including food stores, clothing, roofing materials and money. This report is based on information provided by two villagers trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses,[1] including two situation reports, one incident report, an audio interview with Saw F---, and 82 photographs and three video clips taken in the W--- village area one week after the attack occurred."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (523K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b46.html
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Tenasserim Division: Forced Relocation and Forced Labour (Information Update)
Date of publication: 09 February 1997
Description/subject: "SLORC's campaign of forced relocations and forced-labour road building in the Palauk-Palaw, Mergui and Tenasserim regions, which began in September 1996, is now being accelerated. [Note: Mergui is known in Burmese as Meik and in Karen as Blih; Tenasserim is known is Burmese as Taninthari. Both are towns in southern Tenasserim Division. Mergui is on the Andaman Sea coast about 200 km. south of Tavoy, and Tenasserim is on the southern Tenasserim River, 50 km. south of Mergui and 20 km. inland. Palauk and Palaw are smaller towns on the Tavoy-Mergui road, 100 and 140 km. south of Tavoy respectively]. Almost every village between the Tavoy-Mergui-Kawthaung car road in the west and the Tenasserim River in the east, from Palauk in the north to Tenasserim town in the south has been ordered to move one or more times between September 1996 and January 1997. The area measures about 120 km. north-south and 30 km. east-west. At least 35-40 villages, ranging in size from 20-150 households, have been affected. The area is almost entirely populated by Karen, with some Burman villages along the coastal road and the coastal reaches of main rivers. Almost all the villages ordered to move are Karen, but the people of several Burman villages have been issued orders that all families must move into the centre of their village..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Tenasserim Situation Update: Te Naw Th’Ri Township, May to September 2011
Date of publication: 12 December 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in October 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Tenasserim Division between May and October 2011. The villager describes incidents of human rights abuse, including: arbitrary taxation by civilian and military government officials to fund state-organised pyi thu sit local militia groups and schools; conscription of villagers into a pyi thu sit; and the execution of Saw L---, a villager who had been forced to serve as a guide accompanying an active patrol column of LIB #558. The villager who wrote this report believed Saw L--- was killed in retaliation for an attack against that Tatmadaw column by KNLA soldiers, in which one Tatmadaw soldier was killed and several others injured. This report also documents some of the ways in which villagers respond to human rights abuse, specifically through attempts to engage and negotiate with local powerful actors to reduce or avoid demands for arbitrary payments levied against villagers."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: pdf (229K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b54.html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


Title: Testimony of a Karen Political Prisoner
Date of publication: 25 August 1994
Description/subject: "The following account was given by a Karen political prisoner who was released from Bassein Prison in the Irrawaddy Delta in June 1994. He was not arrested in the Delta and it is unclear why they sent him there, but most of the political prisoners in that prison are Karen church and community leaders who were arrested after an armed Karen uprising failed in the Delta in October 1991. Since then, SIORC has maintained a reign of absolute terror over Karen villages in the Delta, completely out of sight of the world community. Many of the prisoners he was with are probably presumed dead by their own families after disappearing 2 or 3 years ago in the hands of SLORC troops..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Thaton District: Continued Consolidation of SPDC and DKBA Control through the use of Forced Labour, Extortion and Movement Restrictions
Date of publication: 21 February 2005
Description/subject: "Since the informal ceasefire between the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the Karen National Union (KNU) began in January 2004, the situation in Bilin, Thaton, Kyaikto and Pa’an townships in Thaton District has remained bleak. KHRG researchers have seen that the SPDC and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) soldiers are still abusing the villagers with no decrease in the suffering of the villagers. Between June and November 2004, the SPDC and DKBA continued committing human rights violations by demanding forced labour from the villagers in the area such as carrying rations and constructing roads, restricting the movements of the villagers, extorting money, and demanding building materials and food from the villagers...After more than 50 years of fighting, the villagers were very happy that the KNU went to ceasefire negotiations with the SPDC. Villagers thought there would be peace in the country as a result. The people trusted the meetings because since they started there had not been any fighting in the area. The villagers were hoping for peace so they could be happy and have enough to eat. Initially, the villagers thought the fighting would stop and their situation would get better, but later they saw that the SPDC was continuing its normal activities so they no longer believe in the negotiations very much anymore. Although there has been almost no fighting in the district, there has not been any real change in the situation for the villagers since the ceasefire began..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 08 March 2005


Title: Thaton District: SPDC using violence against villagers to consolidate control
Date of publication: 20 March 2001
Description/subject: Information from KHRG researchers in Thaton District, which spans the border of northern Mon State and Karen State. SPDC troops already have a relatively strong hold on the area, but they have been intimidating and torturing villagers in an effort to wipe out any remaining support for the Karen resistance, and forcing villagers to join militia-like SPDC paramilitary groups.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update #2001-U2)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Thaton Interview: Naw L---, February 2011
Date of publication: 10 January 2012
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted in February 2011 by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Naw L---, a female village head from Bilin Township, Thaton District. Naw L--- described being interrogated and threatened at meetings with local Tatmadaw officers, including at times when she was pregnant. She described the killing of her son-in-law by then-DKBA Brigade #333 soldiers, and the defection of a Tatmadaw soldier to the KNLA, after which Tatmadaw soldiers arbitrarily arrested and tortured villagers and ordered Naw L--- to provide a firearm to replace the one taken by the defecting soldier. She also described how Tatmadaw soldiers forced H--- villagers to banish persons suspected of being KNLA soldiers and burn down their houses. Naw L--- explained that villagers face ongoing demands for forced labour, including forced portering of military rations, messenger and guide duty, for Tatmadaw, Border Guard and KNLA troops, but that she and her villagers employ a multitude of strategies to resist or mitigate abuse, including partial-compliance with forced labour demands; cultivating relationships with different, and oppositional, armed groups; lying about non-state armed groups’ soldiers and their operations; and successfully raising complaints to commanding officers about abuses perpetrated by their inferiors."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (284K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2012/khrg12b1.html
Date of entry/update: 18 January 2012


Title: The 'everyday politics' of IDP protection in Karen State
Date of publication: 20 October 2008
Description/subject: "...While international humanitarian access in Burma has opened up over the past decade and a half, the ongoing debate regarding the appropriate relationship between politics and humanitarian assistance remains unresolved. This debate has become especially limiting in regards to protection measures for internally displaced persons (IDPs) which are increasingly seen to fall within the mandate of humanitarian agencies. Conventional IDP protection frameworks are biased towards a top-down model of politically-averse intervention which marginalizes local initiatives to resist abuse and hinders local control over protection efforts. Yet such local resistance strategies remain the most effective IDP protection measures currently employed in Karen State and other parts of rural Burma. Addressing the protection needs and underlying humanitarian concerns of displaced and potentially displaced people is thus inseparable from engagement with the 'everyday politics' of rural villagers. The present article seeks to challenge conventional notions of IDP protection that prioritize a form of State-centric 'neutrality' and marginalize the 'everyday politics' through which local villagers continue to resist abuse and claim their rights. (This working paper was presented on the panel 'Migration within and out of Burma' as part of the 2008 International Burma Studies Conference in DeKalb, Illinois in October 2008.)..." A working paper by Stephen Hull, Karen Human Rights Group, for presentation on the panel ‘Migration within and out of Burma’ as part of the 2008 International Burma Studies Conference DeKalb, Illinois, October 2008
Author/creator: Stephen Hull
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Right Group (KHRG Articles & Papers)
Format/size: pdf (84 KB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg08w2.html
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2009


Title: The Current Situation in Mudraw Papun District
Date of publication: 13 November 1992
Description/subject: The current SLORC Offensive and Displaced People "From July 92. Karen men, women, children: Air-raids on civilian villages (20 civilians killed); precarious economic life of people hiding in jungle; children die of malnutrition; Saw Hta offensive; list of villages and numbers of the people displaced; economic oppression..." Area: Tee Moo Khee Area, Kaw Lu Der Area, Saw Hta
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: THE KAYIN STATE IN THE UNION OF MYANMAR (formerly the Karen State in the Union of Burma): ALLEGATIONS OF ILL-TREATMENT AND UNLAWFUL KILLINGS OF SUSPECTED POLITICAL OPPONENTS AND PORTERS SEIZED SINCE 18 SEPTEMBER 1988
Date of publication: August 1989
Description/subject: (formerly the Karen State in the "...There have been numerous allegations that people arrested for their non-violent political activities in Yangon and other towns since 18 September 1988 have been ill-treated during interrogation by the military intelligence authorities. Amnesty International has been able to obtain a few first-hand testimonies about alleged ill-treatment since 18 September 1988 of people arrested in the Kayin State who were accused of involvement with insurgent groups or seized there or in the Yangon Division and forced to act as porters in the Kayin State The organization considers that in at least some cases, seizing and forcing suspected political opponents to work as porters is analogous to detaining them without charge or trial, and that these people are effectively political prisoners. Four testimonies about ill-treatment of political prisoners and porters are contained in this document. One is by a political prisoner who says he was beaten during interrogation by military intelligence officers in the Kayin State in early 1989, and the others by porters who say they themselves were ill-treated and saw other porters ill-treated or killed during counter-insurgency operations in the Kayin State in October 1988 and June 1989..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/16/89)
Format/size: pdf (41K)
Date of entry/update: 19 August 2005


Title: The limits of the new ILO mechanism and potential misrepresentation of forced labour in Burma
Date of publication: 10 April 2007
Description/subject: "In late February 2007, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) reached an agreement regarding the implementation of a new mechanism intended to allow individuals to submit complaints of forced labour without fear of retaliation. External observers have reported that this agreement represents a positive step towards effectively addressing forced labour in Burma. However, as this commentary points out, the potential usefulness and effectiveness of the new mechanism is suspect. By outlining some of the ways in which the SPDC actively obstructs villagers from accessing such mechanisms and the inability of the ILO to ensure protection for civilians from retaliation, this commentary warns that the results of this agreement will likely misrepresent the true scale of forced labour in Burma. It further calls for the ILO to publicly acknowledge these limitations, so that the SPDC is unable to use the lack of complaints to deny the existence of forced labour."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Commentaries (KHRG #2007-C1)
Format/size: pdf (64 KB)
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2007


Title: The New SLORC Car Road to Twee Pa Wih Kyo
Date of publication: 12 September 1992
Description/subject: "New road from Bilin to Papun. Looting, pillaging, extortion, human mine-sweepers, children used as human shields..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The Ongoing Oppression of Thaton District: Forced Labour, Extortion, and Food Insecurity
Date of publication: 07 July 2006
Description/subject: Reports » Field Reports July 7th, 2006 The Ongoing Oppression of Thaton District: Forced Labour, Extortion, and Food Insecurity Download report as PDF [Adobe Acrobat PDF 948kb] Thaton District suffers some of the heaviest SPDC control of all seven of the Karen districts. Most of the villagers in this region already live under direct SPDC control. In other districts further north where their control is not so extensive, the SPDC is mounting a massive offensive against civilian villagers with the intent of making the situation in those areas more closely resemble that which is already present in Thaton District. Villagers in Thaton District are systematically exploited for forced labour and extortion by all of the numerous armed groups operating in the district. The SPDC and the DKBA stand out as the worst offenders: every year villagers are ordered to serve as porters for the military, repair the roads which now cross the district, and supply vast quantities of bamboo and roofing thatch to the SPDC and the DKBA which is then sold for profit, none of which ever filters back down to the villagers. The villagers are struggling under the relentless demands. Many are no longer able to acquire enough to eat. Yet even under such extreme totalitarian control, troops continue to be moved into the district, further tightening the noose around the necks of the villagers
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F5)
Format/size: html, pdf (948K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg06f5.pdf
Date of entry/update: 08 July 2006


Title: The Shelling of Wah Baw Village
Date of publication: 12 January 1996
Description/subject: "In the morning the celebration started at 8 a.m., and then at 8:45 a.m. the SLORC attacked. They attacked and destroyed all the things. It was #106 Battalion [LIB], deployed in Hla Mine, and #343 Battalion [LIB], deployed in Ye. They combined together to do this operation, about 240 soldiers altogether. They are under Southeast Command [commanded by Maj. Gen. Ket Sein]. We think they arrived outside the village in the early morning, before dawn. We think they left their battalion camps at night. They split into two groups: one group took their place on the hill beside the village, and one group raided the village. At that time we were in the field [the celebration was held in an open field just outside the village, where the villagers had erected a stage]. They just fired, and attacked the village without seeing any enemy there. And they ransacked every house, and they took everything. At the same time we were all running because we heard the shooting, and then the troops on the hill saw that all the people were jumping up and running away, and they shelled into the field, into the crowd. I think the shells were 60 mm. [small mortar], not as strong as 81 mm., because in my experience I have seen 81 and 120 mm., and they are very explosive, very strong. But these shells were not that strong, the vibrations were not as strong. We couldn’t count how many shells! For about one hour they fired, both with their small weapons and their artillery [mortars]..." _Attack on civilians, execution, kneecapping, shooting livestock, looting / destruction of property, porters, Ye-Tavoy railway labour, land confiscation / forced labour for military contracts with foreign companies.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-04)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The Situation in Pa'an District
Date of publication: 15 May 1996
Description/subject: "A small but steady flow of refugees from Pa'an District continue to cross the border into Thailand as living conditions in Pa'an District continue to deteriorate. SLORC is increasingly in control there, and the DKBA (Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army, the Karen group allied to SLORC) is present throughout the area but is increasingly functioning only as an adjunct to SLORC; DKBA troops are now even supervising forced labour on road construction, especially on a new 50-km. road from Pa'an to DKBA headquarters at Myaing Gyi Ngu. The Karen National Liberation Army has recently stepped up its guerrilla activities in the southern part of the District, which is only bringing down even heavier SLORC retaliation on the villagers. People continue to be arbitrarily arrested, tortured and summarily executed by SLORC and the DKBA in the area, either because they have past or suspected connections with the KNLA or simply because the troops want to steal their land and belongings..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-17)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The SLORC's Relocation Camp at Bo Ka Hta
Date of publication: 31 October 1992
Description/subject: "Ler Doh, Kler Lu Htoo (Nyaunglebin) Province. June 92. Karen men, women, children: Forced relocation; SLORC's use of relocation camp as human shield Forced labour (incl. forced portering); killing; rape; inhuman treatment (sometime resulting in deaths from lack of food or medical treatment), looting; arbitrary detention..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The SLORC's 1993 Offensive Against Karen Civilians
Date of publication: 10 July 1993
Description/subject: "When Burma’s SLORC junta mounted its biggest ever offensive against the headquarters of Karen and democratic forces in Manerplaw in 1992, it was universally condemned for the swath of destruction and terror its Army cut through the country. This year, the SLORC claims to have ceased all such offensives, and is busily trying to repair its international image. However, it continues to mount smaller offensives, and in SLORC-controlled areas of Karen State, it has unleashed a major military offensive against Karen civilians, a campaign of terror and forced relocation which is now taking place out of sight of the world community. Fresh SLORC troops have been sent in, particularly 99 Light Infantry Division, with orders to systematically subjugate the Karen civilian population through terror and forced relocation. Entire regions of western Karen State are being declared free-fire zones, while civilian populations are being driven into relocation camps and garrison villages, where they form a pool of slave labour and porters for future offensives..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The SLORC'S New Forced Relocation Campaign: Translations of Some SLORC Orders Received So Far
Date of publication: 08 January 1993
Description/subject: "Papun, Pa'an, Thaton Townships. Nov-Dec 92. Five orders requiring the relocation of villages comprising many thousands of people (5,000-7000 in Papun Township alone) establishing free-fire zones at the original sites, along with other threats of severe action in the case of non-compliance. One order informs the village head that if the villagers run away on meeting a military column they will be shot..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Orders Reports (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: The Ye-Tavoy Railway
Date of publication: 13 April 1994
Description/subject: From Nov 93. Karen, Mon, Burman men, women, children: Forced labour as "development". Up to 30,000 forced labourers, including old people, children and pregnant women are working on a rotating basis on the railway; no food provided; violence against women; abuse of child, economic oppression; break-up of villages; torture; inhuman treatment (beating, deprivation of food, medicine; beating to death; killings; rape; rapes followed by killing of victims; woman gave birth on site, no care, baby died; extortion; burmanisation (violation of ethnic language education rights); land confiscation; destruction of orchards; depletion or abandonment of villages.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) Regional & Thematic Reports
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Torture of Karen Women by SLORC
Date of publication: 16 February 1993
Description/subject: Latter half of 92. Karen F: torture; looting; forced labour; extortion; killing; pillaging (burning of houses); details of torture
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Total Denial - A Report on the Yadana Pipeline Project in Burma
Date of publication: 10 July 1996
Description/subject: "'Total Denial' catalogues the systematic human rights abuses and environmental degradation perpetrated by SLORC as the regime seeks to consolidate its power base in the gas pipeline region. Further, the report shows that investment in projects such as the Yadana pipeline not only gives tacit approval and support to the repressive SLORC junta but also exacerbates the grave human rights and environmental problems in Burma.... The research indicates that gross human rights violations, including summary executions, torture, forced labor and forced relocations, have occurred as a result of natural gas development projects funded by European and North American corporations. In addition to condemning transnational corporate complicity with the SLORC regime, the report also presents the perspectives of those most directly impacted by the foreign investment who for too long have silently endured the abuses meted out by SLORC for the benefit of its foreign corporate partners." ...Additional keywords: environment, human rights violations.
Language: English
Source/publisher: EarthRights International (ERI) and Southeast Asian Information Network (SAIN)
Format/size: pdf (310K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Total Denial Continues - Earth rights abuses along the Yadana and Yetagun pipelines in Burma
Date of publication: May 2000
Description/subject: "Three Western oil companies -- Total, Premier and Unocal -- bent on exploiting natural gas , entered partnerships with the brutal Burmese military regime. Since the early 1990's, a terrible drama has been unfolding in Burma. Three western oil companies -- Total, Premier, and Unocal -- entered into partnerships with the brutal Burmese miltary regime to build the Yadana and Yetagun natural gas pipelines. The regime created a highly militarized pipelinecorridor in what had previously been a relatively peaceful area, resulting in violent suppression of dissent, environmental destruction, forced labor and portering, forced relocations, torture, rape, and summary executions. EarthRights International co-founder Ka Hsaw Wa and a team of field staff traveled on both sides of the Thai-Burmese border in the Tenasserim region to document the conditions in the pipeline corridor. In the nearly four years since the release of "Total Denial" (1996), the violence and forced labor in the pipeline region have continued unabated. This report builds on the evidence in "Total Denial" and brings to light several new facets of the tragedy in the Tenasserim region. Keywords:, human rights, environment, forced relocation, internal displacement, foreign investment. ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Earthrights International
Format/size: pdf (6MB - OBL ... 20MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.earthrights.org/files/Reports/TotalDenialCont-2ndEdition.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Toungoo district: Civilians displaced by dams, roads, and military control
Date of publication: 19 August 2005
Description/subject: "...Burma’s State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta claims to be implementing peace and development in Karen regions, but civilians in Toungoo District of northern Karen State say they are facing instead brutal treatment aimed at asserting military control. An example of SPDC-led ‘development’ is a new dam project on the Thauk Yay Ka (Day Loh) river in western Toungoo District. Villagers in the area of this proposed dam say that it has brought a new military access road to their area and that large SPDC military columns now patrol their villages, looting their belongings and forcing them into labour. Security checkpoints along all roads in the area have proliferated, restricting the movements of villagers and extorting heavy ‘taxes’ on all goods they try to take to market. Increased military presence along the roads has occurred throughout the district, from the Than Daung Gyi – Leit Tho road in the north to the Kler Lah – Bu Sah Kee road in the southeast, and close to 300 acres of villagers’ farmland has been confiscated for the establishment of a large military base at Leit Tho in the north. This continues the campaign of control already exposed in KHRG’s March 2005 report from the district (see ‘Peace’, or Control?, KHRG Report from the Field #2005-F3). SPDC troops burn farmfields and plantations adjacent to vehicle roads for military security, while destroying the villagers’ food security. People who have been forced from the hills into SPDC-controlled villages struggle against disease, food scarcity and restrictions on their movement, while those who have chosen to evade SPDC control in the hills must remain mobile to evade SPDC patrols who destroy their rice fields and landmine the pathways. In the relocation villages and in the forests, people are facing a difficult struggle against food scarcity, deteriorating health conditions, and SPDC human rights abuses..."...Dam security; Road security; New Army base at Leit Tho; Destruction of villages and livelihoods; Relocation sites and roadsides; Villagers in hiding; Health; Children and education
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2005-F7)
Format/size: html, pdf (58K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2005/khrg05f7.pdf (without maps)
Date of entry/update: 20 August 2005


Title: Toungoo District: Information Update
Date of publication: 30 January 2002
Description/subject: "An update on the situation of villagers in the hills of Toungoo District, where the SPDC has mounted no new offensives but has sent in units of their 'Guerrilla Retaliation' execution squads to 'clear' the villages of suspected KNU sympathisers. Forced labour, especially as porters, continued right through the time of the International Labour Organisation's visit to Burma in September-October, and the SPDC is also using forced labour to develop Than Daung Gyi for international tourists. As the SPDC repeatedly relocates villages to get more forced labour for road work and portering, people are fleeing into the hills to hide despite the dangers and the desperate lack of food..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG Information Update #2002-U1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Toungoo District: Update on the Dam on the Day Loh River
Date of publication: 30 May 2006
Description/subject: "...Over the past ten years the SPDC has undertaken numerous 'development projects' across Karen State, consistently claiming that these are purely for the good of the people. Such projects however are anything but, invariably bringing with them an increase in human rights violations in the area surrounding the development site. Villages are typically forcibly relocated and their inhabitants are used as forced labour. One such project is a hydroelectricity power plant that is to be built on the Day Loh River in Toungoo District. In 2005, KHRG examined the activities of 2,000 SPDC Army troops who moved into the region to secure the area surrounding the dam site. This report serves as an update of the dam situation, incorporating information which may be possible evidence of the complicity of foreign corporations, and explores the possibility that the imminent construction of this project and others like it are part of the motivation behind the current offensive underway in northern Karen State..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B5)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 May 2006


Title: Toungoo Interview: Saw F---, October 2011
Date of publication: 25 November 2011
Description/subject: "This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during October 2011 in Than Daung Township, Toungoo District by a villager trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The villager interviewed Saw F---, a 55-year-old resident of W--- village who fled his village and hid in the forest during a joint attack by soldiers from Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion (IB) #92 and Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #603. According to Saw F---, on October 12th 2011, following a clash with Karen National Liberation (KNLA) soldiers at a location 45 minutes on foot from W---, Tatmadaw soldiers fired approximately 50 mortar rounds into W--- and nearby civilian areas and then entered W---, where soldiers fired small arms deliberately at villagers' houses, the Roman Catholic church and religious and cultural items; killed villagers' animals; and looted or damaged villagers' property including food stores, clothing, roofing materials and money. Saw F--- also reported that W--- villagers have had to provide forced labour delivering bamboo poles to Tatmadaw camps on multiple occasions in the past year; that the W--- school has been forced to close twice due to Tatmadaw accusations that villagers are communicating with non-state armed groups; and that villagers face obstacles in accessing healthcare due to their distance from the nearest health facility and the cost of travel. A full account of the attack on W---, including photo documentation and excerpts of this interview, is available in the bulletin "Tatmadaw soldiers shell village, attack church and civilian property in Toungoo District," published by KHRG on November 25th 2011."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (588K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b47.html
Date of entry/update: 23 January 2012


Title: Toungoo Situation Update: July to October 2011
Date of publication: 29 November 2011
Description/subject: "This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in November 2011 by a villager describing events occurring in Toungoo District during the period between July and October 2011. It details incidents of violence against civilians, including: shooting and killing by Tatmadaw LIB #540 of two villagers hunting monkeys in an area adjacent to a Tatmadaw camp; arbitrary detentions of eight civilians, of whom only three have been released by LIB #539 and IB #73; and the beating of a village head following a KNLA attack against Tatmadaw troops. The villager also cites examples of a range of abuses affecting villagers' livelihoods, including: forced labour repairing a road and producing and delivering bamboo poles to a Tatmadaw camp; theft and damage of villagers' possessions by patrolling Tatmadaw troops, including destruction of villagers' durian and dogfruit trees; the imposition of movement restrictions preventing villagers from sleeping in their field huts, backed by an explicit threat of violence against villagers violating the ban; de facto movement restrictions on villagers due to Tatmadaw activity; and arbitrary demands for payment by Tatmadaw troops. This report also raises concerns about the health situation in Tantabin Township following the 2011 monsoon, including an outbreak of cholera that interfered with the harvest of cardamom, durian and paddy crops, and may have adverse consequences on villagers' food and financial security during the coming year. The report also notes that some villagers access health services from the KNU Health Department and other relief groups in response to constraints on access to health care in areas of Tantabin Township outside consolidated Tatmadaw control."
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (349K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2011/khrg11b49.html
Date of entry/update: 19 January 2012


Title: Turning Treasure Into Tears - Mining, Dams and Deforestation in Shwegyin Township, Pegu Division, Burma
Date of publication: 20 February 2007
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report describes how human rights and environmental abuses continue to be a serious problem in eastern Pegu division, Burma – specifi cally, in Shwegyin township of Nyaunglebin District. The heavy militarization of the region, the indiscriminate granting of mining and logging concessions, and the construction of the Kyauk Naga Dam have led to forced labor, land confi scation, extortion, forced relocation, and the destruction of the natural environment. The human consequences of these practices, many of which violate customary and conventional international law, have been social unrest, increased fi nancial hardship, and great personal suffering for the victims of human rights abuses. By contrast, the SPDC and its business partners have benefi ted greatly from this exploitation. The businessmen, through their contacts, have been able to rapidly expand their operations to exploit the township’s gold and timber resources. The SPDC, for its part, is getting rich off the fees and labor exacted from the villagers. Its dam project will forever change the geography of the area, at great personal cost to the villagers, but it will give the regime more electricity and water to irrigate its agro-business projects. Karen villagers in the area previously panned for gold and sold it to supplement their incomes from their fi elds and plantations. They have also long been involved in small-scale logging of the forests. In 1997, the SPDC and businessmen began to industrialize the exploitation of gold deposits and forests in the area. Businessmen from central Burma eventually arrived and in collusion with the Burmese Army gained mining concessions and began to force people off of their land. Villagers in the area continue to lose their land, and with it their ability to provide for themselves. The Army abuses local villagers, confi scates their land, and continues to extort their money. Commodity prices continue to rise, compounding the diffi culties of daily survival. Large numbers of migrant workers have moved into the area to work the mining concessions and log the forests. This has created a complicated tension between the Karen and these migrants. While the migrant workers are merely trying to earn enough money to feed their families, they are doing so on the Karen’s ancestral land and through the exploitation of local resources. Most of the migrant workers are Burman, which increases ethnic tensions in an area where Burmans often represent the SPDC and the Army and are already seen as sneaky and oppressive by the local Karen. These forms of exploitation increased since the announcement of the construction of the Kyauk Naga Dam in 2000, which is expected to be completed in late 2006. The SPDC has enabled the mining and logging companies to extract as much as they can before the area upstream of the dam is fl ooded. This situation has intensifi ed and increased human rights violations against villagers in the area. The militarization of the region, as elsewhere, has resulted in forced labor, extortion of money, goods, and building materials, and forced relocation by the Army. In addition to these direct human rights violations, the mining and dam construction have also resulted in grave environmental degradation of the area. The mining process has resulted in toxic runoff that has damaged or destroyed fi elds and plantations downstream. The dam, once completed, will submerge fi elds, plantations, villages, and forests. In addition, the dam will be used to irrigate rubber plantations jointly owned by the SPDC and private business interests. The Burmese Army has also made moves to secure the area in the mountains to the east of the Shwegyin River. This has led to relocations and the forced displacement of thousands of Karen villagers living in the mountains. Once the Army has secured the area, the mining and logging companies will surely follow..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: EarthRights International (ERI)
Format/size: pdf (632K)
Date of entry/update: 06 March 2007


Title: Uncertainty, Fear and Flight: The Current Human Rights Situation in Eastern Pa’an District
Date of publication: 18 November 1998
Description/subject: "The Current Human Rights Situation in Eastern Pa'an District" "...Pa’an district forms a large area in the central heartland of Karen State (click here to see a map). Much of the northeastern part of the district used to be under at least partial control of the Karen National Union (KNU), but after troops of the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC) military junta captured the KNU headquarters at Manerplaw in 1995, they progressively exerted increasing control over the entire eastern part of the district..."
Author/creator: An Independent Report by the Karen Human Rights Group
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #98-08)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Under attack: a way of life
Date of publication: 22 April 2008
Description/subject: Much of what is happening in the conflict zones of eastern Burma is difficult to capture with photos, video and reports. It is a slow and insidious strangulation of the population rather than an all-out effort to crush them...
Author/creator: David Eubank
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 30
Format/size: pdf (Burmese, 267K; English, 401K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30Burmese/10-11.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2008


Title: Unsung Heroines: the Women of Myanmar
Date of publication: 24 May 2000
Description/subject: Women in Myanmar have been subjected to a wide range of human rights violations, including political imprisonment, torture and rape, forced labour, and forcible relocation, all at the hands of the military authorities. At the same time women have played an active role in the political and economic life of the country. It is the women who manage the family finances and work alongside their male relatives on family farms and in small businesses. Women have been at the forefront of the pro-democracy movement which began in 1988, many of whom were also students or female leaders within opposition political parties. Burman and non-Burman women. List of women in prison.ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International USA (ASA 16/04/00)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/004/2000/en
http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=EA7452D0C7C763F9802568E80064E12E
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/004/2000/en/e8ec29a6-df28-11dd-a3b7-b978e1cb2058/asa1... (Spanish)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/004/2000/en/ed205dae-df28-11dd-a3b7-b978e1cb2058/asa1... (French)
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


Title: Unwanted and Unprotected: Burmese Refugees in Thailand
Date of publication: September 1998
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Update on Karen Refugee Situation (Information Update)
Date of publication: 01 January 1996
Description/subject: Excerpt from 19 January 1996 Bangkok Post, headlined "SLORC to accept 70,000 refugees": "Burma has agreed to allow over 70,000 of its citizens who have taken refuge in camps along the border to return home. An agreement was reached at yesterday’s meeting in Myawaddy of the Joint Local Thai-Burmese Border Committee, according to Col. Suvit Maen-muan. At the meeting, Col. Suvit and a team of five officials met the team of Lt. Col. Kyaw Hlaing, and the latter accepted a proposal on the return of over 70,000 refugees. A list has been drawn up of over 9,000 refugees at Sho Klo camp in Tha Song Yang who are to be voluntarily repatriated as soon as Burma is ready, Col. Suvit said..." "70,000 means the entire population of Karen refugees registered in all refugee camps in Thailand. This agreement has occurred despite the fact that the latest KNU / SLORC talks broke down and that SLORC is now stepping up military activities in most areas, especially Taungoo and Papun Districts. Most of the refugees would be forced back to Taungoo, Papun, and Pa’an Districts, even though more refugees are arriving from all of these areas right now. In Taungoo and Papun Districts SLORC has been systematically burning crops and villages and forcing villagers into labour camps for months. In Pa’an District SLORC has blocked all flow of food, goods and medicines from towns to the villages, followed by the DKBA going around and confiscating ALL rice, livestock, cooking pots and other necessities they can get their hands on, resulting in people fleeing to the forests to hide in clusters of 1 or 2 families - the situation in all these areas is increasingly desperate (see related KHRG reports and Burma Issues Dec/95 newsletter). Furthermore, upon repatriation these refugees would be screened by SLORC, and any who are seen as having relatives in the KNU would face arrest or execution. Many of the rest would be impounded in forced labour camps. The repatriation would be anything but voluntary..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #96-U1)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Village Agency: Rural rights and resistance in a militarized Karen State
Date of publication: 25 November 2008
Description/subject: "With a disproportionate emphasis on isolated incidents of particularly emotive violent abuses in rural areas and a concurrent neglect of the many ways villagers have sought to resist such abuse, international journalism and advocacy around Burma has often contributed to portrayals of rural villagers as helpless victims passively terrorised by the Burma Army. By marginalising the agency of rural villagers in this way, such portrayals have perpetuated the exclusion of these individuals from the ongoing political processes which affect them. Citing the personal testimonies of over 110 villagers living in Karen State, this report seeks to challenge such portrayals and provide a forum for these individuals to speak for themselves about the context of abuse in which they live and their own efforts to resist this abuse. By highlighting the resistance strategies and political agency of villagers in rural Karen State, this report argues that the voices of these individuals can, and indeed should, be heard and incorporated into the many ongoing political processes that affect them."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: html, pdf (7.2MB), 186 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2008/khrg0803.pdf
Date of entry/update: 27 November 2008


Title: Villagers displaced as SPDC offensive expands into Papun district
Date of publication: 16 May 2006
Description/subject: "In recent months the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) regime ruling Burma has sent large numbers of troops into Papun district of northeastern Karen State to clear the hills of villagers. Unlike the offensives in neighbouring Toungoo and Nyaunglebin districts, where troops began burning villages in November 2005, in Papun district the attacks against villages only began to escalate in April 2006. Several villages have already been burned, rice supplies systematically destroyed, and villagers shot on sight. The arrival of at least seven new Battalions in the district on May 11th 2006 suggests that a major new offensive is about to be launched. This offensive is not related to the new SPDC capital at Pyinmana, which lies far to the northwest. It may be partly motivated by SPDC plans to dam the Salween River; but the main motivation appears to be to establish control over the villagers of this hilly region who have always evaded state control. The target of the offensive is therefore not the Karen National Union (KNU), but the villagers themselves, and many of them are already fleeing into the forests..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-B4)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 23 May 2006


Title: Wholesale Destruction: The SLORC/SPDC Campaign to Obliterate All Hill Villages in Papun and Eastern Nyaunglebin Districts (Information Update)
Date of publication: 15 February 1998
Description/subject: "This report is an abridged and illustrated version of the previously released "Wholesale Destruction: The SLORC/SPDC Campaign to Obliterate All Hill Villages in Papun and Eastern Nyaunglebin Districts" (Karen Human Rights Group, February 15, 1998, KHRG #98-01). It consists of a detailed breakdown of the campaign to wipe out the villages, supported by excerpts from KHRG interviews with villagers in the area and newly arrived refugees in Thailand which were conducted in June and December 1997. The information for this report was gathered by KHRG through over 60 interviews with villagers in hiding and refugees, visits to approximately 30 of the destroyed villages and many hiding-places of villagers. An index of the interviews as well as the full texts of most are available on approved request as an annex to the original version of "Wholesale Destruction." Interview numbers are noted in the captions following quotations. The names of all those interviewed have been changed. False names appear in quotation marks. All other names, such as those of the dead, are real. The notation ‘F’ or ‘M’ indicates gender. Village names listed in the captions are the interviewees’ home villages. All are in Papun District, unless listed as ‘Shwegyin township’ which is in Nyaunglebin District. Some other details and names have also been omitted or changed for security reasons. For example, in some cases village names are given as X--- or replaced with xxxx and yyyy..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #98-01)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Without Respite: Renewed Attacks on Villages and Internal Displacement in Toungoo District
Date of publication: 12 June 2006
Description/subject: "With the annual monsoon rains now falling over Karen State, the SPDC’s military offensive against civilian villagers in northern Karen State would normally be drawing to a close. However, quite the opposite is happening. The resumption of SPDC Army attacks on villages and the increased patrols in Toungoo District shows that the offensive is far from over. Thousands more landmines have been reportedly deployed across Toungoo District to isolate certain parts of the district and restrict villagers’ movements. An analysis of SPDC Army troop movements and tactics suggests that the offensive is now set to expand eastward across the Day Loh River where it can be expected that SPDC units will soon commence shelling and destroying villages. In addition to this, the situation in the southeast of the district has become dire as the villagers are now caught between two advancing columns and have nowhere left to flee. It is likely that dozens more villages will be destroyed and thousands more villagers will be displaced in the coming months. Civilian villagers living in Toungoo District (Taw Oo in Karen), the northernmost of the seven Karen districts in eastern Burma, have been under attack since November last year. In its latest military offensive against the civilian population, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) military junta has been targeting Karen villagers living in the hills of northern Karen State in the ongoing attempt to consolidate its control and bring the whole of the population under its rule. Over the past six months, thousands of villagers have been displaced and dozens of villages have been abandoned and/or destroyed. The wet season has now commenced, but the attacks show no sign of slowing down. Unlike in previous years, when offensive activities would cease with the onset of the rains, the SPDC has actually recently intensified its activities against Karen civilians in Toungoo District. The situation for the villagers is now growing increasingly desperate as more and more troops flood into the district to inflict wholesale human rights violations..."... Table of Contents: The Scope of Displacement: Implications for Health and Education; Increased Isolation of Villages in the Region; Examining the Motives behind the Offensive.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG #2006-F5)
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB), html (260K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.khrg.org/khrg2006/khrg0602a.html
Date of entry/update: 14 June 2006


Title: Ye-Tavoy Railway Area: an Update
Date of publication: 31 July 1995
Description/subject: TOPIC SUMMARY: Railway labour (Story #1,2,4-10,12,14,15), abuse of the elderly (#8,9,10,13), abuse of children (#1,4,6,8,10), abuse of women (#1,2,4,6,8,12), rape (#6,12,15), beatings on the railway (#1,2,4-6,8,12,15), other beatings (#1,3,4,5,10,13,15), deaths on the railway (#5,6,8,9,15), other deaths/ killings (#4,11,13,15), extortion (#1,2,6-9,12-14), looting (#1,2,3), land confiscation/ destruction (#1), forced labour for commercial logging (#3), convict labour (#5,15), political prisoners on the railway (#5), prison conditions (#5,15), porters (#1-4,9-11,13), testimony by SLORC soldiers (#4,11), abuse of soldiers (#4,11), natural gas pipeline (#9,13).
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #95-26)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003