Another villager killed in landmine blast

March 26, 2020

HURFOM: While on a hunting trip, two villagers from Yin Yel village, Ye Chaung Phyar Region, Mon State suffered from another land mine explosion. One of the two villagers stepped on the landmine and was killed on March 18 2020.

40-year-old Nai Ah Log was killed by the landmine. He lived in Kan Ne village and worked on a plantation.

The two villagers went into the forest to hunt. They [initially] went by bike. When they couldn’t go [any further] by bike, they went on foot. They took a break from betel nut chewing and one of them sat down where a landmine was buried. When he stood up, the landmine exploded. One of them was [thrown from the blast site] and fainted for about a half hour. They [eventually] helped each other back to the village, and one of them died on the way back. Nothing happened to the other one,” said a villager who learned the event from U San Win, the survivor.

Because the territory involves both the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Karen National Union (KNU), the parties have formed township level committees tasked with helping to stop landmine incidents and to rapidly share information.

The NMSP and the KNU had recently held a meeting at the Yar Phuu Monastery in Yebyu Township, Tenasserim Division on March 25, 2020.

The two parties discussed prioritizing farmland disputes, by ensuring plantation workers and owners are the genuine residents or migrants and to take steps to remove landmines that have been buried.

They (KNU) want to solve the land disputes issues first. Plantation workers in that area are mostly migrants. At first, KNU listed only about 35 workers but now there are more than 100 workers. 60% of them are residents and the rest are migrants. So they (KNU) wanted to make a check. They only accepted workers who already migrated before 2017. Those who migrated after 2017 must be inquired,” said a local senior monk.

The KNU said they would remove installed landmines but they would not take accountability for further landmine explosions. They also agreed to arrange meetings with the local plantation workers/owners.

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