Burmese Army prevents farmers from going to their farms, then steals from them

June 5, 2009

HURFOM: The Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 282 commander Nyi Nyi Soe warned villagers of insurgent group activity and wouldn’t allow farmers to return to their land.

Meanwhile, the troops reportedly stole food and cooking gear from the farms in Kaleinaung Sub – Township, Yebyu Township.  Having also slaughtered some of the animals, they then tried selling their seized goods in the market.

According to the Alaesakhan villager, Ma Pher, “The troops stole betel nuts and cashews from our farms and sold them in the market. In addition, they also killed and cooked our farm animals (including chickens and ducks).  The soldiers took all of our kitchen equipment to use in their camps.”

“Even though we know the soldiers are stealing our products and killing our animals, we can do and say nothing to them,” Ma Pher continued.

Villagers in the area, for fear of violence and torture, reported to HURFOM that they often feel forced to do whatever the military troops command of them.

According to another Alaesakhan villager, the soldiers initially posed as sawyers and ordinary villagers to gather information about Chan Dein insurgent group activities.  When they heard something that interested them, they reported back to LIB 282.  At that time, battalion commander Nyi Nyi Soe ordered the farmers not to go to their farms.

One member of the Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) said, “When Nyi Nyi Soe arrived into the village, he allowed his soldiers to kill the villagers’ farm animals such as pigs, chickens and ducks.

The VPDC member added that, even after the troops had stolen all they wanted from the farms, “he also forced villagers to pay for the [soldiers’] rations of oil, rice, salt”

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