Nine villagers beaten during interrogations in northern Tenasserim; two conscripted as porters and remain missing
November 24, 2008
HURFOM, Tenasserim Township
Nine villagers were recently arrested, interrogated and beaten as suspected rebel supporters in Tenasserim Township, Tenasserim Division. Two of the men were then forced to work as porters carrying supplies for the army. They remain missing.
On October 31st at 11am, forty-five troops from Column #2 of Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 15, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Ko Ko Lwin, entered Pawa-Kwin-Shay village and arrested nine men. According to an eyewitness, the men were accused of hiding an AK-47 rifle belonging to the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). KNLA Brigade No. 4 remains active along the Thai-Burma border in Tenasserim Division. According to the same eyewitness, all the men denied possessing the weapon. Read more
November 20, 2008
That the Burmese regime recently sentenced a group of pro-democracy activists to prison terms of as long as 65 years may shock the international community. But for people living in Burma, the harsh sentences are just a regular part of decades of SPDC oppression. The people know that whenever they oppose the regime, they will be punished severely. Read more
“I have no more left in my hands:” Human rights conditions in southern Ye Township and northern Tavoy District
November 20, 2008
Burma’s southern peninsula, made up of Mon State and Tenasserim Division, is home to some of the country’s most lush jungle and difficult terrain. It has, consequently, become the natural staging area for the operations of a variety of armed rebel groups. Though the area, like much of Burma, saw a decline of armed resistance through the 1990s, it has not been brought under complete control. In the 1990s, the SPDC found extra motivation for its counter-insurgency efforts in the area: the Yadana gas fields, which produce significant volumes of natural gas, lie just offshore in the Andaman Sea. Two overland pipelines transport gas across the peninsula, with one running due east into Thailand and the other running north, through Mon State and into Karen State. Human rights violations surrounding the development of the Yadana gas project in the 1990s have been well documented, and violations continue as the SPDC works to maintain and expand control of the area.
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November 18, 2008
HURFOM, Kyauk Kyi Township, Nyaunglebin District, Pegu Division: SPDC troops are forcibly conscripting young ethnic Karen villagers as the army launches an offensive against the Karen National Union (KNU) in Kyauk Kyi Township, Nayung-Le-Bin District, Pegu Division. According to local sources, villages that cannot provide the required recruits face must pay cash fines or work as forced laborers. Read more
November 15, 2008
HURFOM, Mudon Township: Burma’s military government is forcing farmers near the Win-Pha-Non Dam in Mudon Township, Mon State, to cultivate rice during the upcoming dry season. Most farmers, however, say they are reluctant to plant rice during the hot season because yields are typically too low to pay for the investment, leaving farmers mired in cycles of debt. Read more
November 13, 2008
HURFOM, Thanbyuzayat, Mudon Township: Burmese army battalions in Thanbyuzayat and Mudon Townships have resumed forcing villagers to guard the Kanbauk to Myaingkalay pipeline, say local sources. Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 62 and Artillery Battalion (AB) No. 318 are also forcing residents to pay a “pipeline security” fee and guard the Tavoy to Moulmein railway. Read more
November 11, 2008
HURFOM, Thabyut-Chaung village, Tavoy Disttrict: The Burmese army continues to arrest, interrogate and assault ethnic Karens suspected of having contact with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) in Tavoy District, Tenasserim Division. Four villagers were arrested on October 9th, bound to a tree, interrogated and beaten. One of the villagers was also stabbed repeatedly. Read more
November 10, 2008
HURFOM, Northern Yebyu Township
Farmers in northern Yebyu Township, Tennessarim Division are being forced to construct embankments for Burmese battalions stationed in their area, say local sources.
According to Nai Soe, 40, Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 282 began conscripting unpaid laborers from Alae Sakhan village on October 30th. Laborers from Alae Sakhan and at least two other villages are being forced to re-construct embankments that serve as dikes around battalion headquarters, said Nai Soe. Read more
November 4, 2008
HURFOM: The Burmese Army has interrogated, beaten and detained at least four village headmen for failing to report movements of Karen rebels in Myit-Tar Sub-township, Tavoy district, Tenasserim Division.
On October 8th, an estimated 50 troops, led by Lieutenant Colonel Khin Maung Than, commander of Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 285 Column #1, entered Myay-Khan-Baw village tract in Myit-Tar. The commander immediately ordered troops to arrest four men from area Peace and Development Councils (PDC). According to an eyewitness from the area, Saw Dae, 35, the headmen were chosen arbitrarily. Read more
October 31, 2008
HURFOM:The Burmese army recently confiscated over two hundred and fifty acres of rubber plantations in Mudon Township. On October 7th, Artillery Battalion (AB) No. 318 sent letters to 35 plantation owners in Abit, Set Twe and Doe Mar villages informing them that their land had been confiscated.
A HURFOM field reporter read a copy of the letter, which informed the owners that they could regain control of their plantations by paying 100,000 kyat. Read more