Weekly Overview: Human Rights Situation in Mon State, Karen State, and Tanintharyi Region
Third Week of November 2022

November 21, 2022

HURFOM: Across the last week of November, civilians in Myanmar, particularly Southeastern Burma, were met with more violence and lawlessness perpetrated by the military junta. Soldiers who adhere to commands to assault civilians and disregard their fundamental freedoms are complicit in the demise of prospects for democracy in the country. Victims of the military’s brutal offensives know that there cannot be peace as long as weapons threaten their survival. 

Amidst the travesties which continue to take place, there remains overwhelming opposition to the junta. The Tatmadaw is overwhelmingly unpopular as they have done nothing to safeguard civilian rights, choosing to sabotage any means that had previously preserved the rule of law. In response to the people’s refusal to accept a militarized government, the Burma Army is embarking on a campaign of brutality and targeting anyone they deem ‘suspicious.’

The junta’s violence has not spared religious authorities and their respective places of worship. On 14 November at 3 AM, the joint forces of soldiers and pro-junta militia forces raided the Buddhist Monastery, locally known as Kyae-Taung Monastery. They arbitrarily abducted two monks and three young men who lived in the monastery. They broke the monastery doors and then arrested the Abbot of the Monastery, U Panyar Barsa, U Nanda Wara, Win Htet, Nay Toe, and Eai Sann. They were accused without evidence of supporting the People’s Defense Forces. The monastery is between Nyin Maw and Goh Inn villages, Long Lon Township.

Airstrikes were deployed in Karen State over the last week as the junta spites Karen armed groups by targeting civilians in their areas. The Burma Army’s air forces attacked Bilin civilians with fighter jets. According to an emergency response member, several houses were burnt down, and a villager was injured. The Karen National Union-Bilin Township Brigade committee members also confirmed that some residential homes were destroyed by the air strike on November 7, 2022, at 12:30 p.m. in Baw Naw Wah Village, Bilin Township, KNU-Thaton District. The incident occurred around midnight when people were resting. Their conduct is a part of a deliberate strategy of the Burma Army; to launch attacks when it is least expected, and civilians have no time to prepare or flee safely.

Again, on 16 November, at 1:40 AM, under cover of darkness, a junta fighter jet attacked with missiles targeting Tha Byu Lead Mining, located 18 miles away from the border town of Three Pagodas, southern Kyainnseikyi, Karen State. The entire mine camp exploded, killing three civilians, and injuring eight people. The patients were taken to Three Pagoda Public Hospital. A teacher affiliated with the Civil Disobedience Movement who managed to escape told HURFOM: “the military junta bombarded a Thabyu mining site near our rubber plantation with fighter jets. We were safe because we did not stay at the plantation. After the armed conflicts intensified in the KNU Brigade 6 area, the junta continued carrying out airstrikes. The military council army’s camps and police stations were attacked and occupied by the joint forces of the PDFs and the armed wing of the KNU, the Karen National Liberation Army.”

Meanwhile, in Mon State, the Light Infantry Battalion 106 of the Burma Army has tightened security in Ye and Thanbyuzayat townships. They are extorting civilians with little income for money and possessions. The battalion built a security base camp and a temporary tollgate on the main road. This road connects Ye and Thanbyuzayat and makes it difficult for locals to go to the rubber plantation where they work. Due to the frequency of armed clashes, movement restrictions are routinely enforced, adding yet another layer of anxiety for residents.

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