Weekly Overview: Human Rights Situation in Mon State, Karen State and Tanintharyi Region

September 11, 2023

HURFOM | Week One, September 2023

A weekly update by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) on the situation on the ground. Summary data includes Mon State, Karen State, and Tanintharyi region.

As another ASEAN summit came and passed, little progress was made on the human rights situation in Burma. While the regional bloc condemns the junta’s behavior, they also enable it by permitting the murderous regime to attend meetings and training, including on anti-terrorism and security – of which the Burma Army has no place. The lives of innocent people are at risk, yet regional and global entities, including the UN, make conscious choices to stand with dictators rather than those of the pro-democracy movement.

Across the last week, increased surveillance of the junta in civilian areas led to deaths and injuries from indiscriminate firing. According to local sources, three people were hurt while traveling on the Yangon-Mawlamyine highway in Daung Taung village, Kyaik Hto Township, Mon State, due to the indiscriminate firing of military junta troops along the road. Residents working nearby reported that the junta troops recklessly fired with machine guns  for over half an hour:

“Those who were hit were Ko Aung Lay, Ko Tun Naing from Anka Bo village, and a driver standing on the side of the road,” stated a 40-year-old local eyewitness.

The military junta convoy of six cars that drove into Bago from Kyaik Hto was attacked by the joint forces of the revolutionary forces, including the Karen National Liberation Army, with artillery weapons and small arms. Based on updates from the revolutionary forces, the military junta side was injured and killed due to the intense interception attack during the battle. One military vehicle hit by the shooting during the interception attack was abandoned.

Innocent villagers also continue to be updated and forcefully used as human shields. On 26 August, approximately 60 junta troops who raided Teezip village in Launglon Township Dawei used ten people to guide them by force. They left the town along the road at around 1:30 PM on 27 August.

“Most of them were released at night before they left. We heard that the ten villagers who were captured and taken away were only men,” a local man said.

At about 5:00 PM on August 27, when the military troops were near Kyal Taung on the Launglon-Shin Maw road, there was firing from both sides. Small arms and artillery weapons were fired for about 20 minutes.

The junta forces that captured the ten villagers arrived from Teezip village to Kawt Inn village and were stationed at the Kawt Inn village monastery. Some houses were also destroyed in Teezip village, where the military junta soldiers entered. Most of the villagers of Teezip are still afraid to return home, although the junta troops have already left the village.

Lastly, another worrying development over the last week has been the abduction of a National League for Democracy party member, who was arrested in Mawlamyine, Mon State, on 28 August by secret junta-backed forces. The junta and the police invaded the home of U Kyaw Kha in Thiri Myaing Ward, Mawlamyine City, with force.

“These days, he is constantly posting news related to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Facebook,” said a resident.

In the past, U Kyaw Kha served as the youth affairs officer of the Mon State National League for Democracy (NLD) Party and as a member of the NLD Party Central Youth Conference. According to a statement from the National League for Democracy party center, on May 31 this year, nearly 1,600 party members, including members of parliament, were arrested since the failed coup.


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