Army demanding local residents for gas pipeline security persist in Thanbyuzayat township

December 23, 2008

HURFOM, Thanbyuzayat: Local Burmese army battalions are forcing villagers in Thanbyuzayat Township to guard the Kanbauk to Myaing Kalay gas pipeline. Residents unable to meet their sentry obligations are being forced to pay fines. Read more

Long sentences and transfers handed out to political prisoners part of preparations for 2010 Elections

December 22, 2008

During the last few months, political and social activists as well as Buddhist monks have been subject to unfair trials at the hands of Burma’s military regime. Hundreds were given long sentences up to 65 years, and hundreds already imprisoned were sent to remote locations far from their families. Read more

Protecting their rice pots: an economic profile of trade and corruption in Three Pagodas Pass

December 22, 2008

I. Introduction

Control of the Three Pagodas Pass border crossing, which connects Burma’s Karen State to Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province, has been actively contested for hundreds of years. Fighting was fierce and frequent through the 1990s, and disputes over the border’s exact demarcations persist. In the last decade, frequent border closures driven by conflict and politics have wreaked havoc on legal business in and through the pass. Today, many residents find themselves in dire economic circumstances, made worse by the global economic crisis.
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DKBA accuses couple of being witches, executes them on the spot

December 10, 2008

HURFOM : A married couple in Myawaddy Township, Kawkareik District was accused of practicing black magic and executed by soldiers of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) on November 20th, say local sources.

At 6:30 pm, a group of soldiers led by Saw Leh Aye second commander of Battalion No. 907 entered the village and called out to the victims to come outside their home. When the victims did not comply Saw Leh Aye and two soldiers entered the house and stabbed U Tee War, 52, in the chest and stomach with a bayonet. He died on the spot. Saw Leh Aye and the soldiers than dragged Daw Kin Mu, 50, from the house and stabbed her at least twice with the bayonet. Both bodies are buried at the site. Read more

Household budgets strain as pipeline security fees doubled in Thanbyuzayat Township

December 8, 2008

HURFOM : Pipeline security taxes were doubled for residents of at least for villages along the Kanbauk to Myaing Kalay gas pipeline in Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State, say local sources.

In November, Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 62 raised security fees to 4,000 kyat per household. Paying a pipeline security fee has been common for years, say local residents, but the monthly fee typically ranged from 1,500 to 2,000 kyat. The affected area includes Wae-Khami, Chopaline, Wae-Win-Kra and Wae Thun-Kyaung villages, as well as isolated residents around the Kyaik Japan Japanese Pagoda. Read more

DKBA confiscates land, demands money and bamboo quota for Karen New Year celebration

December 4, 2008

HURFOM:The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) is confiscating land, levying extraordinarily high taxes and forcing villagers to collect bamboo in preparation for an upcoming Karen New Year celebration, say sources in Kawkerik District, Myawaddy Township, Karen State.

On November 27th, DKBA Battalion No. 907 led by major Saw Leh Aye confiscated two corn farms from farmers in Lay Woe village. The two farms are forty-five and twenty acres, worth 2.5 and 2 million Thai baht respectively. According to a close friend of one of the farmers, the farms are to be used as the site for the celebration and the farmers will not be compensated for their loss. Read more

DKBA burns two homes belonging to suspected KNU supporters

November 28, 2008

HURFOM, Kawkreik: The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKB) burned the homes of two families suspected of supporting Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) soldiers, say local sources in Khawkreik District. Read more

Battalions in Kyauk Kyi Township tax fishpond owners, order huts destroyed

November 27, 2008

HURFOM:Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 599 is harassing owners of fishponds in Hta Htoo village, Nyaunn Lay Pin District, Kyauk Kyi Township, Karen State. On consecutive days, different columns from the battalion ordered owners to pay extra fees and to destroy their waterside huts.

On November 9th, a LIB No. 599 column led by 1st Lieutenant Zaw Lin Htun and second major Aung Zaw entered Hta Htoo village amd demanded money from villagers. Every person who owns a fishpond had to pay 20,000 kyat, plus an additional 2,500 kyat for every guard hut, reported a HURFOM field researcher who learned of the taxation by monitoring Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) radio activity. Read more

DKBA using forced labor in Karen State

November 25, 2008

HURFOM: Democratic Karen Buddhist Army Battalion No. 907 forced ten villagers into forced labor during the second week of November in Kawkreik District, Myawaddy Township, Karen State.

The troops, led by Major Ka La Nar, forced residents of Ya Thayt Kyaunn to build barracks in Pa low hta pho village from November 13 to 17th. The villagers were not allowed to return home during the five-day work period, and were forced to stay with the army. Read more

Celebration for International Stop Violent against Woman Day held in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand

November 25, 2008

WCRP: A celebration for the international Stop Violence against Women day was held on November 25th in Sangkhlaburi, Thailand, twenty kilometers from the Burma border. The event featured speeches by Mon and Karen community leaders, and was attended by over 100 people and 17 non-governmental organizations. Read more

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