DKBA increasing troop presence Makate, frightening area businesses and residents

October 27, 2008

HURFOM:Soldiers from Democratic Karen Buddhist Army Battalion (DKBA) No. 999 have been arriving in Makate, scaring residents and business in the area. About 20 soldiers arrived in Makate on October 19th, with another 280 slated to arrive soon, say local sources. Battalion No. 999 is lead by commander Kyaw Kyaw and second colonel Than Nyein.

The influx of troops, ahead of widely a expected offensive against territory controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU), is frightening residents, loggers and miners in the area. Read more

Seventeen-year-old migrant worker raped in Samut Sakhon, Thailand

October 27, 2008

WCRP: A seventeen-year-old girl from Zin Gyike village, Poung Township, Mon State was raped in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon Province on October 19th.

The victim is employed at a shop owned by a woman from Mudon town, Mon State. The incident occurred late at night in the shop. The perpetrator is the ex-husband of the shop owner, Ko Naing, 35, from Kyarinnseikekyi Township, Karen State. Read more

SPDC Creates USDA as a Main Political Party in 2010 Elections

October 22, 2008

The Burmese military government continues to ignore calls — domestic and international — urging it to enter into political dialogue with opposition groups. Although many in the international community have condemned the SPDC’s “7 Point Road Map” to democracy, the regime plans to carry out stage #5: elections in 2010. In stage #4, a sham referendum approved a new Constitution, drafted without real input from any but the allies of the regime.  Read more

A silenced anniversary: one year after the Saffron Revolution

October 22, 2008

I. Introduction
In August and September 2007 hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands of monks and civilians demonstrated in over twenty-five Burmese cities. The peaceful protests, dubbed the “Saffron Revolution” after the color of robes worn by monks who played a leading role, were Burma’s largest mass movement in two decades. Though the digital expertise of Burma’s dissident community ensured the events received international attention, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), Burma’s military government, reacted with overwhelming force. Unarmed protesters were beaten and shot. Thousands were detained and held in inhuman conditions. Some were tortured, others killed and arrests continued for months after. Read more

SPDC confiscating and reselling vehicles in Mon State

October 21, 2008

HURFOM:SPDC authorities in Mon State are seizing unlicensed trucks while also selling vehicles that have already been impounded. Purchasing the vehicles from government officials does not confer them any legitimacy, and residents are reluctant to buy the vehicles because they are likely to be seized again.

Authorities set up two new checkpoints in Moulmein in the second week of October. Drivers passing through the checkpoints must prove their vehicles to be registered, or have them impounded. An unknown number of vehicles have been seized, but a HURFOM field reporter witnessed the seizure of two trucks on the night of October 14th. Read more

Villagers along the Ye to Tenasserim Division road forced to make road repairs

October 16, 2008

HURFOM : Southern Ye Township:
Residents of villages along the Ye to Tennasserim Division road are being forced to work as unpaid laborers, say local sources. Beginning in the first week of October, Captain Yae Lin Oo from Infantry Battalion No. 31 began forcing households in Han-Gan, Chan-Gu, Dot-Pound, Toe-Tat-Ywa-Thit, Yin-Ye, Yin-Dein and Mi-Htaw-Hlar Lay villages, in Ye Township, Mon State, to make road repairs and clear brush.

Captain Ye Lwin Oo ordered the headmen of each village to organize villagers into work groups, and gave them responsibility for repairs to sections of the road. Laborers have to clear brush and small trees from the sides of the road. They also have to fill in pot holes and ruts with soil dug from the sides of the road. Read more

DKBA sponsors illegal cockfights and gambling in Mudon Township

October 15, 2008

HURFOM : Mudon Township
Soldiers of the Democratic Buddhist Army (DKBA) are holding cockfights and taxing related gambling, say local sources in Mudon Township, Mon State. Though cockfighting has been illegal for seven years, the fights are being promoted and held openly. Township Peace and Development Council and local authorities have remained silent on the issue.

Two days of cockfights have been held in Sein Taung village, Kamarwet Sub-township, Mudon Township, says a local eyewitness. “On the last holy day (October 6th), five troops of a Karen cease-fire group (DKBA) came into the village, gathered some local men infamous for cockfighting and started gambling on the cockfights,” said the witness. “Nobody in the village dared to stop them.” Read more

Villagers in Yebyu Township strained by the army’s latest round of taxation

October 10, 2008

HURFOM : Battalions in the Thabyay Chaung village area, in Yebyu Township, have been ordered to pay a new set of taxes to Light Infantry Battalions No. 406 and 407, say local sources.

On October 2nd, 2008, LIB No. 407 ordered every household in Thabyay Chaung village, Yebyu Township, to make a new set of monthly payments of 800 to 1,000 kyat. “The money is to support army families while soldiers are away on military operations,” said a thirty-year-old villager from the area. Read more

KNU encouraging logging free-for-all in advance of DKBA offensive

October 10, 2008

HURFOM:The Karen National Union (KNU) is slashing logging restrictions in territory it controls near Three Pagodas Pass, on the Thai-Burma border. The change in timber policy comes before the KNU is expected to retreat in the face of a coming offensive by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).

Timber stands in the Makate and Kyunchaung forests, respectively nine and thirty kilometers from the Thai-Burma border, have been opened for free-access logging, say loggers, sources in ethnic political parties and local villagers. Both forests are in Thupalaryar District, currently under the control of KNU Brigade 6. Read more

Moulmein Internet cafes face increased restrictions

October 8, 2008

HURFOM : Internet café’s in Moulmein, the capital of Mon State, are facing increased restrictions say sources in the city. Two weeks ago, cafés were ordered to close no later than 8pm, shortening permitted operation time by three hours. Shop owners have also been threatened for failure to provide authorities with sufficient information about their patrons.

“The Myanmar Teleport’s rules say we are allowed to stay open until 11pm,” says the owner of an Internet café in Moulmein. “But last week they demanded we close at 8pm.”  Read more

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