Plumber steps on landmine, loses left leg in Lamine

February 3, 2023

HURFOM: At about 10:00 am on January 30, 2023, a 70-year-old plumber stepped on a landmine near Joe Ta Dar stream, which is close to  Bay Ka Hwelve village, Lamine Sub-township, Ye Township, in Mon State.  When the mine exploded, the victim lost his left leg. 

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Monthly Overview: Airstrikes in Southeastern Burma Kill and Injure Civilians While Forcing Thousands to Flee as the Burma Army Prepares for their Sham 2023 Elections | January 2023

February 2, 2023

HURFOM: The first month of the year in Southeastern Burma and country-wide proved equally disastrous. Despite the multiple calls to the international community for action as the junta commits endless atrocities, they seemed to fall upon deaf ears. Across January 2023, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) documented dozens more malicious attacks against civilians. While these crimes are occurring, the regime is shamelessly continuing with their plans to hold ‘elections’ later this year. HURFOM fieldworkers reported on early cases of civilians already being bribed to vote for the military.

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The Mon State Junta Administration General Administration Department (GAD) has been conducting several meetings in each township in Mon State for all levels of Administrators to operate an accurate census and prepare for the upcoming junta-run election:

“They seem like they are preparing for the election. The Mon State junta is conducting election-related activities such as instructing each level of GAD staff to collect the numbers of the population in the whole state and training the polling station officers to hold the General Election,” said a source close to HURFOM.

On the other hand, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party members are tasked by the junta to obtain the entire population of households in each ward, village, and township. The people know these elections are not credible, yet they are threatened with their lives if they do not comply with military orders. The election plans are another malicious attempt by the junta to make Burma appear like a country that has returned to normalcy in the days since the coup. The junta has targeted opposition forces and pro-democracy proponents and, once in junta custody, are tortured and killed. Defacto Head of State, Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint has been detained on baseless charges since 1 February 2021. Each faces up to several decades in prison – effectively life sentences.

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20 rubber plantations set on fire in Lamine: No suspects

February 1, 2023

HURFOM: At approximately 10:00 am on January 29, 2023, at least 20 rubber plantations near Lamine Town, Ye Township, in Mon State were set on fire by unknown person(s). 

No one knows what the motive was,  but a young social worker commented the incident might be related to political issues.

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Thanbyuzayat-Ye Road site of frequent armed attacks and travel restrictions

January 31, 2023

HURFOM: Columns of the junta’s military vehicles  are subject to frequent ambushes or attacks by landmines on the Thanbyuzayat-Ye Road.

In response the  junta has imposed restrictions on using the road.

These restrictions are impacting businesses and peoples access to healthcare.

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NMSP urges Burmese army, the KNLA and PDF not to harm villagers

January 31, 2023

HURFOM: On January 29, 2023, the Thaton District New Mon State Party (NMSP) released a statement urging the Burmese army, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) not to harm civilians or villages during their confrontations.

According to the statement, the NMSP has formed a team to assist internally displaced persons get to safe shelter. The party had also donated ten millions Kyat for IDPs.

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#317 Artillery Battalion soldiers badly beat villager from Kone Paw Yaw Thit

January 30, 2023

HURFOM: On January 23, 3023, a 43-year-old villager from Kone Paw Yaw Thit village, in Ye Township, Mon State was badly beaten by soldiers from the  #317 Artillery Battalion.

On January 21, 2023, soldiers from the battalion were attacked by the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) and five soldiers were killed in the attack.

After (soldiers from) the artillery battalion were attacked, there was a  ban on villagers going to the plantation to tap rubber trees. Approximately a  week after the ban was announced, the victim asked the soldiers if he could go to the plantation for work. Just for asking the question, the soldiers covered his face and beat him. Then they dragged him to the battalion and another five or six soldiers beat him again. They hit him with the butt of their guns. They kicked and punched him, said a witness from Southern Ye Township.

His wife, the village Administrator and some villagers all went to the battalion and requested the soldiers release him. After interrogating him and checking his phone, the soldiers released him.

His wife went to the battalion first. But the soldiers didn’t allow her to meet with her husband. Only after the Administrator had apologized to the soldiers, was it possible they could meet each other. Then the soldiers threatened both husband and wife, to not to tell what happened,said the witness.

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

January 30, 2023

Fourth Week of January 2023

HURFOM: As the first month of the year 2023 comes to an end, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) has continued to document the military junta’s impunity. This is evident in the widespread crimes which are routinely perpetrated against civilians. There is no reliable rule of law in Burma which would hold the soldiers behind the attacks to account. Villagers across Southeastern Burma are uncertain about their futures because they are surrounded by mass instability. The impacts of relentless civil war have led to a severe economic climate that has destroyed employment opportunities. Families forced to flee live in remote areas with their lives at risk daily as the junta increases their presence. Food, medicine, and shelter remain urgent for those living through crises on multiple fronts.

The conflict has driven people to the Thai border desperately for safety. On January 23, at 10 PM, in Three Pagodas Pass, residents fled to Thailand because combat had resumed. About eighty households left for Thailand during the reporting period. The majority have some documents or residence and work permits on the Thai side.  An hour and a half later, four government offices, including the General Administration Department office, were set on fire, according to HURFOM reporters. Fighting has continued to intensify, leaving locals worried about the junta’s use of airstrikes to suppress the joint armed forces.

“I’m terrified that the junta will use their airplanes to fire at us. If they use the jets, we will all be targets and in great danger. There’s nowhere to run. In our lifetimes, we have been forced to flee many times,” said a 50-year-old resident.

According to ground reports, about 400 families in Kyone Dow, Kanni, Thayettaw and Kaw Kyaik villages, Kawkareik, Karen State,  have been forced to flee to safer areas due to the indiscriminate firing of the junta’s heavy weapons into the villages. Many residents said the situation was intolerable as the Light Infantry Battalion 545 and 546 armed forces fired heavy weapons into their villages.

“Artillery shells dropped near my residence three times, and there was no time to collect anything. My husband managed to move the children. We started running away. It’s challenging because we left all the food and things in my village. Meanwhile, the monastery is helping. In the long run, if we can’t go home, it will be difficult to survive and live.” a 37-year-old mother of three children said of the tense situation.

There are 800 houses in Tharataw Village. A total of 4,000 people live there. A network fieldwork team explained that it is difficult to collect a needs assessment because everyone is fleeing. 

The military junta continues to target opposition forces. The people have overwhelmingly rejected the failed coup and remain active in their calls for the military to be dismantled. In response, the Burma Army has not hesitated to silence its critics violently.  At least five local civilians have been arbitrarily abducted by the secret police and military forces in the last five days in Thayet Chaung Township Dawei, according to families and friends of the detainees. On January 20, 2023, police stopped a minibus with fourteen passengers and abducted the driver, Ko Su Kan Nge, age 35, by accusing him of being associated with the local armed groups:

“The driver and the minibus owner were interrogated and arrested on the road to Dawei. The troops questioned the passengers and let them go later. It seems like they are targeting supporters of the Civil Disobedience Movement with informers and tracking them,” said a local.

Arbitrary killings remain a source of fear for many as the junta indiscriminately attacks civilians. A 60-year-old resident of Pala, who has been missing since January 12, was shot, and killed in Pala Township, Myeik District, southern Tanintharyi Region. U Loon Khin had been missing since the evening of January 12. His family said he left for a job and never returned. Approximately eight people, including U Loon Khin, were shot dead in Pala Town in the last 12 months. No one has received justice.

10 houses burnt down and two others damaged during Jone Doe armed clash

January 28, 2023

HURFOM: On January 25th  and 26th, 2023, the Burmese army and the joint forces of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) fought a battle  in Kan Ne village nearby Jone Doe Town, Kaw Ka Rate Township, in Karen State.

More than10 houses were burnt to the ground and another two were damaged during the incident.

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More than 3,000 villagers flee from armed clash in Jone Doe

January 27, 2023

HURFOM: Armed clashes between the Burmese army and the joint forces of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) have increased in Kan Ne village, nearby Jone Doe Town, Kaw Ka Rate Township, in Karen State since January 23, 2023. 

Houses have been burnt down and more than 3,000 villagers from Kan Ne, Tha Yet Taw, Kaw Kyike and Mi Ga Lone villages have fled  their homes.

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Burmese military launches artillery attack on villages nearby Jone Doe Town

January 26, 2023

HURFOM: Since January 24, 2023, the Burmese military has launched artillery attacks on villages nearby Jone Doe Town, Kaw Ka Rate Township, in Karen State.

Many houses have been burnt to the ground and villagers have fled the area.

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