SLORC ACTIVITIES IN LER BA KO VILLAGE

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SLORC ACTIVITIES IN LER BA KO VILLAGE

Published date:
Thursday, December 31, 1992

The following account of some of the SLORC’s activities in central and northwestern Karenni (Kayah) State was given by a Karenni refugee who arrived in the Karen Revolutionary Area in late 1992. These activities included forced labour such as taking villagers as porters on a regular basis and forcing them to work on the Loikaw-Aung Nan railway, as well as arbitrary demands and taxation.

Testimony by a refugee from central Karenni (Kayah) State and List of Villages Relocated in March 1992.

An Independent Report by the Karen Human Rights Group
December 31, 1992

The following account of some of the SLORC’s activities in central and northwestern Karenni (Kayah) State was given by a Karenni refugee who arrived in the Karen Revolutionary Area in late 1992. His name has been changed and personal details omitted to protect his relatives and friends still living in Ler Ba Ko, which is in Deemawso Township. Please feel free to use this information in any way which may help free these people from their current slavery under the SLORC.

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Name: Saw Bleh Say        Age: 32
Family: Married with 3 children.

I came all the way here because many people in my area want to get away from the SLORC, and this is the only place to come. But now that Saw Hta has fallen, I don’t know how people will be able to make it here anymore.

The SLORC has always had an office in Ler Ba Ko. They routinely took us as porters. All the villagers had to go on a rotating basis. Each family had to send someone at least once a month for 3 days as a porter, or sometimes as often as 3 times per month. Sometimes the men ran away, and then the SLORC took women as porters. I heard that the soldiers raped 2 of the young girls of our village when they were porters, but I don’t know the details.

Depending on how many they needed, the SLORC often took the young and the old to be porters; they didn’t care about how old people are. The youngest person I saw them take was 15, and the oldest about 65. Back then being a porter wasn’t as horrible as it often is now; we had to take our own food, and weren’t usually beaten or abused too badly because those soldiers knew they had to stay in our village. People in all the villages around had to go as porters like that.

In 1991 almost everyone had to go work at the Loikaw - Aung Ban railway for about a month. The SLORC took leaders of every village to the work site, showed them each the work assignment their village would be forced to do, and gave them a deadline. They told the village leaders, "If your village doesn’t finish the work by the deadline we will arrest the village leaders." It is impossible to say no to the SLORC.

To finish on time, the whole village had to work from before dawn to after dusk. It was a long way from the village to the railway and we all had to bring our own rice. Our village had to hire 3 trucks to take us the 12 hour trip all the way to the railway. Each truck cost us over 10,000 Kyat. The villagers had to collect all this money among ourselves. Everyone was very angry, but we all had to pay because every one is so afraid of the SLORC.

At the railway, one group of us had to carry earth to make the railway embankment, another group had to carry stones, and so on. The embankment had to be 26 feet across at the base, 9 feet high and 15 feet across at the top. 300 people from my village had to make 1 mile of embankment like this. It was brutally hard work, breaking and carrying rocks and dirt. It was rainy season, and the railway goes across fields that were all soft and muddy, so some villages built the embankment and it just collapsed, and then they had to start again. It took a long time. We had to make huts in the jungle and sleep there. Our village took a month to finish, and some others took one and a half months. The SLORC had allowed us 3 months to finish the whole embankment from Mo Yeeh to Pay Kon. All of us had to go to the railway again for a month in July 1992.

In March 1992, all the villagers in Ler Ba Ko were forced to build 70 huts about 200 yards outside the village. Then about 500 people whom the SLORC had forced out of the villages came to stay there. It was like a refugee camp. The people had to bring their own food, and now once a month they are allowed to go back to their home villages to get some more. Each month they all have to go at the same time, and the soldiers go along with them as guards. Most of the villagers have a one year supply of food in their village, so for now they still have food, but soon they’ll run out and then they’ll have nothing to eat. Apart from once a month with the soldiers, they’re never allowed to go to their homes, because the SLORC has made the whole region a Prohibited Area. The Ler Ba Ko villagers are still allowed to leave our village, but the people in the camp are not allowed to go anywhere. There are 40 soldiers in Ler Ba Ko who guard them.

In the camp there is nothing for the sick - people just have to try to cure themselves. Three or four children had already died of disease in the first four months. All of the people have to go as porters like before, and they are also used all the time to do other work for the Army, like going to cut wood, building barracks for them, and many other kinds of work. The people in the camp have to do much more work for the Army than the Ler Ba Ko villagers. No one in the camp has dared try to run away yet. They are all too scared of the SLORC, so whatever they are ordered to do they just have to do.

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 VILLAGES IN THE BISHOPRIC OF LOIKAW
WHICH WERE FORCED TO RELOCATE BY SLORC IN MARCH 1992

The majority of these villages were forced to move into Deemawso and Pruso relocation camps (see related reports). Everyone in these villages was instructed that they would be shot it they refused to move or were found in the area after March 25 1992.

A) Deemawso Township



No.


Village


Village Tract

# of Houses


Popn.


Nationality


Religion

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23

Doo Payar
Ku Payar Out
Ku Payar Thit
Thar Day Kho
Dan To
Yard Khu Haw
Yard Khu Thit
Ya Bu Pa law
Hway Sesong
Daw Yok Khu
Daw Wal Khu
Lay Pa Aut Ku
Bar To
Zee Song
Faru Khall Out
Faru Khall Htat
Han Lee Khu
Hu Wal Ku
Khu Ba Toe
Dw Taw Khu
Sangdu Pupa
See Le Done
Lar Lae

Doo Payar
"
"
"
"
Ler Ba Ko
"
"
"
Daw Yok Khu
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
Daw Taw Khu
Sangdu Ywarthit
"
Wathaw Ku Ywarthit

35
25
23
13
12
50
8
14
16
109
20
25
9
12
53
14
30
6
20
32
72
66
43

254
154
164
96
95
189
64
124
98
743
147
175
76
84
145
89
235
41
159
215
376
349
273

Kayan
"
"
Kayan Kagan
Kayan
"
"
"
"
Kayan Kagan
"
"
Ka Yaw
"
"
"
"
"
Kayan Kagan
Kayah
Kayan
Kayah
"

Baptist
R.C.
R.C.
Baptist
M.T.P.
T.K.T.
M.T.P.
"
R.C.
"
"
T.K.T.
R.C
Baptist
R.C.
"
"
T.K.T.
"
R.C.
"
"
Baptist

B) Pruso Township



No.


Village


Village Tract

#of Houses


Popn.


Nationality


Religion

24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76

Be Yar
Ho Yar
DoYaw (lower)
Do Yaw (upper)
Ta Mo Khu
Li Khu Payar
Tay Khu
Ho Mo Tee
Khar Bal
Do Mo Saw
Khal Tie Khal
Khe Lu Pra
Re Ke Khal
Htee Lu Pu
Play Lar
Kho Bar
Ra Ee Pra
Yu Spra
Zay Tra
Chro Khu
Kay Kaw
Yu Lee Khu
Bwel Doe Thar
Par Wel
Phaw Lout 
Lu Day
Saw Lat
Htee War Khal
Khaw Lay
Tar Thee Po
Kay Khee
Pay Khee
Doe Mu Khal
Lar Par Htee
Doe Po
Parat Saw Khu
Doe Lar Saw
Hlo Khwe So
Yar Ba Kho
Ka Kwe
Ka Yaw
Dee Ku Lae
Law Kwar
Yu Pra
Har Saw Khu
Han O
Ka Payu
Hta Hta Chee
Ka Theet Doe
Se Ke Khel 
Do Kho
Htaw Tha Khal
See Me Day

Ho Yar
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
Daw Mo Saw
"
"
"
"
"
"
Ra Ee Pra
"
"
"
"
Kay Kaw
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
Tar Thee Po
"
"
"
"
"
"
Doe Lar Saw
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
Yaw Daw Khal
"
"
"
"
"
"
"

90
56
15
20
43
35
71
30
76
48
63
35
31
35
20
37
56
79
19
70
21
33
40
63
44
32
18
29
5
34
22
25
23
9
31
41
34
70
28
43
32
44
25
20
28
45
29
42
25
21
13
30
22

528
395
97
164
234
199
492
164
520
257
325
198
153
274
139
177
349
488
105
415
123
156
215
316
289
178
95
140
35
126
105
125
115
40
150
215
163
399
145
253
169
260
145
96
115
195
174
273
151
118
83
178
123

Ka Yaw
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
Bwe Kayaw
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
Manu Manaw
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
Bwe Kayaw
Kayaw
Bwe Kayaw
"
"
"
"
"

R.C.
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
R.C.
"
"
Baptist
"
"
"
R.C.
"
Baptist
"
"
R.C
Baptist
"
R.C.
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"
"

Addreviations:   R.C.: Roman Catholic
                         M.T.P.: Mieta Pyammasoe
                         T.K.T.: Ta Khun Tie

Totals:

76 villages in 13 village tracts and 2 townships.
15, 481 people in 2, 667 homes.

By nationality: 10 Kayan, 5 Kayan Kagan, 27 Kayaw, 23 Bwe Kayaw, 9 Manu Manaw, and 2 Kayah villages.

By religion: 57 Roman Catholic, 13 Baptist, 3 Ta Khun Tie, and 3 Mieta Pyammasoe villages.