The SLORC’s "Leave or Die" Ultimatum to Karenni Villagers

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Published date:
Friday, June 12, 1992

Following are the direct translations of stamped and signed orders posted by the SLORC in villages throughout western Karenni State in late March of 1992. These letters order villagers from dozens of villages to relocate, citing their own security as the reason for the relocation, but threatening that villagers remaining in the area will be killed along with the Karenni soldiers the SLORC have dubbed "insurgents" and "bandits". The large areas affected are in the "brown" or "black" areas (those not firmly under SLORC control, where the KNPP opposition is active). Pruso Town, where the villagers were ordered to move to, is in the "white" area (under SLORC control). The villagers affected say they were to move to a SLORC- guarded camp around Pruso Town, where they felt they would be treated as slaves and taken as porters whenever required. They say none obeyed this condition. Some fled to safer Karenni- controlled villages, and some went to towns but avoided the SLORC. Some decided to stay in the area, hiding in the forest and taking their chances. Many fled southward on foot to become refugees in Karen State rather than obey. It is this group, currently numbering over 1,200, who provided the copies of the orders to the Karen National Union.

 

An Independent Report by the Karen Human Rights Group
Manerplaw, June 12, 1992

 

Following are the direct translations of stamped and signed orders posted by the SLORC in villages throughout western Karenni State in late March of this year. The large areas affected are in the "brown" or "black" areas (those not firmly under SLORC control, where the KNPP opposition is active). Pruso Town, where the villagers were ordered to move to, is in the "white" area (under SLORC control). The villagers affected say they were to move to a SLORC- guarded camp around Pruso Town, where they felt they would be treated as slaves and taken as porters whenever required. They say none obeyed this condition. Some fled to safer Karenni- controlled villages, and some went to towns but avoided the SLORC. Some decided to stay in the area, hiding in the forest and taking their chances. Many fled southward on foot to become refugees in Karen State rather than obey. It is this group, currently numbering over 1,200, who provided the copies of the orders to the Karen National Union.

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Order #1:
(Posted in villages throughout Pruso Township)

    [Stamp:]                                                                  Township Law& Order
Township LORC                                                                       Restoration Council
Pruso Township                                                            Pruso Township
                                                                                     Ref. No. 116/1-16 NWT
                                                                                                 (PYC) (385)
                                                                                      Date 1992- March- 6

Chairman (Gkay Gkaw)
Village Tract Law and Order Restoration Council
Pruso Township

Subject: Relocation of Villages

1) It has been found that the undermentioned village areas of Pruso Township are full of thieves, robbers, and bandits who are stealing food and property and persecuting the people.

a) Ho Ywa village area.
b) Ghay Ghaw village area.
c) Raw Daw Kaw village area.
d) Tho Thi Po village area.
e) Do Mo Saw village area
f) Do La Saw village area.
g) Ra Wa Pra [sic: Ra Pay Ra] village.

2) It was also found that the inhabitants of the above mentioned village areas are not capable of defending themselves from these bandits, and they are living in extreme poverty.

3) Therefore, the inhabitants of the undermentioned villages will be relocated to Pruso Town so they can live in peace and lead normal lives. Besides, this will allow us to destroy the bandits completely.

a)  Ho Ywa village area (8 villages)
    1) Ho Ywa village
    2) Bee Ya village.
    3) Kay Ko village
    4) Ho Mo Tee village.
    5) Do Mo Ko village.
    6) Upper Do Raw village.
    7) Lower Do Raw village.
    8) Lee Ku Pra village.

b)  Gkay Gkaw village area (11 villages)
    1) Gkay Gkaw village.
    2) Yo Li Ku village
    3) Bweh Do Tha village.
    4) Paw Law village.
    5) Kaw Lay village.
    6) Hai Gay Doe village.
    7) Pa Weh village.
    8) Saw Blay Ko village.
    9) Tee Wa Kaw village.
    10) Saw Leh village.
    11) Taw Tho Kaw village.

c)  Raw Daw Kaw village area (8 villages)
    1) Raw Daw Kaw village
    2) Beh Bo Kaw village.
    3) Pi Mu Kee village.
    4) Ga Bru village.
    5) Ta Du Kee village.
    6) Gay Theh Doh village.
    7) See Kee Kaw village.
    8) Du Ko village.

d)  Tho Thi Po village area (9 villages)
    1) Tho Thi Po village.
    2) Do Mu Kaw village
    3) La Pa Tee village.
    4) Gay Kee village.
    5) Bay Kee village.
    6) La Wah village.
    7) Do Po village.
    8) Saw Ko village.
    9) Pa Po village.

e)  Ra Pay Ra village area ( 5 villages)
    1) Ra Pay Ra village.
    2) Kaw Ha village.
    3) Yo Se Pra village.
    4) Kro Ko village.
    5) Zay Za village.

f)  Do Mo Saw village area (7 villages)
    1) Do Mo Saw village.
    2) Ka Beh village.
    3) Kaw Thekaw village.
    4) Ray Kee Kaw village.
    5) Tee Lo Bu village.
    6) Be Lay Lah village.
    7) Kee Lo Bra village.

g)  Do La Saw village area (9 villagers)
    1) Do La Saw village.
    2) To Kwee Soe village.
    3) Dee Ko Leh village.
    4) Yo Pra village.
    5) Ya Ba Ko village.
    6) Go Gweh village.
    7) Dw Law Za village.
    8) Kaw Thaw village.
    9) Ha Zaw Ko village.

4) Villagers in the above mentioned villages should move on receiving this order, and not later than the 20th of March.

5) Locations and supplies for those relocated have already been prepared. However, should anyone fail to move by the specified dated they may be among the bandits who are eliminated.

6) The chairmen and members of the villages are further notified that they should immediately report to this Council for consultation.

                                                                                                                    Signed
                                                                                                                    [illegible]
                                                                                                                    Chairman

Copies: - office copy
            - receipt copy

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Order #2:
(Posted in Gkay Gkaw village)

           [Stamped:]
#10 Light Infantry Battalion 
      Military Column # 2

To: All villagers (female and male)
      Gkay Gkaw village (date March 9, 1992)

Subject: Informing of village relocation

1) All villagers living in Gkaw Gkaw village should move to Pruse town by March 25 at the latest.

2) Those who are found still living in the village after the set date will be considered as insurgents (bandits) and will be eliminated.

Signed: State Law and Order Restoration council.

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Order #3
(Posted in Yo Li Ku village)

           [Stamped:]
# 10 Light Infantry Battalion
      Military Column # 2

To: All villagers ( female and male)
      Yo Lu Ku village (date March 9, 1992)

Subject: Informing of village relocation

1) All villagers living in Yo Li Ku village should move to Pruso Town by March 25 at the latest.

2) Those who are found still living in the village after the set date will be considered as insurgents (bandits) and will be eliminated.

Signed: State Law and Order Restoration Council.

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Order #4
(Posted in Mo Pa Kee village)

        [Stamped:]                                                           Frontline # 94 Infantry Battn.
# 94 Infantry Battalion                                                   Military Column # 1 Strategic HQ
Frontline Headquarters                                                       Reference No. 0000/20
                                                                                      Date: 1992 – January 23

To:        Mo Pa Kee village.
Subject: Relocation of villages in areas where rebels are active.

1) When Frontline #94 Infantry Battalion first arrived in the Maw Chee area according to orders, we tried to keep the villagers happy as much as possible, as was our plan.

2) However, observing the present situation we see the enemy based in villages in the Maw Chee area, and they repeatedly disturb and attack our camp. Moreover, the villagers fail to notify us of information about the enemy in time. As we believe that the enemy disturbances occur with the help of the villagers, the following villagers will no longer be permitted to stay in the Maw Chee area. Kaw Thu Do, Lo Kah Lo, Lo Law Tee, and Ko Do Lay Ko villages area here by notified to relocate as quickly as possible to Bu Ku and Kwa Che areas, and Bo Lo Ba, Ywa The Do, Mo Has Kee and Baw Bwe villages to Karet Kee area.

3) Today, the army is in the process of building on our Three Duties, namely, to prevent collapse of the Union, to prevent the collapse of National Unity, and to stabilise the power of the Government. So although we are unwilling to destroy the prosperity of the people, we must do this in accordance with our military requirements.

4) As the army are the children of the nation, we emphasise that we do not now act narrow- mindedly: we will never act in hate of the Karen people nor wage genocide against them.

 

                                                                                     Signed
                                                                                       [illegible] 
                                                                                     (for) Battalion, Commander

Copies - Strategic HQ (Eastern Division)
           - State LORF ((Loikaw)
           - Township group LORC (Loikaw)
           - Township LORC ( Pah Hsaung)
           - Office copy.