SLORC ORDERS TO KAREN VILLAGES

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SLORC ORDERS TO KAREN VILLAGES

Published date:
Friday, March 4, 1994

Following are the direct translations of some typical SLORC written orders received by Karen villages, copies of which have been obtained by the Karen Human Rights Group. All of the orders were signed by SLORC officers, and in most cases were stamped with the unit stamp. Where necessary, the village name has been blanked out to protect the villagers. Many of the orders demand that the village head go to the military camp - in these cases, when the elder arrives he or she is generally interrogated about all movements of the resistance forces and beaten if not enough information is given.

SLORC ORDERS TO KAREN VILLAGES

An Independent Report by the Karen Human Rights Group  - March 4, 1994

Following are the direct translations of some typical SLORC written orders received by Karen villages, copies of which have been obtained by the Karen Human Rights Group. All of the orders were signed by SLORC officers, and in most cases were stamped with the unit stamp. Where necessary, the village name has been blanked out to protect the villagers. Many of the orders demand that the village head go to the military camp - in these cases, when the elder arrives he or she is generally interrogated about all movements of the resistance forces and beaten if not enough information is given. The elder is also threatened of what will happen if the village does not report the presence in the area of resistance forces, and given verbal orders regarding upcoming slave labour and porter requirements and how much money and food to send to the army camp. If the villagers fail to obey these orders for any reason, the SLORC generally sends troops to loot the village, destroy some houses, and seize porters, and in some cases the village is shelled with mortars. In the orders the soldiers often refer to the village head as "mother", a casual way of addressing a female elder, because most village heads are now women at least 45 or 50 years old - no man would dare take the job, as male headmen are always tortured, and a woman any younger would likely be raped at the camp.

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Order #1

Date: 4 October 1993

Stamp:

#28 Infantry

#2 Column

 

To: L--- Village Head

 

We have to repair #928 Advance Camp, so we need 20 people from L--- village and 30 people from N- and T--- villages, total 50 people.

 

Whoever takes responsibility for this group, gather the people and send them to 928 Camp on 5 October 1993 without fail.

 

[Signature illegible]

 

for Operation Commander
28 Infantry
Column 2

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Order #2

Date: 5 August 1993

Stamp:

Frontline #338

Light Infantry #2 Column

 

To: Village Head
      L--- Village

 

Subject: You must send us money for porter fees.

 

Regarding the above subject, send porter fees from your village to #338 Infantry, Column #2, on August 7, as soon as possible without fail. If you fail to do so for any reason, you will face the consequences.

 

[Signature illegible]

Column Commander
#338 Light Infantry
Column 2

[Note: "Porter fees" are theoretically to be used to hire munitions and supply porters for the military. However, porters are never paid, and the same villages which pay the "porter fees" must generally provide porters as well, on a slave labour basis.]

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Order #3

 

Date: 6 September 1993

To: L--- Village

 

Mother:
        - We have nothing to eat.
        - So we ask for some meat from you.
        - We have already asked for 2 days.
        - But you haven't sent us any, so it looks like you don't care at all about us.
        - We're not asking you to send it for free.
        - We'll pay the cost.
        - If our mother is good, your sons will never be bad.

 

Respectfully,

 

[Signature illegible]

Your Son

[Note: Do not be fooled by the tone of this letter - it is a very serious threat. Note especially the last line, as well as the line stating that the villagers have already disobeyed for 2 days, and the statement "you don't care at all about us" - a line often quoted to villagers by SLORC troops just before looting and killing sprees. Regarding the promise to "pay the cost", it is almost certainly a lie. If the officer intended to pay, he would have sent the money with the messenger who brought this order. SLORC does not pay debts to villagers.]

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Order #4

 

Date: 9 January 1993

To: Village Head
P--- Village

 

1) By order of Strategic Command, villagers in your village will not be allowed to go outside the village between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

 

2) In case of emergencies, go with a flame torch to guide your way, not a flashlight.

 

3) We hereby inform the village that if we see any villagers between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. outside the village, we will shoot them on sight.

 

Stamp: 201 Infantry

 

[Sd.: Po Myint]

Column Headquarters
Lt. Po Myint
Column Commander

[Note: SLORC often issues orders that any villager using a flashlight at night will be shot - their logic is that a flame torch makes you visible for a greater distance, and that anyone using a flashlight can be assumed to be a Karen soldier. Similarly, villagers are not allowed to hunt with anything more than bows and arrows.]

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Order #5

Date: 15 January 1994

Stamp: 

#338 Light Infantry

Column Headquarters

 

To: Village Head,

L--- Village

 

Subject: To Come to Pain Kyone.

 

1) Regarding the above subject, your village head must come to Pain Kyone Camp on 15/1/94, today, at 1600 hours, without fail. If you fail to appear for any reason, you will face the consequences.

 

[Signature illegible - 2nd Lieutenant, 15/1/94]

Acting Battalion Commander
338 Light Infantry

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Order #6

 Date: 9 October 1993

Stamp: #28 Infantry                                                                                               
             #2 Column

 

To:   Village Head
        L--- Village

 

Come and see the labourers we've been using from your village. Come and see them on 13/10/93, or before no-moon day. Come yourself to where we are.

 

[Signature illegible]

for Column Commander

28 Infantry
Column 2

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Order #7

 Date: 23 September 1993

Stamp: #28 Infantry                                                                                                
            #2 Column

 

To: Village Head
      L---- Village

 

When you get this order, your village head must come to us at Mi Kyaun village with a list of elephants, without fail for any reason.

 

Note: Should you fail to do this for any reason, our column will come and arrest you.

 

[Signature illegible]

for Column Commander
28 Infantry
Column 2

[Note: The SLORC troops want this list so that they can then order all elephant owners to do shifts of forced labour, most likely using their elephants to haul logs for the army camp.]

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Order #8

 Date: 14 November 1993

Stamp: #28 Infantry                                                                                                
            #2 Column

 

To: L--- Village Head

 

This is your third warning. When you get this order, come to Pain Kyone camp.

 

This is already your third notification.

 

[Signature illegible]
for Column Commander
Pain Kyone Camp

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Order #9

Place: Pain Kyone Camp                                                                                
Date: 11/11/93        

Stamp: #28 Infantry
            Intelligence Office

 

To:   Village Head
        L--- Village

 

1) From the village to which this is addressed, the village head and 2 village secretaries must come to see the Column Commander at Pain Kyone Camp on 12/11/93 at 0800 hours.

 

2) Bring along everyone with you who doesn't yet have an identity card.

 [Signature illegible]

for Column Commander28 Infantry, Column 2

                                                                                       

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Order #10

 Date: 13 September 1993

Stamp: #28 Infantry                                                                                                 
            #2 Column

 

To:   Daw ----
        L--- Village

 

When you get this letter, come with Daw S-- to see the Column Commander, to discuss important affairs. Come without fail.

 

Note: Very Important.
         Come with Daw S--.

 

 [Signature illegible]

for Column Commander
28 Infantry
Column 2
Nya Mayaw Village

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Order #11

 Date: 16 November 1993

Stamp: #28 Infantry                                                                                                     
            Intelligence Office

 

To: Daw ----

 

When you get this order, bring a messenger to see the Column Commander.

 

[Signature illegible]

for Column Commander
#28 Infantry
Column 2

[Note: Going as "messengers" is yet another form of slave labour the villagers are forced to provide.]

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Order #12

Date: 30 August 1993

To:   Daw ----                                                                                               
        L--- Village

 

Mother, if you get this letter, be sure to take any people who haven't yet registered with us to Nyan May Yaw village on 1 September 1993.

 

(And if you hear of any unusual occurrences, report it right away.)

 

[Signature illegible]

Company Commander
#4 Company
28 Infantry

[Note: The reference to "unusual occurrences" is a reminder and a threat that the village must report any news of Karen resistance forces immediately.]

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Order #13

Date: November 4, 1993

Stamp: #28 Infantry
            Intelligence Office

 

To: L--- Village Head

 

When you get this letter, come right away to where we are without fail.

 

[Sd.]

Lt. Aye Lwin
Serial No. 23224
#28 Infantry

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Order #14

Date: 23 December 1993

Stamp: #28 Infantry                                                                                        
            Company 5

 

To: L--- Village Head

 

When you get this letter come to Pain Kyone army camp right away, without fail.

 

[Signature illegible]

Company Commander
Company 5
#28 Infantry

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Order #15

 

Stamp: #201 Light Infantry                                                                                          30 December 1993
            Column Headquarters

 

To: L--- Village Head

 

On 31/12/93, tomorrow morning at 9 a.m., come to Mi Kyaun without fail.

 

[unsigned]

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Order #16

Date: 24 August 1993

Stamp: #28 Infantry                                                                                                  
            #2 Column

 

To:   Village Head
        L--- Village

 

Subject: To come and see the Column Commander

 

Regarding the above subject, the village head from L--- Village must come see Column Commander Major Sein Pen, of #28 Infantry Column #2, on August 26 without fail.

 

[Signature illegible]

for Column Commander
28 Infantry
Column 2