The following testimonies and information have been gathered by our human rights monitors from civilian villagers in the Bilin River area and eastward toward the Salween River, in Thaton District of Karen and northeastern Mon States. Names which have been changed to protect people are given in quotation marks. All other names are real. Some details have been omitted from stories to protect people. In the testimonies, SLORC soldiers sometimes mention ‘Ringworm’ and 'Kaw Thoo Lei' - they use both terms to mean 'Karen soldiers’. 'KNU' is short for Karen National Union, the Karen government. All numeric dates are written in dd-mm-yy format. Please feel free to use this report in any way which may help the peoples of Burma, but do not forward it to any SLORC representatives.
Torture (Stories #1,2,3,4,5,6,8), Execution , (#2,3,4 5,6,7,11), Detention (#1,8,9), Shooting at villagers (#1,3,4,6,7,8,11), Forced labour (#5,7), Looting (#6,10,11), Extortion (#3,4), Burning homes (#6,10,11), Destroying food supplies (#9,10), Threatening a monk (#10), SLORC response when villagers report abuse (#2,3,4), People fleeing villages (#1,3,4,8).
NAME: "Maung Hla Myaing" SEX: M AGE: 50 Karen farmer
ADDRESS: Bilin Township, Thaton District
The SLORC has an outpost only 3 miles from our village. On September 10th at 7 p.m., I was out feeding my buffalos when 7 soldiers led by a Sergeant from #63 Infantry Battalion pointed their guns at me and took me to a farm field hut. They found nobody in the hut, but they found Saw Ba Kyaw in his field. He is 45 years old from P--- village. They arrested him, and they took us to their Kyaw Klaw Kloh outpost. When we got there, a Captain, with 3 stars on his shoulder, told me "Don't look at my face!", and he hit me 3 times in the face. Then he pushed me down, poked a knife against me and asked "Are you a rebel?" He accused me of having a gun and a walkie-talkie, asked where I kept them and ordered me to go and get them. I said I am just a farmer, not a revolutionary, and then they beat me again. They tied me up with a nylon rope at 3 different places on my arms and 3 places on my legs. They used 5 ropes altogether and tied me up in 7 places. When I looked over, I saw that they had tied up Saw Ba Kyaw as well. They put me in a hole in the ground, and they accused Saw Ba Kyaw and put him in a hole too. Four soldiers were guarding us. We couldn't sleep in the holes, because we had to stay in a sitting position. In the middle of the night I managed to untie myself. Then when they saw me untied in the morning they said I must be a Ringworm [Karen soldier]. They beat me twice, and blindfolded me with 3 triangular handkerchiefs. After I couldn't see anything, they tied me up so tightly that I couldn't even move.
Then that evening [11/9/94] when it was almost dark, two soldiers took me. I couldn't see anything because I was still blindfolded, but from their conversation I knew they were taking Saw Ba Kyaw as well. I realized that they were taking both of us to kill us. When they got us to the killing field, we pleaded with them not to kill us, so they left us there for 2 or 3 days. They thought that they could get something from me, so they put me back into the hole again. I heard them telling each other to cut a pole to carry a dead body, so I thought they must have already killed Saw Ba Kyaw. [We have not yet been able to confirm whether or not Saw Ba Kyaw was killed] They kept me blindfolded in the daytime, and took it off in the night time. They only untied me at meal times. I couldn't sleep, because I was tied in a sitting position all the time.
On September 13th at midday, many soldiers were gathered around the hole. I heard one of the officers order his soldiers to kill me at 4 a.m. the next morning. When the soldiers asked the officer how they should kill me, he said "Don't waste your bullets. Just beat him to death and cut his throat with a knife." I could hear him very clearly. I realized that they were going to kill me and I was very afraid, so I tried to escape. I chewed on the rope until there was only one strand left. Then at 5 p.m., one of the soldiers came over and told me to eat. He untied my legs and arms. After the meal I told him I needed to go to the toilet. One of the Corporals pointed his gun at me and took me. He was holding the end of the rope. When I told him that I was finished he wasn't paying attention, and I jumped down the hill and jumped over 2 or 3 fences. It was very difficult because there were pointed stakes [defensive obstacles] between the army camp fences. I didn't care, I just ran straight through them. They shot at me twice but didn't hit me.
I ran and stopped to sleep in the forest, but I couldn't sleep well. When I reached the Kyaw Klaw river, I was about to rest when suddenly some soldiers pointed their guns at me and told me not to run away. I ran, and they followed me and shot at me 4 or 5 times until they got to the outskirts of P--- village, then they went back and I made my way home. Now I don't dare stay in my house anymore, so I live in hiding. I don't understand why SLORC soldiers kill villagers like us. Life for us Karen people is very bad.
NAME: "Pa Shwe" SEX: M AGE: ? Karen farmer
ADDRESS: Pa’an Township, Thaton District
On September 11, 1994 in the middle of the day, Sergeant Tun Win from Light Infantry Battalion #111 went to Ka Ma Maung together with 3 soldiers and one medic, sending a soldier who had been bitten by a snake to hospital. They got drunk in Ka Ma Maung and then headed back to Takyaw outpost. On the way, they quarreled with each other, Sergeant Tun Win fired two shots at the others and they were separated. While Sergeant Tun Win was looking for the soldiers, he found Saw Noh Noh grazing his cattle along the bank of the Mee Zaing river. People who could see from a distance saw Sergeant Tun Win questioning Saw Noh Noh. Then the Sergeant hit Saw Noh Noh in the back of his head with a carbine rifle butt and he fell down. Then Sergeant Tun Win hit him with the rifle barrel and knocked out one of his eyes. Soon Saw Noh Noh was dead. Sergeant Tun Win wanted to throw his body in the river, but he saw other villagers watching so he didn't. He called two of the villagers, forced them to carry Saw Noh Noh's body to the other side of the Mee Zaing River and left the body there. Then the Sergeant took the two villagers to his camp, and camp commander Sergeant Maung Pyi released then. They threatened the witnesses not to tell anyone.
Saw Noh Noh's family informed the higher authorities, and they said they would take action. They transferred Sergeant Tun Win and the other 4 soldiers, but that was all the action they took. Now Saw Noh Noh's wife Ma Aye Maung, 34 years old, is left with 6 children and they are facing serious troubles. Saw Noh Noh was 40 years old from Upper Mee Zaing village.
A human rights monitor obtained the following information from witnesses in a village in Bilin Township, Thaton District:
In the village there is a SLORC collaborator named Maung Ngeh who has often extorted money from the people in the village. The village head, Maung Kyaw, tried to get money from Maung Ngeh's parents to give back to the other villagers. This made Maung Ngeh angry. He came to the village together with Captain Kyaw Min of Company #4, Light Infantry Battalion #308, on August 7/94 to look for Maung Kyaw. They couldn't find him so they looked around, went out into a farm field and found Aung Than, the owner, in his hut. They asked Aung Than where Maung Kyaw was. When he said he didn't know, they didn't believe him so they got angry, tied him up with his hands and arms tied behind his back and a rope around his neck, and beat him up. They ordered him to show them where Maung Kyaw was. Eventually he couldn’t bear the beating anymore so he told them that Maung Kyaw was at his, Aung Than's, house in the village, and that he himself had adopted one of Maung Kyaw's sons because Maung Kyaw's wife died a few years ago. Maung Ngeh asked Aung Than "Why did you adopt Maung Kyaw's son?", and beat him up again. Then the soldiers went to Aung Than's house in the village. One of Aung Than's daughters was there, and describes it as follows:
"At that time, about 7 p.m., I was in the house with my sister, my mother and Maung Kyaw. The soldiers came into the house, shot at Maung Kyaw and dragged him out of the house. They shot him again and he was killed. They also fired back into the house and my mother was hit in her arm. She tried to run out, and they shot her dead. After a few minutes, they brought my father to the house tied up. When they got to the front of our house, Maung Ngeh shot him in the back of his head. My father was dead. Maung Ngeh told us he killed our father because he had adopted Maung Kyaw's son. Soon after the soldiers left, I took my sisters and we ran away from the village, because SLORC and the traitor killed our parents."
The daughter who described this is still highly traumatized, and feels frightened all the time. Her father, Aung Than, was 50, and her mother, Naw Tin Mo, was 47. They were both farmers.
On July 7, 1994 SLORC troops from #42 Infantry Battalion commanded by Major Khin Zaw and Captain Win Oo came to Lay Kaw Hti village, Bilin Township, Thaton District. A man who was there gave the following account:
The Burmese surrounded the village and all the villagers tried to run away, then the soldiers shot Pa Tin Poe. He wasn't a rebel, he was just a villager. He was 23. They shot him twice - one bullet went in his neck and through part of his head, and another bullet hit his fingers. He fell down, and then the SLORC soldiers sliced him in the mouth, in the left arm and in his side. They accused him of being a Karen soldier, but the villagers and the village head told them he wasn't a Karen soldier, he was just a villager. We asked them, "If you keep shooting and killing villagers, how can we go on?" The soldiers were from #42 Battalion. Their commander is Khin Zaw, he's a Major.
Pa Tin Poe didn't die on the spot. The villagers took him to the hospital, and 3 days later he died. Pa Tin Poe's parents fled the village. Major Khin Zaw fined them 2,500 Kyat because he said they lied to him that their son wasn't a Karen soldier.
Pa Tin Poe's Mother: My son was walking around the village, and he saw some SLORC soldiers so he ran. He didn't know they'd already surrounded the village. So as he tried to run out, they shot him. There were two of them running together. When he was shot he fell down on the spot, and his friend turned back into the village The SLORC asked his friend why he'd been running, so he said he hadn't been running, he was just coming back from going to the toilet in the woods. The SLORC said my son was Kaw Thoo Lei. He was just a hill rice farmer, but we can't argue with them. When I went to see my son he couldn't speak. The soldiers knew I was his mother, and they told me to bury his body. Then they went back to their camp. I kept my son at my house one night, then I took him to the hospital and after 2 nights there he died. At my house I got people to treat him, and I still have to pay them back. I don't know anything about medicine - I just thought "If my son becomes well I don't mind, I’ll pay for everything". I bought an IV drip and a special injection, it cost 700 Kyat. People told me if I gave him this medicine he would live, so I thought "If only he lives, everything will be alright. If he has brain damage it doesn't matter, I’ll do everything for him that he needs".
Pa Tin Poe's father: Even though it was so serious, he told me "Father, my head is in agony. Can you help me?" Then I said, "Son, I can't help you." After that some of his brain started to seep out the wound, and they tried to save him but they couldn't.
The villagers told the soldiers that they were going to report the case to higher authorities. As a result, Major Khin Zaw and Captain Win Oo went to the higher authorities first, declared that Pa Tin Poe was a Karen soldier, then fined Pa Tin Poe’s parents 2,500 Kyat for "lying" that Pa Tin Poe was not a soldier.
Pa Tin Poe's mother: I had fled the village when the Major fined us, so the headman and the villagers paid it, then I had to pay them back later. The Burmese troops took away everything from our house. They shoot and kill villagers, and then they fine the villagers too. They kill us, and they fine us, and they also send for us, but we don't dare go anymore because we don't know what they'll do to us.
Ten years ago, Pa Tin Poe's father was also shot by Burmese troops, and his right thigh was broken. #42 Infantry Battalion's Kya Thaung Seik camp is only 3 miles from Lay Kaw Hti village. Villagers say at least 10 people from Lay Kaw Hti have already been shot dead by #42 Battalion troops. The village used to have 40 households, but now because of the executions at least 20 of those families have fled, and the village is gradually being destroyed.
NAME: "Saw Klo Wah" SEX: M AGE: 36 Karen farmer
ADDRESS: Papun Township
On July 16/94 on the Ka Daing Dtee - Papun car road, I met a column of troops led by Major Kyaw Kyaw Htun from #33 Division, Light Infantry Battalion #120. It was about 1:30 p.m. They pointed their guns at me and tied me up with a rope that’s used as a lead for cows. I saw Saw Pit with them, and he was also tied up with rope. His wrists and his upper arms were tied together behind his back. They were commanding Saw Pit to show them the way. His face was swollen and bleeding. The SLORC soldiers made me go in front of them while one of the soldiers held the other end of the rope. They told me to lead the way to Ka Law Teh village. They asked me whether there were any Karen soldiers in Ka Law Teh village, and I said there were many Karen soldiers. Then one of the soldiers punched Saw Pit’s face, pulled out a knife and stabbed Saw Pit's thigh with it. His face and thigh were bleeding badly.
Then instead of going onward, they turned back and told me to go in front of them as guide. When they arrived at Taung Tho Lone camp they released me and five other cowherds, but they still kept Saw Pit with them. I headed back for my village and after 10 minutes, I heard gunshots from near Sah Law Plaw. The next day, I went to Sah Klih Kaw village to ask about Saw Pit, but he wasn’t there. They said he had gone on July 16 to Yunzalin Chaung village to buy rice and the soldiers had arrested him. I didn't hear anything about him for 10 days, so I went to look for him. At Play Gone village I smelled something very bad, and I found Saw Pit’s decomposed body. I could see a gunshot wound in the back of his head. I think the SLORC soldiers accused him of collaborating with Karen insurgents and tortured him to death. Saw Pit was 35 years old. He left behind his wife, Naw Chew La Pu, 27 years old, and one child. Now they live together with her parents.
A human rights monitor obtained the following information in Pa'an Township, Thaton District:
Pa Paung village is one hour's walk from Ka Ma Maung in Pa'an Township. SLORC troops frequently arrive there. On June 19, 1994 at about 2 p.m., a SLORC column from Company #2 of Infantry Battalion #36 commanded by Major Tun Yi entered the village and spent one night there. There were no young men in the village, only women, children, middle-aged men and the elderly [most young men have to live in hiding in the forest or they will be tortured and killed as suspected Karen soldiers]. The soldiers looted the villagers’ belongings and killed and ate their livestock, such as chickens, pigs and ducks, as they pleased. On June 20, they continued searching through and looting everything in the village, and more domestic animals were killed. At 9 a.m. they arrested a farmer named Maung Tun Ngwe, age 30. Maung Tun Ngwe had been staying outside the village in his farm field hut for 2 days because he had heard that SLORC troops were moving in the area. The troops arrested him there, drove him into the village, tied him up in an empty house and tortured him. People near the house heard his cries of pain from 9 a.m. until noon. After midday, the troops burned the houses of Saw Pu Baw (age 46), U Ngwe Hlaing (50), U Ta Koo (60), and Saw Wah (35) after accusing these men of communicating with the KNU [Karen National Union]. Maung Tun Ngwe, who was still tied up in the empty house, could not bear their torture anymore so when he heard the houses burning he kicked a hole in the bamboo wall of the house and jumped down to the ground to escape. He was shot in the back, the bullet exiting through his left chest, and killed. After killing him, the soldiers left the village. The villagers are now facing grave difficulties because of all this looting and destruction, especially the women and children. Maung Tun Ngwe's wife has 5 children, and the soldiers looted 8 baskets of rice from their house.
A list of the items looted and/or destroyed is omitted here for the sake of brevity, but it includes 45 houses and the following totals: 81 baskets (about 2,700 kg.) of rice, 85 baskets (about 2830 kg.) of unmilled rice, 5,500 Kyat in cash, 848 kg. of fishpaste and sesame paste, 825 kg. of salt, 9 kg. of chillies, 3 goats, 1 pig, 89 chickens, 1 fishing net, 37 pots and basins, 59 plates, hundreds of spoons and other utensils, 43 shirts, 36 men's and women's sarongs, 5 hats, 25 blankets, 10 pillows, 5 sleeping mats, 22 machetes, 6 axes and saws, miscellaneous traditional Karen clothing and bags, umbrellas, household items and other unlisted items. [This list is typical. Normally, the soldiers will then try to sell some of the items in other villages, while a lot of women's clothing and other such items will probably be "sent back home".]
NAME: "Naw K’Paw" SEX: F AGE: 23 Karen farmer
ADDRESS: Bilin Township, Thaton District
FAMILY: Married, 2 children
On May 2, 1994 at 4 a.m., my husband, our children and I were sleeping at our friend Saw G---'s house. Some soldiers came to the house and asked in Karen, "Nephew, please come down here for a minute." Saw G--- thought they were Karen soldiers, so he went down out of the house. Then they said "The equipment is very heavy. If two people help us to carry it, that will be better." So Saw G--- came back to get my husband and the two of them went. On their way over, a Burmese soldier came to call them: "Quick! Quick!" After that I heard 5 gunshots. [On seeing that the soldiers were Burmese and not Karen the two men apparently tried to run away and were shot.] Then the Burmese Anti-Insurgent Group came and searched the house. They asked me, "Are there any more men here?", and I said "No, no more." After a few hours they left the village.
I went to look for my husband, Saw Klo, and realized that they had killed him. I found his body near where people pound their rice, about 50 yards from my house. There were 3 gunshot wounds in his body; one bullet went in the right side of his chest and went out through his neck, another in his back that went through his stomach, and the last one in his left thigh. They also fired two shots at Saw G---. He was hit in his arm and his thigh, but he escaped. My husband's name was Saw Klo, he was 28 years old. Now I still have my two children, but I have no husband to depend upon. We’re living with my parents. We learned that the soldier who killed my husband was Major Kyi Shwe, commander of the Anti-Insurgent Group.
NAME: "Saw Way Htoo" SEX: M AGE: 18 Karen farmer
ADDRESS: Pa'an Township, Thaton District
I was living in the village together with my parents. On June 23rd at about 3 p.m., I was ploughing a field together with my father and his friend. SLORC troops from Infantry Battalion #36, Company #2, came to our field hut led by Major Tun Yi. They started shooting. When my father heard the gunshots he started running. The soldiers fired at him, but they didn't hit him and he got away. Then the soldiers came back to us. One of them hit my head with a rifle butt and my head started bleeding. Then they hit my friend with rifle butts, and they ordered us to show them where the rebels were. We told them, "We don't know. They're not around here." They tied both of us up, then they drove us to Ka Ma Maung and put us in the police lockup. They held us there for 5 days. An army officer came to interrogate us once a day, every day. On June 25th, they hung us up with rope while they interrogated us for 20 minutes. After that they interrogated us for 3 more days but they didn't get any answers, so they accused us of being rebel collaborators. We told them we're just villagers and we know nothing about rebels. On June 27th my mother, my grandmother and the village head came and gave them 2,000 Kyat, and they released us. After that, my friend and I were so afraid of them that we left the village, and I joined the monkhood.
NAME: "Pa Lay Htoo" SEX: M AGE: 32 Karen farmer
ADDRESS: Bilin Township, Thaton District
FAMILY: Married, no children
The soldiers arrested me and asked me, "Where do you live?", so I told them I live in G--- village. They ordered me to go back to my village and they followed me, then they gathered all the villagers together and ordered us to go and stay at their Awin Gyi camp. But we had problems getting food at their camp, so we left and came back to stay hidden in the forest. Then when I was working in my field, soldiers from Infantry Battalion #18 came and arrested me, my wife and my sister-in-law [the soldiers were from Company #1 of IB #18, commanded by Lt. Thet Oo, and the date was July 9/94]. The officer asked me "Where is your house?". I told him my house is over there", and he said "I won't go to your house, because if I do then the others [his soldiers] will take your livestock and belongings." He asked me whether Kaw Thoo Lei troops ever came to my house, and I said "Yes, they came." He asked "Did you give them food?", and I told him "Yes, we had to give them food because we were afraid of them. They have guns." After the officer left, the Anti-Insurgent Group [a special SLORC unit] came to me and said "You told the officer that Kaw Thoo Lei troops didn't come to your house. So when we go further, if we hear a gunshot we will kill both you and your wife." Then the officer took me to M--- and we slept there for 2 nights, then to P--- where we spent 1 night, then back to P---. When we got there the officer wrote me a pass to go back to my village for 3 days.
After 3 days I went back to P--- but I didn't see the officer, so I got the village head to write me another pass and I went back to my village. The next morning, the same officer sent for me to go back to P---. I went together with my brother-in-law, and the officer was there. He said "Who gave you permission to go home?" and I said "Grandfather L--- let me go". The officer asked me, "What authority does Grandfather L--- have to let you go? I already punched him 3 or 4 times for doing that." Then the officer said, "You stay around here, so you must know your way around the M--- river". I told him "Now it's rainy season and it's flooding, so it's not easy to go around that area." I was thinking that if they forced me to take them there we might see some of the villagers who are living in hiding there, and then both they and I would be in trouble. I didn't want to create any more trouble for either them or myself so I decided I had better flee from that officer. I said to my brother-in-law, "We can't dare stay here and we can't dare go with them, so we'd better run away." We agreed, so we fled from them and went back home. Ten days later, the SLORC troops came back to our farms and pulled up all the paddy in our fields. They destroyed at least one third or half of my farm and also the farms of Tee Naw Naw, Tee Toh Po, Saw Kya Pay, Saw Toh Lay, Saw Shwe Shwe, Saw Kyaw Aye and Saw Kaw Lah. After that, none of us dared to go back to farm there again, so all the farms there have now become deserted and overgrown.
The following testimonies were given by women in a village in Thaton District that was looted in May 1994 by Major Tun Yi and troops from #36 Infantry Battalion, Company #2. At the time, the villagers were storing more rice than usual in their houses in preparation for the long rainy season.
Woman #1: When the SLORC arrived in the village they said to the villagers, "Just don't worry about anything, it's okay." Then the next morning they asked each of us "How much rice do you have?" When they asked me, I said "I have just enough rice for myself to eat." They looked and said "You have a lot of rice. How many people do you have here?" Then they took about 5 baskets of rice [over 150 kg.]. Then they went out on a patrol, and when they came back they took out a book and called out my husband's name. My husband had already run away from the village. They forced us to come down out of the house at gunpoint, and my children were crying. They said to me, "Now we know why you have a lot of rice" [meaning that they saw evidence of Karen soldiers around and the rice is supposedly for them]. Then they took half of my rice, and they told me to bring out all the rest of the rice I have and put it there on the ground. I said "Okay, I'll do it, if you think I’m a bad person." I brought it, and they said "We know this is Ringworm [Karen Army] rice." They took down one of my tins of kerosene that I was keeping for a donation to the monks, poured it on my rice and burned the rice. I lost 35 baskets of rice, and 30 baskets of paddy [unmilled rice] as well.
Woman #2: The SLORC soldiers came and asked me, "Do you have 100 baskets of rice?" I answered, "No, I don't". They said, "If you do, shall we eat it all up?", so I said "No. If you do, we'll have nothing to eat." Then they wrote down my name, asked me my mother's and father's names, how many brothers and sisters I have, and all of their names. They asked, "Do you have any brothers who are Ringworms?" I said "No, none." They came into my house to ask me these things, and while they asked they were forcibly climbing up to my shelves looking for things to steal.
Woman #3: I didn't see them burning the rice and things, because they had already taken me away as a porter to carry rice for them. When I got back with the soldiers, they went in and searched my house, and they beat my mother because she said "Son, stop destroying our rice. We have paddy fields and hill rice fields too, that's why we have this much rice. I have a lot of grandchildren to feed." But the soldiers said "We've been in this area before, and we've never seen anyone who had this much rice."
Woman #4: I told them, "It looks like a lot to you but it has to last us all year, so if we feed you how can we have enough for ourselves?" They just laughed at me because I can't speak Burmese well.
Woman #5: The SLORC came and accused me that I must be the wife of the [KNU] village tract head, because my daughter was wearing a jacket that looked nice. The soldiers said "This jacket must surely be your husband's, so you must he wife of the village tract chief". There was a monk among us, and he guaranteed to the soldiers that we are good people and that the rice was our own, not rebel rice. He even said "I am related to these families I know them", so they would know for sure that he was telling the truth. But then the soldiers pointed their guns at him too. The SLORC troops don't even care about monks, they just pointed their guns at him. When he told them he was related to us, they said "Then you are not a real monk You must be a Ringworm too!" The monk said "If you don't believe me, you can go ask about me at the monastery" So then the SLORC soldiers, touched the monk with a gun barrel, and the monk was very afraid. [Note: Buddhists are not supposed to touch monks at all, even with their hands.]
The soldiers accused my husband of being a Ringworm, because "if he wasn't he wouldn't run away, but he has run away so he must be Ringworm". I said "My husband isn't the only one who has run. All villagers are fleeing." They told me to go and find my husband, so I told them "How can I find him? He fled into the forest. If you want to kill me, do as you please." But they didn't do anything to me. If our rice was gone but they left us our paddy [unmilled rice], we'd have something. But now we have nothing, no rice and no paddy. I still have some cattle and buffalos so I’m trying to sell them, but nobody can buy them.
Woman #6: The SLORC soldiers said my husband is head of the village [for the KNU]. I tried to lie and deny it, but they already knew for sure so I stopped arguing with them and I managed to run away. Later I heard that they poured out kerosene and burned my house, and took our pots, machetes, axes and things. If I’d been there maybe they would have taken me too. My ten baskets of rice were burned. Now I have to sell my livestock to buy food to survive.
The soldiers destroyed most of the rice in the village by burning it or throwing it in the water. The villagers provided a list of 32 houses, giving a total of 122 baskets (about 4,062 kg) of rice, 35 baskets (about 1,165 kg) of paddy, 40 bottles of cooking oil, 53 chickens, 1 pig, miscellaneous foodstuffs, pots, plates, blankets, clothing jewelry and tools, all stolen or destroyed.
The following report was received from human rights monitors in Bilin Township, Thaton District:
In the first week of December 1994, Column Commander Colonel Tin Hlaing of #96 Infantry Battalion and his troops entered Baw Paw Hta village, and looted and took away belongings of the villagers worth a total of 231,050 Kyat. On December 9th at 6 p.m., they entered Pata Taung village, burned down 18 houses and looted everything in those houses, a total loss valued at 871,500 Kyat. On December 11 at 11 a.m., a combined force of Infantry Battalion #96, soldiers from Nat Kyi area, one company of commandos from Kyaikto Township, and #33 Division's Light Infantry Battalion #12 Column #2, Column Commander Lt. Col. Tun Yi, entered Nya Shu Hta village with a combined strength of 400 troops. They looted villagers' belongings worth a total of 156,391 Kyat. The total looted from the 3 villages was worth 1,258,941 Kyat [at official exchange rate, equivalent to US$209,823.50; at market rate, US$11,500]
On December 8, 1994 at 8 a.m., Infantry Battalion #96 Camp Commander Bo Kyo Win and Sergeant Hla Tun arrested Saw Cheh Paw, aged 64, of Pada Daung village. They beat him on the head until he was dead.
On November 15, 1994 SLORC troops from #38 Infantry Battalion commanded by So Tin Tun entered Htee Nya Po Kloh, Pa Kloh and Ta Thu Klo Day villages, shot at the villagers, looted belongings and burned 5 houses together with most of their contents. Saw Tee Pa Bu of Pa Kloh village was shot and wounded and the materials stolen or destroyed included: 47 baskets [about 1,565 kg.] of paddy, 11 baskets [about 366 kg.] of rice, 6,500 Kyat in cash, 16 machetes, 60 sarongs and other clothing, pots, plates, utensils, blankets, tools and foodstuffs.
On November 12, 1994 combined troops from Infantry Battalions #96 and #38 commanded by Than Htay and Tin Tun went to Ta Rwae Kee village, burnt and looted 4 houses, total losses estimated at 74 baskets of paddy, 4 baskets of rice, 3,000 Kyat in cash, 8 machetes, 3 goats, and miscellaneous clothing, blankets, pots, plates and jewelry.