SLORC ORDERS TO VILLAGES: SET 96-B, Taungoo District

Pages

You are here

SLORC ORDERS TO VILLAGES: SET 96-B, Taungoo District

Published date:
Friday, February 23, 1996

Following are the direct translations of SLORC typed and handwritten orders sent to Karen villages in Taungoo District in mid-1995. They give evidence of the 'Four-cuts' policy that SLORC was using to empty Karen villages in order to destroy Karen resistance. 

[Note: Some details have been omitted or replaced by ‘xxxx’ for Internet distribution.]

Following are the direct translations of SLORC typed and handwritten orders sent to Karen villages in Taungoo District in mid-1995. At that time SLORC was intensifying its "Four Cuts" program in the area, ordering villages to move and burning villages and food supplies in order to cut off all possibility of civilian support for the few Karen resistance forces still remaining in the area. This campaign is still continuing - since January 1996 many more villages have been ordered to move to Army labour camps under threat of death, the flow of goods from Taungoo to villages in the area has been cut off, and hundreds of villagers have been taken as porters and other forced labour (see related KHRG reports). The written orders being used right now are not yet available, but they are doubtless almost identical to those in this report.

The following orders are just a small sample of the hundreds issued in the area. All of these orders were signed by SLORC Army (Tatmadaw) officers, and most of the orders bear the rubber stamps of the issuing military unit. Many of them were copied and sent to many villages. Photocopies of the original orders (with certain details such as village names blacked out) are available on request.

Abbreviations

Some of the orders mention "voluntary labourers", a SLORC euphemism for forced labour; as the orders make very clear, serious action will be taken if the "volunteers" fail to show. Some abbreviations used in the report: IB = Infantry Battalion; LIB = Light Infantry Battalion, LORC = Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC's local-level administration, such as Village LORC, Township LORC and Karen State LORC). In the orders, numeric dates are always written in dd-mm-yy format. Some details such as village names must be omitted for protection, and these have been replaced by 'xxxx', 'yyyy', etc.

Topic Summary

Forced relocation (Order #1), army camp forced labour (#2-9), porters (#10), threats to destroy villages (#1,6), destruction of ricefields (#1), extortion (#10).

============================================================

Order #1

            Stamp:
No. XXX Infantry Battalion         To:    Chairman (Village LORC)
        XXXX camp                               xxxx village                                                                              Date: 1-7-1995

Subject: Relocation of mountain villages

1. Regarding the above subject, as soon as you receive this letter, the mountain villages must move to and settle in XXXX resettlement village within 10 days and not later than (10-7-1995).

2. If you fail to report before the deadline, the Tatmadaw will march into your village. The villages-in-hiding will be burned down and attacked with guns. The hill fields will be burnt and destroyed.

3. Each village has to report to XXXX camp and resettlement village by the deadline. If they fail to report, I warn you again that serious action will be taken.

                                                                                                                        [Sd.]
                                                                                                                Camp Commander
                                                                                                                 XXXX Army Camp
                                                                                                        Frontline #XXX Infantry Battalion

[Note: The 'resettlement village' and the army camp that issued this order are at the same place. This is a duplicated typed order with the name of the village and the deadline date written in; it was sent to several villages.]

============================================================

Order #2

                    Stamp:
Frontline No. XXX Infantry Battalion
                   Column 2                                                                                                              Date: 10-4-95

To:   Chairman
        xxxx village

Subject:   To send voluntary labourers to build the camp

Regarding the above subject, Chairman / Secretary, we inform you that you must send (20) male or female workers from your village to XXXX army camp with their machetes on 11, 12, and 13 April 95 at 0700 [7 a.m.] without fail.

                                                                                                                    [Sd.]
                                                                                                            Column Commander
                                                                                                        No. XXX Infantry Battalion

============================================================

Order #3

            Stamp:
No. XXX Infantry Battalion
        Date: 16-6-95

To:   Chairman and members Auxiliary Company
        xxxx village

I am informing you now that:

(1) The headman must send (15) voluntary male workers from your village to XXXX army camp on 20-6-95 at 7 a.m. without fail.

(2) To make a fence, each one must bring along one machete and food for one day.

(3) I inform you that the headman or one member must come and lead the group without fail.

                                                                                                                                     [Sd.]
                                                                                                                        Company Commander
                                                                                                                Auxiliary Artillery Company
                                                                                                                  No. XXX Infantry Battalion

[Note: "Important and Urgent" was written on the back of the order. "Chairman and members" means the appointed Chairman and members (secretary, etc.) of the Village LORC.]

============================================================

Order #4

            Stamp:                                                                                                                  29-7-95
No. XXX Infantry Battalion                  To:   Chairman and members
    Auxiliary Company                                xxxx village

(1) Send (22) voluntary workers from xxxx village to XXXX army camp on 30-7-95 at 7 a.m. without fail.

(2) One of the village leaders must lead the group and come without fail.

(3) Bring along a list of the villagers who fail to come.

                                                                                                                            [Sd.]
                                                                                                                    Company Commander
                                                                                                             Auxiliary Artillery Company
                                                                                                               No. XXX Infantry Battalion

============================================================

Order #5

To:   Chairman and members                                                                                                                     30-7-95
        xxxx village

(1) Why have the voluntary labourers not come yet?

(2) Come immediately.

Stamp:[illegible unit stamp]                                                                                         [Sd.]
                                                                                                                    Company Commander
                                                                                                             Auxiliary Artillery Company
                                                                                                               No. XXX Infantry Battalion

============================================================

Order #6

To:    Headman and members                                                                                                                  31-7-95

(1) This is the last letter.
(2) This evening, 31-7-95, (22) voluntary labourers from xxxx village must come without fail.
(3) One of the village leaders himself must lead them and come.
(4) If you fail to come, we will not take any responsibility for xxxx village. Headman, you yourself must come and solve this problem at XXXX army camp.

        Stamp:                                                                                                          [Sd.]
No. XXX Infantry Battalion                                                                              Company Commander

[Note: "We will not take any responsibility for xxxx village" means they will come and destroy the village.]

============================================================

Order #7

To:   Village Law & Order Restoration Council
        xxxx village                                                                                                                  Date: 5-8-95

Subject: To send voluntary labourers

Regarding the above subject, Headman / Secretary, you must send (5) voluntary labourers from your village on 7-8-95, Monday morning, to No. XXX Infantry Battalion at XXXX army camp without fail. I inform you, Chairman / Secretary in charge, to send voluntary labourers according to the list below:

List of villages to send voluntary labourers

(1) XXXX
(2) XXXX
(3) XXXX
(4) XXXX
(5) XXXX
(6) [illegible]
(7) [illegible]
(25) people
(20) people
(15) people
(15) people
(15) people
(10) people
(5) people

                                                                                                                         [Sd.]
                                                                                            Army Commander - 2nd-in-Command, IB #XX
                                                                                                                     No. XX Strategic Command
                                                                                                             Western Command Headquarters

[Note: Units from Western Command, normally deployed in areas such as Arakan State, have been sent to Taungoo District for the offensive against Karen civilians.]

============================================================

Order #8

To:   Chairman                                              Stamp:                                                                  30-8-95
        Secretary and Members          Frontline No. XXX Infantry Battalion
        xxxx village                                  Column 2 Headquarters

I inform you in this letter that:

(1) One person from each house in xxxx village must come to XXXX army camp on 31-8-95 at 7 a.m. without fail.
(2) The Chairman or Secretary must lead the group himself without fail.

                                                                                                                    [Sd.]
                                                                                                             Captain XXXX
                                                                                                    (for) Column Commander

                                                                                        [Stamped:] Company Commander
                                                                                                  Auxiliary Artillery Company
                                                                                                    No. XXX Infantry Battalion

============================================================

Order #9

            Stamp:                                                                                             15-9-95
No. XXX Light Infantry Battalion
        No. 1 Company                              To:     Chairman / Secretary
                                                                    xxxx village

Chairman (or Secretary), we inform you that you must come and bring one person from each house with food for (2) days on 15-9-95 to contribute voluntary labour in XXXX army camp.

On 15/9/95 at 6 p.m., report to XXXX army camp.

                                                                                                                                [Sd.]
                                                                                                                        Army No.: XXXXX
                                                                                                                                 XXXX
                                                                                                                    Company Commander
                                                                                                                            No. XXX LIB

============================================================

Order #10

            Stamp:
No. XXX Infantry Battalion
           Column 2                                  To:     xxxx village

Subject:   Calling servants for military operation

1. Regarding the above subject, on 8-2-95 the Column Commander and Chairmen had a meeting to consider and discuss the military operation. We all agreed about the operation.

2. In accordance with the above, the Strategic Command and (20) servants have been ordered to go to Taungoo town within (2) days for labour.

3. As agreed with your village, you will come and give 3,000 Kyats per servant to the XXXX army camp on 11-2-95 without fail. If you need more details, we inform you that you can come immediately.

                                                                                                                                    [Sd.]
                                                                                                                                                    Column 2
                                                                                                               Frontline No. XXX Infantry Battalion

[Note: This is a typed form letter which was sent to several villages. As it refers to previous arrangements, the meaning is somewhat unclear. Apparently each village is being ordered to send 20 porters, or 3,000 Kyat for each person who doesn't go. Here "servants" is SLORC's way of referring to porters. When it says "agreements" were made, it means orders were issued - civilians have no say in "agreements" with SLORC.]