FIELD REPORTS Taungoo and Other Districts

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FIELD REPORTS Taungoo and Other Districts

Published date:
Thursday, February 29, 1996

This report provides a summary of some of the daily events in Taungoo, Papun, Thaton, Nyaunglebin and Dooplaya districts since September 1995. The information was obtained by KHRG in the form of field reports from human rights monitors and relief workers in Karen districts and from radio messages transmitted by Karen military units in frontline areas. It is far from complete, and should be considered only a representative sampling of the kind of SLORC activities occurring in these areas. Other KHRG reports should also be consulted in order to get a more detailed picture of events.

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

Taungoo District is presently one of the worst hit. SLORC is trying to wipe out all possibility of civilian support for the few KNLA (Karen National Liberation Army) forces still left in the area by forcibly relocating villages, burning villages and crops, destroying food supplies and shooting villagers. Similar abuses are occurring in Papun District as SLORC is forcing all villages to move in order to create a free-fire zone along the Salween River in order to cut KNLA supply lines and block the flow of refugees to Thailand. In Thaton and Nyaunglebin districts, the slightest skirmish with KNLA troops is followed by massive retaliation against villages in the area by SLORC, and in Dooplaya district most villagers are expecting an offensive to begin at any time. All of this is happening at a time when the KNU (Karen National Union) is trying to proceed with ceasefire negotiations with SLORC - however, SLORC appears to believe that it can gain a stronger negotiating position by terrorizing and driving the Karen population into desperation.

In the events listed below, many villagers are executed without reasons given. Usually, this is just because during military operations SLORC troops see all villagers encountered outside their villages and all villagers who run away as rebels. After killing them, they report to their superiors that they have killed rebel soldiers. A large proportion of those executed are age 60 and above, because they cannot run as fast as younger people. Some villages mentioned below are reported as being ordered to move several times; this is because when ordered to move, usually few or no villagers will obey unless they are physically forced.

The SLORC Army has Regional Commands, such as Southern Command, Western Command, etc. which consist of many Battalions and are generally responsible for security duties in various parts of the country, and Light Infantry Divisions, which have 10 Battalions each and are often responsible for offensive actions. Sometimes the two are combined, such as in the Taungoo District operation. Each Battalion generally operates with a fighting strength of 400-500. The two types are LIB (Light Infantry Battalion, usually for attack) and IB (Infantry Battalion, usually holding fixed positions). Strategic Commands, usually consisting of 3 Battalions, are often formed to conduct operations.

NOTE: All dates in this report are listed in dd/mm/yy format.

Topic Summary

Forced relocation (p. 3-9,10,12,13), burning of villages (p.2,4,5,9-14), burning of crops and food supplies (p.2,5,9-12), military attacks on villages (p.4,5,8,10,11,14), shooting deaths (p.2,4-6,8,10,11,13), executions (p.3-6,10,12,14), rape (p.10), torture (p.7,8,12-14), detention (p.7-9,12,14), forced labour at army camps (p.6,7,9), as porters (p.2-9,14), as human minesweepers & shields (p.5,9-11), on roads (p.3,4,6,7,9), systematic destruction of belongings (p.8,10,11,13,14), looting (p.4,5,7-14), extortion (p.2,4,6,7,9,13), stopping flow of goods & people (p.6,7,9), villagers fleeing (p.2,3,9-11), landmines (p.2,3,8,9,13), Visit Myanmar Year (p.3). Districts: Taungoo (p.2-10), Papun (p.10-11), Thaton (p.12-13), Nyaunglebin (p.13), Dooplaya (p.13-14).

Taungoo District

[The following messages were received from relief workers in Taungoo District and radio messages from KNU units in the area. Note: Kler Lah, one of the main villages in the area, is called Bawgali or Bawgali Gyi by the Burmese. Tantabin township is Taw Ta Tu in Karen, and Taungoo is Taw Oo. Most Karen villages in the district also have different names in Burmese.]

In January 1995, SLORC began Operation "Aung Tha Pyay" in Taungoo District with the aim of consolidating SLORC control over the district by driving all villagers to military-controlled areas, killing all villagers who failed to obey, and cutting off all possibilities of support to opposition organizations. The operation is led by Southern Command, currently under Brigadier General Kyi Aung. Strategic Commands #1, 2, and 3 from Southern Command are involved as well as Strategic Commands #1 and #2 from Western Command. Battalions being used include IB 20 (from Sittwe, Arakan State), IB 26 (Taungoo), IB 34 (Kyauk Pyu), IB 48 (Oke Twin), IB 55 (Than Dweh), IB 232 (Sittwe), IB 233 (Buthidaung, Arakan State), IB 234 (Buthidaung), IB 263 (Buthidaung), LIB 354 (Sittwe), LIB 439 (Than Dweh), and LIB 535 (Than Dweh). Lt. Col. Aung Naing Htun, head of #2 Strategic Command of Western Command, ordered the villagers to build his Strategic Command office in Bawgali (Kler Lah), and demanded a total of 160,000 Kyat from surrounding villages for the cost of the building. IB 234 demands 30 porters for the Strategic Command office at all times, and to avoid sending them the villages are forced to pay a total of 90,000 Kyat per month.

The operation was severely intensified in October 1995, and by the end of October seventeen villages in Bawgali area had been partly or totally burned down making almost 3,000 people homeless (villages: Saw Wah Meh, Maw Thay Der, Law Bee Leh, Beh Lo, Gaw Tu Toh, May Daw Ko, Si Kheh Der, Plaw Mu Der, Tha Kwee Soe, Bu Sah Kee, Ta Aye Kee, Saw Mu Der, Pway Baw Kee, Say Daw Ko, Kaw Lu, Zaw Ta Der, and Say Ta Der [Wah Mi Ber Ko]). In the course of the operation, villages, fields and harvested crops are burned and livestock is shot in a deliberate attempt to wipe out food supplies. Paddy prices in the area have soared to 1,000 Kyat per basket, sometimes up to 1,500 Kyat (double to triple the already badly inflated prices in urban Burma). Hundreds of villagers are taken as porters and others are routinely shot on sight. Through 1995 over 40 villagers were shot dead on sight by SLORC soldiers in Bawgali Township alone, including 17 people shot dead just between 11 November and 2 December. After forcing villages to move, SLORC lays landmines around the villages and along the paths, which have caused many civilian casualties. SLORC does not map its landmines, nor do KNLA forces who also lay them in the area.

On 25 March 1995 SLORC ordered forced labour from 13 villages to begin construction of a road from Bawgali to Bu Sah Kee via Kaw Thay Der. They stopped during rainy season, then started again in Ye Tho Gyi area on 14/10/95. Villages must provide labour as follows: Bawgali Gyi 165 people, Kaw Thu Der 80 people, Kaw Mu Der 22 people, Yin Tho Lay 40 people, Kaw Soe Ko 50 people, Wah Tho Ko 12 people, Ku Lu Der 20 people, Der Doh 30 people, Ler Ko 5 people, Maw Pa Der 15 people, Maw Ko Der 6 people, Ku Plaw Der 20 people, and Beh Khaw Der 40 people. The villagers have to cut trees, clear scrub and lay gravel for the new road. They are given a work assignment they must complete each day. They receive no food, money or medicine from the soldiers. Orchards and betelnut plantations have been destroyed for this road without compensation, especially between Kaw Thu Der and Ku Lu Der. On 18/10/95 SLORC announced on radio that they have provided 42 million Kyat to build this road for the villagers of the area, but no villagers receive anything. By December 1995, the road had reached Naw Soh village.

In preparation for "Visit Myanmar Year 1996", orders were given in Taungoo town that every house along the car road must have a corrugated metal roof and a brick wall in front [Taungoo is along the Rangoon-Mandalay road]. Any family which cannot obey must leave their house. As part of SLORC's project to widen the Rangoon - Mandalay road, many buildings close to the road must be torn down without compensation, including some famous buildings such as Keh Ko Keh Ba Church and Burmese Church, which are in Ok Kyut Tan quarter of Taungoo.

All along the Taungoo - Kler Lah, Taungoo - Leik Tho, and Taungoo - Thandaung car roads, SLORC has been burning the roadsides (to clear killing grounds for road security), which has destroyed many plantations of dogfruit, coffee, durian and betelnut. All the villagers living near these roads are forced to work on them.

Most villagers in Mu Thaw Der, Kaw Thu Der, Law Bu Ler, Beh Lo, Saw Wah Der, Mu Daw Ko, Ko Daw Ko, Si Kheh Der, Plaw Mu Der, Tha Kwee Soe, Bu Sah Kee, Kaw Mu Der, Kaw Thay Der, Wah Law Tee, Saw Thay Der, Kaw Lu, Ha Toe Per, Thay Ko Der, Klay Kee, Ta Yeh Kee, Bu Kee, and other villages have fled into the jungle and are trying to survive there. Estimated population of the 21 villages listed alone is over 3,000.

On 1/9/95, IB 233 led by Lt. Col. Soe Win Tin ordered Ka Sa Pa Doh (30 households), Tee Loh (20 households), and Beh Taw Day (40 households) villages to move to the side of the road from Baya Na Thi to Tha Pyay Nyunt army camp. They were told they had 15 days to move, after which IB 233 would come to the villages and move them by force. IB 233 also ordered Sah Zee Bone (400 households), Yin Hlaing (100 households), Zee Pyu Gone (150 households), and Taungoo (100 households, not to be confused with Taungoo town) villages to move to Aung Mya Aye (between Zayat Kyi and Taungoo).

On 4/9/95, IB 48 took porters including Saw Bee Ta Chaung from Ye Tho Gyi village. On 6/9/95 he and a SLORC Army private were both wounded by a landmine near Si Kheh Der village. The soldiers carried the private to their camp for treatment but left Saw Bee Ta Chaung outside without any treatment, and they even made him pay for the rice basket he was carrying which was damaged in the explosion. He died for lack of treatment on 9/9/95. This is a routine occurrence in Taungoo District.

On 9/9/95 the headmen of Kaw Mu Der, Klay Soe Kee and Ku Lu Der villages were ordered to a meeting at Bawgali Gyi army camp and given orders to move to Taungoo, Bawgali and Ye Tho Gyi villages by 30/9/95. They were told that after that their villagers would be shot if seen in their home areas. They were ordered to move in order to work on a new road. Wah Thaw Ko, Ku Plaw Der, Maw Pa Der, Beh Khaw Der, Der Doh and Maw Ko Der villages were ordered to move to Bawgali for the same reason.

On 11/9/95, Lt. Col. Soe Win Tin and Column 1 of IB 233 killed two brothers from Pway Baw Der village: Saw Ker Doh (male, age 42) and Saw Ee See (male, age 32). They also killed Saw Sein Win from Saw Tha Der village. All 3 men were village farmers.

On 15/9/95, IB 233 entered Ser Wah Daw Ko village and shot dead 2 villagers. The same day they entered Say Daw Ko village and shot dead villager Saw Ka Doh Swe (male, age 25) while he was working in his field.

On 16/9/95, IB 48 troops from Bu Sah Kee camp entered Bu Sah Kee village and burned the houses. All the villagers fled into the forest, and the troops looted their belongings.

On 17/9/95, IB 35 entered Tee Law Thee Hta village and shot and killed villager Naw Way Htoo (female, age 45). Four other villagers were injured and some houses were burned.

On 25/9/95, IB 60 entered Lay Law Kee village and beheaded 3 village women.

In October 1995, Brigadier General Kyi Aung of Southern Command sent Infantry Battalion #26, strength 5 companies, with orders to destroy villages and food supplies in Taungoo District. Lt. Col. Aung Naing Htun, Commander of Western Command's Strategic Command #2 based in Kler Lah since August 1995, ordered all villagers in Kler Lah, Kaw Thay Der, Klay Soe Kee, Ler Ko, Wah Tho Ko, Ku Lu Der, Maw Ko Der, Der Doh, Ku Plaw Der, Maw Pa Der, Gamu Der and Beh Khaw Der to pay 200 Kyats per household per month as porter fees. Anyone who tries to refuse is fined 2,000 Kyat.

On 4/10/95, Battalion Commander Maj. Aung Kyi Shein of LIB 440 went into Kler Lah, captured men and women and forced them to carry supplies and ammunition to Bu Sah Kee.

On 14/10/95 Lt. Col. Aung Naing Htun arrested Kler Lah village elder Saw Tha Ba Per, age 50, on suspicion of having contact with the KNU. They found gunpowder in his house and executed him secretly. On 25/10/95 the villagers came across Saw Tha Ba Per's decayed corpse, apparently murdered by Lt. Col. Aung Naing Htun. The Lt. Col. then gave orders to Saw Tha Ba Per's family to leave the village and had his soldiers destroy Saw Tha Ba Per's house.

On 15/10/95 Brigadier General Kyi Aung ordered Lt. Col. Aung Naing Htun to begin forced relocation of all villages in order to consolidate SLORC control of the region. In Thandaung and Tantabin townships and hill regions more columns of troops were sent in to drive out the villagers, with orders to shoot any villagers who attempted to stay in villages against orders or hid in farmfield huts or the forest.

On 16/10/95, troops from LIB 354 led by Battalion 2nd-in-command Khin Soe and IB 34 led by Battalion 2nd-in-command Kyaw Shwe surrounded Kaw Hoh Der village and opened fire on it with mortars and other heavy and small weapons. There were no Karen soldiers in the village. Saw Po Htoo (male, age 40), Naw Muh (female, age 12), and Saw Klo Doh (male, age 10) were killed and many other villagers were wounded.

On 16/10/95, IB 26 Column 1 led by Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Myint Aung caught and executed villager Saw Kee Lu (male, age 26) without any interrogation while he was working in his orchard near Saw Wah Der village. Villagers there had been forced to move to Thit Kyat Seit earlier, but SLORC gave them permission to go back by day to look after their orchards and fields; despite this permission, IB 26 continues to kill them on sight.

On 18/10/95, IB 26 Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Myint Aung entered Saw Wah Der village with his troops, opened fire and killed 8 villagers (1 woman and 7 men) while they were harvesting rice. Five villagers were injured. Afterwards the troops looted the village, burned 27 farm field huts and the accompanying fields, and killed 15 cattle and buffalos.

On 18/10/95, IB 26 Column #1 led by Lt. Col. Myint Aung encountered Naw Mu Mu (female, age 35) and her 12-year-old daughter from Saw Wah Der village while they were working in their field. The mother and daughter tried to run from them, but the soldiers fired and hit them with an M79 grenade near the top of a hill. Naw Mu Mu was hit in the bladder by fragments. Her daughter tried to carry her to help but she died on the way.

On 19/10/95, IB 26 Column #2 troops led by Battalion 2nd-in-command Maj. Aye Kyaw arrested Saw Sah Lu (male, age 43), and his son Saw Joseph, age 15, near their home at Maw Tha Der village. They executed Saw Joseph, then ordered his father to lead them to the Karen soldiers, but he couldn't do it so they executed him as well.

On 21/10/95, troops from IB #26 led by Battalion 2nd-in-command Maj. Aye Kyaw arrived at May Daw Ko village and found Pi Heh Lay (female, age 62) harvesting rice. They killed her, put her body on a pile of rice and burned her. They continued burning all the rice they found in this area. On 22/10/95 they went to Haw Ta Toe village. They shot and killed village elder Zaw Zaw (male, age 60) in a farmfield, captured two village girls, destroyed fields and field huts, and looted property.

On 22/10/95, Column 1 of IB 233 led by Lt. Col. Soe Win Tint went to Saw Mu Der village. In the Ka Mu Kee farmfields they shot and killed villager Saw Ba Blut (male, age 27) and destroyed the fields as well as rice stockpiles. Saw Ba Blut leaves a wife and 2-year-old daughter.

On 23/10/95, IB #233 captured 100 male and female villagers in Kaw Thay Der village. On 24/10/95, all of these villagers were forced to carry supplies and ammunition to Si Kheh Der, and were sent in front to clear mines along the way.

On 24/10/95, SLORC troops sent 3 bulldozers to Kaw Thay Der village to work on the road from Kaw Thay Der to Bu Sah Kee.

On 25/10/95 Brigadier General Kyi Aung of Southern Command and Lt. Col. Aung Naing Htun ordered villagers from Thandaung township to move 13 miles away to "New Thandaung". Brigadier General Kyi Aung ordered the village leaders of the moved villages to attend a political re-education course.

On 27/10/95, IB 26 Columns 1 and 2 led by Lt. Col. Myint Aung and Maj. Aye Kyaw fired 3 bullets at Saw Heh Tha Blay (male, age 30) from Ta Aye Kee village while he was working in his field, killing him. They then burned down all of Ta Aye Kee village, the Roman Catholic Church, and all the surrounding fields, and shot all the livestock they saw in the village.

Western Command Strategic Commander Aung Naing Htun and IB 233 commander Lt. Col. Soe Win Tin ordered Hu Mu Der, Ler Kla Der, Kheh Der, Keh Po Loh, Ta Pa Kee, and Plaw Baw Der villages to move to Klaw Mu Der village (Yettagone army camp). They had to move by 30/10/95 or be shot on sight. These villages have a total of 161 houses, population 817 including 234 children under age 10. Those who have gone to Yettagone camp are facing severe food problems, but when they complain about it SLORC tells them "We do this by order". Some of the villagers still didn't move, so on 26/12/95, IB 55 Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Khin Maung Win ordered these 6 villages again to move to Yettagone camp or be shot.

On 2/11/95, IB 34 entered Leik Tho area and shot and killed villager Saw Ye Lwin (male) from Upper Nan Cho village.

On 5/11/95, troops from LIB 440 forced men, women and children from Kler Lah, Kaw Soe Ko, Wah Tho Ko, Kaw Thay Der, and Kleh Soe Kee villages to carry food and ammunition from Kaw Thay Der to Bu Sah Kee army camp. When they arrived at the destination the villagers were still not released, instead they were forced to cut bamboo and rebuild bunkers.

On 11/11/95, IB 55 took people as porters and went to Zayat Kyi in order to start activities in Taungoo District.

On 11/11/95, Lt. Col. Aung Naing Htun arrested and detained Saw Tun San (male, age 42), village head and traditional medicine doctor of Kler Lah village. The following day Saw Tun San was secretly executed. On 12/11/95 villagers found his corpse in an orchard. No explanation was given.

Since 13/11/95, LIB 440 has been taking villagers as forced labour to work clearing bush and building roads around Kaw Thay Der, Si Kheh Der and Plaw Mu Der. Every day villagers must go and take their own food.

On 10/12/95, troops led by Lt. Col. Khin Maung Win of IB 55 ordered several villages to move to a settlement at Tha Pyay Nyunt army camp, and said that any village failing to move would have to pay a fine of 30,000 Kyat and a cow worth 5,000 Kyat. On 19/12/95 the villages had paid the fines as ordered rather than move, but on 23/1/96 orders were given that food and commodities are no longer allowed to flow to their villages. Villagers who had gone to Taungoo to buy supplies have not been allowed to return home, and are currently living stranded in other villages.

On 13/12/95, Strategic Commander Myo Hla from Western Command issued orders to Kaw Thay Der village that the villagers are no longer allowed to go to Taungoo town, and that people from Taungoo are no longer allowed to go to the village. Even Kaw Thay Der villagers currently staying in Taungoo are not allowed to go home. This measure cuts off all commodity supplies to the village. Myo Hla told the villagers that if any fighting occurs near their village, even harsher measures will be taken.

On 14/12/95, LIB 440 stationed in Ta Kwee Soe village shot and killed Ta Kwee Soe villager Saw Ler Mu (male, married with 3 children) while he was coming home from his field, then cut off both his ears.

On 16/12/95, Strategic Commander Myo Hla of Western Command called a meeting at Kler Lah, and ordered that all villages near car roads will have to provide road security. In the area along the road route from Kler Lah to Bu Sah Kee no sound of a gunshot or mine explosion must be heard - otherwise, they will cut off the flow of all food and goods between Taungoo and the villages, and all the villagers will be forced to move to the side of the car road. He ordered that no villagers can sleep in their farm field huts, and if seen there at night they will be killed. Also, that Kaw Thay Der villagers are not allowed to go to Taungoo town or to stay in Taungoo town, nor are Kaw Thay Der villagers currently in Taungoo allowed to return home. He said if they see any Kaw Thay Der villagers on the car to or from Kler Lah, that car will be burned.

Under command from Western Command Strategic Command headquarters, IB 55 ordered everyone in Saw Muh Der and Play Sah Lo villages to move to Tha Pyay Nyunt army camp / village by 17/12/95. The order stated that after that deadline all villagers found in the villages would be considered as enemy rebels [and shot].

On 20/12/95, Western Command IB 55 Column #1, led by Lt. Col. Khin Maung Win, captured villagers from Paw Yer Lo village while they were carrying their rice at Chaung Ma Kyi. Villagers Saw Tay Kay Nay (male, age 18) and Saw Maung Thein Dar (male, age 22) were tortured severely and it is unknown whether they survived.

On 26/12/95, IB 55 Commander Lt. Col. Khin Maung Win called a meeting at Klaw Mu Der and ordered Ta Pa Kee, Mwee Loh, Plaw Baw Der, Keh Po Loh, Kheh Der, Ler Kla Der, and Hu Mu Der villages to move to Klaw Mu Der. All 7 villages were ordered to move to Klaw Mu Der by 30/12/95 at the latest, and were told that after that date any villagers seen in the village would be considered as enemy rebels [i.e. shot on sight].

On 26/12/95, SLORC Strategic Commander Myo Hla of Strategic Command #1 (under Western Command) gave orders that villagers from Kaw Thay Der and Kler Lah who have trucks in Taungoo must come back to Kler Lah by the end of December. They will not be given permission to go to Taungoo any more. They can only go between Kler Lah and Si Kheh Der, and only using the Naw Soh road. [This is most likely intended to make all vehicles available to be commandeered by Myo Hla's troops in the area.]

On 27/12/95, Strategic Commander Myo Hla and Intelligence Officer Tin Myo ordered villages around Kler Lah to send over 500 porters to Kler Lah immediately. They demanded 190 from Kler Lah, 100 from Kaw Thay Der, 70 from Pah Thaw Der, 60 from Kaw Soe Ko, 30 from Der Doh, 10 from Ler Ko, 10 from Wah Tho Po, 20 from Maw Pa Der, 20 from Nya Plaw Der, and 20 from Maw Ko Der. They also demanded 1 truck from Kler Lah and 1 truck from Ler Ko.

On 1/1/96, Strategic Commander Myo Hla called a meeting in Kler Lah village and demanded forced labourers as follows: Kler Lah village 150 people, Beh Khaw Der 55 people, Der Doh 11 people, Maw Ko Der 8 people, Mu Kheh Der 20 people, and Maw Pa Der 50 people.
Myo Hla is now demanding 200 Kyat from each house in Kler Lah and Kaw Thay Der every month as porter fees; there are over 1,000 houses in Kler Lah. None of this money is given to porters. Kler Lah now has to send villagers as porters and to clear the roadsides every day, and they have to take their own food. They have to clear the roadsides from Kaw Thay Der to Bu Sah Kee [to make a killing ground for road security]. Anyone who runs away from the work is fined 3,000 Kyat. Kaw Thay Der village has to send 3 groups of people to SLORC: sentries for the SLORC camp at Kler Lah, sentries for the camp at Naw Soh, and another group of 10 people every day as porters.

On 11/1/96, Strategic Commander Myo Hla demanded 150 porters from the villages, and said they have to bring their own food to Bu Sah Kee.

Throughout January, Columns 1 and 2 of IB 55 entered villages such as Klaw Mu Der, Shar Shee Po and Plaw Pu, looted and killed livestock.

On 11/1/96, troops from Columns 1 and 2 of IB 55 led by Capt. Thein Tint shot up Tee Ler Ghaw village and went around destroying things that belong to the villagers. They also looted 7 1/2 tins of rice, 40 chickens, chillies, salt and a big pot.

On 12/1/96, IB 55 Column Commander Tint Nyaing ordered Play Sah Lo village to move to Tha Pyay Nyunt army camp by 15/1/96 at the latest.

On 14/1/96, the above-mentioned combined column of IB 55 Columns 1 and 2 led by Capt. Thein Tint reached Wah Kay Der village, shot and killed Naw Day Ghay (female, age 36, with a 7-month-old child). They arrested one woman and one man and beat them badly before letting them go, and they destroyed some of the villagers' belongings.

On 15/1/96 LIB 440 Battalion Commander Maj. Aung Kyi Shein took a column to Kaw Thay Der village and opened fire with small arms and rockets. Villager Naw Paw Aye (female, age 60) was killed and Saw XXXX (male) was seriously wounded in the leg.

On 15/1/96, IB 59 of Southern Command went to Kaw Thay Der village. They arrested villagers Naw XXXX, her eldest son Saw XXXX and her youngest daughter. They detained Saw XXXX in a pit while they stole 150,000 Kyat in cash, rings, necklaces and other things from his mother. They arrested village elder XXXX and his daughter Naw XXXX, stole 17,000 Kyat from them, beat them, then let them go. They arrested Saw XXXX and stole everything from his shop, and also stole 1,000 Kyat from Saw XXXX, 500 Kyat from Saw XXXX and 600 Kyat from Saw XXXX.

On 16/1/96, LIB 340 Battalion Commander Aung Kyaw Hla called a meeting and demanded one porter from each house. Any family which does not send someone is fined 1,000 Kyat. He also demanded 10 trucks for use in transporting supplies, carrying logs and planks, and carrying troops and wounded.

On 16/1/96 Brig. Gen. Kyi Aung and Strategic Commander Myo Hla issued orders for people to come to Tar Ta Pay as porters.

On 17/1/96 there was an explosion near Plaw Mu Der village [most likely a mine] which killed 2 SLORC soldiers and wounded 7, including 2 porters.

On 21/1/96, villagers were forced to carry a shipment of food supplies for SLORC to their camp at Kler Lah.

On 22/1/96 Kyo Kee, Oo Ber, and Tee Sha Ber villages were ordered to move to Kler Lah village, and told that IB 55 will come and shoot all villagers who try to remain in these villages.

On 26/1/96 a landmine exploded at Htar Ko killing one villager (unnamed) and a buffalo.

Through February 1996, IB 59 and LIB 440 have been active in the Si Kheh Der, Tha Kwee Soe and Bu Sah Kee areas. They are continually forcing villagers to carry supplies and ammunition to Bu Sah Kee.

On 2/2/96, Brigadier General Kyi Aung and Strategic Commander Myo Hla ordered IB 55 Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Khin Maung Win to force Play Sah Lo village to move to Baya Na Thi. At noon, Khin Maung Win and his troops reached Play Sah Lo and captured 40 people who were having a meeting - teachers, schoolchildren, women and men. They took these people by force to Baya Na Thi, and since then have forced them to cut bamboo, clear roads and do hard labour. They have told them they will continue abusing them until they call all their relatives in Play Sah Lo to come to Baya Na Thi. The troops also went back to Play Sah Lo village and looted belongings and money worth 30,000 Kyat in total as part of the effort to force the villagers to move. The same troops have ordered Zee Pyu Gone, Taw Ku, and Yay Sha villages to move to Sah Zee Bone village.

On 3/2/96, Strategic Commander Myo Hla placed restrictions on travel and movement of foodstuffs. He is demanding 1,000 Kyat for each travel permit for cars, and 100 Kyat for travel permits for each person. Myo Hla is now forcing every house to send one person on rotating basis to clear roads and go as porters. If a family cannot send anyone they are fined 2,500 Kyat.

On 4/2/96 a porter (unnamed) stepped on a landmine in Si Kheh Der.

On 5/2/96, LIB 440 Battalion Commander Maj. Aung Kyi Shein gathered men, women, and children villagers and used them as a human shield for his moving column.

On 6/2/96, IB 20 and LIB 535 formed a combined column of 200 soldiers. They arrived at Chin Baung Taung village, burned 3 farmfield huts and ricefields, destroyed the villagers' rice and looted their belongings and livestock. They forced the villagers in Mein Lah Taung, Sin At Taung, Mi Ee Taung, Seik Pu Taung and Kywe Kyat villages to move to a combined site at Bo Tay Gone. They also forced Ah Mya Taung, Shwe Lone Taung, Chin Baung Taung, and Tee Day villages to move to a combined site at Shan Lay Pyay. Some villagers have gone as ordered, but some have gone into hiding or fled northward to the hills east of Pyinmana [it is too hard to get to the Thai border].

Villagers in Chin Baung Taung area are now being forced to cut a road and make a bridge in Yin Ga Done and Kyauk Ta Gan. Villagers who do not go for the work are fined 500 Kyat per person.

On 13/2/96, IB 59 gathered all the old men, children, and women they could get in Kaw Thay Der village and forced them to lead the way back to the army camp, making them rush in order to arrive before dark. They drove the villagers in front of the Column as human minesweepers and human shields.

In mid-February 1996, Taw Ma Aye village in Tantabin township was ordered to dismantle their 150 houses, move and rebuild at Aung Myay Yan Za Pya village. In the new place they are ordering the villagers to make roads, cut bamboo to make fences for the army, and do other labour, so much that the villagers do not have enough time to support themselves.

On 17/2/96, Column 2 of IB 59 (based in Naw Soh village) burned 20 houses in Ku Lu Der village. In Kaw Thay Der village, they demanded that each house give them 1,000 Kyat. They also took 19 cows worth a total of 120,000 Kyat and ordered the villagers to drive these cattle across a minefield in order to clear it.

On 18/2/96, Brigadier General Kyi Aung of Southern Command ordered his troops in Column 2 of IB 59 to force the villagers to a meeting. The troops forcibly gathered both women and men, children, adults and the elderly, and sent them in front to clear mines between Naw Soh and Si Kheh Der villages. The soldiers raped Naw XXXX (age 23, single, daughter of XXXX and Naw XXXX) in front of all the other villagers. Since this happened, many of the villagers have fled the area to live in towns or other areas.

Papun District

Since November 1995 SLORC has intensified its campaign of attacking villages in the area, ordering them to move to army camps, killing villagers, burning houses, churches, fields and harvested rice on the threshing floors, and stealing or destroying people's things. Villages attacked in November included Saw Wah Der, Maw Thay Der, The Ay Kee, May Daw Ko, Per Loh, Hoh Thu Toh, Go Heh Der and Saw Mu Der.

In Saw Mu Plaw village tract (northern Papun District) SLORC IB 30 have been camping at Lu Thaw Ko and Paw Day Ker villages. They move throughout the area, taking the villagers' rice and burning down rice barns. Whenever they see villagers outside villages, they shoot at them. Most villagers no longer dare stay in their villages and are living in hiding in the jungle, not daring to tend their ricefields. They could not carry away enough food from their villages when they fled, and they are living on very little rice mixed with roots, fruit and leaves they can find in the forest.

On 23/9/95 in Papun Township, soldiers from IB 35 led by Lt. Col. Min Toe arrested Naw Kywe Htoo (female, age 43), Naw K'Lih Htoo (female, age 57), and Naw Nat Gay Meh (female, age 63) from Paleh Wah village. They then cut their throats and stabbed each of them in the chest.

On 25/9/95 at 4 p.m., IB 54 Column Commander Aung Myint burned down 11 houses in Bler Ghaw village, Yeh Mu Plaw village tract, and looted all the belongings of 12 families including their money, rice, clothing, blankets, cookpots, plates, machetes, and jewellery.

Starting on 21/11/95 troops led by Column Commander Tin Aye went to Saw Bweh Der, Day Taw Kee, Kaw Meh Law Kee and Toh Wih Der villages, looted everything they wanted and destroyed everything they didn't want. Villagers in this area have not been able to harvest their paddy this year because they have to run away and hide from SLORC.

On 17/12/95, IB 53 entered Yeh Mu Plaw area. At Dta Ku Der village they looted the villagers' belongings, including 740 baskets of paddy, 3 baskets of rice, livestock and cookpots. They stayed in the area until 23/12/95.

On 23/12/95 LIB 439 shelled Yeh Mu Plaw village from Ray Pay Kyo ridge, killing 2 village women: Naw Blut, age 42 (married), and Naw Law Plih, age 18 (unmarried).

On 28/12/95 a combined column of SLORC LIB 105 and DKBA shot and killed Ler Wah Kee villager Saw Pah Kyay Waw (male, age 65). The same troops entered Kheh Pa Hta village, burnt down some houses and all the rice barns they saw, and looted property and livestock.

On 29/12/95 a combined column of SLORC IB 19 and DKBA entered Kheh Pa Hta village at 2 p.m., burned down 44 houses and shot and ate the villagers' livestock. They entered the Church, destroyed the Bibles and hymn books and scattered them all over the building. They took their meals in the Church and scattered their rubbish all around.

On 29/12/95 IB 63 entered Meh Way area and looted villagers' belongings, household items and rice from Meh Paw Kee, Pway Bwa Kee, Khaw Bo Kee, Toh Meh Kee, and Noh Boh Law villages. In Khaw Pa Kee village they shot and killed villager Saw Pah Der, age 50.

On 1/1/96 the above-mentioned column of LIB 105 and DKBA went to Maw Kee village and shot and wounded villager Saw XXXX (male, age 29) in both legs.

On 2/1/96, Company Commander Bo XXXX and Bo XXXX, both of LIB XXX at XXXX camp, sent written orders to XXXX village head XXXX and XXXX village head XXXX summoning them to the camp. When they didn't go, more orders were sent. The text of one order reads, "We have called you many times to come to Par Haik camp. Why don't you come? Your village has to provide 6 porters at all times. Now we get only 2 porters. The others don't come and the village head doesn't come. Are you testing us? On our side, we told you gently. If you don't want it like that, you will have a problem. When you get this letter, on 4/1/96 come to XXXX camp. On 4/1/96 we'll have a meeting." Enclosed with each order was a G3 bullet and a chillie [G3 is a standard SLORC assault rifle. The bullet and chillie is a standard SLORC officers' message to village heads, meaning we are very close to shooting you and the other villagers and burning your village]. As a result many people in the two villages fled to the jungle or the Thai border.

Starting on 3/1/96, 300 soldiers from LIB 105 led by Battalion 2nd-in-command Tun Aung Sein and 2nd Lt. Win Tin entered Klaw Hta, Baw Thay Hta, Meh Wah and Thay Ko Der villages, burned all the rice barns, then returned to Papun on 6/1/96.

From 25/12/95 - 5/1/96, troops from LIB 391 and LIB 105 (both are under #77 Light Infantry Division) led by Lt. Col. Tin Yu entered the Maw Lo Kloh valley. They went to K'Bler village and shot dead villager Pa Kay Waw (male, age 65) from Ler Wah Ko Der village. On 29/12/95, they burned some houses and rice in Kheh Pa Hta village. On 30/12/95 they went into the Yah Kee forest and spent 3 days in the forest looking for caches of rice, food supplies, and belongings hidden there by the villagers [hidden to prevent them from being looted or burned by SLORC]. The afternoon of 1/1/96 they shot up Thay Ko Der and Klaw Hta villages. All the villagers fled in fear. Saw XXXX (male, age 22) of Thay Ko Der village was injured. The troops stayed in Thay Ko Der one day, looting the villagers' belongings and burning all the rice they found. On 5/1/96 they went to Wah Mi Day and Maw Thaw Der villages and looted machetes, axes, cookpots, gold, earrings, rings, clothing, pigs, chickens, and goats from the villagers.

In January 1996, troops from IB 63 entered Wah Tho Ko, Kaw Po Kee, Meh Baw Kee, Toh Meh Kee, and Noh Bo Lah villages in Meh Wai village tract and looted the villagers' food, money, belongings and livestock. They shot dead villager Saw Pah Ka (male, age 50) from Noh Bo Lah village. They also destroyed things and looted rice in Lu Thaw Ko village.

Thaton District

Since August 1995 SLORC IB 35 led by Maj. Kyi Soe and DKBA have been staying in Meh Naw Ther, Ee Thu Kee and Wah Kay village tracts. They regularly enter the villages, eat the villagers' rice and livestock and loot whatever they want. They frighten the villagers by beating them and accusing them of collaborating with KNU. Some villages have been forced to move to Ler Ka Sha.

On 1/9/95 LIB 20 of Light Infantry Division 77, troops of Company #1 commanded by Capt. Thein Tun combined with DKBA troops entered Ta Meh Kee village and burned down the house of XXXX.

On 21/9/95, LIB 20 Battalion 2nd-in-command Win Myint and Lance Corporal Kyi Shwe killed villagers Saw Nyunt Win (male, age 20), Saw Kyaw Min (male, age 25), and Saw Kyaw Htoo (male, age 18) on the Baw Naw Kloh river near Tee Pa Doh Kloh Hta. The three young men, all log workers from Kyo Weh village, were tied hand and foot, then thrown into the Baw Naw Kloh river to drown.

On 21/10/95, LIB 20 troops commanded by Capt. Thein Tun combined with DKBA troops entered Ta Meh Kee village and burned down the house of Naw XXXX. The following day they also burned the houses of Naw XXXX, Naw XXXX and Naw XXXX.

On 24/10/95, LIB 20 troops together with DKBA soldiers Mo Kyo, Maw Ler and Ber Kha entered Klaw Hta village and stole five cattle and two calves from Naw XXXX.

On 28/10/95, LIB 20 troops commanded by Battalion Commander Han Tint entered Doh Ter Kee village together with DKBA soldiers and burned down the houses of U XXXX, XXXX and Pa XXXX.

On 31/10/95 and 1/11/95, Battalion Commander Han Tint and Company #1 Commander Thein Tun together with DKBA troops burned down 3 houses and stole 7 goats from Doh Teh Kee and Su Kee villages.

On 2/11/95 they captured villager Pa XXXX, tortured him severely, burned his paddy field and shot and ate two of his pigs.

On 1/1/96, IB 24 and DKBA began burning villagers' rice barns in hill areas. They began by burning a total of 4,950 baskets of paddy belonging to 38 villagers in two villages, and killed villager Maung Aye Moe.

On 21/1/96 in Pa'an Township, LIB 313 led by Strategic Commander Kyaw Lay arrested villager XXXX (male, age 38), beat him and poured boiling water over his head. Even when he urinated there was blood in his urine, so he went to hospital. They arrested XXXX (male) and beat him unconscious, and arrested Pa XXXX (male, age 21), covered his head and beat him. They arrested 3 women, Pi XXXX (age 60), XXXX (age 40), and XXXX (age 35), and ordered these women to take them to the villagers who had fled forced labour. The women were threatened that they would be killed if no villagers were found. The troops also killed and ate XXXX's cow and XXXX's pig, then ordered the villagers to pay for it.

On 24/1/96 in Pwa Ghaw village, troops from LIB 313 beat villager XXXX and accused him of hiding people who fled forced labour.

On 11/2/96, Column 2 of LIB 534 came into Baw Naw Kee village and stayed there for 2 nights, looting the villagers' food, livestock, money, gold and other belongings. They shot dead villager Saw Mya Bu (male, age 23), and stole 1,000 Kyat from his family. They beat Naw XXXX (female) and stole 4,000 Kyat in cash and other belongings worth 2,500 Kyat from her. They also robbed 18 other villagers, taking a total of 82,500 Kyat in cash and belongings, mainly in cash.

On 21/2/96, a column of LIB 20 (under #77 Light Infantry Division) led by Company Commander Kyaw Hlaing shot and killed Saw Po Aye (male, age 23) from Lay Bu village.

Nyaunglebin District

On 24/1/96 in Kyu Bay Sheit, SLORC Army Camp Commander Than Soe ordered each village in the area to pay a fine of 8,000 Kyat because he said they are in contact with KNU. All big villages were also ordered to give 350 baskets of paddy, and small villages had to give 35 baskets. Than Soe only paid 100 Kyat per basket. He mills paddy into rice and sells it for 450 Kyat per basket. Farmers must also give 5 baskets of paddy per acre to SLORC at the same price.

Following a KNLA attack on two military camps of IB 39 and LIB 434, on 9/2/96 SLORC troops came and arrested Pa Reh Si village headman Saw XXXX.
They also arrested an elder and a villager from Yin Twin Ko village and tortured them severely. Because of the attacks, on 12/2/96 SLORC ordered 9 villages to move: Pa Reh Si, Noh Taw Hta, Toh Kain Ko, Karen Yin Leh, K'Mo Meh, Thein Ghay Loh, Aye Pin Su, Oh Chit Ko and Yin Twin Ko villages. Pa Reh Si village (closest to the attacks) was forced to move immediately on receipt of the order, within just one afternoon. Villagers with big houses did not have enough time to move everything, but in the evening SLORC troops came and burned all the houses. At that time, IB 60 troops led by Bo Aung Kyaw Htoo arrested XXXX (male) and Naw XXXX (female) from Pa Reh Si village. Thein Ghay Lo village had to pay 400,000 Kyat to avoid being moved.

On 14/2/96, SLORC arrested Yin Leh village elders XXXX (male) and XXXX (female) and Taw Maw Ma village headman XXXX. All the village headmen were ordered to move their villages to Ler Doh.

On 18/2/96 while on patrol searching for KNLA, SLORC troops took a villager from Tah Paw village as a guide. The villager stepped on a KNLA landmine and both of his legs were blown off.

Dooplaya District

On 19/11/95, a column of SLORC troops over 300 strong made up of LIB 545 and 546 under Battalion Commander Thura Bo Ni, IB 230 under Company Commander Tun Myint, LIB 310 under Than Tun, and 5 DKBA soldiers, arrived at Pah Kyat village in Kyone Doh township and fought with KNLA forces there for a short time at 8 a.m. After the fighting the SLORC troops went to U XXXX's house and looted everything, including all clothing and blankets, plates and utensils, 4 1/2 tons of wooden planks, 4,000 Kyat in cash, 20 chickens and 3 cattle. One of the SLORC officers took U XXXX (male, age 67) away from his house and interrogated him while continuously pricking him with the point of a knife and threatening him. When U XXXX was finally freed and returned to his house, the soldiers had burned it to the ground.

On 21/11/95 at 6 p.m. a SLORC column about 100 strong from IB 230 commanded by Battalion Commander Thet Oo arrived in Win Kat village, Kyone Doh township. The next morning KNLA forces attacked the column at 9:10 a.m. After the fighting the SLORC troops looted everything in 6 houses, shot 2 bulls and one buffalo, and burned 2 houses to the ground. In one house they didn't burn they scratched "IB 230" on the walls with charcoal. After that, they arrested one man from Mayin Gone village, tied him up, and stabbed him 8 times to kill him. From 23-25 November the same troops entered Tha May Doh village and looted cash, food, valuables and other belongings. Estimated property loss from Pah Kyat, Win Kat, and Tha May Doh villages amounts to 755,000 Kyat in property burned and 546,250 Kyat in property stolen by SLORC troops, a total of 1,301,250 Kyat.
The following account was given by a villager from Ka Doh Hta village in Kawkareik Township after his village was attacked by SLORC troops in November 1995:

"Saw Kaw Thaw" (name changed), male, age 30, a Karen Buddhist farmer from Ka Doh Hta village:

"At 3 a.m. on November 7, 1995, SLORC troops came to Ka Doh Hta village with strength of over 300, and surrounded the village immediately. At 4:30 a.m. they came in and occupied the village, and all the villagers there tried to flee. The first group of fleeing villagers were caught and detained by the SLORC soldiers. Those behind the first group were also caught, and were tied up with 30 feet of green nylon rope. These villagers, including me, were forced to stay in a place north of the village. After about 40 minutes we saw smoke coming up from our houses, and I realized that they were setting fire to our houses and paddy barns. Then the soldiers took our group back to the village, untied us, and told us to put out the fires that had just started in some of the houses. After the fires were out, they gathered us in the middle of the village and tied us again with the same rope.

The soldiers left our village at 3 p.m. that day. We had to go along with them and carry their loads. We were afraid and desperate, but we had to go on with their heavy loads if we wanted to survive. We slept at Myo Haun village for one night. During that night we were still tied up. In the morning they took away the rope that bound us and gave us rice to eat. They gave each of us a lump of rice and some salt and said, "Eat or you'll die!" Immediately after eating they forced us to carry their loads to Kawkareik. When we got there they put the loads onto trucks. Then they held us in their IB 230 and IB 231 camp prison. They put us inside holes in the ground. The holes are 12 feet deep and about 9 feet across at the bottom. The only light was through a small hole at the top. In the morning they took us out for interrogation, and that was when one of them boxed me twice in my face. Then he hit me three times in the back with the butt of a G3 rifle, and my back was cut open. The old men who were with me were also punched in their faces. They punched each of them four times." [The villagers were then released and told to go home. The reason for the attack on the village is unclear. It was conducted by troops from LIB 355 (based in Thi Ho Dan) commanded by Maj. Hla Maung and LIB 300 (based in Kawkareik) commanded by Maj. Myint Win. In the process of the attack, the troops burned houses and paddy barns, looted or destroyed household belongings, and poured out and destroyed rice supplies.]