Refugees from the SLORC Occupation of Tenasserim Division


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Refugees from the SLORC Occupation of Tenasserim Division

Published date:
Thursday, May 15, 1997

This document gives descriptions for Photo Set 97-A, including refugees from the current Tenasserim offensives.

Peoples’ names given here correspond to those used in the reports; names which have been changed to protect people are enclosed in quotes. Some details have been omitted from the photo descriptions to protect the people involved. These photos may be used in any way to help the people of Burma.

Some abbreviations used in the photo descriptions: 

SLORC = State Law & Order Restoration Council, Burma’s military junta 
DKBA = Democratic Kayin (Karen) Buddhist Army, Karen group allied to SLORC
KNU = Karen National Union, main Karen opposition organization
KNLA = Karen National Liberation Army, army of the KNU
KNPP = Karenni National Progressive Party, Karenni organization which is still fighting SLORC.

At the same time as it launched its Dooplaya District offensive, SLORC launched a mass offensive against Karen-held regions in Tenasserim Division, otherwise known as KNLA 4th Brigade area. They managed to capture the 4th Brigade headquarters and most Karen-held territory, but here they faced much stiffer resistance and the fighting is still ongoing. Several thousand new refugees fled across the Thai border, and many of them were denied access or forcibly repatriated by the Thai Army 9th Division. Most of the new refugees are villagers from villages in formerly KNU-held territory, but they have also been joined by many people who had already fled the free-fire zones of Palauk, Palaw, Mergui and Tenasserim areas (see ‘Tenasserim’ and related photos above) and were internally displaced along the Tenasserim River, only to have to flee again now. KHRG interviewed one woman from Aw Pu village in one of the free-fire zones who told us that she’d had to run from SLORC 7 times since September 1996. There is no indication yet of how many more times they will still have to flee. All photos relate to the report "Refugees from SLORC Occupation" (‘Offensives’).