KAREN HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP INFORMATION UPDATE

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KAREN HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP INFORMATION UPDATE

Published date:
Monday, September 14, 1998

If the relocations occur as planned, this will cause the vast majority of villagers to flee into hiding. For now those who can still pay the extortion and fees to avoid forced labour are still trying to live in their villages, but more and more are fleeing to their field huts and forests. Some have already been shot on sight by SPDC/DKBA patrols. Several groups of these people have fled to the Thai border, but the Thai authorities are refusing to let them cross the border because current Thai policy is to refuse asylum to all refugees except those deemed to be "fleeing from fighting", and Thai authorities say there is now no fighting in Burma. Some individual families have managed to covertly slip into refugee camps in Thailand or to Thai towns to look for work as illegal labourers, but those families who have been caught trying to cross the border individually have been forced back across into Burma at gunpoint by Thai troops.