COMMENTARY

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COMMENTARY

Published date:
Tuesday, May 25, 1999

The rainy season appears to be beginning early this year, and as the rains begin many people look back and evaluate the past dry season. Though the period since October/November 1998 has not featured a major military offensive, the situation for rural villagers in eastern Burma has continued to deteriorate and there have been some extremely worrying new developments. In general, the State Peace & Development Council (SPDC) regime has continued to use increased militarisation, forced relocations and tighter controls on villagers as a means of consolidating its control over remote regions, and as a result more and more villagers are becoming internally displaced each month while life becomes even more desperate for those who are already displaced and hiding in the forests. This dry season the SPDC has also added a new weapon to its arsenal which is now terrorising villagers and driving many of them to flight: the ‘Sa Thon Lon Guerrilla Retaliation’ execution squads.