Restrictions on Movement and Activity

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Restrictions on Movement and Activity

Published date:
Friday, August 22, 2003

Villagers must have a travel pass issued by the local military or a local Peace and Development Council which has been authorised by the military in order to go anywhere.  Any villager caught in the forest or in the fields without one of these passes is automatically suspected of being involved in the resistance.  In conflict areas this often results in detention, beatings, torture and sometimes summary execution.  Orders #350 and 351 are examples of these passes.  Villagers who want to sleep in their field huts to watch over their crop must get special permission stated on their pass in order to do so (see Order #351).

Whenever villagers want to hold a festival or other large gathering permission must first be gained from the local military unit or Peace and Development Council.  Order #347 is an example of this type of permission.  The order also gives permission for videos to be shown at the festival. 

Order #348 prohibits villagers from using paths to a village in Toungoo District and specifically says that landmines will be laid on the paths.  The SPDC’s stated intention is to keep ‘insurgents’ from entering the village, but it will also force villagers to enter through checkpoints where they will be forced to pay bribes.  It also has the effect of blocking internally displaced villagers hiding in the surrounding hills from coming down to buy rice.  Orders like these are rare as armies on all sides often do not tell the villagers where they have laid their landmines.

Order #349 is a permit for several villagers to carry flintlock muskets.  These homemade small calibre rifles are used for hunting small game in the forest and have no military value.  Nevertheless SPDC units insist on registering the guns, and villagers found with the guns but without the permits are liable to be accused as resistance soldiers and torture or killed.  Order #353 specifically says “when the columns check and see that [you] fail, harsh action will be taken”.

Order #347 (Papun)

   Stamp:                                   To:                                                          Date: 16-2-2002
#36 Infantry Battalion                            Organizations concerned.
    #x Company

Subject:            Allowed to hold the of Collecting Bones Festival

(1) The Collecting Bones Festival will be held on the 18th day, 19th day in xxxx village, videos are allowed to be shown in the festival.
(2) Organizations which are concerned must help.
                                                                                                     [Sd.] Major
                                                                                       Stamp: Company Commander 
                                                                                                    #x Company
                                                                                              #36 Infantry Battalion

 [On the back this order is addressed to “xxxx village.”]

 ______________________________________________________________________________ 

Order #348 (Toungoo) 

                                          Stamp:
               #x Strategic Operations Command Group

          Ta Pa Ka [Southern Command Headquarters]  

                                                                                  Mobile #x Strategic Operations Command Group
                                                                                  Bawgali Gyi
                                                                                  Letter No: xxxx / Oo x
                                                                                  Date: Year 2002, March 17th 

To:
      Chairperson
        xxxx   village

Subject:                        Specifying the prohibited area 

            When [the villagers from] the villages of xxxxyyyyzzzzwwww go to uuuu village, the car road must be used and the insurgents should not enter uuuu by the path the people travel, it will be closed with landmines starting on March 18th 2002 at 6 o’clock in the evening, you are informed. 

                                                                                                                 [Sd.]
                                                                                (for) Temporary Strategic Operations Commander

[On the back this order is addressed “To: Chairperson, xxxx village, xxxx / x / Oo x, 17-3-2002.  Stamp: #x Strategic Operations Command Group, Southern Command Headquarters.”  This typewritten order was distributed to several villages in the area.]

___________________________________________________________________________ 

Order #349 (Papun) 

               Stamp:                                        Recommendation
#308 Light Infantry Battalion

          #x Company

Subject:            Registration of the (Tu Mee) [percussion lock firearms] at xxxx village. 

                   Ko aaaa, 38 years old, son of father U bbbb, Saw cccc, 36 years old son of father U dddd, Saw eeee, 38 years old, son of father U ffff, Saw gggg, 35 years old, son of father U hhhh, those 4 people are holding (Tu Mee) really, you are recommended.   

From 25-4-2002 to 25-5-2002, 
send the information again.                                                                     [Sd.]
                                                                                                        xxxx Camp
                                                                                                       #x Company
                                                                                            #308 Light Infantry Battalion  

[This letter allows the men named in it to carry the guns and must be presented when they meet any SPDC soldiers.]

______________________________________________________________________________ 

Order #350 (Nyaunglebin)

                            Stamp:
Village Tract Peace and Development Council

                         [Illegible]

                                          Recommendation
                                                                        Date     27-6-02
Name:                      aaaa                                  bbbbb               
Age:                          25                                        25                  

Father name:          U cccc                                                           
Identity Number:  ___________________________________
Address:              xxxx [village]                                                 
Occupation:         Take up any job that comes by                         
Allowed region:    yyyy                                                                 
Matter for going:  Lemons                                                            
Allowed date:      From    [blank]            until 29-6-02  

The person above is really living in         [blank]
         , you are recommended. 

                                                                                                          [Sd.]
                                                                                           Stamp: for (Chairperson)
                                                                                      Peace and Development Council
                                                                                  Section/Village, Shwe Kyin Township 

[On the back this order is” [Sd.] yyyy Gate, 27-6-02, xxxx, [illegible]]

______________________________________________________________________________ 

Order #351 (Nyaunglebin) 

                                                          Sleep at night
                         Stamp:
Village Tract Peace and Development Council 

                      xxxx village. 
                                      Recommendation
                                                        Date     17-7-2002
Name:                       aaaa                                              
Age:                           28                                                 
Father name:        U bbbb_______________________
Identity Number:  _____________________________

Address:              xxxx [village]                                    
Occupation:         Plantation                                           

Allowed region:    yyyy                                                   
Matter for going:  Cutting grass                                       
Allowed date:      From 17-7-2002              until 21-7-2002  

The person from above is really living in       [blank]
           , you are recommended.

                                                                                        [Sd.]
                                                                          Stamp: for (Chairperson)
                                                                     Peace and Development Council
                                                                 Section/Village, Shwe Kyin Township

[This pass is the same as in Order #350, except that the ‘sleep night’ at the top allows the villager to sleep in his field hut.]

______________________________________________________________________________ 

Order #352 (Papun) 

Subject:            Informing so the villagers travelling will know.

            The female, male villagers from the villages in the region of #340 Light Infantry Battalion must stay in their own villages between 6 o’clock in the evening to 6 o’clock in the morning.  Do not travel outside the village.  Come to send information to the Battalion when buying from Papun,  Village Chairperson let all the villagers know, inform and supervise, you are informed. 

                                                       Stamp:
Place:        xxxx              #340 Light Infantry Battalion     (For) Temporary Battalion Commander

Date :   7-8-2002                 Battalion Headquarters                 #340 Light Infantry Battalion

______________________________________________________________________________ 

Order #353 (Papun)

               Stamp:                                    To:                                                         Date: 28-11-2002
#534 Light Infantry Battalion                         Chairperson
          #x Company                                       xxxx village

Subject:            The matter of putting licence numbers on tu mee guns [percussion lock firearms].

           For the tu mee guns that were made in the xxxx village region, numbers should be put on and carried and can be checked when the columns see [them].  Chairperson or Secretary yourself from xxxx village come without fail at the same time with the messenger to meet with the column at yyyyvillage today.  Come to meet and come to give the numbers of the tu mee guns that were made in the xxxx village region at yyyy village on 19-11-2002.  When the columns check and see that [they] fail, harsh action will be taken, you are informed. 

                                                                                                                        [Sd.] 
                                                                                                      Stamp: Company Commander
                                                                                                                #x Company
                                                                                                       #534 Light Infantry Battalion

______________________________________________________________________________ 

Order #354 (Papun)

                             Stamp:                                       To:
              #365 Light Infantry Battalion                             Chairperson
                Military Staff Department                                xxxx village

            Loggers in the surroundings of xxxx send information to xxxx Army Camp and make a letter of recommendation.  If [you] do not make a letter of recommendation, harsh action will be taken against the loggers. 

                                                                                                             [Sd.]
                                                                                                  Camp Commander
                                                                                                        xxxx Camp