Papun District: Forced Labour, Looting and Road Construction in SPDC-Controlled Areas

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Papun District: Forced Labour, Looting and Road Construction in SPDC-Controlled Areas

Published date:
Friday, May 20, 2005

Villagers in Papun District who live under the control of nearby SPDC army camps are reporting that this year they are doing less forced labour as porters because convict porters are being brought in, and less forced labour repairing roads because much of this work is being done by SPDC soldiers - but that forced labour as unarmed sentries, Army camp servants, logging for the DKBA, and particularly cutting thatch and bamboo to build and repair SPDC and DKBA army camps, are still taking enough of their time to jeopardise their livelihoods.  Worse yet, SPDC soldiers doing road work are destroying the villagers' fields and irrigation systems, putting this year's rice crop under serious threat.  This has made the villagers deeply angry and frustrated, but any attempts to protest have been met with threats and gun-barrels.  With the SPDC now beginning work on new roads and Army camps to secure the construction of massive dams on the Salween River, this situation is only likely to worsen in the near future.