Toungoo Incident Reports: March and April 2011

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Toungoo Incident Reports: March and April 2011

Published date:
Friday, May 27, 2011

This report contains 15 incident reports written by ten villagers describing 25 incidents of human rights abuse that occurred in Toungoo District prior to April 2011. The reports describe 17 incidents of forced labour, including forced portering of Tatmadaw supplies, the production and supply of building materials and forced messenger duty; four incidents in which villagers were shot and/ or killed; two incidents of arbitrary arrest and detention; one incident of theft and looting; one incident of rape; and one report of travel restrictions in Tatmadaw-controlled areas. The reports also register villagers' concerns about food security as a result of regular demands for forced labour, as well as serious threats to villagers' physical security from exposure to landmines and armed conflict when they are forced to porter for the Tatmadaw. As a result of the serious consequences of demands for forced labour on villagers' livelihoods, one villager reported that villagers negotiate with Tatmadaw officers in order to reduce or alter forced labour demands. These reports were received by KHRG in May 2011, along with other information from Toungoo District including: four other incident reports, five interviews, one situation update, 346 photographs and 36 video clips.[1]

Incident report | M--- village, Thandaung Township, Toungoo District (March 2011)

The following incident report was written by Saw F--, a resident of M--- village, Thandaung Township.[2] It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Name: Saw F---
Age: 40
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Married with six children
Occupation: Betelnut and cardamom farmer
Position: [censored]

In my village, there are 53 households and there are more than 200 villagers. The villagers' [main] job is planting betelnut and cardamom in hill fields. The SPDC [Tatmadaw] keep their camp there [in M---] from 2006 to 2010. On September 15th 2010, Lieutenant General Myo Aye, from the SPDC Army [unit] which is based at Kler La camp, under Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 425, Military Operations Command (MOC) #7,[3] asked villagers to porter starting from Kaw Day camp to T'Aye Hta camp. Our village had to porter twice. The first time, 16 villagers had to go and the second time 15 villagers had to go. The villagers carried rice and each person had to carry 15 bowls (23.45 kg. / 51.58 lb.). Women had to carry 12 bowls (18.76 kg / 41.26 lb.) each.

On March 13th 2011, villagers had to carry food for the SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] starting from Kaw Day camp to T'Aye Hta camp. At this time, 30 villagers had to go, including 10 women. The villagers had to carry rice and milk. It took three days for the villagers to carry that. We started from our village and had to sleep in Gh--- village, and the second day we took things from the SPDC Army camp which is located in Ko Day. To go from the SPDC Army camp at Ko Day to Th'Ay Hta camp takes three hours. Because there are landmines along the way, it took a long time because we had to avoid them. On our journey, no SPDC soldiers came with us, we went by ourselves. If we look now, no cars travel and there are only motorbike taxis [on the road between Ko Day and Th'Ay Hta]. The SPDC Army asked the villagers who have motorbikes to carry for them also. On March 15th 2011, the SPDC Army asked villagers with motorbikes to carry food. In our village, they called five motorbikes and we carried rice and, on each motorbike, there were three sacks of rice (150 kg. / 330 lb.) starting from Kler La to Kaw Day camp. If we look at this, the SPDC always forces us to porter.

Incident report | W--- village, Thandaung Township, Toungoo District (March 2011)

The following incident report was written by Saw B---, 36, a resident of W--- village, Thandaung Township. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Name: Saw B---
Age: 36
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Betelnut and cardamom farmer
Position: [censored]

Since the early 2000s, I have been working for ten years as a [censored]. In 2008, one of the SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] units put me in wooden stocks for four days. The SPDC soldiers told [accused] us that we had contact with the KNU and they arrested us. It included four pastors. As for me, they have arrested me four times. The first time, they put me in jail for four days; the second time was for two days; and the third time was for three days. That SPDC Army unit was under Military Operations Command (MOC) #10 and their Operation Commanders are Myait Thay and Aung Ko Ko Way.

In 2009 and 2010, Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #341, under MOC #5, came and built their camp in our village and forced two of our villagers to become camp guards. Their Base Commander was Kyaw Kyaw La and they are called 'Ya Khaing' [Rakhine][4] Battalion. They forced us to carry water for them and cut bamboo for them. If we look at 2009 until 2010, starting from December and for four months, they changed their places [rotated troops to different camps] and forced the villagers to carry things for them such as rice, yellow beans and canned fish. We had to carry starting from Than Daung Gyi for the battalion based at Ba Yin Naung, and go back to K'Weh village camp. There were 50 villagers and it took four hours. In August 2010, Khaing Lay, the Battalion Commander of LIB [#420 or #421], under MOC #7, shot one of the Re--- villagers. The villager went to her shop in the market [in Than Daung Gyi] and sold a'kyaw [a fried snack]. The SPDC [Tatmadaw] came in at 8:00 pm and shot the village shop-keeper in her head. It happened in Than Daung Gyi and it took an hour [for the shop-keeper] to walk back on the way [to Re--- village]. The SPDC soldiers shot the villager and gave 30,000 kyat (US $36) [compensation] and asked the villagers not to report the case. We sent her to the hospital for treatment and no SPDC soldiers came and looked. The villager's name is Naw W---, 55, and until now her head is not cured yet. If we look at 2010, the SPDC Army had an election and the KPP [Kayin People's Party] organization came in and told us that we had a lot of things to make better, so they asked for 1,000 kyat (US $1.22) from each villager. If we look at these things, they are not benefitting villagers; they are all for the SPDC military.

Incident report | D--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions.[5] Information for this incident report was provided by Saw E---, 42, a resident of D--- village, Tantabin Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Name: Saw E---
Age: 42
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: [censored]
Position: [censored]

Saw E--- reported that forced labour happened in his village and villagers had to go from D--- village to Y--- village and then to Bpeh Leh Wah village. When they went to carry things for the SPDC [Tatmadaw], it included some other villagers from H--- village and Th--- village. Because the SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] forced us to work for them, it caused problems for villagers' occupations.

Saw E--- reported that the SPDC forced villagers to carry their food and cut bamboo to build the SPDC Army camp.

"During the summer of 2010, two of our villagers had to carry one sack [50 kg / 110 lb] of rice each to the SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] camp. Each family had to bring bamboo poles that are 10 cubits long and they had to bring the bamboo from Y--- village to Bpeh Leh Wah camp. The trip takes three hours on foot. Different villages also had to carry for them. The places where we have to carry things are really dangerous for us and, if the SPDC Army is with us, fighting can happen anytime. Our D--- villagers are often forced to carry by the SPDC Army."

- Saw E---, 42, D--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The SPDC Army unit that forces D--- villagers to work [currently] is LIB #539, under MOC #9, which is under the command of three-star Captain Lhin Tun and based in L--- and D--- villages. In January 2011, SPDC Army [battalions from] MOC #9 replaced MOC #7.

Incident report | L--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Saw G---, 20, a resident of L--- village, Tantabin Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Name: Saw G---
Age: 20
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Farmer

Forced labour happened in January 2011, when villagers were forced to carry things from Py--- camp to L--- camp. 100 villagers were forced to carry food for the SPDC Army [Tatmadaw], and other villagers had to go stay at their army camp as set tha [messengers].[6] Two people had to go [as messengers] each day, as the army ordered.

According to Saw G---, the SPDC Army forced villagers to carry their things and food from Py--- camp to L--- camp.

"The SPDC Army [unit] which forced the villagers is LIB #539, which is a different [recently rotated] unit that has been based at the army camp in L--- village since January 16th 2011. Villagers always face forced labour. They [Tatmadaw soldiers] force us because they said we help the KNU, and we have to help them as we help the KNU. Since 2006, we have faced forced labour from the SPDC Army, so we do not have time to work for ourselves and it causes problems for villagers' livelihoods. Because we have been forced by the SPDC Army to work for a long time, sometimes if they ask us to work we don't go, and tell the officer, 'This is our important work time, and please can we go next time?' and he doesn't say anything and allows us [to not work]."[7]

- Saw G---, 20, L--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

Incident report | Bp--- village, Thandaung Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Saw Ht---, a resident of Bp--- village, Thandaung Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Name: Saw Ht---
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: [censored]

This is some short information about what is happening. On February 23rd 2011, [Tatmadaw] Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #377, Military Operation Command (MOC) #9, under Commander Aung Win, asked Bp--- villagers to carry 25 sacks of rice for them. It also included 25 villagers from K--- village, and Pl--- village had to carry 15 sacks of rice.

"We had to take things from the 48 Mile camp[8] [Ko Day] to Th'Aye Hta camp. The SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] always asks villagers to carry things for them and, sometimes, they ask motorbike drivers to transport food for them."

- Saw Ht---, Bp--- village, Thandaung Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

Incident report | N--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Saw Gk---, 30, a resident of N--- village, Tantabin Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Name: Saw Gk---
Age: 30
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Betelnut farmer

This is some short information about what is happening. Saw Gk--- reported that in March 2006 the SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] forced N--- villagers to relocate, so they had to go and stay in W--- village. Also, the SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] always forces villagers to transport food to Ky---. Moreover, they also force villagers to transport food, such as meats.

Saw Gk--- reported that, starting from March 2006, the SPDC Army forced the N--- villagers to relocate to the T--- area, which is near W--- village, because it will be easy for the SPDC Army to make demands on the villagers who stay in the relocation area. If the villagers didn't go to the relocation area, the SPDC [Tatmadaw] would come, and destroy and burn their food stores and their things. The villagers and citizens suffer from SPDC Army oppression. At that time, it was Brigade [Tatmadaw LID] #66 that came into our Toungoo District and wanted to change our Toungoo District by myay la sa nit [policy of uprooting villagers and forced relocation].[9] The Brigade Commander [of LID #66] was Shan Myain. Villagers had to stay in the jungle and build shelters. Some worked with the KNU to help them to get information.

When villagers stay in relocation areas, the SPDC Army always forces them to labour for them. Starting from January 2011, the Tatmadaw Military Operations Command (MOC) #9 came and changed places [rotated] with MOC #7. LIB #539, under MOC #9 is located in L--- camp and they are active in the Pw--- area. In February 2011, they asked villagers to carry food with 100 carts. Not all the villagers went, so there were only 60 carts. The villages that had to transport rations for the SPDC Army were Sh--- and Ay--- villages.

Incident report | Pl--- village, Thandaung Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Saw Th---, 29, a resident of Pl--- village, Thandaung Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Source Name: Saw Th---
Age: 29
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: [censored]
Position: [censored]

This is some short information about what is happening. Most incidents that are happening are forced labour. In the past, when the SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] forced villagers to carry things for them, they wrote a letter to the village leader and asked the village leader to meet with them. In 2010, MOC #7 went back and MOC #9 changed place [rotated in to replace MOC #7]. On February 14th 2011, the SPDC Army forced some villages to carry food for them. If the village was big, the army forced the village to carry 50 sacks of rice. If the village was small, they had to carry 25 sacks of rice.

Saw Th---, 29, reported that in their village they are always forced to carry [porter] for the army. On February 14th 2011, the villagers had to carry food for the SPDC Army starting from Kler La to Th'Aye Hta camp. At that time, other villages were also included, such as Ho---, K---, De---, Kh---villages. Each village had to carry 25 sacks of rice. A big village was ordered to carry 50 sacks of rice.

These demands happen a lot when the SPDC Army forces villagers to carry for them. Moreover, villagers always have to cut bamboo in our Toungoo District, and in the western Pa--- area. These things happen because the SPDC Army came and built their camp in our place and always demand us to carry food and loh ah pay[10] for them. They demand us to go and, if we don't go, they make us afraid that they will arrest us. Because of this, we are afraid and we help them. The people who suffer this are the citizens. The people who oppress and force villagers is the SPDC Army [units] under MOC #9, which are based in Ma--- village and Kler La camp. Because the SPDC Army forces villagers, they always have to work for the SPDC and have no time to work for themselves, so it becomes difficult for them.

Incident report | La--- village, Thandaung Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Saw Dt---, 41, a resident of La---village, Thandaung Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Source Name: Saw Dt---
Age: 41
Ethnicity: Karen
Religion: ---
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: [censored]

The SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] came to La--- village and abused villagers. When they came to the village, they heard a landmine explode and they said that the villagers planted landmines. They burned the villagers' houses and, moreover, if they see the villagers go somewhere, they ask a lot of different questions. When they came to the village they took pigs, chickens and ducks to eat but they didn't pay and took them for free. One of the villagers from another village in Thandaung Township was killed by LIB #376, under MOC #9, which is based at Ky---, on February 14th 2011. The SPDC Army sentry saw him, and they shot and killed him. The villager who was killed by the SPDC Army lived in Zone 1 of Thandaung Township. His name is Saw Ba--- and he was 36 years old.[11] After he was killed, his family faced many problems because he was a daily worker [worked for daily wages]. The reason the SPDC Army killed this villager while they were [on] sentry [duty] was because they said he was carrying a weapon [type of weapon was not specified], and then they killed him.

Incident report | A--- village, Thandaung Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Saw R---, 37, a resident of A--- village, Thandaung Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Source Name: Saw R---
Age: 37
Ethnicity: Karen
Religion: Christian
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: [censored]

[Tatmadaw] LIB #374 under MOC #7, under Commander Nyoh Hay, based in Ker Weh village, came to A--- village on February 18th 2011. A--- villagers have to face difficulty from SPDC [Tatmadaw] demands for forced labour and other things. Villagers have to go and carry SPDC loads of food [rations] so there is no time for them to work. Because the SPDC came and is based in A--- village, 18 or 20 villagers have to go for two weeks at a time and carry SPDC loads of food. Villagers have to go and carry, and the distance to walk is about two and a half hours. They have to start carrying from Ge--- to A--- villages. The SPDC killed one of the villagers named Saw Ba---; he was 36 years old. The reason they killed this person is that they said he was a messenger who would make a problem,[12] so they shot and killed him. Every day the SPDC calls one villager to be their messenger. They ask villagers to go and carry their food and they ask them to go and cut trees also. They don't pay villagers for their work and they don't give villagers food to eat. The SPDC always orders villagers to do forced labour, so villagers don't have time to work in their own workplaces anymore, and will face many problems for food.

Incident report | Ma--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Saw He---, 35, a resident of Ma---village, Tantabin Township. The following incident report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Source Name: Saw He---
Age: 35
Ethnicity: Karen
Religion: Christian
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: [censored]

The SPDC [Tatmadaw] LIB #336, under MOC #7 and based at Bp'Leh Wa, and LIB #425 based at Ma---, order villagers to go and carry loads of food [rations] for them starting from U--- to Buh Sa Kee and from Bp'Leh Wa to Y--- army camp [near D--- village]. From Bp'Leh Wa the distance they have to carry is about two hours [on foot]. Whenever the army [Tatmadaw] orders villagers to go and carry loads, usually they ask for 30 people to go. If not 30 people [if the village sends less than 30 people as porters], they write a letter to the village head and the village head also has to go. They won't accept less than 30 people. If anyone is absent, they come to the village and make a problem, and don't allow villagers to go out of the village or to go to their workplaces. The officer's name is Sa Way Maw from LIB #336, under MOC #7. He also raped a woman. Her name is Naw Y--- and she is 38 years old. Her father's name is Saw Gh---. After they raped her, they let her go. They do not act under orders, but just do as they want.

Incident report | Ga--- village, Thandaung Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Naw M---, 24, a resident of Ga--- village, Thandaung Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Source Name: Naw M---
Age: 24
Ethnicity: Karen
Religion: ---
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Teacher; farming a hill field

This is short information about an incident that happened. Villagers have to face problems from SPDC [Tatmadaw] oppression. The army [Tatmadaw] attacks the village and villagers face many kinds of problems because they have to flee into the forest and cannot work for their own livelihoods, so they have food problems also. Mostly villagers are farming hill fields and cardamom plantations. In Ga--- village, villagers always have to face SPDC oppression. When the SPDC comes to the village, they shoot pigs and chickens and eat them. More than this, they shot one of the villagers. His name was Saw Ch--- and he was 28 years old. He lived in Na--- village. They shot and killed this villager and left him like that, without doing anything. The villagers had to bury his dead body. When they came into the village and burned houses, the SPDC soldiers shot and killed Naw M---'s uncle, Saw Do---. He was 30 years old and he also lived in Na--- village. They shot and killed him without any reason.

Incident report | E--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Naw S---, 28, a resident of E--- village, Tantabin Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Source Name: Naw S---
Age: 28
Ethnicity: Karen
Religion: ---
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Teacher

Villagers have to face problems and have a lot of difficulties, such as food shortages and having to work for the SPDC [Tatmadaw]. Food shortages are the most difficult for villagers, because insects eat the food. The SPDC, under the command of Lieutenant General Myo Aye, asks villagers to cut trees but the wood must be old [mature] enough. They ask villagers to cut wood to build their army camp. They built a camp in Shan Shee Bo. It causes trouble for villagers, because the SPDC always asks villagers to work for them.

Incident report | Ra--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Naw K---, 35, a resident of Ra--- village, Tantabin Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Source Name: Naw K---
Age: 35
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: [censored]

The SPDC [Tatmadaw] asks villagers to carry [porter] food and other things for the army, and they [villagers] have to go to carry for the whole day. They demand villagers to cut trees and wood to build their camp, and they built a camp in Ra--- village. When the SPDC asks villagers to work for them, the SPDC [soldiers] also come to villagers' houses and take their food as they wish. Villagers cannot protect themselves. If the SPDC demands villagers to cut one hundred pieces of bamboo, the villagers have to give it to them as they say. The villagers cannot give them only half. The SPDC demands many things from the villagers, so the villagers do not have enough time to work for themselves. Furthermore, the SPDC requires villagers to get permission to travel, so villagers cannot work freely. If the villagers go outside, they always have to have a written permission paper. If they don't, they cannot go.

Incident report | Ke--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Saw Pa---, 67, a resident of Ke--- village, Tantabin Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Source Name: Saw Pa---
Age: 67
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: [censored]

This short information is about the SPDC [Tatmadaw] always demanding villagers to work for them a lot, including forced recruitment, forced labour and demanding villagers to carry food [rations]. Villagers have to face problems from the SPDC, like when the army calls them at night time. The SPDC entered Ke--- village twice. The first time was on February 24th [year not specified] and there were twenty soldiers, not including their leader. Saw Pa--- didn't know their leader's name. One of the village leaders went to a meeting and, while he was coming back, the SPDC, Column [LID] #66, saw him and captured him and put him in prison. After one year, he died because of disease.[13]

Incident report | D--- village, Tantabin Township, Toungoo District (April 2011)

The following incident report was written by a villager who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. Information for this incident report was provided by Saw Bo---, 42, a resident of D--- village, Tantabin Township. The report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.

Source Name: Saw Bo---
Age: 42
Ethnicity: Karen
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: [censored]

This short information is about the SPDC Army [Tatmadaw] forcing villagers to go and cut bamboo and wood to build their army camp. They also asked the villagers to carry their food [rations] for them, even though the villagers have no time to go. Along the way, the soldiers saw some villagers who didn't go and carry food for them, so they arrested them and put them into the jail at their army camp. The D--- village head had to go and take them from jail at the army camp. In addition, the villagers always have to pay money or give the soldiers food. The SPDC Army also kills villagers. This year [2011], LIB #376 under MOC #9 replaced LIB #436 under MOC #7.

Footnotes

[1] When these documents have been processed and translated by KHRG and when sufficient information has been compiled and analysed, a full Field Report on the situation in Toungoo District will be available on the KHRG website. Until then, KHRG's most recent analysis of the situation in Toungoo District can be found in the recent Field Report, "Attacks on cardamom plantations, detention and forced labour in Toungoo District," KHRG, May 2010.

[2] KHRG incident reports are written or gathered by villagers who have been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. KHRG trains villagers in eastern Burma to document individual incidents of abuse using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When writing or gathering incident reports, villagers are encouraged to document incidents of abuse that they consider important, by verifying information from multiple sources, assessing for potential biases and comparing to local trends.

[3] A Military Operations Command (MOC) typically consists of ten battalions. Most MOCs have three Tactical Operations Commands (TOCs), made up of three battalions each.

[4] The use of the term Ya Khaing here indicates that Saw B--- thought that the Tatmadaw battalion he describes was under the Tatmadaw's Western Command, which normally operates in Arakan and Chin states in western Burma. The deployment of soldiers from other commands to Toungoo and adjacent districts of eastern Burma, in which battalions under the Tatmadaw's Southern and Southeastern commands are permanently based, is not unprecedented. In January 2011, for example, the Narinjara news agency reported that seven battalions from the Western Command had rotated to the front lines in Karen State; see: "Many Battalions Based in Arakan March to Fight on Eastern Border," Narinjara, January 13th 2011. One of the battalions mentioned in the Narinjara article, LIB #252, was identified by villagers interviewed by KHRG field researchers as the unit responsible for an attack on Dteh Neh village in February 2011; see: "Tatmadaw attacks destroy civilian property and displace villages in northern Papun District," KHRG, April 2011.

[5] KHRG trains villagers in eastern Burma to document individual incidents of abuse using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When writing incident reports, villagers are encouraged to document incidents of abuse that they consider important, by verifying information from multiple sources, assessing for potential biases and comparing to local trends.

[6] 'Set tha' is a Burmese term for forced labour duty as a messenger stationed at army camps or bases and serving as a go-between to deliver orders from army officers to village heads, but also involving other menial tasks when no messages are in need of delivery. The villager who submitted this report is likely explaining that one or more residents of villages near army camps have to go each day for set tha.

[7] The tactic of negotiating with Tatmadaw officers is a strategy that villagers in eastern Burma employ in order to reduce forced labour demands, or to mitigate adverse consequences on villagers' livelihoods. For more on the ways in which villagers attempt to engage with and manipulate local power dynamics, see Village Agency: Rural rights and resistance in a militarised Karen State, KHRG, November 2008, pp. 92 – 116.

[8] Note that Tatmadaw camp names along the Toungoo to Mawchi road are often ascribed according to their distance from Toungoo Town.

[9] Previous KHRG reports have documented the forced relocation of a number of villages in the Pw--- area, including N--- village, to a relocation site at L---. For a transcript of a report written by a KHRG field researcher describing forced relocation campaigns in 2006, see One year on: Continuing abuses in Toungoo district, KHRG, November 2006, p.15. See also "New SPDC military moves force more villagers to flee," KHRG, July 2006.

[10] Loh ah pay; a Burmese term now commonly used in reference to forced labour, although traditionally referring to voluntary service for temples or the local community, not military or state projects.

[11] The killing of Saw Ba--- was reported in four separate incident reports submitted by villagers in Toungoo District in April 2011. Two of these incident reports have been processed and published in this report; the other two incident reports are on file with KHRG.

[12] This statement likely indicates that Saw Ba--- was accused of providing information to the KNU/KNLA.

[13] It is likely that Saw Pa--- is referring here to an incident that occurred during the Northern Offensive 2005 – 2008, when LID #66 was active in Toungoo District and responsible for the widespread perpetration of human rights abuses. See "Attacks, killings and the food crisis in Toungoo District", KHRG, August 2008.