Dooplaya Interview: U Sa---, July 2011

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Dooplaya Interview: U Sa---, July 2011

Published date:
Friday, July 22, 2011

This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted by a KHRG researcher in July 2011 with a villager from Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District. The researcher interviewed U Sa---, who described how his family and other residents of Pa--- village faced threats and abuses from Tatmadaw soldiers after local DKBA forces captured a Tatmadaw soldier at his home on June 15th 2011. U Sa--- described the following abuses: threats to burn or shell civilian areas; shelling of civilian areas; indiscriminate use of small arms in civilian areas; the taking of civilians as hostages; threats to kill civilians; and the imposition of movement restrictions, including threats to shoot villagers violating restrictions on sight. U Sa--- explained that he and his family fled Pa--- on June 16th to avoid these threats; as of July 3rd, they did not yet feel safe to return to their home. This interview was conducted by a KHRG researcher in July 2011; other details on the situation in Pa--- village after June 15th, including a general situation update, one incident report, and three photographs were submitted by a different KHRG researcher in June and July 2011.

Footnotes

[1] When conducting interviews, KHRG researchers use loose question guidelines and encourage interviewees to speak freely about recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important and share their opinions or perspectives on abuse and other local dynamics.

[2] A KHRG researcher in Dooplaya District that spoke with local sources about conditions in Pa--- village after June 15th explained that U Sa---'s family had installed a telephone landline connected to Thai networks in their home, which villagers and soldiers could use for a fee. The researcher also reported that two different Tatmadaw battalions were active in Pa--- and the surrounding area in June 2011; the specific battalion numbers have been omitted from this bulletin for security.

[3] A KHRG researcher in Dooplaya District that spoke with local sources about conditions in Pa--- village after June 15th explained that Saw R--- is a local DKBA officer holding the rank of thu sghay koh, or 'Platoon Commander', who led the detachment of soldiers that kidnapped Tatmadaw soldier T---.

[4] For previous examples of detention and violent abuse, including killing, of villagers accused of having contact with Karen armed groups, including violent abuse and killing, reported to have been perpetrated by soldiers under Tatmadaw LID #22 in Kawkareik Township, see: "SPDC soldiers arrest and kill villagers on allegations of contacting KNU/KNLA," KHRG, January 2008. See especially the testimony of Saw B---, who described how his brother was arrested and killed, and his family forced to flee amid accusations of contact with the KNLA, after KNLA soldiers captured a Tatmadaw soldier near his home. Tatmadaw battalions under LID #22 are active in the current conflict in Dooplaya and Pa'an districts; specific battalion numbers mentioned by local sources interviewed by KHRG researchers have been omitted from this bulletin for security.

[5] Literally, 'Ten households leader'; a Burmese term denoting a position below 'Section leader' within a village administration.