Papun Situation Update: Dweh Loh Township, January to March 2012


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Papun Situation Update: Dweh Loh Township, January to March 2012

Published date:
Thursday, May 24, 2012

This report includes a situation update submitted to KHRG in April 2012 by a community member describing events occurring in Papun District, in the period between January and March 2012. It provides information on land confiscation by Border Guard Battalion #1013, which has appropriated villagers’ communal grazing land between D--- and M--- villages for the construction of barracks for housing soldiers' families. Related to this project is the planned construction of a dam on the Noh Paw Htee River south of D--- village, which is expected to result in the subsequent flooding of 150 acres of D--- villagers’ farmland, valued at US $91,687. Villagers from K’Ter Tee, Htee Th’Bluh Hta, and Th’Buh Hta village tracts have also reported facing demands for materials used for making thatch shingles, for which villagers receive either minimal or no payment. Updated information concerning other military activity is also provided, specifically on troop augmentation, with LID #22, and IB #8 and #96 reported to have joined Border Guard Battalion #1013 by establishing bases at K’Ter Tee, as well as reports of increased transportation of rations, weapons and troops to camps in the border regions. Details are also provided on new restrictions introduced since the January 2012 ceasefire agreement on the movement of Tatmadaw units; similar restrictions have been documented in Toungoo District in a report published by KHRG in May 2012, "Toungoo Situation Update: Tantabin Township, January to March 2012." Information is also given on a recent Tatmadaw directive, which stipulates that soldiers and villagers living near to military camps must inform any KNU officials they encounter that they are welcome to meet with Tatmadaw commanders or officers.


[1] KHRG trains community members in eastern Burma to document individual human rights abuses 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 situation updates, community members are encouraged to summarise recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important, and present their opinions or perspective on abuse and other local dynamics in their area.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in eastern Burma, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. As companion to this, a redesigned website will be released in 2012. In the meantime, KHRG’s most recently-published field information from Papun District can be found in the Report, "Incident Report: Papun District, June 2011," KHRG, May 2012.

[3] While Tatmadaw and DKBA units have for years operated together, this operational hierarchy became formalised with the DKBA’s transformation into a ‘Border Guard Force’ under control of the Tatmadaw and containing a fixed number quota of Tatmadaw officers. This transformation dates to at least May 2009, when commanding officers stated in high-level meeting of DKBA officers that the DKBA would transform itself into a ‘Border Guard Force.’ Leaked minutes from the May 2009 meeting are retained by KHRG on file. Ceremonies attended by Tatmadaw commanders officially announced the transformation of large portions of the DKBA into Border Guard Forces in September 2010; see, for example: "Border Guard Forces of South-East Command formed in Paingkyon of Kayin State," New Light of Myanmar, August 22nd 2010; and "Border Guard Force formed at Atwinkwinkalay region, Myawady Township, Kayin State," New Light of Myanmar, August 25th 2010.

[4] As of May 24th 2012, all conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on a rate of 818 kyat to US $1. This reflects new measures taken by Burma's central bank on April 2nd 2012 to initiate a managed float of the kyat, thus replacing the previous fixed rate of 6.5 kyat to US $1.