Incident Report | Lu Thaw Township, Papun District (March 2012)
The following incident report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security. This report was received along with other information from Papun District, including one situation update.
The Tatmadaw and armed groups, including the Border Guard and the DKBA [Democratic Karen Buddhist Army], are active in the area now. The KNLA [Karen National Liberation Army] is especially active in the area. They have had to actively protect the civilians to help them to survive and so that they can avoid doing forced labour for the Tatmadaw. The KNLA has taken responsibility for protecting the civilians.
The incident happened between March 6th and April 5th 2012 in Lu Thaw Township, Papun District. In the first week of March, four villagers who were returning to their homes in H--- village were trying to cross the Tatmadaw vehicle road at A--- [an area of forest near See Day army camp] after staying in P--- village, Kay Bpoo village tract. Two of the villagers were members of the home guard. The two home guard villagers were trying to cross the Tatmadaw vehicle road, which supplies the See Day army camp, in order to send the other two villagers to the other side of the road. While crossing the Tatmadaw vehicle road however, the Tatmadaw soldiers shot at them. The two villagers were relatives of the two home guard villagers.
The road they were trying to cross begins further north in Toungoo District, running from Kaw Thay Der army camp and Bu Hsah Kee army camp, and leads south connecting with See Day army camp, which is situated in Papun District. During the incident, one villager named Saw M--- died on the spot and another villager named Saw W--- was shot with two bullets; one shot struck Saw W--- at his waist and another bullet hit his hip. He was treated by a KNLA [Karen National Liberation Army] medic in one of the KNLA clinic's at L--- village in Papun District. The other two villagers escaped, as they did not get hit by any bullets.
Saw M--- and Saw W--- are cousins. These two villagers were serving as home guards for their community. After the incident, the other home guard members went to check Saw M---'s dead body. When they arrived, they found that the Tatmadaw soldiers were still waiting close to Saw M---'s dead body. After one week, the home guard villagers went to check for the body again. This time they did not see any Tatmadaw soldiers, but they found that the Tatmadaw soldiers had cut off one of his legs.
Five days before the incident happened, Saw M--- and some other home guard members were patrolling around to monitor the Tatmadaw soldiers presence in their area, and there was an encounter with the soldiers. A skirmish happened and some of the Tatmadaw soldiers stepped on landmines and died. The home guard villagers took one of the Tatmadaw soldier's guns during the skirmish.