Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw P---, October 2011

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Nyaunglebin Interview: Naw P---, October 2011

Published date:
Friday, May 18, 2012

This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during October 2011 in Nyaunglebin District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Naw P---, a 42-year-old flat field farmer, who described her experiences being forcibly relocated by Tatmadaw troops, most recently in 2004 from D--- to T--- relocation village. Villagers continue to face movement restrictions, specifically a curfew which prevents villagers from leaving T--- after 6:00 pm, as well as demands from people's militia and Tatmadaw troops for food on a bi-monthly basis following troop rotations, and monthly demands for a big tin (16 kg. / 35.2 lb.) of rice. Payments are also reported in lieu of sentry duties for the Tatmadaw. An incident involving the disappearance and suspected killing of a previous village head in the past was also mentioned. Relocation is reported to have severely undermined villagers’ food security; food scarcity in the relocation village has been exacerbated by the area being more highly populated, with less agricultural land available for villagers to cultivate or on which to graze cattle, and as a consequence they are forced to purchase the bulk of their food in order to survive.

Footnotes

[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 conducting interviews, community members are trained to use loose question guidelines, but also to 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] 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 Nyaunglebin District can be found in the Report, "Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Ler Doh Township, September to October 2011," KHRG, January 2012.

[3] Meaning 'People’s Militia': a militia structure into which local civilians are conscripted to serve in village or town militia groups.

[4] As of May 18th 2012, all conversion estimates for the kyat in this interview 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.

[5] 'Teacher’; Karen term used for any teacher, pastor, or any person to whom one wishes to show respect.

[6] ‘Female teacher’; Karen term used for any teacher, pastor, or any woman to whom one wishes to show respect.

[7] A viss is a unit of weight equivalent to 1.6 kg. / 3.52 lb.