Papun Interview: Saw K---, June 2012


You are here

Papun Interview: Saw K---, June 2012

Published date:
Friday, July 20, 2012

This report contains the full transcript of an interview conducted during June 2012 in Bu Tho Township, Papun District by a community member trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. The community member interviewed Saw K---, a 29 year old married father of two, who described the shooting of his friend Saw N--- by Tatmadaw soldiers from Hpah Hkeh Kyo army camp while out collecting truffles with another eight villagers in Bu Tho Township, Papun District. Saw K--- described how Tatmadaw soldiers were lying in wait and shot Saw N--- multiple times, despite the ongoing ceasefire. Saw K--- mentioned that this was the third expedition he and other villagers had taken to find truffles to sell in the same area, an hour's journey from their home at T--- internally displaced persons camp, thinking that they would be safe due to the ceasefire, however, on this occasion Tatmadaw soldiers opened fire, killing Saw N---. Saw K— also described his opinions on the current political situation in Karen State. This incident is also described in two yet unpublished KHRG reports.[1]


[1] The shooting described here is also referred to in two forthcoming reports from Papun District, received by KHRG in June 2012.

[2] 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.

[3] 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, "Papun Interview: Saw D---, January 2012," KHRG July 2012.

[4] In Karen, the Burmese phrases Na Ah Pa (SPDC) and Na Wa Ta (SLORC) are commonly used to refer to the Burmese government or to Burma's state army, the Tatmadaw. Many older Karen villagers who were accustomed to using the phrase Na Wa Ta (SLORC) before 1997 continue to use that phrase, even though the SLORC has not officially existed since 1997. Similarly, despite the official dissolution of the SPDC in March 2011, many Karen villagers continue to use the phrase Na Ah Pa (SPDC) to refer to the Burmese government or to the Tatmadaw; see: "Mission Accomplished as SPDC 'dissolved'," Myanmar Times, April 4-10th 2011. The term Na Ah Pa was used by the villager who wrote this report and "SPDC" is therefore retained in the translation of this interview.

[5] Saw K--- is referring to a nearby hospital in close proximity to where the interview is being undertaken.

[6] One lay is equal to one kilo. Villagers can sell one lay's worth of truffles for approximately 50 baht.

[7] Saw K--- is inferring here that while picking truffles he had decided to team up with two others.

[8] Unit of volume used to measure paddy, milled rice and seeds.

[9] For further information reported by KHRG of deliberate attacks on civilians please see All the information I've given you, I faced it myself: Rural testimony on abuse in eastern Burma since November 2010, KHRG, December 2011, pp. 24-29.