Incident Report: Forced labour in Thaton District, April 2012

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Incident Report: Forced labour in Thaton District, April 2012

Published date:
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The following incident report was written by a community member who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights abuses. The community member who wrote this report described an incident that occurred on April 24th 2012, where soldiers from BGF Battalion #1014 ordered the villagers of T---, W---, V--- and X---, in Hpa-an [1] Township, Thaton District, to do forced labour on plantation land that they had confiscated for private companies, for three weeks without providing any pay, food or tools. The information was learned when the community member interviewed Saw B---, a 36 year-old chairman from W--- village. This report has been summarized along with three other Incident Reports received from this area in: "BGF Battalion #1014 forced labour and forced recruitment, April to May 2012," KHRG, May 2013.

Incident report | Hpa-an Township, Thaton District (April 2012)

The following incident report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.[2]  This report was received along with other information from Thaton District, including four other incident reports, five interviews, one situation update and 139 photographs.[3] 


Part 1 – Incident details


Type of Incident
Clearing bushes in rubber and teak plantations
Date of Incident(s)
April 24th 2012
Incident Location (Village, Township and District)
T--- village, Ha T'Reh village tract, Meh K'Na village tract, Hpa-an Township

 

Victim Information
Name
Age
Sex
Nationality
Family
Occupation
Religion
Position
Village
Saw B---
38
Male
Karen
6 children (eldest child, 12 years, youngest child, 3 months)
Farmer
Buddhist
Village chairman
W--- village

 

Perpetrator information
Name
Rank
Unit
Based at
Commander's Name
Thaw Ma Na
Company second-in-command
Battalion #1014
Law Pu village
Myint Way
Tin Win
Company Commander
     
Thein Lay Myaing Company
       

 


Part 2 - Information Quality


1. Explain the specific manner in which you collected this information.
For this information, I went and interviewed the W--- village leader, Saw B---, in T--- village on June 4th 2012. While I was asking the questions, he told me about how the company[4]  and the Border Guard came in and confiscated 500 acres of land for plantations, and they forced the villagers to go and clear the bushes for them. They required each house to go and work for three weeks without any wages.

 

2. Explain how the source verified information accuracy.
Saw B--- and Naw S--- reported this, because the villagers from T---, W---, V--- and X--- villages had to go and work for the company and the Border Guard #1014, but they did not get any wages. Additionally, they had to bring their own food and their own equipment.

Footnotes

[1]  As of January 2013, KHRG began to use the common spelling for "Hpa-an" District to reflect the standardized transliteration developed in 2012; past KHRG reports used "Pa'an."

[2]  KHRG incident reports are written or gathered by community member in Thaton District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. KHRG trains community member in eastern Burma to document individual incidents of abuse 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 incident reports, community members are encouraged to document incidents of abuse that they consider to be important, by verifying information from multiple sources, assessing for potential biases and comparing to local trends.

[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 2013. An Incident Report involving Battalion #1014 abuses against Saw B---, a 38 year-old man from W--- village, was submitted with this Incident Report and is published as "Incident Report: Forced Labour in Thaton District, April 2012," KHRG, May 2013. These incidents were also reported in a Situation Update submitted by this community member. For more information on trends in land confiscation, as well as the relationships between development companies and the Tatmadaw, see Losing Ground: Land conflicts and collective action in eastern Myanmar, KHRG, March 2013.

[4]  In this Incident Report, the names of the companies are not stated. However, in the Incident Report for Naw S---, the community member reported that the company names are Thein Lay Myaing and Shwe Than Lwin.