Incident Report: Forced recruitment in Thaton District #2, May 2012

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Incident Report: Forced recruitment in Thaton District #2, May 2012

Published date:
Friday, May 31, 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 May 29th 2012 in Kyoh Moh Thweh village tract, Hpa-an Township, Thaton District, where a group of BGF Battalion #1014 soldiers forcibly recruited villagers for a people's militia. This report also includes information about the consequent problems the villagers endured related to this forced recruitment, such as having to pay money in lieu, or fleeing the area in order to avoid recruitment. In response to previous forced recruitment efforts, the community member reported that several villagers fled the area in order to avoid the forced service. 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[1]  Township, Thaton District (May 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
Forced recruitment
Date of Incident(s)
May 29th 2012
Incident Location (Village, Township and District)
B--- village, Kyoh Moh Thweh village tract, Hpa-an Township

 

Victim Information
Name
Age
Sex
Nationality
Family
Occupation
Religion
Position
Village
Saw M---
53
Male
Karen
Married with six children: eldest, 23 years; youngest, four years
Toddy-palm climber
Buddhist
Villager
B---
Perpetrator information
Name
Rank
Unit
Based at
Commander's Name
Moe Nyo
Platoon Commander
Border Guard Battalion #1014
Noh Hpoh Moh
U La Ba

Part 2 - Information Quality

1. Explain the specific manner in which you collected this information.
When I went to B--- village, I met and interviewed Saw M--- who lives in B--- village and he told me that he was forced to serve as [a soldier in the] people's militia and he told me, step-by-step, about how it happened for him to serve in the people's militia.
2. Explain how the source verified information accuracy.
For this information, Saw M---, a B--- villager, who has to go and serve as [a soldier in the] people's militia, was asked to go and serve in the people's militia by Kyoh Moh Thweh village tract leader, Saw N---. He refused to go but Saw N--- told him that if he didn't go, he would need to give 50,000 kyat (US $58.07)[4]  for each month [of non-service].

PART 3 – Incident Details

Describe the Incident(s) in complete detail. For each incident, be sure to include 1) when the incident happened, 2) where it happened, 3) what happened, 4) how it happened, 5) who was involved, and 6) why it happened. Also describe any villager response(s) to the incident, the aftermath and the current living situation of the victims. Please use the space prepared below and create an attachment if needed.
On May 29th 2012, a group from the Border Guard, which is based in Noh Hpoh Moh village and led by Moe Nyo, called a meeting in Noh Hpoh Moh and ordered the village leaders to recruit soldiers for a people's militia. A village leader, Saw N---, who attended the meeting, reported that each village had to give five people, and if they can't give people, they have to give 50,000 [kyat] (US $58.07) for each month. On June 2nd 2012, I went and interviewed a B--- villager, Saw M---, who was going to serve in the people's militia. He said that he didn't want to be [a soldier] and he also couldn't give the money that he had to give. He said that there was only one option left, which is to leave the village. The people who have to go are Saw U---, Saw F---, Saw H---, Saw S--- and Saw J---. None of the people included in the list of names want to be [soldiers]. They also don't have money to pay [in lieu]. Therefore, this is the biggest problem for the villagers to solve. Most of the villagers make their living by flat field farming, hill field farming, and live from hand to mouth; they have to try hard for their family's daily food. There is no work [opportunity] for them to earn money, but only working for daily wages; they can't get these jobs all the time. It is very difficult for the villagers to face this situation. Related to this situation, in 2011, Saw V---, Saw Y---, Saw W---and Saw T--- fled because they dared not to go [to be a soldier], and also couldn't give money [in lieu].

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 have 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. This abuse was also documented in another Incident Report and submitted to KHRG. See "Incident Report: Forced recruitment in Thaton District #1, May 2012," KHRG, May 2013.

[4]  As of March 4th 2013, all conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the official market rate of 861 kyat to the 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.