Incident Report: Two children injured from DKBA and BGF fighting in Hlaing Bwe, April 2013

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Published date:
Saturday, October 19, 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 described an incident that occurred on April 27th 2013 in Myaing Gyi Ngu town. U H---, the victims’ grandfather and witness to the incident, provided the information. He described how a stray bullet from fighting between the DKBA and BGF Battalion #1014 entered his house and hit his two grandchildren, one year and 6-month-old Naw S--- and 20-day-old Saw L---, while the siblings were sleeping and the elders had left the house to ascertain what was happening after hearing gunshots. U H--- spent 400,000 kyat (US $409.42) to cure his grandchildren, but the BGF operation commander, Major General Maung Maung, only supported him with 30,000 kyat (US $30.71).

Incident Report | Hlaing Bwe Township, Hpa-an District (April 2013)

The following incident report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.[1] This report was received along with other information from Hpa-an District, including five other incident reports, 12 interviews, one situation update and 38 photographs.[2] 

Part 1 – Incident(s) detail 

Type of Incident

Injury

Date of Incident(s)

April 27th 2013

Incident Location (Village, Township and District)

D--- Section, Myaing Gyi Ngu, Hlaing Bwe Township, Hpa-an District

 

Name    

Age

Sex

Ethnicity

Religion  

Family

Occupation

Village

Naw S---

One year and six months

Female

Karen

Buddhist

No

 

D---- section

Saw L---

20 days

Male

Karen

Buddhist

No

 

D--- section

 

Perpetrator Information

Name    

Rank

Unit

Base   

Commander

Saw Bee

Major

DKBA

Meh Th’Waw (Thai and Burma Border)

Major General Na Khan Mway

Saw Chit Thu

Major

BGF #1014

Myawaddy Town, Shwe Ko Ko

Major General Maung Maung Own

 

Part 2 - Information Quality

 

1. Explain the specific manner how you collected this information.

As a KHRG community member, as soon as I heard about this news, I went to T--- village where U H--- lives and I interviewed him. I interviewed him because he is S--- [the victim's] grandfather and the bullet exploded in his own house. Therefore, I interviewed U H--- about the abuse.

 

2. Explain how the source verified information accuracy.

Regarding this abuse, the information that is provided for us is all true because the bullet exploded in the source’s house and the children who got injured from the bullet explosion were his grandchildren. He described that, “We heard the sound of the gun and then, we went out of the house to check and my grandchildren were sleeping in the house. And at that time the bullet exploded from my house. If I was in the house, I would have also gotten injured.”

 

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 attach if needed.

On April 26th and 27th 2013, fighting occurred and there were some people who got injured from the fighting. The place where the fighting happened is D--- Section, Myaing Gyi Ngu, Hlaing Bwe Township, Hpa-an District. The fighting happened between the DKBA [Democratic Karen Benevolent Army],[3] which is led by Bo[4] Bee and the BGF [Border Guard Force],[5] led by Bo Chit Thu. They attacked each other in Myaing Gyi  Ngu town.

The people who got injured from the fighting are Naw S---, who is one year and six months old, and Saw L---, who is 20 days-old. The two children got injured while they were sleeping inside the house during the fighting. The elders went outside of the house to check the situation after hearing the sound of the gun and, at that time, a bullet went into the house from the roof, which landed exactly in the room where the children were  sleeping. We are not sure if the bullet belonged to the DKBA or BGF. Because of the bullet, the two siblings,  Naw S--- and Saw L---, were injured. Naw S--- was injured on her head and her ear, which left a hole. She also  got two wounds on her back from being slightly hit by a piece of the bullet. Saw L--- got hit on his face and his  calf. In order for his grandchildren’s injuries to be healed, U H--- went to Hpa-an Hospital, which cost him  400,000 kyat (US $409.42).[6] The Major General Maung Maung, one of the BGF operations commanders,  supported him with 30,000 kyat (US $30.71). Now, the children’s injuries are healed completely.

 

 Part 4 - Permission for Using the Details 

Did the victim(s) provide permission to use this information? Explain how that permission was  provided.

U H--- allowed us to use this information as it is needed.

 

 

 

Footnotes

[1] KHRG incident reports are written or gathered by community members in Hpa-an District who have been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. KHRG trains community members 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.

[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. For additional reports categorized by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s redesigned Website.

[3] The Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), formerly the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, was formed in December 1994 and was originally a breakaway group from the KNU/KNLA that signed a ceasefire agreement with the Burma government and directly cooperated at times with Tatmadaw forces. The formation of the DKBA was led by monk U Thuzana with the help and support of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), the name of the military government in Burma at that time. For more information on the formation of the DKBA, see "Inside the DKBA," KHRG, 1996. The DKBA now refers to a splinter group from those DKBA forces reformed as Tatmadaw Border Guard Forces, also remaining independent of the KNLA. As of April 2012, the DKBA changed its name from "Buddhist" to "Benevolent" to reflect its secularity

[4] Bo is a Burmese title meaning “officer.”

[5] Border Guard Force (BGF) battalions of the Tatmadaw were established in 2010, and they are composed mostly of soldiers from former non-state armed groups, such as older constellations of the DKBA, which have formalised ceasefire agreements with the Burmese government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry or light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers.  For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard Force” Democratic Voice of Burma, August 2010, and, “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.

[6] As of July 30th 2013, all conversion estimates for the Kyat in this report are based on the official market rate of 977 kyat to the US $1.