On September 21st 2013, pyithu sit (people’s militia) member Maung B--- reported to a KHRG community member about the villagers’ situation serving in the pyithu sit in K’Per Hkee (Kyauk Lon Kyi) village tract, Kyeikto Township. On September 20th 2013, people from Kyeikto Township had to turn in their people’s militia membership cards to the Tatmadaw for renewal, which would extend their service time in pyithu sit. The people’s militia member from Kyeikto Township mentioned that they have served in the pyithu sit since 1988. After the ceasefire agreement between the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Burma government, villagers have explained to the KHRG community member that they no longer want to serve in the pyithu sit as service prevents them from sustaining their livelihoods.
People from Kyauk Lon Kyi village tract, which includes L---, M---, N--- and P--- villages, were given a total of 16 guns in order to serve in the pyithu sit when they were originally recruited in 1988. They tried to give the guns back in September 2013 to the Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion (IB) #8, but the Tatmadaw did not accept all of the guns. The villagers believe that this means there will always be pyithu sit in the area. Villagers paid the Tatmadaw IB #8 25,000 kyat (US $25.69) for each gun in order to return the guns. The IB #8 only accepted eight guns. Villagers are trying to think of ways to give back the other eight guns, but even when they offered to pay 50,000 kyat (US $51.39) for each gun, the Tatmadaw did not accept them.
In Kyeikto area, not only the people from K’Per Hkee village tract, but people from every village tract, including Naw Lah Hkee and Meh Lay Hkee village tracts, also have to serve in the pyithu sit.