INCIDENTS REPORTED FROM KAREN VILLAGES

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Published date:
Monday, November 15, 1993

The following incidents and descriptions of the general situation were related by several Karen women and one Karen man, from villages scattered throughout Karen areas from Kyauk Kyi Township in the far northern lowlands to the area of Three Pagodas Pass in the south. Their stories include both the current situation and reports of incidents which have happened in their villages over the last one to four years; in their view, nothing has improved over that time, and many things have become worse. The SLORC's pattern of repression and brutality in Karen areas is only becoming more systematic and entrenched, and as these women point out, their villages have suffered so much abuse that they cannot even relate it all anymore. It is now almost impossible to find a family in their areas which has not directly suffered at the hands of SLORC.

The following incidents and descriptions of the general situation were related by several Karen women and one Karen man, from villages scattered throughout Karen areas from Kyauk Kyi Township in the far northern lowlands to the area of Three Pagodas Pass in the south. Their stories include both the current situation and reports of incidents which have happened in their villages over the last one to four years; in their view, nothing has improved over that time, and many things have become worse. The SLORC's pattern of repression and brutality in Karen areas is only becoming more systematic and entrenched, and as these women point out, their villages have suffered so much abuse that they cannot even relate it all anymore. It is now almost impossible to find a family in their areas which has not directly suffered at the hands of SLORC.

The names of those who testify in this report have been changed and a few personal details omitted to protect them. However, all the names and places mentioned in their accounts are true. In the case of the nine women mentioned in the first statement below, they are still being held by the SLORC; they are almost certainly being regularly raped by their guards, and their lives are in great danger. It is extremely urgent that international human rights groups take up their case immediately, and pressure the SLORC to release them. Their only crime is being associated with the Karen Women's Organization, which is not a revolutionary organization but a network of Karen women who work to improve the health and welfare of women and children in their villages. These 9 women should definitely be declared Prisoners of Conscience.

Please feel free to distribute, republish, quote, broadcast, or use this report in any way which may help free these women and all other villagers from further suffering at the hands of the SLORC.

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NAME: Daw Kyi Kyi                     SEX: F                     AGE: 49            Married, 4 children
ADDRESS: Kyauk Kyi Township, Nyaunglebin District

For many years I lived in Shwegyin Township, but now I live in Kyauk Kyi Township. In both places the SLORC's brutality has been so bad that I don't even want to tell it all, because it would only be repetitive. But I want to tell you about some things the SLORC troops do in Kyauk Kyi Township.

Last year on March 13, 1992, Infantry Regiment #60 commanded by Column Commander Lt. Myo Tin came to Taw Kyaun Bauk Village in Kyauk Kyi Township. First they grabbed 2 men, named Saw Ismael, age 32, and Da Mee Mee, age 30, and accused them of helping the Karen rebels. The men were beaten until their eyes, noses and their whole faces were streaming with blood. They were kicked in the face with army boots and punched.

Then the soldiers left them, and Sergeant Ba Kyi and his men captured 9 women and accused them of supporting the Karen Women's Organization. Their names were Naw Heh Say; age 28; Naw San Win, age 26; Naw Dah Dah, age 27; Naw Nay Blut, age 24; Naw Wah, age 29; Naw Kyu Kyu, age 23; Naw Hla Ngwe, age 20; Naw Tin Kyi, age 15; and Naw San Myint Htay, age 17. All of them are from Taw Kyaun Bauk Village, and all of them are single. Naw Heh Say is chairwoman of the Karen Women's Organization in the village, Naw San Win is the Secretary, and the other 7 women also helped the KWO.

They were all beaten brutally by Sergeant Ba Kyi. The soldiers burnt off all of Naw Heh Say's head hair, and then her pubic hair as well. Sergeant Ba Kyi raped her. She was also kicked in the face with army boots 3 times, and a soldier took off his boot and hit her in the face with that 3 times too. They also kicked her hard in the abdomen. Naw San Win was also raped by Sergeant Ba Kyi, hit in the face with an army boot 3 times, and they stabbed her in both thighs with a bayonet.

The other 7 women were not raped, but they were each lashed 5 times with a cane, then hit in the face with army boots 4 times each and also beaten. The women were then all tied up and taken away to Toungoo, 60 miles away, where the SLORC threw them in Toungoo Jail. For the first two days in jail, none of them were given any food or water. On the second day, the women's families in the village got a message saying, "If you want your daughters back, submit 10,000 Kyat per head and take them." Their families managed to raise the money by selling all their livestock and belongings, leaving them with nothing, and then begging money from all their relatives until they had enough. Then they gave the money to the Column Commander, Lt. Myo Tin, but the women were not released. The women's families were also told to bring food for the women, but when they got there all the food was taken and eaten by the warden and guards.

Now the women are still in Toungoo Jail. There has been no trial, and we get no news of them. We know they're alive, because their mothers have had a chance to see them once or twice, but it is impossible for their families to take anything to them because the guards just steal it all. Sergeant Ba Kyi told them that if they pay another 10,000 Kyat for each woman, they will be released. Their families have no more money, so they went to the hills and asked the KWO for advice, and were told that they should not pay Ba Kyi because he is lying. So now all of those women's families have fled their village and are living in the hills where the KNU controls. Many others in their village, which used to have 100 houses, have also fled, but many are still there.

Everyone in our area knows about this Sergeant Ba Kyi. He has raped so many women that he has become notorious. The worst time was in 1991 in Mit Ta Yah Kweh quarter of Kyauk Kyi town. A 7 year old girl child went around selling vegetables, and in the evening she didn't come home. Her parents went round everywhere asking and looking for her, and eventually they found her where she'd been raped by Ba Kyi, then just thrown into a swamp full of lilies. When they found her she was still alive but couldn't even walk. They took her to the hospital and she survived for a while, but later she died. All the villagers hate Ba Kyi so much they have often gone to the Karen Army and asked for a gun to kill him with, but they have not succeeded yet. Now whenever there is fighting in our area, all the Karen try to get Ba Kyi in their sights, but he is still alive.

Now in our area it is getting almost impossible for the villagers to survive. In the past the Burmese army stayed in the plains and the Karen army controlled the hills, so when the Burmese harassed the people they could run to the hills, clear a field and plant a crop. But now the Burmese troops come into the hills at clearing time and harvest time. Often when villagers in the hills clear land to grow a crop, they cut the trees and leave it all to dry, but then SLORC soldiers come along and burn the place before it's ready to be burned, spoiling it. Other times, they deliberately wait until harvest time, then come and steal or destroy all the crops. They do this constantly. Villagers have nothing but their farms, and if they can't harvest it's very hard for them. Now we can't grow any fruit trees or orchards either, because every year we have to run and stay in another place. Sometimes we can't even stay in one place for a whole year - only a few months or even a few days in each place. That's why the villagers have become destitute, can't buy clothes and can't even get enough food. They have to try and get just one or two measures [servings] of rice at a time, they can't even buy a whole tinful at once. We're very poor because we don't have enough rice, and we don't have enough rice because of the SLORC troops. People in the area have to stretch their rice by making rice gruel and throwing in bamboo shoots or whatever else they can find. Many children are malnourished, and people don't even have blankets or a change of clothing. Many children die; some women have 10 children but all of them die. I've had 7 children, but when we had to run to the jungle 2 of them got sick and died because we had no medicine. Now I've only got 4 children left. Just 2 weeks ago, a child in the village was suffering cerebral malaria, so we gave him a quinine drip. But we only had one, so we borrowed a second one from another village for him. After that, the child seemed much better, but we had no more medicine to give him so he died. There were also a father and son in the village, and the father was an invalid, so his son went out to earn whatever he could to support him. Whenever he got anything, he sent rice to his father, even though he often couldn't get enough. The father felt so bad for his son that last rainy season, about the time when we weed the ricefields, he hanged himself. Many people kill themselves now.

Whenever the SLORC troops need money, they look for the young boys who always watch their family's cattle, capture them and ransom them for 1,000 Kyat each. They always do this around Ma Bee Po, Ma Bee Doh, Wet La Daw, Thu Ke Bee, and Thaun Po villages in Ler Doh Township. They also force all the big villages to move into small villages, or vice versa, depending on which place is the easiest for them to secure. Then with all the villagers in one place, the soldiers don't have to be spread out to control them all. Then they occupy and fortify these places, and force the village to send them 10 women every 3 days. The women have to stay 3 days at the camp. In the daytime they have to cut all the firewood for the soldiers, and at night they have to do sentry duty. When these women come back the married women always say they've been raped, but the unmarried women don't say anything. They don't dare, because they're too shy; we know they've been raped, but they won't admit it. At Da Gela village there's a widow named Ma Win Sein, she has 2 sons. Her husband was a Burmese soldier. She was raped, and when the villagers found her in the forest 4 days later she couldn't even walk. They did that to her even though she was the widow of one of them.

The soldiers also force all the villagers to take all our rice and store it in one place. Then we have to go and ask them for our ration once every 3 days. They give us 2 milk tins per day for each family member [one milk tin is about 250 ml], but villagers can't survive on this much because we have to work very hard and eat a lot.

In late 1992 the SLORC was retreating from their attack on U Mu Hta at harvest time, and they passed through the villages. Some of us had finished reaping our paddy, but others were still doing it. As soon as we heard they'd be passing near our villages, we just ran away quickly, and couldn't take hardly any of our possessions. We ran to the jungle, and when they came to our place they stayed there and destroyed all our paddy. They camped 4 days, took some of our belongings and destroyed the rest. They slaughtered our pigs, chickens and goats. There were 3 rice barns near the place. They ate all the paddy in 2 of the barns, and took the paddy left in the third barn and just scattered it; they couldn't eat it all so they destroyed it. On their retreat the Karen army ambushed them and killed 37 of them. The SLORC troops didn't even bury their men properly; they buried some men 5 to a grave, others weren't even completely buried, and they just threw a lot of the bodies down the ravine among the rocks. Others were stripped of their clothes and just left by the roadside. They only buried their officers properly. When we came back from hiding we noticed a horrible smell. Then we found all the dead bodies - 37 dead bodies is a lot. They had even left behind a badly wounded soldier. When the villagers found him, they interrogated him and then put him out of his misery. With all the dead bodies, we couldn't bear to stay in that village anymore, and we had to move.

On October 29, 1992, three soldiers from Infantry Regiment #60, #3 Company came and said they wanted to surrender. Their names were Khin Maung Win, 23 years old from Nyaunglebin town, Maung Aung Htay, 23 years old from Rangoon, and Private Kyaw Kyaw, 18 years old from Butalin town. They said they defected because they were ill-treated and they couldn't bear to see the way the troops treated porters. They said in the operation just one month before they saw many porters die. They gave the porters only very little food and water; the soldiers deliberately put sand in the rice before feeding the porters, and as for water, each 2 porters were only given one sardine-tin full. They said the soldiers tortured elderly porters by making them carry very heavy loads, and when they couldn't carry anymore they just kicked them down the slope. The troops didn't care about their age or anything. They said they watched with their own eyes as soldiers stabbed some of them to death with bayonets or trampled them with army boots, and that they couldn't bear to do or watch this so they escaped and walked 4 days in the forest with no food to get away. They wanted to stay in the hills with us. Two of them are still there. Maung Aung Htay tried to return home, but he was captured by the SLORC army along the way at Daik Oo, and they killed him.

The SLORC can go almost everywhere in our area now, and they can get at the villagers, so whenever Karen soldiers attack them they take their revenge on all the villagers, and we suffer severely. Because of this, some villagers ask the Karen soldiers to please not attack the Burmese troops. But now, the SLORC troops are harassing us all so severely that many people also say to the Karen soldiers, "Why don't you attack them more? Please attack them - then we will die, but they will die too." It's getting so bad that many people just don't want to live anymore.

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NAME: Naw Ma Ree                     SEX: F                 AGE: 37
FAMILY: Married, 2 children ages 9 & 12
ADDRESS: Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District

On August 4 this year, the SLORC's 73 Battalion, #5 Company, which is commanded by Zaw Win Nai, ordered the village headman who they'd appointed for Ko Nee village to go to their camp, and when he got there they asked him to name everyone in the village who's involved with the KNU or the Karen Women's Organization. The commander beat him and hit him so badly that he was coughing blood. After that he answered all their questions. Then the commander and his troops went into Ko Nee village to capture all the KNU and KWO people there, but they had all got away. So they went into the village tract elder's house - his name is Pa Ghe Thay. They captured his wife and 2 daughters, beat and hit them and slapped their faces. His youngest daughter is about 8 years old, her name is Naw Kyi Paw. One of the soldiers ordered her to grab his penis, and then when she went over he just kicked her away very hard. She collapsed and was hurt very badly. After kicking her they left, went back to their camp and let the elder they'd tortured go back to the village. They ordered him to tell all the villagers not to have any contact with the Karen Army, and that in future if they know any KNU people are coming, they must report it.

On June 8 1993, SLORC soldiers went to O Shee Ken village because they had heard that there were some Karen soldiers there. But they didn't go to the part of the village where they'd heard the Karen soldiers were - instead they went into another part of the village and started firing their guns everywhere, shooting at the villagers. They hit a young woman named Naw Peh, the daughter of Po Pyu. The bullet hit her right in the forehead, but she didn't die right away. The soldiers wouldn't take her to a hospital because they said they'd heard that Po Pyu's children work for the revolution. So they just left her there to die and she died. The villagers took her body and buried her by Ler Doh hospital.

On October 6 this year, SLORC Infantry #351 went to Weh Shwe village. Their officer's name is Bo Khin Maung Oo, and he captured one villager named Da Nah Htoo. He took everything in Da Nah Htoo's house and all the houses around it: people's clothes, new clothes, things that they're weaving, everything. The soldiers also took everyone's chickens, and then took Da Nah Htoo back to their camp. They beat him very badly, then put him in jail and sent his name to their superiors. I don't know if they've freed him or not. When I left last week to come here he was still in jail.

The same thing happened on October 15; the same troops went to Da Kaw Bwa village, this time commanded by Major Sin Kla, went into people's houses and searched through everything. A man named Nya Ko in the village sells medicine, and he knew they were coming so he hid all his medicine under his house on top of the chicken roost. The troops searched his house, and when they went to take his chickens they found the medicine, as well as a cassette tape he'd hidden there. They took all the medicine, the tape and his chickens back to their camp, and when they listened to the tape they found out it was a tape of Burmese students talking about what happened in 1988. So they came back and beat Nya Ko. Whenever they find a tape like that they beat the owner. Then they took Nya Ko back to Mone army camp and sent a message to his wife to bring rice for her husband. They told Nya Ko that if his wife brought rice he'd be freed, but when she got there they wouldn't let her see him. She gave the rice to the commander, but he said "I don't want rice, I want money". Then they ordered the village elders to come, so they came and tried to vouch for Nya Ko, but the commander wouldn't listen. An elder went to Nya Ko in jail but the soldiers wouldn't let the elder see him - he could only talk to Nya Ko through the wall. Nya Ko said, "They beat me so badly that two of my ribs are already broken. At night I can't sleep, I only moan with the pain." The elder wanted to ask many more questions but the soldiers only let them talk for a minute. Then the elders had to leave, and later the soldiers killed Nya Ko.

Now the Burmese soldiers always come into the villages and order the villagers to give them rice and many other kinds of food. They never bring their own rations like in the past. Now they say, "You can feed the Karen soldiers so you have to feed us too." So the villagers have to pack rice for them; if 100 soldiers come then they have to make 100 packs of rice. It's very hard for them - even if they have no food for themselves they must do this. The soldiers do this all the time, it's their habit now. They never think about how hard it is for the villagers. We have no money but must pay porter fees to the soldiers or else they take us as porters. The soldiers also come and catch people as porters. Everyone's very afraid to go, so we pay 4,000 or 5,000 Kyat, whatever they ask so as not to go as porters. They also order us to go and stand sentry duty, but everyone is also afraid to do this so we must pay them to avoid it. Last year the SLORC troops came to our village, called all the women together and ordered every one of us to give them 5,000 Kyat. We didn't have enough money, but we had to get it and give it to them anyway.

The villagers have so many hardships, but we just have to suffer them, and can't do anything about it. Things are not the same as they were at the beginning of Four Cuts [the Burmese army's program to cut off support to the resistance by attacking civilians] in 1974. Back then if they suspected you of having contact with rebels they caught you, put a number on you and put you in jail. Now they have no jail, so they catch people and if you give them all the money they ask, they let you go. If not, they kill you. Even if they let you go, first they ask you many, many questions about Karen soldiers and torture you very severely. If you want to go anywhere, even if you have a pass they don't care, they can just catch you and kill you. Life is very hard and rice is very expensive so many people can't buy it, and some become so desperate that they go and become SLORC spies for money. The spies tell SLORC everything, so if you try to meet or organize anything they know right away, and they come and capture everyone who is against them. This is happening everywhere.

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NAME: Naw Seh Paw                     SEX: F                     AGE: 20
FAMILY: Single
ADDRESS: Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District

In June 1993 the SLORC came to K'Toh Tah village and burned down the whole village. They destroyed a church that had just been built and burned a lot of timber. They also destroyed a monastery. While some of them burned the houses, others went around robbing jewellery from everyone in the village. They stole about 2 pounds of gold altogether, consisting of earrings, necklaces etc. They captured all the villagers they could, took them back with them, forced them to work and ill-treated them. They seized the village headman, asked him a few questions and killed him. They found a green utility belt that he had, so they said he had some connection with Karen soldiers. But they don't need a reason to kill a man. The village headman was in his fifties.

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NAME: Naw Per Li                         SEX: F                 AGE: 40
FAMILY: Married with children
ADDRESS: Kya In Township, Dooplaya District

Four years ago there was a SLORC spy in our village, so the Karen soldiers came and killed him. The SLORC wanted revenge against our village, so because my husband was the headman they charged him with murder, working with the rebels, resisting the government, and stealing teak logs. All of these were false accusations, but he was arrested by Infantry Battalion 32 and put in jail. He was tortured by SLORC. They tied him, kicked and stomped on him and poured water down his nostrils. Then they covered his head with a cloth and a plastic sheet until he almost suffocated, and then the covering was removed. They kept doing this for more than a week, until he was vomiting blood, passing blood in his urine and stools, and starting to have convulsions. A doctor examined him and said his condition was critical, so they let him go to Seik Kyi hospital for treatment. There he bribed his guards and one night he escaped. As soon as he got home we all fled the village, and just after that the SLORC arrived and surrounded our house. When they discovered that we'd fled, they took and destroyed all our possessions and burned down the house and the barn.

That same year SLORC came to occupy Three Pagodas Pass, and stationed a company in Kya In Township, on the hill overlooking Htee Po Way village. Life became very difficult for the people in the surrounding villages. Every day 3 men had to go and work for them. The soldiers were afraid to come down from the hill to get water, so the villagers had to carry all their water up to them, a one hour round trip each time. We also had to cut firewood for them and take them their food, meat, cooking oil and liquor. Many villagers abandoned their farms and homes and ran away. Some villagers stayed because they knew they'd have no way to support themselves once they left their farms. So they stay and suffer the SLORC's ill-treatment. Now this year in 1993 the SLORC also came up towards T'Kut Kee village, and set up camp on Ka Lee Kee hill. Here again the villagers are forced to serve as a shield - to protect them and to serve them. People are running to other villages or places where they have relatives.

From April to July this year the SLORC built a bridge across the Ka Lee Kloh river. We don't know why they built it. They seized the village elders in Kya In and T'Kut Kee, and wouldn't let them stay in their villages. Every day they had to go build the bridge. The SLORC took them every morning and sent them back every evening. In June, before it was done, Karen troops came and burned it. It was only partly destroyed, but then the SLORC forced the villagers in the area to pay compensation of double the cost of the whole bridge, as well as being forced to provide unpaid labour to build it again. Villagers from Noh Tah Hsu, Kya In, Ther Ter, Kyaw Kay Ko, Meh K'Taw, Du Ker Kee, and Da Ka Kee villages are being forced to do this. Now they're still working on this, and the villagers are left no time to work to provide for their families. The SLORC has told them that if the bridge is ever damaged again, every villager will be shot.

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NAME: Saw Tha Kler                     SEX: M                     AGE:30
ADDRESS: Wa Raw Township, Dooplaya District

For the last four years, the SLORC has made life very difficult for villages along the road from Theinbyuzayat to Three Pagodas Pass. Some of these villages are now abandoned because when the SLORC came to occupy Three Pagodas Pass four years ago they killed many villagers, butchered their cattle and buffalos and robbed all their rice. Some villagers fled the area, but others who were more afraid of the uncertain future if they fled are staying on, and bearing the brunt of the SLORC's ill-treatment in silence.

When the SLORC was rebuilding the road from Theinbyuzayat to Three Pagodas Pass, they used Infantry Battalions Nos. 31, 32, 61, 62, and 106, all under the command of Operations Commander Thiha Thura Sit Maung. More than 40 villages in the whole township were forced to provide labour on the road and as army porters, and also had to provide all the soldiers' food, including pork, chicken, and liquor. The villages closest to the road suffered the worst. The villages affected are:


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Pah Prah
Noh Pa Taw
Noh Bu Law
Waw Taw
Noh Kwee
Lah Sha
Htee Toh Kaw
Pah Yah Hta Kaw
Pah Yah Lah Kaw
Th'reh Kyaw
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
Yah Thaw Ta
Waw Poh
Wah K'Nat
Kyauk P'Loo
Lay Day
Mee Yay Htaw
Doh Kaw Poo
P'Naw Kleh Kee
Wah Maw Lay
Koh Kaw
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
Lay Naw
Kwee K'Saw Kyee
Meh K'Wah
Htee Maw Keh
Meh K'Naw Kee
Kwee Hsaw Dee
Maw Khee
Noh Hsoot Neh
Hkaw Kla
Lay K'Teet Kee
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
Htee Kler Nee
Meh Klu
Kloo Th'Waw
Taung Dee
Myaing Gone
Noh Play
Maw Loo Taw
Noh Th'Waw
Ah Plone
May Play

Now the BBC radio and the Bangkok Post say that the SLORC gas pipeline will be built along this road. I haven't seen any pipes or foreigners yet, but the SLORC is using about 100 convicts to do forced labour on the road. They all have chains between their ankles, which are connected to a chain around their waists. I don't know which prison they're from. They have to break and lay down rocks, then a steamroller comes to flatten it. The Karen soldiers are harassing and attacking the SLORC troops in charge to stop progress on the road. In one fight, 3 convicts escaped and ran to the Karen lines, so the Karen troops interrogated them, then broke their chains and freed them. Now the work is still going on, but they're not accomplishing much because of the fighting. The Karen army has to keep harassing the SLORC, because if they stop then the SLORC is free to come and harass the villagers.

[Comment added by Naw Paw Eh, also from Wa Raw Township:]

As for the road that Saw Tha Kler talked about, I think the SLORC is working on it for two reasons. One is so they can log the large forest reserve that goes all the way from Kyo Waing to Kyun Chaung. It is so big you cannot walk across it in a whole day, and it is full of teak which the British planted almost 100 years ago. The other reason is to cut off the Karen army from the people. Once the road is fixed, more SLORC troops can move into the area and the army can easily transport their supplies and ammunition. Logging the forest reserve would also help them this way, because the Karen soldiers would have fewer places to hide.

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NAME: Naw Muh Doh                     SEX: F                     AGE: 56
FAMILY: Married with 5 children
ADDRESS: Kru Tu Township, Dooplaya District

The SLORC is very close to our village. Every month they make us pay 2,800 Kyat as "porter fees"; every village in the area has to pay that. As for their Asia Highway project [a project in cooperation with Thailand to extend the Asia Highway right through Burma], they demanded 40,000 Kyat from our village alone, and all the other villages had to pay too. We've also had to pay them 20,000 more for the road they're building from Chaung N'Kwat to Three Pagodas Pass. We have to give it to them; if we don't, then we can't stay there because they'll come and do very cruel things to us. The SLORC camp is only one hour's walk from our village, so they could come very easily. But as long as we pay the money they don't usually come.

In our area the SLORC troops are not as cruel as in other areas, but they can still be very cruel if they want to be; you just can't tell. Our village headman is very afraid, but they won't let him resign. They told him, "If you resign we will burn your village down." If they send for us and we don't go at once then they physically abuse the men. They say, "If you love the Karen you must also love us." We survive because we know how to answer them. You have to deal with them such that they can't get angry at you; you must be very humble. Only women can deal with them; if a man says something that displeases them, they will hurt him. We must be very frank and open; we say, "Children, don't go there. The Karen soldiers are there. We don't want to see you dead, we want to see you alive. Go back." They listen, and they are afraid too. This is how we can make them go away. But now that the rains are over, this coming month they will begin their road construction again, so it will be very hard for us again.

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NAME: Shwe Hla Mo                     SEX: F                     AGE: 24
ADDRESS: Wa Raw Township, Dooplaya District

On April 28, 1992 SLORC soldiers came to capture my brother and I at Noh Pa Taw village because I am in the Karen Women's Organization. We barely managed to escape, but a man named Kyaw Ree Dee was left behind. The soldiers seized him and thought he was my brother, so they poured two buckets of water into his mouth. Then they took him down out of the house, tied him with rope and beat him with a big bamboo stick until he was all black and blue. After that they took him to Lah Sha village. The monk, the village head and the village elders all pleaded with them to release him, but he was not released until a ransom of 5,000 Kyat was paid. On their return journey these same troops met a villager named Dah But from Noh Pa Taw. They seized him and beat him up, and he was only released after the villagers gave the soldiers 2 baskets of rice.

At Taungalay village, the SLORC seized Aunty Naw K'Net, because they'd heard that she was hiding ammunition for the Karen soldiers. They interrogated and beat her, and then they were going to pour a pot of boiling water down her throat - so she couldn't stand it any more and she confessed. The SLORC troops then stabbed her all over until the other villagers couldn't even bear to look at her anymore. Then they released her, and they found the ammunition.

As for Naw Aye Mo, her husband was shot by trigger-happy SLORC troops for no reason at all. Now she's left with two small children.

Now there are many bandits in our Township, including one gang of 300 robbers. The SLORC is now working together with them, using them to plunder and terrorize the villagers and protecting them from being punished.

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NAME: Naw Muh Na Mo                     SEX: F                     AGE: 31
ADDRESS: Wa Raw Township, Dooplaya District

The stories I will tell you were all told to me by the people who suffered these awful experiences. The SLORC troops that did all these things are from #106 Infantry Battalion, commanded by Thiha Thura Sit Maung, and one of the officers involved is Bo Myint Aye. These troops have seized many innocent men who had done no wrong and had no bad intentions. They torture these simple villagers using methods so cruel that we could never have imagined them in our wildest dreams. They use methods that do not leave a visible trace afterwards. One time they dripped water onto the villagers' palms and their heads, drop by drop, from morning until noon. They accused these harmless villagers of being spies, and then cross-examined them even though they are just uneducated farmers who have never hurt anyone. They led them to the cemetery with their hands tied behind their backs and their heads covered with plastic bags. But the monks and the village headman followed them and pleaded for the soldiers not to kill those innocent men, so they were led back to the village. The SLORC knew these men were not involved in any activity against them, but they were running out of supplies and did it as an excuse to get rice and other food from the villagers. They took the men to their camp at Loo Sha, and then the villagers had to give 6 baskets of rice [about 150 kg.] to free each of them. The three men who they tortured were Haw Hsoo, Mu Klu, and Aung Myint Sein, all from Ka Li village, Wa Raw Township.

I know a woman named Ma Ohn Kyi in Loh Sha village. In 1991 she was robbed by the same SLORC troops. Now I just heard this month that they stabbed her husband to death, leaving her a widow. In the same village, I know a woman named Neh Peh Peh; she has a daughter named Paw Gway who is in her teens. A soldier named Bo Ngeh Lay Tin went to her house one night and raped Paw Gway. Then he told her family and offered to marry her. The girl's family objected, but they had no choice but to let him marry her. That was 14 months ago. I know Paw Gway is very unhappy, but she was forced to marry this soldier. Now the SLORC is repairing the Theinbyuzayat road, so their camps are all along the road, and many more cases like this are happeni