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Published date:
Friday, December 17, 1993

The following testimony was given by a Karen Christian man from Thay Nyaw Chee village in Tavoy District, in southern Burma’s Tenasserim Division, where the population is mainly Karen, Tavoyan, and Mon.

I am from Thay Nyaw Chee village. My village has about 210 houses, altogether more than 2,000 people. It is in the SLORC-controlled area. SLORC soldiers come to my village often. Every time Karen soldiers have come to the village, SLORC soldiers come afterwards, to try to attack them. In the village, the SLORC soldiers always ask, "Who are the KNU [Karen National Union] spies?" They say the KNU has appointed 15 leaders in our village, and they ask who those 15 people are.

When the SLORC comes to the village, they call everyone to the meeting hall. Everyone has to go - only one person can stay at each house. This happened on September 4th or 7th of this year. Everyone was supposed to go, even the kids. As soon as we all got there, the SLORC called out some names from a list. Everyone whose name was called had to go forward and have his hands tied up. Then he was dragged outside by the soldiers. There were more than 300 SLORC soldiers, all from 404 Battalion, under Battalion Commander Myint Swe. I’m not sure where the names on the list came from, but I think they were given to SLORC by the men’s personal enemies in other villages just to get rid of them, or by informers just to get money, or because the villagers in Thrat village were angry because their pagoda was damaged.