ONGOING SLORC LOOTING IN KAREN VILLAGES

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ONGOING SLORC LOOTING IN KAREN VILLAGES

Published date:
Tuesday, December 28, 1993

The following accounts were given by Karen villagers in a village which has just been looted by SLORC troops in Thaton District. The name of the village is omitted to protect it against being burned down by SLORC troops. The villagers' descriptions show the extent of the systematic looting being conducted by SLORC throughout the country, and the soldiers' utter disregard for human life. Many of the things taken, such as children's clothes, cucumber seeds and a baby's cradle, would be useless to the soldiers and are obviously being taken just to be destroyed or sold for money. Though it may be easy for many Westerners to laugh at the "trivial" possessions these people mourn the loss of, it should be remembered that these people have already been the victims of an intensive terror campaign by SLORC for the past year; these last few belongings are their only hedge against starvation, and cannot be replaced. Many people in this area are already dying of malnourishment and disease, with no outside aid. These accounts are typical, and are now happening in more villages every week. All of the villagers quoted are Karen Buddhists; many of their names have been changed. Almost all of them are women because the men have already had to flee the village to avoid being tortured and killed as suspected Karen soldiers or taken as porters.