Situation Update | Kyaukkyi Township, Nyaunglebin District (January to June 2012)
The following Situation Update was received by KHRG in June 2012. It was written by a community member in Nyaunglebin District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.  This report was received along with other information from Nyaunglebin District, including five interviews and 133 photographs.
This year, from January 1st 2012 until June 16th 2012, because the KNU [Karen National Union] and the SPDC [Tatmadaw] were holding the ceasefire [negotiations], the [number of] human rights abuses decreased. However, they are still happening. The forced labour [of villagers] for building army camps is still happening, but a little less than before. It is not happening very often like before. The villagers do not need to be afraid as often and movement restrictions have become less severe.
However, the transportation of food to the SPDC-established militia is still occurring. Even though the SPDC established them [the militia], the villagers always had to give them [the soldiers in the militia] food. The SPDC army does not give them food. This has happened in Ta Hkaw Pga village tract, Koh Nee village tract and A--- village, which are located in Moo [Mone] Township. The villagers have to send food [to the militia] every month. For [villagers in] Ta Hkaw Pga village tract, they have to send eight baskets of rice, eight viss (12.8 kg. / 28.16 lb.) of fish paste, eight bottles of oil, and 41,000 kyat (US $41.54) to supplement [the soldiers’] income every month.
Koh Nee village tract villagers have to pay 35,000 kyat (US $35.46) and [provide] eight baskets of rice to the sentries serving for the militia. A--- villagers have to pay 14,000 kyat (US $14.18) for sentry, eight bowls of rice and 10,000 kyat (US $10.13) for monthly usage. There are 450 households in Ta Hkaw Pga village tract, 301 households in Koh Nee village tract and #--- [censored for security] households in A--- village. The villagers from these three places have to send the goods described above on a monthly basis to the militia.
The army camps that the villagers have to construct are Aw Law Say army camp, Kyoh Pay Hsee army camp and Thay Cha Hsee army camp. [Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB)] #599 soldiers are based at Aw Law Say army camp. The Infantry Battalion [IB] #92 [soldiers] are staying at both Kyoh Pay Hsee army camp and Thay Cha Hsee army camp. However, on May 24th , the IB #20 [soldiers] came to the Kyoh Pay Hsee and Thay Cha Hsee army camps to replace IB #92 [soldiers]. Currently, IB #20 is staying at those army camps.
Shwe Kyay [Shwegyin] Dam Update
Regarding the Shwe Kyay Dam situation, almost 30 cubits (540 in. / 1,370 cm.) of water have already been released. Because the water was released and people can see the ground through the water again, people who sifted for gold in the past have started to sift for gold again. Some of the villagers took the timber that could be found in the water and sold it for money. We do not know the exact reason why the Burma government released the water. In the past, they also released water but not as much as this year. We are not sure whether they want to take out timber and other materials that have drowned in the water. At the Ye’Nwe Chaung [Ye’Nwe River] they built a dam and later released all of the water to take out the timber that had drowned in the water. After that, they closed the gates of the dam again. For Khay Loh Kloh [River], they released the water for the purpose of sifting for gold.
For the Ler Doh [Kyaukkyi] Township situation update, there is a project [Myanmar Peace Support Initiative (MPSI)], in which the Burma government is going to assist IDPs [internally displaced persons] in Muh Theh [village], Kheh Der village tract. They have not properly started this project yet. Three white people [foreigners] went to Muh Theh on May 19th 2012 to look for a place [for the IDP project] and, after that, they came back to stay in Ler Doh. On May 28th 2012, the Norwegian Prime Minister went to Ler Doh. It is confirmed that they are really doing this project.
For army activity, the Tatmadaw [soldiers] are not really active and just stay in their army camps [near the villages]. However, they still walk around on the vehicle road. There is no other suspicious activity and during the dry season they started to collect their rations, bullets and some heavy weapons [re-stocking their supplies]. Currently, they are rotating the battalion numbers to stay in their army [camp]. Since the situation became slightly more stable, we have not yet seen any of their special activities [military exercises]. The soldiers are repairing their army camp, but currently there are no new army camps under construction. Moreover, they closed two army camps, which are in Hteh Htoo village and in P’Ya Lay Kon [village].
In the past, because of heavy rain and an unstable climate, the villagers could not grow rice and could not burn the hill fields; it was difficult for the villagers [to earn their] livelihood. As a result, most of the villagers have faced food problems.
Regarding healthcare, we do not have enough medicine. The people who live close to a clinic and who live in an area where the Back Pack Health Worker Team [BPHWT] is located, can still obtain some medicines. There are also some places where the BPHWT does not go. There is not enough medicine for the villagers because of the limited amount and the difficulty of transporting medicines.