Situation Update | Bu Tho Township, Hpapun District and Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District (April to May 2013)
The following Situation Update was received by KHRG in July 2013. It was written by a community member in HpapunDistrict 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 HpapunDistrict, including one short update, five incident reports, 12 interviews and 38 photographs.
In this report I am going to write about the incidents that happened from April 27th 2013 to May 25th 2013. The places that incidents took place were A--- village, Ba Zun Myaung village tract, Bu Tho Township in Mu Traw [Hpapun] District, and the other one took place in B--- section, Myaing Gyi Ngu, a special area, Son Nant Tha Myaing Shwe Myo Daw, Hlaingbwe [Lu Pleh] Township, Hpa-an District in 7th brigade.
The human rights abuses happened in A--- village, Ba Zun Myaung village tract, Bu Tho Township in Mu Traw District. Ma C---, who is 23 years old, and her son, Maung D---, who is one year and six months old, were injured because of a BGF (Border Guard Force) grenade launcher. Also, the members of the BGF troops dislodged the posts and walls from the houses in A--- village that people did not live in and sold them. The other one is about Naw E---, who is one year old, and her little brother, Saw F---, who is 20 days old, who were injured because of the fighting between the DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddhist Army) and the BGF.
People who caused these incidents were the DKBA troops led by Bo [officer] Bee and BGF troops led by Major Saw Chit Thu and Major Saw Maung Chit and they committed the human right abuses. The reason that caused the human rights abuse is because some of the leaders of the DKBA and the BGF wanted to control the Myaing Gyi Ngu, which is a special [strategic] area, and their subordinates did not have enough salary.
The incidents happened like this. First of all I have to talk about the incident that happened in A--- village, on January 15th 2013, at noontime. Sergeant Saw Day Day, who was drunk, came into the house of Ma C--- (24 years old) when she was breast-feeding her child, and asked her if there was any gas and she answered that there was no gas. Then, Saw Day Day asked Ma C--- if he should shoot her and turned the head of a M-79 gun [grenade launcher] and its ammunition, a 40 mm grenade, went toward her and cocked it and then it fired in a few seconds, and hit the calf of Ma C--- and her son who is one year and six months years old, who was sitting on her leg. The grenade did not explode but it injured Ma C--- along her calf and injured the waist of her son. They sought treatment in Myaing Gyi Ngu Hospital and she received six stitches for her injuries and her son received three for his. Their medical fees cost 250,000 kyat (US $256.68) but the BGF Yae Thwe gave her only 100,000 kyat (US $102.67).
Again [another incident], in A--- village, Sergeant Saw Day Day and his comrades from BGF dislodged the posts and walls from houses that people do not live in and sold them and then [took] the money for their own use. Sergeant Saw Day Day and his comrades who are the subordinates of Commander Yae Thwe under control of BGF Battalion Commander, Major Saw Chit, Battalion #1014, which is based in A--- village, dislodged the posts and walls from the houses that people do not live in and transported it and sold it in Ka Ma Maw. The houses that the BGF dislodged are not ownerless houses. The owners are those who cannot labour for the forced labour [demands] of the BGF anymore and have moved to Mae Lah Oo refugee camp or Myaing Gyi Ngu to evacuate from [evade] the risk, damage and flooding of the Hatgyi Dam, the dam that will destroy the whole village if it is built and also for other reasons. But these people come back to the village very often. The BGF dislodges the [the posts from] houses when there are no owners of the houses [present].
Around the same time, another incident of theft and looting happened in A--- village by the same old man, Saw Day Day, a subordinate of Commander Yae Thwe. [Saw Day Day] plucked as many dog fruit as he wanted from the trees and then sold it in Ka Ma Maw city for his own profit. Some of the owners of the dog fruit [trees] are away from their plantations and some of them have moved to other places.
I also want to report about the two children who were injured because of the fighting that happened in Lin Lon Myaing section in Myaing Gyi Ngu city. The two children, who were injured in the fighting on April 27th 2013, were the son and daughter of U G--- and Naw H---, who are living in B--- section in Myaing Gyi Ngu city. The little girl’s name is Naw E--- and she is one year and six months old. The little boy is named Saw F--- and he is a newborn baby who is only 20 days old. A piece of shrapnel from a bomb [grenade] struck and injured the head of the girl and another piece of shrapnel struck through the ear of the little girl, creating a hole in one of her ears. Two pieces of shrapnel from the bomb also hit the back of the little girl. The face of Saw F--- was grazed by the shrapnel from the bomb and shrapnel hit his calf, creating a hole in his calf. This is the story of the children who were injured in the fighting in Myain Gyi Ngu.
These kinds of human rights abuses will happen in the future because the Thein Sein Government and his subordinate staff and privates on the frontline do not have good communication. The subordinates and soldiers of U Thein Sein [the president of Burma] do not follow what U Thein Sein is saying.