Short Update | Don Yin Township, Hpa-an District (March 2014)
The following Short Update was received by KHRG in March 2014. It was written by a community member in Hpa-an 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 Hpa-an District, including seven situation updates, 1,080 photographs and one video clip.
Situation Update: March 18th 2014
I would like to report a situation update in the Northern part of A--- village, Tha Ya Kon village tract, Doo Yaw [Don Yin] Township (Township #4), Hpa-an District. It is about the confiscation of villagers’ land and the land of their ancestors. The people who confiscated the land are: (1) San Mya Aung; (2) an [unnamed Karen National Liberation Army] brigade administration official; (3) an [unnamed] officer of the KNLA/KNU-PC [KNU/KNLA Peace Council]; (4) KNU/KNLA-PC Headquarters Commander Saw Joe Set and his soldiers; (5) and a Mon [man], U Aung Mya, who is rich. The first person whose land was confiscated is B---; three acres of her paddy fields and seven acres of her plantations were confiscated. There were two bamboo huts in the plantation and they [individuals connected with the above mentioned five actors] destroyed both of them. They also threatened her with their guns. The second person is C---; three acres of his paddy fields and over five acres of his plantations were confiscated. The third one is D---; seven acres of her paddy fields and six acres of her plantations were confiscated. The fourth one is E---; four acres of his paddy fields and eight acres of his plantations [were confiscated]. The fifth one is F---; four acres of his paddy fields and six acres of his plantations [were confiscated]. The sixth one is G---; three acres of his paddy fields and six acres of his plantations were confiscated. They threatened the villagers with their guns many times. They also used aggressive words with the villagers. This village is located in the region of Tha Ma Nya [town]. There are [number of households censored for seucirty] and this village is [inhabited by] Pwo Karen [people].
The photos were taken on March 17th 2014 in northern A--- village, Tha Ya Kon Kyay Naing village tract, Hpa-an District. These photos show rubber plantations being cultivated on land that was confiscated from villagers in the area by KNLA/KNU-Peace Council soldiers. The name of the KNLA/KNU-PC officer who confiscated the land is Mya Aye and his commander is Saw Kyoh Seh, who lives in Htoh Kaw Koh village. The villagers have requested that their lands be returned many times, but the requests have been ignored. [Photos: KHRG]