Toungoo Field Report: January to December 2013

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Toungoo Field Report: January to December 2013

Published date:
Friday, August 29, 2014

This field report describes events occurring in Toungoo District between January and December 2013. It includes information submitted by KHRG researchers on a range of human rights abuses and other issues of importance to local communities, including violent abuse, landmine contamination, the loss of land and other negative impacts on livelihoods related to infrastructure and industrial projects, on-going militarization and a lack of access to education.

  • On June 26th 2013, Tatmadaw Infantry Battalion #30 Deputy Commander Major Hsan Htun violently abused a villager from S--- village, inflicting serious injuries.
  • KHRG did not receive any reports of landmine incidents that resulted in the death or injury of civilians or reports of the planting of new landmines in Toungoo District in 2013, but landmines planted in the past still remained in the ground, which restricted villagers’ freedom of movement.
  • On October 30th 2013, due to a leak in a dam near Swa Town, houses and paddy fields in and around nearby Toungoo Town were flooded, causing significant damage to livelihoods.
  • Villagers reported ongoing feelings of insecurity as the Tatmadaw continued to rotate troops and re-supply military bases, and established a new base near Klaw Mee Der village in Htantabin Township in March 2013.
  • Villagers also raised concerns regarding a lack access to education, as there were still no schools in some areas and teachers appointed by the government were reluctant to work in rural areas.

Footnotes

[1] Infantry Battalion (Tatmadaw) comprised of 500 soldiers. However, most Infantry Battalions in the Tatmadaw are under-strength with less than 200 soldiers. Primarily for garrison duty but sometimes used in offensive operations.

[2] Dog fruit, also known as jengkol, is a bean containing sulphur and a mildly toxic amino acid. It is native to Southeast Asia and is commonly eaten with rice and fish paste.

[3] This information was included in previously published KHRG report “Toungoo Situation Update: Than Daung and Tantabin townships, February to July 2013,” KHRG, January 2014.

[4] This information was included in an unpublished incident report from Toungoo District received by KHRG in August 2013.

[5] See for example: “Toungoo Situation Update: Than Daung and Tantabin townships, February to July 2013,” KHRG, January 2014.

[6] For examples of areas in which KNLA soldiers are unable to remember where mines were originally planted, which presents serious problems for removal, see “Toungoo Situation Update: Than Daung and Tantabin Townships, February to July 2013,” KHRG, January 2014.

[7] This information was included in previously published KHRG report “Toungoo Photo Set: Ongoing militarisation and dam building consequences, March to April 2013,”KHRG, February 2014.

[8] This information was included in previously published KHRG report “Photo Set: More than 100 households displaced from Toh Boh dam construction site in Toungoo,” KHRG, August 2012.

[9] This information was included in previously published KHRG report “Compensation for land flooded by Toh Boh Dam operations in Toungoo District, August 2013,” KHRG, July 2014.

[10] This information was included in a previously published KHRG report; “Toungoo Incident Report: Stone mining in Thandaunggyi Township, June 2013,” KHRG, August 2014.

[11] This information was included in a previously published KHRG report; “Toungoo Incident Report: Stone mining in Thandaunggyi Township, June 2013,” KHRG, August 2014.

[12] All conversion estimates for the Kyat in this report are based on the August 5th 2014 official market rate of 973 kyat to the US $1.

[13] Light Infantry Division (Tatmadaw); commanded by a brigadier general, each with ten light infantry battalions specially trained in counter-insurgency, jungle warfare, "search and destroy" operations against ethnic insurgents and narcotics-based armies. LIDs and organised under three Tactical Operations Commands, commanded by a colonel, (three battalions each and one reserve), one field artillery battalion, one armoured squadron and other support units.

[14] Military Operations Command. Comprised of ten battalions for offensive operations. Most MOCs have three Tactical Operations Commands (TOCs), made up of three battalions each.

[15] This information was included in an unpublished Situation Update from Toungoo District received by KHRG in December 2013.

[16] This information was included in an unpublished Interview from Toungoo District received by KHRG in August 2013.

[17] This information was included in previously published KHRG report “Toungoo Situation Update: Than Daung and Tantabin townships, February to July 2013,” KHRG, January 2014.