Hpapun Interview: Saw A---, October 2013


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Hpapun Interview: Saw A---, October 2013

Published date:
Friday, September 12, 2014

This Interview with Saw A--- describes human rights abuses occurring in Hpapun District during October 2013 and earlier periods, including the subjection of villagers to forced labour by members of the Border Guard Force (BGF). Saw A--- also describes improvements in local conditions since the signing of the 2012 ceasefire between the Burma/Myanmar government and the KNU.

  • Local villagers were forced to perform periodic sentry and other kinds of duty at a local BGF camp without pay.
  • Since the signing of the 2012 ceasefire between the Burma/Myanmar government and the KNU, local villagers have been subjected to fewer instances of forced labour, have experienced fewer restrictions on their freedom of movement and landmine explosions, and experience less anxiety related to active armed conflict then in the past.


[1] KHRG trains community members in eastern Burma/Myanmar to document individual human rights abuses using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When conducting interviews, community members are trained to use loose question guidelines, but also to encourage interviewees to speak freely about recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important and share their opinions or perspectives on abuse and other local dynamics.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in eastern Burma/Myanmar, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s Website.

[3] Border Guard Force (BGF) battalions of the Tatmadaw were established in 2010, and they are composed mostly of soldiers from former non-state armed groups, such as older constellations of the DKBA, which have formalised ceasefire agreements with the Burma/Myanmar government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry battalions are assigned two digit battalion numbers and light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers.  For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard ForceDemocratic Voice of Burma, August 2010, and, “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.

[4] All conversion estimates for the Kyat in this report are based on the 19th August 2014 official market rate of 973 kyat to the US $1.

[5] A big tin is a unit of volume used to measure paddy, milled rice and seeds. One big tin is equivalent to 10.45 kg. or 23.04 lb. of paddy, and 16 kg. or 35.2 lb. of milled rice.

[6] A viss is a unit of weight equivalent to 1.6 kg. or 3.52 lb.

[7] A basket is a unit of volume used to measure paddy, milled rice and seeds. One basket is equivalent to 20.9 kg. or 46.08 lb. of paddy, and 32 kg. or 70.4 lb. of milled rice.