Hpapun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, November 2013 to February 2014

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Hpapun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township, November 2013 to February 2014

Published date:
Friday, September 26, 2014

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Bu Tho Township, Hpapun District during the period between November 15th 2013 and February 15th 2014, including violent abuse and tax demands by Second Lieutenant Hpah Tha Beh, also known as Saw Tha Beh, of Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1014.

  • On December 30th 2013, soldiers from BGF Battalions #1013 and #1014 who were under the influence of drugs threatened a villager by pointing guns at him.
  • On January 13th 2014, Second Lieutenant Hpah Tha Beh violently abused a villager after accusing him of failing to pay taxes demanded by the BGF, breaking the villager’s arm and demanding 300,000 kyat from him.
  • During the reporting period, the Tatmadaw supplied and repaired army camps.

Footnotes

[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 writing situation updates, community members are encouraged to summarise recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important, and present their opinions or perspective on abuse and other local dynamics in their area.

[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 categorized 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 Burmese government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry or light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers.  For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard Force” Democratic Voice of Burma, August 2010, and, “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.

[4] Commander Maung Chit, also referred to as Maw Hsee, is the commander of Tatmadaw Border Guard Force (BGF) Battalion #1014 in Hpapun District. Maung Chit is not to be confused with Maung Chit Thu (typically referred to as Chit Thu), who is a senior level BGF commander overseeing battalions #1017, #1018, #1019 and #1020 in Ko Ko, Hpa-an District. 

[5] See for example: “Hpapun Incident Report: Forced labour and violent abuse in Bu Tho Township,” KHRG, January 2014. http://www.khrg.org/2014/08/14-56-i7/hpapun-incident-report-forced-labour-and-violent-abuse-bu-tho-township-january-2014  

[6] All conversion estimates for the Kyat in this report are based on the September 9th 2014 official market rate of 968 kyat to the US $1.

[7] The community member who wrote this report also followed up with local villagers in the area to independently verify information regarding the incidents described, and did not simply rely on information provided by the KNLA.