Thaton Situation Update: Hpa-an Township, January to June 2014

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Thaton Situation Update: Hpa-an Township, January to June 2014

Published date:
Thursday, October 30, 2014

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Hpa-an Township, Thaton District between January and June 2014, including the activity of military actors, infrastructure and industrial development activities conducted by private companies, non-governmental organisations (NGO) activities, education and healthcare.

  • Battalion #1014 of the Border Guard Force (BGF) built a military camp in Hpah Paw village, Weh Pyah village tract on February 4th 2014.
  • The Soe Naing Phyo Company had intended to build a cement factory in Meh Ka Raw village, but after negotiations with local Karen National Union (KNU) authorities the project was halted due to objections from local villagers. Similarly, the Mi Zaing Taung Company had a plan to build hospitals and schools in some mountain villages, but after consulting the KNU were not granted permission to proceed with the construction.
  • Villagers reported a lack of coordination between the Burma/Myanmar government and KNU affiliated local authorities’ efforts to provide education services in the district.
  • Poor coordination was also reported in the healthcare sector, as government health care workers came into conflict with NGO staff engaged in the distribution of medicine to local communities.

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. 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.

[2] 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 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.

[3] The Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), formerly the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, was formed in December 1994 and was originally a breakaway group from the KNU/KNLA that signed a ceasefire agreement with the Burma/Myanmar government and directly cooperated at times with Tatmadaw forces. The formation of the DKBA was led by monk U Thuzana with the help and support of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), the name of the military government in Burma/Myanmar at that time. For more information on the formation of the DKBA, see "Inside the DKBA," KHRG, 1996. The DKBA now refers to a splinter group from those DKBA forces reformed as Tatmadaw Border Guard Forces, also remaining independent of the KNLA. As of April 2012, the DKBA changed its name from "Buddhist" to "Benevolent" to reflect its secularity.

[4] The researcher did not clarify which organization this refers to.

[5] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the October 7th 2014 official market rate of 990 kyat to the US $1.