Situation Update | Bilin Township, Thaton District (May 2014)
The following Situation Update was received by KHRG in July 2014. It was written by a community member in Thaton District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor local 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 Thaton District, including three interviews and 55 photographs. 
I went to Bilin Township during a field trip; the information mentioned below is [about] the problems that the villagers face and their concerns.
Villagers and their livelihoods
The villagers in the eastern part of Bilin Township mostly do farming. In doing this work for their livelihoods I saw that they have to face problems with other vegetation [weeds, etc]. They bought chemical weed killer to kill them but it did not kill all the weeds. Moreover, the weeds [started] coming up more than they were before, so that they have to face problems and struggle hard with cutting the weeds. The villagers in the lower part [of Bilin Township] mostly do paddy farming for their livelihoods and after harvesting they also farm corn, beans or other kinds of crops in farms close to the Baw Naw Kloh riverside. Some people grow fruits and vegetables and they sell them for their livelihoods.
In our Bilin Township there are three clinics called Ta Meh Hkee, Ta Meh Hta and Meh Naw Ther from our mother organisation [the KNU], and for these three clinics most people [patients] come from the upper part of Bilin Township. The villagers that we usually see from Baw Naw Hkee to Noh Ber Baw villages and Wa Kheh Hta village, during April and May we saw that those villagers had to face malaria. Also, the villagers from Htee Hpa Doh Hta and the villages in the lower part [of Bilin Township], in those villages, there are a few more female medics than in other villages. These female medics study [medicine] in the towns and other places and when they are well educated they go back to their villages and take care of the patients in their own villages. For these villagers, for any diseases they face that cannot be treated in the villages, they go to the towns.
In Bilin Township there are two high schools, [one of which is] called Karen Thoo Lei High School also known as Kwee Lay High school. In this school most male and female teachers are from the [Karen Education Department affiliated] KTTC [Karen Teacher Training College], and after they graduate from the KTTC, they teach at Kwee Lay High School. These male and female teachers get paid a salary of over 100,000 kyat (US $100.60) per year. These teachers do not complain [about the small salary]; they try to teach as well as they can for the love of their people. As for Lay Kay High School, it is just like a Burma government school because the teachers from the Burma government teach in this school, and these teachers receive a full monthly salary.
This is a biannual situation update. The information that I mentioned above, I have seen it and know that the villagers had to suffer and that teachers [in the area] receive support from different sources.