Situation Update | Hlaingbwe, Nabu, Paingkyon and Hti Lon townships, Hpa-an District (May to July 2014)
The following Situation Update was received by KHRG in July 2014. It was written by a community member in Hpa-an 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 [covers events] between May 1st 2014 and July 1st 2014 and presents abuses occurring in Lu Pleh [Hlaingbwe], [Nabu, Paingkyon and Hti Lon] townships, Hpa-an District. There were no serious issues during this reporting period and the situation is as provided below.
The Burma government had planned to construct a highway between Lu Pleh [Hlaingbwe town] to Meh T'Waw [village]. But in 2014, they [had] only finished construction reaching to Klaw Ka Tee [village]. The road construction damaged some parts of villagers’ farm lands, but they [Burma/Myanmar government] did not give any compensation. When water flooded some flat paddy fields, the owners asked [the company] to dig a water channel, but some paddy fields were destroyed. The company that constructed the road is Chit Lin Myaing Company. This company does logging [in Hlaingbwe Township] too. In 2014, because the military took control in Thailand, the Thai military do not allow any logging exports [from Burma/Myanmar] into Thailand. Therefore, there are many logs waiting [in Hlaingbwe area for export and sale].
From May 21st 2014 to May 25th 2014, [all] Burma armed groups [active in the area: Tatmadaw, Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), Border Guard Force (BGF) and Karen National Union-KNLA Peace Council (KNU-KNLA PC)] gave awareness [information] to the [local] communities that drug consumption and sale would be banned and [must be] stopped in Karen [Kayin] State. The meeting was held in Htoh Kaw Koh village, Htoh Kaw Koh village tract, T'Nay Hsah [Nabu] Township, Hpa-an District. There was one meeting held on May 21st 2014 in Htoh Kaw Koh’s monastery and another time [a meeting was] held on May 23rd 2014 in K'Soh’s monastery, K'Soh village tract, Ta Kreh [Paingkyon] Township, Hpa-an District. Another meeting was held on May 25th 2014 somewhere in La Nay’s monastery, La Nay village tract, Lu Pleh [Hlaingbwe] Township, Hpa-an District. In Lu Pleh [Hlaingbwe] Township, the armed groups held two separate meeting in Lu Pleh [Hlaingbwe] Township, Hpa-an District; one was in T'Moh Ya village, T'Moh Ya village tract and another time in La Nay village.
On June 23rd 2014, after the armed groups met with the [local] community about drug awareness, ethnic armed groups such as the KNU, BGF, and Burma government military [Tatmadaw] collaborated and they went and destroyed drugs plants which were kratom trees in Noh K'Mler village tract, Hti Lon Township, Hpa-an district. [They] were grown by one group of Mon ethnic [villagers] who live in In Du [town], Mon State. They came and planted it at the bottom of Noh K'Mler’s cliff, Noh K'Mler village tract, [Hti Lon Township]. They arrested one owner and destroyed more than 200 kratom trees.