Short Update | Hpa-an Township, Thaton District (October 2014)
The following Short Update was received by KHRG in December 2014. It was written by a community member in Thaton District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor 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 one situation update.
On October 10th 2014, a KHRG community member met with a B--- villager who was involved in army camp repairing. Villagers from three villages were forced to make repairs to the army camp of the Tatmadaw Border Guard Force Battalion (BGF) #1014, in A--- village. The incident took place in Meh K’Na Hkee village tract, Hpa-an Township, Thaton District.
The KHRG community member saw villagers travelling on their way to work and spoke to them. The villagers said that they were forced to work for BGF Battalion #1014. The person who provided the information to the KHRG community member is a B--- villager who went to work at the army camp himself. The people responsible in the township also sent this information to the Karen National Union (KNU) via radio.
The BGF Battalion #1014 Company Commander Saw Htee Kyoo, also known as Tin Win, went and asked to meet with village heads from B--- village, C--- village and A--- village in order to make repairs to the army camp in A--- village. The soldiers forced villagers to make improvements to the army camp and demanded that each village should send ten villagers to work as labourers each day. The construction was started on October 7th 2014, and continued at least through December 2014. The villagers did not get any payment for carrying out the construction work. Moreover, it took place during the paddy harvest season and therefore some of the villagers, who were busy with the harvest, had to hire people to replace them, if they could not go to work at the camp themselves.