Situation Update | Ler Muh Lah Township, Mergui-Tavoy District (November 2015 to January 2016)
The following Situation Update was received by KHRG in March 2016. It was written by a community member in Mergui-Tavoy 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.
I would like to report on the situation in Ler Muh Lah Township. The subjects are the situation of Tatmadaw [activity], the civilian situation, healthcare and education.
Situation of the Tatmadaw
After the [2012 preliminary] ceasefire, there have been no problems in Ler Muh Lah Township. The Tatmadaw organised [military] training in the whole of Ta Naw Th’Ree Region. In Ler Muh Lah Township, they came to organise [military] training in P’Soh Oo village and near P’Nweh Hpoh Kloh village, P’Law area [village tract]. There are also training buildings [in these places]. Whenever they patrolled [as part of military operations], they patrolled in the [above] villages. The training lasted for three months from November  to January 2016. On January 7th 2016, they [the Tatmadaw] transported their rations by 20 military trucks. They went through K’Hsaw Hpoh Yweh Ler Hpa Doh [village] road and Yeh Wah [village] mountain road to Naw Teh [village army camp].
Situation of civilians
In Ler Muh Lah Township, the main occupations of the villagers for their livelihoods are working on hill farming, plain farming, plantation farming, breeding animals and [other types of] agriculture. Since there was unusual rain [for the season] this year, the insects destroyed the paddy, which caused much difficulty for the civilians. Because of the flooding, the place [working land] for livelihoods had been destroyed. A Bamar village was burnt in Ler Muh Lah Township so they faced many things [problems]. The surrounding villagers provided them with support.
Situation of healthcare
In Ler Muh Lah Township, a clinic was built in Toh Teh Hta village, in the upper part of Htee Moh Pwa area [village tract] [by the KNU] in the KNU side [KNU-controlled area]. The surrounding villagers come to have medical check-ups at the clinic if they have any [health] problems. This benefits them so much. It benefits the IDPs [Internally Displaced Persons] and the mountainous people so much. The [Burma/Myanmar] government also set up a number of clinics in Karen villages [in Ler Muh Lah Township]. It also brings benefit [to the villagers]. However, the problem is that the villagers do not have enough money to pay for the medicine. The KNU’s clinic is free but the [Burma/Myanmar] government’s clinic is not free. That is the difference.
Regarding education in Ler Muh Lah Township, the KNU built schools and the [Burma/Myanmar] government built vocational schools. The KNU has three schools which are Ta Muh Ta Hkuh school, Htaw Kweh Soh [village] school, and Toh Teh Hta [village] school. Ta Muh Ta Hkuh school and Haw Kweh Soh [village] school have four standards and Toh Teh Hta [village] school has ten standards. Since the schools have been built, they bring so much benefit to those who could not previously send their children to school and to the mountainous people. The KNU schools’ teachers have to attend training for one month each year. In [Burma/Myanmar] government controlled-areas, there is a school in every Karen village. The [Burma/Myanmar] government also set up vocational schools in Karen villages. I see that Karen people are able to teach and learn the Karen language in [Burma/Myanmar] government schools and they are also able to learn how to weave Karen clothes. KNU teachers recorded the number of Karen schools and they provided books and school materials [to the KNU schools] but there are not enough [for all of the schools].
As mentioned above, I have reported about the situation of the Tatmadaw, the situation of the civilians, and healthcare and education in Ler Muh Lah Township.