Toungoo Situation Update: Thandaunggyi Township, November 2015 to February 2016

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Toungoo Situation Update: Thandaunggyi Township, November 2015 to February 2016

Published date:
Thursday, November 17, 2016

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Thandaunggyi Township, Tounngoo District during the period between November 2015 and February 2016, including education, healthcare, social situation, economic and political and military situation. 

  • Myanmar government military (Tatmadaw) sent and transported more rations to their Tatmadaw army camp in the east of Thandaunggyi Township, Toungoo District. Tatmadaw tested their weapons near to the local village. Due to that, some of the villager’ gardens were destroyed and it made the villagers worry.
  • In Thandaunggyi Township, Toungoo District, some schools are very old and need to be fixed and rebuilt. Thus, the villagers tried to inform the Burma/Myanmar government in order to rebuild their schools but they have not received any support.
  • The local villagers reported health concerns as they did not want to go to the Burma/Myanmar government hospitals in Thandaunggyi Township if they were sick because some doctors only care for the patients who bring gifts for them. 

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeast 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.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in southeastern 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.

[3] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the 8th September 2016 official market rate of 1221 kyats to US $1.

[4] Round-table reading refers to a form of evening study whereby students sit around a table with a teacher and study together. It implies a less-formal education.

[5] KHRG has followed up on this information; Burma/Myanmar government health workers told pregnant women that they should not use local midwives. According to the local community, this was accompanied with the threat that if they did, they may go to jail.

[6] KHRG has followed up on this information. There was a personal disagreement between U Myut Tin and K--- U which resulted in U Myut Tin making a false accusation of child stealing against K--- U. This resulted in harassment for K--- U, including the Township Administrator requesting to see his visitor permission records. The accusation of child stealing has since been shown to be false.

[7] Kaung Myanmar Aung Company (KMAC) or Kaung Myanmar Aung Group of Companies is a Myanmar-owned business group with investments in teak plantations in Toungoo District, and mining, agriculture, shipping, construction and real estate development across Myanmar. Their chairman is Khin Maung Aye. KMAC have been implicated in land confiscation cases in southeast Myanmar which have included threats to villagers who were customary owners of the lands, see “Toungoo Situation Update: Thandaunggyi and Htantabin townships, November 2014 to February 2015,” July 2015. Affected villagers held protests against the company in 2015 and early 2016 in order to demand the return of their lands, see “Toungoo Situation Update: Thandaunggyi and Htantabin townships, November 2015 to January 2016,” July 2016. For information on a similar case with KMAC in Pyin Oo Lwin Township, Mandalay Division, see “Presidential adviser sues 13 farmers for trespassing,” Myanmar Times, September 2nd, 2013.

[8] See “Toungoo Situation Update: Thandaunggyi and Htantabin townships, November 2015 to January 2016,” July 2016.

[9] A viss is a unit of weight equivalent to 1.6 kg or 3.52 lb.

[10] Loh ah pay is a Burmese term now commonly used in reference to forced labour, although traditionally referring to voluntary service for temples or the local community, not military or state projects.

[11] Infantry Battalion (Tatmadaw) comprises 500 soldiers. However, most Infantry Battalions in the Tatmadaw are under-strength with less than 200 soldiers. Primarily for garrison duty but sometimes used in offensive operations.

[12] See “Ongoing militarisation in southeast Myanmar,” KHRG, October 2016.

[13] On October 15th 2015, after a negotiation process marred with controversy over the notable non-inclusion of several ethnic armed groups and on-going conflicts in ethnic regions, a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) was signed between the Burma/Myanmar government and eight of the fifteen ethnic armed groups originally invited to the negotiation table, including the KNU, see “Myanmar signs ceasefire with eight armed groups,” Reuters, October 15th 2015. Despite the signing of the NCA prompting a positive response from the international community, see “Myanmar: UN chief welcomes ‘milestone’ signing of ceasefire agreement,” UN News Centre, October 15th 2015, KNU Chairman General Saw Mutu Say Poe’s decision to sign has been met with strong opposition from other members of the Karen armed resistance and civil society groups alike, who believe the decision to be undemocratic and the NCA itself to be a superficial agreement that risks undermining a genuine peace process, see “Without Real Political Roadmap, Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement Leads Nowhere...,” Karen News, September 1st 2015. The signing of the NCA followed the January 12th 2012 preliminary ceasefire agreement between the KNU and Burma/Myanmar government in Hpa-an. For KHRG's analysis of changes in human rights conditions since the preliminary ceasefire, see Truce or Transition? Trends in human rights abuse and local response since the 2012 ceasefire, KHRG, May 2014.