Dooplaya Interview: Saw A---, September 2016

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Dooplaya Interview: Saw A---, September 2016

Published date:
Thursday, May 11, 2017

This Interview with Saw A--- describes issues affecting him in Waw Raw (Win Yay) Township, Dooplaya District, including road construction, bridge construction, education, health, livelihood and land titling.

  • In January 2016, an unknown company stated constructing part of the Asian [National] Highway from B--- village to C--- village. The company manager did not hold any consultation meetings with local people before the road was constructed.  
  • The Asian [National] Highway construction destroyed some civilians’ rubber plantations and betel nut plantations in the area between B--- village and C--- village. The plantation owners reported this issue to the local authority, Burma/Myanmar government and the company manager but they have not received any response.
  • Land owners in Kyainseikgyi Township are waiting to access Karen National Union (KNU) land grants after they rejected the Burma/Myanmar government’s plan to measure their land and provide them with land grants. The land owners rejected the Burma/Myanmar government land titling plan because of a lack of discussion before the plan was made.
  • Civilians in A--- village requested that any non-governmental organisation or other organisation working in their village should hold a consultation meeting with the local people before doing a project.

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeastern 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 conducting interviews, community members are trained to use loose question guidelines, but also to encourage interviewees to speak freely about recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important and share their opinions or perspectives on abuse and other local dynamics.

[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] Saw is a S’gaw Karen male honorific title used before a person’s name.

[4] U is a Burmese title used for elder men, used before their name.

[5] The Asian Highway Network is a United Nations Economic and Social Council for Asia and the Pacific-supported project that aims to link 32 countries in Asia across 141,000 kilometres of roadway. In Burma/Myanmar the project has involved land confiscation and forced labour. For more information about the Asian Highway Network, see “Beautiful Words, Ugly Actions:The Asian Highway in Karen State, Burma”, KHRG, August 2016; “The Asia Highway: Planned Eindu to Kawkareik Town road construction threatens villagers’ livelihoods,” KHRG, March 2015; “‘With only our voices, what can we do?’: Land confiscation and local response in southeast Myanmar,” KHRG, June 2015; “Tollgates upon tollgates: En route with extortion along the Asian Highway,” KHRG, October 2009; and “Development by Decree: The politics of poverty and control in Karen State,” KHRG, April 2007. In addition, fighting continues erupting between the Tatmadaw and the DKBA along the highway, with the latest clash erupting in early July 2015, resulting in the highway between Myawaddy and Kawkareik shutting down for several days, “DKBA, Tatmadaw fight over illegal highway tolls,” Myanmar Times, July 3rd 2015. 

[6] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the March 3rd 2017 official market rate of 1359 kyat to US $1.

[7] Tharamu is a Karen term used for any female teacher, pastor, or any person to whom one wishes to show respect

[8] A standard refers to a school year in the education system of Burma/Myanmar. The basic education system has a 5-4-2 structure. Primary school runs from Standard 1 to Standard 5, lower secondary school is Standard 6 to Standard 9, and upper secondary school is Standard 10 to Standard 11.