Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik Township and Win Yay Township, November 2016 to January 2017

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Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik Township and Win Yay Township, November 2016 to January 2017

Published date:
Wednesday, August 2, 2017

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Kawkareik Township and Win Yay Township, Dooplaya District during the period between November 2016 and January 2017, including development, healthcare, education and military activities.

  • On November 11th 2016, Battalion Deputy Commander Naing Lin Aung (Tatmadaw) from Light Infantry Battalion #31 ordered one of his soldiers to remove a school signboard and Karen national flag from the front of a self-reliant school in A--- village, Than Payar village tract, Win Yay Township, Dooplaya District. Following this, Karen villagers from A--- village felt that the Burma/Myanmar government does not want to recognise the Karen people and they said that Tatmadaw should not remove the Karen national flag from their school.
  • On January 15th 2017, Asia Eagle Company came to conduct a survey on a rocky mountain in B--- village, Sin Pyay village tract, Win Yay Township in order to construct a cement factory. Villagers from B--- village did not agree with the proposed cement factory project. However, Asia Eagle Company did not hold a consultation meeting with local villagers when they conducted a survey so villagers could not express their disagreement.
  • On December 12th 2016, the Strategic Operations Commander from Kyainseikgyi came to check Tatmadaw army camps in Kawkareik Township. When he came to check the camps, the road was full of security guards who were there for his security. Local villagers worried that fighting might have occurred when they saw a large number of security guards on the road.

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] For further information and issues and concerns relating to the Three Pagoda Pass-Thanphyu Zayet road please see, ‘Dooplaya Interview, Saw A---, September 2016,’ June 2017.

[4] P’Doh is a Karen title used when speaking of a member of Karen armed groups.

[5] The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) was re-formed on January 16th 2016 as a splinter group from the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (2010 – present), and is also referred to as Na Ma Kya (‘Deaf Ear’). During fighting between the Tatmadaw and DKBA Benevolent throughout 2015, there was internal disagreement within the DKBA Benevolent which resulted in a number of commanders being dismissed in July 2015. These former commanders then issued a statement in January 2016 declaring the formation of a new splinter group. This organisation has phrased the formation of this group as the revival of the original Democratic Karen Buddhist Army which was formed in 1994 until it was broken up in 2010 into the BGF and the still-active DKBA Benevolent. The group is led by General Saw Kyaw Thet, Chief of Staff and General Saw Taing Shwe aka Bo Bi, Vice Chief of Staff. Other lower ranking commanders in the DKBA Buddhist splinter group are San Aung and late Kyaw Moh aka Na Ma Kya (reportedly killed on August 26th 2016). The group is currently based in Myaing Gyi Ngu area in Hlaing Bwe Township, Karen State. This DKBA Buddhist (2016 – present) should not be confused with the DKBA Benevolent (2010 – present) from which it broke away in January 2016, or with the original DKBA (1994 – 2010) which was broken up in 2010 into the BGF and the DKBA Benevolent. Importantly, the DKBA Buddhist has not signed the preliminary or nationwide ceasefire with the Myanmar government whereas the DKBA Benevolent has signed both agreements.