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Photo Set of Toungoo, Nyaunglebin, Mergui-Tavoy and Dooplaya: Road construction in four districts and villagers concerns

Published:
25th September 2017

This Photo Set illustrates road construction documented between December 2016 and March 2017 across four districts in KHRG research areas of southeast Myanmar. The roads are constructed by the Myanmar government, Tatmadaw and private companies, the names of some companies are unknown. Although road construction is part of a series of development projects initiated to improve the country’s infrastructure, many local villagers still hold negative opinions about the road construction due to the destruction of their land and plantations during construction. Villagers also are concerned that the road constructions have been implemented without proper consultation or compensation. In addition, when road construction has been implemented by the Tatmadaw, villagers have not dared to complain or ask for compensation even though they are not happy with the negative impacts of the road construction. 

Photo Set | Toungoo, Nyaunglebin, Mergui-Tavoy and Dooplaya districts (December 2016 to March 2017)

The following photos were taken by community members in Toungoo, Nyaunglebin, Mergui-Tavoy and Dooplaya districts, who have been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. They are presented below, censored where necessary for security purposes.[1]The 22 photos below were received along with other information from Toungoo, Nyaunglebin, Mergui-Tavoy and Dooplaya districts including other photos, video clips, interviews and a general update on the situation.[2]

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeast Burma/Myanmarto 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.

[2] This Photo Set was compiled by KHRG office staff and is based on information from a community member from Toungoo, Nyaunglebin, Mergui-Tavoy and Dooplaya districts, who have been trained by KHRG to monitor local human rights conditions.In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in southeast 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 September 15th 2017 official market rate of 1,353 kyat to US $1.

[4]  Bo is a Burmese title meaning ‘officer.’

[5] Htanay Phyithu Sitt A’pweh, or ‘Thaundaung Peace Group’, is a local militia located in Toungoo District. The group split from the Karen National Union in 1997 and was initially led by Khe R’Mun. Reports from the field claim that they are currently led by General Bo Than Myin, have around 300 troops stationed at Base (Battalion Commander Bo Kyaw Win), in Township, and an additional 40 soldiers at Pya Sa Khan Base (Battalion Commander Khin Maung Lwin), near Thandaung town. It has been reported that they control a number of different illicit operations, including gambling and black market car licencing.  They are also allegedly employed as security personnel by local companies and wealthy individuals involved in logging and mineral resource extraction, in addition to having direct involvement in the lumber and mineral business. Htanay Phyithu Sitt A’pweh should not be confused with Nyein Chan Yay A’pweh, which is occasionally translated as Peace Group but refers to the Karen Peace Army (KPA), aka the Karen Peace Force (KPF). Nor should it be conflated with Aye Chan Yay, another small militia group also operating in Toungoo District that the Thaundaung Peace Group has come into conflict with. It is also distinct from the KNU/KNLA-Peace Council, which is also sometimes translated as ‘Peace Group’.

 [6] Ko is a Burmese title meaning older brother. It can be used for relative as well as non-relative.

[7] See more information related to Thanpyuzayat-Three Pagodas Pass road at: “Dooplaya Interview: Saw A---, September 2016”, KHRG, June 2017.

 

 

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