Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Kyaukkyi Township, January to May 2017

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Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Kyaukkyi Township, January to May 2017

Published date:
Thursday, October 19, 2017

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Kyaukkyi Township, Nyaunglebin District between January and May 2017, including land confiscation, education, Tatmadaw activities and two killing cases which were committed by Tatmadaw soldiers.

  • Local villagers have been trying to regain their land ever since it was confiscated by Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #550, LIB #599, LIB #60 and LIB #351 63 years ago. The land is near A--- village, Mee Chaung Kone village tract, Kyaukkyi Township, Nyaunglebin District. While LIB #550, LIB #599 and LIB #60 have now returned the confiscated land to the original land owners, LIB #351 is yet to return their portion of the confiscated land.
  • Villagers from B--- village, Tha Pya Lar village tract, Phyou Township (Bago Division), Nyaunglebin District said that a newly constructed Burma/Myanmar government primary school in their village is of poor quality. Therefore, they reported it to the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Ethnic Affairs in order for them to reconstruct the school to a higher quality. However, villagers have yet to receive either a reply or support for the repairs.
  • On February 16th 2017, LIB #20 started construction of a road near Thel Phyu Chaung river, Kaw Pyin village, Mone area, Kyaukkyi Township, Nyaunglebin District. However, they did not consult with local villagers before they constructed the road, nor did they ask for permission from local armed groups. They said that they constructed the road for rural development although local villagers interpreted the construction as being for military use.
  • On March 18th 2017, a C--- villager named U D---, was shot and killed by Tatmadaw soldiers from LIB #589 at a gold mining site in Shwegyin Township. The leaders of the Tatmadaw and the gold mining company each provided one million kyat (US $736) to the victim’s family as compensation.
  • On May 14th 2017, an eight year old girl, named Nan E---, was held hostage and killed by a Tatmadaw soldier from LIB #598 at the army camp in C--- village in Shwegyin Township. The LIB #598’s Battalion Commander and Headquarter Commander each paid one million kyat (US $736) to the victim’s family.
  • As a result of these two killings in the same village, many villagers felt afraid and unsafe, and raised their concerns about the Tatmadaw army camp based around the village. They verbally requested the Tatmadaw leaders to withdraw the army camp from its location near the village.

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] 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.

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

[6] Nan is a P’wo Karen title used for females, before their name.