Hpapun Interview: Saw A---, March 2017


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Hpapun Interview: Saw A---, March 2017

Published date:
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

This Interview with Saw A--- describes his concerns in Dwe Lo Township, Hpapun District. Saw A--- shares his perspective on the gold extraction project on the Meh Kleh Lo River which negatively impacts on local villagers by causing water pollution and damage to water channels. The interviewee also provides information relating to the situation of education in the village.  

  • A gold extraction project in Meh Kleh Lo River, B--- village, Dwe Lo Township, Hpapun District has damaged the villagers’ water channel system which consequently causes water shortage problems and polluted water for village and farm supply.
  • Child labourers were hired in the construction of a water piping system during the summer period when their schools were closed.
  • According to Saw A---, the local civilians are feeling disappointed about the gold extraction project because they are concerned that they may not be able to farm this year due to damage to their water supply.


[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] For more reports on the effects of gold mining in Hpapun District, see Hpapun Situation Update: Dwe Lo Township, “January to May 2016,” September 2016, and “Hpapun Situation Update: Dwe Lo Township, May to August 2016,”January 2017. 

[4] This process involves placing crushed ore into piles where a cyanide solution is poured over it to dissolve the gold and allow it to ‘leach’ out of the pile and also into the ground. This process risks contaminating the surrounding area and is heavily regulated by many nations.

[5] The Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), formerly the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, was formed in December 1994 and was originally a breakaway group from the KNU/KNLA that signed a ceasefire agreement with the Burma/Myanmar government and directly cooperated at times with Tatmadaw forces. The formation of the DKBA was led by monk U Thuzana with the help and support of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), the name of the military government in Burma/Myanmar at that time.

[6] More accurate information is not available as the interview was unsure on the exact treatment provided.

[7] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the 11th November 2017 official market rate of 1,364 kyat to US $1.

[8] The majority ethnic group in Myanmar, also known as ethnic Burmese or Burman.

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

[10] 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.