Toungoo Interview: Naw Be---, January 2016


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Toungoo Interview: Naw Be---, January 2016

Published date:
Monday, February 12, 2018

This Interview with Naw Be--- describes events occurring in Htantabin Township, Toungoo District, during the period between 2012 and 2016 Including land disputes, increased freedom of movement and development needs in the community.

  • Naw Be--- discusses in detail the process of villagers acquiring loans from the Burma/Myanmar government, including concerns about not being able to acquire future loans if they permit the KNU to acquire the land.
  • Although the Burma/Myanmar government has promised to bring electricity to Bf--- village, the project was stopped because villagers could not pay all the required instalments. Some villagers have complained that the money collected to pay for the project is being kept instead by the village administrator and are now distrustful of development projects in the village.
  • Naw Be--- reports an increase in land disputes since the 2012 preliminary ceasefire between original land owners and current residents.
  • Naw Be--- also discusses increased freedom of movement since the 2012 preliminary ceasefire, female involvement in politics in the 2015 election, issues regarding taxation in the village and her vision for the future.


[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] 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.

[4] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the October 4th 2017 official market rate of 1363 kyat to US $1.

[5] Thara (male) or tharamu (female) is a Karen term used for any teacher, pastor, or any person to whom one wishes to show respect.

[6] 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. The signing of the NCA followed the January 12th 2012 preliminary ceasefire agreement between the KNU and Burma/Myanmar government in Hpa-an. Karen civilians and the KNU have more recently expressed their concerns about the lack of progress in moving from a ceasefire towards genuine political dialogue. See, KNU Chair Highlights Weaknesses In The NCA During Anniversary Celebrations, Karen News, October 2017 and NCA signatories urge govt to reboot peace process, DVB, October 2017.