Mergui-Tavoy Situation Update: Ler Doh Soh Township and K’Ser Doh Township, February to April 2017

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Mergui-Tavoy Situation Update: Ler Doh Soh Township and K’Ser Doh Township, February to April 2017

Published date:
Thursday, February 8, 2018

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Ler Doh Soh Township and K’Hser Doh Township, Mergui-Tavoy District during the period between February and April 2017, including roads and transportation, education, healthcare, communication, logging, military activity and arbitrary land confiscation by private companies.

  • Villagers in K’Mo Thway area and Kleh Mu Hti area, Mergui-Tavoy District, faced difficulties travelling during the rainy season due to floods that damaged roads and bridges. This impacted villagers’ business and health.
  • Education in Mergui-Tavoy District remains insufficient, as the schools lack funding. Moreover, the Karen language is not recognised as an official subject in Burma/Myanmar government schools so students have to take time on Saturday to study their own language.
  • Healthcare services in Mergui-Tavoy District are not up to standard, for the government-assigned healthcare workers in villages rarely meet whenever villagers need help with their health.
  • Logging for business purposes is happening in Mergui-Tavoy District even though logging in reserved forests is prohibited by local authorities.
  • Anawa Soe Moe Company arbitrarily confiscated villagers’ land in Kleh Mu Hti area, K’Ser Doh Township, Mergui-Tavoy District for a palm oil plantation project without consultation with the local villagers.

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] For more information on this issue see, “Towards an inclusive education: Teaching Karen culture and language within schools,” p109 in ‘Foundation of Fear: 25 years of villagers’ voices from southeast Myanmar,’ (available in English and Myanmar language), KHRG, October 2017.

[3] Tatmadaw refers to the Myanmar military throughout KHRG's 25 year reporting period. The Myanmar military were commonly referred to by villagers in KHRG research areas as SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council) from 1988 to 1997 and SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) from 1998 to 2011, which were the Tatmadaw-proclaimed names of the military government of Burma. Villagers also refer to Tatmadaw in some cases as simply "Burmese" or "Burmese soldiers".

[4] Anawa Soe Moe Company Ltd. has been present in Mergui-Tavoy District since at least 2004. At the time, the company was encouraged to expand the company’s 5,000 acre palm oil plantation by the SPDC, according to the Myanmar government paper “New Light of Myanmar,” Page 8, Volume XIV, Number 53, June 8, 2006.