Hpapun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township and Dwe Lo Township, July to September 2017


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Hpapun Situation Update: Bu Tho Township and Dwe Lo Township, July to September 2017

Published date:
Wednesday, March 7, 2018

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Bu Tho Township and Dwe Lo Township, Hpapun District during the period between July and September 2017, including education, health, freedom of religion, arbitrary land confiscation, gold extraction, domestic violence and military activity.

  • At one Burma/Myanmar government school in Meh K’Naw (Hat Gyi) village, teachers are receiving unequal payments based on whether they were supported by Burma/Myanmar government or not.
  • Although villagers in Bu Tho Township and Dwe Lo Township, Hpapun District are happy that now they have more freedom to travel and access clinics or hospitals wherever and whenever they would like to go, the on-going notable issue in regards to healthcare is that there are still no free healthcare services in the community.
  • Arbitrary land confiscation occurred on May 14th 2017 in Section #2/Ohne Daw section, Ka Ma Maung Town, Dwe Lo Township, Hpapun District. There were a total of 107 acres of land confiscated by township administrator Saw Tha Klo Htoo and Section #2 administrator U Myint Tin. They sold the land they confiscated for 300,000 kyats ($225.08 US) for a land area of 40 feet by 60 feet 
  • In F--- village, huge amounts of farmland were arbitrarily confiscated by the Tatmadaw for leasing the land for business purposes and for establishing Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) #340, LIB #341, LIB #434 military bases there. The Tatmadaw LIB #340 Lit. Colonel Zaw Min Oo began to lease land on July 13th 2017.
  • On July 19th 2017 in G--- village, Ma Htaw village tract, Dwe Lo Township following domestic violence where Naw H--- was hit by her husband with a bamboo stick until unconscious, Naw H--- requested a divorce letter from her village tract leader. However, the village tract leader Saw Kyaw Boh Pa. decided the case is on hold and a decision will be made after three months. . 
  • Military activity in both townships in Hpapun District became more stable, as there was no fighting and no new landmines. However,villagers are concerned that there are still a few old landmines previously laid by Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) soldiers in a rubber plantation near Yun Slin river bank, western Daung Mweh village, which have not yet been found even though the area was demined.


[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] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the January 25th 2018 official market rate of 1,330 kyats to US $1.

[4] 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.

[5] Backpack Health Worker Team (BPHWT) is an organisation that provides health care and medical assistance to displaced civilians inside Burma. KHRG reports that cite BPHWT include “Hpa-an Situation Update: Hlaingbwe Township (February to April 2016)” and “Thaton Township, Thaton District (January to June 2015).”

[6] For more information on restrictions faced by Karen villagers when accessing healthcare and medical supplies during conflict see “Chapter 4: Health” in “Foundation of Fear: 25 years of villagers voices from southeast Myanmar,” October 2017.

[7] For more information see “Statement by Ms. Yanghee Lee, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar at the 72nd session of the General Assembly,” OHCHR, October 25, 2017.

[8] The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) was originally formed in 1994 as a breakaway group from the KNLA. Since its separation from the KNLA in 1994, it was known to frequently cooperate with and support the Tatmadaw in its conflict with the KNLA. The original group underwent major change in 2010 as the majority of the original DKBA was transformed into the BGF, which is under the control of the Burma/Myanmar government. The remainder of the original DKBA formed a smaller splinter group in 2010 and then changed its name in 2012 from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army to the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army. Following this major change in 2010, the original DKBA is considered to no longer exist as a distinct entity as it has now been submerged within the BGF. This original DKBA (Buddhist) (1994 – 2010) should not be confused with either the DKBA (Benevolent) (2010 – present) which was formed as a breakaway group from the original DKBA, or with the DKBA (Buddhist) (2016 – present) which was formed as a splinter group from the DBKA (Benevolent) (2010 – present) in 2016. For more information on the formation of the DKBA, see “Inside the DKBA,” KHRG, 1996.

[9] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the March 2nd 2018_official market rate of 1332 kyats to US $1.