Dooplaya Situation Update: Win Yay Township and Kyainseikgyi Township, September and October 2017

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Dooplaya Situation Update: Win Yay Township and Kyainseikgyi Township, September and October 2017

Published date:
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Win Yay Township and Kyainseikgyi Township, Dooplaya District during the period between September and October 2017, including reports on Tatmadaw activity, education, development, and drugs.

  • During the period between September 10th and October 23rd 2017, Tatmadaw military patrolled in Win Yay Township and Kyainseikgyi Township, Dooplaya District. Due to Tatmadaw’s increased activity, villagers are concerned that fighting will break out again.
  • KNU (Karen National Union) school teachers who were recruited by the villagers in Win Yay Township have encountered a lack of funding for their classrooms and a decrease in their stipends. As a consequence, parents were asked to pay but the result was that some could no longer afford for their children to attend school.
  • The Asian Falcon Company continues to assess Khonkhan Mountain for cement production even though local villagers who rely on this mountain for their livelihoods are trying to prevent further development of the mountain.
  • Villagers from C--- village stated that they feel insecure and unsafe to report drug cases to authorities because they know that Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA) and Tatmadaw soldiers are using and selling drugs in Win Yay Township, Dooplaya District.

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] 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] Combination of companies assembled for operations, usually 100-300 soldiers fighting strength.

[5] An Infantry Battalion (Tatmadaw) comprises 500 soldiers. However, most Infantry Battalions in the Tatmadaw are under-strength with less than 200 soldiers. Yet up to date information regarding the size of battalions is hard to come by, particularly following the signing of the NCA.  They are primarily used for garrison duty but are sometimes used in offensive operations.

[6] The Karen National Union is the main Karen group opposing the government.

[7] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the January 25th 2018 official market rate of 1,319 kyats to US $1.

[8] The Karen National Liberation Army is the armed wing of the KNU.

[9] Light Infantry Division (LID) of the Tatmadaw is commanded by a brigadier general, and consists of ten light infantry battalions specially trained in counter-insurgency, jungle warfare, search and destroy operations against ethnic insurgents . They were first incorporated into the Tatmadaw in 1966. LIDs are organised under three Tactical Operations Commands, commanded by a colonel, three battalions each and one reserve, one field artillery battalion, one armoured squadron and other support units. Each division is directly under the command of the Chief of Staff (Army).

[10] 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. 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, “Ongoing militarisation in southeast Myanmar,” KHRG, October 2016 and “Dooplaya Field Report: A quasi-ceasefire? Developments after the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, from January to December 2016,” KHRG, September 2017.

[11] For more information, see “Dooplaya Situation Update: Win Yay and Kyainseikgyi Townships, June and August 2017,” (February 2018).

[12] The Asian Falcon Company is also translated as the Asia Eagle Company. For previous KHRG reports regarding the company’s involvement in stone mining in Dooplaya District, see “Dooplaya Situation Update: Kawkareik Township and Win Yay Township, November 2016 to January 2017,” August 2017.

[13] For more information, see “Villagers raise concerns regarding proposed stone mining and cement production in Win Yay Township, Dooplaya District,” January 2018.

[14] KHRG continues to receive reports detailing villagers’ concerns over increased drug use and drug trading in their communities. See for example “Growing drug use and its consequences in Dooplaya and Hpa-an Districts, between February and December 2015,” May 2016.