Dooplaya Situation Update: Kyainseikgyi and Win Yay townships, November 2017 to February 2018

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Dooplaya Situation Update: Kyainseikgyi and Win Yay townships, November 2017 to February 2018

Published date:
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Kyainseikgyi and Win Yay townships, Dooplaya District during the period between November 2017 and February 2018, including information about Tatmadaw activity, the celebration of Karen National Day, education, health, development, and livelihood and drug issues.

  • On February 3rd 2018, Tatmadaw Operation Commander Major Htun Htun San came to the Win Yay Township office with ten soldiers to forbid the KNU from erecting a statue of Saw Ba U Gyi on Karen National Day. Therefore, the statue was transferred by the KNU to Meh Ka Tha village, Kyonedoe Township during the night.
  • A self-funded school was built in 2018 in Tay Loh Nee village, Yaw Ka Daw village tract for children who had difficulty travelling to school in distant areas because of damaged roads during the rainy season. However, the decrease in teacher’s salaries has made it difficult to find teachers in Yaw Ka Daw village tract, Kyainseikgyi Township.
  • The most prevalent illnesses in T’Poh Kaw village, T’Aye Shay village tract, Kyainseikgyi Township were colds, fever and flu [H5N1] which is more common in children. There are many villagers in T’Poh Kaw village who continue to seek treatment in the village’s clinic when they are seriously ill because the village is far from the hospital in town.
  • The road construction between Paya Thon Hsu and Thanphyu Zayat towns that began in 2014 damaged 81 acres of local people’s lands in Kyainseikgyi Township but the Burma/Myanmar government did not take any responsibility or provide compensation for local people whose lands were confiscated.
  • In 2018, the fluctuating price of commodities such as betel nuts, sesame seeds and rubber and the restriction of lands by KNU Forestry Department threatened the livelihoods of local people in some areas of Kyainseikgyi and Win Yay townships.

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] The researcher is referring to the inclusion of the New Mon State Party and Lahu Democratic Union to the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement on 13 February 2018. For more information, see “Two Steps Closer to Peace? Mon, Lahu Ethnic Armed Groups sign NCA”.

[4] Saw Ba U Gyi is the founder and former president of the Karen National Union.

[5] 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.

[6] Pado” is a Karen term used to designate a government official.

[7] The NCA agreement signed between the Burma/Myanmar government and KNU/KNLA states in Section 3, Part 5, Subsection B that armed groups must, “Avoid any direct or indirect action that may be regarded as hostile or contemptuous.”

[8] KHRG documents and reports the viewpoints of villagers in Southeastern Myanmar. The perception here that Burma/Myanmar government actions violated Chapter 3, Part 5, Subsection B of the National Ceasefire Agreement is that of the individual being discussed here, and is not KHRG’s analysis of the situation.

[9] 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.

[10] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the March 16, 2018 official market rate of 1,340 kyats to US $1.

[11] The leaves of Kratom trees, when consumed, may act as stimulants or sedatives depending on the amount ingested, and have traditionally been used throughout Southeast Asia as a dietary supplement, for medicinal purposes, or for recreation. Frequent and long-term consumption of Kratom leaves may lead to addiction and serious side effects, and for this reason, the leaves are currently outlaws in Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, and other countries throughout Southeast Asia, and have been listed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency as a ‘Drug of Concern.’

[12] Yaba, which means ‘crazy medicine’ in Thai, is a tablet form of methamphetamine. First developed in East Asia during the Second World War to enhance soldiers' performance, methamphetamine has become increasingly popular in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Burma/Myanmar where it is typically manufactured. See, Yaba, the 'crazy medicine' of East Asia, UNODC, May 2008; Chapter IV in Truce or Transition? Trends in human rights abuse and local response in Southeast Myanmar since the 2012 ceasefire, KHRG, June 2014; “Thaton Situation Update: Bilin Township, July to September 2016,” KHRG, April 2017; and “Dooplaya Field Report: A quasi-ceasefire? Developments after the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement, from January to December 2016,” KHRG, September 2017.