Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Shwegyin and Kyaukkyi Townships, November 2017 to February 2018


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Nyaunglebin Situation Update: Shwegyin and Kyaukkyi Townships, November 2017 to February 2018

Published date:
Thursday, August 16, 2018

This Situation Update describes events occurring in Shwegyin and Kyaukkyi Townships, Nyaunglebin District between November 2017 and February 2018. It includes information about land confiscation, gold mining, gold stone mining, logging, education and health.

  • The Burma/Myanmar government confiscated the land of Saw X--- from Y--- village, P’Deh Kaw village tract, Kyaukkyi Township. Saw X--- has spent 2,500,000 kyat [US $ 1,698] trying to bring his case to the attention of the local authorities, to no avail.
  • Gold mining and logging have increased in Shwegyin Township since the 2015 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA). These projects have polluted water sources and damaged local forests.


[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] Saw is a S’gaw Karen male honorific title used before a person’s name.

[4] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the 9 August 2018 official market rate of 1,471 kyats to US $1.

[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. 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 government to reboot peace process, DVB, October 2017. In February 2018, two additional armed ethnic groups signed the NCA under pressure from the Burma/Myanmar government.

[6] Both gold mining and logging are conducted in Saw Ther Hkee village tract, Htee Bla village tract and Ler Hpa village tracts.  Gold mining project are conducted in the area like Htee Bla, Maw Tha Mee Ser, Der Wee Hkoh, Hsaw Oh Lo Kloe, Meh Hteh Lo Klo, Htee Bla, P’Da Lo Klo, Saw Ther Hkee, Ta Say Der, Khow Kha Lo, Su Mu Lo Kloe, Khaw Lo Kloe and Kaw Gu Lo Kloe areas.

[7] Goldstone mining is a locally used expression referring to the process of separating gold from stone using a grinding machine; gold mining is locally used to refer to the separation of gold from sand using water. Both processes involve the heavy use of chemicals to refine the separation of gold from other materials.

[8] The Karen National Union's Education Department. The main goals of the KED are to provide education, as well as to preserve Karen language and culture. During the civil war in Burma/Myanmar the KEDbecame the main organisation providing educational services in the KNU controlled areas in southeast Burma/Myanmar. The KED also previously oversaw the educational system in the seven refugee camps along the Thai-Burma/Myanmar border, however in 2009 these activities were restructured under the Karen Refugee Committee – Education Entity (KRCEE). See "Conflict Erupts over Govt teachers deployed to KNU areas," Karen News, August 20th 2013 and the KRCEE website: "About," accessed July 21st 2015.

[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.