On 15 January 2012 in Hpruso Township, after a battle between the Burma Army and the Karenni Army, Burma Army IB 54 killed a 35-year-old villager named Lu Reh in Htay Byar Nyae. In December 2011, a Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 57 soldier raped Buu Leh (name changed to protect victim), a villager from Dah Weh Village in Sha Daw Township. On 25 November 2011, six soldiers from IB 428 and IB 531 who were stationed at a training base in Hpruso Township raped three women from Law Jar Village. On 14 January 2012, Infantry Battalion (IB) 295, commanded by Aung Zey Ya, killed a village man in Karenni State.
There are currently 23 Burma Army battalions operating in Karenni State with two to three battalions located within each township. Last month, seven battalions rotated in and out of the area. From 1 January 2012 to 28 January 2012, nine battles took place between the Burma Army and the Karenni Army (KA). Three of the battles took place in Sha Daw Township, two in Maw Chi Township with one battle each occurring in Loi Kaw Township, Baw La Ke Township, Hpruso Township and Demawso Township. The KA did not suffer any casualties in these battles, but the BA suffered a total of ten casualties and ten wounded. The Burma Army units involved were IB 250, IB 135, IB 248, IB 54, LIB 72 and Military Operations Command (MOC) 55. Burma Army soldiers are also stopping civilian vehicles on Shadaw Road, Bawlake Road, and a main hwy running into Thailand and forcing them to transport food, weapons and supplies.
Development Projects in Karenni State:
1) Mining taking place in Maw Chi Township and Ho Yar Village.
2) Three dams are projected with surveys presently being conducted. A 600 Megawatt (MW) dam will be built on the Salween River with smaller dams of 110 MW on the Thabet River and a 130MW on the Pawn River. The construction of the dams has been awarded to the Datang Corporation of China. The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and the villages to be affected wrote letters to both the government of Burma and China protesting the construction of the dams. Over 200 people have already been forced to leave, with another 800-1000 people projected to be displaced by the end of construction.
3) There are two hydropower plants in Karenni State with one more projected to be built. One is located in Law Pi Ta Village.
4) A cement plant is under construction in Pa Kyaeh Village in Loi Kaw Township. Numerous villagers have already been relocated due to the construction.
5) In 2011, the Burma Army built more than 10 new Army bases in Karenni State, including a training camp in Hpruso Township.
Thank you and God Bless,
FBR Karenni Teams