Human Rights Update: Inhumane Treatment Continues in the Nyaunglebin District, Western Karen State in Eastern Burma
Karen State, Burma
1 August, 2005

Human rights abuses continue in Burma. These firsthand accounts are evidence that the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)’s Burma Army is still active and moving throughout the Karen State and people are daily living in fear. Forced labor and forced relocation continue to plague the Nyaunglebin District villagers.

Ler Doh to Shweygyn Road On June 13, 2005, the Burma Army (BA) Column Commander Khin Soe forced the villagers from six different villages to clean up a road leading from Ler Doh to Shweygyn. The villagers started their required work on June 16, 2005 as the BA commanded. Also, on June 26, 2005, the BA LIB 57, led by Than Zaw Oo, asked the villagers to build a new camp for them (BA). Villagers from six nearby villages were forced to collect all of the wood, bamboo, and leaves. On July 4, 2005, BA LIB 349, Column Commander Khin Soe forced people from two villages to build their new camp at Ko Poe.

On June 12, 2005, the BA Battalion-57, led by Tain Shwien, forced three villages to relocate to the limited area of Shwien Da. The leader of the village begged and even paid the BA 60,000 Kyat for each village, but the BA refused and the villagers had to relocate, as commanded. Also, on June 20, 2005, the BA LIB 351 forced Teh Htu Village to move to Kler Ko Village. The villagers refused to move, so they fined each of the 94 families 10,000 Kyat. After that, the column commander Khin Soe forced the villagers to relocate again and on July 5th, Teh Htu villagers had to move to Kler Ko Village. Villagers faced many hardships during their travel.

Mone Township The presence of the BA alone creates anxiety and fear among the villagers. On June 7, 2005, the LIB 89 arrived in Mone Township with 200 soldiers to continue their activity. Later, on June 15, 2005 the LIB 60 consisting of 70 people and led by Column Commander Nyi Tun, moved into Hsaw Mi Lu camp. Two groups were formed, with 35 people in each group. The first group will be active in the areas of Maw Keh Koe, Hsaw Mi Soe and Ler K’taw. The second group will be active in the area of Kaw Taw,Ywa Skaw Pyay Pyeh and Lay Gam Na. The BA commander at Ler Doh planned to build their new camp in the Ywa Kyi Aye area. On June 25, 2005 the Burma Army (BA) started to measure the area for 400 buildings in San Kyet Myi. Due to the extensive planning and high activity of the SPDC/BA, the civilians in that area are now living in fear and worry.