|FBR Relief Team Report: Shan FBR Team
June 1, 2005
|Shan State, Burma
|12 September, 2005
Shan FBR team giving Good Life Club gifts to IDP children
Relief team treating IDPs
Building burned by the Burma Army
This is the report from Shan Free Burma Rangers (FBR) team, on athree month relief mission to Mong Pan Township, Southern Shan Statefrom March 10, 2005 to May 20, 2005.
This report includes reports on the rape of an 8 year old girl and13 year old girl by Burma Army troops. It also includes recent attacksagainst civilians including; murder, torture, forced labor, forcedrelocation, destruction of villages and land confiscation.
A Shan FBR relief team provided relief to Internally DisplacedPersons and villagers in the Mong Pan, Southern Shan State from 10March to 20 May 2005 .
The team was able to provide medical care for over 2,000 people inhiding, document rapes, murders, forced labor, confiscation of propertyand forced relocation by the Burma Army. All of these human rightsviolations are ongoing.
The situation in Southern Shan State has deteriorated, with atotal of 20,000 people displaced in the Mong Pan area. In this area theBurma Army continues its brutal suppression of the Shan and otherethnic peoples. The report bellows gives detailed accounts of thesuffering of the people as well as a general update of the situation.
Report Outline- (Where marked with an asterisk *, not allinformation is included.
However, the information is all on record and available forreference.)
I. Human Rights Violations
II. Humanitarian Relief Mission
III. *Location of IDPs
IV. Activities of SPDC (Burma Army) troops.
VI. Distribution of relief supplies
VII. The Health and Education
I. *Videotapes and pictures.
III. *List of used medicine
IV. *Financial report
V. *Proposal for future trips.
I. Human Right Violations by the Burma Army. Rape of an 8year old and 13 year old girl, murder, torture, forced labor, forcedrelocation, destruction of villages and land confiscation:
Rape of 8 year old girl:
2 May 2005, at midnight, the relief team arrived at XX XXvillage, Ho Mong Township. They went to the house of the rape victim,Mo Kham, age 8, daughter of XXXXXX XX (age 40) and XX X age 34.
On 18 October 2004, the girl was raped by three soldiers fromBurma Army Infantry Battaion IB 132, who were stationed at TelephoneHill near Ho Mong. Burma Army IB 132 was based in Mawk Mai and hasmoved to Ho Mong as scheduled.
At around 10:40 a.m. neighbors noticed three soldiers came downfrom Telephone Hill and went in the direction of the victim’s house.While their parents were away working, Mo Kham was at home with heryounger brother. In the evening when the parents returned, they foundtheir daughter crying, with fresh blood staining the floor of the housein front of the family altar. Only then did Mo Kham and her brothertell their parents that she was raped by a Burmese soldier in her ownhome. After three days they went to treat Mo Kham at Ho Mong Hospital.Here the local Burma Army backed militia tried to bribe her parentswith 5,000 Kyats.
Rape of 13 year old girl:
29 May 2005, at 3:10 p.m., the team went to the house ofNang Xx, age 13, another rape victim in Wan Xx x.
The rape occurred during a Poy Sang Long (Novice ordinationceremony) in Ho Mong. The rape took place on 5 March 2005 at 10:00a.m.. While helping with the elders in the ceremony, the victim went torelieve herself under the cover of thick bushes near the fairground.
The rapist was a soldier from Burma Army IB 99, stationed in HoMong. The victim kept screaming as she was dragged in the bushes, helddown and raped. The rapist gave 1,000 kyats in an attempt to pacifyher, but she kept screaming and struggling, until several villagersattending the ceremony heard her. The villagers came running andvillager Mu xx chased away the rapist, who ran away to hide in hisgarrison.
(Remark: The FBR team has since evacuated the two rape victims andtheir families to safety)
Murder of villager, child wounded:
17 March 2005; at 11:15 a.m., the team arrived at Wan MaiKhao Larm to find burnt houses and wounded villagers. On 5 February2005, a 42 man Burma Army patrol from IB 287 lead by Major Kyi Myintcame through the camouflage of the deep jungle. They deployed on a hillto west of the village and fired with 60mm mortars and 40mm grenadelaunchers into the village, killing one elderly man and wounding oneelderly woman and one child. The casualties were;
Killed. 1. Mae Htao Yuo (Grandma Yuo), age 75.
Wounded. 1. Mae Htao Mya, age 70, wounded on her left chest byshrapnel.
2. Nang Shui, age 8, hit by shrapnel on her arm and legs.
Houses burnt- 1.Nang Mart’s house was burnt along with her 24bushels of paddy (rice).
2.Mae Htao Mya’s house, burnt with 48 bushels of paddy (rice).
3.Loong Mae HtiYa’s house, burnt with 88 bushels of paddy (rice)
(Remark: The FBR team treated the wounds of these villagers)
21st March 2005, the team arrived at the village of Wan PanKharm Long Kaw.
Villagers were living in hiding, while their monastery, houses andfarms lay in ruins. This village was forced to relocated by the ordersof Burma Army IB 332 led by Maj. Theik Htun. The villagers were orderedto move out of their village on 6 July 1997. The Burma Army made itclear that those found in this village after 12 July 1997 would be shoton sight.
These villagers are short of everything and desperately in need ofhelp.
21 March 2005; at 2:15 p.m., the team arrived at the ruinsof Wan Tong Su.
The relocation orders issued by Maj. Theik Htun on 6 July 1997made it clear that the Burma Army would kill those who found in theirvillage after 12 July 1997. Good teak houses, the monastery and farmslay in ruins.
22 March 2005; at 11:35 a.m., the team arrived at PangKharm Wan Poong San and gave medical treatment to the IDPs.
The villagers told the team that their village was forced torelocate by the orders of Maj Theik Htun of Burma Army IB 332, on 6July, 1997. They also shared their misery of not having enough food.They requested help and relief. There were no facilities for educationor health care.
23 March 2005, at 1:45 p.m., the team arrived at Pang KharmWan Nong Lom. Medical treatment was given to the villagers.
Their former village was forced to relocate on 6 July 1997, by theorders of Maj Theik Htun from Burma Army IB 332. Many went to reside inWeing Mai (New town created by the dictators, the SPDC-State Peace andDevelopment Council) and others fled to neighboring Thailand to work asillegal immigrants. Those who do not have enough money to travel haveto live in hiding, risking their lives. *They (IDPs) shared their wishthat the world would learn of their misery and rush to help them. Theirultimate desire is to reside in their ancestral homes in peace andsafety.
Torture, forced labor, destroyed village:
24 March 2005, at 3:13 p.m., the team arrived at the ruinsof Wan Kyong.
The villagers from here went to live with IDPs from Wan Nong Lom.The villagers guided the team through their ruined village. The burntmonastery, ruined houses, deserted farms were documented. Therelocation orders came from Burma Army IB 332, under Maj. Theik Htun.The dates of the relocation orders were from 6 July 1997 to 12 July1997.
The villagers also testified of the extra-judicial detention andexecution by Maj. Theik Htun. During the relocation, Maj. Theik Htunseized and tortured two villagers, namely (1) Sai Nanda, age 28 and (2)Sai Ta, age 25. These two victims were later executed in the valley ofHuay Hok, south of Wan Kyong.
He also confiscated three pack-ponies from Loong Nu, age 45 forhis own use. Further on 9 July 1997, he ordered to seize threevillagers as porters. They were (1)Loong Sarli, age 40; (2)Pu Sai, age50 and (3)Sai Marlar, age 25. The fate of these porters is still amystery.
26 March 2005, at 3:50 p.m.; the team arrived at the ruinsof Wan Poong Kua, where they met with an old couple, Paw Htao Hsa, age83 and Mae Htao Poong, age 72. They told the team how this village wasrelocated. They said that on 19 May 1998, the orders came from BurmaArmy troops based in Mong Pan. The village which was consisted of 80good wooden houses, a monastery and farms was left in ruins. Now, theBurma Army has constructed a saw mill in their former house and aredestroying the natural forest for their own benefit. Many villagers whochose to live in hiding were left jobless.
27 March 2005, at 3:15 p.m., the team arrived at Pang KharmKong Nong, near the village of Wan Nong Yang. The IDPs testified thattheir village was forced to relocate on 8 May 2000, by Burma Armytroops who came from Mong Pon. (Note: not Mong Pan). After giving themmedical treatment, the villagers guided and showed the team the ruinsof their former village. The monastery, houses and farms lay in ruins.
Forced relocation and 73 stolen cattle:
30 March 2005, at 8:45 a.m., the team arrived at Pang KharmPook Nam Lin, a.k.a Wan Pa Khar.
Loong Phaw Ka, age 63, an IDP, told of his tragedy. The village ofWan Pa Khar was forced to relocate by the orders of Maj. Theik Htunfrom Burma Army IB 332 on 10 May 1998. During the relocation Loong PhawKa had to leave a herd of 73 cattle, which was hunted and butchered byBurma Army troops to its extinction. His house and other property werealso lost. He led us to the ruins of his former village. He said, “Mywish is for the world to come and give a hand to help”. His only desireis to live in peace and safety in his ancestral homeland with nobody toharm them.
2 April 2005, at 12:25 p.m., the team arrived at the ruinsof Wan Cun Cun. The ruins of the monastery, school and several goodwooden houses proved that Cun was once a prosperous village.
Opium production under the Burma Army:
10 April 2005, at 11:45 a.m., the team arrived at Wan KiewHoong, Long Khieo tract, Mong Pan Township. Villagers came to receivemedical treatment. The team documented the cultivating of opium poppyin an area under Burma Army control.
Burma Army Headquarters in Mong Pan:
11 April 2005, at 10:00 a.m., the team climbed the peak ofXx XX 47QMC xxxxxx MGRS-xxxxxxx, a distance of xxxx meters xxxx fromthe Burma Army HQ of MOC-17 in Mong Pan.
Under the MOC-17, two Burma Army battalions- IB 332 and IB 520 areassigned to defend Mong Pan.
11 April 2005, at 10:00 a.m., the team documented thetransplanting of the Burma Army paddy fields, done by order of thechairman of the township authority (Ma-Wa-Ta). The paddy fields are inNa Ten, Na Wan Sok and Na Tong Morn. The forced labor was conducted fortwo days, 10-11 April 2005. The labor force consisted of villagers fromWan Khai, Wan Nong Mai, Wan Nong Long Auk, Wan Nong Hee and people fromthe town of Mong Pan. Each day the villages supplied the Burma Armywith 75 men.
Burma Army occupy pagoda:
11 April 2005, at 10:00 a.m., the team documented theactivities of the Burma Army troops at Loi Noi Pagoda. Grid coordinates47QMC-32575-MGRS-44547, a distance of 2,500 meters from Mong Pan. TheBurma Army troops occupied the pagoda and used it as their garrison.Since that time no civilians have been allowed to get close to thepagoda. The soldiers ordered the villagers not to even urinate facingthe direction of the pagoda, even at a distance. Although the number ofsoldiers in the garrison is not known by outsiders, at least threesoldiers from Mong Pan rotate in and out of the camp daily.
Lack of medical care:
21 April 2005, at 09:15 a.m., the team gave medicaltreatment to IDPs at Pang Kharm Nong Lom. Villagers complained theirlack of access to health care and asked the team to visit regularly.
24th April 2005, at 6:00 a.m., the team arrived at theruins of Wan Na Won. No villagers were found. Several houses, a largemonastery and the school, which could accommodate a large number ofchildren, proved that Na Won had been a large and prosperous village.
Lack of schools:
10 April 2005, at 11:45 a.m., the team arrived at Wan KiewHoong, Long Khieo tract, Mong Pan Township, and met with school-agechildren, who lack the opportunity to learn. The atrocities of the BumaArmy troops not only ruin the villagers’ property, but also the futureof a new generation.
Delivery of Baby:
3 June 2005 (10:41 p.m.) to 4 June 2005 (1:55 a.m.), theFBR team helped deliver a baby. The mother, Nang Pang, age 23, an IDPfrom Loi Tai Leng IDP camp gave birth to a healthy baby girl weighingthree kilograms (around 6.6 pounds), in the morning on 4 June 2005 at1:55 a.m..
II. Humanitarian Relief Mission.
The Shan FBR team went to provide relief in the Mong Pan area,which is under the control of the Burma Army, MOC-17 (MilitaryOperation Command or Sa-Ka-Khat). The commander of the MOC-17 isBrigadier Nyunt Hlaing, stationed in Mong Pan. Under him, twobattalions LIB 332 and LIB 520, are jointly command by Col. Kyi Myint.These two battalions are feared by the locals because of theiratrocities and human right abuses. The soldiers from these battalionsare abusing the people, confiscating property and livestock, conductingextra-judicial killings, forced relocation and the burning of villages.Cattle are shot without permission and butchered, the meat sent tomarkets in towns to be sold as dried or fresh meat. As a result oftheir atrocities, not less than 20,000 people in Mong Pan Township havefled from their ancestral homes. Many have become laborers and somewomen have turned to prostitution in neighboring countries.
Land belonging to villagers is confiscated by the Burma Army. TheBurma Army and the local SPDC representatives divide larger pieces ofland into small plots (20 x 20 meters).
They then force the relocated villagers to buy them at a rate of300,000 Kyats per plot. This becomes a new relocation site. The newforced relocation site near Mong Pan is named Wiang Mai or New Town andwas established using this technique of land confiscation and forcedre-purchasing.
Due to this oppression, many people in this area have fled fromtheir homes, and at present 45 villages ( or 3,150 houses) lay inruins. Those who are too poor to move away have had no other choice butto live in hiding around their ruined villages. During this mission theShan FBR relief team has been able to locate around 2,000 people livingin their jungle hideouts. As there is no opportunity to make a safeliving, food supplies are short and desperately needed. No reliefmission other than the FBR team has reached this area. The need here ismore than any one relief team can handle on their own.
III. Location of IDPs
Due to the forced relocation by the Burma Army, as ordered by theSPDC, villages were burned or left to rot. Many villagers live inhiding around their former villages. They must wholly rely on theirsmall highland farms and whatever is available in the jungle. Those inhiding are constantly at risk of capture, torture or shooting by thepatrolling Burma Army, who accuse them of supporting the Shan StateArmy (SSA- a pro-democracy Shan resistance force).
During this trip the Shan FBR team located these groups of IDPs *in hiding.
a. Wan Kharm XX- 43 persons.
b. Wan Kharm XXX 452 persons.
c. Wan Kharm Xx XX 820 persons.
d. Wan Kharm X Xx 520 persons.
e. Wan Kharm Xx X 246 persons
Total- = 2,081 persons.
(Note: “Wan Kharm” means a temporarily settlement)
IV. Activities of Burma Army troops.
Since Khun Sa’s Mong Tai Army (MTA) surrenderred unconditionallyin 1996, there has been no Shan group strong enough to disrupt theBurma Army’s ethnic cleansing. From early 1997 to 2005, the Burma Armyhave been doing their utmost to carry on with this task.
Under the command of Brigadier Nyunt Hlaing, MOC-17 was dividedinto mobile and security forces. Battalions under MOC-17 are;
LIB 332 and 520 from Mong Pan,
LIB 525 from Lankho,
LIB 575 from Nong Pa Moan,
LIB 577 from Sop Huay Hsao Wah,
LIB 578 from Lankho suspension bridge,
IB 99 from Lankho,
IB 132 from Mawk Mai,
IB 294 from Ta Sarng,
IB 295 from Wan Htam,
who take their shifts in turns in Mong Nai; Lankho; Mawk Mai andMong Pan areas.
Rapes, forced labor, extra-judicial detention and execution;confiscation of land and property were committed by soldiers from theseunits.
(1) 21 March 2005, at 7:55 a.m., interviewed Sai Kaw Li, an IDPfrom Mong Pan.
Sai Kaw Li, age 35, was an IDP from Wan Huay Soy, Ta Tay tract,Mong Pan Township. He was born and lived in his family of eight in the80 houses village of Wan Huay Soy. On 6 July 1997, his village wasordered to move by Maj. Theik Htun from LIB 332. Since then his villagelay in ruins and now he is one among the group of 43 IDPs living inhiding around their former village. He said they were first forced torelocate on 25 July 1995 and then allowed to return after they paid theauthority 100,000 Kyat in cash. But the second order left his villagein ruins.
(2) 21 March 2005, at 2:30 p.m., the team interviewed Sai Kung Na,age 35, an IDP from Wan Tong Su, Ta Tay Tract, Mong Pang Township. Hewas born and lived in a family of six, among the 82 houses village. Hisvillage was forced to relocate on 6 July 1997, by the orders ofMaj.Theik Htum from Burma Army IB 332. His village was left to rot. Thevillage monastery was constructed in 1952 and ruined on 6 July 1997.The abbot was Sao Agga and there were 14 novices learning in thismonastery. He wishes the world could help them restore the peace andprosperity of the past.
(3) 22 March 2005, at 11:10 a.m., interview with Loong Xx, age 40,an ethnic Pa-O, an IDP of Pang Kharm Poong San. He was born and livedin a family of five, one among 70 houses in the village of Wan PoongSan. His village was forced to relocate by the orders of Maj TheikHtun, from Burma Army LIB 332 on 6 July 1997. They have to live inhiding and have lost most of their property and livestock, but they dohave enough to eat. He admitted that he has to grow opium poppy to earnenough cash to feed his family.
(4) 22 March 2005, at 11:20 a.m., interviewed Sai XX age 28, anethnic Pa-O, an IDP of Pang Kharm Poong San, Mong Pan Township. On 15February 2005, he was detained and tortured by soldiers from Burma ArmyLIB 332. Accused of being a soldier from the SSA, they punched, kickedand cut his throat with a knife. He was released after the soldierslearned that he was a common villager. There is a visible scar on hisupper lip. He had not fully recovered from the trauma at the time ofthe interview.
(5) 23 March 2005, at 1:55 p.m., interview with Nang Xxx, age 22,an IDP from Wan Nong Lom, Ta Tay Tract, Mong Pan Township. She was bornin Wan Nong Lom and became a school teacher in her own village beforeit was relocated by the orders of Maj.Theik Htun of LIB 332 on 6 July1997. Her school has laid in ruins since that time. She expressed herdesire to live and work peacefully without any oppression.
(6) 24 March 2005, at 2:00 p.m., interviewed Loong XX, age 65, andLoong Kham age 60, natives of Wan Kyong, Ta Tay Tract, Mong PanTownship. The interview took place in a ruined paddy field inWan NongLom. They said these fields required 140 bushels of seeds in order tosow. Since the forced relocation on 6 July 1997, by the orders of Maj.Theik Htun from Burma Army LIB 332.
The two IDPs expressed their ultimate desire to be a wish to tendtheir fields in peace and safety. They wish the international communitywould help them in achieving this ultimate desire.
(7) 24 March 2005, at 3:00 p.m., interviewed Loong XX, age 65 atthe burned monastery of Wan Kyong, Mong Pan Township. He was a nativeof Wan Kyong, Ta Tay Tract, Mong Pan Township. The monastery wasdeserted on 6 July 2005, after the relocation order came from Maj.Theik Htun of Burma Army LIB 332. As villagers were forbidden to returnand threatened under the pain of execution, they have no idea whoburned this monastery.
(8) 27 March 2005, at 3:30 p.m., interviewed Paw Htao Xx XX, age85, from Wan Nong Yang, Nam Tueng Tract, Mong Pan Township. Wan NongYang is still in ruins, because the Burma Army forbade the villagers toreturn and work their land.
(9) 11 May 2005, at 1:00 p.m., interview with Loong Xxxx, age 40,an IDP in a poppy field near Wan Kiew Hoong, Long Kieo Tract, Mong PanTownship. He had a family of four and is a farmer. Cultivating drypaddy field has not given their family enough food to eat, so he had togrow opium poppy to earn cash. Each opium harvest yields about 2-3 Viss(4.4 to 6.6 Kg), which can sell for around 200,000 Kyat per Viss. Opiumcan at least help them survive the year. It is not uncommon for opiumgrowers to have buyers at their doorstep. Once their opium is sold, thefarmers must pay a tax to the Burma Army troops at Mai Poke garrison.
(10) 15 April 2005, at 11:00 a.m., interviewed with Nang Xxx, age30, an IDP from Nong Mai, Nong Hee Tract, Mong Pan Township. She wasone of the villagers forced to work for the authorities without anypayment. By the order of the San Win, the Chairman of Township Peaceand Development Council (TPDC), she and other villagers had totransplant rice seedlings for the SPDC, in the fields confiscated fromthe locals. From 10-11 April 2005, she was one of 75 villagers from WanKhai, Wan Nong Long, Wan Nong Mai, Wan Nong Hee and Mong Pan who wereforced to transplant rice seedlings in the fields of Na Wan Sok and NaTong Morn.
VI. Distribution of relief supplies and gifts.
The team provided medical treatment and distributed clothes,educational supplies and toys for children.
On 27 February 2005, eight bags full of relief supplies and GoodLife Club gifts were distributed to children in Loi Tai Leng IDP camp.
On 21 March 2005, the team distributed one bag full of toys forchildren, Good Life Club and clothes to the IDP children at Pang KharmWan Poong San.
VII. Health and Education.
The FBR team worked to provide relief to the people in areas wherethey had lost all their land, property and traditional way of life manyyears ago. These villagers live in a state of misery, depression andtrauma in their jungle hideouts. Due to the lack of access to outsideworld, the IDPs were lacking health and education. The team providedbasic knowledge about good sanitation and hygiene that can help themavoid preventable diseases. The teams also focused on the importance ofeducation for the entire population.
According to their experience in Mong Pan, there are still someareas where the team has no access. These are villages and towns underthe direct domination of the Burma Army. In these areas, for thesecurity of the villagers and IDPs, the team asked the elders andheadmen to meet the team outside of their villages. The team gavemedical treatment to sick villagers and IDPs in a place safe fromdiscovery by the Burma Army. In some cases, medicine and instructionwas given to the headmen for the sick who could not walk to the mobileclinic.
Due to the long distances the team had to cover and the largeamount of supplies to last for three months, the team would like tomake the following recommendation. In some cases, cash instead ofmaterial would be more practical. The team can then purchase some ofthe supplies from towns deeper inside the Shan State. With lighterloads to carry, the team can travel farther, deeper inside and spendmore time with the people in need..
(However, for IDPs not very far from the border, books andstationary, clothing, hats and shoes would still be helpful.)
IX. TEAM MEMBERS
The Shan FBR relief team working in Mong Pan consisted of five men;
1. Sai Xx teamleaders and information
2. Sai Xx medic
3. Sai Xx recorder
4. Sai Xx videographer
5. Sai Xx reporter and cameraman.
This five man Shan FBR team conducted relief operations andinformation gathering to IDPs and villagers in Mong Pan Township.
Thank you to the SSA who made this mission possible and for all ofyou who have helped us,
Shan FBR team