(Note: Many names in this report have been withheld for the security
of those interviewed. The names are on record.)
This is the report from a Free Burma Rangers (FBR) team from Toungoo
District, Northern Karen State, Burma. From 25 May – 15 June 2005,
they visited villages, schools, gave medical treatment, prayed for the
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and conducted research.
This report includes reports on the murder of villagers by Burma Army
troops. It also includes recent attacks against civilians including;
torture, beating, stolen property, destruction of villages and land
confiscation. All of these human rights violations are ongoing.
Team members on the mission included a team leader, videographer,
photographer, reporter and medic.
Most of the villagers that the team visited were under the control of
the Burma Army and they have to face daily oppression. One very
important issue for IDPs in this area is health. The team saw many
A second issue is food and a third is education. Some of the villagers
only have one plate of rice per day. Other families with six or seven
members have only three plates of rice per day.
Education provision is piecemeal resulting in most teenagers being
illiterate. The children want to study but education in the context of
continual displacement is virtually impossible. The solution for the
IDPs is freedom.
The team visited several villages and provided medical treatment. The
report below gives detailed accounts of the suffering of the people as
well as a general update of the situation.
3) Human Rights Violations
The team interviewed villagers about human right violations. The face
to face time with the villagers gave the team a real sense of what the
villagers were experiencing and feeling.
A general practice in this area is the necessity of purchasing a
travel pass from the Burma Army for villagers who are under their
control in order for them to go to their farms or out of their village
area. Villagers who the team met have been hiding in the jungle. They need shelter and peace. They have
homes and a village but they can’t return to them out of fear that the
Burma Army could attack at any time. It is very difficult for these
people, mostly farmers, to earn a living. The FBR team brought them
The following are the accounts of human rights abuses recorded by the FBR team:
6 July: Murder and Arrest of villagers
At 4 p.m. a combined troop of Burma Army Infantry Battalions
26,30,439,60,48 arrested a villager from XXX Village at 4:00 pm in the
morning and arrested a villager, Saw Maung Ai Noe, to go with them as
a guide to XX X Village. When they arrived at XX X Village they killed
Saw Maung Ai Noe at 9:45 pm and they continued walking. When they
arrived at road they met with a Lay Tee Toe villager who was trading
and they killed him also.
8 July: Arrest of Villagers
The same troop arrived at X XX Village and arrested seven villagers.
The men arrested ranged in age from 23 to 60 years old, and one
35-year old man from XX Village.
11 July: Murder, torture and beating of villager
Saw Lah Moo from XX Village was forced to go with the Burma Army
patrol. On this day they beat, tortured and molested him, finally
killing him on the bridge.
6-11 July; Murder of villagers
During the first days of the Burma Army patrol, they killed three
villagers and tortured seven villagers from XXX. The relief team
interviewed the tortured villagers. The Burma Army troops tortured two other villagers of XX X and one of them had to go to Toungoo hospital. Two village head man were arrested from a different village. The Burma Army troops forced another two men to go with their patrol. On the way, these two men were beaten and tortured. One of the villagers escaped and the other one had to go to Toungoo hospital.
Stolen Property: Animals and Rice
A Burma Army guerrilla force, commanded by WinWin Oo, with Da Toe Aung
as second in command continue to make demands, loot the villagers’
chickens, pigs, ducks and rice whenever they enter a village. The
troops often restrict villagers from going to get water.
The villagers in this area also reported that when the Burma Army
troops are in the village, they must speak Burmese and are not allowed
to speak Karen. If anyone speaks Karen, the troops punish them and
beat them. Even the children are not allowed to speak Karen.
The Burma Army has a plan to build dams at Pa Na Wah Soe and Chip Soe.
Many villages will be damaged by the construction of the dam,
including; Wah Loe, Soe Loe, Yo Tae Tha Yae Pay, Tha Pa Kyaw, Naw K’
Maw, Tha Tay Ko, Tha Lay Loe, Nyaw Pay, and Thay Kee Kla. Almost ten
villages and adjoining fields will be destroyed after the dam is
built, so the villagers are worried about their future.
22 July; Destroyed Farm
In Taw Ta Tu Township, Kler La area, the Burma Army troops destroyed
the villagers’ paddy fields and burnt down their field huts.
Stolen Property: Chicken and Rice
Burma Army IB 35 arrived in Kaw Poe Loe Village and took a villager’s
two chickens and some of his rice. They were patrolling around in this
area for a week and then went back to their camp.
On 4 May 2005, Burma Army Division 66 was patrolling in Toungoo
District area with around 1,500 troops and three tactical commands.
(1) Tactical command, control by General Soe Win Oo
(2) Tactical command, control by General Line Twin
(3) Tactical command, control by General Tin Aung
The Infantry Battalions who are with the troops patrolling are;
(1) IB —- (number unknown), Battalion commander (Aung Min)
Second Battalion commander (Thoung Mya Oo)
(2) IB 4, Battalion commander (Aung Kyaw)
Second battalion commander (Ko Ko Aung)
(3) IB 6, Battalion commander (Aung Soe Win)
Second battalion commander (Ain Lwin)
(4) IB 8, Battalion commander (Aung Thu)
Second battalion commander (Kyaw Thu)
(5) IB 10, Battalion commander (Win Zaw Oo)
Second battalion commander (Thein Toe)
(6) IB 14, Battalion commander (Nay Myo Aung)
Second battalion commander (Yain Min Thu)
(7) IB 11, Battalion commander (Tha Zaw)
Second battalion commander (Min Soe Aung)
(8) IB 35, Battalion commander (Maung Zaw)
Second battalion commander (Tha Toe Oo)
(9) IB 108, Battalion commander (Aung Kyaw Oo)
Second battalion commander (Thein Zaw)