FBR Mission Report: Thaton District, Karen State. Jan 15, ’06 – Jan 26, ’06
Thaton District, Karen State, Burma
23 March, 2006

  • Report of a FBR relief mission in Karen State, Burma. Describes forced labor being carried out by the SPDC and DKBA, with resultant economic hardship and impacts on food production and education.

Report Date: 12 February 2006

FBR field trip mission report, which began, on 15/01/06 to 26/01/06

1. Team mission area

During our mission we visited and treated at least 10 villages in Pa An and Belin Townships.

2. IDP situation

At some of the villages we visited we met with the local officers and village leaders and asked them about the situation. They described how their people did not have freedom in their work. While they don’t currently face forced relocations, they were still in a very difficult situation. They have to work every day they for the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), often constructing car roads, making leaf roofs, collecting timber and some times having to carry the loads for the Burma Army. This forced labor includes even women and children.

Each year they do not have enough time to work in their own fields growing paddy and vegetables. They want to send their children to school but they don’t have enough money to buy school supplies. The villagers need freedom and peace in their area.

3. Human Right violations

– In the beginning of January 2006, DKBA battalion 2, commanded by commander chief Maung Swin Line under Maung Kyi’s brigade 333, demanded the following villages to make logs for rebuilding their camp: Pyah Gaw village, Noe Law Plaw village, Noe Own La village. The villagers had to send about 3,000 logs Own Daung DKBA camp.

– On –/01/2006; DKBA brigade 333, Battalion 1 commanded by officer Oo Thein Kyi demanded leaves for roofing. Each village in Pa An township had to give 2000 roof sections to Own Daung DKBA camp.

– On 19/01/2006; DKBA brigade 333 company commander Maung Lay called a meeting about the building of the Me Sin pagoda. Each local village had to go build the pagoda every days are show as below;

4. SPDC activity

On January 20, 2006 SPDC division 9 special forces entered Noe Ber Baw village, Taw Law Hta village, Taw Klaw Kee village and demanded the villager’s belongings and did what ever they wanted.

5. Health and Education summary

During the mission we visited 3 primary schools. These schools do not have enough materials or school supplies. They don’t have enough sports equipment. Many villagers want to send their children to school, but do not have any money to buy school supplies for them.

During our mission we set up at least 10 temporary clinics. We treated approximately 500 patients. Villagers tell us that any time they become ill and need some type of hospital or clinic, they can’t go to one because it costs so much money. The most common illnesses were; Malaria, Diarrhea, dysentery, ARI, UTI, worms, skin infections, Spleen and Liver problems, eye problems, and Anemia.

6. Conclusion

The most important thing for our team was when we entered each village and saw the villagers welcome us with beautiful faces and fed us with good food. We all do our best.