FBR REPORT: Oppression Up Close: Photos of the Burma Army in Northern Nyaunglebin District, Karen State, Eastern Burma. May 1, 2007
Nyaunglebin District, Karen State, Eastern Burma
Report Date: May 1, 2007


  Forced Labor and Extortion: ^ top  

Photo: Blu Doh villagers forced to clear ground for the construction of a new LIB 351 office.

Photo: Saw Xxx Xxx Xxx, forced to collect Bamboo for the construction of the new LIB 351 office.

Photo: Civilian vehicles forced to carry rocks for the improvement of the new Burma Army road.

1. On 11 April, 2007, Burma Army LIB 599, with 35 soldiers, forced villagers to carry food for LIB 375 of MOC 9 at Kwee De Kaw camp. One of these villagers stepped on a landmine that had been placed by the Burma Army near their camp. Five villagers were injured by the explosion; they are: Saw Xxx Xxx, 30 years old, from Koni Village; Saw Xx Xxxx Xxx, 26 years old, from Koni Village; Saw Xxx Xxxx, 50 years old, from N’plaw Doh Village; Saw Xx Xxx, 30 years old, from Wei Swan Village ; and Saw Xxxx Xxx, 20 years old, from Haw Hta Plaw Village. LIB 599 is under Major Tin Bo Aung, Captain Aung Ko Oo, Myint Tun, and Lieutenant Myint San Oo.

2. On 10 April, 2007, Burma Army LIB 599 forced villagers from Ta Kaw Pwa (Burmese: Tat Kon) village-tract to provide 25 bullock carts to carry their loads from battalion head-quarters (In-toe/In-shay) to Kwee De kaw (Burmese: Paung-Zeik) camp. The villagers were also required to bring 150 bamboo pieces and other wood to build the camp.

3. On 4 and 9 April, 2007, Burma Army LIB 599 forced 250 villagers from Ko Nee and Ta Kaw Pwa (Tak-gon) village tracts to carry food for the Kaw La Wah Lu army camp. Each Day 250 villagers were required to report to LIB 599 battalion headquarters. The Burma Army threatened to capture villagers if at least 250 villagers did not come to carry loads.

4. From 31 March until 31 April, Burma Army MOC 5 commander Khaung Mya required the use of cars belonging to the following eight Kaw Thay Der villagers: Naw Xxx Xx, Saw Xxx Xx, Saw Xxx Xxx, Naw Xx Xxx, Saw Xxxx Xxx, Saw Xxxxx Xxx, Saw Xxxx and Saw Xxxx Xx. These villagers were required to move Burma Army rations and supplies everyday without rest.

5. Burma Army LIB 351 has also forced villagers from Bluh Doh village to clear ground for the construction of a new battalion office, and to collect bamboo to be used in the construction of the office.

One villager, Saw Xxxx Xxx, was shot and wounded by LIB 351 as he worked in his rice field. The Burma Army then threatened him if he were to tell anyone they shot him, and then fined him for working in an area they claimed was off limits to villagers. He was shot and wounded at Ywa Sa Gaw village.

Another man who was collecting bamboo for the Burma Army, Saw Xxx Xxx Xxx, was captured with two of his friends on 15 March 2007. His two friends were released, but he has not yet been released.

Toungoo District Forced Labor

On 2 April, 2007, Burma Army MOC 5 commander Khaung Mya based in Bawgali Gyi (Kler La) forced the Bawgali Gyi villagers to cut 400 pieces of bamboo for use at the army camp.


1. During fighting between the KNLA and Burma Army at P’Yalaha, one Burma Army bulldozer was damaged. LIB 349 demanded 38 million kyat from Hti Bah Lo Village (the village contains 83 houses with 420 civilians) for reparation. The Burma Army threatened to put the village headman and secretary in prison if villagers could not pay the money. When the KNLA destroyed another bulldozer in Mon Township, Burma Army LIB 590 battalion commander Moe Win and company commander Zaw Myit demanded 170 million kyat from Wei Gyi and Lu-A villages. Wei Gyi Village has 115 houses with 791 people and Lu-A has 117 houses with 711 people. If they do not pay the money for the bulldozer the villages must relocate to between Nyaung Bi Zeik and Myaw Yo Gyi

2. Burma Army LIB 599 battalion commander Tin Po Aung has been inflating the price of food to extort money from the following village tracts: Mon, Tat Kone, Naung Bo, and Mwai Twain. One example is the selling of chickens for 1,800 kyat, as opposed to the standard 800 kyat.

  Photos of LID 11 Troops Returning to Muthey Army Camp: ^ top  

Photo: Tactical Operations Command 2 under LID 11 returned to Muthey on 17 April 2007. The TOC commander is on the left, accompanied by a battalion commander.

Photo: 500 TOC 2 soldiers returned to Muthey from Paw Kay Ko camp, accompanied by a Bulldozer and many convict porters carrying supplies and injured soldiers. 17 April 2007.

Photo: Convict Porter tied to a Burma Army soldier. 17 April 2007.

Photo: convict porters guarded by Burma Army troops. 17 April 2007.

  Interview With a Teacher, NAW Xxx Xxxx : ^ top  

“My name is Naw Xxx Xxxx and I live in Saw Ka Der Village. I am a school teacher in the village. I want to tell you about the situation in my village. Last year, in 2006, I had to flee and hide in jungle almost every month; in this year, 2007, in the month of March, I have fled into the jungle and hidden more than four times. At the end of March, villagers in Saw Ka Der Village had to flee and some had no time to run; the BA captured them but did not take them. The army looted all the household materials. A woman with 3 children who the BA captured said they looted all of her children’s clothes, the cooking pots, machetes, and everything; she begged the army and they gave her some cooking pots and machetes back. She said most of the army were young and many of them could speak Karen very well. The army also dropped some cards that said, “We do not hurt, we only complete our duty.” When I and all the villagers fled and hid, the army almost caught us in the jungle; they were very close to us, about 50 meters away from us. The army burned down a barn with paddy inside. They captured one man and until now we have not heard anything about him.”

Photo of Naw Xxx Xxxx

  Forced Relocation of Aung Soe Moe Village: ^ top  

Burma Army LIB 351 has been slowly forcing Aung Soe Moe villagers to relocate for much of 2007. Many villagers have already moved to the Kyauk Kyi area (see report March 21, 2007), but some have built small temporary houses near their old village as the Burma Army has demanded all homes to be destroyed. Only the clinic and school in the village have not been torn down.

Photo: Houses in Aung Soe Moe village that have been destroyed by order of LIB 351

Photo: LIB 351 soldiers napping in Aung Soe Moe village after entering the village to oversee the relocation of the village.