On 30 March, 2007, DKBA troops began to attack villagers and suspected locations of the Karen pro-democracy group, the Karen National Union. (note: we apologize for the lateness of the report.)
The attacks occurred in northern Dooplaya District, with attacks and patrols continuing throughout April. During the attacks DKBA troops captured, tortured and killed one man, physically assaulted others, and one man died after stepping on a DKBA landmine. Troops also burned down rice barns, destroying more than 20,000 kilograms of villagers’ rice. Villagers were threatened with beatings and forced to carry loads for the DKBA.
The man killed was named Saw Tha Chin. The DKBA soldiers found him in his house in Gaw Khaw Law Klo, captured him, dragged him underneath his house, beat him, and then shot and killed him.
When we received the team’s report, we showed it to a friend from Partners Relief and Development who was with us on a mission. We are including his response when he saw the photos of the tortured and murdered village.
From a Partners Relief and Development team leader:
“Today I got a report with a picture taken on April 19, 2007, in Karen State, Burma. It made me sick with anger. In the photo, a man named Saw Tha Chin is face down on the ground with his arms stretched in front of him and his buttocks exposed. His blue sarong is wrapped around his waist instead of covering his lower body. One leg looked badly burned and cut, his head and arm badly crushed. Everywhere on his decomposing body were the sickening signs of torture.
This is how the government of Burma treats their own people. This is what is done to the fathers of good families, the mothers of young children, and the children who are the future of any healthy country. The Burma Army and its proxy forces burn villages, schools and churches. They enslave able bodied men, gang rape tender young women, and abuse and traumatize the children. The result of this systemic evil is simply the slow and brutal death of a peace-loving, often defenseless people.
When I saw this picture today I wished for some old school God, not new school love. I wished for a great chasm to open up and swallow the 500,000 strong military force with a great fiery yawn. I wish for them to experience justice, not mercy. I didn’t pray for their conversion today but I asked God for their death.
I know in my head that God desires a redemptive prayer that includes the conversion of people who do evil. So I ask for prayer today. I want God’s hand to shape my heart. I pray that God leads me to pray, live and act in a way that pleases Him.
God must feel terrible pain when he sees free will going the wrong direction. What was meant to prove true love turns to pure hell and God asks us to be the ones who pray and act in order to straighten the crooked way. There are all sorts of theological challenges for me when I see the innocent people of Burma suffer and die as they do. But this one thing I know: I must do for them what I would have them do for me.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets.” Matt 7:12 NIV
So friends, I write this as a reminder of why we do what we do. I urge you to do that thing with all your heart today; to love God absolutely and honor that love with pure action on behalf of the people He has called us to serve and love.
From my Heart, A Partners team leader”
K6 Team Mission Report: The following is the report sent by the team.
We, the K6 Free Burma Ranger team, decided to go to Kyainn Township, Noh Maw Pu area. There are nine villages with 206 families and 1,063 people total. We treated 562 patients.
IDP Situation and Human Rights Violations
Burma Army activity and DKBA pressure has forced villages into hiding in the jungle, where they depend on the Karen resistance, Backpack Health workers, or Free Burma Rangers for medical aid.
The villagers and IDPs are threatened by both the DKBA and the Burma Army, as both are present in the area.
The Burma Army threatened the local village headmen, saying they would have to pay if there was fighting between the Karen resistance forces and the Burma Army. They also forced the villagers in the area to carry food and supplies to support their operations in the area.
Two villages were forcibly relocated; villagers who didn’t want to move to the relocation site had to run for their lives. The DKBA then mortared their hide site and several were killed. Those who did relocate were not allowed to go to their fields and gardens.
The Burma Army and DKBA forced villagers to carry supplies to the front lines; the villagers had to walk ahead of them, and some were killed and wounded in fighting.
On 11 May, 2007, Burma Army Division 22 came to Waw Loo (Win Lon) village with LIB 210, #2 column, to build a camp. This also led to more forced labor, as the Burma Army requisitioned villager labor to construct and maintain the camp.