|FBR REPORT: Families Flee: over 1,500 people in hiding as Burma Army Columns shoot villagers, burn homes and destroy rice fields.
|Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District, Western Karen State, Burma
|30 October, 2009
The Burma Army is currently conducting attacks in Mone Township, Nyaunglebin District, Karen State. The operation began on 7 October as Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 599, Infantry Battalion (IB) 73 and IB 39 left Kwee Di Kaw and Maladaw camps and separated into at least two columns moving east. As of 9 October almost 1500 villagers had been displaced by the attacks.
On 7 October the Burma Army entered Nya Mu Ki village and shot Pastor Baw Pae, who was able to escape. On the same day, a different column shot and wounded Saw Hsaw Oh U, 35, from Kyauk Pya village. On 8 October, the Burma Army attacked Tanata village, burning down houses, including the house of Saw Poe Thaut Kya and all his belongings. On 9 and 10 October troops fired mortars on multiple villages in the Nwa Lay Ko, Giblayta and Saw Poe Ta areas. As the columns have proceeded thousands of villagers from Kyauk Pya, Nar Hti Ko, Nya Mu Ki, Taw Poe Hta, Thay Kay Lu, Hti Taw Ki, Nwa Hta, Nwa Lay Ko, Tanata and other villages have run under threat of attack and are hiding in the jungle. Schools in these areas have been closed. Food and medicine are scarce and many people, especially children, are sick. FBR teams also reported on 15 October that many villagers’ farms were being destroyed by wild animals because the villagers are hiding rather than tending their farms. The Burma Army has also been destroying rice fields in order to erect temporary huts for shelter.
|IDP villagers from Nwa Lay Ko Village
|Villagers fleeing from Nwa Lay Ko Village – stream crossing
People living in this area have faced other problems in the preceding months. On 6 September, LIB 563 forced Saw Tha Blar and Saw Pi Ti from Maladaw village to go to Htee Mu Hta camp to work without pay. Maladaw villagers were later forced on 10 September to build three security hits near the village. LIB 501 entered Kwee Di Kaw village and shot villager Saw Maung Pler, age 21, on 23 September. In addition, the Burma Army has been requiring each family in some villages to send someone to join Peace Group militias, or else pay more than 150,000 Kyat. This has been compounded by natural disasters. FBR teams reported on 3 October that in the Ler Klah, Saw Ka Der and Hti Ler Baw Ta areas of Mone Township, up to half of the paddy farms in the area were destroyed by rats, creating a food shortage. Flooding on August 8 also contributed to a food shortage.
God bless you,
Free Burma Ranger Relief Team
|IDP villagers from Nwa Hta Village
|Villagers from Nwa Lay Ko Village – taking refuge in temporary shelter
|Village rice farm destroyed by the Burma Army.