A Campaign of Terror in Western Burma
17 August 2022
Chin State, Burma
The Burma Army continues its relentless attempts to crush any semblence of freedom in the people. The constant threat posed by the proximity of Burma Army forces in Chin State, as elsewhere in Burma, makes the daily lives of civilians uncertain and dangerous. In May, three civilians, including a new mother and two who had fled fighting near their home villages to what they thought would be a safer location, were killed by Burma Army artillery fire when a mortar landed in their backyard, where they were sitting outside. It detonated after landing and two were killed immediately and one died several hours later. Many Chin villagers have been froced to flee across the border to neighboring India for safety. The FBR teams in Chin State continue to report on what is happening and respond by providing relief. In the month of June, they provided food, clothing and medical care in the Falam area. Below is a log of Burma Army activity in Chin State, followed by the FBR team’s mission report.
Burma Army Activity
On 25 April 2022, the Burma Army burned down 35 houses in Chaungkuah Village in Kalay Township. Some villagers fled to Kalay Myo and some villagers fled across the Indian border, to Mizoram.
On 12 and 13 May, the Burma Army troops came down the highway from Falam to Kalay Myo and began burning houses in Parte in the Zanniat area. The next day they burned more houses in Zawnglei Village.
On 10 and 25 May, the Burma Army fired artillery at least three times in Tahan, wounding two civilians.
On 27 May, in Kalay Myo, the military council cut off electricity, and internet lines were severed. That same day, three civilians were killed by artillery fire in the Tahan quarter, west of Kalay Myo. There were at least five artillery rounds fired by the Burma Army. The next day, a resident of Tahan Village described how the three were killed: “Last night, when the power went out, they were sitting on the wall. Just then, an artillery shell fell in front of the house, then detonated and killed them. Two people died on the spot and the third died around 2 am.”
One of the women, named MC Vanlalawmpuii, aged 25, is survived by her six-month-old son. The other woman was named NiNiaye and she was 40 years old. She was the secretary for the Minister of Education. The third civilian was named Phulapih, he was 25 years old. Both NiNiaya and Phulapih had fled from Minkin to Tahan to take refuge. They were killed in their place of refuge.
On 31 May the Burma Army continued to set fire to two villages, Natchaung and Chaungkhuah. There are about 2,000 houses between the two of them and the Burma Army has already burned 200 of them since December of 2021. The villagers have fled to Kalay Myo or into farmland five to six kilometers away.
On 9 July 2022, the Burma Army troops started moving from Falam to the Hakha highway. The village of Thlanrawn is about 13 miles from Falam. There are often clashes between the Burma Army and the Chin Defense Force (CDF). After the most recent incident, the Burma Army burned parts of Thlanrawn Village for the third time. The first time was on 18 October 2021 when they burned three houses and the second time was on 25 October 2021 when they burned nine houses and two church buildings. The villagers are fleeing to the IDP camp in Zokhawthar, just across the border in India.
On 15 July 2022, fighting continued, and the Burma Army burned 13 houses of Chuncung Village, Hakha Township, 10 miles from Hakha.
On 20 July, the Burma Army forces started entering the Zothong area of Mutupi Township. In Ramsey Village they broke into houses and it was announced on 28 July by the Chinland Defense Force-Zotung News and Information that about 30 innocent people were arrested and detained while even more were fleeing.
There is a great need for food and mosquito nets for these IDPs. They have no oil and only a week’s supply of rice. The phone connection is often bad and some of the families who are fleeing are still not able to be contacted.
In May and June, one FBR Chin team did a mission to the IDPs in Falam area, doing GLC programs, conducting interviews and helping them with food and mosquito nets. On this mission they provided food for 320 people and treated 150 patients, as well as giving clothing and other gifts. Below is the report from their mission.
Mission Start Date: 15.5.2022
Mission End Date: 12.6.2022
What is the IDP situation in the area?
There are many IDPs in the Kalay area and many that are fleeing across the India border, into Mizoram. Some, after the Burma Army leaves, return to their homes and some stay in the jungle or across the Indian border, near the Tiau River.
Most of the IDPs come from Cekan, Cicai, Liingsuh, Ngailen, Lungpi, Lungrang, Rih Khawdar, and Tio villages in the Kalay area. They are in need of good drinking water, food, and shelter. These people have no family in India and rely on support from the Mizoram villagers, churches in the area, or some NGOs.
The villagers who are residing in the forest have no proper shelter, and lack food, clothes, medicine, and mosquito nets. Malaria and other kinds of diseases have high rates in these types of settlements.
There is a severe lack of education in the Falam area of Chin State. Over the last two and a half years, due to Covid and the coup, children have not been able to attend school. The Chin National Organization (CNO) is preparing to open up schools in certain villages but they are in need of teachers. In Mizoram, children refugees from the Zote Camp and Civilian Defense Movement (CDM) were not able to attend school because their camp was too far away. In the Champ Hai area all refugees can go to school, but they are in need of resources and good teachers.
In Falam Town, Chin State, the Burma Army shot an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) near the school. One man, who was 60 years old, received injuries from this.
The locals can hear shooting from the Burma Army and saw 10 Burma Army trucks near the school. The school has been opened and the students have been ordered to attend. The Burmy Army has arrested 23 people from the Lungrang and Falam areas that were members of CDM. Villagers from Seken, Lijing, Suh, and Hmandawk are fleeing to Mizoram because the Burma Army and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) are fighting near Kalay Myo. The Burma Army has also destroyed a lot of the villagers’ land and houses.
In conclusion, the Burmy Army is wreaking havoc across Burma. Specifically, in the Kalay Myo and Falam areas, villages are being burned and pillaged, forcing villagers to flee across the border to Mizoram. For those living next to the Tiau River, it is too far for children to attend local schools, and malaria and dysentery are common diseases. Medical supplies, food, good drinking water, and shelter are in high demand as the villagers have no community or resources of their own. FBR is essential in meeting the needs of these people and the people trust them more and more. Sponsors are needed for more than 250 refugees.