This is the FBR Kler Lwe Htu Team (1) and (2) combined field-trip mission report.
14 FBR team members and friends focused on Keh Der village area (Pay-tu-Sa-leh, Kyeh Ja and Mu-theh villages), Zone (2) in Hsaw Hti township and Ler Doh Downship.This is in far western KarenState, Burma.
FBR Kler Lwe Htu Teams (1) and (2) joined together and planned to visit IDPs (Internally Displaced People) in Hsaw Hti Township Zone (2). After gathering their supplies in the beginning of May, the Burma Army troops took action in Ler Doh Township. The team shifted its focus area and planned the mission for Ler Doh Township.
There are over 13,000 IDPs in our district and 3,550 in Ler Doh Township. The team visited Keh Der village area; Pay Tu, Sa Leh, Kyweh Ja, and Mu Theh villages. The team gave medical treatment to 725 IDPs (Internally Displaced People).
The Burma Army troops have been active in the area mentioned in the beginning of 2004 and have continued to move in the area up to the writing of this report. At present, villagers are still facing many difficulties and are living in fear. The Burma Army troops are LIB (388)(246) mobile troops and IB (60) base camp company. All troops are under the umbrella of MOC (3).
The team encouraged the IDPs and built understanding between people in the communities. The team helped them in any way they could.
The IDP situation has improved, but villagers still live in fear and face problems of food shortage, health, lack of education, and insufficient provisions for basic needs because of continuing Burma Army activities.
Human Rights Violations
From May 2004, villagers in Mu Kee, Keh Der, Oo Keh Kee, Ta Kaw Der, Thaw Der and other villages have fled to the jungle three times. On 11 May 2004, around 1 pm, Burma Army Battalion LIB (368) mobile troops captured XX XXX (over 90 years old). They also destroyed one of Naw XX XX’s storehouse which held 16 sacks of rice paddy. The troops took all of her farming materials from the storehouse.
Beginning this year in the plains area, Pay-tu and Sal-eh villages, Burma Army Battalion LIB (60), based at Chein Ma Taung camp, asked villagers to come to their offices. One villager was required to go each day. The troops demanded chicken, pork, fish, and cigars, which costs villagers an estimated 500 Kyat per family per month to supply. Villagers reported that every time LIB (264) enters the village, they take two villagers to work as porters for a day.
In Kyweh Ja village beginning this year, Burma Army IB (60) company, based at Aung-soe-moe, led by Sargeant Moe Kyaw, has demanded villagers to work for them to make a car road and provide security for a bridge. Two people must provide security daily, or they must hire two Burma Army soldiers for 1400 Kyat per day.
In Mu-theh village, Burma Army LIB 381 is led by captain Aung Kyaw Myit and based on Ka Baw Kyo Mountain. Burma Army LIB 383 is led by Htin Aung Kyaw and based at Ler Wah Kyo. These troops are under the control of MOC (2). The MOC commander is San Win Kaing. These troops often demand bamboo leaves from villagers. Recently, the soldiers have stolen one buffalo, three goats, eight ducks, and some chickens. The same troops cut down recently planted bamboo and trees and seem to show no respect for anyone, including the village headman.
In May 2004, Burma Army troops from Baw Ka Ta and Ka Baw Kyo were active three times in the Keh Der village area. The troops were:
-LIB 388 mobile troop
-LIB 264 mobile troop
-LIB 381 Base at Kaw Baw Kyo camp
-LIB 383 Base at Ler Wah Kyo camp
-IB 60 Base at Aung Soe Moe and Chein Ma Taung.
1. Name – XX XX / Age – 32 / Religion – animist / Occupation – cultivator / Family status – 6 persons / nationality – Karen / Address – XX XX village. Interview date – 12 May 2004
She said she was hiding with her father in a barn (storehouse) on the west side of her village. Her father, Saw XX XXX, was 90 years old and could not see well. While she and her father were hiding, on 11 May 2004 at about 12:00, the Burma Army troops from LIB (388) came into her village. They found her hiding place and she ran out and left her father alone. The troops captured her father and took him away. She said she saw three of the Burma Army soldiers come toward the barn and then they took all of her household and farming materials and destroyed the barn as well. There were 16 sacks of paddy in the barn. The owner of the barn was Naw XX XX. It is assumed that Saw XX XXX was killed.
Name – Saw XXX x / Age – 47 / Religious – Animist / Occupation – Farmer / Family status – 5 persons / Nationality – Karen / Address – X X – X XX. Interview date 19 May 2004 (plains area)
Saw XXX x was a village chief in X X and X XX, with 52 houses and 507 villagers. His villagers were under the control of Burma Army IB (60), based at Chein Ma Taung Camp. Because of this, his villagers are facing many problems. He said, “The Burma Army do not force villagers to be porters and demand money, but they still demand villagers to work for them, and to give food such as chicken, duck, pork, eggs, and cigars.” He also said that the camp commander ordered one of his villagers to go and wait in the Burma Army office each day. Moreover, the Burma Army LIB (264) mobile troops took two villagers to work for them for a day whenever they entered and left the village. During 2004, his villagers were forced to relocate close ro the Burma Army car road. The order came from the division commander.
Name – Saw XX X/ Age – 46 / Religious – Christian / Occupation – farmer / Family status – 6 persons / Nationality – Karen / Address – XXXX / Interview date 20 May 2004. (plains area)
Saw XX X was a chief of XXXX village, with 219 villagers. His village is under the control of Burma Army IB (60) based at Aung Soe Moe camp, led by camp commander Mo Kyaw (sargeant). This company often demands that villagers build the car road, cut clearings on both sides of the car road, and provide security for a bridge close to the village. Every day, two villagers are responsible for bridge security. If they do not provide it, they must hire two Burma Army soldiers for 1400 Kyat per day. Moreover, he said the camp commander demands that two villagers go to the Burma Army office each day. He also said the Burma Army organizes villagers into women’s affairs groups and have them fill out an application form and pay 300 kyat. He took some villagers to be SDA (Security Development Association) members. If a villager works as SDA staff, they are free from all demands by the Burma Army. In 2004, one village was responsible for building 100 yards of car road fit for two cars to drive. These villagers face many problems.
Distribution of Materials
The team distributed Bibles, Hymnals, Picture Bibles, and Good Life Club packages to IDPs and they were very pleased. The team also donated some cash to help needy children.
The IDPs that we visited were animist, Buddhist, and Christian. People of all religions were very kind, welcomed the team and invited the team to visit them again.
Health and Education
The villagers that the team visited had very little education. Villagers in the plains area do have school, but they are not allowed to study or teach in their mother language.
During the trip, the team found that many of the IDPs suffer from malaria, anemia, wounds, body pains, arthritis, asthma, gastric problems, ARI, abscesses, worm diarrhea, UTI vitamin A, dysentery, hypertension, and beri beri. The team prayed for and encouraged them and treated them. The team treated 725 persons and listed below is the breakdown of ailments treated –
4. body pain
13. vitamin. A deficiency
Total Patients Treated: 725 persons
The team was very sorry to see the villagers living in insecure conditions and unstable shelters. Despite their difficulties, the villagers are kind hearted and hospitable. The team loved their trip and would like to help the people consistently.
-Two thirds of the villagers visited were Animist and Buddhist. They enjoyed the team and saw that the KNU (Karen National Union) stands up for them. Their hearts were full of happiness when they saw the team work hard for them.
-The team was able to organize people in the plains area and join hands more tightly with them to work harder for freedom.
-The team is sorry that they did not have enough medicine to complete the mission to their complete focus area.
The team visited eight places and treated 725 persons. The villagers visited faced insufficient medical treatment and a lack of food and clothing. They do not have enough educational materials The team could not help them at all without outside support. The team is very thankful and invites FBR leaders to come or to send help for the teams in this area to continue their work.
To continue and strengthen the relief work, the teams need help and request FBR to consider this.
The teams have a plan to visit areas where where no relief team or worker has ever gone. The teams in this area also have a plan to visit Hasw Hti Township Zone (2) and Moo Township. The teams again request that FBR leaders help to implement the Kler Lwe Htu team objectives and goals.
“Fraternal love will step into our land of freedom land that we wish for and feed it.”
10 May 2004 – FBR team left district headquarters at 8 am and arrived at Ler Doh Township at 1:30 pm. The team was informed that the situation in Keh Der village area was bad. The team left their loads behind and went ahead. The loads followed the team two days later.
11 May 2004 – The team left Ler Doh township at 7:30 am and arrived in XX XX village at 4:30 pm.
12.5.2004 – At 8 am the team left XX XX village and went to XXX X village. There they met Naw X X, whose father was captured by Burma Army LIB 388 and interviewed her. They continued our trip to X XXX village to help Naw X X search for her father, but did not find him. The team arrived at No. 1 company camp and met No. 9 batallion commander and then returned to XX XX village.
13 May 2004 – Waited for team loads at XX XX village.
14 May 2004 – At 8 am, the team started medical treatment at XX XX village and gave good life club (GLC) packages to children.
15 May 2004 – Met No. 1 company deputy commander to talk about the SPDC targets for operations in Keh Der and Kwi Lah village areas.
16.5.2004 – The team left XX XX at 8:30 am and arrived at X XX at 11:30 am. They gave GLC packages and clothing to children and villagers.
17 May 2004 – At 7 am the team left X XX village and arrived in No. 1 company frontline camp at 6 pm.
18 May 2004 – The team stayed at No. 1 company frontline camp (xxxx) and waited for xxXX XX and X XX villagers to come for a meeting and medical treatment.
19 May 2004 – At 8 am the team started our meeting for xxXX XX, X XX villagers and the No. 9 batallion commander gave a speech describing the current KNU (Karen National Union) political situation. KNDO (Karen National Defense Organization) No. 1 company commander, Saw XXX, gave an encouraging speech and the FBR team leader did the same. The team then gave medical treatment. At 2:50 pm, they left xxxx to another frontline camp (xx) and arrived at 4:15 pm.
20 May 2004 – At 9 am the team started our meeting with X XX villagers and Captain XX XXX. The FBR team leader gave encouragement and explained our current situation. After that, the team started medical treatment and our medic treated villagers.
21 May 2004 – Left XX XXX (Tha Ya Goe) return to xxxx.
22 May 2004 – Rest at xxxx.
23 May 2004 – At 6:30 am, the team left xxxx and returned to xx xx village. They arrived at xx xx farm at 6 pm.
24 May 2004 – Today the team arrived back at xx xxx village and waited for materials.
25 May 2004 – At 9 am the materials arrived and the team started our work to encourage and give medical treatment until 2 pm. The team then returned to XX XXXx village.
26 May 2004 – At 8 am, the team started giving medical treatment. They left the village at 11:15 am to go to xx xxxX village, arriving at 2 pm and then giving medical treatment. The team discussed with Saw xx xx about continuing our trip to XXXXXX.
27 May 2004 – The team continued to treat villagers in XX XX village and at 8 am, left this village and went to XXXX X. They met XXX X tract secretary and arranged a meeting with XXX villagers. They also gave Bibles and hymnals for their Church.
28 May 2004 – At 8:14 am the FBR relief team held a meeting for XXXX X villagers, and the KNDO platoon commander Saw XXX. The FBR team leader explained our current situation and encouraged villagers.
29 May 2004 – The team gave medical treatment in X XX village from 8 am to 1:15 pm and then returned to XXX XX at 1:50 pm.
30 May 2004 – The team rested at XXXX KNDO company no. 1 camp.
31 May 2004 – At 8:15 am the team started a first aid workshop. Medic Saw X and Saw X X X explained first aid. 16 people attended the workshop.
1 June 2004 – At 12 pm the team went to a wedding at XXX X village.
2 June 2004 – At 6:30 am the team left XXX X, and at 10:20 hours had lunch at No. 9 battalion headquarter. They left the battalion at 11:09 am and arrived at Ler Doh township headquarter at 2:30 pm. The team slept there.
3 June 2004 – At 6:30 am the team left Township HQ and arrived back at Kler Lwe Htu District Headquarters at 11:50 am.