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NCUB PRESS RELEASE NO (17)
N A T I O N A L C O U N C I L O F T H E U N I O N OF B U R M A
PRESS RELEASE NO (17)
Continuing SLORC Human rights abuses against Karen
villagers in the offensive against KNLA Brigade 6
Date: March 3, 1997
(1) We have learned that the SLORC's Tactical Command 223 of Division 22, ordered all headmen from different villages such as Kyaik Don, Wi Tan, Kyar Ma Naing, Ywar Thit, Yo Thu, Phaw Naw Khee, Par Kho Law Kel, Whee Thaw Thu, Htee No Kho, Pu All Kalow and
Mi Nar Aut, to come to Kyaik Don. SLORC Maj. Mya Thaung reportedly told the headmen that every day each village must provide 15 villagers for constructing the Kyaik Don- Pu Ri- Mu La Ei road and Cho Ka Li- Mu La Ei road, 30 villagers for digging trenche
s and constructing bunkers, and 5 bullock-carts for transportation. The roads will primarily be used for access to the Kha Yan Yaung (Violet colour) mine which will be opened soon. The profits will be shared between the SLORC and former KNLA Battalion
16 Commander Maj. Tha Mu Hae who surrendered to the SLORC in February. Villagers have no time to prepare their upland rice fields and to repair their houses because they are forced to work for the SLORC with no compensation.
(2) On March 23, 1997, a sergeant and one soldier from Capt. Kan Nyunt's section of Light Infantry Battalion 1 (LIB 1) of the SLORC's Tactical Command 223, Division 22, arrived at Pu All Khee village which is near Kyaik Don in Dupalaya District. They for
cibly abducted two Karen women, namely Naw Law Ael (18 year old) and Mya Wit Sanda (21 years old). The SLORC soldiers raped them and later killed them, leaving their naked bodies in the jungle. After the villagers sent a report about the death of the two
Karen girls to the SLORC LIB 1, Maj. Mya Thaung from SLORC's LIB 1 ordered the troops to arrest a Karen villager named Saw Char Lar Hee (35 years old, the son of U Saw Kyaw and Naw Mar Day) and used serious torture to force him to admit to committing this
crime. We have been informed that Saw Char Lar Hee was later released on March 26, 1997 after repeated requests by two eyewitness to the event.
(3) On March 23, 1997, troops from LIB 1 of SLORC Division 22 arrived at Dai Ka Lauk village near Kyaik Don village and forcibly took 2 million betel nuts, weighing 800 kgs. The SLORC gathered all the villagers at gunpoint and blinded them with heavy spot
lights in their faces so that they were unable to see what was happening. When one witness, namely, Saw Ba Lat Kyaw, asked the SLORC LIB 1 to take action against the soldiers responsible for the events, all the military men who were involved in the case w
ere hidden. The SLORC then organised a line-up with soldiers who were not related to the event in order to deny the accusation by saying that no one here committed that crime.
(4) On March 25, 1997, the SLORC found five KNLA guns hidden at Win Lone village near Kyaik Don village in KNLA Brigade 6 area. The SLORC arrested a village school teacher, namely, Saw Tar Bludo (34 years old), who has had conflicts with a SLORC informer
in the same village. The SLORC forced him to admit that he was responsible for the hidden weapons. Saw Ta Bludo was tortured terribly in different ways such as rolling pieces of bamboo on his legs, blindfolding him and pouring water over his head, and b
eating him severely, until he confessed. On March 28, 1997 he was released after the headman made a guarantee for him.
(5) On March 25, 1997 Capt. Kan Nyunt of LIB 1 arrived in Pu Yay village and summoned Phal Eal and two of his friends and asked them if there were KNLA troops moving around near the village. While the villagers were explaining to them that there weren't a
ny KNLA troops in the village, gunfire started in the back of the village. The SLORC soldiers executed three of them on the spot, accusing them of being liars. In reality, the gunfire came from the outskirts of the village where the SLORC soldiers followe
d and shot at five families of forced labourers who attempted to run away from a porter camp and go to the Thai-Burma border.
These people have not yet arrived at the Thai-Burma border camps but seem to have disappeared or may be hiding somewhere in the jungle.
(6) Many Karen people live in small villages comprised of only 10-15 families, staying on the plain or at the base of the mountains. These villagers support the KNU. So, in order to cut the contact between the villagers and the KNLA, the SLORC forced the
villagers to abandon their villages and move to two concentration camps named Sho Hta and Pu All Ka Lo. (Phaw Naw Wee, War Paw Law and Whee villagers have been moved to Sho Hta, and Htee No Kho village has been moved to Pu All Ka Lo village).
(7) At 11:00 AM, on March 28, 1997, SLORC troops came into Kyaut Phyar village near Dai Ka Lauk village, because they were informed by a SLORC informer that there were six KNLA soldiers staying in the village. Villagers were forced to walk in front of the
troops in order to clear land mines. But the SLORC military intelligence later found that the information was wrong as they could not find any KNLA soldiers in the village.
(8)On March 23, 1997, SLORC's Company 1 of LIB 209 under Tactical Command 221 of Division 22, which was deployed in Htat Tha Naw village near Mal Ka Thi Hta village in Duplaya District, arrested Saw Pha Lal Doe (29 years old), Saw Than Oo (33 year s old)
, Saw Phar Tar Ba Lal (19 years old) and Saw Phar Thwel (30 years old) from Tha Naw Khee village. The SLORC soldiers accused them of being KNLA sympathisers. Saw Htoo Say Par (30 years old) and Saw Htae Chaw Oo from Htee Yo Khee village were also detaine
d for the same reason.
Capt. Soe Lwin from Company 1, LIB 209 under Tactical Command 221 of Division 22 interrogated and tortured six villagers from Htat Tha Naw village to find out where the KNLA had hidden weapons and ammunition. Saw Pha Lal Doe (29 years old, son of Saw Phar
Mee Say and Naw Ma Kyar) managed to escape by fleeing to the Thai-Burma border. He could not tolerate the brutal torturing which including kicking with military boots, punching him in the cheek, and pounding him with a gun butt. "The remaining villagers
are still being severely tortured," said Saw Pha Lal Doe who arrived in No Pho refugee camp on March 27, 1997.
National Council of the Union of Burma (NCUB)