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KHRG #97-01 Part 3/4 (Karenni)


	  An Independent Report by the Karen Human Rights Group
		   March 5, 1997     /     KHRG #97-01



NAME:    "Klaw Reh"   SEX: M   AGE: about 30-35    Kayah Christian (RC)
FAMILY:  Widower, 1 daughter aged 10, another died long ago 
	 and wife died while pregnant
ADDRESS: Daw Mi Ku village (#55), Shadaw Township        INTERVIEWED: 21/1/97

["Klaw Reh"'s wife died along with their unborn child along the way, 
while the family was fleeing Shadaw relocation camp for the Thai border.]

I don't remember exactly when I arrived here [the camp registration book 
says it was 10/10/96].  SLORC sent a letter to order us to move.  When we 
received the order, I called my family and we went to Shadaw.  I stayed 
there for two months.  In Shadaw, they forced me to cut bamboo.  Each 
family had to cut 100 big bamboos for the army camp and also 3 wooden 
posts for lights along the road.  The bamboo were for building fences in the 
camp and for [army camp] buildings.

I could only build a tiny house for my family.  The SLORC only gave 100 
shingles of roof leaves [enough to cover a roof about 5 feet square, and 
even these were probably demanded from local villagers].  In the rainy 
season the rain was leaking through the roof.  And we had to find the 
bamboo ourselves [to build the houses, in addition to the bamboo they 
were ordered to cut for the Army].  We stayed in a big place and there was 
a fence around it.  I received 30 milk tins of rice per week for my family.  
For about two months.  After that, no more.  When we had no more food, 
SLORC allowed us to go and get some in our village.  My daughter got 
sick.  She was coughing.

I escaped from Shadaw through the fence with my wife and my daughter.  
My wife was well.  When we escaped from Shadaw, she was well.  She 
was pregnant, about 4 months pregnant.  First we went back to our village.  
It was still in good condition.  We spent one night there, but not in the 
village, we hid in the jungle.  But when we got near Tee Cha camp, my 
wife became sick.  She became very tired and had pain in her belly.  She 
died during the night.  I stayed the night near her.  In the morning,  
I buried her at that place.  Then I continued the journey with my daughter to

come here.  I saw many villagers on the way here.  I also saw 4 villages on 
the way.  Three of them had been burned down by the SLORC.  Only one was 
not burned down but nobody was staying there.  I didn't meet any SLORC 
on the way.  Here I feel safer because it is not under the SLORC.  But I 
don't know anything about the future.
NAME:    "Nga Reh"      SEX: M    AGE: 28         Kayah Buddhist farmer
FAMILY:  Single
ADDRESS: Daw Tama Gyi village, Deemawso Township  INTERVIEWED: 21/1/97

["Nga Reh"'s village, just north of Baw La Keh on the west side of the Pon 
River, is being used as a relocation site.]

I arrived here about two months ago.  My village was not ordered to move 
but SLORC soldiers arrested many people.  I was very afraid of them.  And 
we had to do a lot of loke ah pay [forced labour] for them.  So I left my 

Other villages were ordered to move to Daw Tama Gyi.  I don't know 
whether they received an order or not but I know that the SLORC soldiers 
forced the other villages to stay together in Daw Tama Gyi.  It was at the 
beginning of the rainy season.  I saw more than 300 people.  They were 
from 4 villages, Daw Kaw, Daw Par, Daw Ta Kya and Daw Hei Kleh.  
They had to stay in a separate place near Daw Tama Gyi, only for the new 
people.  They built shelters there.  It was very difficult for them to find 
bamboo and to build houses.  The SLORC didn't give them anything with 
which to build a house.  There was no fence around the place but many 
SLORC soldiers were always checking and guarding the new people.  They 
were not allowed to go out freely.

The food was not enough.  Each family received only 3 milktins of rice per 
week.  The people could do nothing.  They just boiled the rice to make a 
rice soup.  The water was not good.  It came out of a pipe from Daw Ku 
Kay village.  I saw a lot of sick people.  Some died from disease.  Most of 
them had fever.  The SLORC soldiers forced them to work every day, to 
clear the car road and to make fences for the security of their camp.  They 
are making a new car road.  I saw some cars on it.  People cannot run away 
from Daw Tama Gyi.

I was arrested when I was in my house in my village.  That happened about 
3 months before the new villagers arrived to Daw Tama Gyi.  SLORC 
forced me to build a fence for their camp.  I could not do it.  They ordered 
us to go every day and sometimes I was absent.  So they called me and they 
beat me three times on my back with a bamboo stick.  Even before the new 
people came, we had to do labour all the time.  Building the fences, 
working on the car road.  We had to do work for the SLORC every day.  
We didn't get paid for it.  We had no chance to work on our farms.  The 
SLORC ordered us to work for 10 days and then we had only one day for 
ourselves to grow our paddy and other things.  The new people also have to 
do the same work all the time for the SLORC.  They don't have any land 
[to farm].  

I was afraid of the SLORC, so I came here with two of my brothers: an 
elder brother and a younger one.  We came here on foot.  We climbed the 
mountains and we crossed the Salween river by boat.  We didn't meet any 
soldiers on the way.   We saw two villages on the way: Daw Kraw Aw and 
Daw Mu Kya.   Both had been burnt down by the SLORC.  SLORC 
soldiers are not good to the people.  That is why I came here.  What will 
happen, I don't know!
NAME:    "Baw Reh"       SEX: M    AGE: 19              Kayah Buddhist farmer
FAMILY:  Single, 6 brothers and sisters, studied until 6th Standard
ADDRESS: Daw Law Ku village (#154), Deemawso Township   INTERVIEWED: 21/1/97

["Baw Reh" spent several months in Tee Po Kloh relocation camp.]

I arrived here on 16/1/1997.  First I went to stay in XXXX, then I 
came over here.  Daw Law Ku villagers had to move to Tee Po Kloh.  I 
think it was in July [around mid-June].  They gave us only 3 days to move.   
My family moved together to Tee Po Kloh.  It was one day's walk away.  
We had to make 3 trips.  Some people had to carry their things by 
themselves and some used bullock carts.  It was in the hills but a cart could

be used on the way.  In Tee Po Kloh, we received a plot of land to build a 
house.  It was not too small.  I could even grow things there if they would 
let me, but the SLORC didn't allow us to grow vegetables.  This area used 
to be farmland.  The Tee Po Kloh villagers didn't receive anything for it.  
Eleven villages moved to Tee Po Kloh, including Daw Law Ku, Daw Pet, 
Daw Preh Tu, Daw Lyah Ku, Daw Put, Tee Theh Kloh, etc...  I don't 
know how many people there were.  In my village, there were 26 houses.  
Everybody moved to Tee Po Kloh.  I don't know why the SLORC ordered 
us to move.  They didn't burn our village down but the villagers didn't go 

The place was not fenced [later there was a fence].  The soldiers have a 
camp in Tee Po Kloh.  I think it is Battalion #421 but I am not sure.  Each 
person received only 4 or 5 milktins of rice for one month [this is only 
enough for 2 days].  If it was not enough, they allowed people to find food 
outside, but just for a limited time, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.  We could go 
back to our village but we had to get a pass.  It was free.  The validity of 
the pass depends on the village.  If the village was very far away they 
allowed 2 or 3 days, but if the village was near Tee Po Kloh they allowed 
less time.  If we overstayed, we would be tortured by the soldiers.  I saw 
people being beaten because the SLORC suspected them.  They arrested them, 
beat them, and put them in jail.  Sometimes they even killed them.  No one 
from my village was killed but some Tee Po Kloh villagers were.

We got water from the well [the existing village well].  It was enough for 
everyone but it was not clean.  Many people got sick.  I don't know from 
which diseases.  Some people died, especially children.  There was no 
clinic.  The only possibility is to go to the city hospital [at Deemawso 

Some people escaped from there, mainly single men.  I stayed in Tee Po 
Kloh for 7 months [actually less than that].  The situation was getting 
worse and worse because there was not enough food.  People who owned 
animals sold them to get money to buy food.  My family already sold our 
two cows and our buffalo.

We also had to repair the car road, the road from Deemawso to Tee Po 
Kloh to Daw Tama Gyi.  I worked there for 3 days.  They called one 
person from each family.  They fixed a period of time.  Each village had to 
finish one section of the road within 3 days.  In Tee Po Kloh, there is 
nothing to do [to earn money].  I went to Ngwe Daung to do farm work 
with my relatives.  They have a farm in XXXX [near Deemawso].  I 
went alone.  I worked there for about 4 months [actually less than that].  I 
couldn't stay there for a long time because SLORC soldiers might come into 
the village and arrest people.  From Ngwe Daung I came here on foot.  It 
was 9 days' walk.  I saw some soldiers on the way but they didn't do 
anything.  I saw some villages and almost all of them were burnt down.  All 
the villages I passed were empty.

My family is still staying in Tee Po Kloh.  I would like to call them to come

here, but if I call them SLORC will torture all the villagers in Tee Po Kloh.
My family is registered on their list.  Also, it would be very difficult for 
me to go back there.  Now I have no plans.  I don't think this refugee camp
very good but I don't know where else I could go.  So I will stay here.
NAME:    "Koo Ni Reh"       SEX: M    AGE: 24       Kayah Buddhist farmer
FAMILY:  Single, 3 brothers and sisters
ADDRESS: Daw Law Ku village (#161), Pruso Township  INTERVIEWED: 21/1/97

["Koo Ni Reh" spent 7 months in Mar Kraw She relocation camp.]

SLORC told us to move to Mar Kraw She village, beside the road which 
goes to Pah Saung town.  Only my village had to move there.  It has 20 
houses.  The other villages like Tee Theh Ku, Daw Ku Li and Law Pya Leh 
had to move to Kay Lia and Daw Ter Kleh had to move to Tee Bya Nge.  
They frightened us, they said  "If you want to die, don't come.  If you don't

want to die, you must move to that place."  We were afraid that if we went 
to any other places the SLORC would kill us.  And if we didn't go to do 
their loke ah pay [forced labour], we were afraid we would die.

When we were ordered to move, we could carry all our belongings except 
our cattle.  Later the SLORC allowed us to go and look after them during 
the daytime but in the evening we had to be back in the new place.  The 
SLORC didn't burn down my village, but nothing is remaining there except 
for some animals.  The troops often pass through the village.  

My family moved and they put us beside Mar Kraw She village.  It was not 
a good place because each family only received a plot of land 12 feet by 12 
feet.  We could only build a small shelter, only big enough for sleeping.  
They didn't give any roofing leaves, so we had to get them from the Mar 
Kraw She villagers.  We went by ourselves to cut the bamboo and trees to 
build shelters.  We had to go back to our village to get them.  They didn't 
order us to build a fence around the new place, but they ordered us to build 
a fence around their Army camp.  They ordered us to cut bamboo and 
make a fence, to cut trees along the road and clear the car road.

There were a lot of sick people. There was no clinic there.  When people 
were sick, they went to see the priest and he gave them some medicine.  
>From July until December we didn't receive any rice.  After that, I don't 
know as I wasn't there any more.  When we had no rice to eat, we wanted 
to go back to our village.  But then the SLORC saw us [leaving] and they 
asked: "Who gave you permission to go back to your village?"  We were 
afraid of them and we couldn't do anything anymore.  For 7 months, the 
SLORC didn't give any rice to us.  That's why I ran away.  I escaped 
through the fence.  I knew if they saw me they would beat me.  They only 
allowed us to go out from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.  If we came back later than 
that, they would torture us.

I arrived here this month, on foot.  I am the only one from my village.  In 
our village, many people would like to come here, but they have no way to 
come because they are afraid of the SLORC soldiers.  If the soldiers see us 
coming here in groups, it will not be easy for us.  My family wants to come 
here very much but they cannot, because the names of every family are 
already on their list.  If you want to come here, you must lie to them.
NAME:    "Nyi Reh"     SEX: M     AGE: about 40             Kayah Buddhist
ADDRESS: Thirida village (#19/20), Shadaw Township       INTERVIEWED: 12/96

["Nyi Reh" is one of the internally displaced villagers now in an area 
where villages have not been forced to move because the area is covered 
by a ceasefire agreement with a resistance group.  Over 200 displaced 
families, totalling over 1,100 people, are scattered among at least 5 
villages in this particular area.  Most of them are from Shadaw area and 
have fled to avoid relocation to Shadaw relocation camp.]

The villagers who moved to the SLORC relocation places don't get any 
help.  In Nwa La Bo camp they got some rice, but here we do not get any 
assistance.  No food, no building material.  I think there must be about 
1,000 people in this area.  Some people have finished building their houses 
but others are still staying with the local villagers.  We brought some rice 
with us, but some people couldn't.  We couldn't bring our livestock because 
there is no pasture land here, so we left them in our own village.  We have 
to try to find food for ourselves.  We have a lack of rice and salt, and we 
cannot find bamboo to build our houses.  Before we had work, but now we 
don't.  In this area, it is very difficult to find new land for
cultivation as most of the land is already owned by the local people.  We are

now facing many difficulties for food as well as for health and education for

our children.  Some children are now going to xxxx school but some cannot.  
We have to provide the books for them ourselves.

We would like to stay in our own village.  If the situation improves we will 
go back.  Here we have no farm and no money.  I wonder when we will be 
able to go back.
NAME:    "Saw Ler Wah"     SEX: M      AGE: about 30          Karen
						       INTERVIEWED: 27/1/97

[This information was given by a human rights monitor who had just 
returned from the Maw Chi/Buko township area of southern Karenni.]

Buko is not a relocation site.  The villages in that area were ordered to 
move to Maw Chi relocation site.  Shortly after the relocation,  SLORC burnt 
down half the houses of Buko, about 30 houses, and 50 houses in Kwachi. 

Many people are staying in the forest, 2 or 3 families together.  They 
managed to harvest a little paddy this year.  The SLORC operation took 
place in the rainy season.  At that time the villagers had already planted 
their paddy, but since they had to go into hiding they could not take care of

their fields.  Although weeds grew in the fields, they managed to harvest 
some paddy, but obviously the harvest was not good.  Their paddy can last 
them for another 2-3 months, then they will face a big shortage of rice.  
Especially in Buko area, where paddy cultivation has always been difficult 
and the farmers need many paddy seeds.  In that area it will be harder to 
survive.  If SLORC come again during the field clearing season [February 
to April], they will face big problems for the next harvest.  The villagers 
find vegetables in the jungle and they also manage to grow some, like 
cucumbers.  They've eaten all their animals like chickens and pigs, and most 
of their cattle and buffaloes have already been sold.  Also, during its 
operations SLORC killed and ate any cattle they found.

In the forest there are many illnesses. The worst is malaria, but also worms,

respiratory disease, diarrhoea, dysentery and skin diseases.  I heard about 
two children from the same family who died the same day because of 
malaria and anaemia.  They were coming from Maw Chi relocation site.

SLORC deliberately burnt down the villages they thought were important 
for the rebels.  They also burnt down the best houses in other villages, and 
all the rice barns they could find.  Some villages were not burnt down but 
landmines were laid.

After the relocations, SLORC moved into Ler Mu Ko township and Bwe 
Ghaw Ko township and searched the area.  They passed through Baw Ghu 
Der township and also burnt down some houses and put landmines there, 
but this was not a special operation.  Some people have been killed, 
including women, because they stepped on landmines.  The SLORC didn't 
search for the people in the jungle.

In Maw Chi relocation site, the people need permission from the SLORC to 
go back to their fields, to work and bring rice to the relocation site.  The 
pass costs 5 Kyats and is valid from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  So the villagers
go back, but it is dangerous because of the landmines - not only SLORC 
landmines, also KNPP landmines.  Some have died because they stepped 
on landmines.

SLORC gives 8 milktins of rice per person for one week [less than half 
what is needed to survive].  The rice brought back by the villagers from 
their villages must be given to the rice bank, and the SLORC redistributes it

to the people at the same rate - 8 tins per person per week [i.e. no one can 
get more than that no matter what].  It is very difficult to get salt and 
medicine.  They cannot go to Maw Chi to get salt.  At present they must go 
to Toungoo, which is far.  In the relocation site people die from disease 
because there is no health care.  There is only one clinic in Maw Chi.  
There is not enough medicine and people need to pay for it.  There is no 

There are 3 SLORC bases in Maw Chi and one inside the relocation site.  
There are about 1,000 people in Maw Chi relocation site.  The people were 
ordered to build a fence around the relocation area.  In Pah Saung too, 
there is a fence around the relocation site and the people were ordered to 
build it.  SLORC orders the people to work: to guard the area, to build their

bunkers and fences, and some people have to go as porters.  According to 
the villagers, SLORC is rebuilding the Toungoo/Maw Chi road and clearing 
the area for logging, but I didn't see or hear about any road building going 
on right now.

They also threaten people.  Recently KNPP destroyed a water pipe for the 
mine generator [Maw Chi is an important mining area] and the SLORC 
forced the people from the Maw Chi relocation site to rebuild it.  About 40 
to 50 people have fled the relocation site and went to stay in other villages

away from the SLORC.

			  The Attack on Camp 2

Most of the refugees who flee the forced relocations and make it to 
Thailand end up in Camp 2, a Karenni refugee camp just across the 
border in Thailand's Mae Hong Son province.  At 2 a.m. on 3 January 
1997, a force of between 20 and 50 men crossed into Thailand and 
attacked Camp 2, firing assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, M79 
grenades, 60 mm. mortars and 2-inch mortars.  At least 5 grenades were 
fired, some of them deliberately into groups of houses around the camp 
monastery.  The random firing continued for about 15 minutes in Section 
3 of the camp.  Three refugees were killed, 2 men and one woman, and at 
least 9 refugees were wounded.  The dead were Ei Pyin (a.k.a. Naung 
Kyin, female, age 19), Ai Pon (male, age 30), and U Baw Ga (male, age 
60, died of his wounds afterward at Mae Hong Son hospital).  The 
wounded included "Sai Long" (male, 24, see interview below), the baby 
daughter of "Sai Long" and Ei Pyin, Ai Ree (19), San Phone (50), Ai Lin 
(47), Nam Myint (14), Par Mai (47), Ai Kyar (40), Myint Oo (47), Oo 
Meh (31), and Ei Ket (32) [Source: Green November 32].

A statement and uniform left behind after the attack indicated that it had 
been carried out by the Karenni National Democratic Army (KNDA), 
armed wing of the Karenni National Democratic Party (KNDP).  This 
'splinter' organisation was formed on 5 November 1996 and allied itself 
with SLORC to fight against the KNPP.  While it claims to be independent, 
many people believe it was initiated by SLORC to divide the KNPP and as 
a front for use in attacking Thailand, just as the Democratic Kayin 
Buddhist Army (DKBA) has been used to attack Karen refugee camps 
further south.  Some refugees and KNPP officials believe that the attackers 
were actually SLORC soldiers using the name of KNDA and KNDP, which 
are both based near Deemawso, far from the area of  Camp 2.  KNPP 
sources have accused SLORC Light Infantry Battalion #84 or #302 of 
conducting the attack.  "Sai Long", interviewed below, is a refugee in 
Camp 2.  His wife Naung Kyin (a.k.a. Ei Pyin) was killed in the attack on 
the camp.

NAME:    "Sai Long"        SEX: M      AGE: 24          Shan Buddhist
FAMILY:  Married, 1 daughter aged 2 1/2 years
ADDRESS: Meh Steh vlg, Soe T'Cheh township              INTERVIEWED: 21/1/97

I have been staying here for about 10 months.  I came to the refugee camp 
because the SLORC forced me to move out of my village and because of 
SLORC oppression.  In the past I used to live in Meh Steh village.  The 
SLORC burnt down the houses in my village and then I went to another 
place called Pan Yone [previous site of Karenni Camp 2  refugee camp].

On 3/1/1997, when the Burmese came here, I was staying in my house.  
The fighting started at 2 a.m.  At first, I heard a big explosion and I saw 
sparks coming out.  I didn't see the soldiers.  I don't know how many they 
were and what kind of guns they had.  They didn't warn us.  They came 
quietly into the camp.  I suddenly heard shooting.  I just took my child and 
ran to escape.  I started running along the narrow path between the houses.  
My wife was behind.  I only know that the bullets flew very close to my 
house.  Near my house, three shells [by other reports, apparently M79 
grenades] exploded.  We shouted and my wife cried out in tears when she 
saw her father running.  The firing stopped when she cried like that.  But 
she was hit and fell down.  She fell near the door of our house.  The shell 
exploded in front of our house.  She was wounded on her legs, stomach 
and arms and soon after she died because of haemorrhage.  Her name is 
Naung Kyin and she was 19 years old.  I was also hit on my right elbow 
and my child got a small injury on her foot.

The attack lasted about 15 minutes: shooting and explosions.  I didn't see 
the Burmese after the fighting [he was hiding].  After the attack,  I had to 
wait for a long time for someone to carry my wife because I myself couldn't 
walk.  I also had an injury on my leg, so I just looked for some other people

to carry her after the fighting stopped.  I waited for two hours and then 
some people carried my wife to the hospital, and soon after she died there.

I cannot think or guess why the Burmese attacked this camp.  Now my 
wound is better but I can only bend my elbow a little bit.  As for my 
daughter, she can walk again now.  I have no other place to stay, so I can't 
think or decide whether I should stay or not stay now.  I am really afraid to

stay in Camp 2 anymore.  I want to stay with my parents-in-law who moved 
to Camp 3 on the Thai side [away from the disputed border, further into 


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