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KHRG #97-03 Part 1/2 (Chin)


	 An Independent Report by the Karen Human Rights Group
    From Information Provided by the Chin Human Rights Organisation
		 March 15, 1997     /     KHRG #97-03



The Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) was formed in 1996 to 
begin independently documenting the human rights situation in Chin State 
of northwestern Burma.  The information in this report was collected by 
CHRO and translated and organised partly with the assistance of KHRG.  
We have reproduced it in this form to help give the events in Chin State as 
wide exposure as possible.  As can be seen by the information in this 
report (see also the related reports "SLORC Orders to Villages: Set 97-A" 
(KHRG #97-04, 16/3/97) and  "The Situation in Northwestern Burma" 
(KHRG #96-06, 30/1/96)), the Chin people (also known as Zo) 
are suffering human rights abuses at the same level as people in Burma's 
other conflict areas.  The Chin National Front (CNF) is an armed 
resistance group which continues to actively fight SLORC forces in the 
area, though SLORC never includes the CNF in the list of groups which 
have not signed ceasefire deals, preferring to pretend internationally that 
the CNF does not exist.

Meanwhile SLORC follows a policy of oppression, extortion and forced 
labour against Chin villagers and tortures or executes any of them 
suspected of having any contact with the CNF.  A large proportion of Chin 
people are Christian, while many others (particularly in the south) are 
Animist or Buddhist-Animist.  There are  active SLORC campaigns to 
persecute Chin Christians and make them convert to Buddhism.  A lot of 
forced labour on infrastructure and extortion is also now being conducted 
in the name of the "8th All-Burma Students' Festival", which SLORC has 
declared is to be held in Haka in December 1997.  Every year this Festival 
results in forced labour building roads, sports facilities and other 
infrastructure, and extortion of money from everyone in the region  
amounting to many times the cost of the Festival.  The "7th All-Burma 
Students' Festival" was held in Tavoy, Tenasserim Division, in 1996 and 
caused a temporarily increased military presence in the region, extensive 
forced labour, extortion, and an increase in general suffering.

This report consists of incident reports and descriptions as well as 
interviews with villagers and SLORC deserters.  The names of those 
interviewed in this report have been changed and some details omitted in 
order to protect the people who have provided information.  False names 
are enclosed in quotes.  Some names of people and places have been 
replaced by 'xxxx', 'yyyy', etc.  Even so, please do not pass this report in 
its current form to any SLORC representative.

Abbreviations:   CNF = Chin National Front, armed Chin resistance 
group; SLORC = State Law & Order Restoration Council, Burma's 
military junta; LIB = (SLORC) Light Infantry Battalion; IB = (SLORC) 
Infantry Battalion; LORC = Law & Order Restoration Council, SLORC's 
local and regional administration.  While Chin State LORC and Township 
LORC consist of SLORC officials and military officers, Village LORC is 
the SLORC-appointed village council, who are often appointed against 
their will.  Village LORC heads are responsible for arranging forced 
labourers, extortion payments etc. as demanded by the local SLORC military, 
and they are the first to be detained, tortured or executed if all of 
SLORC's demands are not completely met. 


Than Tlang Township ..................................................  3
	Arrest of Village Elders .....................................  3
	Attack on Nga Lang Village & Murder of Bawi Kung .............  4
	Forced Portering and Beatings of the Elderly .................  8
	Forced Road Labour and Sentry Duty ...........................  8

Matupi Township ......................................................  9
	Forced Labour Building Lailenpi Police Station ...............  9
	Forced Labour on Roads ....................................... 10
	Dar Ling Football Competition ................................ 11

Haka, Paletwa and Other Locations .................................... 11
	Paletwa Road Labour .......................................... 11
	All-Burma Students' Festival, Haka 1997 ...................... 11
	Abuses in XXXX ............................................... 12
	Chin Students outside Chin State ............................. 12
	Conditions in Sagaing Division ............................... 12

Interviews with SLORC Deserters in Chin State ........................ 14

Map .................................................................. 17


Arrest/Detention (p.3,4,5-8,12), torture/beatings (p.4,5-8,9,12,15,16), 
killings (p.4-7,16), looting/theft/extortion (p.3,4,6-8,9,11,15,16), 
economic conditions (p.12-13), rice quotas (p.13), extortion for Student 
Festival (p.11), harassment at Football Competition (p.11), extortion 
from students (p.11,12), persecution of Christians (p.12), 
'ethnic cleansing' (p.14), child soldiers (p.14-16), abuse/forced labour 
of children (p.6,7,10), abuse/forced labour of the elderly (p.7,8,9,10).

FORCED LABOUR:  Portering (p.7,8,16), sentry duty (p.9,11), building 
Lailenpi police station (p.9), building facilities for Students' 
Festival (p.11), Zee Chaung hydro project (p.13), 
Haka-Gangaw road (p.8,9,11), Haka-Falam road (p.11), 
Haka-Matupi road (p.10,11), Haka-Than Tlang road (p.8,9,11), 
Matupi-Min Dat road (p.10), Paletwa-Kuah Daw road (p.11), 
Sagaing Division roads and railways (p.13), 
Border Areas Development Programme (p.10).

			 Than Tlang Township

		      Arrest of Village Elders

Between July and September 1996, the headmen of most villages 
throughout all of Than Tlang township were arrested by the SLORC Army 
and accused of having contact with the Chin National Front (CNF).  At 
various times during these 3 months, headmen were called from Than 
Tlang township to the town of Haka by Colonel Thein Lwin, Chairman of 
Chin State LORC, and Major Saw Hlaing, Chairman of Than Tlang 
Township LORC and commander of LIB #266 camp in Than Tlang.  
Those who came to Haka were arrested and detained in Haka police 
station.  Those who could pay 20,000 Kyats were released immediately.  
However, the leaders of at least 11 villages (the villages of Thang Zang, 
Banawh Tlang, Tlang Pi, Tlang Lo, Far Rawn, Cawng Thia, Tlang Rua, 
So Pum, Hriang Khan, Thau, and Tlang Te) were detained longer because 
they could not pay.  The following 3 interviews were conducted with some 
of those who were detained.

NAME:    "Pu Hmun Lian"    SEX: M      AGE: 45    Chin, Village LORC Chairman
ADDRESS: xxxx village, Than Tlang township               INTERVIEWED: 10/96

On xx/9/96 I was invited to a meeting by Major Saw Hlaing, Than Tlang 
camp commander of No. 266 LIB based in Haka.  As soon as I reached 
Than Tlang I was arrested and imprisoned.  The Army accused xxxx and 
yyyy villages of supporting CNF and of not reporting to them.  They said, 
"If we hear that you are continuing to support them, all of you [village 
chairmen] will be jailed and fined 50,000 Kyats".

I was detained from xx/9/96 until xx/9/96 [for 2 weeks].  While in jail, I
only fed five handfuls of rice.  When I was very hungry, I asked permission 
for my family to bring me food.  My family had to give the Army officers 
60 Kyats each time they sent me some curry.  When the curry was good, it 
was eaten by the Army and I received only the rice.  My family gave 5,000 
Kyats to Major Saw Hlaing and I was finally released on xx/9/96.  After my 
release, my family had to pay back to the villagers the 10,000 Kyats they 
had borrowed in order to pay all the bribes to the Army officers.  We don't 
know how we will be able to pay it all back.
1) NAME: "Pu Than Kio"     SEX: M      AGE: 40    Chin, Village LORC Chairman
ADDRESS: xxxx village, Than Tlang township                  INTERVIEWED: 9/96

2) NAME: "Pu Lal Ceu"      SEX: M      AGE: 35    Chin, Village LORC Chairman
ADDRESS: yyyy village, Than Tlang township                  INTERVIEWED: 9/96

Both of us were summoned by the commander of No. 266 LIB of Haka to 
meet him and we reached Haka on xx July 1996.  As soon as we reached 
Haka we were detained at the Army camp.  We were kept in the lockup 
from xx/7/96 until xx/9/96 [2 months].   We were not fed properly and our 
relatives from Haka had to send us food.  For each meal they sent to us, 
they had to pay 60 Kyats [bribe to the Army officers].  Each of our families 
spent 120 Kyats per day to feed us.  While we were in jail, our relatives had

to spend 6,420 Kyats just to provide us with food.  

We told the Army officers that we had done nothing wrong and we pleaded 
with them to be released but we got no answer and they kept us in 
detention.  On xx/9/96, our relatives bribed the No. 266 Battalion 
Commander with 5,000 Kyats for each of us, and two days later we were 
finally released.

While we were in jail our relatives had borrowed money, and now we have 
to pay them back.  Also, during our detention we could not work [growing 
their paddy - they were detained during the rainy season] and now we are 
facing many difficulties to survive.  In jail, we became sick and we were not

given any medicine.  After our release we were hospitalised in Haka [and 
their families most probably had to pay for the medical treatment].
NAME:    "Pu Sang Cem"     SEX: M     AGE: 40     Chin, Village LORC Chairman
ADDRESS: xxxx village, Than Tlang township                  INTERVIEWED: 9/96

The #266 LIB commander from Haka summoned me to meet him in Haka.  
On xx/8/96, I reached Haka and I was immediately arrested and put in the 
Army lockup.  I was kept there for one day.  On xx/8/96 I was released.  
While I was in the lockup I was only fed a handful of rice.  I was not told 
why I was arrested nor why I was then released.

When I came back to my village three days later, I was ordered by Major 
xxxx, commander of yyyy camp, to go to zzzz village.  When I met him he 
told me, "Because you have only been detained in Haka for one day and 
one night, I have to beat you."  I was badly beaten 5 times on my back with 
a bamboo rod the size of my arm.  I could not manage to go back to my 
village by myself.  The villagers of zzzz had to carry me back to my village,

which is 4 miles away.  After that, I could not do any work.  It was just 
harvesting time and I am the only man in my family.  Therefore my family 
lost a lot of paddy and it is difficult for us to survive.

	 Attack on Nga Lang Village & Murder of Bawi Kung

Hniar Ling, age 45, former village LORC chairman of Nga Lang village, 
was called by the commander of Than Tlang camp for a meeting on 12 
July 1996.  While he was travelling to Than Tlang he was told that there 
would be no meeting but that he would be arrested, so he did not attend.  
Due to his absence at the meeting, the commander Saw Hlaing sent troops 
to Nga Lang village in order to arrest him on 5 October 1996, but 
fortunately he managed to escape.  Another group of troops led by 2nd 
Lt.Win Than were sent to arrest him on 9 October 1996, and this time also 
he escaped because he was in his farm field.  He was therefore dismissed 
from his post as Village LORC Chairman of Nga Lang and replaced by 
someone else.  The soldiers accused him of being a member of CNF, and 
this means that if he were arrested he would surely be killed.  He therefore 
left the village and went into hiding.  His whereabouts are still unknown.

Second Lieutenant Win Than is commander of Hriphi post, Than Tlang 
township, under #266 LIB based in Haka.  On 9 October 1996, he led a 
group of 20 troops to Nga Lang village to arrest former Village LORC 
Chairman Hniar Ling.  Without any warning they surrounded the village.  
At about 5 p.m. that day, Bawi Kung from Haka town and his two friends 
"Pa Sui" [not his real name] and D--- were on their way 
back from Mizoram State [in India], and arrived at Nga Lang village 
planning to spend the night there.  As they were approaching the village, 
the Burmese soldiers suddenly fired many rounds towards them, without 
any questions or warning.  Bawi Kung was wounded and later killed.  
D--- was arrested, taken away along with the soldiers and 
nothing is known about what happened to him.  "Pa Thang" managed to 
escape [see interview below].  The headman was beaten until he was bloody
and then had a plastic bag put over his head until he was unconscious.  
The troops detained a Church elder and stole all the Church funds totalling
10,000 Kyat, the church bell and all the village's medicine from his house.  
Other villagers were also beaten, the village was ransacked and the troops 
took 16 porters and 4 horses to carry away their loot. 

NAME:    "Pa Thang"      SEX: M     AGE: 35              Chin
ADDRESS: xxxx village, Than Tlang township               INTERVIEWED: 10/96

Bawi Kung was 23 and a cattle trader from Haka.  He often went to 
Mizoram to sell cows.  This time, he came back from Mizoram along with 
D---, age 18, and I.  On the way back I was not feeling well 
and followed my two friends at a distance.  D--- was leading 
and Bawi Kung was following him.  Both of them were wearing white T-
shirts.  Just before they arrived in Nga Lang they took a rest at a memorial 
stone, and there they saw 6 soldiers on duty so they approached them.  The 
soldiers didn't ask anything.  As they came close to the soldiers, Dawt Hlei 
Thang was captured and Bawi Kung tried to escape.  The soldiers shot at 
him many times but they couldn't hit him.  They shouted, "Don't run away.  
Stop!"  Then he stopped, and they shot at him and he fell down.  I was 
behind, and when I heard the firing I escaped and returned to Mizoram.
NAME:    "Pu Piang Te"      SEX: M      AGE: XX        Chin
ADDRESS: Nga Lang village, Than Tlang township         INTERVIEWED: 10/96

"Pu Piang Te":  On 9 October 1996, a platoon of Light Infantry Battalion 
#266 based in Haka led by Second Lieutenant Win Than entered our 
village. When I arrived from my farm, all the villagers had been gathered 
together by the Army at the open ground just at the upper side of the 
village.  All the men were ordered to lie down on the ground and the 
women and children were ordered to sit facing the sunlight.  All the men 
were asked questions about the leaders of CNF and those who didn't know 
about CNF were beaten.  Then the soldiers told them: "Ask for the help of 
your God and you will see!". One of them named Pa Maung was beaten on 
his right hip with their guns.  He could not even get up and was 
hospitalised.  He is now in serious condition at the hospital.


"Pu Piang Te":  We were ordered to bury the body of Bawi Kung 
immediately.  They wouldn't allow us to carry his body to Haka, which is 
his native place [according to Chin tradition, a dead person should be 
buried at his native place - Bawi Kung was from Haka].  They added: 
"When you finish burying him, you must put a fence around his grave [if 
there is a fence around a grave, nobody can touch or go inside the fence].  
Nobody is allowed to enter the tomb. If you don't follow my order, your 
village will be burned down."

That night, they took 15 chickens and 200 eggs and whatever else they 
liked, including rice, from the villagers.  About 20 children, 5 to 10 years 
of age, were missing because they had run to hide.  We requested the 
commander's permission to search for them because their parents were so 
worried about their missing children, but they did not allow us to go 
outside. The parents of the children were crying the whole night long.

Villager #2:  Early the next morning, the villagers went to bury his [Bawi
Kung's] body.  They secretly checked the body and found not only gunshots 
but also marks of knife stabbings and they saw pieces of intestine hanging 
out of his belly.  Win Than forced them to bury him immediately.  After that 
the troops left for Khua Bung.

"Pu Piang Te":  In the morning on 10 October 1996, they took 16 porters 
and 4 horses and left for Khua Bung at 10 a.m.  After they left, the children

who were hiding came back.  Some families had nothing left to eat because 
their rice had been stolen. XXXX.
NAME:    "Pu Lian Ham"     SEX: M      AGE: XX           Chin

NAME:    "Van Ceu"         SEX: M       AGE: XX           Chin
ADDRESS: Nga Lang village, Than Tlang township            INTERVIEWED: 10/96

["Van Ceu" was taken as a porter when the troops left Nga Lang village.]

Troops of Light Infantry Battalion #266 led by Second Lieutenant Win 
Than entered Nga Lang village on 9 October 1996 and tortured all the 
villagers in our village. They took whatever they liked.  A cattle trader was

shot dead in our village.  They took 16 porters and four horses from our 
village to carry their rations, weapons and things in order to go on to Khua 
Bung village, which is 14 miles away from our village.  The oldest porter 
was 62 and the youngest was 16.  Most of us were about 30 to 40 years of 
age.  We started at 10 a.m. and reached Khua Bung at 7 p.m.  We had to 
carry rice, eggs, and meat which they had taken from the villagers, and we 
were ordered to walk in line alternating with the soldiers to protect them 
from bullets.  We carried about 30 kilograms each, and they fed us nothing 
on the way. 

The soldiers told us that portering is compulsory for the villagers twice a 
month throughout the whole region.  "Phun Uk" and I were beaten when 
we could not walk like the others because our loads were too heavy.  They 
beat others as well, but not as much as us.
NAME:    "Hla Thang"       SEX: M      AGE: 29            Chin farmer
ADDRESS: Nga Lang village, Than Tlang township            INTERVIEWED: 10/96

When a platoon of soldiers led by 2nd Lt. Win Than arrived, I managed to 
escape from the soldiers and went into hiding in the jungle.  They tortured 
the villagers and took all their belongings such as rice, money, cattle etc. 

They stole two tins of rice and 3,600 Kyats from my box and other things 
worth approximately 2,500 Kyats were also taken [from his house]. 

	      Forced Portering and Beatings of the Elderly

NAME:    "Pu Ar Ceh"       SEX: M       AGE: 63          Chin
ADDRESS: xxxx village, Than Tlang township               INTERVIEWED: 9/96

"Pu Lian Peng", aged 62, from our village, and I are very old but we want 
to stay active, so on 23 August 1996 we went together to the outskirts of 
the village to cut some bamboo.  We met Major XXXX and 40 soldiers.  
We were questioned by Major XXXX in Burmese language about the 
situation.  We told him that we could not speak Burmese.  That Major said: 
"You are under the control of the Burmese.  Why can't you speak 
Burmese?"  Then each of us was beaten five times with the bamboo we had 
just cut.  After that, we were taken back into our village and we were forced

to carry the Army's cooking equipment from there to yyyy village, 4 miles 
away.  We weren't given anything for this.  I felt very weak because of 
exhaustion.  When I asked the soldiers to give me medicine, I was told, "We 
have no medicine for you."  As we were not able to carry anymore, we 
were sent back to our village.

After the villagers heard about our beatings they were very afraid, so each 
time the Army comes to the village they run away and hide in the jungle.


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