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KHRG #97-05 Part 2/2 (Camp attacks) (r)


	An Independent Report by the Karen Human Rights Group
		March 18, 1997     /     KHRG #97-05



			Huay Bone (Don Pa Kiang) Camp

Starting at about 10:15 p.m. on 28 January, a force estimated at over 100 
soldiers attacked Huay Bone refugee camp, which has a population of 
3,678 (as of Feb. 1997) and is located 20 km. north of the Thai town of 
Mae Sot, on sloping open land surrounded by miles of open ricefields.  The 
force came on foot from the other side of the Moei River, which is the 
border and is only about 1 km. west of the camp.  

The attackers surrounded the camp, which is much smaller than Huay 
Kaloke, at about 9:45 p.m.  Then the refugees heard a single shot fired, and 
the soldiers stormed the camp in two groups.  One group of about 30 
DKBA headed for the clinic and the houses of the medics, demanded 
admittance to the clinic and searched it for the microscope.  Witnesses say 
they appeared to be on drugs.  Even though a medic offered them medicine, 
they said it was the microscope, not medicine, that they wanted.  They 
finally found it, then set the clinic on fire and commenced burning the 
surrounding houses.  A larger group headed for the market section of the 
camp and began looting.  Upon realising what was happening, a Thai 
merchant who was spending the night in the camp ran to his truck, started it 
and tried to drive out of the camp.  The soldiers blocked the truck and 
ordered him to stop, but he attempted to drive past them and they opened 
fire on him, shooting him dead.

The troops fired into the air and set much of the camp on fire.  As in Huay 
Kaloke, the houses are bamboo huts with leaf  rooves tightly packed 
together, so the fire spread on its own and about 95 percent of the camp 
was completely destroyed - only a couple of rows of houses were left 
behind the market section.  As Huay Bone was burning, some refugees in 
the camp saw the glow in the sky coming from the burning of Huay Kaloke, 
10 km. to the south, but they did not realise what it was.

Witnesses identified many of the attackers as SLORC soldiers.  The DKBA 
soldiers in the camp spoke in Karen, while the Burmese soldiers kept quiet, 
though they were heard speaking in Burmese outside the camp.  While the 
houses were burning, the troops were yelling at the refugees, "Don't run or 
we'll shoot you!"  However, all the refugees fled the fire to the surrounding

fields, carrying their children and nothing else whatsoever.  Everything was 
destroyed.  The attackers stayed in the camp for several hours until almost 
the entire camp was gone, then left and marched back to the border.

No Thai security was present.  As at Huay Kaloke, the Thai soldiers who 
man the checkpoint at the camp had abandoned their post earlier in the day.  
According to the refugees, they always do this when they think an attack 
may be coming.  For over a month after the attack, the refugees were living 
in makeshift shelters in the surrounding fields, or going into the ashes of 
the camp during the day but returning to the fields at night.  Many families 
fled to Beh Klaw (Mae La) refugee camp 40 km. to the north, which had also 
been attacked but which they perceived as being relatively less dangerous.  
Even more of them fled to Beh Klaw when the Thai Army announced that 
in mid-March they would all be forcibly relocated to Huay Kaloke, which 
everyone knows is completely unsafe.  Then between 10-12 March, Thai 
authorities forced overseas NGOs to hire trucks to transport the remaining 
refugees to Huay Kaloke, and decreed that any refugees henceforth found 
around Huay Bone would be arrested and deported.  Three hundred 
families were transported to Huay Kaloke, where they were allocated only 
the plot of ground which used to be the Huay Kaloke football field on 
which to build their houses.

			     Interview #2.

NAME:    "Naw G'Mwee Paw"      SEX: F    AGE: 49        Karen Christian medic
FAMILY:  Married, 6 children but 3 already died
ADDRESS: Huay Bone (Don Pa Kiang) refugee camp, Thailand  INTERVIEWED: 6/2/97

["Naw G'Mwee Paw", a medic at Huay Bone camp clinic, was there when 
it was attacked and burned on 28 January 1997.]

On 28th January 1997, they burnt our camp.  At the time I was sleeping in 
a house, very close to my own house.  I was not in my own house.

It was 9:45 p.m. Karen time [10:15 Thai time].  At first, we heard one 
gunshot, just one gunshot, and the people who were staying together with 
me in that house all ran away.  But I came back to my own house to get my 
daughter, because my husband was staying there with my son and my 
daughter and he couldn't carry them both [her son is disabled and her 
daughter is 2 1/2 years old].  Within a few seconds, we heard a very strong 
voice near our house which said "Catch them! Shoot them!  Don't let them 
get out of the camp!"  We saw a lot of men with guns running out of the 
bushes to Section 2, toward our house and directly toward the clinic.  They 
entered the clinic looking for whatever they need.  At first they didn't come

for me.  But when they didn't find the things they needed, they came to my 
house, surrounded my house and then ordered the others to guard my 
house while some of them came into the house and pointed their guns at me.  

Ten of them came into my house.  They all had guns.  They didn't shoot at 
me but they touched me with their guns and said, "Don't run or we will 
shoot you!"  They pointed their guns at me and asked me for the key of the 
clinic.  I gave it to them.  One of their leaders ordered them: "Look through

this house and open all the things in it.  After that he said, "Don't do 
anything.  Don't touch this Auntie!  Don't hurt her!"  So the soldiers who 
were standing beside me stepped away from me.  I took the key and my little 
daughter.  I carried her with me to the hospital, and the soldiers were 
following me, and I looked for the microscope in the clinic [the DKBA are 
usually on orders to get microscopes when they raid refugee camps].  
When I opened the cupboard, I didn't find the microscope.  But these men 
who came to get the microscope, they didn't even know what a microscope 
is.  He looked everywhere but couldn't find it.  I gave him medicine to take 
back [to Burma] and use.  At first they put the medicine in their bags, but 
afterwards he told me: "Auntie, I don't need these.  In our place, we have a 
lot of medicine."  He gave it back and I closed the cupboard and came back 
to my house.  When they came out of the clinic, they talked to one of the 
leaders on the walkie-talkie - they said, "We haven't found the microscope.  
What do we do now?"  One of the leaders told them on the walkie-talkie, 
"How is it that you can't find it? Today they were using it to do malaria 
tests".  They were speaking very loudly so I could hear very clearly.  They 
were speaking in Karen language over the walkie-talkie, not Burmese.  The 
leader said to them over the walkie-talkie, "Threaten that woman and you 
will find it."  The second time, they climbed into the clinic by themselves 
and didn't call me.  They found it in the breastfeeding room.  They took the 
microscope.  We were staying under our house and we could listen to their 
voices.  They were speaking very loudly.  When they brought the 
microscope out of the clinic, the man with the walkie-talkie ordered: "Burn 
it down. Burn it down!" 

I was under my house, I looked at the clinic and I saw the fire start to
Then my house and the camp office [next door] started to burn.  They 
were about 30 soldiers there, and at other places maybe a lot more, but I 
just saw the ones who were near my house and the clinic.  They were 
dressed in uniforms and all of them had guns, but I don't know which kind.  
One of the guns was very short and a lot of them had long ones.  I could 
not see very well at nighttime.  We could not shine our torchlights, and they

were shining their torchlights on us.  Only some of them were DKBA.  
SLORC soldiers were also amongst them.  As far as I know, the soldiers 
who came and talked to me were DKBA, but outside the clinic many of the 
soldiers were staying silently and they didn't speak.  One woman told me 
that when they were outside the camp she heard them speaking Burmese to 
each other, but inside the camp they didn't speak at all.

Q:  What about their faces?
A:  I saw the face of the one who asked me for the keys but I didn't know 
him.  But their eyes were very strange.  Their eyes were red and they 
looked at us sternly, like they were crazy.  I am sure they had taken some 
medicine.  When they addressed me at first they were very aggressive, but 
afterward they became softer.

First, they surrounded the camp, then after the gunshot, some of them ran 
to the clinic and my house but another group went to the market.  They 
shot one Thai [a merchant who sold things in the camp].  I didn't see that.  
Early the next morning I came back to the market and I saw a lot of blood 
on the ground, and the people told me, "Oh!  Min Yen's husband was shot 
last night!"  When he heard that the DKBA were close to us, he jumped 
into his car and tried to drive out of the camp.  Then he saw one DKBA 
soldier in front of him who ordered him to stop the car, but he tried to
through and they shot him dead.  He was hit in his leg and his bladder, 
inside the car.  I don't know his name.  He was Thai.  His wife is also Thai.
They do business here.  They have a shop in the market.  He was staying 
alone in the camp that night [without his wife].

At the time they ordered us not to run away: "If you run away, we will 
shoot you!"  So my husband told them,  "You are burning our house and 
yet you don't let us run away."  But we tried to escape and we ran to the 
field outside of the camp.   We didn't run too far and we could see the 
whole camp burning.  They stayed around for about 4 hours.  When the 
fire was nearly finished, we could hear them shouting:  "All burnt.  Now we 
must go back."   We could see them with their guns, we could even count 
them!  We stayed very quietly just outside the camp.  We couldn't go far 
because we had no shoes.  So we tried to hide in the bushes, and we spent 
the whole night there in the fields outside of the camp.  We couldn't save 
any of our belongings.  We only had the clothes we were wearing.  That 
night, I didn't wear a sweater, only a shirt and my sarong, so it was so
I had left my jacket in my house.  I had 764 Baht in it to give to someone in

the camp.  That day I couldn't find the person, so I had kept the money in 
my jacket to give to them the next day.  I was keeping the money very 
carefully, but at that time I didn't remember about my jacket and it was 
burnt.  I lost an electric keyboard [a portable battery-operated piano 
keyboard, which are used by many Karen churches] and my cupboard with 
all our clothes inside. Also my medical dictionary, I lost it all. 

At that time, we didn't know that they were also burning down Huay 
Kaloke camp.  We could see the light of the fire in the sky but we didn't 
know where it was from [Huay Kaloke is just 10 km. further south].  It 
was nearly at the same time that they set our camp on fire.

There was no Thai security in our camp and nobody was staying at the 
checkpoint.  Usually they stayed in the day time, sometimes at night too.  
But if they hear that the news is not so good [i.e. that there may be an 
attack], they go away.  It happened at night time, so they was no security 
for us.  But the next morning, a lot of Thai soldiers came, checked the 
situation and asked many questions.

Afterwards we came back to the camp, but we had no more house and 
nothing to cook.  A lot of people were without any pots, without anything.  
So the monk who was staying here announced to the people: "If you have 
nothing, you can come to the monastery.  Especially for the babies, we will 
give rice for you."  [The monastery was not burnt down.]  The adults had 
to wait.  A lot of people came and ate there.  Some rice was left in the 
monastery.  Some families who had rice came and gave it to the monks, and 
the monks gave food to the villagers.

I didn't hear of them looting anything in the market.  Personally, I believe 
that their leaders only ordered them to do two things, to get the microscope 
and to burn down the camp.  At the time I felt angry but also very sad.  The 
people here felt so sad.  A lot of them were crying because they had nothing 
left, not even clothes.  Since then and even until now we have been sleeping 
outside of the camp.  Only a few families have some blankets.  The small 
children under 5 years old especially have been catching colds.  We've also 
had a few cases of malaria and diarrhoea.

For the future, we can do nothing.  I don't know.  We are waiting to know 
what we should do, where we should go.  A lot of people are waiting to 
hear what the leaders will say and they will follow.  If they have to go back

to Burma side, they refuse to go.  But if we build our houses here again, 
they will surely come and burn them again.

[The following is from a previous interview with "Naw G'Mwee Paw" 
conducted on 10 September 1996, after an attack on the camp in August 

I was in the camp when DKBA attacked us.  It was on 23/8/1996.  As I was 
afraid, I was not in my house but in another one in the camp [there were 
already rumours in the camp of a possible attack because DKBA soldiers 
had been seen gathering just across the border].  They didn't send any 
messages beforehand.

First they entered Ka Na Su [an outlying section of the refugee camp]. 
The camp leader told me that it happened at about midnight.  I didn't hear 
the shooting because it is about 3 kilometres away.  They killed Major Tun 
Kyi there.  The villagers said that about 10 of them [DKBA] crossed the 
river and came directly to Major Tun Kyi's house.  His house is a bit distant

from the other houses.  They surrounded his house.  His wife ran out of the 
house.  Major Tun Kyi also tried  to run out of the house but he only got 
down the steps when somebody shouted to him and shot him.  They didn't 
ask anything.  Major Tun Kyi asked, "Who is coming?".  He got no answer 
and he was shot.  He was hit by many bullets in his chest.  He was in the 
KNU before.  He was 70 years old and had retired.  He had 4 children.  
That night, only Major Tun Kyi and his wife were staying in the house.  
Their children were not staying together with them because they attend 
school, one of his daughters is a school teacher in this camp [the main 
section - there is no school in Ka Na Su] and the eldest one is married.  His

wife thinks that if she hadn't manage to run out of the house, she would 
have been shot too.  We think that maybe the SLORC told DKBA to go 
and find someone like a leader, a KNU leader or a camp leader, arrest him 
and kill him.  We all know that they are controlled by the SLORC.

After they killed him they entered his house and took all the clothes and all

his money too, 70,000 Baht.  Nothing was left in his house.  I think that 
they came to catch him, but after they caught him they also wanted to get 
his money.  In Ka Na Su they also went to Pu Kyi's house.  They stayed 
there for a few minutes and pointed their guns at his family.  They didn't 
ask or steal anything.  They only frightened them.  I just heard now that 
they also took the clothes in another house.  

The same group came here.  They entered the camp [main section] at 
nearly 2 a.m.  They didn't take the path - they crossed the cornfield and 
came to the well in Section 7.  One of the men saw them with their guns 
but he thought it was our own camp security.  Only later he realised they 
were DKBA.  They all had guns.  My son also saw them, but it was 
nighttime and he doesn't know whether they were wearing uniforms or not.  
My son was not staying in our house.  He was near the top of the road and 
he saw them passing by.  Maybe they came in separate groups, because 
dogs were barking at various places - but then they must have joined 
together in the camp.

That night I was sleeping and I didn't notice anything.  Only in the morning,

my husband told me.  When I went back to our house in the morning, my 
husband was complaining: "Last night I didn't  sleep.  I want to sleep now." 

So, I asked him, "What happened to you?  Why didn't you sleep?" And he 
told me "DKBA came around our house, but they didn't ask or take 
anything in our house."  He saw them.  He knew it was DKBA because 
they had guns.  In our camp nobody carries a gun, and we can recognise the 
Thai soldiers by their uniforms.  Those that my husband saw didn't wear 
uniforms.  He saw one man standing at the steps of the camp secretary's 
house [next door], two here and one or two there.  The dogs were barking 
at them.  They lighted their torches, and the dogs were barking a lot.  We 
have 5 dogs, so if someone comes, there is so much noise.  Afterwards they 
went to the hospital.  Only one of the nurses and one patient were staying in

the IPD [in-patient's department].  They went in and shone their torches 
but didn't ask anything and didn't take anything.

They went and surrounded Aung Gyi's house [Aung Gyi had recently 
married an American teacher who had just left the camp the previous 
day].  They were standing there with an RPG [rocket-propelled grenade 
launcher], the neighbours saw them.  Three men entered his house and 
looked inside the bedrooms, but they didn't find anyone.  Only the 
headmistress was staying in the house.  They said, "Where is the foreigner?  
We want to see the foreign woman and Padoh Captain [Aung Gyi's father, 
who is with the KNU]".  But she didn't answer and pretended she was 
asleep.  She felt so afraid.  Three times the same night they surrounded his 
house, but only the last time they came and searched inside.  But they didn't

find them so they left.  The only house they entered in this camp was Aung 
Gyi's house.  They knew very well.  They want a foreigner because they 
think that foreigners have a lot of money.  And Saw Captain belongs to the 
Timber Department of the KNU and they want leaders like him.

They went to some shops and ordered, "Open the door.  If you don't open 
it, we will do it ourselves."  They took some bread and tins of sardines, and

other things that they can eat.  One shop was left nearly empty.  They 
carried everything away themselves.  They also arrested two people and 
asked them for money, 1,200 Baht. They couldn't give it, but the DKBA 
didn't do anything and left them.  No one was taken away.  They stayed in 
the camp for about 2 hours, then they left at 4 a.m.

We think they came here for some people, leaders that they wanted, but 
they didn't do anything because they didn't find them.  Even the section 
leaders were in hiding [the refugee camp section leaders]. They didn't ask 
the refugees anything.

Everyone was afraid but they couldn't do anything.  Most people here didn't 
even know what happened.  Sections 1, 3, 4 and 5 knew but the other side 
of the camp didn't notice anything.  They didn't shoot here.  Only the next 
morning the other people heard the news and got frightened too.

On the 24th nothing happened, but on the night of the 25th they fired heavy 
weapons nearby again, across from the fields, on the Karen side [just 
across the border].  One or two fell on the Thai side near the river but 
didn't explode.  I heard 5 shells.  People woke up and ran away from the 
camp, some along the road and some to the corn fields.  They didn't come 
back to the camp that night and stayed outside the camp under the trees.  It 
was raining.  Some people had a plastic sheet but some didn't.  Some went 
to stay in the Thai [farmers'] field huts.  My husband also went to stay in a

Thai hut.  That night I stayed here but the next day I went to stay in Mae 
Sot with my children.

Now we are afraid.  When they came we knew some of them [DKBA 
soldiers] and nothing happened.  Maybe that was good for us.  But 
yesterday we heard that some villagers outside the camp saw them again, 
and this time they didn't recognise any of them - so maybe the SLORC 
changed them because when they came they didn't do anything in the main 
camp.  SLORC wants them to kill someone or burn the camp.  Before they 
sometimes used to visit some villagers who know them, but without guns.  
This is the first time that they came with guns.  Each of them had a gun.  
The villagers are so afraid.  The camp leader will have a meeting with KRC 
[the Karen Refugee Committee] and the NGO's [the foreign Non-
Governmental Organisations who supply the refugee camps] to see if we 
should move.  It will not be easy to move so many families.

[After the attack on the camp on 24 August and the shelling of the area on 
26 August, the refugees were living in extreme fear and no one was 
sleeping in the camp at night.  They had moved their valuables out into the 
farm fields and went out there to sleep every night.  By 10 September, most 
of them had returned to stay in the camp.]

			 Beh Klaw (Mae La) Camp

Beh Klaw refugee camp has a population of 25,596 (as of Feb. 1997) and 
is located 62 km. north of the Thai town of Mae Sot, sprawling over several 
kilometres of undulating land surrounded by forested hills, with the north-
south Mae Sariang-Mae Sot highway passing along its eastern side.  Many 
of the refugees here came after other camps such as Baw Noh were 
attacked and destroyed in 1995.  At about 6:30 a.m. on 29 January, a force 
of at least 30-40 soldiers attacked the camp from the northwestern corner 
near the camp's Bible School.  They were backed up by a larger force 
which remained outside the camp, between the camp and the border. The 
force came on foot from the other side of the border a few kilometres away 
and was supported by SLORC shelling from the Burma side of the border.  
At least 35 shells were fired into the camp, and the attackers themselves 
used assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and M79 grenade launchers.  
15 to 20 rocket-propelled grenades were fired, and one of them killed an 
elderly woman trying to flee the attack:  Naw Eh G'Lu Pi (a.k.a. Maw Yweh
Mo, widow, aged 80).  The same shell wounded 2 children who were with her.  
Another shell landed near the camp hospital, and one man who was 
running from the hospital collapsed and died.  Two shells landed 
at the monastery, and others landed in Section 1 of the camp and at 
the Thai Forestry Department office beside the main highway.

As the attackers moved into the camp, firing into houses and then setting 
them on fire, they encountered camp security forces who fought back and 
were later joined by Thai troops.  The attackers, most of whom were 
reportedly DKBA, were pinned down and then driven back, eventually 
being forced to retreat to the border leaving behind 2 or 3 dead and taking 
along with them an unknown number of wounded.  They managed to burn 
down 15 houses in the course of the attack, some at the beginning and the 
rest as they retreated.  The attack continued for about 90 minutes, from 
6:30 a.m. until 8 a.m.  Over the next several days, some of them remained 
in Thailand between the camp and the border until the security forces 
gradually harassed them back into Burma.

The refugees fled the camp, and for a long time no one dared sleep in the 
camp at night and many people lived in hiding in the surrounding hills and 
forests.  The people of Beh Klaw considered themselves fortunate to have 
escaped the total destruction which Huay Kaloke and Huay Bone suffered, 
and after they got news of the destruction of these other camps they even 
took up collections of clothing and other supplies among themselves and 
sent them down to their fellow refugees who had lost everything.  However, 
no one in Beh Klaw feels secure and most people feel it is essential to be 
moved to a safer location.

				Interview #3.

NAME:    "Saw Hai Kaw"   SEX: M     AGE: 18        Karen Christian student
FAMILY:  Single
ADDRESS: Beh Klaw (Mae La) refugee camp, Thailand      INTERVIEWED: 3/2/97

["Saw Hai Kaw" was in Beh Klaw refugee camp when it was attacked by a 
combined SLORC/DKBA force on 29 January 1997.]

The attack started at about 6:30 a.m. on 29th January.  At that time I was 
staying in the Bible school dormitory.  I was coming down from the 
dormitory to work early.  The Bible School is in Section C1 and the DKBA 
came in from the hilltop of Section C1.  They came from different parts in 
that section.  Just when I just started working in the school compound, I 
heard a carbine gunshot.  Then I heard heavy shelling.  Some shells 
exploded but others didn't.  They shelled heavy weapons to block off the 
gate.  During the fighting, we Bible School students went to hide in a cave 
nearby.  While I was running towards the back of the hill, one RPG 
[rocket-propelled grenade] shell dropped nearby, so I ran into the teak 
plantation.  That shell fell in the bamboo and killed an old woman who was 
hiding there with some children.  I don't know her name but we used to 
watch television together every night.  She must be 80 years old.  She died 
instantly.  Two 4- or 5-year-old children were injured.

The DKBA came in at the time when the [security] soldiers were rotating 
their duty, so only 3 soldiers were left.  That is why the DKBA was able to 
reach the foot of the hill of section C1.  Some DKBA did not even have 
any weapons - they came into the camp just to set the houses on fire.  Only 
a few of them had guns, like AR, AK47, RPG-7, and M79 mortars [the AR 
is a cut-down version of the M16 automatic assault rifle; AK47 is an 
automatic assault rifle; RPG-7 is a shoulder-launched rocket-propelled 
grenade; and M79 is a rifle-sized grenade launcher].  I saw some of them 
coming in and blowing a whistle.  The whistle means "Start fighting!"  Then 
others came in.  So they started fighting in Section C1 because there was 
not enough security in that area to fight against them.  The security
didn't have enough guns.  One of the villagers told me that at that time
DKBA went shouting into the houses, "Is there anyone in this house?"  
Then they shot their guns into the houses and set them on fire.  Afterwards 
I saw 6 burnt houses but other people said there were 15.

While I was hiding in the teak plantation, reinforcements of Beh Klaw 
security soldiers arrived.  One of them who came from the other side of the 
camp was injured on his hand.  He didn't feel his injury because he was 
concentrating on his duty.  He only noticed it when he saw the blood 
seeping out of his wound.  Another Bible school student and I cleaned his 
wound and dressed it.

When the reinforcements came I felt encouraged and went to look around 
near the fighting.  I followed the soldiers but not too close to them.  When 
the shells fell, I hid under the teak trees.  The DKBA retreated up to the 
hilltop, from where they were still fighting.  During that time, some DKBA 
were killed.  People said to me that three of them died but I only saw one 
dead DKBA, under the banana trees.  When this man fell down another 
DKBA came down to save him, but he got injured so he left his friend 
under the banana trees.  Beside the dead body we found a gun, a backpack 
and a cassette player [stolen from one of the houses] which had been 
damaged by the gunshots.  We opened his bag and we saw materials for 
mines and bombs and wires to hook them up to explode.  I felt very sad for 
our Karen people.  He also had an amulet to protect his life.  These are the 
tricks of the Myaing Gyi Ngu monk [U Thuzana, chairman of DKBA].  
Are the monks not holy?  I don't understand.

About 30 soldiers came but I only saw the one who died.  They wore 
uniforms, the same as the SLORC, but "Thawka Thu Po" was written on 
their badges.  It means "the monk's soldiers".  I think they came to loot 
things from the refugees.

They shelled about 35 artillery shells.  Some exploded near people's houses. 

During the fighting the refugees ran out of the camp.  Some of them ran to 
the foot of the hills.  For 2 or 3 days afterwards there was no one in the 
camp.  I didn't even see my family.

			      Sho Kloh Camp

Sho Kloh refugee camp has a population of 6,836 (as of Feb. 1997) and is 
located 110 km. north of the Thai town of Mae Sot, along the sides of an 
east-west river valley with the north-south Mae Sariang-Mae Sot highway 
passing just west of it.  The Moei River, which is the border, lies just 1
west of the camp.  At about 4:30 p.m. on 4 January, the refugee camp was 
shelled with mortars fired from Baw Pa Hta, a former KNU trading 
gateway now occupied by SLORC and DKBA just across the Moei River.  
Five or six 2 1/2" mortar shells were fired into the middle of the camp, 4 of

which exploded.  The leader of Section 3 of the camp (Saw Pay, age 33) 
was wounded in the neck and the body by shrapnel and died on 12 
February in Mae Sot hospital of his wounds.  At least two other refugees 
were wounded.  The shells exploded in the market, at the monastery, at the 
church and in front of Saw Pay's house.  The shelling lasted for 5 or 10 
minutes, during which most refugees ran to foxholes or bunkers they dug 
by their houses after the previous shelling of the camp in June 1996.

As in the other camps, following this attack the refugees feel there is no 
security in Sho Kloh and they are living in fear, but they do not want to go 
back to Burma.

			       Interview #4.

NAME:    "Naw Lah Paw"     SEX: F    AGE: 30       Karen Buddhist
FAMILY:  Married, 2 children aged 2 and 5
ADDRESS: Sho Kloh refugee camp, Thailand           INTERVIEWED: 5/3/97

["Naw Lah Paw" is the wife of the leader of Section 3 of Sho Kloh camp, 
who was hit in the shelling and died.]

I have been living in Sho Kloh for about 11 years.  On 4th January, I was 
selling lottery tickets in the market.  Then when I heard an explosion I was 
staying in my house.  I started running towards the bunker [after Sho Kloh 
was shelled in June 1996, most families dug a small bunker near their 
house] and I looked for my children.  It was about 4 p.m. Burmese time 
[4:30 Thai time].  I heard 3 or 4 shells and the last one landed right here 
[about 5 meters in front of her house].  I stayed in the bunker while the 
shells landed.  I thought "What is happening?" because there was a lot of 
dust in the air, and I looked at my husband.  I saw him falling down there 
[pointing at the footpath outside her house].  When the mortar landed, he 
was in front of the house shouting at the children to stay still and hide in 
the bunker.  I called to him loudly that the children and I were already in 
the bunker.  Just as I spoke the mortar landed there, as he was coming
us.   It was too late for him to get into the bunker.  His name was Saw Pay. 

He was 33 years old, Sgaw Karen and Buddhist like me.  He was the 
section 3 leader.

I saw him lying down just like that.  I thought that he was dead because he 
was so quiet and stayed still.  I didn't see his injuries, but people saw him

wounded and took him to the hospital about 30 minutes after the shelling.    
The other people didn't want me to go, so I went back to the bunker again.  
My parents heard that he was wounded, so my father came up to me about 
15 or 20 minutes later and I came out of the bunker again.  But the others 
forced me back into the bunker because they were worried for me.  At that 
time I also had my youngest child in my arms because I couldn't leave him 
lying in the bunker alone and there was no one to look after him.  When it 
was already dark, I followed my mother walking and running to the hospital 
because I wanted to see my husband.  People didn't let me see him because 
they were worried that I would be upset.  When I saw him, his wounds 
were covered.  He was injured by 4 pieces of shrapnel - in his neck, in his 
side, in his stomach and in his right leg.  The people sent him to Mae Sot by

car along with his brother.  I couldn't go to Mae Sot with the child and went

to stay in my mother's house in Section 2.  The next day, I tried to go down 
to Mae Sot but I could only get to Beh Klaw [half way].  I went to see him 
about a week later.  At that time he looked better.  He had an oxygen pipe 
going into his throat and he couldn't speak.  Two weeks later, he had 
become thin and couldn't eat well but he could speak a little.  On the 12th 
of February he died.  My brother-in-law told me.  They burnt his body in 
the hospital.  I didn't even know when he was buried. 

One uncle [older man] also got injured while he was staying in the bunker.  
I was in his bunker and he was trying to get into my bunker.  I was too 
afraid to stay in my bunker, so I had gone to his.  He got injured on his 
thigh and it broke his bone.  His house is just here and his children are 
staying with his son.  His wife is already dead.  The people carried him in a

hammock to the [camp] hospital.  I saw him there with bamboo slats on 
both sides of his leg, tied up with a bandage from the hip to the ankle.  
They sent him to Mae Sot together with my husband.  He is still in Mae Sot 
hospital now.

Altogether the shelling lasted for about 5 or 10 minutes.  I think it is DKBA

who fired the shells.  They were coming from Baw Pa Hta area.  I think 
they have  bad feelings toward us, but we have done nothing to make them 
feel this way.  I don't know why.  The Thai soldiers in Sho Kloh did 
nothing.  I didn't hear them firing back.  They just stayed like that.  About

5 or 10 minutes later, Thai soldiers from Mae Plu fired 3 or 4 shells back.

I dare not think about the future.  I feel scared and sad.  We have to stay 
alert.  I don't want to go back to Burma.  Only if there is peace would I 
like to go back.  If the situation goes on like this, I don't want to go
If everybody moves to Beh Klaw I will go too, because it is not safe to stay 
separate from the other people.  I will follow the others, though I believe 
that Beh Klaw is not safer than Sho Kloh.  For now, I am staying in Section 
2 with my parents.  
			       Interview #5.

NAME:    "Saw Win Hlaing"     SEX: M    AGE: 25    Karen Muslim shopkeeper
FAMILY:  Single, 6 brothers and sisters
ADDRESS: Sho Kloh refugee camp, Thailand           INTERVIEWED: 6/3/97

["Saw Win Hlaing" was one of the 3 people wounded by the shelling.]

I have been living in Sho Kloh for the last 10 years.  I live in the market 
of Section 4.  It was about 5 p.m. when the DKBA shelled into Sho Kloh.  As 
soon as we heard the shelling, we closed the shop.  As I was closing the 
door a shell exploded about 7 or 8 yards away, in front of my shop and the 
video house.  Actually the mortar came through the roof of the video house 
and exploded in the middle [no one was in there].  It damaged the walls of 
the video house, my house and my things in the shop.  A piece of shrapnel 
hit me.  I was the only one hurt by that mortar shell.  I was wounded in the 
back of my shoulder [the top corner of his left shoulder].  My family was 
already in the bunker and I went to the back of the house to my family.  I 
waited for about half an hour until the shelling was over.  My whole shirt 
got soaked with blood.  Then my younger brother carried me to the 
hospital.  He is bigger and stronger than me.  I arrived there first, before 
the other two wounded people.  There were one or two medics but no patients, 
all of them had fled to the bunkers near the hospital.  The medic washed the 
wound and applied first aid to it.  Two other people were also wounded:  
Saw Pay, the section 3 leader, and one old man but I don't know his name.  
We had to wait for a couple of hours.  We didn't dare go without any 
security guard.  At about 7 p.m., a Thai Army car took us to Mae Sot 
hospital.  There were 3 patients and two medics.  In Mae Sot, the doctors 
took out the shrapnel and dressed my wounds that night and I came back 
here the next day.  I only stayed one night at Mae Sot hospital.  Now my 
shoulder is sometimes numb.  If I work for more than 10 minutes it gives 
me cramps.  It is still painful when I sleep on my left side.

Five shells landed in Sho Kloh [4 exploded and at least one or two did 
not].  They shelled from Baw Pa Hta.  I didn't see them but I heard them, 
especially the one that hit me.  One shell landed in front of my house, one 
at the monastery, one at the church and another one in front of the section 
3 leader's house.  That last one hit and wounded him.  One leader dug up the 
tail of the shell and told me that it was a 2 1/2" mortar.  I feel very angry

and resentful about this, but since we are refugees we can't do anything.  
I believe this could happen again, and we will just run if we can escape.  
I don't want to move to Beh Klaw because of the difficulties for my family.  
Altogether we are 10 people in my family, 6 brothers and sisters, my 
parents, my sister-in-law and myself.  Now we have no money to move there.  
If our leaders ask us to move we will move, and if they ask us to stay 
we will stay.  That's all.  Staying in Sho Kloh is better than staying in 
Burma, because there is a lot of  fighting in Burma now.  I used to live in 
Moe Nai village in Hlaing Bwe township.  Sho Kloh is safer than my 
village.  I want the organisations of the whole world to help the Karen 
refugees.  There is no hope for improvement through the peace talks 
between SLORC and the ethnic groups.  It can only be possible with the 
interference of the whole world and if SLORC transfers state power to 
Aung San Suu Kyi.  I think the situation in Burma might be better if Aung 
San Suu Kyi comes to power.

Q:  How do you think other countries can help?
A:  By stopping trade with Burma.  

			   - [END OF REPORT] -

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