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Excerpted reports from Shan Human R

Subject: Excerpted reports from Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly  Report

Excerpted reports from Shan Human Rights Foundation Monthly Report
March 1997

Shan Human Rights Foundation
P.O. BOX - 201, PHRASING P.O. 


Since mid-November 1996, SLORC troops No.99 IB and No.525 LIB have been
forcing people in Langkbur township to split stones for road-building up to
the present ------- they have to find and in many places dig out the stones
or rocks, some big enough for two men to embrace, by themselves and carry or
roll them to indicated places near the roads, split them and pile up along
the road sides. Roads under the project are said to be Langkhur Wan Hart (18
miles), Wan Hart Zalawng (20 miles), Zalawng- Sop Taeng (20 miles), Wan
Hart- Mawkmai (15 miles) and Mawkmai- Sai Khao (20 miles). Each person from
every house in the 4 village tracts in Wan Hart area has to go and work
every day. Any house which fails to provide a worker has to pay 200 Ks for
one day as a fine. 

This means nearly 2,500 people are being forced to work every day and this
is in Wan Hart area alone. These people now have to work between Ho Huay Hok
and Mark Keng Mon, 8 miles apart. Each house has to make 3-4 piles of gravel
----- each pile is 6 ft. square wide and 1 ft. high. Houses with fewer
people have to work until they finish at least 3 piles, and houses with more
people have to finish 4. They have to provide their own food and many people
from villages which are 7-8 miles away from the work sites, like Kun Kharn
village, cannot walk there every day and have to sleep near the sites under
makeshift huts. Burmese soldiers, at the outset, had provided 400Ks for
every 10 persons to buy a 3 lb. hammer to use for splitting rocks, but
hammers like that are nowhere to be found in the area so people just have to
bring their own axes and tools to work with. 

Now, in other parts of towns people have worked down south from Larugkbur to
Wan Hart and have reached about half the way. People from Zalawng area are
working towards Wan Hart. When the 8 mile distance designated for Wan Hart
people is completed, they will have to continue to the west towards Mawkmai. 

This and other several kinds of forced labour have greatly disrupted the
livelihood of the people so that hundreds of young people including married
couples and their families, are continually heading for Thailand to find
work and earn money to support themselves, their families and their elders
back home. Thus, in many houses, only older people are left to go to work at
the forced labour sites. 

According to a group of Khum Oot villagers, 31 of them including men, women
and children from ages 2 to 27, who arrived in Fang area, Chiangmai
province, on 14. 3. 97, the gravel is now piled up along the road-sides. But
when the time to spread it over the roads comes it will be no other than
these same villagers who will have do the work. 


On 26. 10. 96, SLORC troops No. 66 from Laikha seized a male villager named
Zai Long, 20, at Kung Mark Ki Nu village, Murng Khun village tract,
Murngkerng township.

They tied both his hands to a yoke and forced him to carry their things for
14 days straight, untying only one of his hands every time he needed to eat
his meagre rationed food. After much moaning and begging, they untied his
hands and continued their journey. 

After some days when he became too weak to bear the weight of his load, he
begged them to release him because he could not go any further and they beat
and kicked him and left him in the forest. Though he managed to get back to
his village, he was so weak and badly hurt that he had to be sent to hospital. 


On 13. 11. 96, Zai Nyunt, 30, a male villager of Na Mark Khaw village, Nawng
Leo tract, Murugherug township, left his village to go to buy a cow. When he
got near Wan Lauy village he met some troops from Laikha-based No.515 who
stopped and searched him.

Since he was carrying some money, they accused him of being a rebel who had
come to collect tribute money from the villagers and tied him up with a
rope. They beat him repeatedly while questioning him for some time. When
they could not get any satisfactory answers from him, they tightened up his
rope and dumped him in the Nam Tacng river. His body was found after six
days by some villagers. 


On 26. 10. 96, SLORC troops On 13. 10. 96, SLORC troops from No. 66 and
No.515 ransacked the village of Phak Phaet, Wan Zarm tract, Murngkerng
township, taking what they wanted from the houses. Nang Oo, 28, a female
villager, begged them not to pillage her house but they beat her with their
rifle butts until she was bruised all over and her head bled. They not only
took away bed, blankets and cooking oil but also women's clothes and shoes!