Internal displacement/forced migration of Shan. Palaung and Wa villagers
|Title:|| ||IDPs (Category archive from BurmaNet News)
|Description/subject:|| ||Articles from this category from BurmaNet News)|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Burma Rivers Network|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||01 March 2016|
|Title:|| ||Forced Displacements and Destroyed Lives around Upper Paunglaung Dam in Shan State, Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||October 2015|
|Description/subject:|| ||Introduction: "For nearly four decades, Myanmar (also known as
Burma) was ruled by military-led governments that
committed grave human rights violations, resulting in
international economic sanctions against the
many years.1 Beginning in 2012, however, after the
liberalization of some governmental policies, Western
nations lifted these sanctions. In an effort to gain
ground on countries like China and India that had
maintained economic ties with Myanmar during the time
of the sanctions, a number of states–including
Australia, Canada, Japan, the United States, and many
European countries –increased development aid and
allowed their businesses to operate in Myanmar for the
first time in decades.
investment has been touted as a way to improve
economic conditions for the people of Myanmar, one of
the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, following years
of government mismanagement, corruption, and
economic sanctions that destroyed the country’s
While the opening in Myanmar has allowed
foreign investment to soar and made new capital
available for plantations, logging, special economic
zones, deep sea ports, hydroelectric dams, and mining
concessions, all of these types of projects have been
associated with unlawful land confiscations from
individuals and communities with little or no
Economic development projects in Myanmar are causing
widespread displacement and are having devastating
impacts on those communities living in project
locations, including human rights violations and adverse
effects on livelihoods, food security, and health. For
those subjected to unlawful evictions
the consequences are dire, driving many
poverty. Government policy has encouraged the
development of these projects, and weak and unclear
land policies, including some new land laws written to
support investment and economic growth, have
provided the government, military, and businesses with
legal cover to confiscate people’s land without a
transparent process for determining and awarding
In the following report, Physicians for Human Rights
(PHR) builds on its previous research on land
confiscations in Myanmar by using an epidemiological
survey tool to assess the human rights, livelihood, and
health impacts on communities displaced by the
reservoir created by Paunglaung dam in southern Shan
|Source/publisher:|| ||Physicians for Human Rights|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (513K-reduced version; 630K-original)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/press/press-releases/myanmar-illegally-displaced-families-devas...
|Date of entry/update:|| ||08 October 2015|
|Title:|| ||An Unseen Crisis
|Date of publication:|| ||25 February 2014|
"Increased troop deployment, attacks and abuses by the Burma Army in northern
Shan State during the past year have caused large-scale new displacement of Palaung
villagers, calling into question the Burmese government’s claims to be seeking a
peaceful settlement to the ethnic conflict.
The number of Burmese government troops in
Palaung areas of northern Shan State
has doubled from 16 to over 30 battalions during 2013. Attacks and abuses by these
troops have caused the fresh displacement of
over 3,000 mostly
Palaung villagers in
the past year, who are now sheltering in four new camps in Namtu, Tangyan and
Kutkhai townships. This is a fourfold in
crease since late 2012, when PWO documented about 1,000 IDPs sheltering in three camps in Namkham and Manton town-
The military build-up is clearly linked to the government’s attempts to secure its
large-scale investment projects in the area, including the Shwe oil and gas pipelines,
which started sending gas to China in June 2013. Offensives have been ongoing
against local ethnic resistance groups, in
cluding the Shan State Army North (SSA-N), the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). Burma Army shelling of villages, burning of homes and property,
forced portering, torture and sexual violence have caused new displacement of over
20 villages during the past year.
The offensives have
continued despite ongoing ceasefire negotiations between the
Burmese government and the ethnic armed
groups. The TNLA met with the Myanmar Peace Center, led by U Aung Min on July 31, 2013, in Muse, northern Shan
State, but the Burma Army launched new attacks against TNLA in Kutkhai and Kyaukmae only eleven days afterwards.
There is insufficient humanitarian aid reaching the IDP camps. Aid agencies provided basic assistance to IDPs in Kutkhai an
d Tangyan when they first fled, but since
then there has been no regular support of
rice or other food. The IDPs are forced to
find work as daily labourers to feed their families, but there is little work available.
Shortages of food have exacerbated health
problems in the camps, but there has been
almost no medical aid..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Ta’ang Women’s Organization (TWO)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.8MB)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||09 December 2014|
|Title:|| ||Pipeline Nightmare (English and Burmese ျမန္မာဘာသာ)
|Date of publication:|| ||07 November 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||"Shwe Pipeline Brings Land Confiscation, Militarization and Human Rights Violations to the Ta’ang People.
The Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO) released a report today called “Pipeline Nightmare” that illustrates how the Shwe Gas and Oil Pipeline project, which will transport oil and gas across Burma to China, has resulted in the confiscation of people’s lands, forced labor, and increased military presence along the pipeline, affecting thousands of people.
Moreover, the report documents cases in 6 target cities and 51 villages of human rights violations committed by the Burmese Army, police and people’s militia, who take responsibility for security of the pipeline.
The government has deployed additional soldiers and extended 26 military camps in order to increase pressure on the ethnic armed groups and to provide security for the pipeline project and its Chinese workers. Along the pipeline, there is fighting on a daily basis between the Burmese Army and the Kachin Independence Army, Shan State Army – North and Ta’ang National Liberation Army in Namtu, Mantong and Namkham, where there are over one thousand Ta’ang (Palaung) refugees.
“Even though the international community believes that the government has implemented political reforms, it doesn’t mean those reforms have reached ethnic areas, especially not where there is increased militarization along the Shwe Pipeline, increased fighting between the Burmese Army and ethnic armed groups, and negative consequences for the people living in these areas,” said Mai Amm Ngeal, a member of TSYO.
The China National Petroleum Corporation and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise have signed agreements for the Shwe Pipeline, however the companies have not conducted any Environmental Impact Assessments or Social Impact Assessments. While the people living along the pipeline bear the brunt of the effects, the government will earn an estimated USD$29 billion over the next 30 years.
“The government and companies involved must be held accountable for the project and its effects on the local people, such as increasing military presence and Chinese workers along the pipeline, both of which cause insecurity for the local communities and especially women. The project has no benefit for the public, so it must be postponed,” said Lway Phoo Reang, Joint Secretary (1) of TSYO.
TSYO urges the government to postpone the Shwe Gas and Oil Pipeline project, to withdraw the military from Shan State, reach a ceasefire with all ethnic armed groups in the state, and address the root causes of the armed conflict by engaging in political dialogue."|
|Language:|| ||English, Burmese (ျမန္မာဘာသာ)|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (English, 2MB-OBL version; 6.77-original; 1.45-Burmese-OBL version)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs14/Pipeline_Nightmare-bu-op--red.pdf (full report in Burmese)
http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/Immediate%20Release%207%20N... (Summary in Burmese)
http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/For%20Immediate%20Release%2... (Summary in Thai)
www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/2012-11%20Shwe%20Pipeline%20impact%20to%20the%20Ta_ang%20People%20-%20Chinese%20languages.pdf (Summary in Chinese)
|Date of entry/update:|| ||07 November 2012|
|Title:|| ||The Burden of War - Women bear burden of displacement
|Date of publication:|| ||03 November 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||Executive Summary:
"Worsening conflict and abuses by Burmese government troops in
northern Shan State have displaced over 2,000 Palaung villagers from
fifteen villages in three townships since March 2011. About 1,000,
mainly women and children, remain in three IDP settlements in Mantong
and Namkham townships, facing serious shortages of food and medicine;
most of the rest have dispersed to find work in China.
Burmese troops have been launching offensives to crush the Kachin
Independence Army (KIA), the Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA),
and the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), to secure control of strategic
trading and investment areas on the Chinese border, particularly the route
of China’s trans-Burma oil and gas pipelines. In rural Palaung areas,
patrols from sixteen Burma Army battalions and local militia have been
forcibly conscripting villagers as soldiers and porters, looting livestock
and property, and torturing and killing villagers suspected of supporting
the resistance. This has caused entire villages to become abandoned.
Interviews conducted by PWO in September 2012 show that the burden
of displacement is falling largely on women, as most men have fled or
migrated to work elsewhere. The ratio of women to men of working age
in the IDP camps is 4:1. Women, including pregnant mothers, had to
walk for up to a week through the jungle to reach the camps, carrying
their children and possessions, and avoiding Burmese army patrols and
landmines. Elderly people were left behind.
Little aid has reached the IDP settlements, particular the largest camp
housing over 500 in a remote mountainous area north of Manton, where
shortages of water, food and medicines are causing widespread disease.
Mothers are struggling to feed their families on loans of rice from local
villagers, and have taken their daughters out of school. Some women
have left children with relatives and gone to find work in China.
PWO is calling urgently for aid to these IDPs, and for political pressure
on Burma’s government to end its military offensives and abuses, pull
back troops from conflict areas, and begin meaningful political dialogue
to address the root causes of the conflict."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Palaung Women's Organization|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.7MB-OBL version; 7.29MB-original)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://womenofburma.org/Report/2012/Palaung%20Women's%20Organization%20%282012%29%20-%20The%20B...
|Date of entry/update:|| ||06 November 2012|
|Title:|| ||10,000 Shans uprooted, 500 houses burned in Burmese regime's latest scorched earth campaign
|Date of publication:|| ||13 August 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||10,000 Shans uprooted, 500 houses burned in Burmese regime’s latest scorched earth campaign (press release)...
Map of villages forcibly relocated...
Summary of villages forcibly relocated...
Images of the Burmese regime's latest scorched earth campaign|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF), Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN), Shan Relief and Development Committee, Shan Sapawa Environmental Organisation, Shan Youth Power, Shan Health Committee|
|Format/size:|| ||html, pdf|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||29 November 2010|
|Title:|| ||Roots and Resilience - Tasang dam threatens war-torn Shan communities
|Date of publication:|| ||July 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||'The report “Roots and Resilience” by the Shan Sapawa Environment Organization focuses on the ecologically unique area of Keng Kham, a community of 15,000 that was forcibly relocated over ten years ago; the majority have fled to Thailand. Today the estimated 3,000 that remain are managing to maintain their livelihoods and culture despite the constant threats of the Burma Army and the impending Tasang dam.
Indigenous Shan cultural practices, river-fed farms, sacred cave temples and pristine waterfalls are depicted in photos from this isolated war-zone, together with updated information about the dam project, which has been shrouded in secrecy.
The 7,110 MW Tasang Dam is the biggest of five dams planned on the Salween River; the majority of the power from the dam will be sold to Thailand. Project investors include the Thai MDX Company and China’s Gezhouba Group Company.
Thailand’s support for the controversial dam was recently reiterated when the project was included in its national Power Development Plan.
Military tension has escalated in recent months in Shan State as the Burmese regime has been putting pressure on the United Wa State Army to transform into a “Border Guard Force.” Abuses linked to anti-insurgency campaigns are also on the rise.'|
|Language:|| ||English, Thai|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Shan Sapawa Environmental Organization|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (1.8-reduced version, 4.68MB-original- English; 6.58MB - Thai)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/SSEO-2009-Roots_and_Resilience-Tasang_Dam_Threatens_War-Torn_Sha...
|Date of entry/update:|| ||05 October 2009|
|Title:|| ||Displacement and disease: the Shan exodus and infectious disease implications for Thailand
|Date of publication:|| ||14 March 2008|
"Decades of neglect and abuses by the Burmese government have decimated the health of the
peoples of Burma, particularly along her eastern frontiers, overwhelmingly populated by
ethnic minorities such as the Shan. Vast areas of traditional Shan homelands have been
systematically depopulated by the Burmese military regime as part of its counter-insurgency
policy, which also employs widespread abuses of civilians by Burmese soldiers, including
rape, torture, and extrajudicial executions. These abuses, coupled with Burmese government
economic mismanagement which has further entrenched already pervasive poverty in rural
Burma, have spawned a humanitarian catastrophe, forcing hundreds of thousands of ethnic
Shan villagers to flee their homes for Thailand. In Thailand, they are denied refugee status
and its legal protections, living at constant risk for arrest and deportation. Classified as
“economic migrants,” many are forced to work in exploitative conditions, including in the
Thai sex industry, and Shan migrants often lack access to basic health services in Thailand.
Available health data on Shan migrants in Thailand already indicates that this population
bears a disproportionately high burden of infectious diseases, particularly HIV, tuberculosis,
lymphatic filariasis, and some vaccine-preventable illnesses, undermining progress made by
Thailand’s public health system in controlling such entities. The ongoing failure to address
the root political causes of migration and poor health in eastern Burma, coupled with the
many barriers to accessing health programs in Thailand by undocumented migrants,
particularly the Shan, virtually guarantees Thailand’s inability to sustainably control many
infectious disease entities, especially along her borders with Burma."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Voravit Suwanvanichkij|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Conflict and Health 2008, 2:4|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (170K)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.conflictandhealth.com/content/2/1/4|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||09 April 2008|
|Title:|| ||RUNNING THE GAUNTLET: THE IMPACT OF INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT IN SOUTHERN SHAN STATE
|Date of publication:|| ||January 2004|
|Description/subject:|| ||"The plight of Burma's internally displaced persons has largely been overlooked by the
international community and the Burmese government itself. Villagers in the country's war
zones nevertheless have suffered for decades the adverse effects of conflict. For some,
displacement has become a way of life and a multi-generational phenomenon.
Displacement wherever it occurs profoundly changes the persons forced to move. People
lose belongings, jobs, and loved ones. The case of the internally displaced in southern Shan
State is no different.
In this report, the Humanitarian Affairs Research Project documents the impact displacement
has had on civilians in southern Shan State and the living conditions in the various places to
which they fled. The report builds successfully on the work of other local research groups
and adds updated information and perspective to the study of Burma's internally displaced. It
will be a valuable addition to policy makers, academics, and anyone concerned about the fate
of the people of Shan State.
One lesson clearly emerging from the report is that the IDPs in southern Shan State clearly
are in need of protection and assistance. More needs to be done and it needs to be done now.
The Burmese government as well as other domestic and international actors should consider
carefully the ways in which this important goal can be accomplished. This report offers some
recommendations that can help to set the actors on the right path..."....This document contains a Shan version of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. Since this is an image file of almost 2MB, OBL has produced the whole document, with GP; the Guiding Principles as a separate document; and the English text without GP.|
|Author/creator:|| ||GARY RISSER, OUM KHER, SEIN HTUN|
|Language:|| ||English and Shan|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Humanitarian Affairs Research Project, Asian Research Center for Migration, Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (2.9K), 1MB (English text) 1.9MB (Guiding Principles in Shan)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/Gauntlet-minusGP-ocr.pdf (minus Guiding Principles)
http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/Gauntlet-GP_in_Shan.pdf (Guiding Principles in Shan)
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 September 2005|
|Title:|| ||Unsettling Moves: The Wa forced resettlement program in Eastern Shan State
|Date of publication:|| ||April 2002|
|Description/subject:|| ||"Beginning 1999 up to March this year (2002), hundreds of thousands of Wa people, who had
impressed British travelers as 'exceedingly well-behaved, industrious, and estimable race', were
forcibly moved to border areas adjacent Thailand. The report is about them, why and how they were
uprooted, what happened to the native people where the Wa were forced to resettle and what the
reader can do to help both categories of victims..."
Important, timely and well-produced
document, complete with maps and photos.|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Lahu National Development Organization|
|Format/size:|| ||html, pdf|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.burmainfo.org/lahu/unsettlingmoves-J.pdf (PDF, Japanese, 1.1MB)
http://www.burmainfo.org/lahu/unsettlingmoves-J.html (HTML, Japanese, 200KB)
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 June 2003|
|Title:|| ||Exiled at Home: Continued Forced Relocations and Displacement in Shan State
|Date of publication:|| ||05 April 2000|
|Description/subject:|| ||Continued Forced Relocations and Displacement in Shan State. "This report aims to provide a picture of the current situation in central Shan State, where the military junta ruling Burma has forcibly uprooted and destroyed over 1,400 villages and displaced well over 300,000 people since 1996. This campaign against civilians is still continuing after 4 brutal years, leaving much of the Shan population homeless. In this report, some of the villagers who both lived in relocation sites and hid in the jungle to avoid relocation describe their experiences. Further background and detail on the campaign to uproot the Shan can be found in the previous Karen Human Rights Group reports "Killing the Shan" (KHRG #98-03, 23/5/98) and "Forced Relocation in Central Shan State" (KHRG #96-23, 25/6/96), which are available online at this web site or by request from KHRG, and in the April 1998 report "Dispossessed: Forced Relocation and Extrajudicial Killings in Shan State" by the Shan Human Rights Foundation." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-03)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.khrg.org/khrg2000/khrg0003.html|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 June 2003|
|Title:|| ||Killing the Shan: The Continuing Campaign of Forced Relocation in Shan State (Information Update)
|Date of publication:|| ||23 May 1998|
|Description/subject:|| ||"This report aims to provide a picture of the current situation in central Shan State, where the military junta ruling Burma has forcibly uprooted and destroyed over 1,400 villages and displaced over 300,000 people since 1996. This campaign against civilians is still continuing, and the number of villages destroyed is increasing each month. In this report, some of the villagers who have fled in 1997 and 1998 describe their experiences. Further background and detail on the campaign to uproot the Shan can be found in the previous Karen Human Rights Group report "Forced Relocation in Central Shan State" (KHRG #96-23, 25/6/96), and in the April 1998 report "Dispossessed: Forced Relocation and Extrajudicial Killings in Shan State" by the Shan Human Rights Foundation ..." ..... ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocaton, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #98-03)|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.khrg.org/khrg98/khrg9803.html|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 June 2003|
|Date of publication:|| ||April 1998|
|Description/subject:|| ||A report on forced relocation and extrajudicial killings in Shan State, Burma. Since the publication of "Uprooting the Shan," the report by the SHRF detailing the forced relocation program carried out by the SLORC in Shan State during 1996, the SLORC military regime (recently renamed the State Peace and Development Council or SPDC) has been continuing to uproot more villages throughout 1997 and early 1998. Many of the relocation sites that were the results of 1996 relocations have been forced to move again. Human rights abuses such as mass killings, rape, torture and looting have been committed repeatedly by the SPDC troops against the displaced population. This has prompted the need to publish this updated report, containing more complete lists and maps of the relocated villages, and detailing the many extrajudicial killings committed by the military regime in the areas of relocation. We hope that this report will give a clearer picture to the international community of the devastating effects of the forced relocation program on the population of Central Shan State. KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Shan Human Rights Foundation|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||25 November 2010|
|Title:|| ||Charting the Exodus from Shan State: Patterns of Shan refugee flow into northern Chiang Mai province of Thailand 1997-2002
|Description/subject:|| ||"This report gives quantitative evidence in support of claims that there has been a large influx of Shans arriving
into northern Thailand during the past 6 years who are genuine refugees fleeing persecution and not simply
migrant workers. This data was based on interviews with 66,868 Shans arriving in Fang District of northern
Chiang Mai province between June 1997 and December 2002,
The data shows that almost all the new arrivals came from the twelve townships in Central Shan State where
the Burmese military regime has carried out a mass forced relocation program since March 1996, and where
the regime's troops have been perpetrating systematic human rights abuses against civilian populations.
Higher numbers of arrivals came from townships such as Kunhing where a higher incidence of human rights
abuses has been reported. Evidence also shows increases in refugee outflows from specific village tracts
directly after large-scale massacres were committed by the regime's troops..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Shan Human Rights Foundation via Shan Herald Agency for news|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (896K) 14 pages|
|Alternate URLs:|| ||http://www.shanland.org/oldversion/view-3471.htm|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||03 December 2010|