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Home > Main Library > Internal Displacement/Forced Migration > Burma: Internal displacement/forced migration of individual ethnic groups > Internal displacement/forced migration of Shan. Palaung and Wa villagers

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Internal displacement/forced migration of Shan. Palaung and Wa villagers

Individual Documents

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
Language: English
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: AFTERSHOCKS ALONG BURMA’S MEKONG
Date of publication: 05 September 2003
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:- "In March 2002, Chinese demolition crews began blasting rapids and reefs along Burma’s Mekong river as part of the ADB-promoted Mekong Navigation Improvement Project, aimed to allow larger ships to travel the river throughout the year. There was no consultation with the over 22,000 Shan, Akha and Lahu peoples living along and relying on the Burmese section of the river. Suspended during the rainy season, full-scale blasting resumed between December 2002 and April 2003. During this time, Burma’s military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), mobilized over 1,000 troops along the river, who imposed restrictions on the movement of villagers, forcibly conscripted porters, committed sexual violence and extorted funds from local communities. The SPDC also set up new military outposts to expand their control along the Mekong. Development of the Mekong has thus precipitated further SPDC militarization in eastern Shan State, and further oppression of local communities. It also fits into a development agenda of the Burmese military regime which is benefiting only a small elite, and contributing to environmental degradation and the impoverishment of the majority of the population. The number of SPDC troops in the area has more than tripled over the past decade, despite the supposed pacification of the area resulting from ceasefire agreements with most of the ethnic resistance groups since 1989. The ceasefire agreements, together with the opening up of Burma’s economy since 1988, have led to a process of inequitable and unsustainable development in Shan State, whereby the regime, ceasefire leaders and other business elites have profited from unbridled exploitation of the area’s natural resources, with disastrous effects on the environment. It is estimated that eastern Shan State has lost 50% of its forest cover since 1988. Wildlife and forest products are also diminishing rapidly. The military and business elites continue to profit from the drug trade, while the hill communities growing the opium remain in poverty, and the rate of drug addiction amongst local villagers, particularly along the Mekong River, one of the main drug trafficking routes, is soaring. Luxurious casinos for tourists have been built amidst areas of extreme poverty. In the absence of democracy in Burma, increased trade and tourism resulting from the Mekong Navigation Improvement Project will only further accelerate this harmful pattern of development in Eastern Shan State. The LNDO urges the governments of China, Laos and Thailand to immediately suspend the Mekong Navigation Improvement Project until proper environmental and social impact assessments are carried out with participation of affected communities. A prerequisite for this must be the restoration of genuine peace and democracy in Burma. LNDO therefore urges foreign governments and international funding agencies to withhold support for all development projects inside Burma’s Shan State until a democratic system of government is installed which allows local people genuine participation in decision-making about the development of their area..." CONTENTS:- 1. Introduction... 2. Executive Summary... 3. The Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project: - Background of the project; - Environmental concerns; - Burma’s role in the project... 4. Implementation of the project - December 2002 to April 2003: - Lack of consultation with local communities about the blasting; - Restrictions on villagers’ movements and resulting loss of livelihood; - SPDC military operation along the Mekong riverbank during the period of blasting; - Human rights abuses during the military operation - Compulsory gambling fairs... 5. Political context of the project: - A pattern of increased militarization in Eastern Shan State; - Expansion of SPDC control along the Mekong; - Forced withdrawal and disarming of militia groups along the Mekong riverbank (December 02); - “Cracking down” on the Wa (January - March 03)... 6. Reinforcing inequitable and unsustainable development processes: - Trade and infrastructure in the hands of military and business elites; - Unregulated natural resource exploitation; - Timber; - Wildlife and forest products; - Minerals; - Lack of sincere and sustainable drug-eradication programs; - Promotion of casino tourism; - Conclusion and Recommendations... Appendices: 1. List of villagers in eastern Shan State along the Mekong River; 2. Map of Tachilek township; 3. Map of Mong Yawng township. (these last two accessible only by clicking the hyperlink, not by scrolling down. For print-out, to keep maps on a single page, use the Shanland URL and print out the sections separately)
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Lahu National Development Organisation
Format/size: html (153K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.shanland.org/Environment/After%20Shock/contents.htm
Date of entry/update: 07 September 2003


Title: Charting the Exodus from Shan State: Patterns of Shan refugee flow into northern Chiang Mai province of Thailand 1997-2002
Date of publication: May 2003
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..."
Language: English
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


Title: Displacement and disease: the Shan exodus and infectious disease implications for Thailand
Date of publication: 14 March 2008
Description/subject: Abstract: "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
Language: English
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: Dispossessed
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
Language: English
Source/publisher: Shan Human Rights Foundation
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 25 November 2010


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
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #2000-03)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Relocation in Central Shan State
Date of publication: 25 June 1996
Description/subject: "Forced relocations (all stories), killings (#2), shootings (#2,11,13), beatings (#8,9,10,14), rape (#7,8,17), burning houses (#1,2,4-7,14,17), burning houses with people inside (#1,2,14,17), looting/theft (#1,4,8,12,17), confiscation of relocated people's rice (#3,12), going back to farm (#1,3,4, 11,12), overcrowding at relocation sites (#1,5,7,12,17), effect on monks (#3,11,13,17), forced conscription for SLORC militia (#3), MTA (#8,11,13,15,17), PNA (#8), SSA (#13), opium (#15), life in Thailand (#15,17), northern Shan State (#13,15). Forced labour: At army camps (#1,3,13,15), as porters (#8,14,15), as road and village sentries (#12,13,17), on Army farms (#2,15), Nam Sang - Kun Hing road (#15,17), Chiang Tong - Kun Hing road (#15), Lai Kha - Pang Long road (#17), Lai Kha - Mong Hsu road (#13,17), Mong Kung - Tsipaw road (#10), Lai Kha - Mong Kungrailway (#7), Lashio - Mu Seh - Kyu Kote road (#15)..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #96-23)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Forced Relocation in Central Shan State (Appendix)
Date of publication: 25 June 1996
Description/subject: "Appendix: List of Shan State villages known to be relocated. This list accompanies KHRG report "Forced Relocation in Central Shan State", #96-23, 25/6/96..." ADDITIONAL KEYWORDS: forced resettlement, forced relocation, forced movement, forced displacement, forced migration, forced to move, displaced
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG)
Format/size: 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
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Human Rights Group Regional & Thematic Reports (KHRG #98-03)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003


Title: Myanmar: Atrocities in the Shan State
Date of publication: 15 April 1998
Description/subject: The last two years have seen a profound deterioration in the human rights situation throughout the central Shan State in Myanmar. Hundreds of Shan civilians caught in the midst of counter-insurgency activities have been killed or tortured by the Burmese army. These abuses, occurring in a country which is closed to independent monitors, are largely unknown to the outside world. Denial of access for human rights monitors and journalists means that the full scale of the tragedy can not be accurately calculated. Therefore the information presented below represents only a part of the story.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Amnesty International (ASA 16/05/98)
Format/size: html
Alternate URLs: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/005/1998/en/f6c634ab-daea-11dd-903e-e1f5d1f8bceb/asa1... (French)
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/005/1998/en/e22f5c7f-daea-11dd-903e-e1f5d1f8bceb/asa1...
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA16/005/1998
Date of entry/update: 26 July 2010


Title: Pipeline Nightmare (English and Burmese)
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.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/Pipeline%20Nightmare%20report%20in%20English%20version%20(Final).pdf (original)
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)
http://www.palaungland.org/wp-content/uploads/Report/S%20P%20N%20Report/2012-11%20Shwe%20Pipeline%2... (Summary in Chinese)
Date of entry/update: 07 November 2012


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 (4.68MB - English; 6.58MB - Thai)
Alternate URLs: http://salweenwatch.org/images/PDF/rootsandresiliencethai.pdf
Date of entry/update: 05 October 2009


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: 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."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB-OBL version; 7.29MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://eng.palaungwomen.com/Report/The%20Burden%20of%20War.pdf'>http://eng.palaungwomen.com/Report/The%20Burden%20of%20War.pdf
http://eng.palaungwomen.com
Date of entry/update: 06 November 2012