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Update of Human Right Violations by the Burma Army During Offensives in Palaung Areas (March and April 2013)

By Palaung Women's Organization and Ta'ang Students and Youth Organization  •  May 6, 2013

Since January 2013, Burmese government troops have been carrying out military offensives in Palaung areas against the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). The Burmese troops have committed widespread human rights violations during these operations.

Even though the Burmese government led by Thein Sein has been praised for its reforms, these have mainly been in central Burma. There have been few changes in ethnic areas. Even though the government has been holding peace negotiations with ethnic armed groups, it is still launching offensives against the KIA, TNLA and SSA-N. There has been no political dialogue to find a solution to the conflict and to establish a genuine federal union. Moreover, the number of government troops in Palaung areas has been steadily increasing.

As a result of offensives and abuses by Burmese government troops during 2013, thousand of local people have been displaced from their hometown as internal displaced persons to Mantong, Namkham, Kuitkhai townships etc and there are rencently increasing in Tangyan township too.

Human rights violations committed by the Burmese government troops include the following:

  • Two married Palaung women were raped by Burmese troops from IB 502 on 19th and 20th April 2013.
  • Three girls under 16 were forced to act as guides and porters by Burmese troops from LIB 41 on 25th March, 2013.
  • Villagers from Kaung Sai village, Tangyan township, were forced to be porters by LIB 41 on 26th March 2013. Two of these villagers died from stepping on a land mine, and three were wounded.
  • Three TNLA soldiers who returned home to help their parents during tea harvest time were killed by number 504 in the second week of April.
  • Villagers from Khun Khar village, Kyautme township were conscripted as forced laborers, and made to cut down community forest to extend and build the military camp of IB 501, on 12th April 2013.
  • Over 1,500 villagers have become internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Tangyan township, and there are also over 2,000 IDPs in Kutkhai.
  • Five villagers were arrested and tortured by suspecting and accusing them for contact with TNLA on 15th April 2013.
  • The Burmese soldiers are looting and destroying the properties of villagers and stayed at villagers’ home without permission.
  • Burmese troops have looted property of villagers in Palaung areas.

Download the full-text of the update in English or Burmese here.

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This post is in: Crimes Against Humanity, Human Rights, Spotlight, Women

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