Thu 10 Nov 2005
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Villagers have been ordered to work as militias for their village by the Military Tactical Commander in Southern Ye Township in Kaw-zar-town area.
The Tactical Commander under the Military Operation Management Command No.19 ordered people from 15 villages in Kaw-zaw-town area to work as militias for their village and forced the villagers to do so by a system of lottery.
“If you get a lottery number you have to work as a militia for your village. If you don’t want to work just cough up 200,000 Kyat to commander, Col. Myit Aung immediately,” a villager said.
According to villagers, at least 10 men from a village were forced to work as militias. Because they hated to work as militias many youth from the area escaped from their village. Some have fled to Ye town and Thailand.
“I don’t want to leave my village. If I get the lottery number, I will serve,” said a villager from Yin-Ye village that has less than 10 young people.
According to a villager people wanted to avoid working as militias because village headmen and militias have been known to be killed by both Burmese troops and Mon rebels.
Village headmen and militia groups in the area were arrested regularly by the military government if there was fighting in the village.
Another tactical commander, Col. Tan-Toe also ordered villagers in the area to fence their village as protection against Mon rebels.
In Kaw-Zar-Town area, the government launched military operations against Mon rebels that controlled the area in 2003-2004. Currently troops control the area having changed Kaw-zar village to a town.
During the military operation villagers in the area faced serious human rights violations by the troops.