Thu 27 Apr 2006
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
Reports have emerged from Karen State that the Burmese military has told civilians they had until last Tuesday to leave their homes or face being shot on sight.
According to the Free Burma Rangers, Major Aung Yan Tun of the military’s Light Infantry Battalion 168 told villagers from Ye Lo, Ta Pa Kee and Plo Baw Der in Toungoo district last Saturday if they had not relocated to Play Htsa Lo by April 25, they would be killed.
More than 11,000 Karens have fled their homes in the past three months as the military launched attacks against civilians, burning villages, looting stocks and shooting villagers at random.
In Karen State’s Muthraw district light infantry battalion 366 shot and killed 17-year-old Saw Has Rae Sae as he worked in his rice field near Paw Mu Der village on April 20. His friend, Saw Kyay Nu Wah was also shot an injured, according to FBR.
â€œThe SPDC uses force to clear areas they would like to occupy, driving civilian villagers from their land and fields. It is very difficult for them to survive . . .â€ a Karen FBR relief team leader said in a statement.
â€œAll of their possessions have been taken or destroyed by the SPDC . . . Their life in hiding sites is so difficult that many are now trying to cross the border to the refugee camps in Thailand. Others, despite their difficulties, choose to stay in the jungle and not leave their country.â€
The scale of the Burmese military’s recent attacks in Karen State has been compared to the 1997 offensive that almost wiped out the armed resistance group the Karen National Union.
In the past military offensives in Karen State were limited to the dry season but the KNU told Mizzima this week they were concerned the attacks would continue during the monsoon.