May 2, 2016
In March and April, as it was a season for picking tea leaves, the harvest of which is depended on by the people in the region for their livelihood, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) had shunned battle.
The local populations and Buddhist monks requested help from the PSLF/TNLA to clear out the RCSS/SSA forces from the locality, due to their widespread violations of human rights, such as limiting or blocking social, economic and life security of Ta’ang people etc., and further intrusion, stepping-up of activities and construction of strong camps in the operational area of the TNLA. Some of the human rights violations committed by the RCSS/SSA forces are as follows.
(a) Due to communication difficulties in hilly regions, though the people normally have to stockpile their whole-year need of rice during the dry season, the RCSS/SSA forces ban a person from carrying more than 4/5 Pyi (8/10 Kg) of rice, 0.75 Viss (1.2 Kg) of cooking oil and a packet of salt.
(b) The RCSS/SSA forces ban the people, who had to eke out a living from making charcoal, from making charcoal, transporting or selling it, and if anyone is found breaching the ban, the person is unfairly fined heavily.
(c) The RCSS/SSA forces levy a protection fee of 1,000 Kyat on a Viss (1.6 Kg) of locally produced tea, which has the going price of only 2,000/3000 Kyat a Viss.
(d) The RCSS/SSA forces dug a trench across the main road to make the communication of the people to be difficult.
(e) The giant bamboos grown by the local populations for use in their own construction are illegally cut down by the RCSS/SSA forces and used in building their own camps.
(f) When they come into villages, they ransack the villagers’ homes, take away possessions illegally and kill and eat the villagers’ domestic animals.
(g) When the Ta’ang people pass through areas where the RCSS/SSA forces are present, they unlawfully arrest, interrogate or detain the Ta’ang people.
(h) On arrival at the villages, the RCSS/SSA forces quarter their 30/40 soldiers per house and make the household to feed the soldiers, without any compensation.
(i) They break up the villages’ sign boards bearing writings in Ta’ang language.
(j) They plant landmines on public paths and in tea plantation fields to make livelihood of the people difficult, and burn down farm and tea plantation field huts.
(k) As they sell narcotic drugs in areas they are active in, more local people have become addicts. For show, they have set up a place called ‘Opium Eradication Center’ in Tun-hay village of Man-hi-ro Sub-Township, Muse Township, and unlawfully arrested and detained people, and make them to produce narcotic drugs at the Center.
News and Information Department
The PDF files download available here; Human Rights Violations in Ta’ang Region by RCSS-SSA Forces