Our Village Will Not Last

Villagers flee to the Thai-Burma border from Ye and Yebyu Townships in southern Burma during the cold season of 2004 (Photo by HURFOM)

HURFOM: “Our Village Will Not Last:” Analysis of Abuses Conducted Against Civilians in Mon State and Tennasserim Division
September 7, 2009

INTRODUCTION

 Villagers flee to the Thai-Burma border from Ye and Yebyu Townships in southern Burma during the  cold season of 2004 (Photo by HURFOM)
Villagers flee to the Thai-Burma border from Ye and Yebyu Townships in southern Burma during the cold season of 2004 (Photo by HURFOM)

It is not easy to make any claim that Burma is a nation free of violence and armed conflict.  However the Burmese military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), often cites the successful brokering of 15 ceasefires with armed insurgent groups, who have been brought ‘back into the legal fold’ throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s, as proof that it has brought peace to Burma.

These ceasefires have radically altered the landscape of the civil war in Burma by bringing the direct conflict with most of the ethnic armed groups to a close.  However what has resulted is not peace, but a quieter violence, between smaller insurgent groups that did not sign ceasefires, and the Burmese army.  This supposed peace has been characterized by continued violence and abuse conducted against civilians in parts of Karen State, Mon State, and Tennaserim Division who have been trapped between insurgent groups, and the Burmese policy of total destruction of its opposition.

During August, the Human Rights Foundation of Monland-Burma (HURFOM) has focused its concern on the continuing abuses and serious human rights violations in Southern Burma and would like to highlight ongoing rights abuses faced by the local inhabitants and the consequences these have on the livelihoods of these residents.  HURFOM field reporters have been documenting instances of forced relocation, land and property confiscation, arbitrary extortion and sexual violence through the testimonies of these individual victims, since March 2009.

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Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) is a member of Network for Human Rights Documentation – Burma (ND-Burma).

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