Statement by Shan Community Based Organisations September 8, 2014
Namkham farmers’ protest highlights urgent need for moratorium on resource extraction during peace process
The anti-mining protest by over 3,000 villagers in Namkham, northern Shan State, on September 5, 2014, highlights the lack of protection against damaging mining, and the urgent need for a moratorium on resource extraction in ethnic areas until there is genuine political reform and peace in Burma.
Since 2012, six companies have been mining silica in the hills south-east of Namkham for export to China. Large amounts of mining waste have been dumped in the Nam Siri Stream, which nine villages rely on for farming as well as domestic use. This has polluted and clogged the stream, causing it to overflow into nearby fields, destroying crops, irrigation channels and weirs. At least 100 acres of fields have been destroyed so far.
Update by the Shan Human Rights Foundation
August 26, 2014
Shan IDPs petition President Thein Sein for Burma Army withdrawal from their homes
About 300 displaced villagers sent a petition letter today to President Thein Sein, calling for the withdrawal of Burma Army troops from their village Wan Pasaung in Ke See township, and demanding compensation for damage to their homes and farms during the past two months.
Dear Secretary Kerry,
We wish to alert you to the escalating military operations by Burmese government troops in central Shan State, which are destabilizing the current peace process, and threatening the lives of innocent civilians.
Since June 2014, about 3,000 Burmese government troops have been deployed to Ke See, Murng Hsu and Tangyan townships, to seize territories of the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), in violation of an existing ceasefire agreement. Hundreds of shells have been fired in civilian areas, causing terror and fresh displacement.
We are now gravely concerned for the security of over 800 villagers, including300 recently displaced,in Wan Warp village,Ke See township.Over 500 heavily armed Burmese government troops are encamped in and around Wan Warp, restricting villagers’ movement and refusing to withdraw until today.
Press Release by the Shan Farmers’ Network
July 16, 2014
Eastern Shan State villagers call for an immediate end to destructive gold mining operations
The Shan Farmers’ Network and affected villagers held a press conference today in Taunggyi to demand an immediate end to destructive gold mining operations in Mong Len, eastern Shan State.
Over ten companies have been carrying out mining in the “Loi Kham” hills east of Ta Ler, Tachilek township, since 2007. They have dug up over eleven square miles of forested hillsides, and used large amounts of cyanide to extract gold. The resulting soil erosion and water pollution have destroyed the farming livelihoods of about 340 people in two nearby villages, Na Hai Long and Weng Manaw.
The main local water source, the Nam Kham stream, is now shallow and polluted. Rice fields and vegetable gardens have been destroyed; farm animals poisoned and people are suffering from skin diseases. Families can no longer afford to send their children to school, and young people are migrating to neighboring countries to work. Only minimal compensation has been provided by companies.
Statement by the Shan Human Rights Foundation
July 10, 2014
Burmese government must stop new military operation against ceasefire army in northern Shan State
Since June 2014, the Burma Army has deployed nearly 2,000 troops from over 10 battalions in an operation against a ceasefire group, the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (a.k.a Shan State Army-North or SSA-N), in Kehsi and Murng Hsu townships. The operation has inflicted human rights abuses against hundreds of local civilians.
The first attack was carried out from June 11 to 14 in Murng Hsu, when hundreds of troops advanced on an SSA-N base near this ruby mining area. Shells were fired by troops stationed in a local village, placing civilian lives at risk. Villagers were also forced to act as guides and drivers for the troops during the attack.
On June 24, the Burma Army sent 50 trucks of troops, weapons and ammunition from Mandalay to the area. On June 26, Burmese troops began artillery attacks on the SSA-N about 20 kms northwest of the SSA-N headquarters of Wan Hai. For several days, shells were fired in this civilian-populated area. Since then, 800 troops from seven battalions have been stationed in local villages, restricting villagers’ movements and transport of rice, patrolling through villagers’ fields, destroying crops and fences, and looting villagers’ livestock. This has caused about 200 local villagers to flee their homes and seek refuge in a local temple.
Shan Human Rights Foundation
April 8, 2014
Burma Army soldiers beat, stab and rob villager in northern Shan State
A villager distributing invitations to his son’s ordination ceremony was beaten, stabbed and robbed by Burma Army troops of LIB 515 in Tang Yan Township, northern Shan State on 23rd March 2014.
On that day, Sai Sarng, age 46, from Murng Kao, Tang Yan township, had gone to a neighboring town, Murng Ort, 15 miles south of Murng Kao, to distribute the ordination ceremony invitation letters. On his way there, the Burmese soldiers camping around Hua Long village, 12 miles from Murng Kao, asked him to buy them betel from the town. When he returned from Murng Ort that day, he bought the Burmese soldiers the betel as they had asked and continued travelling to his village.
Statement of ShanCBOs
Joint statement of concern by Shan civil society organizations regarding public meeting by Burmese government and Hydrochina to promote dams on the Salween and Nam Ma Rivers
We, the undersigned Shan organizations, are very concerned by the recent public meeting held by representatives of Burma’s Ministry of Electricity, the International Group of Entrepreneurs Co., Ltd. and Hydrochina Corporation in Tangyan township on March 17, 2014, to promote plans to build the Nawng Pha dam on the Salween river and the Mann Taung dam on the Nam Ma river, a Salween tributary.
Over 100 people from 10 villages situated about 30-40 miles from the dam projects were invited to attend the meeting, but villages which are very close to the projects and likely to suffer the most negative impacts from the dam projects were not invited to participate.
Statement by the Shan Human Rights Foundation
Spreading Burma Army attacks and abuses against civilians in Shan State undermine nationwide ceasefire negotiations
The Shan Human Rights Foundation is deeply concerned at the escalation of attacks and abuses by the Burma Army against civilians in different areas of Shan State during March 2014, which are undermining current negotiations for a nationwide ceasefire.
Unlawful attacks and abuses have been documented recently in three townships, Nawng Khio and Kyaukme in northern Shan State, and Murngton in eastern Shan State. Troops from six Burma Army battalions have fired mortar shells at villages, arrested and tortured villagers, and looted villagers’ property and livestock.
In each incident, the Burmese troops were targeting civilians during military operations against Shan armed forces, the Shan State Army – North (SSA-North) and the Shan State Army – South (SSA-South), both of which have ceasefire agreements with the Burmese government and are involved in current negotiations for a nationwide ceasefire accord.
During March 1-2, 2014, as reported by SHRF, Burmese government troops from three battalions, Hsipaw based 502, Bago Division based 77, and Nawng Khio based 115, fired shells and sprayed gunfire without warning into villages in Nawng Khio township, severely tortured a villager, questioned the villagers at gunpoint, and looted livestock; causing about 2,000 villagers from eleven villages to flee their homes. Read More >>>
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For further information, contact:
Sai Hor Hseng (66) 085 869 4341 (Shan+ English)
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