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(By Banyeah Toay Taw: June 7, 2004)
The Burmese Army abducted three villagers and a man was shot to death after the victim refused to pay money in southern Mon state. According to villagers, two women and one man from Ham Gam, southern Ye Township were kidnapped by the BA on June 2, 2004 and taken to a hidden place nearby their village. 
The victims, as claimed by local villagers, were abducted in the middle of the night by the Infantry Battalion No. 106 of northern Ye led by Captain Myint Naing.
A survivor said their man was killed after arguing he had no money to pay the kidnappers.  A local village headman reported that some soldiers from the BA spoke Mon and disguised themselves as Mon freedom fighters. 
The Army opens Mon language classes at the military base for their soldiers in order to avoid a language barrier during military operations to wipe out the armed guerrillas. 
"The bad use of learning Mon language is that they can pretend to be Mon rebels and attack villagers", said a Mon community leader from Ye. Among the brutal military officers in Ye area, Captain Lin Oo, also known as Nai Charn Mon, which literarily means Mon patriot, is the most infamous one among civilians according to local villagers. 
The BA has launched a military offensive against the Mon armed group since December 2003 in southern Ye area.

(Based on IMNA report: June 4, 2004)
The Burmese Army ordered Village Peace and Development Council to confiscate 800 acres of farmland after they summoned a meeting.
The Village PDC members from Hnee Padaw and Kwan Hlar who were called upon to meet in Thanbyu Zayat said, "The Infantry Battalion No.31's Army Officer plans to take over farmlands for four battalions near Thanbyu Zayat." "Soon, the army will survey these farmlands in southern Mudon and Thanbyu Zayat Townships which are under their control.
But they have not told anyone which places will be confiscated," said the village PDC members who came from the meeting. However, the order said the army would confiscate the farmlands in which owners do not cultivate the lands and which are un-registered.
Thanbyu Zayat based Infantry Battalion No.31 gathered the township PDC chairpersons at its headquarters on June 2 and discussed about the farms for army.  The officers mentioned that the army does not have to fight the ethnic rebels anymore because the Karen are about to reach a cease-fire.  
When the fighting stops, there will be no work for the soldiers and they will need the lands to exploit for their purposes. Last year, the Burmese Artillery Regiment No.318 confiscated farmland of about 300 acres in Yaung Daung village, Southern Mudon Township. Four battalions: No. 4 Southeast Command's Central Military Training, Infantry Battalion No.62, Artillery Regiment No.315 and Infantry Battalion No.31 are based in Thanbyu Zayat, Mon State .

(Kao Wao: March 11, 2004 )
Beginning in mid-December of 2003, the State Peace and Development Council military regime launched an offensive code-named “Thunder Victory Operation No. 3” (Aung Moe Gyoe Sitsin Yay No. 3) in southern Mon State , Burma , to wipe out an armed opposition group which carries out operations there.
The brutal operation, led by Colonel Myo Win under the direct command of the Moulmein based Southeast Command, is targeting Mon guerrillas led by two brothers Nai Hloin, Nai Bin and members of Hongsawatoi Restoration Party (HRP) who split from the New Mon State Party after the party reached a cease-fire agreement with the military regime in 1995. On January 19, 2004 , Major Nyi Nyi Swe from the battalion No 31 publicly declared that rebel sympathizers would be severely punished and killed. 
“All of you face brutality if you love your nationality and support the rebels,” said Nyi Nyi Swe in front of the gathering. Due to severe suppression, Krein Ka-Nyar Mon village has no village headmen (local administration) after Nai Cuu, along with two other leaders fled to the border. 
Accused as supporting rebel supporters, the BA brutally tortured the local villagers. Nai Cuu and his secretary Nai Gong Sakar who fled to Thai Burma border said they were tortured in every way possible. During the interview with Kao Wao, they bared their wounds and scars testifying to the BA’s wrath against innocent villagers who allegedly support rebels. The tortured men say the SPDC had forced them to work in the headmen position even though they wanted to resign.
A commander named Captain Lin Oo who speaks the Mon language is one of the worst human rights violators during the brutal military operations in the area, complained a villager who recently came to the border. He has a Mon name, Nai Chan Mon, but in reality he is a Mon killer, said the villager. Thousands of local people from about 15 villages fled the offensive area to neighboring Thailand and to the refugee camps. 
Last February, about 50 people from Krein Ka Nyar village fled to the border area where human traffickers lie waiting for them like so many ducks in a row. According to testimonies, they have no choice but to flee because of continual military operations in their living area. 
Some of the most vulnerable, older people and children, are left alone in the village, and others who flee, most of whom including women and younger people are waiting to cross over to the border, said a Mon refugee camp leader Nai Kao Chan.
According to a senior reporter from the Thai Burma border, while the Burmese Junta is talking (business) cease-fire with the ethnic nationalities groups such as KNU (Karen National Union) and KNPP (Karenni National Progressive Party) it has secretly ordered its frontline soldiers to kill ethnic villagers over the age of 18 years.  The order was issued by the BA headquarters in Rangoon on 30th January 2004 to Khin Maung Latt the commander of Eastern Command (based in Taunggyi) to implement the killing without drawing any attention or making any noise. 
The senior reporter said this ethnic cleansing scheme is already being carried out in the Irrawaddy division especially in Kyon Pyaw Township where scores of Karen youths were murdered at the order of Colonel Myint Aung.

(Kao Wao: February 29, 2004 )
Three porters and two soldiers from Burma Army were wounded after stepping on landmines, said a victim Nai Hlear who fled to Thai Burma border. The two injured soldiers were sent to the military hospital at Southeast Command in Moulmein but Nai Bee one of the porters was sent to a public hospital and his family had to pay a huge sum of money for the treatment.
The men were grabbed by the Burma Army and forced to march ahead of the patrolling troops. Nai Bee (age 33) was the first to step on the landmine and lost his leg, the incident occurred around his own village, Krein Kanyar in southern Ye. "I was wounded in my chest and my younger brother Nai Bee lost one leg,'' said a landmine victim Nai Taw Mon. Asked why he decided to work in Thailand , Nai Hlear said the soldiers ordered him to buy alcohol, but he wasn’t able to do so because it was after midnight and the stores were closed, so decided to flee across the border to Thailand to avoid a likely death threat for failing to get the alcohol. 
His village contained about 150 homes before the military operation, but only 80 households remain. He also fled because he thought his village, along with his home and family, would be uprooted in the near future. While at the Halockhanee Mon Refugee Camp, Nai Hlear showed his chest wound to the camp leader Nai Kao Chan who interviewed him about the incident. During the operation, a Buddhist novice was wounded after stepping on a landmine when trying to avoid the SPDC soldiers patrolling around the monastery, said a woman from Krein Kanya village.
A medic from Yang Rae said, “Most of the (landmine) victims are innocent villagers and not the soldiers”. In July 2003, Light Infantry Battalion No. 273 took villagers in the southern part of Ye Township to carry ammunition during their offensives against Mon guerrillas led by Nai Hloin and Nai Bin.  A young girl Mi Aye Thar stepped on a land mine and died instantly in mid July 2003. 
Three days later, 3 porters stepped on land mines, Nai Hein, a 38-year-old man died, while the other two men were physically maimed for life after serious injuries from the explosion.  According to local source, both the Burma Army and the Mon armed group use landmines.

Mon State at War
(By Taramon, Kao Wao)
January 31, 2004: Sangkhalaburi -- The Burmese Army used rape as a weapon of war against civilians during military operation to wipe out Mon guerrillas in southern Ye, Mon State.   Both married and unmarried women from Mon villages near the patrolled areas of Light Infantry Battalion No. 299 have been forced by the army commanders to sleep with them at night according to local sources.  Mi San Myint from Krane Kanyeh village who fled to the border area said the commander ordered women to cook for the soldiers during the day and raped them at night. 
The troops took 3 women per day to stay for 24 hours in their bases.  The Army ordered 3 beautiful women from 15 villages to come for a model show early this month. A villager from Kaw Zar said, “The performers were sexually abused, most were embarrassed and moved to other places; some came to Thailand after the show.”   The villagers complained that some women were raped while staying at the military base before and after the model show.
“I stopped asking questions about the (rape) case because she was so embarrassed and depressed,” said Ms Mi Yin Sein, a human rights worker from the Thai Burma border.  Mi Myint who was raped by the Army stayed at her house, Halockhanee Mon Refugee Camp, on the way to Thailand with her husband to work as migrant labourer. According to Myint’s husband, she was raped several times. 
Even the victim was married; the commander forced her to perform in the show because she is the most beautiful lady in her village. The Burma Army has launched a major offensive against the Hongsawatoi Restoration Party, the Mon guerrilla group that operates in the area.Human Rights Foundation of Monland issued a statement on January 15, 2004 claiming that the Burmese Army based in southern Ye, Mon State raped local women, tortured Buddhist monks, killed villagers and used them as porters in the front-line in late 2003 and early 2004.

Mon State at war
(By Taramon, Kao Wao)
Sangkhlaburi, January 18, 2004 -- Villagers from the young to the old in southern Ye township were ordered to sit in the sun as punishment for not speaking Burmese by the Burmese Army according to refugees who fled to the Thai Burma border last week.“The SPDC captain said we are like animals because we don’t understand their (Burmese) language, so they treat us as such,” said a 50-year-old Mon woman from Waeng Kyam village who recently arrived to the Thai-Burma border.Victims were ordered to sit under the hot sun from 7 AM to 6 PM. 
Farmers from 15 villages were arrested by the SPDC troops who had launched an offensive against the Mon armed group in the area since early December 2003.“We are even refused to drink water,” said a villager who was taken by the BA last December and accused as being rebel supporter for not understanding the Burmese language.
The BA rounds up 7 villagers from every village in the offensive area for portering and also are used as human shields during its patrol into the Mon territory, said the local villagers.The SPDC soldiers treat the local Mon people as animals because they cannot speak Burmese said the woman who can speaks it fluently.  Many villagers are often beaten and slapped violently by the Burmese soldiers when they cannot answer in Burmese. 
She added that she became elite in this area where most people do not understand the Burmese.The lady was born in Mudon Township and moved to this area after marriage.Some villagers suspected as rebel sympathizers or supporters were brutally tortured and put in the detention center said a witness who fled from the village.“The SPDC soldiers puts razor blades inside the mouths of suspects, then hits or punches them on the cheek,” said Mi Dut, a Mon woman.
“But they could not help the SPDC’s Battalion. They only know the Burmese soldiers who have always treated them inhumanly ever since independence was achieved in the 1940s.”An elderly couple, parents in law of the rebel leader Nai Bin, were severely beaten and sent to the detention center said the source.
“I saw them being tortured in front of their house,” the woman added.Another 30-year-old woman said that Mon women, whose husbands fled to the jungle when the army entered the village, were tortured after being accused as rebel supporters even though they are known to be innocent farmers.
The BA killed livestock and other animals for food during the military operation; some animals died unable to access water during the weeklong water shortage during the offensive.The Mon local sources reported that the BA launched a major offensive against the Mon splinter group who had split from the New Mon State Party after the party reached a cease-fire agreement in 1995.
The Pa-An based Regiment No. 22 of Southeast Military Command led by Colonel Nyi Nyi Swe took civilians and forced them to march in front of the BA during the offensive.  The front line office of about a thousand troops was stationed at Khawzar village, southern Ye township since early December 2003.


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