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Forced labour in Myanmar (Burma)

Report of the Commission of Inquiry appointed under article 26 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organization to examine the observance by Myanmar of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
Geneva, 2 July 1998

Part IV (cont.)

Examination of the case by the Commission

C. Thematic analysis of the forms of labour
and services requisitioned by certain authorities

299. This part of the chapter presents a thematic analysis of the forms of forced labour and services requisitioned by certain authorities in Myanmar. The first four sections deal with work directly related to the military or militia groups (portering, military camp work, other work in support of the military and forced recruitment). The latter four sections deal with work which, although it commonly involves these groups, is of a more general nature (work on agriculture, logging and other production projects, construction and maintenance of roads, railways and bridges, other infrastructure work and general urban work).

(1) Portering

(a) Documentary material

300. Nature and conditions of work. Because of the rugged terrain and lack of roads and other infrastructure in many parts of Myanmar, the army regularly moved troops and supplies on foot.(349) In general, civilian porters were used for this purpose, usually against their will. The regular major offensives which the Tatmadaw conducted against insurgent groups required large quantities of supplies and equipment, and could involve the use of thousands or even tens of thousands of civilian porters for periods of several months.(350) In addition to the use of porters for such major offensives, the Commission was informed that in both conflict and non-conflict areas troops demanded porters on a regular basis for a wide range of duties such as carrying equipment and supplies for routine patrols, carrying provisions to the local military camp, carrying out various duties at military camps or staying at the camp on "stand-by" in case they were needed for some task. Porters were also often sent ahead of soldiers in potential danger situations, to draw enemy fire or in the hope that insurgents would not attack when there was a danger that the porters might be killed. They were also sent ahead of troops in suspected minefields, to detonate mines; many were reportedly killed or injured in this way.(351)

301. Soldiers appeared to generally prefer able-bodied males to work as porters, since they were able to move more quickly and carry heavier loads. In cases where women were taken as porters, they were generally released as soon as men were found to replace them, though this could in certain circumstances be after a considerable period of time.(352)

302. The methods used to procure porters varied. For major operations where large numbers of porters were required, various procurement methods were used. Orders to provide porters emanated from the highest levels of the military command structure.(353) Depending on the number of porters required, the quota might be spread over a number of districts, or even over a number of States and Divisions.(354) The order would be transmitted down the administrative command structure, so that a given township would be required to send a certain number of porters to a certain gathering point on a certain date. In order to fill this quota, orders were sent to each ward and village to provide a particular number of people. In cases where it was difficult to fill the quota in this way, the authorities resorted to rounding up civilians in urban areas, at such places as cinemas, video halls, tea-shops, stations, from buses or trains, or at any other place where there were large gatherings of people, such as at markets, religious festivals, weddings or funerals.(355) In rural areas, troops went into villages and rounded up everyone they could catch. In the absence of a sufficient number of able-bodied men, the authorities would take women, children, the elderly, and persons otherwise unfit for work.(356) The only way to avoid being taken was to pay a substantial sum of money (of the order of several thousand kyat(257)) to the authorities to be exempted from this work. Having released those people who paid such a sum, the authorities would have to round up more people to replace them. It appeared that often the authorities would round up many more people than required, knowing that some would pay money to be released; the amount of money to be paid would depend on the number of "spare" people they had rounded up.(358)

303. Prisoners were also regularly sent from prisons and labour camps across the country to be used by the army in major offensives. They continued to wear prison uniforms and were usually kept separate from the other porters. In certain cases, prisoners were forced to continue working in such conditions beyond their normal release date.(359)

304. In rural areas, orders to provide porters usually gave some general indication of what task the porters were required for: general duties at the army camp, a particular task such as carrying supplies to the camp, or for a military operation. It was then up to the village head to arrange which villagers would go. In addition, villages had to provide a fixed number of porters to each of the army camps in their area on a permanent basis; this would normally be done by villagers in rotating shifts of a few days. The only way to avoid such duties was to hire a replacement or in some cases pay a sum of money to be exempted.

305. Urban populations were normally only required to provide porters at times of major operations, though troops might also round up people in the streets in urban areas for other, more minor tasks. Again, the only way to avoid such duties was to pay a sum of money to be exempted, or hire a replacement.

306. When people were ordered to work as porters either by the village head or local authorities, or directly by the military, no indication was normally given as to the length of the assignment. Even where such an indication was given, it was unlikely to be accurate and was not respected.(360)

307. In addition to rounding people up in an organized way, or ordering local authorities to provide them, military units also captured people at random from villages and rural areas which they passed through. This might be in the context of a major operation, or on a routine patrol through a non-conflict area. Military units constantly needed to "top-up" their supply of porters, to replace those who had been killed, who had escaped, or who were sick or otherwise unable to continue. Taking porters might also be used as a means of extorting money from the community, or as a means of punishment or oppression.(361) The only way to avoid being taken as a porter in such circumstances was to pay a sum of money to be exempted. In cases where people were taken directly by soldiers to work as porters, the family of the person was not notified.(362)

308. When troops arrived in a village, the men would often have already fled, because they feared being arrested or killed by the army, particularly in conflict areas where they might be accused of being rebels. The women usually stayed behind, because they were likely to be treated less violently. In such cases, the women were liable to be taken as porters if the troops could find no men.(363) There were cases where pregnant women and nursing mothers were taken by force to work as porters.(364)

309. Given the wide variation in the amount of portering work required of different villages at different times, it would appear that little attempt was made to keep such requirements within any kind of limit. In some cases, a village household had to provide a porter as often as twice a month, for an indeterminate length of time, in addition to the other demands for labour.(365)

310. The length of portering assignments varied considerably, and depended on a number of factors. Porters taken on routine patrols would usually be replaced at regular intervals of around two weeks by other people from the same village. It was up to the village head to find out where the troops were, and send the replacements. Porters were not normally released until their replacements arrived. Sometimes it was difficult for replacements to be sent, either because the troops were a long distance from the village, or because their whereabouts was unknown. In such cases porters might have to work for considerably longer periods.

311. Porters taken for offensives usually had to work for much longer periods, since it was much more difficult for them to be replaced, and the demand for porters was very high at such times. Given the dangers of disease, injury or abuse at the hands of the soldiers, many porters chose to flee rather than waiting to be released. Escaping porters were routinely shot, and if recaptured were beaten or killed in front of other porters as a warning.(366) Porters who attempted escape in conflict areas appeared to suffer the most severe retaliation.

312. Villagers and townspeople across Myanmar had to pay a variety of fees and taxes including the "porter fee".(367) This was in addition to any money which might have to be paid to avoid doing actual work as a porter, since payment of porter fees did not appear to reduce the demand on a community to provide porters; if a community failed to pay porter fees, however, a likely punishment was an increase in the demand for porters, since people who failed to pay such fees were typically arrested and used as porters. While collection of these fees was ostensibly for the purpose of providing salaries to porters, it appeared that porters were in fact never paid, except when they were hired by another person to go in their place.(368)

313. It could, however, be difficult or at least extremely expensive to hire a replacement for some kinds of portering work, particularly portering in military operations, which lasted for a long time and was particularly dangerous and demanding.(369)

314. The Commission received a great deal of information detailing the situation of porters during their assignments. This information indicated that porters were generally given loads of 30 to 40 kg for men and 20 to 30 kg for women, though reports of porters having to carry up to 50 kg were not uncommon.(370) This could consist of food, ammunition, soldiers' backpacks or other items, usually carried in woven cane or bamboo baskets, with straps across the shoulders and an additional strap across the forehead. When excessive loads were carried for prolonged periods, the straps of the basket and the basket itself dug into the flesh of the shoulders and back, causing serious injuries and sometimes exposing the bone.(371) Injuries to the feet were also common.(372) Women and children were generally given lighter loads, but otherwise the size of the load was generally irrespective of the age, physical fitness or strength of the person in question.(373)

315. Porters were required to carry such loads for long distances, resting only as and when the troops themselves rested. Porters regularly had to carry such loads for a period in excess of 12 hours per day with little rest, over periods of days, weeks or months. It was not uncommon, particularly in offensives, for porters to have to carry their loads continuously for 24 or 36 hours with no sleep.(374) Porters, particularly those who had been rounded up without warning and forced to work, would have few belongings, usually only the clothes they were wearing at the time they were rounded up. They were not provided with any additional clothing, blankets or adequate footwear.

316. Porters were generally fed minimal rations amounting to between a half and one tin of rice per day,(375) sometimes accompanied by a little salt, some chillies, or some watery yellow-pea curry.(376) Many former porters said that this was considerably less than the amount given to the soldiers, and that if the soldiers had better quality food such as meat, the porters did not receive any. Unlike soldiers, porters did not have water-bottles and were usually prevented from drinking from streams as they walked, as the soldiers often claimed this would slow them down.(377) Porters who had asked to drink from soldiers' water bottles had been beaten.(378)

317. Female porters were sometimes raped or otherwise sexually abused by soldiers.(379) Porters who walked too slowly were regularly beaten with sticks, punched, kicked, hit with rifle butts or prodded with bayonets.(380) Porters who were persistently slow, or who were unable to carry their loads because of exhaustion, sickness or injury were often severely beaten and forced to continue, or if this was not possible they were abandoned or killed.(381) The killing of porters who could not continue appeared to be more common in potential conflict areas.(382) In such areas, porters were usually not shot, but were beaten to death, had their throats cut, were thrown from the sides of mountains, were thrown into rivers with their hands tied behind their backs, or were burned alive.(383) Porters who were able to carry their loads at the required pace, who did not slip or fall and who were otherwise obedient were generally not beaten.

318. In addition to those who were executed, many porters died from disease, particularly malaria and gastrointestinal infections. Malaria was particularly endemic in the densely-forested mountainous regions away from Myanmar's central plains where most armed opposition to the government was located. In addition, porters were not provided with any form of prophylaxis and were rarely given medical treatment or medication of any kind.(384)

319. Porters were also exposed to dangerous combat situations.(385) This could include exposure to mines and other kinds of booby-traps, ambushes and major or minor battles. There appeared to be no attempt made by military units using porters to minimize the exposure of porters to such situations. On the contrary, soldiers sometimes forced porters to walk ahead of them in areas where mines, other booby-traps, or ambushes were suspected in order to minimize the exposure of troops to such dangers; if they were carrying ammunition, porters also had to take this to soldiers requiring it during battles.(386) There were also reportedly cases of soldiers forcing porters to exchange clothes with them, in order to draw enemy fire.(387) Many porters were killed or injured in this way.(388) Compensation for death or injury, or medical treatment in the event of injury, appeared to be minimal.(389) In cases of death, the family of the porter was not normally notified.

320. To prevent their escape, porters were guarded at all times. During the day they were often tied together, or to their loads, and they were kept guarded in bunkers or tied together in groups at night.(390) At night, they often had to sleep in the open, with no shelter or blankets provided, even in cold and wet situations. During actual fighting, where they might be able to take advantage of the confusion to escape, porters were often kept in the middle of the soldiers so as to make escape more difficult.(391) Former porters mentioned that it was less feasible to try to escape when they had been sent by the village head in response to an order from the military, because their identities, or at least the identity of their village, was known to the troops, and so they, their families or village could face problems. Porters who had been arrested directly by passing troops could not be identified as easily in this way, and so they were less likely to face problems if they managed to escape.

321. In cases where large numbers of porters were needed and the quota was spread over a wide area, people might be taken considerable distances from their homes. Cases of people being taken from the capital Yangon or even Rakhine State to work as porters in offensives near the Thai border were not uncommon. It was suggested that this might be a deliberate strategy to reduce the chances of porters escaping, since they would be in territory which was unfamiliar to them.(392)

322. If such people did manage to escape, or if they were released after some period, they would find themselves in an unfamiliar area, with no money or possessions. No provision was made for released porters to be transported back to their homes, though in some cases they might be given passes which should allow them to pass through military checkpoints in the area. Such escaped or released porters often became internally displaced, with no opportunity of returning to their homes. They were liable to be arrested as porters by some other military unit as they passed through checkpoints or if they ran into military patrols.(393)

323. Specific examples. The Commission had information relating to the requisition and use of porters in most parts of Myanmar, covering Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan States and Ayeyarwady, Bago, Sagaing, Tanintharyi and Yangon Divisions. Those required to work as porters included women, minors, persons over the age of 45, and persons otherwise unfit for work.(394)

324. Use of porters in the eastern and central parts of Myanmar was very common, particularly in large-scale military operations against opposition groups in the region near the eastern border with Thailand. This region will be discussed in the paragraphs which follow.

325. In Shan State, civilians were requisitioned by military units in a number of areas(395) and used as porters.(396) The information related to a period from 1992 to 1997. Civilians were also reportedly forced to act as sentries on the Namhsam to Mongnai railway in 1995.(397)

326. There was a considerable amount of information relating to Kayah State.(398) Porters were requisitioned by various military units from a number of townships,(399) particularly at relocation sites such as Demawso, Shadaw and Ywathit. The information received covered the period from 1992 to 1997, and included copies of several orders from Demawso Township LORC in 1995 requiring villages to provide porters for a military operation.

327. A very large volume of information was received relating to the requisition and use of porters in every part of Kayin State,(400) involving a large number of military units as well as the Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army (DKBA) militia.(401) Porters in Kayin State were also regularly forced to carry out other tasks such as acting as sentries and guides for the troops, a practice discussed further in paragraphs 374-388 below. There was also information that civilians, including women, were forced to act as human minesweepers, often during portering assignments.(402) Porters were also used by soldiers to transport back to their camps goods which had been looted from villages.(403) The information covered a period from 1988 to 1997, and included copies of orders from the authorities requiring villages to provide porters, as well as information from army deserters.

328. In Bago Division, porters were mostly taken by the military in areas near to the border with Kayin State which have a majority Karen population, including Shwegyin and Kyaukkyi townships, various parts of Toungoo district including Toungoo town, and parts of Nyaunglebin district. A number of porters were also rounded up in other parts of the Division.(404) The information related to a period from 1992 to 1997. Some porters, including women, were forced to walk in front of troops as human minesweepers; several were injured or killed by mines. Porters were also used by the military for sentry duty.(405)

329. People were also rounded up in Yangon Division for use as porters in military operations in other parts of the country; Muslims appeared to be particularly targeted. In October 1988 a large number of people were rounded up by the military in the capital Yangon and forced to work as porters in Kayin State.(406)  The same thing happened in 1994 and 1995, for another offensive in the same area.(407)

330. A large volume of information was also received relating to Mon State.(408) Porters were rounded up or used by various military units in a number of different areas.(409) As discussed further below,(410) civilians were also forced to carry out a number of other tasks, usually in the context of portering, such as acting as guides for troops, acting as human minesweepers, or working as sentries; civilians were also used by troops as human shields.(411) The information covered a period from 1990 to 1997, and included copies of orders from the authorities requiring that porters be provided.

331. A very large volume of information was provided to the Commission regarding portering in Tanintharyi Division. Forced portering appeared to be particularly prevalent in Yebyu township,(412) though there was information of people being requisitioned by various military units(413) in most parts of the Division and forced to work as porters.(414) The information covered a period from 1991 to 1997, and included information from army deserters and copies of orders from the authorities requiring provision of porters.

332. In the western part of the country, porters were more commonly used for routine patrols and other tasks of a shorter duration. This was the case in various parts of Chin State,(415) over at least the period 1994 to 1997. The information included interviews with Tatmadaw deserters, as well as a number of orders from the authorities requiring the provision of porters.(416) Porters were also used for sentry duty and as human shields in Chin State. For example, 30 villagers were required to work as sentries guarding six sentry posts in Thantlang.(417) Porters were similarly used for various portering tasks in Kachin State,(418) Sagaing Division(419) and Ayeyarwady Division.(420) This practice is discussed further in paragraphs 374-388 below.

333. In Rakhine State, porters were rounded up and used by both the army and NaSaKa. Porters were rounded up from various areas, including Sittway (Akyab) town and Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships, from both the Rohingya and Rakhine populations.(421) Civilians were also forced to act as sentries, for example at a NaSaKa camp in Maungdaw township in 1992.(422)

(b) Oral testimony

334. Over 186 witnesses stated that they had had experience of portering, either because they themselves were forced to transport food, equipment and ammunitions for the military or because members of their family -- wives, husbands or parents -- had been forced to do so. Testimonies gathered by the Commission tell of events that occurred in Chin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan States and in Magway, Sagaing, Tanintharyi and Yangon Divisions. They provide ample coverage of the years from 1993 to the present, though a number of witnesses also referred to events which occurred prior to this period.

335. Portering is clearly a common form of forced labour, experienced by most of the witnesses who provided testimony to the Commission. It is also the most arduous and the most degrading. Several witnesses made the point that portering is a further task added to the other forms of labour or services already imposed by the military; consequently, very little time is left to the workers to provide for their own personal and economic needs.(423)

336. In order to clarify the variations of the practice of portering in the different regions of Myanmar, the Commission has grouped together the relevant evidence according to the place where events took place. The Commission in setting out its findings has emphasized the similarities which exist in regions. The Commission will therefore present, in this section, the evidence concerning the practice of portering as carried out in the eastern and central regions of Myanmar, on the one hand, and the evidence concerning the western region, on the other. Because of the nature of the evidence gathered by the Commission, the section on the western region will focus principally on the Rohingya population located mainly in northern Rakhine State.

337. The evidence concerning portering in the eastern and central parts of Myanmar, covers Kayah, Kayin, Mon and Shan States, and the Bago, Tanintharyi and Yangon Divisions. More specifically, for Kayah State, the evidence refers primarily to events during the period between 1990 and 1993, which is directly prior to the mass relocation of a large number of villages to the Mawchi, Ywathit and Shadaw sites. In fact, for reasons of survival, the witnesses very soon left these relocation sites. However, two witnesses, including one deserter from the Tatmadaw who had been stationed in Demawso between 1990 and 1996, stated that the system of portering in that State had not been altered in any way in subsequent months or years.(424)

338. Portering as carried out in the western part of Myanmar covers Chin and Rakhine States as well as Sagaing Division. In the specific instance of Rakhine State, most of the evidence before the Commission refers to the situation of the Rohingyas, although at least one witness of Rakhine origin claimed to have had to perform portering once or twice a year between 1992 and 1993. On these occasions, he was neither paid nor fed and had to carry his own food with him.(425)

339. The portering required of the Rohingyas must be placed in the general context of their situation. The Rohingya witnesses claimed to have left Myanmar because of the burden of forced labour imposed upon them, which prevented them from providing for their own basic needs.(426) Many Rohingya witnesses were requisitioned to do portering more than ten days per month or so many times that they could no longer estimate the exact number.(427) Portering is just one other of the many exactions to which the Rohingyas are subjected, along with, among other things, arbitrary taxation, confiscation or seizure of their possessions and land, the result of which is to deprive them of all means of livelihood.

340. Witnesses gave evidence of two methods used by the military across Myanmar to recruit porters. They may either use the services of the local village head or act on their own. In the former case, the orders are transmitted to the village head(428) with instructions to provide a given number of porters within an often very short time-limit.(429) Village and section heads who were questioned said that they were absolutely obliged to comply with the orders of the military under pain of physical punishment;(430) these threats are sometimes expressed by the attachment of a bullet, a piece of charcoal or a chilli(431) to the order, meaning that violent reprisals may be taken against the village head or his village in the event of non-compliance. One person per family is generally requisitioned. It appears from the evidence that the pressure subsequently put on villagers to meet the requirements of successive requisitions is such that many of them prefer to run away, rather than have to accompany military units on their patrols or operations.(432)

341. The second method for recruiting porters consists of the military forcibly apprehending or seizing the persons they need.(433) They intervene thus as their needs arise, and especially when the order transmitted to the local authority has not been carried out properly, such as when the village head has not provided a sufficient number of porters within the imposed time-limits. The situation of the Rohingyas in the north of Rakhine State is exacerbated by the fact that their services may be required, in an uncoordinated manner, by different authorities, such as the Tatmadaw, the NaSaKa or the police.(434)

342. Men, women and children, some of them only ten or so years old, stated that they have been forced to do portering for the military.(435) Only Rohingya witnesses from the northern Rakhine State stated that portering was done exclusively by males.

343. While men are generally preferred for portering, they sometimes run away and thus avoid having to accompany the military, in which case the troops then take women and children. The evidence further shows that the women are even more vulnerable than the men in this context because, in addition to the portering work, they are subjected to sexual abuse by the military.(436) A refusal to do the portering required is absolutely inconceivable as it is systematically met with physical punishment(437) or fines.(438)

344. The porters have to transport ammunition, equipment and food, making up, in the case of the men, a load weighing over 30 kilos.(439) According to the evidence heard, portering may take various forms. The porters may have to accompany the military when they move from one camp to another, on regular patrols or during military operations. It appears that witnesses were forced to perform all of these forms of portering in eastern Myanmar, especially in Shan, Mon, Kayah and Kayin States. Witnesses heard from northern Rakhine State had mostly to transport ammunition, equipment and rations for the military from one village or camp to another or on patrols.(440) The evidence suggests that in this part of Myanmar territory offensive military operations are significantly fewer in number than in the eastern region of the country, where confrontations were numerous in recent years against Karen, Karenni, Mon(441) and Shan opposition groups.(442) In addition to the portering required for specific troop movements, witnesses have stated that they had to remain on hand with other villagers during a given period to cater for the needs of the military units whose camps were located near their village.(443)

345. In all portering, the porters are forced to march from morning to evening, often not being allowed a moment's rest.(444) One deserter estimated that 20 to 30 porters were required for 30 soldiers on a routine journey.(445) However, the number of porters increases with the scale of the military operation in which the division, battalion or company is taking part.(446)

346. While portering between camps or on military operations or patrols, the porters are often placed ahead of the column, since they act as guides;(447) by putting them in front, the military also use them to detect mines which might explode as they pass.(448) During armed conflict, the porters are used as human shields,(449) many of them getting killed in the process.(450) When caught up in such a confrontation, the porters have to stay with the soldiers to keep them supplied with ammunition, on pain of being shot if they try to escape.(451)

347. The length of time of a portering journey in the eastern part of the country varies and can stretch over several months(452) whereas portering assignments described by Rohingyas generally last less than a week but may be repeated several times a month.(453) The time span which may be indicated at the start is, in fact, of little importance, as the porters are never released until the operation for which they have been requisitioned or arrested is completed, or until replacements have been obtained or apprehended by the military.(454)  Moreover, it is common for a porter who has completed a portering assignment to be seized on his way home by another military unit to carry their equipment.(455)

348. There is ample evidence before the Commission concerning the general conditions in which portering from one camp to another or during military operations or patrols is carried out and the ill-treatment to which the porters are systematically subjected. The persons requisitioned are not paid,(456) and if they are fed, the food is insufficient and of poor quality.(457) The witnesses often mentioned a portion of rotten rice so tiny that it could be held in the hollow of one hand. To prevent the porters from fleeing, they are sometimes chained up and closely guarded.(458) When injured or ill, all the porters questioned claimed never to have been given the necessary medical attention, some of them having even been left behind alone in the jungle.(459)

349. If the porters cannot keep up with the column, or if they show any sign of weakness, the military do not hesitate to beat or violently punch them, causing injuries which can have serious if not fatal consequences.(460) On other occasions, the military did not hesitate to shoot porters(461) because they were too weak, had tried to escape or simply with a view to inspiring fear and terror in the other porters.(462)

350. Several witnesses stated that it was often possible to avoid portering in so far as a certain sum of money was paid to the military or to the authorities. The amounts indicated to the Commission in this respect varied considerably.(463) For example, one witness paid 600 kyat monthly over a period of nearly 15 years so as to avoid having to do portering for the military.(464) Others indicated that it was possible to send a substitute to do the portering in their place.(465)

(2) Military camp work

(a) Documentary material

351. Nature and conditions of work. The Commission received detailed information on various aspects of forced labour related to military camps. The information indicated that when a new military camp was established, the land would often be confiscated from local villages. No compensation would be paid.

352. All the villages in the area would then be required to send at least one person per household to construct the camp. They would have to start by clearing and levelling the land, and would then have to construct camp buildings to the required specifications. They would also have to dig trenches and bunkers and build other fortifications such as fences and defensive bamboo spikes. They would normally have to continue working every day until the construction of the camp was complete. In addition, the villages would usually have to provide all the necessary building materials, including wood, bamboo and sheets of thatch.(466) Following the construction of the camp, these villages would also have to complete repair work at regular intervals, at least once a year (usually after the rainy season when most of the damage occurred).

353. In addition to constructing and repairing the camps, the villages would also have to provide a number of workers on a permanent basis to carry out a number of services at the camps, such as cleaning and maintenance, cooking, collecting water or firewood, washing clothes and acting as messengers. It was these messengers who would normally deliver written orders or summonses from the camp to village heads, in addition to carrying out a variety of other tasks for the army camp or its officers.(467) These workers were often women, sometimes because the camp specifically demanded women, but often because this was generally a less arduous form of forced labour than others such as portering, for which men from the household tended to go. Army camp workers might be able to return home at night, but in certain circumstances this might not be possible, either because they were not permitted to do so, or because of the distance of the village from the army camp. In such cases these workers had to stay at the army camp for a number of days, until replacements arrived from their village, in accordance with the schedule arranged by the village head. In such circumstances, women were particularly at risk of abuse and rape. This did not appear to be uncommon. However, abuses other than sexual abuse of women appeared to be less common than with portering and some other forms of forced labour.(468)

354. Specific examples. The information before the Commission contained details of forced labour being used for the construction, repair and servicing of military camps and other facilities in most parts of the country, particularly border areas and other places with active insurgencies. The Commission received specific information from Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan States and Ayeyarwady, Bago, Sagaing and Tanintharyi Divisions.

355. The use of forced labour for the construction, repair and servicing of military installations in the eastern parts of Myanmar was very common, particularly in those areas near the eastern border with Thailand. This region, covering Shan, Kayah, Kayin and Mon States and Bago and Tanintharyi Divisions, will be discussed first in the paragraphs which follow.

356. In Shan State, forced labour was used for the construction, repair and servicing of a number of camps in several different townships,(469) including camps at relocation sites.(470) The information covered a period from 1992 to 1998.(471)

357. A considerable amount of information was provided to the Commission relating to construction, repair and servicing of military camps in Kayah State.(472) Populations which had been forcibly relocated to sites under military control were often used for this work. The information covered the construction and renovation of a number of camps in 1996 and 1997.(473) Other villagers were forced to work at camps as messengers or for carrying out other servicing work.(474)

358. A large volume of information was provided relating to Kayin State and neighbouring parts of Bago Division.(475) Civilians were forced to build, repair or service a large number of military installations over the period from 1992 to 1997.(476) The information included copies of several orders from the authorities requiring villages to provide labour for this work.(477)

359. In Mon State, civilians were forced to carry out work on the construction, repair and servicing of several camps from 1994 to 1997.(478) The information included copies of orders from the authorities requiring labour to be provided for this work.(479)

360. Considerable information was provided relating to military installations in Tanintharyi Division indicated that forced labour was used for the construction, repair and servicing of a large number of these installations(480) in several townships(481) covering a large part of the Division.(482) There appeared to be a particularly large demand for forced labour for these purposes in Yebyu township. The information included a number of copies of orders from the authorities requiring the provision of labour for this work.

361. The Commission received somewhat less information from the western part of Myanmar. It did, however, receive some relevant information, particularly from Rakhine State and Chin State.

362. In Rakhine State, forced labour was used for the construction, repair and servicing of barracks and camps for the NaSaKa in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships, as well as camps for various battalions(483) in Sittway (Akyab).(484) In various areas including Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Mrauk-U townships the Muslim population was forced by the military to various work for Rakhine and Burmese villagers, including doing cultivation work(485) and constructing houses (so-called "model villages").(486)

363. Forced labour was used on the construction of military camps and other installations in Chin State. These included a police station in April 1996 and sentry posts in June 1996,(487) as well as an army camp in Thantlang. The information included copies of a number of orders from the authorities in 1996 which requested villages in Thantlang township to cut wood and bamboo, and make roofing thatch, for the construction of the army camp.(488)

364. In addition, the Commission received relevant information from a number of other areas. Land was confiscated from villagers in Kachin State for the construction of a military installation.(489) In Ayeyarwady Division, people were forced to construct military camps, including the building of barracks for troops supervising the construction of a road in 1995-96.(490) Forced labour was also used for the construction and servicing of camps in Sagaing Division, including the construction of a camp for a battalion(491) in Monywa township in 1995, as well as continued servicing of the camp until at least 1997, and construction and repair of camps for a number of battalions in Kalaymyo town and other parts of Kalaymyo township over the last few years.(492)

(b) Oral testimony

365. The evidence obtained by the Commission concerning military camps refers to camps located in Chin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan Sates as well as in Tanintharyi Division. More than two-thirds of the witnesses met(493) claimed to have been obliged to construct, renovate or provide services to military camps or to have seen others performing these tasks. The Commission questioned persons who had directly witnessed the performance of this work, workers who had been forced to take part in these tasks, section or village heads and former soldiers of the Tatmadaw; all these testimonies corroborate each other and illustrate the characteristics and extent of the labour required by the authorities for this purpose. Moreover, most of the testimonies cover a recent period from 1993 to early 1998.

366. The evidence shows that civilians may be forced to work on the construction, renovation or servicing of camps for the various public authorities in Myanmar,(494) for instance the Tatmadaw, the police, the customs authorities as well as the NaSaKa and the Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army (DKBA) in areas where these operate. Requisitions by these various groups are in no way coordinated and may thus overlap each other, which means that the burden of labour for camps is in direct proportion to the number of such camps in the vicinity of a given village. For example, several witnesses claimed to have been obliged to service at least three camps.

367. The military usually recruit labour by using the services of village heads to whom they pass on an order specifying the work to be carried out and the time allowed to find the required number of workers;(495) the village heads have no choice but to comply with the prescribed conditions on pain of fines, if not of physical punishment.(496) In the event that an order is not carried out to the satisfaction of the military, they may intervene directly and forcibly seize the workers that they need.(497)

368. As a rule, one person per family is requisitioned to work on military camps.(498) Men, women and children as young as seven claimed to have been obliged to go to a camp at one time or another to carry out the tasks imposed by the authorities.(499) Children who would otherwise be at school were sometimes sent by their parents to do this work.(500)

369. Villagers would be forced to take part in the construction, renovation and servicing of military camps. Camp construction very often involves confiscation of land by the military.(501) The construction work proper consists of clearing and levelling the ground and in the erection of buildings; workers are also obliged to provide, without compensation, the necessary materials, such as wood, bamboo, plaster and cement.(502) The workers must also attend to the fortification of the camps by digging trenches(503) or installing bamboo spikes,(504) and other defensive traps.(505)

370. There are also many types of renovation and servicing work. The workers may be told to renovate buildings and rebuild fences.(506)  They may also have to provide their own carts to transport equipment or rations,(507) supply the camp with wood, bamboo(508) and water(509) or provide certain services such as cleaning,(510) cooking,(511) acting as messengers(512) or weeding.(513)

371. The length of time that has to be spent at the camps depends on the nature of the work. It would appear from the evidence that assignments concerning camp construction go on for a longer period, whereas those involving servicing are shorter but have to be carried out more frequently according to a rota established among the families of an assigned village or group.

372. As for the general conditions under which these tasks are performed, the workers are not fed,(514) and sometimes even have to bring food to the military.(515) The workers are neither paid(516) nor compensated for the materials that they have had to provide.(517) Some have been subjected to ill-treatment resulting in serious injuries(518) and most are constantly exposed to insults and violence.(519) Abuses of a sexual nature would also appear to have been perpetrated in some cases by the military.(520)

373. The witnesses indicated that it was possible to be exempted from such work in as much as if a certain sum of money was paid to the authorities requiring such work,(521) or a substitute provided.(522) In one case the entire village preferred to pay 26,000 kyat to hire four replacements to carry out the servicing work required by the military in a nearby camp.(523)

(3) Other work in support of the military

(a) Documentary material

374. Nature and conditions of work. In addition to portering and work on military camps, there are other tasks which are required to be performed for the benefit of the military or other authorities. For example, villagers were forced to act as guides for the military in areas which were unfamiliar to the soldiers. This was particularly the case in areas which the military had recently occupied. Since these areas were conflict areas, villagers taken to act as guides also had to serve as hostages for the military: if the column was attacked, the guide would be punished or killed for supposedly leading the column into an ambush. In some cases the whole village could face retaliation in the event of an attack on the column, supposedly for providing information to opposition groups about the movements of the column.

375. Civilians, including women and children, were also used as human shields and minesweepers. While this often occurred in the context of portering, as discussed in paragraphs 300 and 319 above, civilians were also used for this work in contexts other than portering. In potential conflict areas civilians, including women and children, were often forced to sweep roads with tree branches or brooms to detect or detonate mines. It was suggested by certain sources that this was because the military hoped that if insurgents knew this, they would be less likely to plant mines.(524) If villagers did find mines, the village would often face retaliation.(525)

376. Villagers were also forced to act as sentries, particularly at night and in conflict areas, guarding military camps, roads, railways and other important places. They were unarmed, and had to alert soldiers if they saw anyone. If so alerted, the soldiers would often beat the person for supposedly making a false alarm, or failing to detain the suspect; if the site they were guarding was attacked or if mines were laid, those people who were guarding it, or the entire village, could face retaliation. If sentries were caught sleeping during their duty, they were punished, usually by being beaten.(526) Villagers would often also be required to build fences along the sides of certain roads to make it more difficult for opposition groups to lay mines or conduct ambushes.(527)

377. Owners of bullock carts, boats, motor vehicles or other means of transport were also regularly required to place their services at the disposal of the military. They were used for transporting personnel, equipment and supplies for the camp, transporting forced labourers to work sites, and in relation to income-generation projects by the military.(528)

378. Specific examples. Documentary material provided to the Commission gave information of other kinds of work for the military, particularly minesweeping and sentry duty. There is information in this regard from Chin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon and Shan States and Bago, Sagaing and Tanintharyi Divisions. Reference should also be made to the section on portering(529) for more details of minesweeping and other work required in the context of portering.

379. The use of civilians as minesweepers, particularly to "sweep" roads for mines using some heavy object, appeared to be common in potential conflict areas, including Kayin State,(530) those parts of Bago Division near to the border with Kayin State,(531) and Mon State.(532) The use of civilians as guides, human shields or hostages also occurred in these areas, particularly in parts recently occupied by the military from opposition groups.(533) The information covered a period from 1992 to 1997.

380. Sentry duty was also common in many parts of Myanmar, often along newly-constructed roads and railways. There was information in this regard from the eastern part of the country in Shan State,(534) Kayah State,(535) Kayin State,(536) Mon State(537) and Tanintharyi Division,(538) and from the western part in Sagaing Division(539) and Chin State.(540) The information covered a period from 1994 to 1997.

381. The requisitioning of vehicles for military use was common in most of the country, and demands for vehicles often accompanied demands for porters or workers at army camps. The Commission received specific information in this regard from Kayin State,(541) Bago Division,(542) and Sagaing Division.(543) The information covered a period from 1994 to 1996.

(b) Oral testimony

382. Twenty-two witnesses(544) from Chin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine and Shan States as well as Bago and Tanintharyi Divisions provided information on the additional tasks which had to be carried out for the benefit of the military and other public forces. The relevant evidence covers the period from 1986 to early 1998, though most of it refers to events that occurred between 1996 and 1998.

383. Persons from all parts of the country have claimed that they or others had to stand guard along roads(545) or railways,(546) at the entrance to villages(547) or in the vicinity of military camps, which they had often previously had to construct.(548) Others had to stand watch at specific places so as to be able to inform the military of suspicious movements from the direction of the sea or the neighbouring border.(549)

384. The military generally use the services of village heads to transmit the order specifying the nature of the sentry duty to be performed.(550) As a rule, one person per family is sent,(551) irrespective of whether they are men, women or children.(552)

385. The persons on sentry duty work in groups(553) during a period which may range from one to seven days.(554) They must remain permanently at their look-out posts, spend the night there and divide up the guard so as to have a sentry on duty night and day. Falling asleep may be punished by physical punishment,(555) or even reprisals against the entire village.(556)

386. Sentry duty sometimes involves building fences along the roadside or sweeping the roads, morning and evening, to check that no mines have been laid.(557) This mine-detection is effected by using a stick or a log attached to a cart and may also be demanded in the vicinity of villages and military camps.(558) This is dangerous work; witnesses claimed to have seen people injured or even killed by exploding mines.(559)

387. Persons performing guard duty are neither paid(560) nor fed(561) and are regularly subjected to insults.(562) It is, however, possible to avoid performing this work by paying the military who require it(563) or by sending a substitute.(564)

388. Finally, other witnesses claimed that they had to keep carts, tractors, rickshaws, canoes and boats on stand-by to meet the transport needs of the military.(565)

(4) Forced recruitment

(a) Documentary material

389. Information provided to the Commission indicated that there was regular forced recruitment throughout Myanmar, including of minors, into the Tatmadaw and various militia groups. It appeared that this did not occur pursuant to any compulsory military service laws,(566) but was essentially arbitrary.(567)

390. In cases where a certain number of recruits was demanded, it was common for the village or ward authorities to hold a "lottery" to choose those who had to undertake military service. Those chosen were then forcibly conscripted and commonly included minors.(568) Less direct methods of coercion were also used: in many areas, families of soldiers were exempt from forced labour, arbitrary taxation or forced relocation.(569)

391. Information was received regarding forced conscription into the Tatmadaw in various parts of the country. In Tanintharyi Division the Coastal Area Command reportedly required each battalion to obtain 5 recruits per month in 1996 and 3 recruits per month in 1997, with a fine of 25,000 kyat for each recruit less than the quota, and a reward of the same amount for each recruit in excess of the quota. Because of this, many men and teenage boys in the region were recruited against their will, and many others fled to avoid conscription.(570) In a document provided to the Commission, a 22-year-old Karen man from Ayeyarwady Division described how government soldiers came to his village at least once a year and demanded 10 recruits for the army. The only way for a household to ensure that it would not be forced to provide a recruit was to pay 200 kyat.(571) There was similar information in regard to other parts of the country, including Bago Division, Kayah State, Kayin State, Rakhine State, Sagaing Division and Shan State.(572)

392. The Commission also received information relating to forced conscription into various militia groups. A number of orders from the authorities requiring villages to provide recruits for both full-time and reserve service in the People's Militia in Chin State were received by the Commission.(573) These orders were dated 1995 and 1996. One of the orders threatened that "decisive action" would be taken against villages failing to provide the required number of recruits. From the text of one of the orders it appeared that villages were also required to pay for the cost of food for the recruits during their military training.(574) In 1996 and 1997, 30 villages in Dawei (Tavoy) and Thayetchaung townships were also required to provide recruits to the People's Militia, and were threatened with relocation if they failed to do so.(575) Villages in Hlaingbwe and Myawady townships in Kayin State were forced by the DKBA since at least 1995 to provide DKBA recruits, under threat of fines or death.(576)

(b) Oral testimony

393. Eight witnesses who deserted the Tatmadaw between the early 1980s and 1996 gave testimony before the Commission.(577) None of them gave specific evidence on the way they were recruited, save for one who specified that when joining the army he had to sign for at least ten years.(578) If found, deserters are usually put in jail or, if they deserted with arms, executed.(579) The Commission is not in possession of oral evidence which would confirm the documentary material submitted to it with regard to the conditions of recruitment into the Tatmadaw and various militia groups.

Part IV (cont.)

349. See para. 19 of the response of the Government of Myanmar to the memorandum of the Special Rapporteur, transmitted to the Special Rapporteur in a note verbale dated 4 Oct. 1995 by the Permanent Mission of Myanmar to the United Nations Office at Geneva, UN doc. UNGA A/50/568 (16 Oct. 1995), p. 26.

350. Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0057, 001-0059; Mon Information Service, M57-7432; Heppner, XII/14; Human Rights Watch/Asia, Abuses Linked to the Fall of Manerplaw, Mar. 1995, p. 7.

351. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1462, 016-2149, 032-2422; Min Lwin, III/16; Liddell, V/35-36; Lin, VII/39; Heppner, XII/18-19.

352. Human Rights Watch/Asia, Abuses Linked to the Fall of Manerplaw, op. cit., note 350, p. 7.

353. Heppner, XII/27-28.

354. Mon Information Service, M57-7432; Heppner, XII/15.

355. Karen Human Rights Group, 016-2147; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 065-2572 to 2573; Lin, VII/54; Heppner, XII/25.

356. Lin, VII/26; Heppner, XII/28.

357. This is a substantial sum for most people in Myanmar. For an indication of purchasing power, see under "kyat" in Appendix X.

358. Mon Information Service, M57-7432; Karen Human Rights Group, 032-2422.

359. Karen Human Rights Group, 016-2148, 032-2429; Liddell, V/23.

360. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1474; Guest, II/24.

361. Amnesty International, 088-3588.

362. Heppner, XII/15-16.

363. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0028; Guest, II/12; Ka Hsaw Wa, X/13.

364. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1461 to 1462.

365. Guest, II/12-13.

366. Guest, II/10-11; Ka Hsaw Wa, X/15.

367. See paras. 294-295 above.

368. Heppner, XII/64.

369. In one of the documents submitted to the Commission it was noted that hired porters perhaps face less abuse from soldiers, since they were accustomed to the work and, being paid, they were in a position to bribe soldiers to get better food or treatment. See Karen Human Rights Group, 016-2149.

370. Karen Human Rights Group, 016-2147; Min Lwin, III/16; Heppner, XII/16.

371. See photos at 155-5474, 156-5517; see also Karen Human Rights Group, 032-2422; Heppner, XIII/5.

372. Lin, VII/52-53.

373. In one case an epileptic woman was taken as a porter, even though her sister explained this to the soldiers, and she died after the first day (Liddell, V/11); in another case, an elderly Mon man was taken as a porter and forced to carry heavy loads of ammunition, resulting in serious injuries (Lin, VII/26). See also Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1461 to 1462, 016-2149.

374. Human Rights Watch/Asia, Abuses Linked to the Fall of Manerplaw, op. cit., note 350, p. 9.

375. "Tin" refers to condensed milk tins of a standard size, which are the usual measure for small quantities of dry goods in Myanmar. One tin is equal to approximately 300 grams of uncooked rice. By contrast, the World Food Programme reportedly estimated that a family of six to eight persons required 6 kg of rice per day, or up to 1 kg per person (see Human Rights Watch/Asia, H07-5806).

376. Liddell, V/8.

377. Karen Human Rights Group, 016-2147; Heppner, XII/16; Human Rights Watch/Asia, Abuses Linked to the Fall of Manerplaw, op. cit., note 350, p. 9.

378. Liddell, V/8.

379. Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0059; Liddell, V/6-7; Ka Hsaw Wa, X/11-12.

380. Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0057; Guest, II/11; Min Lwin, III/18-19; Liddell, V/8; Heppner, XII/16; Human Rights Watch/Asia, Abuses Linked to the Fall of Manerplaw, op. cit., note 350, pp. 9-10.

381. Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0060; Guest, II/10; Ka Hsaw Wa, X/14-15; Heppner, XII/16-18; Human Rights Watch/Asia, Abuses Linked to the Fall of Manerplaw, ibid., pp. 9-11.

382. This might be done to prevent them from providing intelligence to hostile forces. Karen Human Rights Group, 032-2422; Heppner, XII/16.

383. Karen Human Rights Group, 032-2422; Heppner, XII/16.

384. Guest, II/24; Liddell, V/8; Lin, VII/41-42.

385. Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0059, 065-2971; Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1462; Ka Hsaw Wa, X/17.

386. Min Lwin, III/16.

387. Heppner, XII/18-19.

388. Human Rights Watch/Asia, Abuses Linked to the Fall of Manerplaw, op. cit., note 350, pp. 6-7, 9.

389. Human Rights Watch/Asia, Abuses Linked to the Fall of Manerplaw, ibid., p. 10.

390. Human Rights Watch/Asia, Abuses Linked to the Fall of Manerplaw, ibid., pp. 8-9.

391. Min Lwin, III/16.

392. Karen Human Rights Group, 016-2147; Ka Hsaw Wa, X/16.

393. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1469, 032-2422; Heppner, XII/17.

394. See, for example, Liddell, V/11-12; Heppner, XII/17-18; Amnesty International, 001-0505, 090-3653; Images Asia, 001-0216; Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0187, 001-0189, 001-0196 to 0197, 001-0905, 001-0921.

395. The areas mentioned covered the following townships: Hsi Hseng (by LIB 424), Kengtung, Kunhing, Laikha (by LIB 515), Langkho, Mongnai (by LIB 520), Mong Hsat, Mong Yai (by Light Infantry Regiment 31), Namhsam (by LIB 518), and Tachilek.

396. Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0059 to 60; Shan Human Rights Foundation, 001-0176, 001-0369, 001-0417, 144-4536 to 4537, 145-4581 to 4583; Amnesty International, 001-0505 to 0506, 091-3693, 099-3892, 168-8397 to 8398.

397. S.H.A.N/Shan Human Rights Foundation, 001-0170.

398. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0305 to 0306, 001-0320, 001-0324, 001-1970 to 1972, 154-5095; Amnesty International, 090-3660, 099-3891 to 3892, 099-3896; Images Asia, M37-7039.

399. Areas mentioned included Loikaw town (by IB 54), Demawso township, including Demawso relocation camp (by battalions 102 and 249), Ywathit relocation site, Shadaw township (by LIB 336), Mawchi township, and Pasaung township.

400. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0186 to 0187, 001-0189, 001-0191 to 0197, 001-0310, 001-0318 to 0319, 001-0325, 001-0327, 001-0364 to 0365, 001-0367, 001-0376, 001-0388, 001-0449, 001-0481, 001-0485, 001-0552, 001-0593, 001-0607 to 0608, 001-0620, 001-0762 to 0764, 001-0905, 001-0921, 001-1342, 001-1855, 001-1868 to 1869, 015-2127, 017-2153, 027-2278 to 2279, 027-2294, 031-2393 to 2394, 031-2396, 031-2399, 031-2403 to 2404, 031-2409 to 2410, 154-4935, 154-5188, 154-5196, 154-5220, 154-5228, 154-5232, H21-6350 to 6354, H23-6388, H23-6391, H23-6396, M50-7354 to 7355, M50-7358 to 7360; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0057, 150-4692, H07-5800; Amnesty International, 001-0767 to 0770, 001-0774, 087-3580, 088-3589 to 3591, 090-3653, 092-3719 to 3720; Images Asia, 125-4031, 125-4034, 125-4036, 125-4038; HRDU, M34-6952.

401. The following military units were mentioned specifically: IB 1, LIB 4, IB 5, LIB 8, 11 Division, LIB 12, LIB 13, IB 19, LIB 22, 22 Division, IB 23, Battalion 36, 44 Division, IB 51, IB 75, LIB 76, 77 Division, Battalion 77, IB 84, LIB 88, IB 97, 99 Division, Battalion 104, IB 106, LIB 113, LIB 116, LIB 119, LIB 207, Battalion 230, IB 231, Battalion 248, Battalion 249, IB 258, Battalion 301, IB 310, IB 317, LIB 339, LIB 340, LIB 355, Battalion 356, Battalion 357, LIB 420, LIB 434, Battalion 531, LIB 545, LIB 549, and the DKBA.

402. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0189, 001-0319, 001-0376, 001-0449, 001-0619 to 0620, 031-2401, 031-2403 to 2405; Amnesty International, 088-3592; Images Asia, 125-4038; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 150-4692.

403. Karen Human Rights Group, 154-5188.

404. There is information that this happened in Letpadan township and in Ouk-twin town.

405. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0179 to 0182, 001-0305 to 0308, 001-0338, 001-0340 to 0341, 001-0399, 001-0707 to 0708, 001-0924 to 0927, 073-3357 to 3359, M49-7311 to 7314; Images Asia, 001-0201 to 0226.

406. Amnesty International, 087-3579.

407. Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0054, 065-2973; Amnesty International, 001-0769; Images Asia, 001-0880. In 1994, a Muslim man was also captured by soldiers on the Yangon to Mottama (Martaban) train and forced to be a porter in the same offensive. See Human Rights Watch/Asia, 065-2972.

408. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0299, 001-0759 to 0760, 001-0763, 001-1068, 001-1341, 001-1609 to 1612, 154-5220; Amnesty International, 001-0792, 088-3589, 090-3653, 094-3786, 099-3890; Mon Information Service, 001-1279, 001-1284, 139-4445; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 065-2972.

409. The information specifically referred to the following areas: Kyaikto township (by LIB 1 and LIB 207), Mawlamyine (Moulmein) town (by Battalion 104 and Regiment 80), Mottama (Martaban) town, Mudon township (by IB 62 and LIB 209), Thaton town, and Ye township (by IB 61 and LIB 406).

410. See paras. 374-388.

411. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0304, 001-0312; Amnesty International, 093-3751.

412. HRDU, 001-0150; Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0176, 001-0412 to 0413, 001-1036, 001-1051, 001-1054 to 1057, 001-1072, 001-1368 to 1372, 029-2370; Amnesty International, 001-0500, 001-0791 to 0792; Images Asia, 001-1184; Mon Information Service, 001-1276 to 1277, 001-1386, 043-2651, 139-4443 to 4445, 139-4449 to 4450; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 150-4688 to 4689; affidavit of John Doe B, H20-6297.

413. The following areas and military units were specifically mentioned: Yebyu township, including for 33 Division, IB 104, LIB 273, Battalion 403, LIB 404, LIB 405, LIB 406, LIB 407, LIB 408, LIB 409, LIB 410 and LIB 431; Dawei (Tavoy) township, including for LIB 17, Battalion 25, 33 Division, 66 Division, IB 80 and Battalion 402; Thayetchaung township, including for 33 Division, LIB 403, LIB 404, Battalion 405 and IB 25; Launglon township, including for 33 Division; Palaw township, including for Battalion 280 and Battalion 101; and Bokpyin township.

414. HRDU, 001-0150, M34-6950, M34-6958 to 6959; Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0176, 001-0412 to 4113, 001-0434, 001-0448, 001-1032, 001-1036 to 1045, 001-1051, 001-1054 to 1057, 001-1072, 001-1129, 001-1368 to 1372, 029-2370, 154-5112, H24-6442, H24-6476, H24-6485; Amnesty International, 001-0500, 001-0791 to 0792; Images Asia, 001-1184; Mon Information Service, 001-1276 to 1277, 001-1386, 043-2651, 139-4442 to 4445, 139-4449 to 4450, M56-7421 to 7422; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 150-4688 to 4689, 150-4691, 154-5310; FTUB, 164-7766 to 7767; affidavit of John Doe B, H20-6297.

415. The information covered the townships of Thantlang, Tiddim, Falam, Matupi and Paletwa.

416. Karen Human Rights Group, 028-2341, 154-5134 to 5136, 154-5152 to 5156; Images Asia, 167-8308; Interview, M12-6812 to 6813.

417. Karen Human Rights Group, 154-5138. This work was done for LIB 266.

418. Amnesty International, 090-3653.

419. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0563 to 0564.

420. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0535, 001-0692; Amnesty International, 001-0770 to 0772.

421. Amnesty International, 089-3624a, 089-3624b, 089-3608 to 3616; Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0557 to 0558; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0711, 001-0716, 107-3940 to 3941, 118-3995, 154-4923 to 4924, H07-5800; UNHCR, 033-2435 to 2436; Zunetta Liddell, 114-3986 to 3987.

422. Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0711; UNHCR, 033-2435. See also the discussion on this practice in paras. 374-388 below.

423. See statements of Witnesses 151, 168, 175 and 200. Witness 175 claimed that, during certain months of the year, neither she nor her husband had a single moment to attend to their own activities.

424. See statements of Witnesses 93 and 98.

425. See statement of Witness 8.

426. See statements of Witnesses 29, 31, 33, 39, 48, 59, 63 and 85.

427. See statements of Witnesses 18, 20, 48, 63, 66, 72, 121 and 171.

428. See statements of Witnesses 93, 98, 100, 101, 108, 109, 112, 113, 121, 132, 163, 174, 177, 187, 210 and 216.

429. The time-limit may be very short; some witnesses stated that the village head had to find the necessary porters on that very day: see statements of Witnesses 155 and 180.

430. See statements of Witnesses 113, 173 and 175.

431. See statement of Witness 166. Some village or section heads are said to have been tortured for not having carried out the orders properly. In this regard, see statements of witnesses 220-228.

432. See statements of Witnesses 113, 120, 153, 164 and 220-228.

433. See statements of Witnesses 93, 94, 98, 112, 125, 132, 135, 155, 169, 178, 179, 188, 201, 210 and 216. Direct arrests have even been carried out in Yangon: see statement of Witness 170.

434. See, in particular, statements of Witnesses 49 and 59.

435. For the eastern part, see statements of Witnesses 5, 102, 106-108, 112, 113 and 166. Even pregnant or elderly women may be requisitioned. See statements of Witnesses 174 and 176. For Chin State, testimonies cover the regions near Thantlang and Paletwa as well as Arakan hills (Arakan Yoma).

436. See statements of Witnesses 119, 125, 169, 176 and 200.

437. On two occasions, Witness 119 saw individuals shot dead for having refused to do the required portering.

438. Witness 109 stated that a refusal could result in a fine of 3,000 kyat.

439. See statements of Witnesses 93, 98, 100, 102, 105, 106, 108, 109, 112-114, 119, 131, 132, 135, 145, 160, 165, 169, 175, 176, 184, 187, 192, 193, 195, 204, 206, 210 and 245.

440. See statements of Witnesses 9, 10, 19, 44 and 52.

441. There have been no major hostilities in Mon State since the New Mon State Party (NMSP) signed a cease-fire with the Government of Myanmar in June 1995.

442. It is not unusual for porters to have to accompany the military on armed offensives: see statement of Witness 32 who accompanied soldiers on a military operation in 1991, and statement of Witness 43 who was a porter on the Thai border during an operation against the Karen National Union (KNU). Finally Witness 33 claimed to have accompanied the military in an operation against the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) in April 1997.

443. See statement of Witness 6, and statement of Witness 208 about a village where, from March 1997, three porters had to be permanently available for the military.

444. See statement of Witness 201.

445. See statement of Witness 93.

446. See statement of Witness 5 for the extensive military operation in Shan State.

447. See statement of Witness 118.

448. See statements of Witnesses 5, 93, 116, 124 and 151. The villagers may also be called up to detect mines in the vicinity of the villages or military camps: see statement of Witness 183.

449. See statements of Witnesses 93, 105, 132, 204 and 210. Witness 155 has explained that the entire village, including the children, is sometimes used as a shield.

450. Notably in Chin and Karen States. See, in particular, the statement of Witness 125.

451. The testimonies concern armed conflicts with the Karen, Mon and Shan forces. See, in particular, statements of Witnesses 108, 112, 184 and 245.

452. See statements of Witnesses 98, 105, 106, 112, 114, 117, 119, 121, 131 and 135. Consult the statement of Witness 132, whose assignment lasted for 94 days and was immediately followed by another assignment of 2 months.

453. See statements of Witnesses 19, 20, 26, 31, 44 and 48.

454. See statements of Witnesses 93, 113 and 168.

455. See statement of Witness 168.

456. See statements of Witnesses 26, 44, 48, 63, 80, 98, 100, 102, 105, 107, 113, 117, 119, 121, 132, 160, 162, 168 and 184. Witness 31 claimed to have received 15 kyat per portering assignment.

457. See statements of Witnesses 6, 7, 46, 48, 102, 106-108, 117-119, 121, 132, 153, 154, 160, 165 and 171.

458. See statement of Witness 193.

459. See statements of Witnesses 98, 117 and 168. Witness 241 claimed that his brother had died while portering as a result of complications caused by an infectious disease.

460. When questioned on this subject, all the witnesses said that they had had direct experience of such acts, perpetrated by the military for no apparent reason: see statements of Witnesses 6, 7, 19, 21, 26, 48, 63, 66, 80, 93, 98, 100, 102, 105-107, 112-114, 117, 118, 121, 124-126, 131, 132, 135, 137, 138, 146, 151, 155, 160, 168, 171-173, 176, 181, 194, 200, 204-207, 210 and 245. One deserter claimed to have personally beaten porters on the orders of his superior. Witness 44 mentioned a practice involving use of a red-hot iron.

461. See statement of Witness 236, who claimed to have seen about sixty porters shot dead by the military because they were exhausted, to week to continue, or simply wanted to rest for a moment. See also the statements of Witnesses 169, 200, 222 and 225. The situation of prisoners who have to do portering work is even more disgraceful in this respect: see statement of Witness 96.

462. See statements of Witnesses 108, 109, 118, 145, 168, 185 and 236.

463. The amounts mentioned vary from 300 to 10,000 kyat. See statements of Witnesses 96, 112 (3,000 kyat), 119 (5,000 kyat), 121 (400 to 500 kyat), 125 (5,000 kyat), 138 (3,000 kyat), 154 (2,000 kyat), 158 (450 kyat), 169 (200 kyat), 171 (500 kyat), 180 (1,300 kyat for one week), 184 (500 kyat), 187 (200 to 300 kyat), 209 (2,000 kyat for three days' portering), 229 (5,000 to 10,000 kyat) and 236.

464. Witness 236 had in fact been subjected to beatings during a portering assignment in 1985 at Three Pagodas Pass (Kayin State) and did not wish to repeat this traumatic experience.

465. See statements of Witnesses 100, 113, 159, 200 and 210.

466. Karen Human Rights Group, 032-2423; Lin, VII/42-43.

467. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0027, 032-2423; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 065-2978; Min Lwin, VI/14; Ka Hsaw Wa, X/9.

468. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1462, 016-2147, 032-2423.

469. The following camps were mentioned: a camp for LIB 360 in Mongping township in 1992; for Battalion 64 in Mongkaing township in 1994; for Battalion 518 in Kunhing township in 1996 and other new bases at Kunhing in 1997; a military camp in Namhsam township in 1997; and a military camp in Laikha town in 1997 and 1998.

470. For example, digging bunkers for a military camp at Wan Lao relocation site in Kunhing township.

471. Shan Human Rights Foundation, 001-0334, 001-0383, 143-4533, 145-4579, 147-4621, M34-6964; Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0665; Amnesty International, 168-8399 to 8400.

472. Amnesty International, 099-3895 to 3896; Karen Human Rights Group, 154-5083, 154-5089 to 5092, 154-5095.

473. The following camps were specifically mentioned: an army camp at Shadaw, a camp for Battalion 429 at Tee Po Klo in Demawso township, an army camp at Daw Tama Gyi in Demawso township, an army camp at the Mawchi relocation site in Mawchi township, an army camp at Mar Kraw She relocation site in Pruso township, and an army camp at Ywathit relocation site.

474. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0586, 001-0592, 154-5083, 154-5090, 154-5095; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 065-2978.

475. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0181, 001-0189 to 0197, 001-0302, 001-0307, 001-0310, 001-0318 to 0319, 001-0364, 001-0480, 001-0488, 001-0586, 001-0593, 001-0603, 001-0632, 001-0637, 001-0763 to 0764, 001-0904, 001-1922 to 1926, 001-1988 to 1990, 031-2393, 031-2395 to 2396, 154-5190, 154-5226, 154-5254 to 5260, 154-5268, H23-6394, M50-7360; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 065-2978; Amnesty International, 093-3748, 099-3896; Images Asia, 001-0209, 001-0220, 125-4024, 125-4036, 125-4038; Min Lwin, H06-5777 to 5782, H06-5785 to 5790.

476. The following military installations were specifically mentioned. In Kayin State: a camp for 99 Division in Hpa-an township in 1993; a camp for LIB 9 near the Thai border in 1994; an LIB 12 camp in Hpa-an district in 1997; a camp at Kadaingti in Papun district in 1995 and 1996; a camp for LIB 547 in Nabu village in Kawkareik township in 1995 and again in 1997; a camp for Battalion 104 at Maw Kee in Dooplaya district in 1995; Paw Yin Pyu army camp in Hlaingbwe township in 1995; a camp near Painkyone used by Battalion 339, Battalion 338 and 99 Division; a camp for LIB 310 in Kawkareik township in 1996; IB 231's Ta Mine Gone camp in Kawkareik township in 1996; a camp for IB 62 in Kawkareik township in 1996; a camp for LIB 549 in Kawkareik township in 1997; camps for Battalion 36 in the Painkyone area of Hlaingbwe township from 1993 to 1997; a camp for LIB 340 near Dee Taw Kee in Papun district in 1995 and 1996; a camp at Tee Per near Painkyone in Hlaingbwe township in 1996; a camp for a company of Battalion 310 in Kya-in village in Kawkareik township in 1995; bunkers for Tatmadaw and DKBA units in Kyat Kwa village in Kawkareik township; a camp of the 202 Tactical Operational Command in the Kyeikdon area of Kya In Seik Gyi township in 1997; bunkers for troops in Paglawni village near Kyeikdon in Kya In Seik Gyi township; outposts at Azin (Saw Hta) and MaeTha Raw Hta in Dooplaya district in 1996 and 1997; an army camp near Kyunchaung village in southern Dooplaya district in 1997; an army camp in Kyone Yaw village in southern Dooplaya district in 1997; a DKBA camp at Myaing Gyi Ngu (Khaw Taw) in 1995 and 1996; a DKBA camp in the Painkyone area of Hlaingbwe township in 1997; and several other army camps between Papun and Kyauknyat over the period 1992 to 1995. In Bago Division: in Busakee township, for IB 57 in Shwegyin township, for IB 26 in Tantabin township and for IB 60 in Kyaukkyi township. Villagers were also forced to do construction and other work for an army camp at Ye Tho Gyi in Toungoo district for IB 48 and LIB 354, and to dig an eight-mile ditch at Yan Myo Aung army compound in Kyaukkyi township in 1994.

477. Villagers in Papun district in 1996 were also forced to build houses for the families of soldiers who had died. See Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0480.

478. Specific mention was made of the following camps: a camp for Battalion 108 in Ye township in 1994, a camp for IB 93 in Bilin township in 1995, a camp near Yah Pu village in Ye township in 1996, and a camp for IB 31 in Thanbyuzayat township in 1997.

479. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0176, 001-0394, 001-1341.

480. The following military installations were specifically mentioned: military barracks and stores on Heinzebok Island since 1994; for LIB 267 in Yebyu township in 1994 and 1995; for LIBs 406, 407 and 408 in Yebyu township; a military training ground and other construction work for LIBs 403, 404 and 405 in Thayetchaung township in 1995; for Battalion 103 in Palaw township in 1995; for Battalion 101 and Battalion 280 in Palaw township in 1997; for Battalion 280 in Palaw township in 1997; houses for soldiers from Battalion 404 and military buildings near Ohnbinkwin and Kadaik in Yebyu township in 1995; for Battalions 408, 409 and 410 in Yebyu township; for LIBs 273 and 405 in Yebyu township; work camps on the Eindayaza to Natkyizin section of the Ye-Dawei (Tavoy) railway in Yebyu township in 1996; two buildings for LIB 407 in Yebyu township in 1997; for LIBs 17 and 25 in Dawei (Tavoy) township in 1996; and for three army camps near Yebone village in Yebyu township since 1988.

481. Including Yebyu, Dawei (Tavoy), Thayetchaung and Palaw townships.

482. HRDU, 001-0149; Amnesty International, 001-0793; Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1034, 001-1055, 001-1117 to 1118, 001-1128, 001-1348, 001-1368 to 1369, 001-1373, 018-2167, 018-2169, H24-6423, H24-6469, H24-6478, H24-6480, H24-6484; Mon Information Service, 001-1280, 001-1386, 001-1388, 042-2621, 043-2651, M56-7428; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 065-2969, 150-4690; FTUB, 164-7766 to 7767; H20-6294, H20-6296.

483. IB 263 and IB 264 were specifically mentioned.

484. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0445, 001-0557 to 0559, 001-0565 to 0566; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 001-0711, 118-3995; Amnesty International, 064-2962.

485. See para. 397 below.

486. Amnesty International, 089-3605; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 154-4926; Human Rights Watch/ Refugees International, 154-5404.

487. Villagers from Matupi township were ordered to construct a police station in Lailenpi; villagers from Thantlang township were ordered to construct six sentry posts for LIB 266 in Thantlang.

488. Karen Human Rights Group, 028-2343, 154-5138 to 5140; Images Asia, 167-8308.

489. The land was confiscated by LIB 384 from villagers in Momauk township. See Mirante, I/51.

490. The road was being constructed from Talakwa, near Pathein, to Nga Saw beach (30 km north of Chaungtha); there is information that forced labour was also used for the construction of this road (see para. 422 below). See Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0652, 001-0692.

491. Artillery Battalion 20.

492. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0563, 154-5148; Images Asia, 167-8337.

493. The witnesses questioned by the Commission come from different ethnic groups: Burman (3); Chin (4); Karen (36), Karenni (17); Mon (8); Muslim other than Rohingya (6); Rakhine (8); Rohingya (44); Shan (17); and Tavoyan (1). The testimonies cover, in particular, in Chin State, Thantlang and Paletwa townships; in Mon State, Bilin and Thanbyuzayat townships; in Kayah State, Demawso, Loikaw, Mawchi, Shadaw and Ywathit townships; in Kayin State, the following townships: Hlaingbwe (particularly in the Painkyone and Bee T'Ka areas), Kawkareik (particularly the area around Nabu village-tract), Kya In Seik Gyi, Hpa-an and Papun; in Shan State, the following townships: Laikha, Langkho (particularly the area around Wan Hat village tract), Lashio, Mongpan, Namhsam, Namtu, Taunggyi; and in Yebyu township in Tanintharyi Division.

494. The reference to military camps is thus not limited to those of the Tatmadaw, but embraces all work carried out for the camps of these different public forces.

495. See statements of Witnesses 29, 30, 31, 38, 46-48, 58, 62, 71, 81, 89, 98, 113, 138, 139, 155, 166, 162, 163, 173, 175, 176, 181-186, 202, 208 and 220.

496. See statements of Witnesses 113 and 155.

497. See statements of Witnesses 89, 160, 175 and 185. Witness 32 stated, for his part, that the military always commandeered him directly because his home was near their camp.

498. See statements of Witnesses 29, 58, 61, 91, 89, 98, 141, 157, 163, 168, 174, 175, 181 and 202. Witness 155 claimed that the military might require more than one person per family if the need arose.

499. See statements of Witnesses 13, 58, 89, 107, 100, 113, 144, 155, 165, 181, 185, 196, 204, 220-225 and 227.

500. See statements of Witnesses 144, 182, 183 and 185.

501. See statements of Witnesses 78, 155 and 165.

502. Several witnesses provided details on this subject: see statements of Witnesses 7, 9, 50, 51, 61, 71, 76-78, 82, 91, 132, 151, 160, 168, 170, 171, 174, 185, 190-193, 196, 198-202 and 205.

503. See statements of Witnesses 142, 143 and 180.

504. See statements of Witnesses 138, 139, 171 and 181.

505. See statements of Witnesses 168, 175, 180 and 195.

506. See statements of Witnesses 7, 62, 98, 100, 113, 116, 141, 142, 144, 166, 168, 174-176, 180, 181, 190, 195 and 196.

507. See statements of Witnesses 137, 204 and 208.

508. See statements of Witnesses 66, 92, 100, 107, 108, 114, 117, 118, 137, 144, 155, 157, 166, 168, 171, 175, 187, 190, 194 and 180.

509. See statements of Witnesses 7, 44, 56, 66, 99, 126, 142, 143, 155 and 181-183.

510. See statements of Witnesses 20, 51, 56, 92, 125, 126, and 145-148.

511. See statements of Witnesses 81, 124, 155, 165 and 185.

512. See statements of Witnesses 180 and 176. The latter stated that, in this context, he had to keep the military informed of the movements of other troops.

513. See statements of Witnesses 144 and 175.

514. See statements of Witnesses 48, 58, 81, 91, 116, 117, 119, 138, 139, 168, 173, 175 and 181. Witness 32 was the only person encountered who claimed to have received a little rice or yellow-pea curry from time to time.

515. See statement of Witness 162.

516. See statements of Witnesses 16, 48, 58, 81, 100, 102, 108, 116, 117, 162, 173, 175, 181 and 190. Witness 38 claimed to have received 10 kyat on a few occasions.

517. See statements of Witnesses 113, 160, 162, 171, 173, 174, 190, 198 and 201.

518. Several witnesses claimed to have been beaten: 13, 29, 37, 32, 48, 73, 85, 107, 108, 126, 127, 157, 165, 175, 181 and 201.

519. See statements of Witnesses 113, 126, 145-148, 181, 208, 220-225 and 227.

520. See statements of Witnesses 32, 56, 185, 200 and 201.

521. The amounts varied considerably: see statements of Witnesses 30 (1,000 kyat); 91 (25 kyat); 168 (100 kyat per day and one chicken); 181; 185 (1,000 kyat per month); 196 (200 kyat and one chicken); 212 (500 kyat) and 220 (500 kyat per project).

522. The cost of hiring substitutes can also vary: see statements of Witnesses 38 ( 200 kyat); 60 (200 kyat twice or three times per month); 81; 89 (100 kyat in 1991); 145 (300 kyat); 173 (100 kyat); and 174.

523. See statement of Witness 201.

524. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1462.

525. Amnesty International, 088-3588; Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1462.

526. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0027, 032-2423; Mon Information Service, M56-7419; Lin, VII/39.

527. See, for example, Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0549 to 0550, 001-0618.

528. Karen Human Rights Group, 032-2423; Heppner, XII/58-59.

529. See paras. 230-333 above.

530. The areas mentioned were Papun district and Dooplaya district. See Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0189, 001-0319, 001-0449, 154-5196; Images Asia, 125-4038.

531. The areas mentioned were located in Toungoo district. See Images Asia, 001-0216; Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0399.

532. The incidents referred to occurred in Thaton district. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0312.

533. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0304, 001-0312, 001-0318, 001-0449, 031-2409; Amnesty International, 093-3751; Images Asia, 125-4038.

534. S.H.A.N/Shan Human Rights Foundation, 001-0170.

535. Use of the population in Mawchi relocation camp was mentioned. See Karen Human Rights Group, 154-5095.

536. The areas mentioned were Papun and Dooplaya districts and Hpa-an, Kawkareik and Hlaingbwe townships. See Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0189, 001-0376, 001-0586, 001-0619, 031-2401, 031-2403; Images Asia, 125-4038.

537. Karen Human Rights Group, 031-2405, referring to events in Bilin township.

538. The specific area mentioned was Yebyu township. See Karen Human Rights Group, 018-2167.

539. Villagers in Kalaymyo township were forced to guard a newly-constructed section of the Gangaw to Kalaymyo railway, particularly during visits of important officials. See Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0563.

540. The area mentioned was Thantlang township. Karen Human Rights Group, 154-5138.

541. Hpa-an township. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0376.

542. Toungoo district. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0182, 001-0453, 073-3357.

543. Tamu township. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0376.

544. The witnesses in question came from the following groups: Burman (3); Chin (1); Karenni (1); Karen (18); Mon (3); Muslim other than Rohingya (1); Rakhine (1); Rohingya (9); and Shan (2).

545. See statements of Witnesses 5, 19, 159, 161, 166, 169, 174, 177 and 236.

546. See statements of Witnesses 136, 220-225, 227 and 229.

547. See statements of Witnesses 182-185 and 198.

548. See statement of Witness 200.

549. See statements of Witnesses 19, 46 and 80.

550. See statements of Witnesses 163, 166, 169 and 173.

551. See statements of Witnesses 161, 163, 168 and 185.

552. See statements of Witnesses 160, 169 and 174.

553. Groups may vary from two to ten persons: see statements of Witnesses 159, 161, 172 and 177.

554. See statements of Witnesses 160, 161, 166, 169, 171 and 174-176.

555. See statement of Witness 25 who was beaten because he fell asleep during a roadside watch.

556. Witness 168 said that nine villages comprising 940 households had to pay 500 kyat per household for damage caused to military vehicles.

557. See statements of Witnesses 153, 160, 161, 163, 168, 169, 174 and 177.

558. See, in particular, the statement of Witness 216.

559. See statements of Witnesses 153 (one worker and two soldiers injured); 168 (worker had his leg blown off); and 174 (whose aunt was killed in a mine blast).

560. See statements of Witnesses 161, 171 and 175.

561. See statements of Witnesses 161 and 175.

562. See, in particular, the statement of Witness 236.

563. Witness 169 claimed to have paid the military 70 kyat per day so as to be exempted from guard duties.

564. The costs of substitutes vary: see statements of Witnesses 169 (30-50 kyat per day); 172 (30 kyat per day) and 185 (100 kyat).

565. See statements of Witnesses 15, 99 and 185. Witness 237 stated that the military had commandeered his boat several times per month without paying him. Deprived of income from paying passengers, he was quite simply no longer able to pay the rent and maintenance costs demanded by the owner.

566. There does, however, appear to be provision made for compulsory military service in Myanmar legislation (see paras. 255 to 257 above).

567. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-1463 to 1464; M56-7418 to 7419; Liddell, V/14-16; Lin, VII/23, 34-36.

568. Karen Human Right Group, 001-1463, Human Rights Watch/Asia, H07-5807 to 5808; Images Asia, 127-4174 to 4176; Liddell, V/14-16.

569. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0190, 001-0603, 001-1463; Human Rights Watch/Asia, H07-5808.

570. Mon Information Service, M56-7418.

571. FTUB, 164-8080.

572. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0310; Images Asia, 127-4174 to 4176, M36-7019; Human Rights Watch/Asia, H07-5807; Liddell, V/15-16; Lin, VII/35.

573. See orders 9 and 10 in Appendix XI.

574. See order 10 in Appendix XI.

575. Mon Information Service, M56-7418 to 7419.

576. Karen Human Rights Group, 001-0908, 031-2416 to 2417.

577. See statements of Witnesses 5, 75, 93-95, 170, 215 and 216.

578. See statement of Witness 93.

579. ibid.

Updated by VC. Approved by RH. Last update: 26 January 2000.