News – Independent Mon News Agency
REPORT BY MON SON
FRIDAY, 24 JULY 2009 12:08
Karen people are fleeing in droves to Thailand as the Democratic Karen Buddhist Association (DKBA) commits ongoing human rights abuses.
The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) recently reported on the tense situation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Thailand-based Karen Refugee Committee (KRC).
According to the report, about 200 Karen people have reached the Tha Song Yang district, Tak province in the last 24 hours alone, mainly taking temporary shelter at the Mae U Su site.
The report also detailed DKBA abuses such as forced recruitment, portering and the extortion of money, food, and livestock. Such abuses have become push factors for Karen migration and the creation of many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
This month the DKBA and the Burmese army have launched a joint offensive against the Karen National Union (KNU), the main political party of the Karen people. Brigade 7 area has already fallen and the combined forces are now targeting Brigade 6, which includes 18 villages between Three Pagodas Pass Township and Kyainnseikyi Township.
The general secretary of the KRC said, “The number of Karen people arriving in Thailand has increased to 500 people [in the Tha Song Yang district]. Since [fighting began] between the KNU and the DKBA, Karen people have fled to Thailand. Karen people are seeking shelter from the NGOs and the Thai government.”
According to a July 19th story by the Human Rights Foundation of Monland, the Burmese military’s Southeast Command (SEC) has begun using a variety of internal tactics in Karen State, including using DKBA name registries to require two baskets of rice per household, with a 10,000 kyat penalty for failing to provide this.
Border Situation Update July 23rd 2009