April 11, 2012
A report detailing mounting human rights violations in Yebyu territory, titled, “Government’s Navy Units Continue to Violate Rights of Locals in Yebyu Township,” was published on January 20, 2012, on the Human Rights Foundation of Monland’s website (HURFOM/www.rehmonnya.org). Since then, continued monitoring has indicated that the violators–low-ranking soldiers and officials of the Mawrawaddy Navy Command naval administrative unit No. 43–have been blatantly disregarding the human rights of local residents who make their living in fishing and cultivation. The growing violations committed by government troops against civilians are unacceptable and unbefitting to a transition period during which the country is carefully taking steps in a new direction. This short report aims to force the governors and chief ministers of their particular states or divisions to stop the unit No. 43 navy administrative officials from repeatedly violating locals’ rights. In February and March, three field reporters interviewed 22 villagers in order to present the events and opinions found in this report.
Money extorted from local fishermen
The officials and soldiers of the navy administrative unit No. 43, which operates under Mawrawaddy Navy Command, number more than sixty troops and have bases in the Yebyu Township villages of Own-pin-kwin, Kywe Thone Nyi Ma, Kadike harbor, and Kyauk Hta Yan. The troops have extorted money from people with marine-related businesses or fishing-boat owners in the villages near their bases. In February alone, fees of 30,000 kyat, gasoline, and fishing products were unfairly seized from 210 owners of small or large fishing-boats in Kyauk Hta Yan and Da-Min-Seik villages, according to locals. Ko Ngwe Own (pseudonym), a 44-year-old Kyauk Hta Yan resident, feeds his six family members by fishing off a small boat powered by a Honda engine. On February 18th, he reported that the military troops, police, and navy units have extorted money from him over his entire fishing career, creating a situation in which he struggles to provide for his family. Even in this era of new government, there is no decline in the bribery and extortion committed against civilian populations. In fact, the violations are increasing dramatically. Continue reading “Government’s Navy Units Continue to Violate Rights of Locals in Yebyu Township-residents ask to control troops”