Government’s Navy Units Continue to Violate Rights of Locals in Yebyu Township-residents ask to control troops

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/ 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 MaKadike 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”

Village militia campaign leads to arrests in Yebyu Township

HURFOM, Yebyu: Starting in January 2010, Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 282, led by Major Nyi Nyi Soe, began ordering residents of Alaesakhan village, in Tenasserim Division’s Yebyu Township, to force a village militia.
According to a villager in Alaesakhan, Major Nyi Nyi Soe ordered residents to start militia trainings; every household in the village was ordered to contribute one member to the new force. Individuals uninterested in joining were told that they would be forced to pay a monthly tax of 6,000 kyat following the militia’s formation. Following the issuance of Nyi Nyi Soe’s orders, many Alaesakhan residents fled from the village to their plantations, in order to avoid militia membership.
HURFOM’s field reporter learned that many villagers are reluctant to join militias because Mon rebel groups, including the Nai Chan Dein and Nai Bin groups, are active in the region. Villagers also complained that as members of the militia they would be under the command of LIB No. 282, and would likely be sent to particularly dangerous areas in the region in place of the battalion.
One villager quoted Major Nyi Nyi Soe’s speech to HURFOM, “If all of you want to protect your village, you must join the militia, don’t worry about the guns or if the government will support you, just join the militia and you will also get support from the government. If all of you have guns, you don’t need to afraid of rebel groups.”
“They just want to put us in dangerous places, because villagers have no power to fight both of them [the battalion and the armed groups], if something happens [while we are on duty] the battalion can blame it on us. We are at the mercy of both groups”, said a 32 year-old Alaesakhan villager. Continue reading “Village militia campaign leads to arrests in Yebyu Township”