Burma Army Sweeps Through Arakan and Chin Villages
03 July 2010: Burma Army is reported sweeping through Chin and Arakan villages near the Burma-India border region on its new drive to hunt out pro-democracy resistance group and army defector from the region.
According to Free Burma Ranger (FBR), a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement formed in 1997, two battalions of army composed of over 180 men are conducting sweeps against villagers in Paletwa Township, Chin State.
Villages under threat are Pumnya Wa, Nygeliwa, Doe Chawn Wa, Parkarwa, Aumthiwa, Shwe Lie Pue, Phe Lie Wa, Satanwa and Mariwa.
The Burma army was reported setting up headquarters at Mariwa Village which is located only half a kilometer from the Indian border to hunt down Arakan Liberation Army (ALA) members and another six army defectors who have been in connection with the ALA.
According to FBR relief team based in Arakan State, thousands of villagers are suffering from the sweep with some being forced to act as guards in the military camp without any provision.
Some villagers are also forced into slavery by becoming porters to carry uniforms, backpacks, ammunition and other military equipment for the soldiers.
Meanwhile, villagers are required to give food such as chickens, pigs, goats and other domestic animals and motorboats to be used by the military on their patrol to drive out anti-government groups.
Soldiers are also reported forcing villagers to sell diesel fuel under the market price.
“The current price for diesel in the area is 22,000 kyats for one gallon (1 kg or 6 bottles) but the Burma Army is only paying about half of the price,” according to the latest FBR newsletter.
By Thomas Chong