Burma Uses Landmine Despite Denial at UN
30 January 2011: The ruling military authorities still deny the use of landmines in the country despite fresh evidences showing ethnic villagers being killed at the deployment of the weapons by Burma Army soldiers.
In a UN session of Burma Forum on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recently held in Geneva, Switzerland on 27 January 2011, Deputy Attorney General Htun Shin baselessly said: “Even though Burma doesn’t sign the Ottawa Treaty that bans the use of landmine, the Burma Army doesn’t use landmines.”
According to the report released on 17 January 2011 by FBR (Free Burma Rangers), Burma Army soldiers placed landmines on trails and village land in Mone Township in northwestern Karen State, killing one of the KNLA (Karen National Liberation Army) soldiers who was sent to demine the area last month.
“He [Saw Kweh K’Baw] discovered and disarmed four mines before stepping on and detonating the fifth. He lost his left foot in the explosion and was treated by FBR medics. Over 200 villagers fled the Burma Army mine-laying patrols,” the report added.
Ten years after an international treaty to ban landmines, Burma remains one of the most heavily mine contaminated countries on earth, according to ABC Radio Australia. More than 10 per cent of Burma’s townships are mined and thousands of civilians have been injured or killed. Despite this, the humanitarian organisation, Geneva Call, says there hasn’t been enough anti-mine action.
Eastern Burma is the most heavily mined area in the world, with approximately 1500 landmine casualties annually, accounting for 5 percent of deaths, according to GHAP (Global Health Access Program).
Burma’s delegation led by Deputy Attorney General Htun Shin rejected any human rights violations perpetrated against the people of Burma at a Geneva session where the United Nations Human Rights Council examined the country’s human rights record as part of its first Universal Periodic Review (UPR) earlier this week.
Van Biak Thang