Burmese Military Continues Demanding Rations Supplies From Chin Villagers
The Burmese military stationed in the central part of Chin State recently ordered the villagers to provide food rations enough for them to feed their troops through the rainy season from June to October 2009, Chinland Guardian has learnt.
The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)’s military soldiers, who station and patrol in the Chin ethnic minority areas, have been depending on food rations supplied by the poor locals who have been severely affected by the rat infestation that continues to cause famine-like situation in the region since early 2007.
Over the past two decades, the Chin locals have been very often forced to porter for the Burmese military food rations supplies and ammunition. In the recent years, the Chin villagers started to also supply food rations for the Burmese military with all they have, sometimes just to avoid forced portering for a week or so.
“After the locals are given options that they provide food rations directly to the military or transport the SPDC’s rice bags on their backs to the Lailenpi military camp from Razua or Matupi, many villagers have chosen the latter only because they wanted to be exempted from carrying heavy loads on their backs sometimes for a week”, said a local who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of possible repercussion from the Burmese military.
“Every year, the villages in the Mara areas are required to supply or transport rations for the Burmese Military that station at Sabyhpi, Dawlei, and Lialaipi, but this year, Evan Ebi has been supplying it on behalf of the villagers who are struggling to survive due to the drought and bamboo famine,” said a local pastor.
It is believed that the relief aid, donated by friends and love ones abroad for the victims of rat infestation in Chin state, is going directly to the military soldiers instead.
The forced labour and forced porter in Chin State is very common since 1988 when the nationwide pro-democracy uprising occurred in the country and the Chin National Front (CNF) started to be active to defend the rights of the Chin and to work for Democracy in Burma. Thus, forced porter and hard labour has become part of the Chin peoples’ normal life. The Burmese military use it as a tool to persecute the Chin ethnic minority.
In recent years, many Chins flee to the neighbouring countries to seek the international protection to escape from the continuing persecution and oppressions, systematically implemented by the SPDC, the Burmese military government.
02 May, 2009