The Burma Army camp based east of Tenasserim division in Southern Burma has increased its demands on villagers to use their vehicles to transport military supplies.
A pick-up owner who does not want to be named (for his own security), told Karen News that despite the cease-fire between the Karen National Union (KNU) and Burmese government the Burma Army are making unreasonable demands.
“After the cease-fire, the Burma Army regularly demand, I use my car to transport their troops to different areas. They say it is not forced labour, but I don’t have a choice they demand my time, help and car. When do we have time to make our living, when we have to transport them around.”
A pick-up owner who did not want to be named told Karen News.
“Before the cease-fire the Burma Army did not asks us to transport their soldiers, as they feared the KNU soldiers would ambush them. The Burma Army do not want to walk anymore, sometimes even the officers use the call phones on the Thai-Burma border demanding the use of my car”.
The Burmese government and KNU reached a cease-fire agreement in January this year and both sides agreed to stop forced labour, threatens and abuse of villagers.
The Burma Army is not only demanding villagers use their car to transport but are also forcing villagers to make their boats available.
At the end of May Burma Army soldiers from Htoo Ler (Kyauk Tu) village in the east of Tavoy, forced 10 villagers’ to supply their boats to transport troops.
Villagers from Ka Taw Ni told Karen News.
“One of our boats sank between Htoo Ler and Ka Taw Ni village, a soldier drowned and six lost their guns.”