A Karen family alleged that they have been abused and expelled from their home by the Dawei Princess Company are now seeking help from the local Karen National Union (KNU) office.
Naw Hsa Gay, husband works at the Dawei Princess Company mining site at Min Htain in a KNU controlled area in southern Burma, spoke to Karen News about the incident.
“My son had a fight with Saw Po Dah’s nephew, Saw Po Dah’s nephew beat my son head and my sons broke his nephew’s finger. This made Saw Po Dah angry.”
Saw Po Dah works at the mining site.
“We quarreled and he tried to choke me and punched me in the face several times. He tried to stab me with a knife –his wife tried to stop him – but he kept punching me until I fell to the ground, he then kicked me.”
Naw Hsa Gay says when her husband returned from work at the mine he also got involved. Naw Hsa Gay alleges the men used firearms.
“My husband was angry with Saw Po Dah. Then Saw Po Dah’s fathers hit my husband. Saw Po Dah got his gun and shot at him but missed.”
Naw Hsa Gay alleges that because Saw Po Dah father is in charge of workers at one of the mining sites they were kicked off the job.
“The fathers name is U Soe Than and the incident took place in early June. Two days later U Soe Than expelled us from the mining site on 3rd June. ”
Naw Hsa Gay says company officials were afraid to take action against Saw Po Dah.
“They fear him as he possesses a gun.”
The Dawei Princess Company mining site has about 10 families working at it. Naw Hsa Gay and her husband Saw Dah K and their child fled the mining site at night and took refuge at the KNU Baw Ya Ka office.
Saw Gyi No, the KNU officer responsible for the area, investigated the alleged assault on 21 June.
Saw Gyi No told Karen News.
“We took Saw Po Dah in and questioned him about the assault and he admitted it. He accepted full responsibility for the damage and agreed to pay compensation for Naw Hsa Gay’s medical treatment. The Dawei Princess Company manager told us [KNU] he was not aware of the assault but agreed to take care of medical needs of the victims and said the company would take back the family if they would like to work there again.”
The Dawei Princess Company is a Burmese owned company that has been granted mining and logging concessions from the KNU. The company was involved in the ‘peace talk’ negotiations between the KNU and Burma government.