Despite the ceasefire between the government and Karen armed groups landmines are still a massive risk to people in Karen state.
A Karen woman, Naw Ma Pain, 41-, who lives in Htee Kyar Mae village in Waw Lay area, Myawaddy Township, Karen State, stepped on the landmine on early May that resulted in the amputation of her leg.
Naw Ma Pain went to the local forest with her two nephews to cut down bamboos to repair her house on May 2 and stepped on a landmine.
Naw Ma Pain explained to Karen News about landmine incident.
“I was nearly home at the time. I asked my nephews to take the remaining three bamboo poles that I had cut down, but they were busy so, I went and took them myself. When I walked to the bamboos, I stepped on the landmine.”
As soon as Naw Ma Pain got injury by landmine, she was sent back to Htee Kyar Mae village. Afterwards, she was sent to Mae Sot Hospital, Tak Province, Thailand.
The place where Naw Ma Pain stepped on the mine is a restricted area and there are warnings erected by local Karen armed groups that it is prohibited area. The area was a conflict zone before the ceasefire agreement between the Karen armed groups and the government.
Naw Ma Pain said that she did not wish to blame anyone.
“The place where I stepped on landmine is a restricted area, but roads are now being built through the area, so I thought there would be no problem. I went there and I stepped on the landmine. I don’t want to blame anyone for getting injured. It is my fate.”
Naw Ma Pain said that a few minutes after she stepped on the landmine, she heard another landmine explosion nearby and thought that it might be possible the animals such as buffaloes and cows stepped on it.
Local residents say that a villager and a soldier from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) stepped on landmines in the same area this year.
The Karen National Liberation Army, the Burma’s Army and DKBA are active in Waw Lay area and it is not known which group planted the mine that Naw Ma Pain stepped on.