Relief comes to Shan State
Free Burma Rangers (FBR) relief teams provided a small glimpse into the lives of the people during the mission to Shan State in June and July, according to FBR report on 23 July.
By Hseng Khio Fah
30 July 2008
Many Shan, Wa, Lahu, Lisu, Pa O and Palaung people received medical treatment and encouragement by the relief teams during the mission, said the report.
FBR medics providing treatment to Shan, Wa, Lahu, Lisu, Palaung and Pa'O villagers in Eastern Shan State (Photo:FBR)
The report titled "Oppression: Burma Army Militarization and the Use of Proxies in Eastern Shan State", was produced on 23 July by FBR relief teams following the mission to Shan State.
Increased militarization and occupation by the Burma Army in ethnic states has made it impossible for ordinary villagers who continue to live in deprivation, with little access to health care or education to remain in their own land, said the report.
The report maintains that villagers were generally forced to provide labor four times per month for the Burma Army and United Wa State Army(UWSA). Both continue to use forced labor to transport supplies and expand military infrastructure, often making villagers carrying loads, fetching water and digging trenches.
The report says that the Burma Army is also involved in the production and trafficking of narcotics and works closely with proxy forces such as the UWSA in order to profit from the trade in opium, heroin and amphetamines. In the Mong Ton area, southern Shan State, opposite Chiangmai, opium is cultivated and it is not only processed for trade abroad it is also consumed by some local villagers.
The report concludes that “To begin to approach the solution to this problem, democracy must be restored, ethnic rights and the rule of law upheld and human dignity defended.”
Burma Army IB65 camp, close to Na Kawng Mu village, South of Mongton. (Photo:FBR)
The Free Burma Ranger’s (FBR) mission, according to its website is to provide hope, help and love to internally displaced people inside Burma, regardless of ethnicity or religion. Using a network of indigenous field teams, FBR reports on human rights abuses, casualties and the humanitarian needs of people who are under the oppression of the Burma Army. FBR provides medical, spiritual and educational resources for IDP communities as they struggle to survive Burmese military attacks.