On 5 February’2012, Mrs. Hkawng Seng Pan (KWAT deputy coordinator) did a presentation on current situation of Human rights violation in Kachin state, at the panel of film festival in Phayap University, Chiang Mai province.
I believe most of you already aware of war in Kachin State, Burma. Because of fighting, there were increases of human rights violation. In particular we are seeing evidence of how the Burmese military is susing exual violence as a weapon of war against ethnic group in Burma.
During the past 7 months fighting, Burmese soldiers have been raping women of all ages, both young girls and old women. My organization, the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand has documented the rape of 32 women and girls in eight townships during the first three months of offensive, thirteen of whom were killed. Rape cases have been increased actually and now maximum 60 women have raped.
In one brutal incident in a village near Bhamo, a three week old baby’s mother was rape and killed and 4 year old kid’s mother was rape and took her as a porter in last year in December. In one case, 39 year old woman and her 17 year old daughter was gang raped and killed by military troops.
Other human rights violations are taking place in the same conflict areas. Young men have been kidnapped and forcibly recruited as soldiers or as forced labor such as porters to carry the Burmese military supplies. In some cases, villagers suspected of supporting the resistance have been arbitrarily arrested, tortured severely or shot by the Burmese army.
Another case was a 15 year old boy was shot and killed when he fled from a Burmese patrol. On 11 January 2012, a 4 months pregnant woman, was shot and killed, and another lady was also shot by Burmese army soldiers. These abuses are very clear war crimes, and are being committed with impunity.
Many Kachin people are fleeing their homes because they are afraid of the war and abuses, such as killing, forced labor, arbitrary arrest, interrogation, torture and rape by the Burmese military. Many villagers have fled to the China border, but Chinese government has refused to accept them as refugees. So they are sheltering in areas protected by the KIO just inside the Kachin border and some of them have fled to the forest.
The number of Internally Displaced Persons has been increasing day by day in the border areas, and is now about 60,000 people. They are staying in makeshift camps, and are urgently in need of humanitarian support. There are also many IDPs who have fled to towns in Kachin State, where they are mostly staying with relatives or in churches. Right now it is mainly the local Kachin people abroad who are providing food to these IDPs. Most of us are volunteers; many are women and quite a few a teenagers. That is the most inspiring thing: So many young Kachin are trying to help the IDPs. All of us have been working hard and coordinating between different groups. It is very frustrating that we are not getting help from big agencies.
For my conclusion, I would like to say that the Burmese regime has been denying that it has been committing human rights violations, in spite of all the evidence that has been building up all over Burma.