Army shelling ‘forces farmers off land’ in Kayin State

04 March 2015
Army shelling ‘forces farmers off land’ in Kayin State
Armed Myanmar Border Guard Forces patrol in the streets of Myawaddy, Kayin State, Myanmar, October 2, 2014. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

The Karen Human Rights Group has voiced concern that the firing of artillery shells by Tatmadaw troops in a township in Kayin State is preventing farmers from working in the fields, according to a statement issued by the group on March 2.
According to the group’s news bulletin, Tatmadaw troops indiscriminately fired artillery shells towards a location where villagers were clearing vegetation for hill field farming in Saw Muh Plaw village tract, Lu Thaw Township, Kayin State on February 17. Then on February 22, villagers reported that shells were fired toward villagers preparing hill fields for farming in Hkay Hpoo village tract, Lu Thaw Township.
The rights group says both Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalions 543 and 410 are based nearby. However, villagers are uncertain which battalion fired the shells.
Although no villagers were injured, they report being afraid to continue clearing hill fields for the planting season.