China-Paid Burmese Troops Accused of Abuses

China-Paid Burmese Troops Accused of Abuses

People sheltering in Nam Kham after being displaced by fighting. (Photo: TSYO)

Ethnic minorities in northern Burma are suffering massive human rights abuses at the hands of government troops due to foreign-backed investment projects, according to a new report.

Catalyst for Conflict, by the Ta’ang Students and Youth Organization (TSYO), accuses Burmese government troops of being paid to protect Chinese mega projects and inflicting executions, beatings, forced labor and extortion on local people as a consequence.

Oil and gas pipelines as well as hydropower dams have been the subject of a huge public outcry, and so Burmese government soldiers are apparently being employed as mercenary security guards by the companies concerned.

In March, two villagers coming back from fishing near a Chinese dam site were interrogated and killed by patrolling Burmese soldiers, claims the TSYO report.

“Foreign investors are cold-bloodedly fuelling war in Burma,” said Mai Khroue Dang of the TSYO. “All mega projects should be suspended until Burmese troops withdraw and political dialogue leads to a meaningful resolution of conflict.”

The group details how the military expansion is directly linked to securing Chinese mega projects, and how Chinese firms are paying 5,000 kyat (US $6) per day to Burmese soldiers from local battalions for security around pipelines which will carry oil and gas to China.

Control over natural resources and abuses by the government troops have been core grievances in both Kachin and Shan states where conflicts erupted last year. In July, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) was formed and has since launched several attacks against Burmese troops patrolling in Ta’ang areas.

“Fierce battles have broken out in areas that have not seen fighting for over 20 years,” said the report. “Soldiers from the Burma Army have moved from their main bases to live in villages and now regularly patrol local areas, increasing abuses against local populations including killings, beatings, forced labor, and extortion.”

Since December 2011, more than 1,000 men, women and children have become internally displaced, sheltering in Nam Kham and Mantong, while many others have also fled to China to escape the war, claims the TSYO.

A historic peace deal was signed between the Shan State Army and Burmese government last weekend which also aims to wipe out narcotics from the region by 2015, but fighting has nevertheless been reported from the area this week.

The Ta’ang, also known as Palaung, is an ethnic group numbering around one million living in the hills of Burma’s Shan State and China’s southern Yunnan Province.

8 Responses to China-Paid Burmese Troops Accused of Abuses

  1. It is high time the Burmese public shows their true righteous self and object to those unspeakable atrocities. Stand by the suppressed against unjustified brutality.

    This is becoming embarrassing for whole nation.

    Killing to make money!!!And as Chinese stooge!

    Than Shwe/ Thein Sein/ Min Aung Hlaing would do it. people must not be tarnished by their dirty brush.

  2. Slowly but surely, the ugly truth is now coming out. I have posted many warnings here and elsewhere about how the patriotic and proud “Tatmadaw” is bribed and coerced by the greedy Chinese who just want to exploit Burma as a client State. Many Burmese soldiers, especially their officers are now becoming “slaves” working for their Chinese “masters”, bullying and killing their own citizens in the process. Shameful. What would Kyansittha think about the modern Burmese soldier?
    All these human rights organisations and even the UN have no idea what (and who) is really the main villain behind these “ethnic conflicts” Forget about democracy. If these invasive Chinese projects are not stopped immediately, Burma will lose its sovereignty as an independent nation within the next 5 years. and it wouldn’t really matter who forms the government in Naypyitaw, soon to be a provincial city of China!

  3. That is the fact of the matter.

  4. burmese u guys very stupid chinese are try to get every thing burmese HAVE THIS IS MY .

  5. Well, well, well, is that any surprise?
    So how do we stop China from pludering our resourses? And how do we stop our army from working for China? Sounds like treason.

  6. Hard-to-believe news!!!
    On face value, big brother China is friends to Burma.
    But is it so in reality?
    We know that, in most other countries, employment of foreigners is checked and kept to a minimum, and only in the areas of special knowledge and skills that are locally rare or scarce. But we heard that Chinese labour abounds in Burma, particularly in the Kachin State, Saggaing Div and along the route of the gas and oil pipeline across Burma. Are there Chinese troops or, in a more likelihood, paid local troops to protect Chinese labour and property? Are they on work-permit visas or illegal entries? Is it true that there are around several thousands of Chinese labour in Salingyi township around and about the Copper mines? Haven’t we got unemployed labour, and unemployed university and GTI graduates? Is it true that too much land is confiscated for mining use?
    Aren’t food and livelihood of local people the most important of all considerations?
    We know local officials act in favour of, and in collusion with, local as well as foreign companies against the well-being and will of the people, particularly residents and farmers.
    What is the government doing to protect the livelihood, safety and health of local residents, peasants and their lands in particular, and the integrity of the nation in general?
    Surely, there ought to be fair alternatives as a matter of urgent need for political reconciliation and progress in economic development of this country.

  7. As an Indian i can understand how painful it must be for the children and people who get abused by troops backed by the EViL CHINESE. To my all Burmese frens …pls befriend Indians and India…as it is the best country you woud benefit from. We have cultural, people to people similarities etc etc. Its time Burma dumps the evil chinese ad car more about India. BTW our Pm is there to bring India closer to lost Burma.

  8. Agree with most of the above. Only two points.

    For various reasons, all nations loinize their “heroes”. But taking pride about Kyan Sis Ther for his prowess for killing the Mons and Khmar and destroying a civilized nation to oblivion without provocation and for the sake of “Buddhism!” is not really a good thing for a Buddhist or a human. There are more lessons to be learned than bullying the weaker. What goes around, comes around.

    UN Is the biggest white elephant (another of the Burmese contribution to the English language) in the world. They do know the reality no doubt. But they are employed by the dominant groups (here economically dominant countries) to make them look good.

    So long as there is no outcry by the public of Burma at large, no one can be expected to lift a finger.

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