Jun 02, 2015Between September and October, 2014, more than ten incidents of fighting occurred in Karen State, Burma/Myanmar. At least six of these clashes took place in the area near the Salween River, near the planned Hat Gyi Dam project site. These clashes, fought between combined Burma Army/BGF forces and the DKBA, involved heavy mortar fire. As a result, over 2,000 people were forced to flee their homes, and most remain in hiding, fearing for their safety. Local civilians always suffer the most during times of armed conflict, and recent conflict in Karen State is no exception. The fighting, along with human rights abuses by the Burmese military and BGF, compromises villagers’ security, disrupts livelihoods, and spreads fear. Other than displacement, lack of access to humanitarian aid for IDPs, looting of homes and confiscation of property by the Burmese and BGF soldiers, forced labor, increased militarization and restriction of movement are the major impacts that subsequently followed the conflict. The pattern of recent fighting, and perspectives of local people and DKBA soldiers suggest that, recent conflict appears to be driven in large part by plans to develop the long-delayed Hatgyi Hydropower Project. Mega-development projects and conflict are historically linked in Karen State. Although the causes of recent clashes are complex, the consequences for civilians are clear. The Burmese military has violated the 2012 ceasefire by attacking the DKBA and has committed human rights abuses against local villagers. If the Burmese government continues to pressure Karen armed groups and launch military offensives, the current peace process is in danger of falling apart, with potentially disastrous consequences for the people of Karen State.
Jun 02, 2015From October 29-31, 2014, a consultation workshop on the revised Kawthoolei Land Policy was organized by the Kawthoolei Agriculture Department (KAD) in collaboration with the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN) in Hpa-An District, Karen State, Burma/Myanmar. The aim of the workshop was to get inputs, comments and recommendation from people regarding KAD's revised land policy so that the policy could be improved prior to official Karen National Union (KNU) approval. The KAD is one of the departments under the KNU. The workshop was attended by KAD officials from each district in Karen State. Representatives of other KNU departments also attended, including staff from the departments of Forestry, Mining, Fisheries, Livestock and Farming, Interior and Religious Affairs, as well as the Judiciary sector. Finally, there were representatives from several Karen community-based organizations. The original land policy was approved by the KNU in 2009. However, KAD decided to revise the policy because there were many thing that needed to be reviewed and added.
Jun 02, 2015This video is about a community, which have been affected by the Pathi Dam, claiming the government to take responsible for their loss.
Jun 02, 2015On June 5, 2014, the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN) organised an event commemorating the World Environment Day in one of the indigenous Karen areas on the Salween River in Mutraw District (Papun) in Burma. A total of 200 people, including students, youth, parents, teachers and community leaders, attended.