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Table of Contents
Country Reports
BURMA (MYANMAR)1, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports

BURMA (MYANMAR)[1]

Key developments since March 1999: Government forces and at least ten ethnic armed groups continue to lay antipersonnel landmines in significant numbers. Landmine Monitor estimates there were approximately 1,500 new mine victims in 1999. The Committee Representing the People’s Parliament endorsed the Mine Ban Treaty in January 2000.

Mine Ban Policy

The military government of Myanmar is known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The SPDC has not signed the Mine Ban Treaty and did not participate in the Ottawa Process. It abstained on the UN General Assembly resolution supporting the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1999. The representative of the SPDC explained by stating, “A sweeping ban on landmines is unnecessary and unjustified. The problem is the indiscriminate use of mines, as well as the transfer of them.”[2]

The SPDC has stated that it supports a ban on transfer of antipersonnel landmines, and believes that the Conference on Disarmament (of which it is a member) is the appropriate forum to negotiate this issue.[3] Myanmar is not a signatory to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but in December 1999 it sent observers to the First Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II (Landmines) in Geneva. Myanmar has not participated in any other mine ban fora in 1999 or 2000.

Shortly after the release of the Landmine Monitor Report 1999, the SPDC criticized the report for being based on sources residing mostly outside of the country. It denied that Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) have laid mines inside Thailand, that Tatmadaw mine use has been directed against the civilian population, and that civilians have been used as “human mine sweepers.”[4]

In January 2000 the Committee Representing the People’s Parliament endorsed the Mine Ban Treaty. It stated that it would “recommend to the People’s Parliament, when it is convened, as a matter of immediate national concern, accession to the Convention.”[5]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling--Government

Myanmar is a producer of antipersonnel mines. The Myanmar Defense Products Industries (Kahpasa) produce at least two mines, designated as MM1 and MM2. These mines are modeled after the Chinese Type 59 stake-mounted fragmentation mine and the Chinese Type 58 blast mine.[6] Ethnic militia members have told Landmine Monitor researchers that the government produces three other types of antipersonnel mines, designated MM3, MM4, and MM5, but no conclusive evidence is available.[7]

Although the SPDC has declared its support for a ban on AP mine transfers, it has yet to institute a formal moratorium or ban. There is no evidence that the government has exported antipersonnel mines to other countries, but there have been allegations that Tatmadaw units have provided mines to ethnic combatants.[8]

Several types of antipersonnel mines from other countries continue to be found in the field indicating past, if not current, importation. These include Chinese, Israeli, Italian, Russian, U.S., and other unidentified AP mines.[9]

Neither the SPDC, nor the Ministry of Defense, will release any statistics regarding the size and type of mines in stockpile.

Use—Government

Mine warfare has continued since the release of Landmine Monitor Report 1999. While the government does not deny that it uses antipersonnel mines, it insists it does not do so in an indiscriminate fashion.[10]

The rebel Shan State Army (SSA) alleges that sections of the border with Thailand, southern Shan State and the banks of the Salween River have been mined by the SPDC.[11] They also allege that Lahu mercenaries hired by the SPDC have mined paths used by the SSA. Landmine Monitor researchers have seen mines of Burmese manufacture removed by the SSA.

In Dweh Loh township of Karen State, it was alleged in April 2000 that SPDC units torched villages from which the inhabitants had fled, and then laid mines in the remains and on paths and in fields adjacent to the villages.[12] In the area northeast of the capital, SPDC troops are said to have laid mines in retaliation to mine laying by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA). It is alleged that the SPDC lays mines on KNLA supply lines, escape routes to the Thai border used by refugees, and around villages and fields that Karen people have fled or been forcibly relocated.[13]

In the Tenasserim Division, beginning late November 1999, the Tatmadaw has used landmines to consolidate its control of areas on the border with Thailand from Amalakee southward.[14] This operation has placed a mixture of antivehicle and antipersonnel mines between military posts along the border where persons, including those seeking to flee Burma as refugees, could conceivably cross: along stream beds, on paths and roads, and at passes.

There continue to be reports of Tatmadaw units deliberately laying mines in Thailand, including reports from Thai military based on the border.[15] Thai authorities provided Landmine Monitor with what appear to be Tatmadaw documents related to mine laying inside Thailand.[16] Thai military border officers have been killed and wounded by Burmese-made mines apparently placed during 1999 and early 2000 while on patrol along the border.[17] They have cleared mines in several locations.

The Tatmadaw uses two methods of laying mines: “registered” and “lost.” Registered mines are laid as a defensive perimeter around military camps, or along supply lines, at certain times. The locations of these mines are recorded, and when the operation is finished these mines are removed. Lost mines are never recovered. Neither registered nor lost mines are fenced or marked in any way. The general location, numbers and types of lost mines are usually recorded on Tatmadaw maps or records (e.g. five AP mines on hill 270). This allows Tatmadaw units to know if an area was previously mined, but it does not give the exact locations of the mines.[18]

In addition, it is believed SPDC military engineers actively maintain minefields along the border with Bangladesh, replacing old or exploded mines with new mines.[19] Originally laid in 1993, the minefields, which run nearly the entire length of the border, now serve to prevent cross-border economic activities like woodcutting and smuggling,[20] to deter further flight by refugees from the interior of Burma,[21] and to interdict cross-border movement by armed ethnic militias.[22] Some mines have been placed on the Bangladesh side due to poor demarcation and thick vegetation. Victims of AP mine incidents include both Burmese and Bangladeshi citizens.[23] The government of Bangladesh has repeatedly requested Myanmar remove these mines.[24]

Regular Tatmadaw officers have told Landmine Monitor researchers that they received no formal instruction in mine laying. Usually, mines are laid by specialized “BE” military engineering units. Other soldiers only lay mines when the engineers are “not available,” and do so under the direction and instruction of their commanding officer.[25]

Ethnic Armed Groups

Thirty armed organizations, most associated with an ethnicity within the country, have been involved in armed struggle against the SPDC (see chart below). In 1999, about a dozen armed groups were actively engaged in some level of military activity (often quite limited) against the Tatmadaw in Arakan, Chin, Shan, Karenni, and Karen States, as well as in the Bago and Tennaserim Divisions.[26]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling—Armed Ethnic Groups

All of the armed groups are believed to be capable of building blast mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Some groups can also manufacture Claymore-type mines.[27] Materials for mine production are readily available. Many of the mines require batteries for operation, limiting the mine’s life to that of the battery, usually said to be one year. A new mine design by the Karen National Liberation Army does not require a battery and has a longer field life.[28]

The armed ethnic groups do not receive mines from foreign governments. However, the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia have left ample quantities of landmines on the regional black market. In 1999 the black market price for a U.S.- or Vietnamese-made M14 antipersonnel mine was about US$5, and a Claymore mine was about US$11.[29] Other types of AP mines are available, including the Chinese-made Type 72. As mentioned above, there have also been allegations that Tatmadaw units have provided mines to ethnic combatants.[30]

One knowledgeable source has said that two stockpiles of landmines in the hands of ethnic military forces are estimated to number in the thousands, mostly of indigenous construction.[31]

Use—Ethnic Armed Groups

At least ten of the ethnic militias are mine users. The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) is likely to be the largest mine user, followed by the Karenni Army (KA). The All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF), Peoples Defense Forces (PDF), Myiek-Dawei United Front (MDUF), Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO), Shan State Army (SSA), Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, God’s Army, and the Chin National Army (CNA) are also believed to use mines.[32]

Like government-laid mines, mines laid by the KNLA, KA and others also produce civilian casualties. Ethnic militias involved in mine warfare acknowledge use of AP mines and/or Claymore mines for perimeter defense of their mobile camps at night, but claim they remove all mines during daylight. Command-detonated Claymore mines (usually U.S.-made M-18s) are also used during offensive operations, such as ambush.[33]

Mines have been used predominantly in conflicts between government troops and ethnic armed groups, but have also been used in conflicts between various armed ethnic organizations as well, both in competition for “business interests” as well as over territorial disputes.

Active mine laying is occurring in Karen and Karenni states where the Karen National Liberation Army and the Karenni Army are attempting to maintain control or harass Tatmadaw troops, especially in the area to the northeast of Hpa-an, where mine laying by both the KNLA and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army is considered heavy.[34]

A former military advisor stated that the KNLA lay mines near SPDC camps, on the flanks of key passes for the KNLA, along KNLA supply routes and refugee escape routes. The KNLA lays a combination of their own mines and purchased ones.[35]

God's Army has planted mines in their area of operation along the Thai-Burma border opposite Ye according to a communiqué they released in late January 2000.[36]

At least one militia is suggesting that it might cease antipersonnel mine warfare. In March 2000 the SSA issued a statement claiming it was “against the producing, stockpiling or using of these mines.”[37] Earlier, at a press briefing in December 1999, the SSA said that they have a military policy of “no offensive mine use,” stating that it is “dangerous for [Shan] villagers.”[38]

The KA is rumored to be cutting back on its mine use. The Rohingya Army of the RSO and the Chin National Army allege that they lay no “lost” mines. They also admit use of command-detonated mines.[39] The People’s Defense Force (PDF), made up of former Tatmadaw soldiers and officers and operating in lower Karen State, admits to AP mine use for night perimeter defense of mobile camps.[40]

Political Organization
Armed Wing
Cease-fire?
AP Mine User?
Producer?
Stockpile?
Mines in territory?
ARAKAN STATE
1
Arakan Liberation Party
Arakan Liberation Army
No
?
?
?
Yes
2
Arakan Army of Arakan Land (a.k.a. NUPA)
Arakan Army
No
Likely
Likely
Likely
Yes
29
Rohingya Solidarity Organization
Rohingya Army
No
Yes
?
Yes
Yes
3
Democratic Party Arakan (former NUFA)
Arakan Peoples Army
No
?
?
?
Yes
4
Arakan Rohingya National Organization
Rohingya National Army
No
Command Detonated
No
Yes
Yes
CHIN STATE
5
Chin National Front
Chin National Army
No
Command Detonated
Claim No
Yes
Yes
KACHIN STATE
8
Kachin Independence Organization
Kachin Independency Army
Yes
Not currently
Former
Likely
Yes
9
(former KIA 4th Brigade)
Kachin Democratic Army
Yes
?
?
?
Yes
13
(former CPB 101)
New Democratic Army
Yes
?
?
?
Yes
SHAN STATE
26
Restoration Council of Shan State (alliance SURA, former MTA)
Shan State Army
Partial
Command Detonated
Claim No
Yes
Yes
10
United Wa Organization
United Wa State Army
Yes
Likely
Former
?
Yes
11
Shan State Nationalities Peoples Liberation Organization
Shan State Nationalities Peoples Liberation Organization
Yes
?
?
?
Yes
12
Palaung Peoples Liberation Organization
Palaung State Liberation Army
Yes
?
?
?
Yes
14
Wa National Organization
Wa National Army
No
?
?
?
Yes
15
(former CPB 815)
National Democratic Alliance Army
Yes
?
?
?
Yes
KARENNI STATE
16
(former CPB ally)
Karenni National Peoples Liberation Forces
Yes
Likely
Likely
Likely
Yes
17
Karenni National Progressive Party
Karenni Army
Broken
Yes
Yes
Likely
Yes
18
Karenni National Democratic Front
Karenni National Democratic Army
Yes
Likely
Likely
Likely
Yes
KAREN STATE
19
Karen National Union
Karen National Liberation Army
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
20
Democratic Karen Buddhist Organization
Democratic Karen Buddhist Army
No
Yes
Likely
Yes
Yes
21
All Burma Students Democratic Front
All Burma Students Democratic Front
No
Likely
Likely
Yes

22
All Burma Muslim Union
All Burma Muslim Union
No
?
?
?
Yes
27
Peoples Defense Forces
Peoples Defense Forces
No
Command Detonated
Claim No
Yes
Yes
23
Peoples Liberation Front
Peoples Liberation Front
No
?
?
?
Yes
MON STATE
24
New Mon State Party
Mon National Liberation Army
Yes
Former
Former
Yes
Yes
PEGU DIVISION
19
Karen National Union
Karen National Liberation Army
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
SAGAING DIVISION
6
Kuki National Front
Kuki National Army
No
?
?
?
Likely
7
National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang)
National Socialist Council of Nagaland
?
?
Likely
Likely
Likely
30
Zomi National Front
Zomi National Army
No
?
?
?
Likely
TENASSERIM DIVISION
25
Myeik-Dawei United Front
Myeik-Dawei United Front
No
Command Detonated
?
Yes
Yes
19
Karen National Union
Karen National Liberation Army
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
21
All Burma Students Democratic Front
All Burma Students Democratic Front
No
Command Detonated
Yes
Yes

28
[KNU break-away]
God's Army
No
Yes
?
Yes
Yes

Notes:

Cease-fire: Has negotiated cease-fire agreement with SLORC or SPDC.

AP Mine User: Is currently practicing mine warfare, either defensively or offensively.

Producer: Manufacture IEDs that have the characteristic of an antipersonnel landmine, or alter other munitions to serve as antipersonnel landmines.

Stockpile: Maintain a store of mines, or components, for use in warfare.

Mines in Territory: Mines now in the ground in their province or division of activity. Could be laid by themselves, allies or adversaries.

There are a variety of small self-proclaimed armed groups that are dysfunctional or not currently active that are not included.

Revolutionary political organizations, which do not maintain an armed wing, are not included.

Some of the armed ethnic organizations are primarily involved in the narcotics trade for self-perpetuation rather than any real political activity. (10, 13, 15) Several armed groups are quite small, and work only in alliance with other groups. (22,23)

Landmine Problem

Ten out of fourteen states and divisions in Burma are mine-affected, with a heavy concentration in eastern Burma. Mines are found widely in Karen, and Karenni states and the Tenasserim Division. The northwest frontier in Arakan State and a few areas of the western edge of Chin State and southern portions of Shan State are mined. There are also reports of landmines in Mon and Kachin States and the Bago Division.

There are landmines planted along the majority of Burma’s border with Thailand and there is in essence a massive boundary minefield that runs virtually the entire length of Burma's border with Bangladesh, beginning a few miles from the termination of the water border along the Naf river, up to the Tri-Border junction with India. One officer interviewed specified that landmines can be found beginning at border post 31 running right up to the border with India.[41] The mines were laid in 1993 after a massive departure by a quarter of a million Rohingya people in 1991 and 1992.[42] There are also mines in a few scattered and remote areas along the borders with China and India.

There are no reliable estimates of the number of mines planted in Burma, or the amount of land affected.

Mine Clearance and Mine Awareness

There are no humanitarian mine clearance operations in Burma. Some ethnic armed groups have lifted mines in their areas.

The Myanmar Red Cross has stated that it is not considering mobilizing a landmine awareness program, or surveying mine victim needs. The Myanmar Red Cross believes “the problem is going away” since “the government has signed peace agreements with all but one armed group,” and therefore they should not waste scarce resources on this issue.[43]

Atrocity Demining

In a particularly ugly practice, Tatmadaw units operating in theaters of conflict near Myanmar's border with Thailand have repeatedly been accused of forcing the local population to walk in front of Tatmadaw soldiers in areas suspected of mine contamination.[44] There have been new reports of this “human minesweeping” in late 1999 and early 2000: in Karen State in the Dooplaya District,[45] south of the Karen State capital Hpa-an,[46] during military assaults on Shan State Army positions near Tachilek in Shan State,[47] and during the operations against God's Army camps in the Tenasserim Division.[48] Danish doctors interviewing Burmese refugees in Thailand in 1998 and 1999 received numerous reports of human mine-sweeping.[49]

Landmine Casualties

Landmine Monitor estimates that conflict in Burma produced approximately 1,500 mine victims in 1999 alone. This estimate is based on a compilation of statistics from the Karen State from 1998 suggesting that this single state produces nearly one civilian landmine amputee per day,[50] as well as statistics given by the government’s National Rehabilitation Center in Rangoon and by Handicap International on the Burma-Thai border, and the number of prosthetic components given to the military by the ICRC (until recently). It assumes there are two military casualties for every one civilian victim, since mines are used mostly in theaters of conflict where the civilian population has either been forcibly removed or has fled, and that 30 percent of the victims die prior to any medical care.

The U.S. State Department estimated 1,500 victims per year in Burma in a 1994 report.[51] This could mean that the number of mine victims in Burma has been holding steady, at a very high level, for many years.

A recent report by a group of Danish doctors who interviewed 120 refugees from Burma at refugee camps in Thailand in both 1998 and 1999 found that 30% of the subjects they interviewed knew of a person who had suffered a landmine incident. In 40% of these cases, the interviewee’s relationship to the person was family member. Victims reported through this study were between 8-55 years of age, and 90% were male. 30% of the time the victim is reported to have died from the injuries. Survivors lost a limb in 87% of the cases. In about half the cases, the activity that the victims were involved in was field work; the other half were reported to occur during service as a military porter or as forced labor to detonate mines by walking in front of troops (human mine-sweeping).[52]

Despite the fact that military mine victims can be seen in border areas of the country, the Ministry of Defense maintains that there are no military victims of landmines.[53] There is no centralized agency collecting statistics on landmine survivors within Burma.

One news article looking at mine incidents on the Burma-Bangladesh border states that in the past six years there have been 170 victims, of which 50 have died. Victims included both Burmese and Bangladeshi citizens.[54] A list assembled by the Bangladesh Rifles indicates one hundred deaths were attributable to mines up to 1999.

There are other victims of mines: more than twenty elephants have died due to mines along the Bangladesh border, with still more on the Thai border. In Bangladesh the elephants have now changed their migration routes causing them to become a problem in nearby Bangladeshi agricultural areas that they had previously avoided.[55] One event that brought mine laying along the Thai/Burma border into the headlines this year was when an elephant triggered a mine. She survived and received a prosthetic leg.[56] There is a major black market in cattle in the region, and many cattle are killed by mines as traders cross the border with them. Also, villagers living near the border region have lost many cattle to mines.[57]

Survivor Assistance

Several medical practitioners believe that 50% of all people wounded by landmines die before receiving medical treatment, and at least one close observer of the situation in Karen State believes that figure is conservative.[58] Access to first aid and surgical care is dependent on the victim's physical distance from health care facilities and the prevailing security situation in the area at the time of the accident. Mine victims have reported travelling hours or even days in order to receive care. Medical care received prior to surgery is primitive and depends on whether a medic is on hand.[59]

The medical system in Myanmar has been devastated by neglect. Medical practitioners in public hospitals receive a monthly salary of US$5.[60] Unless a victim can pay for care at public or private health facilities, no care is available. In two cases told to Landmine Monitor researchers, victims of Tatmadaw-laid mines were intercepted by soldiers before they could reach a hospital and turned back with the warning that they should not reveal the cause of their injury.[61]

The Myanmar Ministry of Health provides prosthetic devices through the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC). The NRC receives no funding from the government for outreach to the nation. All patients must reach the Centre on their own. There has been no systematic distribution of information through Myanmar's health care system about the NRC, and the Director concedes many health practitioners in the country may not even be aware of the Centre’s existence. The NRC has two branches, one in Rangoon, and a second in Mandalay, each with a maximum capacity of about thirty in-patients per month. The two NRC facilities, and the Ministry of Defense hospital in Mingaladon near Rangoon, are the only facilities in the country currently providing artificial legs. An additional ICRC constructed facility in the Maymyo military hospital is currently not functional. The majority of the Centre's patients arrive under a joint ICRC-NRC program from Shan, Karen and Karenni States and the Bago Division.

The NRC provides limited statistics on its patients. Between 1990-1998 it fitted almost 1,400 patients with artificial limbs, of which more than 70% were victims of landmines.[62] Between April-September 1999, the NRC provided services for 157 landmine victims.[63]

No information is available from the government on victim assistance through hospitals under the management of the Ministry of Defense, but ICRC statistics indicate military hospitals may be providing more than twice as many prosthetics as the civilian system.[64]

There is one vocational rehabilitation center in Rangoon run by the Ministry of Health. A second facility for the vocational rehabilitation of amputees is being constructed in Rangoon by an international NGO.

An independent, ethnic-based, mobile medical organization named the Back Pack Health Worker Team (BPHWT) operates in ethnic resistance areas of Mon, Karen, Karenni and Shan States. These medics offer a variety of primary and emergency services. They have received training in amputation from a U.S.-based medical organization, and held a special workshop in Thailand in mid-July 1999 on Trauma & Landmines. All medics have been trained in emergency amputation surgery. Surgeries are performed on sterilized plastic sheets on the floor of huts in the nearest village. Landmine Monitor researchers were asked for bone saws, as the backpack medics complained their saws were now dull.[65]

<BHUTAN | PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA>

[1] The military junta now controlling the government of the country changed the name from Burma to Myanmar. Many ethnic groups within the country still prefer to use the name Burma. In this report, Myanmar is used when referring to the policies and practices of the State Peace and Development Council, and Burma is used otherwise.
[2] Explanation of Abstention of vote by the Representative of Myanmar during the 54th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Resolution A/C.1/54/L.2 (no date).
[3] Diplomatic Handbook, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yangon, pp. 313-314. Interview with unnamed Foreign Affairs personnel, August and October 1999.
[4] Letter to the Landmine Monitor from Ambassador Tin Winn, Embassy of the Union of Myanmar, Washington DC, 16 July 1999; http://www.icbl.org/lm/comments.html While welcoming comment from the SPDC, Landmine Monitor researchers have repeatedly asked the SPDC for assistance and information on the range of landmine issues within the country, and received none. In attempting to develop dialogue on the issue, Landmine Monitor researchers delivered an advance draft of this 2000 report for comment and suggestion. No response has been received.
[5] CRPP, Endorsement of the Committee Representing the Peoples Parliament of the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, January 2000.
[6] Interview with David McCracken, Technical Advisor for Mine Action, Thai Mine Action Center, October 1999. The Type 59 copy has been modified with a weather cap. Another source indicates the mines are produced by the Kahpasa at factories in Pyay and Ma-gway. Andrew Selth, Transforming the Tatmadaw (Canberra: Strategic Defence Studies Centre), pp. 30-35.
[7] Interviews with ethnic militia members in Burma, December 1999.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Unnamed source, Ministry of Defense, Rangoon, February 2000.
[10] Letter to the Landmine Monitor from Ambassador Tin Winn, Embassy of the Union of Myanmar, Washington DC, 16 July 1999.
[11] Press briefing at Bright Shan Mountain Camp by Col. Yod Serk, Military Commander, Shan State Army, December 1999.
[12] Karen Human Rights Group, “Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts: Villagers Flee as SPDC Troops Resume Burning and Landmining of Villages,” 25 April 2000.
[13] Letter from former military advisor to the ethnic resistance, sent to Landmine Monitor, 11 November 1999. See also, Karen Human Rights Group, “Beyond all Endurance: The Breakup of Karen Villages in Southeastern Pa'an District,” 20 December 1999, pp. 22-27.
[14] Interview with People’s Defense Forces, Foreign Affairs and Military Liaison officers, Songklaburi, Thailand, December 1999; interview with Thai Border Police Officer, March 2000.
[15] Interview with Thai military based on the border, September 1999.
[16] KNLA troops overran one forward Tatmadaw base in March 2000, apparently obtaining landmines and documents related to mine laying operations in Thailand by the Tatmadaw. These documents subsequently made their way to Thai authorities, copies of which were made available to Landmine Monitor. The authenticity of the documents cannot be completely verified.
[17] “Thai Soldiers wounded by Junta's Landmines,” Bangkok Post, 18 November 1999; “Landmines: Burma row leaves border vulnerable,” Bangkok Post, 19 January 2000; “Ranger loses leg to mine,” The Nation, 19 January 2000; “Landmine Kills 4 Soldiers at Suan Phung,” The Nation, 21 January 2000; “Landmine blast injuries Thai soldiers,” The Nation, 1 February 2000; “Border patrol—Five soldiers hurt by landmine,” Bangkok Post, 2 February 2000; “Landmine blast injures four soldiers,” The Nation, 4 February 2000.
[18] Interviews with former Tatmadaw officers, August and December 1999. Sometimes different terms, such as “reclaimed” or “neglected,” were used instead of “lost” mines.
[19] Chakma villager from Walidong in Burma interviewed by Arakan armed opposition in Bangladesh, as told to Landmine Monitor/Bangladesh researcher.
[20] Interviews with villagers living near the Burma border, Bangladesh, November 1999.
[21] Interview with Bangladesh government officials, October 1999; interviews with humanitarian agencies working at the Bangladesh-Burma border, August 1999.
[22] Interview with Bangladesh government officer, October 1999.
[23] Mohammad Nurul Islam, “Where landmines take a heavy toll,” The Independent, 28 May 1999, p. 14.
[24] Interview with Bangladesh government official, August 1999.
[25] Interviews with former Tatmadaw officers, August and December 1999.
[26] Based on numerous interviews with ethnic militias, military officers, refugees, aid workers, governmental authorities and other observers.
[27] For more details on production, see Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 448. Until the Mong Tai Army (MTA) of Khun Sa capitulated to the government in early 1996, the MTA had the most sophisticated mine production capacity of any ethnic group, with factories at Ho Mong with lathes, milling equipment, and a foundry. They produced a stake mounted fragmentation mine similar to the Kahpasa-produced MM2 mine. The facilities came under government control and 2,000 MTA mines were reportedly destroyed. Landmine Monitor correspondence with William Ashton, military analyst and freelance author, 7 May 2000, and notes from Ashton field trip, November-December 1999.
[28] Photographic evidence given to Landmine Monitor by unnamed expatriate working among Christian ethnic communities on the Thai-Burma frontier.
[29] Interviews with ethnic combatants, November and December 1999.
[30] Interviews with ethnic militia members in Burma, December 1999.
[31] Interview with former military advisor to the ethnic resistance, February 1999.
[32] Based on numerous interviews with ethnic militias, military officers, refugees, aid workers, governmental authorities and other observers.
[33] Interview with ethnic militia officer, December 1999; press briefing at Bright Shan Mountain Camp by Col. Yod Serk, military commander, Shan State Army, December 1999.
[34] Karen Human Rights Group, “Beyond all endurance: The Breakup of Karen Villages in Southeastern Pa'an District,” 20 December 1999, pp. 22-27.
[35] Letter from former military advisor to the ethnic resistance, sent to Landmine Monitor, 11 November 1999.
[36] Emergency Press Release of God's Army People. Undated. Copy of document given to the Landmine Monitor, February 2000.
[37] “Opinion of Standing Executive Committee of RCSS and Shan State Army–South on Anti-Personnel Landmines,” undated, received in email to Landmine Monitor researcher in March 2000, circulated by ICBL on 3 April 2000.
[38] Press briefing at Bright Shan Mountain Camp, December 1999.
[39] Interviews with ethnic militia members, June 1999.
[40] Interview with PDF officers, Sangklaburi, Thailand, December 1999.
[41] Interview with Bangladesh Rifles (border forces) commander, Chittagong, 30 November 1999.
[42] International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH), “Burma: Repression, Discrimination and Ethnic Cleansing in Arakan,” Report of International Mission of Inquiry, April 2000, p. 24.
[43] Interview with Dr. Kyaw Win, President of the Myanmar Red Cross Society, Rangoon, October 1999.
[44] For more detail, see Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 452.
[45] Karen Human Rights Group, “Starving Them Out, Forced Relocations, Killings and the Systematic Starvation of Villagers in Dooplaya District,” March 2000, p. 34; William Barnes, “Karen flee army roundups of ‘human minesweepers,’” South China Morning Post, 2 September 1999.
[46] Karen Human Rights Group, “Beyond all endurance,” 20 December 1999, pp. 22-27.
[47] Shan Human Rights Foundation, Monthly Report, January 2000, pp. 1, 4.
[48] Interview with refugee living in border camp across from Tenaserrim Division of Myanmar, 17 April 2000.
[49] Hans Draminsky Peterson, et al., “Results of Medical Examination of Refugees from Burma,” Danish Medical Bulletin, Vol. 45, No. 3, 3 June 1998, pp. 313-316; and Hans Draminsky Peterson, et al., “Human Rights Violations in Burma/Myanmar in 1999,” Report of Fact-finding Mission in December 1999, Danish Medical Group, Danchurch Aid and Amnesty International (Denmark), 14 March 2000.
[50] 1,198 medical records from Township Medical officers in districts within Hpa-an District.
[51] U.S. Department of State, “Hidden Killers: The Global Landmine Crisis,” December 1994, p. 18.
[52] Hans Draminsky Peterson, et al., Danish Medical Bulletin, 3 June 1998, pp. 313-316; and Hans Draminsky Peterson, et al., Report of Fact-finding Mission in December 1999, Danish Medical Group, Danchurch Aid and Amnesty International (Denmark), 14 March 2000.
[53] Interview with health workers, Rangoon, 25 April 2000.
[54] Mohammad Nurul Islam, “Where landmines take a heavy toll,” The Independent, 28 May 1999, p. 14.
[55] Interview with Buddhist monk doing development work in border communities, Chittagong, 4 December 1999.
[56] Somsak Suksai, “Elephants face risks in mine-strewn area,” Bangkok Post, 10 September 1999. Sakchai Lalit, “Thai Elephant Steps on Landmine,” AP Online, 24 August 1999; “Motala's jumbo operation,” The Sunday Nation, 29 August 1999; “Vets encouraged by Motala's initial recovery,” The Nation, 31 August 1999; “New limb offers for Motala,” Bangkok Post, 7 September 1999.
[57] Interview with Arakan insurgent, Chittagong, 3 December 1999.
[58] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 453.
[59] Landmine Monitor 1999 Burma (Myanmar) report
[60] Interview with WHO official in Yangon, January 2000. Also, “Human Development in Myanmar,” United Nations Working Group, July 1998, p.14.
[61] Interviews with displaced persons living in Thailand, December 1999.
[62] National Rehabilitation Centre statistics and Landmine Monitor interview with Dr. Ye Hliang, Director, NRC, August 1999.
[63] National Rehabilitation Centre statistics provided to the Association for Aid and Relief-Japan, December 1999.
[64] The ICRC was providing components for prosthetics to hospitals under the Ministry of Defense in Rangoon and Maymyo. ICRC, “Tables and Graphs 1979-1998,” dated 8 June 1999. Currently they are awaiting a new proposal to undertake support for the Ministry of Defense hospitals. If figures provided by the ICRC and the NRC are compared, then Ministry of Defense hospitals are providing 2.5 times the prosthetics distributed through the civilian system.
[65] Interviews with BPHWT medics at training program on Trauma & Landmines in Mae Sot, Thailand, July 1999.