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Table of Contents
Country Reports
Burma (Myanmar)1 , Landmine Monitor Report 2003

Burma (Myanmar)[1]

Key developments since May 2002: Myanmar’s military has continued laying landmines. At least 15 rebel groups also used mines, two more than last year: the New Mon State Party and the Hongsawatoi Restoration Party. Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and ICBL Coordinator Liz Bernstein visited the country in February 2003.

Mine Ban Policy

Myanmar’s ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Myanmar abstained from voting on the pro-Mine Ban Treaty UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74 in November 2002. SPDC delegates have not attended any of the annual meetings of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty or the intersessional Standing Committee meetings. Myanmar was one of the two ASEAN countries that did not participate in the seminar, “Landmines in Southeast Asia,” hosted by Thailand from 13 to 15 May 2002. Myanmar is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, which urged its members to join the Mine Ban Treaty during its summit in Kuala Lumpur in February 2003. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it could not find anyone who could answer the questions sent by Landmine Monitor in January and February 2003.[2]

On 17 February 2003, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Rangoon hosted a Briefing Session on Landmine Issues in Myanmar, which was attended by representatives from five UN agencies and eleven international and local NGOs. The session was organized to discuss the landmine crisis with Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, ICBL Coordinator Liz Bernstein, and the Landmine Monitor Burma/Myanmar researcher. The UNDP stated that attendance was the highest of any of the thematic meetings held within the UN compound and this suggests the level of concern regarding this issue. UN agencies are at present considering moves to implement their mandate on the mine ban with all the interested parties within the country.[3]

Nonviolence International’s (NI) Southeast Asia office continued its Mine Ban Advocacy, Research and Action Program focused on Burma; the program seeks to engage the ruling military authorities, the opposition National League of Democracy, and armed non-state actors (NSAs) within the country in dialog and action on a landmine ban. NI has published the Landmine Monitor report in Burmese every year since 1999 and distributed it both within the country and along the border regions where the mine problem is particularly severe. NI has also translated the Mine Ban Treaty and other materials into Burmese for distribution, and developed a special kit to educate and encourage unilateral cessation of mine use by NSAs. In September 2002, it published a special report entitled “Impact of Landmines on Burma 2002.”

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling

Myanmar has been producing at least three types of antipersonnel mines: MM1, MM2, and Claymore-type mines.[4] Myanmar is not known to have imported or exported any antipersonnel mines during this reporting period. The Myanmar military transferred arms, including landmines, to the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) in the past, according to a DKBA corporal.[5] The Myanmar government will release no official information about the types and quantities of antipersonnel mines it stockpiles. As previously reported in Landmine Monitor, Myanmar has obtained and used antipersonnel mines of Chinese, Israeli, Italian, Russian, United States, and unidentified manufacture.[6]

Use

Myanmar’s military forces have used landmines extensively throughout the long running civil war. Previous editions of Landmine Monitor Report have identified the units responsible and the locations of most significant use. During this reporting period, it appears that mines were laid most extensively in Karen State. In the Pa-an District in Karen State, villagers stated that SPDC soldiers laid mines on all easy approaches to their camps, and that every camp had a 50-meter landmine risk radius.[7] On 18 March 2002, villagers living in and around the Yay Tho Gyi village in Karenni State were advised by a printed notice that all footpaths to the village had been mined and that they should use the motor road only.[8]

The Trauma Care Foundation Burma (TCFB) reports that in the Papun District of Karen State on 5 May 2002, a combined force of SPDC and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army soldiers attacked and burned to the ground their trauma clinic and the Northern Karen Prosthesis workshop. A person from a nearby village was injured by a landmine while fleeing the fighting, and treated by a TCFB medic before being evacuated to the Malteser Germany clinic on the Thai border. The TCFB claims that the troops laid 50 landmines on the former clinic site and in surrounding villages before withdrawing, later causing injuries to at least four more people, including a medic attached to the All Burma Students Democratic Front.[9]

The Na Sa Ka used to plant new mines after the monsoon season, which usually ends in mid-September.[10] Since 2001, Na Sa Ka has not laid any new mines after the monsoon.[11]

Non-State Actors

Burma has a large number of armed political organizations operating within its borders. At least fifteen ethnic and rebel armed groups are believed to have used antipersonnel mines recently. These include: the Pao People’s Liberation Front; All Burma Muslim Union; Wa National Army; Rohingya Solidarity Organization; Chin National Army; Shan State Army; United Wa State Army; Karenni Army; Karen National Liberation Army; Democratic Karen Buddhist Army; All Burma Students Democratic Front; People’s Defence Forces; and Myiek-Dawei United Front. In addition, two groups using mines for the first time during 2002 are the New Mon State Party (NMSP), previously only reported to be holding stocks but not using them due to their agreement to cease hostilities with the SPDC, and the Hongsawatoi Restoration Party, itself an NMSP splinter group. [12]

The Rohingya Solidarity Organization allegedly laid mines in late 2002 in their operational area along the Burma/Bangladesh border. The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) is believed to maintain at least two extensive minefields in the Pa-an district of Karen State; the KNLA states that the mines are needed to protect internally displaced Karen people (estimated to be hundreds of thousands) from attacks by the Myanmar Army.[13]

Several armed militias are capable of building blast and fragmentation mines or victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The DKBA now manufacturing a Claymore-type directional fragmentation mine.[14] Several groups admit to having antipersonnel mine stockpiles, though none will reveal quantities. At least several hundred landmines in NSA arsenals have come from lifting SPDC-laid mines, or from SPDC stocks seized during operations. NSAs have, in some cases, re-laid these SPDC mines.[15]

The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), which has used mines in the past, agreed to hold talks with the SPDC in November 2002. The KNPP brought a nine-point set of demands to the discussion table, including that the Myanmar Army stop laying landmines in Karenni State. The talks, however, failed to reach any agreement.[16]

Landmine Problem

Nine out of fourteen states and divisions in Burma are mine-affected, with a heavy concentration in East Burma.[17] Mines have been laid heavily in the Eastern Pegu Division in order to prevent insurgents from reaching central Burma.[18] Mines have also been laid extensively to the east of the area between Swegin and Kyawgyi.[19]

The Dawna mountain range and Moi riverside close to the Thai-Burma border is reportedly heavily mined.[20] Some mountains in Karen State, formerly used as fire bases by the KNLA, have been “no go” areas for over a decade due to severe mine infestation.[21] Areas to the north, east, and south of Papun and to the west, south, and north of Myawadi are heavily mine-affected,[22] as well as areas in the Dooplaya District of Karen State bordering on Thailand.[23]

The Myanmar Army lays mines close to areas of civilian activity allegedly to prevent people from returning to their native villages after forced eviction during counterinsurgency campaigns.[24] Interview records with mine survivors show that more than 14 percent are injured within half a kilometer of village centers. The same records reveal that 63 percent of civilian survivors crossed the area they were injured in many times before they stepped on the mine.[25]

Mines were laid in Mon State as fighting took place between two armed organizations within the Mon community. Mines were laid around the Halochanee Refugee Camp near the Burma/Thai border.[26]

A group of 300 people fleeing into northern Thailand from military activity in Shan State were reportedly afraid to cross the border due to the presence of mines, which had already injured three other people seeking refuge, according to an aid group which monitors refugee flows.[27]

Mines have been laid along much of the Bangladesh/Burma border (see previous Landmine Monitor reports), which remain in the ground and continue to claim victims despite continued diplomatic protests by Bangladesh. Some areas of the India/Burma border are also mined.

Antipersonnel mines planted by both government forces and ethnic armed groups have injured and killed not only enemy combatants, but also their own troops, civilians, and animals. Interviews with mine survivors reveal that more than 40 percent of KNLA mine casualties were self-inflicted (injury or death while laying, lifting, or stepping on their own mines, or those of their comrades). No systematic marking of mined areas is carried out in Burma. In some cases, mine victims saw some indications, such as dead bodies, crosses cut in trees, parts of mines and wires, or other vague warnings. Although combatants have repeatedly told Landmine Monitor researchers that they give “verbal warnings” to civilians living near areas which they mine, not a single civilian mine survivor interviewed by Nonviolence International during the past three years has ever mentioned or reported being given a verbal warning.[28]

Hillsides surrounding the Lawpita hydroelectric power station in central Karenni state have been mined to secure it from attack by rebel groups. The Yadana Mountain in central Karenni State has also been heavily mined by rebel and Myanmar Army units, both of whom run gem mines on the mountain. Cattle traders have lost several cattle when crossing this area and now avoid it.[29]

Some Karen villages in the Pa-an District have had to re-locate three times after being burnt and mined.[30] Villagers in this area were able to identify six different types of mines. Out of 30 heads of households assembled for interviews regarding the location of dangerous mined areas, however, only five of them, all male, could state that they knew the danger areas, even though the entire village regularly visited mined areas for foraging and farming.[31] In mid-March 2002, villagers were warned that all paths except the motor road were mined to prevent insurgents from attacking a military base within the town.[32]

Mine Clearance and Mine Risk Education

No humanitarian demining activities have been implemented in Burma. In Karen State, a group of villagers carried out clearance with a simple consumer quality metal detector and a rake.[33] Several rebel groups have mine detection equipment.[34]

Mine risk education (MRE) is rarely available to ordinary people in Burma. Handicap International has run a MRE program in three refugee camps in Thailand along the Burma border since June 2001. The target audience is Burmese refugees in Thailand. Nonviolence International facilitated an advanced MRE program for cross border medical workers in January 2003.[35] The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) reports that it carried out a five-day MRE Workshop (funded by AusAID) in Mawlaimyaing, Mon State, in June 2003.[36]

Some villagers have stated that they get information on potentially mined and dangerous areas from people who are taken to serve as porters for military columns.[37] One area in Tongoo District, which was mined by the SPDC, was posted with a red and white hand-painted sign by the local military personnel.[38]

Atrocity Demining

SPDC military units operating in areas suspected of mine contamination have repeatedly been accused of forcing people, compelled to serve as porters, to walk in front of patrols in order to detonate mines.[39] In November 2002 in northern Karen State, villagers claimed they had to send two new people each morning to check puddles with their hands for landmines. They said that the military used villagers to sweep for mines rather than equipment because this would deter the rebels from laying them. In the same area in November and December 2002, villagers reported having to roll drums of tar for 6 to 8 miles a day along a roadway to trigger any mines.[40]

On 10 January 2002, 300 prisoners from Mandalay, Pyay, Insein, Toungoo, and five other prisons were sent as porters to the SPDC military offensive in Karen State. Only 75 returned to the prison alive; 150 died outright, 50 were maimed and sent to hospital, the others escaped. Those who died are reported to have perished from malaria, in battle or after being used as human mine sweepers.[41]

Landmine Casualties

In 2002, there were at least 114 new landmine casualties reported in Burma. Although landmine casualties appear to be increasing, especially during the last five to six years, the total number of casualties in Burma remains unknown. In 2001, information was available on 57 new mine casualties. Systematic collection of data remains difficult, especially in relation to those who are killed rather than injured in an incident.[42] Of the reported casualties in 2002, only one person, a military officer, was reported as being killed.

Médecins Sans Frontières treated or transferred for treatment 47 people with landmine injuries in 2002.[43] Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand admitted about 54 Burmese landmine casualties in 2002.[44] Three people with landmine injuries were reported near Mae O Palu in Karen State, across from the Tha Song Yang District of Thailand. Landmines were hung in trees near the village, possibly as a warning to villagers of mines in the area.[45] In June and July 2002, four villagers in both Pa’an and Nyanglebin Districts were reportedly injured or killed by SPDC laid landmines.[46] A Burmese military officer was reportedly killed when he wandered into an unmarked mined area north of Maungdaw town on the Naf River, near the Bangladesh/Burma border.[47] In an effort to clear the area, commencing at Border Post 3, a group of villagers, including two “Bangladeshi intruders” were forced to participate in mine clearance by driving their cattle and buffalo into the area. This led to the death of many of the animals; no other human casualties were reported. The Trauma Care Foundation Burma (TCFB) reported that five people had been injured in separate mine incidents in the Papun District in May 2002.[48]

Landmines, almost never acknowledged within the country, featured in an unusual media report in 2002. On Myanmar TV, the case of a 13-year-old female landmine casualty was documented, blaming the injury on the Chin National Army, who later retaliated by accusing the Burmese Army of laying the mine.[49]

Casualties continue to be reported in 2003: in January, six people traveling in Karen state in the township of Bu Tho were injured when a mine hung in a tree exploded;[50] and in May, four people were killed and eight injured, including two porters and ten soldiers, when four mines exploded during an alleged mine-laying operation in southeastern Burma.[51]

In January 2003, a 23-year-old elephant was injured by a landmine on the Burma side of the border with Thailand near Umpang, followed in February 2003 by a 26-year-old elephant injured by a landmine near Mae Ramet. Both were transported to the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) elephant hospital in northern Thailand, and are likely to survive despite both losing about 70 percent of flesh from a foot.[52] The Elephant hospital has treated eight elephant mine casualties in the last few years; all stepped on mines on the Burma side of the border; seven survived. Others are reported to have perished prior to receiving treatment. The cost of care for the three mine injured elephants at the hospital is Thai Baht 100,000 (US$2,300) per month.[53]

Landmine Survivor Executions

Credible allegations of executions of civilian and military mine casualties from the area of the Burma/Bangladesh border have been collected by Landmine Monitor. According to witnesses, the executions in each case are alleged to have been carried out by Na Sa Ka officers.[54] In one case, an elderly member of the Kumi community, who was forced to work as a military porter near the tri-border area (India/Bangladesh/Burma), was executed after stepping on a landmine and pleading for help. In another incident, a military medic who had been seriously injured by a landmine was executed. The executions were justified by Na Sa Ka as mercy killings because of an absolute lack of medical facilities in the mine-contaminated area of the Burmese border area.

Survivor Assistance

Availability of medical care depends on where the mine incident occurred, with an average of 12 hours elapsing before first medical attention. After the emergency care, the majority of landmine survivors are hospitalized in Thailand.[55] In 2002, the ICRC supported local health care centers in the areas affected by fighting to improve the quality of care available to the sick and war-wounded, including mine casualties. Medical supplies and instruments were provided to three hospitals in eastern Shan state and one in Karen state. Six hospitals were completely renovated and a health care center was rebuilt in Mong Pu On. The ICRC also covered the cost of treatment for war-wounded patients in Burma and in Thailand.[56]

Survivor assistance for Burmese mine casualties comes from three main sources: assistance from the public health system; assistance available from non-state sources; and assistance from neighboring states as many members of mine-affected communities have fled the country to seek asylum, or are in rebel controlled areas.

Survivor Assistance Within Myanmar

Survivor assistance continues to be marginal due to the neglected and impoverished state of the medical system in Myanmar.[57] According to limited interviews with landmine survivors within Burma, military survivors received better treatment than civilians, and were more likely to have post-injury employment opportunities.

Physical rehabilitation and prosthetics are available to landmine survivors within Myanmar through the National Rehabilitation Centers (NRC), provided they can travel to the workshops. The ICRC runs a joint program with the NRCs to provide rehabilitation and prosthetic devices at six centers, two of which are run by the Ministry of Defense and four by the Ministry of Health. There are two centers in Rangoon, and one in Mandalay, Maymyo, Hpa-an, and Yenanthar. The new center in Hpa-an, the capital of the Karen State, was opened by the ICRC and Myanmar Red Cross, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, in September 2002. The Myanmar Red Cross registers and refers amputees to the centers while the ICRC covers the costs of transport, lodging, and food during the time needed for fitting. The ICRC organizes regular refresher courses for technicians, and has trained orthopedic surgeons from Mandalay Hospital in basic prosthetics.[58] Prostheses are provided free of charge through these hospitals. The ICRC is the only organization directly assisting amputees in the country. In 2002, the NRCs produced 1,530 prostheses, of which 1,080 were for mine survivors, and distributed 437 pairs of crutches.[59]

NGOs provide some vocational training for persons with disabilities in Myanmar. The Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR) in Rangoon has been providing training in tailoring and hair cutting since March 2000; over 150 people have received training, of which about 20 percent are landmine survivors. The Myanmar Council of Churches (MCC) regularly conducts vocational training programs for disabled persons in different States and Divisions in Myanmar, and some of their trainees are mine survivors.

Survivor Assistance Within NSA Areas or Among the Internally Displaced

In areas close to its borders where ethnic-based militias may control or access territory, some minimal care is provided by relief and medical teams attached to the NSAs. The Back Pack Health Worker Team (BPHWT) also provides some emergency care for casualties in NSA-controlled areas of Mon, Karen, Karenni, and Shan States.[60]

The Trauma Care Foundation Burma (TCFB) has sought to establish a ‘chain of survival’ network within non-SPDC accessible or controlled sections of Burma to improve pre-hospital survival possibilities for the war injured. Since 2001, 774 people completed the three-day Village First Helpers (VFH) training course. The TCFB reports that in 2002, 52 percent of all cases of war injuries registered by medical services in ethnic controlled areas were first treated by VFH graduates, up from 15 percent in 2001. The TCFB also runs a Basic Life Support Training Program and an Advanced Life Support Training Program for medics operating in theaters of conflict in Burma. Since 2001, 397 medics have completed the basic course and 41 have completed the advanced course that enables them to teach the VFH and Basic techniques.[61]

Available medical care remains unpredictable as it relies on mobile medical staff being in the area at the time of need. Rugged terrain, and the general chaos and insecurity of civil war makes providing trained medical care very difficult. International NGOs active in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border have not pursued the provision of cross-border medical care to NSA-controlled areas due to the presence of landmines.[62]

The Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) runs a prosthetics workshop in the Kho Kay area of Karen State. In 2002, 29 amputees were fitted with prostheses; all but two were landmine survivors.[63] Medical organizations such as BPHWT refer mine survivors to the CIDKP workshop.

Survivor Assistance Available to Burmese Mine Survivors in Neighboring States

In areas near its borders, the security situation and poor internal facilities drive some Burmese to seek access to medical services in neighboring states. The Mae Tao Clinic, which is located near the Thai-Burma border, as well as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), American Refugee Committee (ARC), Aide Medicale International (AMI), and Malteser Germany (MHD), all provide emergency referral in Thailand for war injury survivors who arrive at their refugee camp facilities. In 2002, the ICRC established a War Wounded Program with three NGO partners: AMI, IRC and MHD, all of whom had emergency clinics in refugee camps. Under this program, the ICRC subsidized the cost of care in hospitals in Thailand for war wounded. Between January and December 2002, 20 people were treated; 75 percent were mine survivors.[64]

The closest and most easily accessible hospital in Thailand from Burma is in Mae Sot. The Mae Sot hospital recorded 68 patients treated for landmine injuries during 2002; 80 percent were from Burma.[65] The MSF treated 47 mine casualties during 2002; 96 percent were male. The average cost per person for injury care was US$513 (21,820 THB).[66] In the first quarter of 2003, MSF treated nine mine casualties.[67]

Both Thai and international organizations continue to provide prosthetics for refugees in Thailand. Handicap International operates four prosthetics workshops in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. In 2002, 137 prostheses were provided in seven refugee camps; 54 were for new amputees.[68]

Vocational training is available at two refugee camps, provided by the Karen Handicapped Welfare Association in Mae La camp, and the Disabled People’s Rehabilitation Team in Nu Po camp, run candle making, sewing, and mechanics training courses for people with disabilities. Handicap International supports these local groups financially. The Mae Tao clinic also runs a sewing training program for the disabled. Three of the instructors are landmine survivors.

Some Burmese landmine survivors in Thailand are not eligible for the official assistance offered by international organizations if they are not accepted into an organized refugee camp. Since April 2001, the Mae Tao Clinic in Thailand, which specializes in assisting Burmese migrants, has run a prosthetics ward. In 2002, it provided 150 free prostheses; 74 percent were for landmine survivors from four border-states, and 40 percent received prostheses for the first time. Three ethnic Shan landmine amputees completed a one-year apprenticeship program in March 2003 at the Mae Tao Clinic prosthetics workshop, and will be sent to the Shan State area to provide amputees with prosthetic limbs. The apprentice program has selected three further trainees for 2003, and has space for an additional three trainees as yet unselected. Clear Path International funded the prosthetics section in 2002.[69]

In July and August 2002, a team of medical specialists from the US ran training workshops at the Mae Tao Clinic on landmine injury management for the BHWT. The workshops included sessions on the management of traumatic injuries, amputation skills and chest trauma. Thirty-five health workers attended the training workshop. The Global Health Access Program organized the workshops.[70]

Disability Policy and Practice

No disability law exists in Myanmar. Landmine Monitor was told that a disability policy exists, but no one, not even institutions serving persons with disabilities, could give details of its contents. There is an initiative by Disabled People International (DPI) Thailand to improve the situation for persons with disabilities in Myanmar. DPI organized the First National Leadership Seminar for People with Disabilities in Rangoon from 20 to 22 February 2002. This was funded by the Japan Foundation. Acknowledging the lack of a clear disability policy, either in existence or implementation, DPI submitted a declaration from the seminar, encouraging the government to establish and implement disability laws.[71] The Myanmar authorities have not responded to questions on whether any action will be taken on these proposals.


[1] The military junta now ruling the country changed its 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] Original questions faxed and then personally handed over by Landmine Monitor researchers to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs officer. Repeated attempts to hold a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made between January and March 2003 proved unsuccessful.
[3] Interviews with UNDP staff, Rangoon, October and November 2002.
[4] For further details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2000 and 2001. Claymore mines have allegedly been used with victim activated tripwire fuzes. Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 518-519.
[5] Interview with DKBA by a human rights worker on the border, Mae Sot, Thailand, 21 March 2001. Transfers ceased in 2000.
[6] For further details see Landmine Monitor Report 2002 p. 625, and previous years.
[7] Chutimas Suksai, “Participatory Research on Sources of Insecurity in Gho Kay Village, Karen Liberated Area, Burma, 2002.” Research was conducted in late 2002 for the Small Arms Survey and Nonviolence International. An edited version is to be published in late 2003.
[8] Order published on 17 March by Strategic Operations Command Group of the Southern Command HQ. Copy of order obtained by Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) given to Landmine Monitor.
[9] Trauma Care Foundation Burma Report 2002, December 2002.
[10] For further details see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 433.
[11] Interview with the people living in the border area on 23 December 2002 and interview with BDR Naikongchari, 24 December 2002.
[12] Interviews with the leadership of various ethnic and rebel groups, Chaing Mai, Mae Hong Son, Mae Sariang, Mae Sot Kanchanaburi, and Sangkhlaburi, Thailand, from 2001 to 2003.
[13] Interview with Karen Human Rights Group member, Mae Sot, Thailand, 28 November 2001.
[14] Photographic evidence received by Landmine Monitor from Karen Human Rights Group, 31 March 2003. These mines have “Point Toward Enemy” painted on one face in English and Karen languages.
[15] Photographic evidence obtained by the Landmine Monitor in 2002 and 2003.
[16] Aung Su Shin, “Karenni Rebels in talks with Junta,” Irrawaddy, Burma, 4 November 2002. www.irrawaddy.org.
[17] Chin, Kachin, Karen (Kayin), Karenni (Kayah), Mon, Shan and Rakine States and the Pegu (Bago) and Tenasserium (Tanintharyi) Divisions.
[18] Interview with U Tin Oo, Co-chair of the National League for Democracy, in a report to Pinhero, UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Rangoon, 15 November 2002.
[19] “Papun & Nyaunglebin Districts: The SPDC’s Dry Season Offensive Operations,” Karen Human Rights Group Information Update, 5 April 2002, pp. 1, 3 (available: www.khrg.org).
[20] Interview with ex-DKBA commander in November 2001, see Nonviolence International, “Impact of Landmines in Burma 2002,” September 2002.
[21] Interview with ex-ABSDF commander, Chaing Mai, Thailand, 22 March 2002. He stated that these mountains were former guerrilla bases, but were mined heavily when they were forced to abandon them to prevent government forces from using them.
[22] Consolidation of Control: The SPDC and the DKBA in Pa’an District, KHRG newsletter #2002-U4, 7 September 2002. Also, Nonviolence International, “Impact of Landmines in Burma 2002,” September 2002. This data has been collected through direct interviews with 192 landmine victims from Burma between 1999-2002.
[23] “Operation Than L’Yet: Forced Displacement, Massacres and Forced Labor in Dooplaya District,” KHRG Newsletter #2002-U5, 25 September 2002.
[24] Karen Human Rights Group, “Papun and Nyaunglebin Districts: The SPDC’s Dry Season Offensive Operations,” 5 April 2002, pp. 1–3.
[25] Nonviolence International, “Impact of Landmines in Burma 2002,” Bangkok, September 2002.
[26] Report by staff of the Burma Border Consortium, Coordinating Committee Serving Displaced Persons in Thailand (CCSDPT) meeting, Bangkok, 14 August 2002.
[27] Verbal intervention at CCSDPT open meeting on Burma, Bangkok, 10 July 2002.
[28] Nonviolence International, “Impact of Landmines in Burma 2002,” Bangkok, September 2002.
[29] Landmine Monitor interview with inhabitants of Karenni state, Burma, 13 November 2002.
[30] Chutimas Suksai, “Participatory Research on Sources of Insecurity in Gho Kay village, Karen Liberated Area, Burma, 2002.”
[31] Ibid.
[32] Text of a notice provided by Karen Human Rights Group to Landmine Monitor by email, 31 March 2003. The notice, in Burmese, said that paths would be closed “with landmines starting on March 18th of year 2002 at 6 o’clock in the evening, you are informed.”
[33] Photographic evidence given to Landmine Monitor in an interview with the chief prosthetics technician of the Mae Tao Clinic, Mae Sot, Thailand, 28 November 2001.
[34] Photographic documentation from various sources, all undated, showing NSAs involved in detection and lifting operations with electronic detectors.
[35] 70 medics with the Backpack Health Worker Program were trained in techniques to find their way out of a minefield and to remove mine victims from a suspected mined area by Nonviolence International. Workshop took place in Mae Sot, Thailand, 25 January 2003.
[36] Email from Tim Carstairs, Director for Policy, Mines Advisory Group, 1 July 2003.
[37] Chutimas Suksai, “Participatory Research on Sources of Insecurity in Gho Kay village, Karen Liberated Area, Burma, 2002.”
[38] Interview with Karen Human Rights Group member, Mae Sot, Thailand, 28 November 2001.
[39] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 630.
[40] Interview records provided by Earthrights International to the Landmine Monitor on 26 June 2003.
[41] Landmine Monitor interview with former prisoners, Rangoon and border areas, September 2002.
[42] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 630-631.
[43] Email from Dr. Eugenie d'Alessandro, Field Coordinator, Médecins Sans Frontières, Mae Sot, 27 March 2003.
[44] Email from Handicap International-Thailand, Christophe Tiers, Program Director, Mae Sot, 15 December 2002. Mae Sot Hospital admitted 68 patients with landmine injuries in 2002. Of the 68 casualties, five were women; 20 percent were of Thai nationality and claimed to have received their injuries on Thai soil.
[45] Intervention at the Committee for Co-ordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand (CCSDPT) meeting, Bangkok, February 2002.
[46] KNU Press Release No. 60/2002 Regarding Human Rights Violations by SPDC and DKBA troops, 24 September 2002.
[47] Narinjara News, Maungdaw, 2 December 2002.
[48] Trauma Care Foundation, “Burma Report 2002.”
[49] TV Myanmar, report 2 May 2002.
[50] Undated internal report provided to Landmine Monitor by the Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People in Mae Sot, Thailand, 22 March 2003.
[51] “4 killed, 8 injured in land mine blast in Myanmar,” Associated Press, 26 May 2003.
[52] Landmine Monitor visit to the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Hospital in April 2003. The FAE hospital depends on private donations for its survival. Motala, the elephant mine survivor, who received worldwide attention in August 1999, and was reported in the Landmine Monitor Report 2000, still resides there. Care for Motala has cost Thai Baht 2 million (US$46,500) to date.
[53] Email from the FAE Hospital, 7 April 2003.
[54] Reports to Landmine Monitor from cross-border traders and merchants, villagers in the border area, family members and colleagues of the victims, and UN personnel. Na Sa Ka is the acronym of a special border security force created by agreement with Bangladesh to reduce border tensions.
[55] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 632.
[56] ICRC, “Annual Report 2002,” p. 159.
[57] Nonviolence International, “Myanmar’s Expenditure on the Military, Health and Education,” Special Report, August 2002.
[58] Interview with Marcus Geisser, ICRC Delegate, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 31 December 2002; ICRC Annual Report 2002, p. 159. The official opening of the Hpa-an center was in January 2003.
[59] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programs, “Annual Report 2002.”
[60] See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 480; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 633.
[61] Trauma Care Foundation, “Burma: Chain of Survival- Pre Hospital and Trauma Management Program Report 2002;” interviews with TCFB, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 31 December 2002. The Basic course is a 5-7 day course, and includes Landmine and Trauma care. The advanced course is open to medics with two years’ field experience and was completed in two phases of about two weeks each.
[62] Comment from an MSF member at the CCSDPT meeting, 13 March 2002.
[63] Interview with CIDKP, Mae Sot, Thailand, 21 March 2003.
[64] Interview with Marcus Geisser, ICRC Delegate, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 31 December 2002. Total program cost was US$10,364; $8,158 was for mine survivors.
[65] Mae Sot Hospital registered 68 patients with landmine injuries in 2002, 84 in 2001 and 66 in 2000. The drop may be explained in part by the fact that the border at Mae Sot was sealed due to a border dispute during mid-2002 by both sides. Of the 68 casualties, five were women. 20 percent were of Thai nationality and claimed they had received their injuries on Thai soil. Email from Christophe Tiers, Program Director, HI-Thailand, 15 December 2002.
[66] Email from Dr. Eugenie d'Alessandro, Field Coordinator, Médecins Sans Frontières, 27 March 2003. This represents a modest rise from the 43 mine casualties recorded in 2001.
[67] There were nine mine casualties out of 11 war-wounded assisted (the other two had gun shot wounds). Email from Dr. Eugenie d'Alessandro, Field Coordinator, Médecins Sans Frontières, 27 March 2003.
[68] Email from Shushira Chonhenchob, Program Communication Coordinator, HI-Thailand, 6 May 2003.
[69] Interview with Dr Cynthia Maung, Director, Mae Tao Clinic, Mae Sot, Thailand, 21 March 2003. Clear Path International provided $22,250 in 2002 for the provision of prosthetics, the apprenticeship program, and for the construction of a hostel for amputees.
[70] “Update: Nov 2002 Thai-Burma,” Global Health Access Program, available at www.ghap.org (accessed 20 June 2003).
[71] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 635.