EXTERNAL AI Index: ASA 16/25/95
26 September 1995
Further information on UA 50/95 (ASA 16/01/95, 28 February 1995) and follow-ups
(ASA 16/02/95, 3 March and ASA 16/03/95, 13 March) - Fear for safety
MYANMARMyanmar refugees in Thailand
new names: Win Kyi
At about 11pm on 23 September 1995, some 10 armed soldiers of the Democratic
Kayin Buddhist Organization (DKBO) entered Section 5 of Sho Clo Camp, home
to thousands of Karen displaced people. Win Kyi and Win Myint, two brothers
and Karen community leaders, were abducted and probably taken to Paw Pa Hta,
Myanmar. There has been no news from the brothers since their abduction.
Sho Clo Camp is 105 kilometres north of Mae Sot town, Tak Province, in Western
Thailand, and is very near the Thai-Burmese border. The DKBO have a base directly
across the border from Sho Clo Camp in Paw Pa Hta. It is not clear why Win
Kyi and Win Myint were taken, although in the past the DKBO have seized Karen
community leaders, apparently in an attempt to force them to join the DKBO
in some leadership capacity.
Amnesty International fears that the most recent attack will be repeated with
the onset of the dry season in late October. The DKBO raided camps dozens
of times earlier in 1995, burning them down, abducting Karen displaced people,
and killing others. In early May the DKBO promised to stop their incursions
into Thailand, and until recently have kept their promise. However during
the last few weeks the DKBO entered Mae U Su village, 90 kilometres north of
Mae Sot and abducted three people, one of them a Thai Karen. All three of
them were subsequently released. The DKBO were apparently pursuing some of
their members who had defected to Thailand.
The DKBO was formed in December 1994 by a group of Buddhist Karens who broke
away from the armed ethnic minority group, the Karen National Union (KNU).
The KNU leadership is predominantly Christian, and the DKBO is led by Buddhists.
The DKBO began to attack displaced Karens in Thailand in February 1995. Although
the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC, Myanmar's military
authorities) has not agreed a ceasefire with the DKBO, they support them by
giving them supplies and land. The SLORC gave them military support in their
attacks against Manerplaw and Kawmoora, two KNU bases which fell to the DKBO
in early 1995.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/airmail letters in
English or in your own language:
- urging the Myanmar military authorities to ensure that the DKBO release Win
Kyi and Win Myint immediately;
- renewing calls on the Myanmar military authorities to ensure that the DKBO
do not arbitrarily seize civilians, whether in Myanmar or across the border
- expressing deep concern for the safety of all Burmese refugees, including
those who have been seized by the DKBO.