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Country Reports
BURMA (MYANMAR) , Landmine Monitor Report 2005

Burma (Myanmar)[1 ]

Key developments since May 2004: Myanmar’s military forces, the Tat Ma Daw, and at least 12 non-state armed groups have continued to use antipersonnel mines. This includes two groups newly identified as mine users, the Karenni People’s National Liberation Front and Karenni National Solidarity Organization, which have undertaken some armed activities in collaboration with the Tat Ma Daw. In the absence of official information, informal interviews with officials and civilians reveal that mines pose a significant threat to communities in nine of 14 states and divisions. Forced demining by civilians (“atrocity demining”) was reported in 2004-2005, as in previous years. No humanitarian mine clearance has taken place in Burma. No military or village demining has been reported since May 2004. At a UNHCR seminar in November 2004, the mine threat was identified as one of the most serious impediments to the safe return of internally displaced persons and refugees. Mine risk education is carried out by NGOs on an increasing basis, in refugee camps and within other assistance efforts. The number of mine incidents and casualties remains unknown, but NGOs providing assistance to mine survivors indicate that casualties have increased. Mine action and other humanitarian assistance programs were disrupted by changes in the government in October 2004.

Mine Ban Policy

The Union of Myanmar’s ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Myanmar was one of 22 countries that abstained from voting on UN General Assembly Resolution 59/84 in December 2004, which called for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. Myanmar did not send an observer to the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi in November-December 2004. The somewhat increased interest in landmine issues shown by the government in 2003 and early 2004 has not been sustained.[2 ] The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) canceled its first mission to Myanmar.[3 ] Requests for information pertaining to various sections of this report, delivered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Yangon, have gone unanswered. As part of the Halt Mine Use in Burma campaign, more than 9,000 copies of the Burmese-language translation of parts of Landmine Monitor Report 2004 were distributed.[4 ]

Production, Transfer and Stockpiling

Myanmar Defense Products Industries, a state enterprise, produces antipersonnel landmines.[5 ] The Burmese Army has obtained and is using an increasing number of mines of the US M-14 design.[6 ] Manufacture and source of these mines is unknown. Myanmar is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines.[7 ] Myanmar officials have previously claimed to have a policy of no export, but have never issued a formal moratorium or ban.[8 ]

The ruling authorities in Myanmar 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, Indian, Italian, Soviet, US and unidentified manufacture.[9]


Myanmar’s military forces and non-state armed groups have used landmines extensively throughout the long-running civil war. Landmine Monitor Report 2004 identified the SPDC as one of only two governments to have used antipersonnel mines consistently in the previous five years.[10 ] A former Myanmar Army soldier, himself a landmine survivor, was interviewed in a foreign journal in April 2005 and said, “I never shot a single enemy with a gun, but the mines I planted have claimed many lives.” He said he was in charge of a minefield with 30,000 mines in the early 1980s in Shan State.[11]

Following the internal purge in the junta in October 2004, there was increased military action in Karen (Kayin), Karenni (Kayah) and Shan states, with allegations of mine use by all combatants.[12 ] Thousands of Karen and Shan people were forced into internal displacement due to SPDC operations.[13 ] Use of mines by the SPDC was also reported in Tenasserim (Tanintharyi) and Pegu (Bago) divisions. In some instances, the SPDC conducted joint military operations with non-state armed groups (see below).

From October 2004 to January 2005, and in March 2005, the Myanmar Army reportedly laid mines along the sides of the Kushaw-Shwekyin road, which runs between Papun in northern Karen State and Shwekyin, in order to interdict insurgent use of the road.[14 ] In December 2004, the UN Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur voiced his concern about the impact of landmines in ethnic minority areas.[15 ]

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR), an evangelical organization offering medical and other assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in some conflict areas, have reported on numerous mine-laying operations by the Myanmar Army. According to the FBR: in February 2005, the SPDC and Karenni National Solidarity Organization (KNSO) conducted a joint operation in which they laid 1,000 M-14 mines in Karenni State in the area between Mawchi in the southwest corner and the Karen state border;[16 ]during military operations in November and December of 2004, several light infantry brigades of the Myanmar Army built new frontline camps 20 kilometers northeast of Shwekyin Shweygyn city and mined all approaches to the area extensively;[17 ]on 28 September 2004, Light Infantry Brigade 428 burned Nu Thu Hta village as a part of a counter-insurgency operation, and laid 18 landmines in the vicinity before withdrawing;[18 ]in July 2004, two Army battalions laid mines in the northern part of Karen State and into southwest Karenni State;[19 ]in May 2004, the Army placed landmines in areas south of the Mawchi road near the village of Paho in Karenni State.[20 ] Landmine Monitor has not independently confirmed these reports from the Free Burma Rangers.

Non-State Armed Groups

More than 30 different ethnic and rebel political organizations, with an estimated 45,000 combatants,[21 ]exist within the country. The SPDC lists various non-state armed groups (NSAGs) within the country on the national website.[22 ] The National Democratic Front, an alliance of armed opposition groups, has claimed that the use of landmines is necessary for defense against Army attacks on their territory.[23 ] A member of the Karen National Union (KNU) stated that, “There are many SPDC soldiers and the KNU doesn’t have many bullets and shells, so they use the landmines.”[24 ] During talks between the KNU and the SPDC in early 2005, the KNU informed the SPDC that SPDC troops could patrol roads without fear of mines or forcing villagers to walk ahead of them.[25]

Different ethnic political groups with armed components opposing the ruling military junta have been engaged by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on issues related to the conflict and their obligations under humanitarian law.[26 ]

NSAG Production, Transfer and Stockpiling

Several armed militias are capable of building blast mines, fragmentation mines, Claymore-type mines, and mines with antihandling fuzing.[27 ] Some armed groups admit to having antipersonnel mine stockpiles, or components for making antipersonnel mines, though none will reveal quantities. NSAGs acquire mines in a number of other ways: lifting SPDC-laid mines from the ground, seizing SPDC stocks during attacks, and from the clandestine arms market.[28 ] In January 2005, KNLA units seized a stock of 200 mines during a firefight.[29 ] The opposition organizations that have agreed to non-hostility with the SPDC, as well as those still in active armed conflict, maintain stockpiles of antipersonnel landmines.[30 ] One group, not previously identified by Landmine Monitor, who may also stockpile antipersonnel mines is the Democratic Party of Arakan (DPA).[31 ]


There were at least twelve non-state armed groups using antipersonnel mines in Burma in 2004 and 2005.[32 ] This includes two organizations not previously confirmed by Landmine Monitor as mine users, the Karenni State Nationalities People’s National Liberation Front (KNPLF) and Karenni National Solidarity Organization. These two groups engaged in joint military operations in support of the SPDC in late 2003 and early 2004, which included use of mines.[33 ] Given the intensity of combat operations, it is likely that the Karen National Liberation Army was the NSAG using mines most extensively in this reporting period.

There are unconfirmed reports of mine use by other NSAGs.[34 ] In addition, there are two groups that have used mines in the past, but who have non-hostility understandings with the SPDC.[35 ] Neither has renounced mines and it is not certain if they have stopped using mines. Some NSAGs that previously used mines appear to be spent as a military force, and some have turned to banditry.[36 ] One armed group that formerly used antipersonnel mines, and had signed the Geneva Call Deed of Commitment to renounce mine use or possession in December 2003, ceased military activity in 2004.[37 ]

Landmine Problem

Nine out of 14 states and divisions in Burma suffer from some level of landmine contamination, primarily antipersonnel mines.

Mine contamination is most heavily concentrated in eastern parts of the country.[38 ] The borders with Thailand and Bangladesh are extensively mined; the border with India is more lightly mined.[39 ] United Nations assistance programs, which have grown in size and coverage in recent years, have started encountering mine-affected communities. In February 2005, UN field staff reported that areas around Kalaw in Shan State, the area from Mong Pan to Mongton, and east of Lashio are mine-contaminated.[40 ] Areas where gem mining takes place, and infrastructure such as the Lawpita hydroelectric power station in central Karenni State, have often been mined.

An NGO worker who visited villages in Hpa-an district of Karen State with public health officials stated that there were mined areas within a five minute walk of all villages visited.[41 ] Some Karen villages in Pa-an District have had to move three times after each previous settlement was burned and mined to prevent return.

In November 2004 a presentation by the Deputy Regional Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at a seminar, which involved NGOs working with refugees, identified mines as one of the most serious impediments to the safe return of refugees from Thailand to Burma.[42 ] Infrastructure projects and economic activity have also been prevented or made hazardous by mine contamination.[43]

Fencing and Marking

There appears to be no systematic fencing and marking of mined areas. In southern Karenni (Kayah) near Mawchi, villagers reported, on condition of anonymity, that mined areas are not normally marked or fenced, but there may be on occasion traditional signs to indicate danger areas. On other occasions, there may be impromptu warning signs, such as a dead body, a crosscut into a tree, or parts of mines and wires. Unofficial warning marks may be placed by local community members. A specific style of woven bamboo fencing painted white, surrounding an area and without openings, may mark a minefield, particularly near military installations and locations such as bridges.[44]

No survey activities to identify mine-affected areas are known to have been carried out in Burma.

Atrocity Demining

The International Labor Organization noted with concern the number of people taken into forced labor, particularly by the military, who have suffered “mutilations and violent deaths occurring during mine-clearing operations.”[45 ] On 5 February 2005, the Burma Army light infantry brigade 439 is alleged to have conscripted two villagers to walk ahead to clear any mines with their bodies on the Toungoo-Mawchi road. Another brigade on a southern extension of the same road allegedly conscripted villagers to carry loads ahead of them to clear mines on the road between Kaw Thay Der and Busakee, resulting in one 15-year-old casualty.[46 ]

Two films, released in early 2005, included former porters describing how they were forced to clear mines for the Army.[47 ] In March 2005, similar allegations were reported, including that members of the People’s Militia (Pyitthu Sit) were required to “guide” SPDC patrols in areas suspected of being mined by the Karen National Liberation Army, and that the Army asked villagers along the Kler Lah - Bu Sah road to clear the edges of the road, and to harvest vegetables and wood from the surrounding shrubbery, despite the presence of landmines in the area.[48 ] A report published by the Karen Human Rights Group in September 2004 revealed many cases, which took place in previous years but had not been reported, of people forced to sweep roads for landmines, or do military portering in mine-affected areas.[49]

Mine Clearance and Mine Risk Education

Some sporadic military clearance and village demining has been reported in the past, but none in the current reporting period.[50 ] There is no humanitarian mine clearance program in Burma, as of mid-2005.

Mine risk education (MRE) has been undertaken by international NGOs, as preparation for possible mine action in the future. Handicap International, Mines Advisory Group and Norwegian People’s Aid have all undertaken informal exploratory activities to assess the needs and possibilities for Burma.

Handicap International has run an MRE program targeting Burmese refugees in camps in Thailand, strung along the Burmese border, since June 2001.[51]

UNHCR conducted an assessment of MRE capacity among Yangon-based NGOs in June 2004. Several NGOs were found to carry out MRE in or near mine-affected communities, based on UNMAS mine safety briefing guidelines.[52 ]

The NGO Nonviolence International conducted training in MRE for public health personnel in Karen State throughout 2004. Since 2003, almost 100 public health practitioners have been trained in MRE and have integrated MRE messages in public health programs in mine-affected villages in Dooplaya and Hpa-an Districts of Karen State.[53 ] From June 2002 to December 2004, Nonviolence International received 1,220,000 Thai Baht (US$30,500) from the Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines and private donors in Japan, in support of its MRE program in Karen State.[54 ] In early 2005, this program was passed to a newly formed national NGO, Shanti Sena, which has started to administer MRE directly in Karen State.[55]

ICRC planned to launch a new program of preventative mine action, including MRE, in Karen State during 2004. The program is designed to be compatible with the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA), in preparation for future mine action in Burma.[56 ] This program had to undergo adjustments following changes in the government in October 2004.

Landmine Casualties

The number of mine incidents and casualties remains unknown, although reports from NGOs indicate that casualties have been increasing in the last five to six years.

The Ministry of Health does not separate landmine injuries from other trauma injuries, describing only “injuries, specified and unspecified and multiple body regions” as the fifth leading cause of mortality and third most common cause of injuries.[57 ]

Systematic collection of data remains difficult, especially in relation to those killed rather than injured in an incident. Areas where landmines have been laid extensively are often still experiencing armed conflict. According to ICRC, talks on the cessation of hostilities between SPDC and KNU in 2004 have made some areas formerly affected by the conflict more accessible, leading to some attempts at agriculture which has resulted in an increase in injuries caused by mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO).[58 ] Civilian casualties include people seized for forced portering by the military, or for other duties required by the military, such as collection of bamboo for barracks. Other civilian casualties occur during activities not connected with the military, such as collecting food in the forest, cutting and collecting firewood, and traveling.[59]

In 2004, the Mae Tao Clinic, in Mae Sot, received 16 mine casualties for treatment.[60 ] Handicap International-Thailand’s Burmese Border Program reported that 53 new mine casualties crossed the border and sought medical care between January 2004 and February 2005.[61 ]

Other reports include an incident in January 2004, where a 17-year-old man stepped on a mine allegedly laid by a passing Burmese Army patrol.[62 ] Several incidents were reported in Myawaddy Township in Karen State near the Thai border. In March 2004, a 29-year-old woman was injured by a mine beside her rice field, and in late May a 37-year-old woman was injured by a mine when she went to find her cow near her village. In two separate incidents, a 21-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman were injured by mines near their rice fields. All casualties survived but suffered amputations. In December 2004, a 15-year-old villager in central Toungoo District of Karen State lost his leg after stepping on a landmine while working his field.[63 ] On 22 November, a landmine exploded at the border checkpoint in Kawkareik Township, Karen State, killing three and injuring four state employees.[64 ] In 2004, the ICRC in Thailand received 49 people wounded by mine injuries from Burma.[65]

Casualties continue to be reported in 2005. On 10 January, when 200 villagers fled to the Thai border from a military offensive in Dooplaya District, one of them stepped on a mine. He survived and was transported to Mae Sot hospital in Thailand for treatment.[66 ] In March, one person was killed and one injured when their vehicle hit a mine near Loikaw, the capital of Karenni State.[67 ] Srisangwal Hospital, situated in Mae Hong Son, admitted eight mine casualties between December 2004 and April 2005; all were either Karenni or Burmese.[68]

The total number of mine survivors in Burma remains unknown.

Survivor Assistance and Disability Policy and Practice[69]

Survivor assistance within Burma is improving, but continues to be marginal due to many years of neglect of the civilian medical system by the military rulers.[70 ] 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.

Availability of medical care depends on where the mine incident occurs. Survivor assistance for mine casualties comes from several sources, including the public health system, sources within zones of conflict and neighboring states.

The Mae Tao Clinic, Médecins Sans Frontières, International Rescue Committee, American Refugee Committee, Aide Medicale International, Handicap International, Malteser Germany and ICRC provide emergency referral in Thailand for war-injured people arriving in refugee camps.[71]

Beginning in 2004, Médecins Sans Frontières accessed areas of Burma that are still considered insecure. Through the use of mobile healthcare teams or the upgrading of clinics, assistance was provided in previously restricted areas of Mon, Karen and Karenni states.[72 ]

From Thailand, Backpack Health Worker teams run an independent medical service into rebel controlled areas of Mon, Karen, Karenni and Shan states—as do some other private organizations—to provide public health education and emergency care, including amputation surgery for mine casualties.

In 2004, ICRC completed repairs, upgrading or material and technical assistance projects in 11 hospitals in conflict zones within Burma. As well, 83 hospital or health center staff attended workshops on war-surgery and waste management, and 250 health personnel in Karen State attended sessions that included the role of medical staff in conflict-affected areas.[73 ] ICRC surgeons made a presentation on war surgery, including amputation and other care for mine casualties, at an annual military medical conference at Mingaladon Military Hospital.[74 ]

Physical rehabilitation and prosthetics are available to mine survivors through the National Rehabilitation Centers. ICRC supports three government-run centers under the Ministry of Health (in Yangon, Mandalay and Madaya), and two centers under the Ministry of Defense (in Yangon and Pyin Oo Lwin). In addition, the Hpa-an Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center is a joint program between ICRC and Myanmar Red Cross; 840 amputees were monitored under the program. Myanmar Red Cross also operates an outreach prosthetic program to assist persons with disabilities in remote areas access services. ICRC conducted a three-month physiotherapy course and two refresher courses on technical and clinical procedures for lower limb prostheses at the Hpa-An center. The training of three technicians was subsidized at the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics. In 2004, these six centers provided physical rehabilitation for more than 2,000 people, fitted 2,071 prostheses (1,531 for mine survivors) and 38 orthoses (12 for mine survivors), and distributed 2,591 crutches. Burma accounted for the second highest number of prosthetics delivered to mine survivors by ICRC globally.[75]

The KNU hospital at Gho Kay provided 18 prostheses through the Committee for Internally Displaces Karen People’s (CIDKP) “flying prosthetics” program. Technicians travel to remote villages to measure amputees, return to the hospital to make the limb, and then deliver the prostheses to the amputee for fitting and adjustment. The program stalled in 2004 due to a lack of components and funding.[76 ]

From 17-23 January 2004, the Prosthetics Foundation of Thailand held a prosthetics workshop in the border town of Tachilek in Shan State. The workshop fitted 300 prostheses to 184 war-injured; the majority of amputees were mine survivors.[77 ]

Vocational training for persons with disabilities in Myanmar is provided by international and local NGOs. In Yangon, the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR-Japan), provides vocational training in tailoring and hairstyling. In 2004, 79 people with a disability graduated from its vocational training center; 10 were mine survivors. From January to April 2005, another 28 people graduated; six were landmine survivors. In a follow-up survey, it was found that 222 of 342 graduates of the program (65 percent) were using their acquired skills in income generating activities.[78 ]

The Myanmar Council of Churches conducts between four and six vocational training programs per year for disabled persons. These workshops are mobile, and are held in different states and divisions to increase their reach. Some of the disabled who have attended their workshops are landmine survivors.

No known disability law exists in Myanmar.[79]

[1 ]The military junta now ruling 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. State and Division names are given in their common form, or with the SPDC designation in parentheses, e.g., Karenni (Kayah) State.

[2 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 935.

[3 ]Interview with John Langdon, Chief, Programme Support Section, UNMAS, New York, 7 April 2005.

[4 ]Halt Mine Use in Burma is an ICBL campaign launched in mid-2003 to encourage all combatants in Burma to agree to stop using antipersonnel mines for humanitarian reasons, and as a confidence-building measure toward a nationwide cease-fire and a total landmine ban. New ministers, all 13 members of the ruling military junta, the political opposition, UN agencies, and international and national NGOs within the country received copies of the report. Many individuals and organizations helped with the distribution.

[5 ]Myanmar produces: the MM1, which is modeled after the Chinese Type 59 stake-mounted fragmentation mine; the MM2, which is similar to the Chinese Type 58 blast mine; a “Claymore” type directional fragmentation mine.

[6 ]A variety of sources have remarked upon this to Landmine Monitor, among them internally displaced persons, porters and insurgents, including an interview with an insurgent member in Mae Sariang, Thailand, in September 2004. This testimony is supplemented by photographic evidence circulated on the electronic mail list of the Free Burma Rangers (FBR), 3 May 2005.

[7 ]Officials from Myanmar’s Defense Ministry allegedly offered landmines, among other arms, for sale during an official visit to Bangladesh in late 2003. See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 928; “Dhaka, Yangon eye defense pairing,” Daily Star (Dhaka), 21 September 2003.

[8 ]In 1996, Myanmar’s UN Representative U Mya Than stated, “Myanmar is supportive of banning exports, transfers and indiscriminate use of APLs.” Explanation of Vote on Anti-Personnel Mines, undated document, 52nd UN General Assembly, 1996.

[9] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 938. The mines include: Chinese, Types-58, -59, -69, -72A; Soviet, POMZ-2, POMZ-2M, PMN, PMD-6; US, M-14, M-16A1, M-18; Indian/British, LTM-73, LTM-76.

[10 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 6, naming Myanmar and Russia.

[11] “The death that lurks beneath the ground,” Irrawaddy (monthly, Chiang Mai, Thailand), April 2005, p. 13.

[12 ]See for example: “So Much for the Ceasefire,” Irrawaddy (monthly, Chiang Mai, Thailand), October 2004, p. 4; “Junta launches major crackdown on Nagas,” Nation (Bangkok), 4 December 2004; “Karen under attack by junta troops,” Nation (Bangkok), 13 December 2004; “Fierce clashes send hundreds of Karen fleeing into Umphang,” Nation (Bangkok), 13 January 2005; “Junta assault halts peace talks,” Nation (Bangkok), 1 February 2005; “Junta told ‘talk or face more war,’” Nation (Bangkok), 1 March 2005; “Heavy Casualties in Wa-Shan Fighting,” Irrawaddy, April 2005, p. 3.

[13 ]Global IDP Project report, “Burma: displacement continues unabated in one of the world’s worst IDP situations,” Geneva, 27 June 2005.

[14 ]Karen Human Rights Group, Report from the Field, 4 May 2005; FBR, “1,300 IDPs flee Burma Army in Nyanglebin District,” 17 March 2005. This report was sent to Landmine Monitor by email on 18 March 2005.

[15 ]United Nations Commission on Human Rights, “Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar,” Report of the Special Rapporteur, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, E/CN.4/2005/36, 11 December 2004, p. 13. The report notes, “Continuing reports of the use of landmines, forced labour and sexual violence indicate that fundamental human rights are at risk in those areas.”

[16 ]FBR, “Pictures from Karenni State, Burma,” February 2005. This report was sent to Landmine Monitor by email on 9 March 2005 and was accompanied by photographs.

[17 ]FBR, “Mission Report: IDP Relief Mission to Shweygyn Township, Nyaunglebin District, Karen State, 19-31 December 2004.” This report was sent to Landmine Monitor by email on 6 February 2005.

[18 ]FBR, “Situation report: Burma Army attacks in southern Karen State and southern Karenni state.” This report was sent to Landmine Monitor by email on 1 October 2004.

[19 ]FBR, “Burma Army continues its attacks on villagers and IDPs in Karenni State.” This report was sent to Landmine Monitor by email on 27 November 2004.

[20 ]FBR, “Karenni villagers flee approaching Burma Army troops.” This report was sent to Landmine Monitor by email on 26 June 2004.

[21 ]International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2004-2005, (London: Oxford University Press, October 2004), p. 184.

[22 ]www.myanmar.com/peace/other4.html.

[23 ]Formed in 1976, the NDF is a military alliance comprised of nine anti-SPDC armed ethnic political organizations. In an interview on 3 October 2003, NDF General Secretary Zing Cung told Landmine Monitor, “We cannot escape the use of landmines for our survival.”

[24 ]The armed forces of the KNU are the Karen National Liberation Army. Karen Human Rights Group, “Enduring Hunger and Repression: Food Scarcity, Internal Displacement, and the Continued Use of Forced Labour in Toungoo District,” 27 September 2004, www.ibiblio.org/freeburma/humanrights/khrg/.

[25] Karen Human Rights Group, Report from the Field, KHRG #2005-F3, 22 March 2005, www.ibiblio.org/freeburma/humanrights/khrg/.

[26 ]ICRC, “Annual Report 2004,” pp. 153, 155.

[27 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 939.

[28 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 939-940.

[29 ]On 11 January, SPDC and KNLA forces engaged in brief conflict at Gaw Law Wah village in Karen State, during which 200 LTM-76 antipersonnel landmines were seized. Landmine Monitor interviews with NGO workers, Mae Sot, Thailand, 9 May 2005.

[30 ]About a dozen armed organizations have agreed verbally to cease hostility with the SPDC. Although frequently referred to as ‘cease-fire groups,’ none have signed a formal cease-fire protocol leading to a negotiated settlement. All maintain their arms, including any stockpile of antipersonnel landmines.

[31 ]This was alleged by a leader of the National United Party of Arakan (NUPA) during discussions with Landmine Monitor in early 2004 in Bangkok. DPA split from NUPA some years earlier and appears to be solely involved in banditry in the tri-border region of Myanmar/Bangladesh/India.

[32 ]This includes: Shan State Army; Karen National Liberation Army; Karenni Army; Karenni State Nationalities People’s Liberation Front; Karenni National Solidarity Organization; All Burma Students Democratic Front; Myiek-Dawei United Front; Wa National Army; Pao People’s Liberation Front; Chin National Army; All Burma Muslim Union. In addition, there have been allegations of use by the Kayin New Land Party.

[33 ]FBR, “FBR Relief Team Report, December 2004-January 2005,” received by email 13 April 2005. This reports that in early 2004, the Myanmar Army, KNPLF and KNSO troops in Karenni State launched an attack at Ler Bwa Ko District against the Karenni National Progressive Party with troops from Ler Mu Ko Township, Ler Ba Ko Township and Hsaw Pa Kaw Township.

[34 ]Landmine Monitor has previously noted allegations regarding the Kayin New Land Party. In addition, in December 2004, in response to a military offensive by the Myanmar Army, a leader of a the Kaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, Kughalo Mulatonu, said, “We are not going to leave Myanmar and shall fight to repulse the Myanmarese forces.  In many places we have planted landmines and timebombs to prevent the army from advancing.” Landmine Monitor has not confirmed if mines were actually laid. “Myanmar launches crackdown on Indian militant camps: rebel leader,” Agence France-Presse (Guwahati, India), 3 December 2004.

[35 ]This includes the United Wa State Army and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army.

[36 ]The Hongsawatoi Restoration Party, People’s Defense Forces and a cluster of smaller organizations under the banner of the DAB have essentially ceased to exist. The New Mon State Party, also previously identified as a mine user, has denied recent use, but has not renounced use and admits to having a stockpile of mines.

[37 ]Landmine Monitor communications with former members of the Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO), various locations, 2004. As of early 2005, the former ARNO military chief was in jail in Bangladesh, and its political head had sought asylum in the UK. Other prominent members of the group fled to exile in India or joined another NSAG, the Rohingya Solidarity Organization, leaving ARNO a defunct military entity.

[38 ]Karen (Kayin) State, Karenni (Kayah) State and southern Shan State and Tenasserim (Tanintharyi) Division contain the most heavily mine affected areas. A large minefield is in Rakine State, running the length of the border with Bangladesh. Some known mined areas exist in Pegu (Bago) Division, and Mon, Chin and Kachin states.

[39 ]The many areas reported to be contaminated in past Landmine Monitor reports remain so. See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 940-941; Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 565-566.

[40 ]Landmine Monitor interviews with UN field staff, Yangon, February 2005.

[41 ]Photographs shown during interview between NGO worker who wishes to remain anonymous and Landmine Monitor researchers, Bangkok, 20 April 2004.

[42 ]Presentation by UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative Bhai Roger Panday, seminar on Challenges for Refugee Return and Reintegration held in conjunction with the Burmese Border Consortium Annual Donors meeting, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 27 October 2004.

[43] “Minefield delays goods on way to Burma,” Bangkok Post, 6 October 2003.

[44] See also Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 941.

[45 ]International Labor Conference 93rd Session 2005, “Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, Report III (Part 1A),” 31 May-16 June 2005, International Labour Organization, Geneva, pp. 175-176; “ILO criticizes Myanmar for failing to tackle forced labour,” Agence France-Presse (Geneva), 25 May 2005.

[46 ]Free Burma Rangers, “Pictures from Karen State, Burma,” February 2005. This report was sent to Landmine Monitor by email on 9 March 2005.

[47 ]“Prison to Frontline: Portering for the SPDC’s Troops,” Burma Issues/FTUB, Thailand, 2004; “Entrenched Abuse: Forced Labor in Burma,” Burma Issues/Witness Production, Thailand, 2004. Interviews were conducted in late 2003 in Karen and Karenni States, and in border areas of Thailand.

[48 ]Karen Human Rights Group, “Report from the field,” 22 March 2005, KHRG #2005-F3, www.ibiblio.org/freeburma/humanrights/khrg. Pyitthu Sit, or People’s Militia, are recruited from villages and given training and weapons by the military. Each village is required to make monthly payments to their Pyitthu Sit, who are expected to guard against insurgent entry to their villages.

[49] Karen Human Rights Group Report, “Enduring Hunger and Repression: Food Scarcity, Internal Displacement, and the Continued Use of Forced Labor in Toungoo District,” 27 September 2004, pp. 30-46, www.ibiblio.org/freeburma/humanrights/khrg. For details of atrocity demining in previous years, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 942-943.

[50 ]Some non-state actors and the Tatmadaw (regular Myanmar Army forces) have reported conducting military demining in the past. In some cases, non-state actors remove SPDC mines then re-deploy them.

[51] Email from Timo Kosters, Burmese Border Program Manager, HI-Thailand, Mae Sot, 9 February 2005.

[52 ]Landmine Monitor interviews with NGO representatives, Yangon, October and November 2004.

[53 ]Public health personnel with the Backpack Health Worker Program in Karen Health and Welfare Department, and some other ethnic health groups, were trained in MRE and mine casualty rescue techniques. Nonviolence International, January 2005.

[54 ]Information provided by Kh. Muay, Nonviolence International, 26 July 2005.

[55] Shanti Sena was founded in February 2005 with support from private individuals in Japan to undertake humanitarian activities within Karen State of Burma and has conducted MRE in villages near the Thailand-Burma border.

[56 ]ICRC, “Special Appeal, Mine Action 2005,” Geneva, February 2005; interview with Patrick Vial, ICRC, Yangon, 23 February 2005.

[57 ]Ministry of Health, “Health in Myanmar 2004,” p. 61.

[58 ]ICRC, “Annual Report 2004,” pp. 153-154.

[59] For more details see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 943-945.

[60 ]Landmine Monitor analysis of records at the Mae Tao Clinic, Mae Sot, 9 May 2005.

[61 ]Response to Landmine Monitor Survivor Assistance Questionnaire by Timo Kosters, Program Manager, Burmese Border Program, HI-Thailand, Mae Sot, 20 April 2005.

[62 ]Video documentation of surgery and evacuation provided by Free Burma Rangers (FBR). Videos: “Fear & Hope: Responding to Burma’s Internally Displaced,” and “In Hiding: A year of survival under the Burma Army 2004-2005.” Films document FBR activities in Karen, Karenni, Shan and Rakhine states during 2004.

[63 ]Karen Human Rights Group, “Report from the Field,” KHRG #2005-F3, 22 March 2005, www.ibiblio.org/freeburma/humanrights/khrg.

[64 ]“Three killed in explosion at checkpoint in Burma's Karen state,” Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, 23 November 2004.

[65] Letter from Christophe Menu, ICRC Regional Delegation for East Asia, 16 May 2005. For details on this assistance, see Thailand report in this edition of Landmine Monitor.

[66 ]Interview with CIDKP in Mae Sot, Thailand, 9 May 2005.

[67 ]“The Death that lurks beneath the ground,” Irrawaddy, April 2005, p. 13.

[68] Response to Landmine Monitor Survivor Assistance Questionnaire by Chaisri Klanarong, Srisangwal Hospital, Mae Hong Son, 27 April 2005.

[69] For more information, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 945-947.

[70 ]After being rated 190 out of 191 countries by the World Health Organization in 2000, the ruling authorities reportedly increased expenditure on public health from 1.8 percent to 2.2 percent of GDP, which remains the lowest in southeast Asia. WHO, “World Health Report 2005,” and World Bank, “World Development Indicators 2004.”

[71] For more details on assistance, see Thailand report in this edition of Landmine Monitor.

[72 ]Information provided to Landmine Monitor during research visit to Thai-Burma border, December 2004.

[73 ]ICRC, “Annual Report 2004,” p. 154.

[74 ]Interview with Miguel Mateus Fernandes, Head of ICRC orthopedic program, Yangon, 25 February 2005.

[75] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Program, “Annual Report 2004,” Geneva, July 2005, pp. 29, 44.

[76 ]Interview with Saw Henry, Administrator, CIDKP, Mae Sot, 5 May 2005.

[77 ]Television news reports in Thailand on 23 January 2004 and subsequent interview with Krianglit Sukcharoensin of the Royal Prosthetics Foundation.

[78 ]Email from Michiyo Kato, AAR-Japan, 9 May 2005; see also Standing Tall Australia and Mines Action Canada, “101 Great Ideas for the Socio-Economic Reintegration of Mine Survivors,” June 2005, p. 20.

[79] For more information, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 947.