Forcible porterage in some parts of Chin state

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4 June 2011: People in rural areas of Chin state, Burma are being forced into portering by the Burmese Army in Chin state.The villagers were summoned to work as porters by the Light Infantry Battalion No (269), based in Lungler village camp, Thantlang Township, Chin state to carry army rations.

Four Thip Cang villagers of Falam Township were used as porters by the army in the last week of May, said a local from Thantlang Township.

“Returning from their patrolling in border areas of Chin state villagers were picked up from Thip Cang village while proceeding to their camp at Lung Ler village, Thantlang Township. Thip Cang villagers were used to carry army ammunition and ration to Thing Hual village, Thantlang Township on rotation. Thing Hual villagers carried it to their camp, said an eyewitness from Thantlang.

He told Khonumthung that the porters had to carry heavy loads, so they realized they were carrying ammunition.

Recently, the use of villages as porters had come down compared to last year. But the army called some local people to serve as guards.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) based in United States of America submitted a report in January this year that Burma has been using 90 per cent of Chin people in various instances of Human Rights violation.

In the State Chief Minister’s office in Hakha, the capital of Chin state held an educational meeting on forced labour among local officials with the help of the International Labor Organization officials and Director of the Labor Ministry of Burma on 18 May, said a local from Hakha. – Khonumthung News

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