Ethnic Padaung villagers of Ho Ha, in Ho Mong township, southern Shan State, were confined in their village for three days after Burmese Army soldiers attacked the nearby base of a Shan ceasefire group earlier this week.
On October 26, 2013, about 30 Burmese troops from Light Infantry Battalion 287, led by Major Min Zaw Lin, fired 60 mm mortar shells at Tab Kawng Hsarng, a base of the Shan State Army-South (SSA-S). The Burmese troops then stationed themselves in Wan Ho Ha village, about two kilometers from Tab Kawng Hsarng, restricting the residents from leaving the village for three days. The villagers were not allowed to carry out their livelihoods, and their children were not allowed to go to school at a nearby village.
In the evening of October 28, the Burmese troops lifted the restrictions on the villagers. However, the troops remain stationed in the village, and continue to patrol around the area. LIB 287 is under the command of the Burma Army tactical operation based in Ho Mong.
Wan Ho Ha is a small ethnic Padaung village of six households, with a population of about 30 people. It lies on a supply route used by Burmese troops through this mountainous region, about 1.75 kilometers from the Thai border, opposite Ban Rak Thai village, a popular tourist destination about one hour’s drive north of the town of Mae Hong Son.
This recent attack is the latest violation of the ceasefire signed between the Shan State Army-South and Burmese government in December 2011. Since the agreement was signed, there have been over 140 incidents of fighting between the two sides.
The attack took place only about one kilometer from Gawng Moong Mong IDP camp on the Thai border, which shelters 253 displaced Shan, Wa and Pa-O villagers.
Source: Shan Human Rights Foundation