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In the 1990s, the mines were operated directly by the Burmese military, but since 2004, the Mandalay-based Ngwe Yi Pale company, in a joint venture with Myanmar’s No.
3 Mining Enterprise, has become the main excavator.
As this was the corn-planting time, it has seriously impacting their livelihoods.
Nam Ma is one of the main coal-producing areas in Burma.
The attack, involving shelling and aerial bombing near civilian areas, caused over 1,000 villagers to flee their homes. After they had fled, Burmese troops looted and destroyed most of the household property in the villages of Na Taw, Teung Hai and Kho Nang Pha.
Villagers who did not flee were forbidden to farm their fields for three weeks.
The mining has destroyed farmlands, blocked and contaminated water sources, and caused air pollution, particularly impacting Pieng Hsai and Wan Long villages.
A soldier was also seen robbing money off his body.
According to Sai Saw Ling’s relatives, he had been carrying 600,000 kyat (approx. The witness to this killing was an elderly villager, “Loong Kaw,” from Teung Hai.
When he dared come out from hiding, he went to look for Sai Sarm Tun’s body, but it was no longer there. At about 11 am on May 18, a 25-year-old villager called Sai Saw Ling from Wan Ho Tui village was riding a motorcycle through Teung Hai village when he was shot by Burmese soldiers in the village.
He fell from his motorcycle in front of Sai Sui Nang Li’s house, at the end of the village, and then a soldier was seen picking up a rock and using it to batter his head many times, killing him.
We reiterate our calls for the Burma Army to immediately end their offensives, troop expansion and abuses in the ethnic areas, and for an end to Burma Army impunity.