Military forces out villagers in Mon state

Feb 21, 2008 (DVB), Residents of Klone Kanyar village were given orders by State Peace and Development Council troops on 1 February to leave their village within 15 days.

Around 250 villagers were ordered to relocate from the eastern part of Klone Kanyar village, which is in Khaw Za sub-township, part of Mon state's Yay township.

The order to relocate has caused major difficulties for the villagers, particularly as many rely on the village's fishing industry for their livelihoods.

Klone Kanyar residents are now speculating that the rest of the villagers could also be forced to leave.

According to a villager who fled to the Thai-Burma border, the SPDC troops said the move was to prevent Mon rebels from coming into the area.

The order was issued by Light Infantry Battalion-31 commander colonel Ye Lwin Oo and secondary battalion commander major Htun Naing.

The New Mon State Party, the major Mon rebel group, has signed a ceasefire agreement with the government, but there are reports that a group of 50 fully-armed Mon fighters has broken away from the NMSP to continue with rebel activities.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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