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A new report by the Network for Human Rights Documentation-Burma (ND-Burma) has revealed more than 100 cases of human rights violation committed by the Burmese military in the second half of 2013.
The report, released on 11 February, highlighted human rights violations, including torture, rape, extra-judicial killing, land grabs, unlawful arrests and detentions, arbitrary taxation and forced labour that took place from July to December last year based on case studies conducted in 11 administrative regions across Burma.
Among the 106 cases cited in the report, land grabbing has been the most common with 35 reported cases, followed by 20 cases of torture, 14 cases of arbitrary taxation, and eight cases of extra-judicial killing.
The ND-Burma warned that continuation of human rights violations and military offensives by the Burmese army – not only in recognised conflict zones but also in other ethnic areas where ceasefire agreements have already been signed – will make the process of establishing mutual trust between the government and ethnic armed groups that much harder, in addition to undermining the peace process.
According to the report, there were more than 150 military exchanges last year between government forces and the Shan State Army-South, a group which signed a ceasefire agreement with Naypyidaw in 2011.
“At this moment, the government is trying to implement a nationwide ceasefire with the government through negotiations with various ethnic armed groups, but the continuation of human rights violations on such a large scale indicates that peace is still a distant prospect for the people of Burma,” said Lway Poe Ngel of ND-Burma Advocacy Team.
She said her organisation will be sending the data it compiled and expressing concern to President Thein Sein and to government-elected bodies such as the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission.
The ND-Burma was formed in Thailand in 2004 and consists of 12 member organisations, including Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, EarthRights International and several ethnic rights NGOs.