Shan state villagers forced to grow crops

Oct 8, 2008 (DVB), The Burmese government's Light Infantry Battalion 99 based in Lin Khe township in southern Shan state has been forcing locals to grow physic nut and sesame for the military since 22 August, locals said.

Locals said those who owned tillers were told to use their equipment to contribute in the cultivation and those who did not were told to work with their hands.

Six villages located north of Lin Khe were given similar orders by LIB 99 in September, according to Nan Mway Ngin from DVB‘s Shan ethnic programme.

"The six villages , Wan Nong Lum, Wan Than Kan, Wan Nam Thoke, Nam Thim, Nam Naw and Lom Kaw , have been forced to grow the crops that LIB 99 wanted," Nan Mway Ngin said.

"The forced labour has been going on since the end of September in those villages and is still going on now," she said.

"It was only for the military and the villagers will get no benefit from the work."

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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