Contact: Roland Watson, roland@dictatorwatch.org


March 14, 2004

Please see www.dictatorwatch.org/phmain.html for links to two new photo essays/reports. The first is of a Free Burma Rangers relief team mission in January into Toungoo District, Karen State. The report includes war news and excerpts from nine Karen IDP interviews. Secondly, we have a report on the current condition of a young girl, Naw Moo Day Wah, who was shot by the Burma Army in October 2002. (For anyone who would like to contribute to FBR relief efforts, we can provide contact information for the charity through which such donations are collected.)

Update: Karenni and Northern Karen State - March 2004

According to reports from the field, the 55th division, Burma Army has pulled out of Karenni State and Muthraw District, Northern Karen State. There are no attacks now in Muthraw District, Karen State, and while the Burma Army continues its attacks in Karenni State, these have decreased in intensity. Whether this is due to orders from Rangoon, or the fact that almost no one is left in southern Karenni State (most are IDPs hiding in Northern Karen State -Toungoo and Muthraw Districts, is not known at this time.

The situation in Toungoo District is unclear at this time but the most recent reports indicate the Burma Army sweeps against villagers and IDPs near the Mawchi and Busakee road projects continue. There are no new reinforcements however.

Emergency medical supplies are now reaching a few of the Karen and Karenni IDPs (over 5,000 IDPs who fled the Burma Army attacks in Dec '03 and Jan-Feb '04). The relief teams who responded to the attacks of the Burma Army in Jan '04 ran out of medicine and had to return for resupply. Rice has also been provided by those concerned for these IDPs.

The IDPs are now at a survival level. We do not know how long that can be sustained and even with this help, most IDPs will still not receive the medical care or nutrition they need. Their physical security is also still very much at risk.

Thank for your help and prayers, God bless you, FBR