Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Collecting reserve soldiers after militia training

In northern Shan state, Nam Kham, the 90 villagers who live in upper Parn York village and below Parn York were forced to attend militia training by the battalion (144), which is based at the Marn That village. Out of the 90 villagers, some 30 villagers were chosen to attend the gun fighting exercise training as permanent militia to Nampaka village on April 2nd. Presently, 60 villagers have been collected in Marn That village as reserve recruits.
According to the villagers, they said the authorities have never called the Ta’ang villagers to attend the militia training before. However, the authorities did not train the villagers in gun fighting excise training and only collected the villagers as reserve recruits; the villagers are worried about the reasons for this reserve recruitment due to the ongoing fighting between the army and the ethnic groups in the area.
“The military regime forced us to attend the militia training; however, this time is unlike before because the authorities train us in gun fighting exercise training and collect us as reserve recruits.  After the SSA-N and military soldier were fighting, the military regime’s plan was to collect us as reserve recruits for the frontline. The military regime will try to use us (the Ta’ang people) in fighting with the Shan soldiers therefore the government will create conflict between ethnic groups”, said the villager.
The villagers, who were forced to attend the militia training for reserve recruits, have been faced with many family problems, such as money problems. Most of those villagers, who attended the militia training, were relying on the yield from their tea farm and other crops, as a result of being forced to attend the militia training they have been unable to tend to their crops, thus loosing money for their families and it put them under severe mental strain as they worry about their women, elderly relatives and children having enough to eat.



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