BURMA: 400 sleeping Karen villagers attacked by Burmese troops

Dear Friends,

For your attention, we are forwarding you the following appeal from the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) in Hong Kong, regarding the Burmese troops’ attack against the Karen (one of ethnic minority groups in Burma) villagers in Thai-Burma border area.

Thank you for your attention.

Urgent Appeal Desk

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)




10th January 2003


In the early hours of Wednesday 8th January, 300 Burmese troops descended on two Karen villages close to the Thai-Burma border, causing over 400 Karen to flee.

The frightened villagers of Oo Po Hta, who had all been asleep, fled wearing only the clothes they had on. On this occasion there was no time to collect possessions or take food, water or clothes with them. The village was quickly surrounded by the troops who opened fire and stormed the village.

Later they stormed into nearby Ler Khaw which straddles the border with Thailand. As they fired rounds of ammunition and shelled the village some shells landed on Thai soil, which has meant that Thai troops have had to get involved.

The Karen soldiers, many of whom are Christians and carry Bibles in their pockets, were outnumbered 10:1 and were powerless to stop the advancing battalion.

Most of the IDPs moved across the border into Pho Phra district of Thailand where Asian Tribal Ministries and other NGOs distributed blankets, food and water.

Late on the evening of 9th January, the Karen National Union (KNU) was successful in pushing back a significant number of the attackers.

However they have not yet been able to drive them out of the village and they are deeply concerned that the soldiers will, as is usual, loot the whole village before killing the livestock and pets, and torching the entire village and its crops.

Source: Karen Action Group (Maesot)

Please pray:

1. For God’s hand of protection over those defending the Karen villages, and that the villager’s homes, crops and livestock will not be destroyed

2. For provision of food, shelter and for God’s peace for the Karen villagers who have fled

3. For compassion on the part of the Thai government and officials

4. For Asian Tribal Ministries and other organizations striving to provide for and comfort the frightened villagers

5. For lasting peace for the ethnic minorities of Burma

Thank you for your concern and prayers.

CSW Hong Kong

Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-01-2003
Countries : Burma (Myanmar),
Issues : Military, State of emergency & martial law,