SOUTHERN TROPICAL FOREST IN DANGER
(IMNA: October 3, 2003)
A pro Rangoon outfit, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army
(DKBA), has cut thousands of logs in southern Burma including
in areas occupied by the local population.
A trader from northern Ye, Mon State said, “They even
go and cut down trees in the villagers(tm) gardens. The villagers
are afraid to ban them and the Burmese soldiers turn a blind
“The DKBA enters the pristine forested area in the
northeastern part of Ye Township and cuts thousands of tons
of trees for logging business”, said a New Mon State
Party official from Ye.
The Karen armed group who surrendered to the BA receives
logging concessions from the regime(tm)s forestry department.
It was reported the DKBA aggressively cuts the trees close
to the New Mon State Party controlled area and even sometimes
enters into the Party (tm)s area.
According to the source, thousands of tons of logs in Pa-an
Township and Battalion No. 999 of the DKBA areas are being
cut down; the “Pago Yoma” range in Pegu Division
is also under the logging concessions.
Businessmen who have good contact with the DKBA normally
transport logs and lumber to Mon and Karen State for construction
and other purposes. The local source said soldiers from the
BA also cut teak on the Zami riverbank in Kya-inn-seikyi Township
of Karen State.
To promote their logging concession, the DKBA sells lumber
to Buddhist monks at a low price to build monasteries in Mon
and Karen States. The DKBA is exempt from paying an illegal
tax to the BA along the way while ordinary traders have to
pay when passing their checkpoints.
A small number of civilians also cut down trees in Yebyu
Township in Tenasserim Division but must pay tax to several
armed groups. These traders do not have concessions like the
DKBA has with the regime.