May 30th, 2011
By Independent Mon News Agency - About 20 families from Mae Thasa village arrived in Three Pagodas Pass (TPP) yesterday after fighting between Burmese and Karen troops forced them to flee their homes, according to border sources.
A villager from Mae Thasa said that the 20 families fled their village after troops from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) attempted to ambush government troops on May 26, which resulted in small-scale fighting in their village.
“Elderly people, especially, fled from the village as they are worried that there will be more fighting in the village,” said the villager.
Mae Thasa village is approximately 6 kilometers from TPP. It consists of 205 houses separated into two sections which are referred to as the ‘new village’ and the ‘former village’. The area is under the control of the Karen National Liberation Army Brigade 6.
A resident in TPP said, “The families are staying at Dama Hhe Wom monastery, which is a Karen monastery located in the town of TPP.”
There are currently three groups of Burmese government soldiers deployed in TPP, which are Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 373 and 566, both under the control of the Western Command in Arakan State, and Infantry Battalion 283, which is under the control of the Regional Southeast Command in Moulmein.
LIB 566 just arrived in the area of TPP yesterday, according to a source from the New Mon State Party.
The Burmese authorities have deployed LIB 566 to tighten security in the town as authorities are concerned that the DKBA is going to attempt to seize the town again, according to NMSP.
The DKBA troops, which are under the control of Brigade 5 led by Col. Saw Lah Pwe, seized TPP town the day after the national election, on November 8.
Meanwhile, residents of TPP are worried that if the town is seized by the DKBA again, they will have to flee to the Thai border.
“There is no time to work on our businesses here. We always have to worry about when we will have to run again,” said Tun Oo, a resident in the township.
“If they fight, we will have problems again,” he added.