BAGO DIVISION – Residents have reported that the army is recruiting one in every house for the militia and forcing every house to draw lots in the villages in Padaung township, which is on the other side of Pyay city, in the western part of the Bago division.
On the evening of January 10th, the village elders were called to a meeting, and every male/female between the ages of 18 and 65 had to come out of each house. 20 or 30 persons per village and 20 persons per 100 houses will be chosen by lottery, he said.
“The whole township of Phadaung was recruited. If the one chosen by lots can go with recruits or pay money for a substitute. If not chosen by lots, the house has to pay money for the expenses of training. Although the villagers don’t agree with what they ask, they have no choice because they are afraid.
The junta council said that “the selected villagers will be trained for 14 days in Padaung, then re-send back to their villages to guard their villages.” But the villagers don’t believe what they say.
The villagers added that ” they said the villagers would return to their village and take the security. But we all read in the news and we all know, they sand the men as they wish.”
Currently, 20 local people from Daung Myetna and Dant Dalon villages in Padaung township have been taken, and some of the villages include women.
“I see that they are recruiting soldiers intending to protect their village, which is a lie because their strength is not enough. If anyone gets to them, most probably to send for the front line, even if it’s just water from their palms,” said another Padaung resident.
Similarly, in the Taungpogyi group with 4 villages, 90 people between the ages of 18 and 60 are demanded, said a local from Taungpogyi group.
Among that group, it includes the villages of Taungpogyi, Myawargone, Hmangone, and Ywathitgone. They said that they had a meeting in the villages of Hmangone and Taungpogyi on January 11th.
“For the Myawargone and Ywathitgone, they have called a meeting for the entire village tomorrow (January 12th) at 8:00 a.m. They said that the house that does not come will be added to the ballot list,” said a local member of the Taungpogyi group.
In those villages, like in other villages, they said that after the 14-day training, it would have to guard the village, but even they didn’t believe it and didn’t want to go.
There are 41 village groups and more than 200 villages in Padaung township, and there are reports that they are threatening to burn down the village if they do not meet the target of recruits, but this has not been confirmed yet.
On January 9th, police and strangers suddenly arrived in some villages in Padaung township without a village administrator, and after checking the guest list, people were called for militia.