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Karen State, Burma: Shwegyin District Image Analysis

Executive Summary
Papun District Image Analysis
Toungoo District Image Analysis
Dooplaya District Image Analysis
Shan State Image Analysis
>Shwegyin District Image Analysis
Myawadi District Image Analysis
Thailand Image Analysis

In February of 2009, the Thailand Burma Border Consortium provided AAAS SHR with a shapefile containing the coordinates of nearly one hundred sites that its reporters believe may have been attacked between August of 2007 and July of 2008. While most of these reports concerned Karen state and other areas nearer to the border with Thailand, nearly a dozen also concerned Shwegyin district, located in southern Pegu state near the Karen border. These reports were lent further legitimacy by information furnished by the Free Burma Rangers, who had been operating on the ground in the area, and reported that the village of Kaw La Sein had been attacked on March 8, 2008.

AAAS acquired contemporary as well as archival imagery of the areas reported by both groups, each of which revealed evidence that could corroborate their claims of attacks and displacement. The coordinates provided by the Free Burma Rangers were very accurate, and revealed the total destruction of what had once appeared to be a small fishing village. The TBBC coordinates were more ambiguous, however there was at least one instance where a settlement appeared to have been abandoned. 

Shwegyin District Sites


Image One: Removed Village



The top image depicts the village of Kaw La Sein on 09 December 2003. The bottom image depicts the same location on 25 February 2009. The footpaths are the only sign that a settlement once existed; all structures in the original settlement have been removed. According to the Free Burma Rangers, this site was attacked on 08 March 2008. Top image: GeoEye. Bottom image: GeoEye. (Lat: 17.82, Lon: 97.03)