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Damming at gunpoint(English Version)


THE SALWEEN UNDER KAREN CONTROL 21 1inch = 25 miles Map 6: Forest Reservations and Wildlife Sanctuaries in Papun District

22 DAMMING AT GUNPOINT the resources according to their needs. Some tracts of the forest were set aside as “community forests”. The teepo kawkasas would take care of affairs related to the livelihoods of villagers and their animist rituals. Yearly worship of nature was carried out by the teepo kawkasa who would be in charge of the ceremony. Although the traditional system of land demarcation and ownership was not enforced along the Salween River bank, where logging was carried out between 1983 to 1995, it was strictly enforced in the northern part of Papun. Infrastructure Although the British had built roads during the colonial times, mainly to facilitate the export of logs, these had mostly fallen into disrepair during the civil war. Only the roads leading from towns further inside Burma to Papun and Pwagor were maintained (by the regime) prior to 1992, and were used to transport supplies to Burma Army troops during the rainy season. In the 1980s, after the KNU sold logging concessions to Thai companies, those companies dug some roads along creeks flowing into the Salween River in order to transport logs, mostly in Butho Township. Papun town has an airport, with aircraft flying from Rangoon via Pa-an. Telegrams were used to communicate between bigger towns. Particularly during the rainy season, rivers such as the Belin and Yunzalin were commonly used for transportation between Papun and bigger towns or villages. Along the border, the Salween River served as the major transportation and trading route.

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