Burma Army and Militia Severely Torture Village Headman for Alleged RCSS/SSA Links in Loilem, Southern Shan State

A village headman was severely tortured by troops of Burma Army LIB 430 and a local pro-government militia on June 27, 2018 in Wan Mu Ser village, Nawng Leng village tract, Loilem township, southern Shan State. The headman was accused of links to the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA).

On June 26, 2018 at 7 am, about 25 Burma Army troops from LIB 430, led by Captain Taung Lin Htut, based in Kaung Hsai in Karenni State, under the Eastern Regional Command at Taunggyi, and 13 militia troops left Nawng Pa Deb village, and headed to Wan Mu Ser, a Shan village which has about 30 households with over 100 inhabitants.

After arriving at Wan Mu Ser, in the evening of June 27, Capt. Taung Lin Htut ordered six soldiers (two Burma Army troops and four militiamen) to go and search a house belonging to a woman called Nang Jarm. She was interrogated and accused of being married to an RCSS/SSA soldier.

That night, at 11:30 pm, the same troops went to the house of the village headman, Loong Karng Tawng aged 50. When they searched his house, they found some dynamite, commonly used to catch fish in the river. They then accused Loong Karng Tawng of working for RCSS/SSA and helping recruit troops for them. Loong Karng Tawng denied this, saying he was just the village headman.

The troops said they did not believe him and started kicking him. They dragged him down from his house and said they were going to shoot him dead. They took him to the west of the village, about 10 minutes’ walk away, under a large tree. They said they would kill him there. They then started beating him with their rifle butts: in his left temple, his left eye, his mouth, and on his head, so severely that his body was covered in blood. They then hit him about six times with their gun muzzles, and fired a pistol at him, but fortunately the pistol did not go off.  Loong Karng Tawng tried to snatch the guns from the soldiers, and ended up running away into the jungle to hide. At that time, one of the soldiers fired after him, but did not hit him. The soldiers dared not chase after him in the jungle.

After that, at about midnight, the same soldiers went to the house of another villager, Sai Ngwe, aged 30, and took him to the center of the village. They interrogated him and slapped him three times in the left temple, and kicked him. Then they released him.

On June 28 at 5 am, Capt. Taung Lin Htut ordered his men to search in and under the house of an elderly villager called Paw Htao Aung. They robbed him of 12,000 kyat (8.8 US$). When Paw Htao Aung asked them why they were searching his house, they said they were looking for Loong Karng Tawng, and told Paw Htao Aung to kill Loong Karng Tawng if he found him.

The same day, at 6 am, about 50 villagers went to look for Loong Karng Tawng in the west of the village, and found a lot of blood around the large tree. They thought that Loong Karng Tawng was dead because they searched the surrounding forest and could not find him. Only on the following day, on June 29, at 10 am, the villagers found Loong Karng Tawng between some rocks about one mile north of the village. Loong Karng Tawng’s body was bloodstained with many bruises. He had hidden between the rocks for two nights without any food. He is now being looked after by his relatives in a safe place. His injuries have caused him to defecate with blood, and his health condition is still worrying.

Loong Karng Tawng had been the head of the village for one year. He is the son of Loong Weuk and Mae Pa Swe, both originally from Wan Mu Ser. He has four sons and three daughters.

Earlier that month, on June 8, at 1 pm, about 30 troops from the same Burma Army battalion, LIB 430, led by Capt. Taung Lin Htut had gone to the village of Wan Nam Maw Phai, about 15 kilometers north east of Wan Mu Ser, and searched the houses of six villagers, who they accused of being RCSS/SSA members.

The six villagers were: Sai Goam, aged 30, son of Loong Aw and Pa Tun; Sai Hla Aung, aged 31, son of Loong Oong and Pa Pheing; Sai Ne, aged 32, son of Loong Lu and Pa Su; Sai Parn, aged 33, son of Loong Oong and Pa Khin: Sai Parn aged 30 son of Loong Aung and Pa Mart; and Karng Bya, aged 28, son of Loong Aung Sa and Pa Tawn. The Burma Army searched for them at their houses and when they did not find them, they called three women, Pa U, Nang Nu and Nang Mu, to interrogate them about the whereabouts of the six villagers, who they accused of having guns and walkie-talkies. The three women replied they did not know where the six men were.

Burma Army and militia beat farmer, ransack headman’s house in Loi Lem, southern Shan State

On July 8, 2018, troops from Burma Army LIB 430 and a local pro-government militia beat a farmer who was returning from his farm to his village, Loi Gurn, Nawng Leng village tract, Loi Lem township, southern Shan State.

That day, at 9.30 am, over 30 Burma Army troops, led by Major Aung Min Tun, and ten militia members had come from the Wan Jao-Na Long direction, when they met 34-year-old Sai Woon, son of Loong Liang and Pa Phan, who was heading home. They asked him “Who is your village headman? Do you have a gun? Where are you storing your guns?” They hit and kicked him three times and then released him.

After that, the troops went to search the house of the Loi Gurn village headman, Sai Su Nanda, son of Loong Leik and Pa Bauk. They searched under and in the house, emptying boxes, and seized one walkie-talkie costing 35,000 kyat (25 US$), and one power bank costing 5,000 kyat (3.5 US$). They accused the headman of hiding guns in the house or in the forest, and not telling them. They also asked him about village youth helping Shan troops. When the headman said nothing, they said whoever helped the Shan troops would face 20 years in prison. They then left the village on July 9, 2018 and headed to Wan Nam Maw Phai, Nawng Leng village tract.

Burma Army loot villagers’ livestock during fresh attack on NCA signatory RCSS/SSA in Mong Kung, southern Shan State

Burma Army troops have looted livestock of local villagers during fresh attacks on the RCSS/SSA in Mong Kung township, southern Shan State, since July 9, 2018.

On July 11, 2018, over 100 Burma Army troops from LIB 576 based in Keng Tawng, Mong Nai township, under Military Operations Command 17, looted livestock from villagers in Wan Nam Oat, Ham Ngai village tract, Mong Kung township, southern Shan State. Five pigs worth 1,500,000 kyat (=1,053 US$) were stolen from Loong Su and Pa Sa. A buffalo worth 2,000,000 kyat (=1,404 US$) was stolen from Sai Hsang Mint and Nang Mawn.

The Burma Army troops began attacking RCSS/SSA at Wan Huay Moan, west of Ho Khai, Ho Khai village tract, Mong Kung township, at around 11:30 am on July 9, only two days before the third session of the 21st Century Panglong Conference. The attacks have caused over a thousand nearby villagers to flee their homes and take shelters at local temples.

RCSS/SSA is one of the signatories of the October 2015 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), and has actively taken part in the Burmese government’s peace process, despite being blocked by the Burma Army from holding community consultations in preparation for political dialogue.

 

Contact

Sai Hor Hseng                         +66: 62- 941-9600             (Shan,English)

Sai Yord Luin                           +66: 97- 143-1530             (Shan,Burmese)

Download this report in English HERE.

Download this report in Burmese HERE.

Download this report in Shan HERE.

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