Villagers Forced to Sit, Kicked in Chest by Burma Army IB 278 in Mong Paeng, Eastern Shan State

Troops from Burma Army Infantry Battalion (IB) 278 arrested two local farmers in Mong Paeng township, forced them to sit and kicked them in the chest, accusing them of hiding the whereabouts of Shan troops.

On September 12, at 10 am, over 100 troops from IB 278, based in Mong Hsat, entered Wan Lorn Kaew village, Mong Pu Long village tract. The troops divided into two groups to search for Shan troops: one searched around the village, and the other went on patrol in the jungle.

The group searching the village unloaded their belongings in the villagers’ houses and questioned an elderly villager named Loong Chanda about whether he had seen the Shan troops. Loong Chanda told them he did not know the Shan troops and had not seen them.

At 6 pm that day, the troops patrolling in the jungle saw traces of a former Shan army outpost east of the village, and called through to the troops in the village to inform them. The troops in the village then forced Loong Chanda and another village, Sai Jeya, to go with them to the site of the former Shan army outpost.

There, the troops said to them: “This is so close to your village. Why did you say you did not know about the Shan troops?”

The troops angrily forced them to sit down and kicked them in the chest 3-4 times, knocking them to the ground. Then the troops pointed a knife at their shoulders and made them get up, then tied their hands behind their backs and led them back into the village.

When they arrived in the village, the two villagers’ wives started crying, seeing their husbands in this condition. At 8.30 pm, the troops released the two villagers, and allowed them to return home.

That night, some Burma Army troops stayed in the village and some stayed outside the village. The next day, at 10 am, they left the village, and went south towards Wan Peing Hsang village.

Loong Chanda is 54 years old. He is married to Pa Nang Hseng Lu. They are both farmers. After being kicked in the chest, Loong Chanda suffered pain when breathing, and had to travel to Kengtung to be X-rayed.

Sai Jeya is 40 years old. He is married to Nang Kham. They are both farmers.

Wan Lorn Kaew has 80 inhabitants, living in 21 households.

This incident occurred in an operating area of the Restoration Council of Shan State/ Shan State Army (RCSS/ SSA), which signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement under the government of President Thein Sein on October 15, 2015. It occurred just two days after an RCSS delegation met with representatives of the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre and the Burma Army that discussed the peace process on September 10 in Yangon. On August 31, the Burma Army had extended their unilateral ceasefire to September 21 in five military regions, including eastern Shan State.

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