May 11, 2022
This update details human rights violations committed by SAC troops in Ywangan township, southern Shan State, during February-April 2022. There are no existing Burma Army bases in Ywangan township, which lies in the Danu Self-Administered Zone, but troops have been deployed from Kalaw-based LIB 112 and LIB 117, and Lawksawk-based LIB 508 and LIB 509 under the Eastern Regional Command, to crack down on the PDF resistance movement in the area.
During this period, ten villagers were killed (nine of them tortured and massacred together) and twenty-five arrested. Six houses were ransacked and looted, and a further seven houses torched. These abuses have terrorized local villagers, causing over 800 residents of Nwapangyi, Hlwasin, Lekaing, and Pe Yin Taung villages to flee their homes and shelter in nearby villages or forests.
Motorcyclist shot dead by SAC troops
In the evening of February 15, 2022, Maung Zin Min Khaing, aged 21, was riding his motorbike back from his family’s lime farm to his home, when he was shot and killed by SAC troops riding in army trucks in the middle of Nwapangyi village, Nwapangyi tract, in Ywagan township.
The troops were from LIB 112 and LIB 117, who were driving at high speed into the village. After the troops had shot him dead, they took his corpse with them to Kalaw hospital, and then cremated him in Kalaw without contacting his family.
Maung Zin Min Khaing was a manual labourer who had recently returned from Mawchee mine in Karenni State to stay with his family in Ywangan township.
Arbitrary arrest and detention of villagers
On March 18, 2022, about eight SAC soldiers arrested three male villagers from their houses in Pe Yin Taung village, Nankhong tract, at about 9 am, and took them to Ywangan. They remain in detention, in an unknown location.
On April 22, 2022, at 1 am, SAC troops arrested and detained U Nay Win in Pe Yin Taung village. He was then transferred to Taung Lay Lone Prison, near Nyaung Shwe.
On April 26, 2022, at 6 am, about 50 SAC troops came to Lekaing village, Lekaing tract, and checked the phones of youth who were in the village. They then arrested 21 youth and took them to their base at Kalaw. Until now the youth are being held incommunicado.
Looting and torching of villagers’ houses
On March 20, 2022, at about 2 am, five houses in Pe Yin Taung village were ransacked and possessions looted by SAC troops.
On April 12, 2022, early in the morning, over 10 SAC soldiers burned down the house of Daw Swe Wa Wa, who had joined the CDM movement, in Nwapangyi village, using petrol. The troops had been camping in Nwapangyi temple for over one month, interrogating anyone travelling through the village.
On April 13, 2022, at about 1 am, about 20 SAC troops came in a truck and burned down two houses belonging to U Ni and U Si in Hlwasin village, Nankhong tract.
On April 18, 2022, at 8 pm, SAC troops came and set fire to the house of Ko Win Khaing, a former village headman in Nwapangyi village.
On April 20, 2022, at 8 pm, SAC troops came and set fire to Ko Pho Khaing’s house in Nwapangyi village, but fortunately rain put out the fire before it could spread. SAC troops then ransacked the house.
On April 21, 2022, in the evening, Ko Thet Oo’s house at Nwapangyi village was burned down by SAC troops.
On April 22, 2022, at 1 am, SAC troops burned down the house of U Nay Win, and another house in the same compound, in Pe Yin Taung village.
Torture, massacre of nine villagers
On April 19, 2022, nine male villagers from Pe Yin Taung were arrested by SAC troops when returning to their village, having fled to hide in the forest since fighting broke out between the Burma Army and PDF forces on April 15. The troops tortured the villagers, cutting them with knives on their hands and stomachs, and then shot them dead and burned their bodies together with car tires in a field behind Pe Yin Taung village.
On April 20, fellow villagers found the pile of burned bodies. Some of the bodies were only partially burned, so the knife wounds and gunshot wounds were still visible. The villagers then buried the bodies.
The villagers were: Ko Tin Phay (aged 48), Ko Hla Soe (aged 30), Ko Tun Oo (aged 43), Ko Thet Aung (aged 37), Ko Myo Htwe (aged 27), Ko Win Naing (aged 50), Ko BaTu, Ko Hla Shwe, and Ko Pho Byaung.
Most residents of Pe Yin Taung remain displaced, and are still too afraid to return home.
Sai Hor Hseng +66: 94-728-6696 (Shan, English)
Ying Leng Harn +66: 62 569 5220 (Shan, Burmese)
Sai San Loi +66: 88 680 4913 (Shan, Burmese)