Myanmar Military to Research Troops Accused of Killing Three Ta’ang Villagers

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The Myanmar army has said it will look into the deaths of three cultural Ta’ang civilians who died while being arrested by soldiers in Myanmar’s restive northern Shan state, and hold to account those responsible, a village administrator as well as local inhabitants said Friday.

The move came days after RFA printed written and video reports before on Tuesday that the figures were uncovered in makeshift graves at Muse township a week.

Mai Nyi Tun, 28, from Man Kan village; Mai Alone from Lwe Mon villageand Nyi Leik, 40, by Mai Sat village, all in Namhkam township, vanished in the end of May after being arrested by Myanmar soldiers after a struggle with the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), a Ta’ang civil war team and also the relatives of the deceased told RFA in the prior report.

The team and relatives have required that the government military — the alleged perpetrators of the killings — be brought to justice for the offense. The army originally had denied responsibility for the killings.

Colonel Hla Moe, commander of the military’s Light Infantry Division No. 99, met with village mates, a local lawmaker and Ta’ang civil society officials Thursday at Muse and advised them that an evaluation could be conducted,” said Nyan Moe, manager of Neng Kat village tract in which the bodies were discovered.

People who attended the assembly vouched to the testimonies of villagers that had been arrested by soldiers in the military division together with the three dead guys, but later escaped. Individuals who got away stated the soldiers that abducted them wore the insignia of Light Infantry Division No. 99 in their pajamas.

“The soldiers had requested the villagers to look down, Nyan Moe stated. “They requested two of those villagers who perished to lie down on their stomachs. The villagers got a glimpse of the insignias with No. 99 on them”

The Ta’ang Literature and Culture Organization issued a statement on Wednesday concerning the 3 guys who died in custody.

“We called the [army division by name in our statement because we have witnesses who are confident about what they saw,” said Ta’ang National Party lawmaker Nyi Sein, chairman of the civil society group.

“But the military officer didn’t say anything about it,” he said, referring to Colonel Hla Moe. “The division commander said he would inspect his soldiers [and] get the facts via interrogation.”

“I believe he meant he could possibly affirm or reject our testimonies,” Nyi Sein added.

RFA couldn’t reach Myanmar army spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun punctually for comment prior publication.

Tied to trees

Nyan Moe stated Mai Nyi Tun and Nyi Leik were out of his village and that they made their living by producing ethanol.

Local villagers had hunted for three lost guys for 10 days prior to filing missing persons reports with police. Civil leaders additionally filed a report in the police station at Muse.

When RFA contacted Muse authorities for remark in the analysis, the man who responded to the telephone refused to answer inquiries on the telephone.

Kham Aung, the older sister of Mai Nyi Tun, told RFA that she wasn’t conscious of the assembly involving the division commander and civil society leaders, but stated she didn’t want to observe any other villagers evaporate and perish.

“I do not need such things to occur to civilians anymore, if the offenders would be the army troops or some other armed groups,” she explained.

The bodies of the trio were awakened on Aug. 21 at the presence of household members, neighborhood inhabitants, a forensic doctor, policemen, and civil administrators.

Tar Aik Thein Win, secretary of this Ta’ang Literature and Culture Organization explained that area at which the villagers were murdered was the site of a former TNLA camp.

“You will find trenches close to the website. The villagers were captured and buried in the trenches,” he told RFA, including that the bodies showed signs of potential torture.

“It looked as though the villagers were attached into the trees when they had been murdered,” he explained. “Their bodies have been discovered tied . I really don’t know whether they had been murdered by tortures or shots”

The forensic doctor refused to comment on the source of death, and also the bodies are cremated, Tar Aik Thein Win stated.

The Ta’ang, also known as Palaung, are just one of Myanmar’s 135 formally recognized ethnic groups. Besides Shan country, in addition they are available in southwestern China’s Yunnan province and in northern Thailand.

Reported by Zarni Htun and Kan Thar for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Written in English from Roseanne Gerin.


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