Chin Teenage Refugee Shot Dead In Thailand
A 16-year-old teenage boy from Burma’s Chin State was last week shot to death in Thailand by Thai police while he was trying to escape to Malaysia as a refugee.
Dawt Za Cung, of Mualkai village, was found dead in the Thai agent’s van after an hour-long car chase and shooting by the Thai police near the Thai-Malaysian border.
The incident took place around midnight last Tuesday while the van reportedly carrying a total of 25 refugees from Burma, mostly Chins, including three children aged between 6 and 7, and two elderly Chin and Kachin women was en route to Malaysia.
A 14-year-old boy, who eventually managed to get to Malaysia, was quoted as saying: “The Thai Police started shooting first at the car which seems to have bullet-proof windows. Later, they [Thai police] opened fire on the car tyres, and only when the car came to a halt, we realised that our brother was shot and already dead.”
No one, the boy added, was allowed to get out of the van until the Thai agents came to make a negotiation with the police. “Dawt Za Cung’s body was taken out and retained by the police. We were taken into another van heading for the Thai-Malaysian border.”
Thailand-based Christian church and NGO were reportedly said to have held a funeral service for Dawt Za Cung, a Chin Christian from Thantlang Township in Chin State.
Ram Nun Cung of VOCR (Voice of Chin Refugees) in Malaysia said: “According to what we have heard so far, the remaining group made their ways safely into Malaysia but we don’t know exactly where they are now apart from two being arrested by Malaysian RELA Corps two days after their arrival and one being hospitalised for an appendix operation.”
Van Biak Thang
17 September, 2009