Burmese Regime Condemned for Atrocities Against Civilians in Shan State
12 April 2011: Shan community groups have strongly condemned the ongoing brutal atrocities inflicted upon innocent civilians by Burma Army in Shan State, calling on the military rulers to stop their policies of aggression in ethnic areas.
A total of 65 battles have taken place in three weeks alone, driving over 3,000 villagers out of their homes into hiding in the jungle or to the Thai border, according to a report issued today by Shan community groups.
The report said that Burma’s military regime has mobilized its 3,500 troops from over twenty battalions to launch attacks in Murng Su Township after breaking its 22-year-long ceasefire with the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) on 13 March, 2011.
“The initial attack on March 13 involved shelling of a Buddhist temple at Wan Nam Lao, killing four novices and injuring two villagers.The Burma Army has deployed 120 mm mortars throughout the area and shelled indiscriminately at populated villages,” stressed the report.
Over 100,000 civilians are now reported fearing for their lives in the conflict zone in Shan State.
Villagers are being tortured and killed on suspicion of supporting the Shan resistance, and women targeted for sexual violence. Three women were gang-raped in separate incidents in Wan Nam Lao, including a 30-year-old woman who had given birth only one month earlier, and died after being raped by numerous troops.
Burma Army is also accused of using women and girls from different villages as porters and human shields to deter SSA-N attacks.
Kham Harn Fah of the Shan Human Rights Foundation said: “Northern Shan State is being plunged into war and new atrocities inflicted on our people. Now is definitely not the time to lift sanctions against the regime.”
The Shan community-based groups also call on the international community to condemn this ‘unprovoked’ offensive and to increase pressure on Burma’s ruling authorities to end the ‘inhumane’ atrocity.
Van Biak Thang