Ex-CNA Soldier Among Freed Prisoners in Burma
13 October 2011: Mr. Aung Aung aka Bawi Thang, originally from Mindat Township, Chin State, was among the 6,359 prisoners released yesterday in Burma as part of an amnesty program of the Thein Sein’s government.
Bawi Thang, a former soldier of the Chin National Army (CNA) who deserted the force in mid 2000s, was arrested at the bus station in Hakha while trying to travel to Rangoon, a source close to his family said.
He was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment in total – a combination of 3 years on charges supporting an insurgent group and another 7 years for possessing fraudulent documents.
A relative of Mr. Bawi Thang told Chinland Guardian: “He was arrested in Hakha by the Military Intelligence on information provided by another ex-CNA soldier from Cengtum (Saido) village near Gangaw Town in Magway Division.”
The Cengtum villager, who knew Aung Aung as a Chin underground soldier, was working as an undercover informant for the Burmese Military Intelligence, his relative said.
His ‘unexpected’ release while he was serving his long sentence in Kalay Prison in Sagaing Division has been welcomed by family members and relatives as well as local communities.
It is said that Aung Aung’s adoptive father and two other relatives, who were government servants, were also arrested and initially sentenced to 6-month imprisonment for the negligence of official duty in connection with Aung Aung’s case.
Mr. Bawi Thang, now in his early thirties, grew up under his adoptive parents in Sentung village in Lautu region of Thantlang Township, Chin State.
Van Biak Thang