Fears for Arrested Karenni Villagers
20 October 2011: Grave concern has been raised over five Karenni villagers who were arrested in Daw Tanaw village in Prusoe Township, Karenni State by Burma Army soldiers last Tuesday.
Major Thant Tin Soe and his soldiers from Infantry Battalion No. 250 raided the village, arresting the headman Ngah Reh, Thoe Reh, Lureh, Kyaw Win and Mi Reh following a 10-minute gunfight against the Karenni guerrilla forces.
Speaking to Chinland Guardian, UK-based Karenni leader Rimond Htoo said the arrested locals are still detained at a village called Htee Po K’lo in the military base of Burma Army.
“Thein Sein’s government is talking about peace but on the other side, has increased the number of troops in the ethnic areas and seize more land for their presence from the local people. They make war, attacking the villagers. How can we understand the government in terms of peace?”
The soldiers ransacked the houses and seized the villagers’ valuable belongings including rings, earrings as well as food stuffs, according to the locals.
On another occasion early this month, a group of Karenni medics providing medical aid to the locals were attacked by Burma Army soldiers, who then seized two sacks of medicine and one rifle left by the team.
No casualties were reported from the military attacks in Karenni State.
Meanwhile, the military offensive by Thein Sein’s administration against the Kachin Independence Army has intensified in recent days, internally displacing more than an estimated 30,000 people in Kachin State.
Van Biak Thang