Villagers Suffer As SPDC’s Brutalities Increase In Chin State
Chin villagers are facing an increasing degree of perpetual hardship and harassment by the SPDC’s soldiers, sparking fears that the situation, given the devastating food crisis in Chin State, could get worse and more complicated.
Ruthless acts against the Chin people by the SPDC’s troops stationed in various villages of Chin State, according to Khonumthung’s recent news, included exaction, attempted rape of Chin women, forced portering and exploitation of the villagers.
On 30 August, Captain Khant Kyaw from LIB (304) Military Camp stationed in Lailenpi village, Matupi Township attempted to rape at gunpoint an old woman Daw Si Si, 66, and her 27-year-old daughter. His attempt was not successful as the soldiers came to the scene after they heard gunshots made in the air by the frustrated captain the two women constantly resisted. He compensated the two women after a group of women from the village planned to go to court in Hakha, the capital of Chin State.
“We believe the captain is taking public revenge on villagers after compensating the woman and her daughter with Ks. 200,000. He stops, arrests and demands as much money as he wants from the travellers who are selling chicken, pigs and cows. He also threatens some high school students with torture at their hostels at night,” said a Mara villager from Matupi town.
On 2 September, Captain Aung Kyaw Hein from LIB (538) Military Camp stationed in Shinletwa, Paletwa township held a meeting with village headmen, demanding 8 chicken per village or 15,000 Kyat in cash for military rations and personal consumption. The village headmen, despite their explanation about the current food crisis in the area, were warned of severe actions as a consequence if failing to do as ordered.
Villagers of Leilet, Singai and Hmawngkawn in Falam Township were reportedly forced to search for the lost gun believed to be of a soldier found dead on 26 September in the forest near Leilet village. Some villagers were said to have fled to India in fear of torture and interrogation by the soldiers. The cause of the soldier’s death has not been known. The villagers couldn’t do their own work as they were forced to search for the gun, according to the local villager.
Following a recent clash between CNA and the SPDC’s soldiers on 16 September, the villagers of Ramri and nearby villages, Paletwa Township avoided travelling near the areas in fear of military forced portering by the SPDC’s soldiers.
Burma’s military regime has been severely criticised and accused of not only ‘ignoring’ the ongoing food crisis facing the Chin people but also ‘worsening’ the situation by its ruthless brutalities and various systematic repressive measures. These callous acts including ethnic cleansing prompted the Chin people to flee their native places in search of refuge and security in other countries.
Van Biak Thang
30 September, 2008