Tat­madaw de­nies role in north­ern Shan killings

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - THU THU AUNG thuthuaung@mm­times.com

Lo­cal res­i­dents claim that five of the seven bod­ies found in shal­low graves in Mong Yaw be­longed to peo­ple who had been ar­rested by the Myan­mar army three days prior to the grisly dis­cov­ery.

THE Tat­madaw re­leased a state­ment last week deny­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the deaths of seven civil­ians found in shal­low graves in Lashio township in north­ern Shan State.

The bod­ies of six men and one woman were found buried in an agri­cul­tural field in the for­mer Mong Yaw sub-township on June 29. Lo­cals said five of the vic­tims were res­i­dents of Mong Yaw vil­lage who had been ar­rested by the Tat­madaw on June 26.

The Tat­madaw state­ment, re­leased on June 29, de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tion, say­ing that the corpses were found fol­low­ing fight­ing in the area be­tween the Ta’ang Na­tional Lib­er­a­tion Army (TNLA) and the Shan State Progress Party/Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA).

A Tat­madaw bat­tal­ion gath­ered the bod­ies from around the bat­tle­field and in­terred them to­gether near where they were found, the state­ment said, adding that the army is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the case.

But Tar Gyoke Ja, vice chair of the TNLA, said no mem­bers of the TNLA had been killed near Mong Yaw.

“Our troops pitched a camp on the moun­tain far away from that area,” he said.

Sai Pong Mong, a mem­ber of the Tai Youth Or­gan­i­sa­tion who saw the bod­ies, said five of the vic­tims have been iden­ti­fied as vil­lagers who had been ar­rested by the Myan­mar Army on June 26.

“Ten peo­ple were ar­rested by the Tat­madaw on June 26 but five were re­leased be­cause they could speak Burmese. The other five were killed and we found their bod­ies,” he said, adding, “We still can­not iden­tify one of the men and the woman. They might be from other vil­lages.”

He said the “mur­ders” have been re­ported to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties in Mong Yaw.

Lieu­tenant Colonel Aung Myat Moe of the North­ern Shan State Po­lice Force told Ra­dio Free Asia, “No one has filed an of­fi­cial re­port about the case, so no fur­ther ac­tion has yet been taken.”

Sai One Ling Kham, an Amyotha Hlut­taw MP for Lashio township, said the in­ci­dent threat­ened the peace process and the rule of law.

“Sol­diers should per­form their du­ties within the frame­work of the law, not kill vil­lagers,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Shan Her­ald Agency for News, the Man­pang Peo­ple’s Mili­tia, led by Bo Mon, is the only armed group ac­tive in the area around Mong Yaw. Other groups are ac­tive 50 kilo­me­tres (30 miles) or more out­side of town, in­clud­ing the TNLA, the SSPP/SSA and the Kachin In­de­pen­dence Army (KIA).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.