PAGE 2 Deceased toddlers buried after village exorcism
On the outskirts of Yangon, a mystic claimed he was ridding residents of bad spirits in a ritual that involved beating to death three children as their families looked on. The victims were buried over the weekend, while police arrested the practitioner.
THREE infants were beaten to death in a village on the outskirts of Yangon by a man purporting to be a healer, who told their families they were possessed by evil spirits.
The mystic allegedly punched and kicked two toddlers and an eightmonth-old baby to death during exorcism rituals last week, according to police and relatives. Lieutenant Major Kyaw Naing Soe said the “exorcist” put the villagers into a trance, then killed the children as they watched.
“On the night of the 18th, the threeyear-old boy was beaten to death and the culprit threw him in the Twante Canal,” he told AFP. “On his return, he continued to beat the three young girls and two of them were killed.”
U Tun Naing, the uncle of the dead boy, said the villagers had lost their senses after the exorcist fed them “blessed” water, then made them stand in a circle as he chanted and cast spells.
“Because of what he did everyone was out of their mind,” U Tun Naing told AFP, his eyes still glazed.
“I still feel afraid of something in my mind. I don’t understand what is happening ... Some people have gone to other mystics to release themselves from the curse.”
Only a handful of people attended the dead boy’s funeral on October 22 in Twante, a town south of Myanmar’s commercial capital. U Tun Naing said most family members were still too scared to show their faces in public.
Young novice monks covered their noses with their maroon robes to block the smell as the tiny body was carried past on a stretcher, before being buried in an unmarked grave.
A police report said the bodies of the dead children – a boy, three, a twoyear-old girl and the baby – showed evidence of having been punched, kicked and stamped on.
Health workers alerted authorities after the father of another little girl who had been beaten brought her to the hospital covered in bruises.
Police have charged the “exorcist” with murder, grievous bodily harm and hiding a dead body. He is being held in Insein prison. –
Hospital workers carry the body of three-year-old Ko Nay La Linn, a victim of an exorcism ritual, for burial at a public cemetery in Twante, Yangon, on October 22.