Villagers beaten by drunk captain from LIB No. 209

November 18, 2009

HURFOM, MUDON: Five residents were beaten by a drunk Burmese army officer in Kamawet sub-township Mudon Township, Mon State. The residents were heading to work for the morning when the assaults occurred.

According to HURFOM’s field reporter, on November 4th, around at 4 AM, 5 Kamawet residents went to their plantation to set taps in the rubber trees. The way the 5 villagers had to pass a checkpoint run by Burmese army Light Infantry Battalion No. 209 (LIB). While passing the checkpoint, the group was stopped by Captain Myo Aung and another 8 soldiers. According to the villagers, at that time Myo Aung was extreamly drunk, and attempted to hug 1 of the 2 women in the group. The 3 male villagers tried to protect the female resident and requested that Myo Aung not do that. Upon hearing this Myo Aung took a stick and began beating the 3 men on their heads and bodies. He also slapped the 2 women’ faces.

The 3 men were 50 year-old Nai Yoe, 40 year-old Nai Nyan Seik and 25 year-old Mehm Yuu. The 2 women were 25 year-old Mi Chit Suu and 20 year-old Mi Goe Mon.

At 6 am, Nai Yoe was sent to Mudon hospital after the assault, while the 4 other victims stayed in Kamawet. Nai Yoe was treated and was released from the hospital after 4 days.

“Bo Gyi [Captain] Myo Aung was seriously drunk at that time and his 8 soldiers knew he was in the wrong but they did nothing to protect us – they just watched and said nothing to their commander,” said Nyan Seik, one of the victims. “If they had said something to their commander we would not have faced this kind of punishment.”

A relative of one of the victims went to the village headman and told him the information about the cause of the beatings, and to tell the high-ranking officers at the battalion headquarters.  Despite claims that he would, it has not been confirmed that the headman did inform the battalion headquarters.  As of the publishing date, no punishment or action has been taken against Captian Myo Aung.

“If villagers had done something wrong to them the soldiers would have been justified in punishing them, but the villagers did nothing wrong and they beat them like they had,” a relative of one of the victims said. “The commander [Captain Myo Aung] did wrong but hasn’t taken responsibility for what he has done. It is a sign that military soldiers can do anything they want without having to take responsibility.”

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