Domestic migration becomes a big challenge for the Mon people
November 14, 2014
Thanbyuzayat and Mudon: Due to rapidly increasing domestic migration and the weakness of the rule of law, social conflicts between the internal immigrants and the indigenous people have been increasing in Mon State, according to a local source.
On August 5, 2010, a case emerged of sexual abuse and violence committed against a woman in Wae Yat Village, Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State. Similarly, on October, 2014, a Burmese immigrant abusively tortured and attempted to sexually abuse a woman while she was working in a rubber plantation in Yaung Daung Village, Mudon Township, Mon State.
On August 5, 2010, U Min Soe, 34, son to U Nyi Lay and Daw Lay Ma, a migrant from Kwin Gyi Village, Ye Tar Shay Township, Pegu Region attempted to sexually assault Mi Pae, 45, daughter to Nai Phoe Thee and Mi Lae, in Wae Yat Village, Thanbyuzayat Township. U Min Soe and Mi Pae had been working together in the rubber plantation when, on August 5, U Min Soe tried to abuse Mi Pae in the workplace. Mi Pae shouted for help and U Min Soe abandoned his violent attempts as people nearby noticed the incident.
U Min Soe has been attempting to abuse Mi Pae since early 2010, the incident on August 5th was his third attempt, according to Mi Pae. U Min Soe is the husband of Mi Pae’s younger sister, Mi Tone, and has tried to sexually assault Mi Pae because his wife suffers from a chronic illness.
Although U Min Soe had attempted to sexually assault Mi Pae many times, she never spoke out about the case before, as she did not want to shock her mother, who suffers from heart disease, nor cause stress to her sister, who suffers from a chronic illness, with the bad news.
However, after U Min Soe’s second attempt, Mi Pae reported the event to the parents of U Min Soe and Nai Shwe, the village headman of Da Don Chit (Wae Rak) Village. After the report, U Min Soe had to sign an agreement that he would not commit similar abuse in the future.
Despite signing the agreement, U Min Soe continued his attempts to sexually assault Mi Pae and, after his third attempt in November, 2014, Mi Pae revealed the situation to her sister. Soon after, the Moulmein District New Mon State Party (NMSP) arrested and detained U Min Soe.
The case is currently under investigation, and the judgment will be made according to the laws of the NMSP.
In a similar October 2014 crime of sexual assault, Mi Pakao Moe (Mi Pan Wut Yi in Burmese), the 24-year-old daughter of U Tun Myint and Daw San Aye, was hit from behind and sexually abused by a Burmese man in a rubber plantation in Yaung Daung Village, Mudon Township, Mon State.
When Mi Pako Moe was doing her work in the plantation at 10:45 am, she was hit from behind and fell to the ground. Then, the perpetrator caught her waist, choked her neck, closed her mouth and tried to rape her. She struggled hard to escape, and was able to firmly grab one of the perpetrator’s legs. The perpetrator said “Release! Release!” in Burmese, and that is when she identified her attacker as Burmese.
After about 15 minutes of struggling, Mi Pakao Moe relaxed all her muscles in efforts to pretend she was dead. When her attacker released her neck and opened her mouth, Mi Pakao Moe shouted for help. When the neighbors from nearby plantations noticed the incident, the man ran away. Mi Pakao Moe was lucky to escape from the sexual abuse as the two neighbors reached her in time.
The neighbors told Mi Pakao Moe, “We saw that man yesterday looking for earth worm. We saw the whole event. We’ll give testimony as we saw everything, but we fear that the man will endanger us.”
“We don’t know who the perpetrator is exactly, so we couldn’t report the case to the military base, and we also haven’t informed the police as we don’t have money. We reported the case to the village headman, but haven’t heard anything new,” said Mi Pakao Moe.
“We didn’t tell the truth when we went to the clinic, because we didn’t know how to deal with [the criminal case]. We were just afraid of her dying. If we said the truth, that Mi Pakao Moe’s injury was related to the criminal case, the doctor may not treat her injury. In order to get immediate treatment from the doctor, we told him she received her injury falling from a tree. The doctor suspected us, as he saw the injury around her neck, but agreed to provide the treatment. [The doctor] requested not to contact him again if there were judicial inquiries. The doctor provided his best service as we promised we wouldn’t contact him next time,” said the grandmother of the victim.
In the morning of October 17, 2014, the village administrator, together with the officials from the Township NMSP arrested the perpetrator and detained him at the NMSP Township Office.
Though President Thein Sein’s government introduced democratic reform to Burma in 2010, the fundamental rights of the mass population remain unprotected.