Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We need Food & Clothing but KIA gives us Mines to lay!

(Translation of articles in Burmese from Kachin Daily News & Myanmar Ahlin.)

The bomb-destroyed KIA safe-house in Myitkyinar.
I was born in 1968 in a village not far from the Ho-pin Town. I am a native Kachin woman of Christian faith. As far back as I can still remember my native village and the surrounding area were tightly controlled and brutally dominated by the KIA, the so-called Kachin Independence Army.

We were so scared of KIA my father didn’t even dare to openly tell my mother how much he’d earned. Because he was so afraid if KIA had found out about the money he had saved they would come and take it by force from him as the Protection Money (Set-kyay).

Finally when I was about six he used his life-savings and moved the whole family to much-safer Myitkyinar so that we could go to school as an investment for our peaceful future.

Even though we were in Myitkyinar we have never lost in touch with our village all those years. The news from back home were never good as the village people who could not afford to move away into the cities and towns were to suffer continually under KIA’s brutally heavy yoke.

Just to travel to and from our village was also extremely dangerous as the Hopin-Myitkyinar segment of Mandalay-Myitkyinar train line was frequently attacked by KIA mines indiscriminately killing and maiming many innocent people. Whenever we had to take the train we would pray seriously to God multiple times for a safe journey.

A Kachin Family fleeing from KIA to Myitkyinar.
And there were worst cases of KIA atrocities against our Kachin people. The father of one of my close friends was digging for jades many many years in Phar-kant area and finally found an extremely valuable rock of pure green jade. That jade was the result of his lifelong hard work wasting blood and sweat. But KIA found out about his discovery and brutally killed him and took the jade away and exchanged it for guns.

Around 1994 when I was 26 the good news of Peace Agreement between the Government and KIA reached to us in Myitkyinar. Not just the whole town of Myitkyinar the people of our native village also were indescribably happy.

Because of that long-lasting peace people could make good living peacefully and quickly become the house-owners and car-owners. And the rail and road travels became so good and so safe we could safely visit our village, which we couldn’t do last twenty years, any time day or night and we did countless train trips between Ho-pin and Myitkyinar.

Then in last June that blissful state of peaceful co-existence between Burmese and Kachin was suddenly turned upside down. The Kachin State in peace for long seventeen years has become a battlefield again with the orchestra of ear-splitting mine explosions and loud gun fires playing full swing again.

KIA is now doing again what it had done to the people of Kachin State seventeen years before for more than 30 years. These terrorists now keep on destroying the railway tracks between our native Ho-pin and Myitkyinar. Whenever our Government has repaired the damaged tracks they came back and blew it off again. It is the KIA created vicious circle of death and destruction.

Just last December 18 there was an attempt to blow up the Mandalay-Myitkyinar train again at a site just before Sar-mhaw Station from Hopin to Myitkyinar and there was a series of explosion. At the site of mine-explosion the Government troops found two dead bodies and one was said to be of Madi Hla Aung from our native village. We knew him very well.

Damaged Mandalay-Myitkyinar Rail Track.
Nay Pyi Daw: December 19 (Myanmar Ahlin Newspaper on December 20)

On 18 December 2011 at about 1:30 in the afternoon there were five explosions one after another between the mileposts 678/11 and 678/14 on the Mandalay-Myitkyinar railway track between Hto-poo and Sar-mhaw Stations in the Moe-gaung Township of Moe-hnyin District in Kachin State.

The mine explosions destroyed four tack-links on the east side and one track-link on the west side of the tracks and the concrete-sleepers.

About twenty feet away on the east from the damaged railway track a freshly dead body in KIA uniform with serious mine injuries was found. He had lost the left arm from the elbow and the left leg from the groin. According to the papers found on the body he was Corporal Madi Hla Aung from KIA Battalion 11.

Dead KIA Corporal Madi Hla Aung.
Two magazines for M-22 rifle, nine loose M-22 bullets, three Einaga grenades, one army whistle with lanyard, one Kenwood Walkie-talkie, and one 14 inches-long Kachin sword with scabbard were found on him.

Second dead body also in KIA uniform was found at about 50 yards away on the east of the damaged track. In addition to the disfiguring wounds on his face he had lost both eyes, both arms from the shoulders, and his left leg from the groin due to the explosion.

Also found near the second body were one M-22 magazine, five loose M-22 bullets, one Einaga grenade, and a home-made mine made with two hand grenades.

Security forces have already cleared the area off KIA insurgents and now the trains are running again as normal as the Railway Department has immediately repaired the damaged tracks and sleepers.

After our family’s big move to Myitkyinar he was forcefully recruited into KIA and finally became a corporal. The second dead man was said to be from nearby Kut-kyaw-taung Village. They were killed when their own mines exploded in their faces as they tried to lay the mines on the track.

KIA is now forcing the native Kachin people who know the area well to lay their deadly landmines. Madi Hla Aung and his mate were killed just because they didn’t seem to know how to handle the mines well and also the mines given to them were just home-made Improvised-Explosive-Devices.

Mutilated and died in many pieces the families left behind were now pitied by everyone here.

Tan Goon's Boarding House burning after the blast.
There are many cases of similar incidents involving KIA landmines in our Kachin State. The worst is at many sites KIA is threatening and forcing innocent and ignorant villagers to lay mines for them instead of doing that cowardly act of laying dangerous landmines themselves.

Just last November many innocent children and some adults were killed inside Dayaung Tan Goon’s house in Thidar Ward right here in our Myitkyinar. I was thinking of going there to see the site but my family stopped me.

People here said that the explosion was just an accident at one of KIA Safe Houses where they keep stockpile of mines and guns and at the time of explosion the KIA operatives were practicing with their explosives.

(Translator’s notes: Who so ever live by sword will die by sword? More terroristss have been killed by their own bombs than their sworn enemies.)

We couldn’t do anything for the unfortunate deaths but just pray to the God for their souls to Rest in Peace.

Corpse of one KIA operative killed by the blast.
Nay Pyi Daw: November 14 (Myanmar Ahlin Newspaper on November 15)

During last night an explosion in the Thida Township of Myitkyinar killed 10 and injured 23 and three houses were destroyed by the fire caused by the bomb explosion. The explosion occurred at about 20 minutes past 8 pm inside the two-storied house owned by Dayaung Tan Goon. The house was located at No. 69 on Fifth Street between Second and Third Laneways in Thidar Ward.

7 males including thirty-years-old Dayang Sai Khun, one of two Dayaung Tan Goon’s sons killed by the explosion, and 3 females were killed while 14 males and 9 females were injured. Dayaung Sai Khun’s corpse had his left hand severed from the wrist and left leg from the knee and severe injuries on only left side of his face.

One of the Children killed.
Authorities had concluded that basing on the positions of the dead bodies and the crime- scene-evidence gathered so far the accidental explosion occurred while Dayaung Sai Khun was preparing the mines as training for others gathered around him. 

The house has been operating as a boarding school for civil war orphans and the school is headed by Dayaung Tan Goon. Among the deaths were 8 young students all aged around ten years.

Sometimes I thought about one of General Aung San’s famous speeches. The general once said that as our Burma being a newly independent nation even if we work really hard we will reach a certain respectable level only after next 20 years. If we don’t work hard we won’t even reach the Thailand’s level. We are to march 4-5 steps ahead whenever other nations march one step ahead.

I like that speech very much. What KIA is doing now is definitely marching 4-5 steps but backward not forward and we are back in the same bad state we were in more than 20 years ago when I was just a child. The situation is rather heartbreaking.

Unfortunately one of my close cousins was forcibly recruited into KIA years ago and now he is an officer. Even though he was recruited into KIA against his will now he is a quite wealthy officer and he wouldn’t listen to us and refuse to come back to the village. He has almost forgotten his old life.

But we in Myitkyinar have still regular contacts with him and we knew his post is now in Laiza the KIA Headquarters on the Chinese border. But the latest news we heard from him was a very sad one.

For the Kachin refugees now staying in Laiza the urgently needed supplies from the Government and the international organizations UNHCR and UNICEF arrived there on 12 December through the Bamaw Town. Medicines and foodstuff and warm clothes everything needed urgently for the refugees.

Now is the really cold winter time in Laiza and warm clothes are urgently needed as the children cannot survive there in thin clothes. Everybody was happy and looking forward to receiving the newly arrived supplies.

Then the order from KIA Chairman Zaung Hra to return the supplies just received from the Government and the international organizations. He has intentionally refused to accept the Government assistance even though his KIA does not provide the much needed assistance to the refugees for KIA-restarted civil war.

My own cousin the KIA officer himself was quite angry by Zaung Hra’s order and the refugees were too. He said to us that there was an ulterior motive behind that refusal and he also believed that their KIA leaders are using the plight of Laiza refugees for their own political advantage.

When I heard the bad news I immediately told my family and they all were really angry as they could understand the plight of the refugees there in Laiza. In this harsh winter weather the young ones and the olds among the refugees have been suffering there due to the severe lack of food and warm clothes.

So for all the suffering refugees and the rest of the people of our Kachin State I really would like to say that the Clothing and Food are urgently needed but KIA is forcing on the gullible people of Kachin State their Improvised Mines to lay to kill and maim the innocence.

Nay Pyi Daw: December 21 (Myanmar Ahlin Newspaper on December 22)

30 years-old female was killed and second female, 24 years-old, was injured when a bomb explosion ripped through the public restrooms at the busy Kamaryut intersection in Rangoon. Another unexploded home-made bomb was timely found by the security personnel and safely disarmed.

The massive bomb exploded at about 5 minutes past 11 am in the dividing corridor between Male and Female toilets at the busy intersection of Prome Road and the University Avenue.

Unexploded Bomb.
Mya San Yee (30), the Rangoon Municipal sanitation worker on duty, was instantly killed as her left hand was severed from the wrist, her right arm from the elbow, and both legs from the knees. Her brain spilled out as the skull was cracked opened by the bomb fragments.

Khin Myat Nwe (24) lost her right hand from the wrist and at present getting treated as an inpatient at the Rangoon general Hospital.

One failed-to-explode improvised-explosive-device was discovered inside the restrooms and safely defused by the security personnel. Half a pound of C4 soft explosives, a clock mechanism, one safety switch, and a detonator were also found in the public restrooms.

Public are now being asked to report any suspicious person or persons harboring in their neighborhood to the local authorities to capture the terrorists responsible for today bombings and other recent bombings in Rangoon.
(Following photos are from myanmarexpress.net)