STATEMENT OF NAW MYA THAUNG
An Independent Report by the Karen
Human Rights Group
Manerplaw, January 24, 1992
Name: Name Mya Thaung
Address: Htee Pa Nar Village, Shwegun Township
Occupation: Farmer Nationality: Karen.
Regarding: Human right atrocities, looting and destruction in Htee Pa Nar Village by SLORC troops.
Statement: Recently, a large group of SLORC soldiers came to Htee Pa Nar village. The men had gone, and we women and children were very afraid. So we all crossed the Mae Seit River to the monastery on the west side, and we hid in a large trench the monks have there. The soldiers left but we stayed where we were in case they came from west of the Mae Seit River. We could see them ransacking our deserted village, picking up any valuables they saw and looking for us. Then they came to the monastery and looked all around until they found us. They called us all out of our hiding place and gathered us together. They accused us all of being the wives, children, and relatives of rebels, and of helping the rebel forces.
Then they called a monk to come down out of the monastery. They accused him of being a "monk of the rebels", and then repeatedly beat him about the head. After the beating, he was ordered to go back up inside the monastery and not to come out again.
Some of the soldiers went down into the trench where wed been hiding. They started calling all the women, one by one, down into the trench with them. When each woman went down there, they would accuse her of hiding money and gold in her clothes and force her to strip. Then they searched her clothes for anything valuable, and took turns raping her. Not one woman was spared, whether young, old, married or unmarried. Even though I was holding my baby son at the time, when my turn came, I had to go into the trench like the others, or the soldiers would have killed me. In this way, every woman in the village was gang raped. Only when all the soldiers were finished with you were you allowed to get dressed and leave the trench. Then they would call the next woman in.
I can remember the names of some of the women who were raped. Along with myself, Naw Mya Thaung, I can remember Naw Moo Dah, Ma Pyo, Ma Kyi Thaung, Ma Than Sein, Naw Che Che, Naw Lay Paw, and Naw Bae Paw. But there were also many others.
The SLORC soldiers stayed in our village for a week. They wouldnt let us leave. During that week many women were raped again and again. The soldiers murdered a village man, Pah Ngwe Kawt, in front of all of us.
They stole or killed all of our animals cattle, buffaloes, pigs, chickens, and goats saying that we kept the animals to feed the rebels. They entered the houses and took all the valuables, clothes, everything. They even broke our pots and pans. Before they left they burned three houses and our sugarcane fields. They also took whatever paddy and food supplies they could carry, and burned whatever was left.
Finally, they went. But they left us absolutely destitute, with no food to eat, no belongings, absolutely nothing but the clothes on our backs. So we all had to flee our own village, our own birthplace.
Note: Names have been changed to avoid reprisals by SLORC.