Burmese soldier, Lashio

A Ta’ang Student Youth Union statement on the Myanmar Tatmadaw (armed forces) targeting Ta’ang people in conflict and committing human rights violations

June 27, 2017

Starting from 2016 until now, the Myanmar government Tatmadaw have been increasing their militarisation in Ta’ang areas, Northern Shan State. We strongly condemn the use of military jets attacking civilians, torture and other human rights violations committed by Myanmar Tatmadaw.

On June 26, 2017, a cooperation of Myanmar Tatmadaw LIB 501 and LIB 503 arrested and tortured 6 villagers from Man Lan village, Namhsan on suspicion. The villagers were detained at the village monastery. The Tatmadaw also detained around 300 villagers at the same monastery and cut any outside contact until June 27.

On June 25, 2017, a cooperation of Myanmar Tatmadaw LIB 504 and LIB 506 took 6 villagers from Loi Pyat, Namt Twe, Namhsan and their 6 motorbikes for porters. As fighting erupted on the way, the villagers escaped. The Tatmadaw shot at the escaped villagers and killed one of them. The man who was killed is Mai Aung Than, 26 (parents: U Aik Ha and Daw Aye mat).

On June 26, 2017, at 1 pm, Myanmar Tatmadaw’s Operations Command IB 45 fired missiles at Pain Hwe village, Phat Yai, Kutkai, although there is no armed group in the location. They killed 2 villagers and severely injured 1 villager. The injured villager is currently in Kutkai Hospital.

We believe that Myanmar Tatmadaw are using civilians as their target and encouraging civil war. Such action creates more political complications and also oppresses ethnic minorities. The mentioned Tatmadaw’s action will defame the whole institution of the Myanmar Tatmadaw and the public trust in the Tatmadaw will diminish, we strongly urge the following actions to be taken:

1. To release the detained villagers without any exception.

2. To heal those who have been tortured and punish those who committed such torture.

3. To stop the military offensive in ethnic areas and withdraw military operations from ethnic areas.

4. For the good of the civilians, Myanmar Tatmadaw and ethnic armed groups shall instantly cease fighting and begin an effective dialogue.

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