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Kachin Alliance Statement on the Gang-rape and Killing of the Two Teachers

Kachin Alliance Statement on the Gang-rape and Killing of the Two Teachers

Jan 22, 2014

The Kachin Alliance, a network of Kachin communities and organizations in the US, is appalled beyond words by the premeditated rape and murder of teachers Maran Lu Ra (20) and Tangbau Hkawn Nan Tsin (21) which occurred at Shabuk Kawng Hka village in Muse Township, northern Shan State, on Jan 19, 2015.

The teachers were volunteers of the Kachin Baptist Convention’s (KBC) mission program, set up to provide education opportunities for disadvantaged children in remote areas.

The crime occurred at the Kawng Hka Kachin Baptist Church Compound, which is only about 100 yards from the Burma Army’s 503rd Light Infantry Regiment (LIR) outpost. No other armed groups are present in this area.

Overwhelming circumstantial evidence points to the fact that 503 LIR soldiers, under the command of Maj. Aung Soe Myint, are the perpetrators of this horrendous crime.

The Burma army’s historic use of rape as a weapon of intimidation in conflict areas, has meant that countless Kachin women have been raped, tortured and killed with impunity.

We therefore, demand the Burmese government and army to stop state-sponsored sexual violence in Kachin communities, and bring to justice those guilty of such crimes.

We echo the demand of the Kachin public and other rights groups that a thorough and just investigation be made to bring the rapists and murderers of the 2 young teachers to justice.

We also demand the government or army not to resort to intimidation or scapegoating to avert the course of justice. 

We petition the US, the UN and others who champion human rights to condemn the Burmese government’s policy of intimidation through sexual violence in conflict areas, and press upon them that such acts amount to war crimes and are liable for prosecution under international criminal law.

In addition, we urge the UN and the US to introduce legislative actions and policies which promote peaceful coexistence and deter utilization of rape and torture as weapon of choice in conflict areas in Burma.

We pay tribute to the 2 teachers for the service and dedication they rendered others during the course of their young lives, and offer our deepest condolences to their families and friends.

We commend the KBC for taking steps to honor the memory of the 2 slain young teachers, and the opportunity provided Kachin communities from all walks of life to pay their respects as the funeral cortege makes its way from Muse to the Kachin State Capital of Myitkyina.

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