Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Statement of YPSEA Thailand and Malaysia to Condemn the Army’s Action to End Two Young Burmese Men

7th September 2010

Statement of YPSEA Thailand and Malaysia

to Condemn the Army’s Action to End Two Young Burmese Men

We, the Young Progressives Southeast Asia (of Thailand and Malaysia), are regret from the news of the two Burmese young men that were brutally gunned down on September 4th in a dispute with soldiers of the Southern Region Military Command’s Infantry Battalion 59 in Pegu, 50 Kilo Meters north of former capital city Rangoon.

Aung Thu Hein, 22, and Soe Paing Zaw, 18 had a dispute with soldiers form the above mentioned command around 12am on September 4 near a local restaurants. The argument was sparked when the young men’s motorbike accidently hit the motorbike of an army officer form that command. According to a witness, “After arguing with local youngsters, about 12 soldiers, including an officer Captain Theikdi Soe, came back to the town with arms, looking for the young men they had had problems with. The soldiers found them near a local teashop and shot them after more arguing”. It is also reported that the soldiers threatened the bystanders that if they dare challenge the army, that will be their fate too. They then carried away the bodies of the young men to the mortuary in Pegu Hospital on a trishaw and didn’t allow their family to claim back the body for funeral service. A battalion general staff officer reportedly offered the victims’ families 1 million Kyat (US $10,000) compensation, provided they remained silent on the incident, which fueled further anger.

State-run media Padauk Myay FM manipulated the news by victimizing the victims by saying that the two young men were shot at because they tried to wrest guns from the soldiers but in reality they were shot at as the results of the quarrel between local youths and army officers.

The funerals of the two dead men are finally allowed to be held on September 7 although the bodies were not returned to the families. Local authorities are very nervous at this time because of the anniversary of the Sept 2007 uprising and the approaching November election. Myanmar has been ruled by military dictatorship State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) which became State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) in 1997 since the brutal crackdown of 1988 popular uprising. SPDC has since then committed various sort of crimes including serious violations of human rights in areas of ethnic minorities in frontier parts of Myanmar, as well as on the city area like the above mentioned incident.

We think this event is a gross violation of the most basic principle of human rights; the right to life, and the right to fair trial. We believe this prooves very well the military regime’s disrespect on the civil law. Such a behavior also shows their hypocrisy to build a more democratic society under the military-wrote constitution and suppressive election.

Therefore, as a collective youth organization from neighbor countries, we cannot tolerate this and condemn strongly the military junta for such violence.

YPSEA Thailand (Student Federation of Thailand and Young People for Democracy)

YPSEA Malaysia


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