BURMA’S ARMED FORCES: A LIE TOO MANY– Leaked video of Koe Tan Kauk

By Haikal Mansor

When an army lies, it lies too many too often

Since General Ne Win’s coup on March 2, 1962, Tatmadaw (Burma’s Armed Forces) becomes adelusional institution entirely built on a lie.

He announced the lie after coup, “I have to inform you, citizens of the Union that Armed Forces havetaken over the responsibility and the task of keeping the country’s safety, owing to the greatlydeteriorating conditions of the Union.”

For 55 years, the military tells lie after lie and commits crimes after crimes against the country’sethnic minorities.

On December 6, 2016, the current commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing also lied to the world that“Myanmar (Burma) security forces have never committed any human rights violations,” after pouringof international condemnations on his army’s severe human rights abuses which could amount to“crimes against humanity”, “ethnic cleansing” or even “genocide” against Rohingya minority.

A video leaked from Police officer Zaw Myo Htet on December 31 speaks otherwise, highlighting thesecurity forces rounding up, kicking, racially abusing and torturing Rohingya men and boys above 8 inentire Koe Tan Kauk, Rathedaung Township on November 5, 2016.

Caught in lie, the office of State-Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of founder of BurmaIndependent Army, the predecessor of modern-day army, released a statement confirming theincident took place, but with full of lies, too many lies.

Lie no. 1: Release villagers on the same day

The villagers were subjected torture, hunger and forced to remain under the open-air in the 2-daysiege in an atrocious position frequently intimidated, humiliated and kicked.

Lie no. 2: Search for six attackers

It is a collective punishment towards the villagers for highlighting the human rights abuses withposters and signs (with phrases such as ‘Stop Genocide’, ‘Stop Killing’, ‘Stop Raping’, ‘Stop EthnicCleansing’, ‘Stop Religious Discrimination’, ‘Safety and Dignity’, Equality and Humanity’, ‘AccessHumanitarian Aid’, ‘Access Medical Care’ and ‘We need UN Protection’) during the visit of adelegation led by UN Envoy Renata Lok-Dessallien on November 3.

During and after the 2-day Siege, 5 religious scholars – MD. Halim, Rahmat Ullah Abul Kasim, MD.Shomu and MD Syed were brutally assaulted, and Shomu and Syed were killed in the custody.

Lie no. 3: Attack on Outpost

The statement claimed that 6 armed Rohingya in 2 motorbikes attacked No. 22 Border Guard PoliceOutpost in Nu Ru Lar village at 5:50 pm, November 3, killing Sub-inspector Myint Myint Soe andinjuring Inspector Moe Zaw Ko.

There was no attack taken place on the day rather than a reportedly infighting between borderguards on the same day.

Lie no. 4: Attackers hide in Koe Tan Kauk

The government also claimed that the six attackers fled Nu Ru Lar and hid in Koe Tan Kauk village. Itis a blunder lie considering, the region is declared as ‘operation zone’ and in complete lockdown sinceOctober 9; the curfew has been in place with prohibition of more than 5 individuals gathering; andthe distance between Nu Ru Lar and Koe Tan Kauk is approximately 52 km with a checkpoint in every7-8 km along the route, which is dementedly impossible for any Rohingya to travel such as longdistance.

The statement ended with a promise of taking disciplinary actions against the police officers whowere present at the time of Border Guard Police’s acts of crimes against humanity.

The Burmese army lies and too often fails to keep the promise.

Aung San Suu Kyi, on the other hand, a newcomer to the vicious cycle of promise and lie, assured inSingapore, “to find out if the allegations of human rights violations are accurate and if so, we will takenecessary action.”

Can she keep her promise this time or will she apply her new talent – LIE?