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 a delusional institution entirely built on a lie.
He announced the lie after coup, “I have to inform you, citizens of the Union that Armed Forces have taken over the responsibility and the task of keeping the country’s safety, owing to the greatly deteriorating conditions of the Union.”
For 55 years, the military tells lie after lie and commits crimes after crimes against the country’s ethnic 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 pouring of 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 the security forces rounding up, kicking, racially abusing and torturing Rohingya men and boys above 8 in entire 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 Burma Independent Army, the predecessor of modern-day army, released a statement confirming the incident 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-day siege 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 with posters and signs (with phrases such as ‘Stop Genocide’, ‘Stop Killing’, ‘Stop Raping’, ‘Stop Ethnic Cleansing’, ‘Stop Religious Discrimination’, ‘Safety and Dignity’, Equality and Humanity’, ‘Access Humanitarian Aid’, ‘Access Medical Care’ and ‘We need UN Protection’) during the visit of a delegation 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 Police Outpost in Nu Ru Lar village at 5:50 pm, November 3, killing Sub-inspector Myint Myint Soe and injuring Inspector Moe Zaw Ko.
There was no attack taken place on the day rather than a reportedly infighting between border guards 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. It is a blunder lie considering, the region is declared as ‘operation zone’ and in complete lockdown since October 9; the curfew has been in place with prohibition of more than 5 individuals gathering; and the distance between Nu Ru Lar and Koe Tan Kauk is approximately 52 km with a checkpoint in every 7-8 km along the route, which is dementedly impossible for any Rohingya to travel such as long distance.
The statement ended with a promise of taking disciplinary actions against the police officers who were 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 in Singapore, “to find out if the allegations of human rights violations are accurate and if so, we will take necessary action.”
Can she keep her promise this time or will she apply her new talent – LIE?