Burma Army soldiers searched the Ta’ang Education Center (TEC) in Kutkai, northern Shan State, and detained two ethnic Ta’ang teachers this week.
On the evening of August 24, troops broke windows of the TEC boarding school and placed two teachers under arrest.
All students had been relocated to downtown Kutkai on August 16, following the outbreak of fighting between the military and ethnic armed groups in the area. The school was locked at the time it was raided by the authorities.
“Two of our teachers went to see our school on August 24. At that time, soldiers already had broken windows and searched all the rooms,” chairperson of the Ta’ang Literature and Culture Organization Mai Aik Moong told SHAN.
Mai Aik Moong said that he informed the soldiers that the site was a boarding school operated by volunteers, at which point they released the detained teachers.
“They told us that they had received information about weapons being hidden in this area,” the chairperson said.
However, he condemned the soldiers’ actions in breaking into the school without the consent of the TEC staff.
“The army or whoever, they should not do something like this without the presence of the owner. If they suspect something and they want to search this school, they should inform the responsible person before they carry out the search. If they had asked us, we could have gone together with them,” Mai Aik Moong explained.
Students from TEC are currently seeking refuge in Yadanar Tun in Kutkai town’s Ward 2. There are some 2,000 internally displaced people in Kutkai, with clashes continuing to intensify.