Saturday, June 22, 2024

Burma Army Arrests Civilian With Walkie-talkie 

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Soldiers apprehended a civilian in southern Shan State for carrying a portable radio transceiver.

2020 2 21 Panglong 1
Photo by – SHAN/ Panglong Welcome Sign

Long Jingda, 52, was arrested after a column of Burma Army soldiers stopped him near Phat Pheik, located in Panglong township. 

The soldiers accused him of working for the Shan army after becoming suspicious when his walkie-talkie made a sound in his bag during questioning.

Village headman Sai Aung Kham told SHAN that Long Jingda was on his way to fix the drinking water pot located outside the village at the time of the incident with the soldiers. 

“He’s only a normal civilian, and he’s not involved with any organization. Residents use walkie-talkies because there’s no phone service in the village.”

The day after his arrest relatives pleaded with the Burma Army commander for Long Jingda’s release but were ignored. They let him go the following day after Sai Aung Kham and members of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) intervened.

“When we picked him up, his left eye was swollen. I think the soldiers must have interrogated him,” Sai Aung Kham said.

A villager told SHAN the military column often passed through Nawng Lai but nothing like this has happened before. 

Soldiers from the column came to inquire about gunshots that were reported in the area a day before Long Jingda’s arrest. “They wanted to know if any of the villagers have a walkie-talkie,” the villager explained.

The Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) maintains soldiers in southern Shan State but the ethnic armed organization is a signatory of the NCA (Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement). 

SHAN contacted the Tatmadaw True News Information Team for more information but no-one responded.

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