Residents of Kyaukme Township are demanding justice for the killing of a civilian shot dead by the Burma Army at the end of June when soldiers opened fire into a village in northern Shan State. A female civilian was also injured and soldiers beat another person several days before the killing, who required medical treatment for his injuries.
Following a demonstration by about ten-thousand civilians in the town of Kyaukme to protest the attacks on villagers, the North-Eastern Military Command and Kyaukme Township general administration officer opened an investigation on July 15 into the shooting death of Lone Hsu in the village of Pan Kyan, located in Hai Kwee village-tract.
After the investigation, Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun, secretary of the Tatmadaw True News Information Team, informed the RFA media outlet that a Tatmadaw soldier killed Lone Hsu during a battle with Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA).
Sai Htwe Harn, from Hai Kwee village, told SHAN it’s a lie that the villagers were killed during the fighting. “The civilian was not killed during the armed conflicts.”
“In my opinion, they are refusing to take full responsibility for it. Everyone knows he wasn’t killed in the middle of the clash. The Burma Army also knows this,” Sai Htwe Harn told SHAN.
Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun said they would take action against the soldier who killed Lone Hsu except that he was killed during the fighting.
Sai Tun Win, a parliamentarian for Kyaukme Township, told SHAN that Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun’s confession that one of their soldiers who killed a civilian is “baseless” without a transparent investigation. For example, the Army’s investigation team did not even speak to locals.
SHAN reached out to Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun for comment, but he did not respond.
Villagers want Burma’s Human Rights Commission to launch its own investigation and to provide financial compensation for Lone Hsu’s family.