Shanni At Risk During Hpakant Conflict

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After it was revealed that a Shanni youth was killed after being held by the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIA) for several weeks, the People’s Defence Force (PDF) abducted a prominent Shanni Buddhist monk at a time when both groups are clashing with Shanni Nationalities Army in Hpakant Township.

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The PDF, which is under the KIA, arrested Buddhist monk Ashin Thuriya from Kyaung Lae in Sagaing Region, headman Win Soe, teacher Aung Pan and Lin Zaw from Pin Hker Lamsone village on 21 August. Ashin Thuriya, 56, is a Shanni poet and writer.

The KIA arrested Sai Yay Kyaw when the Shanni youth and his wife were travelling from Hawngper to Nam Perhok in Hpakant Township in late July.

An abducted monk
An abducted monk

“An officer from the armed group called his wife to tell her of her husband’s death. She’s sick with grief,” a friend of the youth told SHAN, asking that her name be kept confidential.

Sai Yay Kyaw, who has a three-year-old girl and hails from Tamakhan, was not involved in any of the armed groups, the woman said. The youth was a committee member of the Shanni Literature and Cultural Association committee, taught Shanni dance and was part of a local Red Cross team.

According to locals, many Shanni nationalities have been detained and killed in Hpakant, Mohnyin and Mogaung townships in Kachin State and Homalin township in Sagaing Region.

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