We are at a Shan IDP site, which is protected by the Shan State Army (SSA, the pro-democracy Shan resistance) and met a young Shan girl who was raped by a soldier of the Burma Army. She was 8 years old at the time and is still traumatized by the violent rape. The rape occurred in October 2004, just before she turned 9.
Her family fled to this site with the help of a Shan FBR relief team after the rape occurred. The rape occurred in Ho Mong, South Eastern Shan State. Ho Mong is the old base of the drug lord, Khun Sa,and is now occupied by the Burma Army as well as a proxy force- the Southern Shan State Army (SSS) who are commanded by Maha Ja, a Wa ethnic who is allied with the Burma Army. (NOTE: The Shan State Army (SSA) is a pro-democracy resistance organization, while the Southern Shan State Army (SSS) is a proxy army under the control of the Burma Army.)
Ho Mong is close to the Thai border and is North West of Mae Hong Son. This is an area populated by ethnic Shan and is under the complete domination of the Burma Army and their proxy, the SSS.
We had received a report from the Shan FBR team who had helped this girl and her family escape last year.(http://www.freeburmarangers.org/Reports/2005/20050912_fbr_relief_team_report__shan_fbr.html ) She is 10 years old now, and to meet her face to face and see the mental pain she is still in, is terrible.
We felt compassion for her, and disgust and anger for the Burma Army soldier who raped her. How could anyone rape a little girl like her?
We talked with her briefly and prayed with and for her. Later we interviewed her mother. Her story is below.
Name of interviewee: Pa Yi, mother of 10 year old girl who was raped last year when she was 8 years old (just before she turned 9).
Name of girl who was raped: Mway Khan, 10 year old now, 8 years old at time of rape.
Place of birth (and the place she was raped): Ho Mong, South Eastern Shan State, Burma.
Brothers and sisters: 2 brothers and 1 sister.
Date of rape by the Burma Army: 10/2004 (exact date in October is not clear.)
The rape of 8 year old Shan girl, Mway Khan, as told to the team by her mother in an IDP site on 11 August 2006.
“Her father and I went to farm the fields. She stayed at home with her brothers and sister. When we came back home, she was covering herself with a blanket and her sarong was soaked with blood. I looked at her closely and then I saw her vagina was torn and damaged. She was afraid and dared not to say anything. I tried to ask her but she gave no answer. Finally, her younger brother “Khan Pai, 5 years old” told me what happened.
First, he saw five soldiers of the Burma Army come down into the village. Two of the soldiers went to another area and the other three came and stood in front of our house. And then, one of the soldiers came into our house and gave our daughter, (Mway Khan, then 8 years old), a cucumber. And then, he forced her to lie down on the floor in front of the household shrine. She began to shout but the soldier covered her mouth with a sarong.
She struggled alot but the soldier was very strong, and so she was raped. The soldier quickly left from out of our house after he raped her.
The mother then told the team;
“When I know she was raped by the Burma Army, I went and told the head of the village, named U Lay or Nee Yord Khin. He suggested that I carry her to the Southern Shan State (SSS- Army) hospital. So we then we carried her to the SSS hospital. Some of the SSS authorities gave me 1000 Baht ($25) and the commander of the SSS, General Maha Ja gave us 30,000 Kyat. (900 baht or $24). We stayed at the SSS hospital for 7 or 8 days. And then we came back home.
We found out that the Burma Army soldier who raped our daughter was from battalion 132 (LIB). This battalion is from Mong Mai and was based in Htun Lot camp.
There was no punishment for him.
We felt very bad and with the help of a Shan FBR (SSA-FBR) team we were able to go to a safe IDP place. We arrived in February 2005. But, her vagina was not yet healed when we came.”
This story is tragic and is only one of the many evil results of the dictators’ rule over Burma. What can we do? How can we find justice? For the young Shan girl, Mway Khan, we can help her medically and we hope emotionally. We will do our best and are grateful to the Shan FBR team who helped her arrive here. We are grateful too for your prayers and for your love and how you help stand with these people.
God bless you,
A relief team leader