Incident report | E--- village tract, Lu Pleh Township, Pa'an District (October 2011)
The following incident report is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security. This report was received along with other information from Pa'an District, including seven other incident reports, eight interviews, one situation update, and 137 photographs.
Saw C---, 23 years old, reported that his older brother [in-law] Saw A---, 36 years old, was shot and killed. Burmese [Tatmadaw] soldiers from IB [Infantry Battalion] #230, TOC [Tactical Operations Command] #1, MOC [Military Operations Command] #12 in Kawkareik, under the command of Battalion Commander Tha Teh Soe and Deputy Battalion Commander Bpye Khaing came and were on active temporary duty in Dta Greh Township and in the Thu Mweh Nee border area, based at M--- Camp. The incident happened on October 29th 2011, at about 8:00 am. It happened in P--- village, E--- village tract, Lu Pleh Township, Pa'an District.
On November 16th 2011, in the early morning, I started to leave L--- village and went to P--- village where the incident happened. It took me three hours to walk there and I arrived in P--- village at 8:15 am in the morning. I met with Saw C--- and he explained: "Two weeks ago, the SPDC [Tatmadaw] came and shot at my house and it killed my older sister's husband. They also took my mother's six pairs of gold earrings, one gold ring and 20,000 baht."
Three people told me about this incident: Saw C--- [the victim's brother-in-law], Naw G--- [the victim's mother-in-law] and Saw H--- [a resident of P--- village] . The first two of them [Naw G--- and Saw C---] ran through bullets and Saw H--- heard the gunfire and saw the SPDC soldiers who came and shot. They knew exactly what happened.
On October 29th 2011, at about 8:00 am, in P--- village the Burma government [Tatmadaw] soldiers came and shot at some villagers because they saw those villagers were running. Saw C--- said: "The incident also happened at the same time when two of the KNLA soldiers came and cooked with us, so that is why it happened. But the KNLA soldiers didn't bring anything, they just stayed as villagers. The two KNLA soldiers cooked in the kitchen and Saw A--- sat in front of the house. As soon as he saw the Burmese military, he jumped out of the house and called 'Burmese!' so all of us in the house with my mother ran down [out of the house] and the Burmese soldiers started to shoot at us. We all ran down [out of the house] because we were afraid of the Burmese soldiers. If we hadn't run, we worried that the Burmese soldiers would arrest us, hit us and call us to follow them. Seven of the Burmese soldiers came and shot [at us] and their friends [other Tatmadaw soldiers] were waiting for them on the vehicle road which is not far from the village."
The seven Burmese soldiers came [into P--- village], and two of them arrived beside the vegetable garden in front of the house, two were under the trees, one was on the bridge, and another two were on the slope of the hill. They looked at Saw C---'s house and shot at the people who ran. The places the Burmese soldiers stayed when they shot are shown below in the photos.
The soldiers did not shoot at the people who ran directly; they shot at them from behind and a bullet hit A---'s head. One side [of his head] was gone and he fell in the tho gk'myo mu [a plant producing small dark berries] vines as shown in the photos below. Saw C--- said A--- was hit on the right [of his head] but C---'s mother, Naw G---, said the bullet hit him on the left side [of his head]. Saw H--- also said it hit the left [side of his head].
After they [Saw C--- and Naw G---] came back [to their house], the other two people [KNLA soldiers] did not come back. Only the P--- villagers went and took Saw A---'s dead body and put him in front of the house. His blood came out [on the ground] there and later the villagers burned [the ground where Saw A--- had bled]. The place that was burned is shown in the photos below. Saw C--- said the place where Saw A--- fell down [when he was shot] was on a slope so his blood swept down the slope and covered the leaves. That place was not burned.
After that, people bathed him [Saw A---] and sent him to the grave. After that, Saw C--- went and showed me Saw A---'s grave, which was near the vehicle road where the Burmese soldiers had waited for their friends who went and shot at Saw A---'s parents-in-law's house in P--- village. Saw A---'s grave is shown in the photos below. Those photos also are of Saw C---, who went and showed me his older brother [in-law]'s grave. When we came back to their place [P--- village], I took a picture of him. Saw C--- said: "When my brother A--- was sent to his grave, the pastor didn't arrive and didn't dare to come. Only a few people went and sent him to his grave. My older brother and older sister have three children. The oldest one is a girl, who is six years old."
When it happened his [Saw C---'s] older sister didn't stay in the house [in P--- village]. She went and worked on a flat field in L---, which is called Kw--- [in Burmese]. His [Saw C---'s] older brother [Saw A---] had come back to stay with his parents-in-law for a few days to harvest [paddy] and help his parents-in-law to carry the paddy. When I went to P---, I didn't meet with Saw A---'s wife, Naw T---, because, she stayed far away [from P---] near the Burmese soldiers based in E---, so it is not easy for me to go there.
Also, Saw C--- said the Burmese soldiers took six pairs of his mother's gold earrings, one golden ring, 20,000 baht (US $667) and 10,000 kyat (US $13). It was not sure that the 10,000 kyat was taken. Naw G--- would know better than her son [Saw C---], and she did not say that 10,000 kyat was taken. For the gold earrings, gold ring and 20,000 baht, [Naw G--- was sure] these were taken. His [Saw C---'s] mother had 20,000 Baht for sure. Saw C--- told me that his mother bought the six pairs of gold earrings three years ago and, among them, one pair had cost 3,000 baht (US $100). As for the gold ring, that cost 10,000 baht (US $333) four years ago. These things, now, maybe would be more than double the cost.