Toungoo Incident Report: Killing Case in Thandaunggyi Township, January 2017

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Toungoo Incident Report: Killing Case in Thandaunggyi Township, January 2017

Published date:
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

This Incident Report describes the killing of a man with mental health illness by the suspected perpetrator who has avoided arrest by staying with a local militia group. The killing took place in upper A--- village, Mate Tha Lin Taung village tract, Leik Tho Town, Thandaunggyi Township, Toungoo District, January 2017.

Incident Report | Thandaunggyi Township, Toungoo District (January 2017)

The following Incident Report was written by (1) a community member in Toungoo District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor local human rights conditions. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.[1] This report was received in February 2017 along with other information from Toungoo District, including four interviews and 23 photos.[2]

 

Part 1 – Incident Details

Type of Incident

killing case

Date of Incident(s)

January 21, 2017

Incident Location

(Village, Township and District)

Upper A--- village, Mate Tha Lin Taung village tract, Leik Tho Town, Thandaunggyi Township, Toungoo District

 

Victim Information

Name

Saw Yweh War Htun

Age

29

Sex

Male

Nationality

Karen

Family   

No

Occupation

Gardener

Religion

Christian

Position

Villager

Village

Upper A--- village

 

Perpetrator Information

Name(s)              

Rank

Unit

Base

Commander’s Name

Saw Ba Nya Soe

Villager

No

No

No

 

Part 2 - Information Quality

1. Explain in detail how you collected this information.

After I was informed by one of A--- villagers [about a killing case], I went from Toungoo Town to Leik Tho Town, to the victim’s [censored for security] and collected the information.

 

2. Explain how the source verified this information.

This information has been officially disclosed by the victim’s [censored for security], in person. After this, I met with local villagers who acknowledged that the information is true. 

 

Part 3 – Complete Description of the Incident

Describe the Incident(s) in complete detail.

On January 21, 2017, in Upper A--- village, Mate Tha Lin village tract, Leik Tho town, Thandaunggyi Township, Toungoo District, a 34-year-old man named Saw Ba Nya Soe was waiting for another villager named Saw Yweh War Htun, who lives in the same village.  [As Saw Yweh War Htun was] on his way back to home, at around 10.00 AM, Saw Ba Nya Soe shot him [Saw Yweh War Htun] with a gun. The bullet went straight into the left side of Saw Yweh War Htun’s chest but he did not die immediately. However, when he tried to survive by escaping, he ran away but after about 15 yards he fell down. Saw Ba Nya Soe then stabbed him more than 5 times in his chest, his head, and his face with a [large sharp] knife that Saw Ba Nya Soe had carried with him. Following this, Saw Yweh War Htun was found dead lying on the road side.

After Saw Yweh War Htun was killed, Saw Ba Nya Soe returned to Upper A--- village and told some young people there, who were playing volleyball, that he had “finished” [killed] Yweh War Htun. Those young people suspected that it might be true since there were still blood stains on his skin. When they went to see [whether it was true], they saw Saw Yweh War Htun’s body lying beside the road. Following this, his dead body was sent to his house and villagers informed the relevant police officer and KNU authorities in Leik Tho Town. Saw Yweh War Htun’s [censored for security] said that a friend of Saw Yweh War Htun’s, who she didn’t know, then drove by motorbike to Leik Tho Town where Saw Yweh War Htun’s [censored for security] whose name is Saw B---, lives and told him about the case as he [reported that he] was a witness.

After villagers phoned the police office and local KNU responsible authority members in Leik Tho Town, the KNU and police collaborated to check the dead body and send it to a mortuary room for further investigation. However, the perpetrator, Saw Ba Nya Soe, was not arrested. After Saw Ba Nya Soe committed the murder, he [hid some of the weapons he owns]. His large sharp knife and musket gun were hidden amongst local militia, who are the armed group that constructed the road in Lower Mate Tha Lin Taung village. [This militia is] under the control of officer Hla Thein who is said to know and have close connection with Saw Ba Nya Soe’s relatives, specifically his uncle, U Soe Myint, who is the village chairperson, and his brother, U Than Win, who is the village secretary.

Officer Hla Thein allowed Saw Ba Nya Soe [to hide his weapons and avoid arrest] in the workplace area around the road construction. [He allowed him to hide] without taking any action or transferring him to the relevant township police office. Officer Hla Thein allowed Saw Ba Nya Soe [to hide] in this place for more than 15 days but he did not report him to the relevant [police] department.

Regarding the killing case of Saw Yweh War Htun, his [censored for security] went to Leik Tho Town police office in order to follow up as to whether the perpetrator had been arrested or not. According to an unknown deputy police officer, the police found it difficult to arrest Saw Ba Nya Soe as he had joined with the [local] militia, which is an armed group [that the police do not have authority over].

According to Saw Yweh War Htun’s [censored for security], Saw Yweh War Htun was single and had suffered from an unknown mental illness. They assumed that his death might be related to this situation [he was targeted because of his mental illness/vulnerability]. [They suspect that] Saw Ba Nya Soe took advantage of Saw Yweh War Htun’s weakness as Saw Yweh War Htun was often asked to do work [by Saw Ba Nya Soe] without any payment. As this [unpaid work] went on longer, Saw Yweh War Htun had started asking for the pay that he deserved but Saw Ba Nya Soe [refused to pay, instead] asking his widowed sister to talk, persuade, and calm down Saw Yweh War Htun so that [Saw Ba Nya Soe] did not have to pay. Saw Yweh War Htun believed what she [the widowed sister] said [and therefore accepted not being paid]. [However], this continued to go on and arguments and conflict started between them [regarding pay]. Therefore, according to Saw Yweh War Htun’s [censored for security], Saw Ba Nya Soe planned to kill Saw Yweh War Htun.

 

Part 4 - Permission for Using the Details

Did the victim(s) provide permission to use this information? Explain how that permission was provided.

Regarding this killing case information, the victim’s [censored for security] gave permission to KHRG to use it if it would be useful in any way.

Footnotes

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeastern Burma/Myanmar to document individual incidents of abuse using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When writing incident reports, community members are encouraged to document incidents of abuse that they consider to be important, by verifying information from multiple sources, assessing for potential biases and comparing to local trends.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in southeastern Burma/Myanmar, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s website.