Members of the exiled Kachin community and their Burmese friends living in the Indian capital New Delhi held a protest last week to demand justice in the case of the two Kachin teachers who were found raped and murdered in Northern Shan state on 20th January.
The protesters called for the Burmese government to uphold the law and launch a proper investigation into the killing of the two teachers. It is widely believed that the rape and murder was carried out by Burma army personnel, however a military owned newspaper has already issued a warning against those who make this accusation.
“We, therefore, demand the Burmese Government and Army stop state-sponsored sexual violence again Kachin Communities and bring to justice those guilty of such crimes,” said the statement issued by members of the Kachin community in Delhi. The statement was issued on 30th January, the day of the protest.
The naked and badly beaten bodies of the two volunteer teachers Tangbau Hkawn Nan Tsin (21) and Maran Lu Ra (20) were found in Kawng Hka Village in Muse Township, Northern Shan State last month. The teachers were volunteers from the Kachin Baptist Convention’s (KBC) who were helping disadvantaged youth in the area.
Their bodies were found in their dormitory at the Kawng Hka Kachin Baptist Church compound, which is only about 100 yards from the Burma Army’s 503rd Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) outpost.
“The Burma Army’s historic use of rape as weapon of intimidation in conflict areas, has meant that countless Kachin women have been raped, tortured and killed with impunity,” said the statement released by the Kachin community in Delhi.
The case of the dead teachers is similar to other acts of violence carried out by the army against Kachin women, including the October 2011 disappearance of Sumlut Roi Ja, who was last seen alive being led away by soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 321. Sumlut Roi Ja who was from Hkaibang Village, Momauk (N’mawk) township was the subject of Habeas Corpus court case launched by her family against the army. The case was dismissed by the Supreme Court in February 2012.