Family and friends are still waiting for justice for the brutal murder and rape of two Kachin volunteer teachers six years ago.
“My two sisters were killed during a gang rape. We are heart broken. I’m so upset for them because until today they haven’t received justice,” said San Lon, the older sister of the teachers.
Tangbau Hkawng Nan Tsin, 21 and Maran Lu Ra, 20, were raped and murdered in their home on January 19, 2015, in Kawng Hkar. The Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) sent the young women to teach in the remote village located in northern Shan State.
KBC Chairman Rev Hkalam Samson told KNG he wouldn’t give up until the truth is revealed and the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes against the two young women are held accountable for their actions. He said that a truth investigation committee was reformed with new members. “We will continue to try to find truth and justice for them,” he said, while adding the murders were likely premeditated.
In 2016, the committee asked the Lashio District police if its members could question Tatmadaw’s Light Infantry Battalion-503 commander and several file and rank soldiers, including 3 drivers, suspected of the crimes. But KBC’s request was denied. Since then it stopped its investigation to discover what happened to the sisters.
Nan Pu, director of Htoi Gender Development Foundation, told KNG the committee was prevented from seeking answers about the murders, despite having prominent lawyers on the team. “We want it to continue its mandate to seek truth and justice for the two volunteer teachers.”
According to a report by the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand (KWAT), the military accused a local man for the murders while blocking the committee’s efforts to reveal the truth. Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of the Burma Army, threatened lawsuits against anyone who said members of the armed forces raped and killed the women.
KWAT called on the Burma Army to stop all its military offences and withdraw its soldiers from areas where the ethnic nationalities reside.
A prayer service for Tangbau Hkawng Nan Tsin and Maran Lu Ra was held in Kachin State capital, Myitkyina, and on Jor Bum, a centennial mountain located 10 miles north of the capital, this Tuesday, January 19.