Narinjara news


Nasaka behind indicting a UNHCR official retaliation to reports on forced labour?


Maungdaw, 10 October 02: The Nasaka, Burmese border security forces, have masterminded for filing a legal case against Mr Garry, the Philippine Education-in-charge at Maungdaw, the western border town in Burma’s Rakhine State bordering with Bangladesh, according to an insider source.


The allegation against him is that, at seven in the evening on August 16th, Mr Garry beat Ma Than (37), a locally employed domestic help, with an umbrella.  The incident took place as she was pulling his arms to show that, the quilt put to dry on the roof of the house had not dried yet.  The gesture came from Ma Than as she did not understand the English language spoken by him, the source said.


Johan, the head of the UNHCR office at Maungdaw, along with interpreter Khin Maung Ohn immediately went to say sorry to Ma Than’s house accompanied by Garry.   Since Ma Than had applied for resignation, Johan expressed much annoyance and gave her two months’ salary for August and September amounting to FEC 160 (Foreign Exchange Currency, a Burmese junta issued bank currency amounting to kyat 1120 to each unit) as a gesture of sympathy for what he felt.


Though the matter was settled amicably through negotiation since it happened as a result of a trivial misunderstanding,  the Nasaka troops jumped to the occasion and ordered the police to reopen the case of Ma Than.  Accordingly the police started an investigation into the matter on 14 September to find enough materials to indict Mr Garry.   The police started the investigation by questioning Ms Daw Ma, daughter of U Chitt Tun Oo, Daw Wai Shay daughter of U San Aung Gyaw, and Daw San San Win  all serving as cooks in the UNHCR Maungdaw office.


On September 18, Police Sub-inspector Kyaw Khaing summoned Mr Johan to the police station for questioning regarding ‘misbehaviour’ of Garry to Ma Than.  On September 20, members of the Committee for Women Affairs (headed by Secretary 1, Khin Nyunt’s wife Dr Khin Win Shwe) at Maungdaw took Ma Than to the legal officials at the court house and made her to lodge a legal complaint at the police station.


On September 22, the Maungdaw Police completed preparing necessary papers for indicting the UNHCR official.  The FIR is numbered at Pa/207/2002, and the case was lodged under the criminal code 351 on the same day.  Afterwards, Sub Inspector Thant Zin Myint was given the responsibility as the investigation officer in charge of the case.


Our source quoting a court lawyer added that, the legal case was apparently opened in retaliation of the UNHCR report about forced labour in the region that compelled the Burmese junta to issue orders on 22nd August to stop the use of forced labour in Maung Daw township in Rakhine State.  


The blueprint for opening the case was chalked out in at least two discussions held in details in the Nasaka headquarters at Kyigan-braung in Maungdaw, he concluded.  #