Narinjara News

Suicide of a Private: How harsh is Burmese junta’s Rice Collection Drive?

Maungdaw, 11
th May 03:  An on-duty Burmese Army personnel shot himself dead on 2nd May 03 at Kyauk-lung ethnic Mro village in the northern part of Rakhine State, in the western part of Burma while he was performing his duty during the regular rice collection drive.

The private serviceman, Mya Win (28), from LIB 20 stationed at Sittwe, the capital of the state, was assigned to collect additional quota of rice besides fulfilling the regular quota set by the officials of the SPDC (State Peace and Development Council) junta from the farmers in the area.

Our correspondent quoting a source in the military added that the private was suffering from deep frustration resulting from seeing all the derogatory treatment done towards the farmers like physical assault, verbal attacks, confiscation of property and false legal charges brought against those farmers who fail to fulfil the total demand of rice by the Burmese junta.  The harsh treatments to the farmers, and also to the soldiers on duty who ‘fail to realize’ the assigned quota have prompted the soldier to take his own life, the source said.  After full realization of the rice quota for the year the regime also goes for additional amount of rice for the upkeep of the family members of the law enforcement agencies since the salary paid to the servicemen is hopelessly poor.   

On 20th March two members of the Burmese Army, one corporal, Than Nain, and another private  Khin Maung Oo, tried to desert the service while being posted at Tarwaing Oing, in Paletwa Township of southern Chin State to the north of Rakhine State.  Than Nain carried a carbine with 60 rounds of bullets, and Khin Maung Oo had a G3 rifle with 200 rounds of bullet.  Later they were caught in the Indo-Burma border area and were shot dead without even being tried in the court martial. 

A source in the platoon said to our correspondent that many of the soldiers in the Burmese Army are frustrated at the harsh treatment of the farmers that incite dissatisfaction and frustration even among the rank and file.  #