"Premeditated Depayin Massacre"
Brief Background of Event
After her freedom from 19 months house arrest on May 6, 2002 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi began her organization trips outside of Rangoon. Her release from house arrest was unconditional and as approved by the SPDC she could freely travel throughout the country. Her first Rangoon precinct trip was to Shwe Pyi Thayar Township NLD head office on 17-5-2002 followed by trips to Daw-bon township NLD head office on 22-5-2002, on 24-5-2002, Kamayut Township NLD head-office, on 13-6-2002, as her fifth trip in Rangoon precinct, she visited Thakayta NLD head office.
Throughout the trip mentioned, she received overwhelming support from the people. She later made her upper Burma trips from 20-6-2002 to 29-6-2002 visiting (16) township in Mandalay and Magwe Divisions continued by trips to Mon and Karen States visiting 12 Townships from (14-10-2002 to 17-10-2002). She then visited 14 townships in Pegu Division from (13-11-2002 to 27-12-2002), 17 Townships in Shan States from (16-12-2002 to 24-12-2002), and 15 Townships in Arakan States, Magwe Division and Irrawaddy Division from (3-4-2003 to 13-4-2003).Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had experienced harassment from SPDC since 1996. The USDA had interrupted Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and caused her trouble throughout her journey in many ways.
Such plot against Daw Aung San Su Kyi had since been arranged in 1996 and was revealed by the SLORC/ SPDC Minister of Railways Transport Ministry and secretary of the USDA U Win Sein. On 1-11-96 at 14:00 hrs, in the compound of the Le Pyin village primary school which is about 1 mile away from Inndaw Township of Sagaing Division, the entire village USDA members' proposals submitting ceremony was held. U Win Sein who participated in the ceremony, delivered a speech to the attending villagers making strong personal attack on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Furthermore he stated that the creator of the internal political disturbances, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, must be eradicated. "Do you understand what is meant by Eradicated"? "Eradicated means to kill", and added, "Dare you kill Daw Suu Kyi?". He repeated this 5 or 6 times, but no one answered him. In addressing the people by microphone and raising the question dare you kill Daw Suu Kyi was heard not only by those attending the ceremony but also villagers in the village and by monks in the monastery. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was injured when she was brought by force back to Rangoon from above roadside. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s car was put off the road by the authority during her trip to Irrawaddy Division in August 1998. Regarding this matter, NLD chairman U Aung Shwe informed Senior General Than Shwe by letter with letter No: 179/Cee (Nyein)/96 of 20.12.96.
Therefore it is obvious that since 1996 responsible personnel of USDA have been instigating the assassination of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and making verbal personal attacks on the General Secretary of the National Language for Democracy. The Depayin incident is indeed a practical move to bring about their intention. On 9.11.96, Saturday afternoon at about (15:35) hrs, leader of the NLD U Tin Oo, U Kyi Maung and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi left the entrance gate of Kanbawza manor and slowly headed southwards in 3 motor vehicles. Just about (15) feet from the entrance gate, at a bus stand, on the road, and on either side of the road was a group of people estimated to be round about (200). They had with them rocks, iron chains, iron rods that can kill people and attacked the motorcade in the manner of following instruction from someone else. In the presence of the security members and in broad daylight, the attack was carried out like a country in anarchy.
Due to the attack, the back windshield of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's car was cracked and the car of U Tin Oo and U Kyi Maung, the glasses on both sides of the back doors and the back windshield were totally damaged. The second attack had taken place at the intersection of the University avenue road and Than Lwin Road. The time was about (16:45) hrs. At that place were an army major, a police inspector and 10 motor vehicle police blocking the University Avenue road. The NLD cars in turning towards the Than Lwin Road, two men from near the officers rushed out throwing stones at the leader's cars moved close to the cars and stabbed with daggers. As the cars were moving no one was hurt, but it was a formidable plot. The attackers after committing a brutal and barbarous attack calmly went back towards the security officers. On 20-7-98, about (9:10)hrs, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and Central Executive Committee member and Chairman of the Irrawaddy Division organization Committee U Hla Pe set out on a trip by motor vehicles to Pantanaw Township, Irrawaddy Division to encourage and console the family of MP Dr. Tin Min Htut who was under detention. On the way at telegraph post No (106) of Rangoon-Bassein highway near Pandaing village her journey was disrupted by the authorities. At about (11:40) hrs on resuming her journey, she was again stopped at a place about 4 miles from where she was first halted near Anyarsu and Pandaing villages.
Round Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s car was damaged in (9-11-96) attack by SPDC’s thugs in Rangoon. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s motorcade was blocked by SPDC during her trip to Dala township in August 2000. about (14:10) hrs, the authorities brought Dr. Tin Min Htut to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. With the consent of the authorities Dr,Tin Min Htut was taken back to Rangoon by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. On 24-7-98 at about (09:05) hrs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, CEC U Hla Pe and party travelled to Bassein by motor vehicles to give moral support to the families of MPs who were detained under the 1961 Restriction of Movement and Probation of Habitual Act. They were halted at the thoroughfare near Pandaing and Anyarsu villages.
On 29-7-98 about (21:50) hrs at the place where they were stopped, security members of the authorities by using force mauled her into her car against her will and took her back to her home. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's car was driven back by a member of the authorities without her permission. The remaining CEC member and 2 NLD staff were treated the same way as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and were taken back. Again on 12-8-98 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi with U Hla Pe, Central Exeutive Committee member and the chairman of the Irrawaddy Division Organization Committee, traveled by car peacefully on the public road to Bassein. On nearing Anyarsu-Pandaing villages of Htantabin Township, they were stopped on the way. After (13) days her health deteriorated, the CEC and other NLD members became anxious and on 24-8-98 took her back and arrived in Rangoon about (15:20) hrs.
On 24-8-2000 while Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and party were on their way to Dala Township in two motor vehicles, they were stopped by a group of policeman on the way. After detaining them for 9 days they were forcibly made to return by the authorities, on 1-9-2000. Within a matter of an hour, the NLD Headquarters was raided by the authorities. On 21.9.2000, while Daw Aung San Suu kyi, and her colleagues were preparing to depart for Mandalay, they were halted by the authorities at the Rangoon Railway Station. After which she was put under house arrest until 6 May, 2002.
In 2002 of May 6th, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest and the SPDC declared that a new chapter had been opened in the history of Burma and every citizen could take part in political activities. And that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had passed the period of confidence building between the NLD and the SPDC. After receiving her freedom from house arrest and in her travels throughout the country, the support she received from the people was gaining momentum and in the same manner her harassments from the USDA was also rising. From 6.5.03 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her entourage were on an organizational tour by motor vehicles according to scheldule, from Rangoon to Mandalay. And then to Shwe Bo, Khin U, Kaw Lin, Wun Tho, Indaw, Katha, Mohnyin, Mogaung, Pa Kan, Tanaing, Namti, Myitkyina, Waingmaw, Bamaw, Shwe Gu, Momeik, Mogok, Thabeikkyin, Singu, Madaya, Mandalay, Myintmu, Monywa, Butalin, Depayin. During the tour, party signboards were put up at one State office and 12 Township offices and were able to form 9 Township youth organizations. While they were travelling on the road from one town to another, USDA member with posters shouted slogans and opposed them. On 16-5.03 when they were entering Myitkyina Township, about 300 people carrying 2"x 1" clubs, catapults and short choppers surrounded the motorcade of Daw Aung San Suu kyi and her colleagues with hostility. The USDA had interrupted Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and caused her trouble throughout her journey in many ways. On 30-5-03 about 7:30 PM at a place two miles from Depayin a little further from Kyi village intersection at Phayarpyet village, a group of ruffians led by the authorities made a violent attach on her motorcade. The incident had been systematically premeditated by the authorities and carried out by their minions the USDA thugs.
Depayin Massacre site (Photo contributed by US Embassy in Rangoon)
After her release from house arrest on May 6, 2002, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi journeyed to 95 townships during the time from June 11, 2002, to April 13, 2003, and reopened NLD offices. Beginning from May 6, 2003, she traveled to Mandalay Division, Sagaing Division, Kachin State and Shan State, and presided over the installation of signboards and opening of NLD offices. On May 29, she began the Mandalay-Monywa trip. Trips to Upper Burma were made, only after she had obtained prior permission and agreement from the SPDC1 and township election commissions. On May 29, at 9:00 a.m., a party of more than 100 persons in a convoy of 7 vehicles of NLD members, vehicles of supporters from Mandalay and more than 20 motorcycles set out for Sagaing, from due west of the 38th Street and south of the 84th Street of Mandalay. At the front, a scout car for security drove at a distance ahead of the convoy, and the car of Daw Suu, 2 cars of NLD members and those of the others, followed. The convoy reached the Sagaing Bridge at about 10:00 a.m. While it was passing the bridge and at the entrance to Sagaing Town, 800 members of the USDA3, on the left and right sides of the road, were holding placards with slogans "We don't want people who don't support USDA." They were also chanting the slogans exactly as they were written on the placards. After the convoy had passed these protesters, about 2,000 people from Sagaing who greeted the NLD leaders with, "Long live Daw Aung San Suu Kyi" and "Long live Ba Ba U Tin Oo." The entourage continued their journey after leaving Sagaing and arrived at Myinmu at about 12:00 noon. In the whole length of the journey, the traffic police and military intelligence unit members followed from behind the convoy and took pictures with video and still cameras. In Myinmu, signboard for Myinmu Township NLD office was installed and the Upper Burma Youth officer as well as MP-elect of Leway Township constituency, Ko Tin Tun Oo, presided over formation of Myinmu Township NLD Youths.
Then, the convoy left Myinmu for Monywa after 3:00 p.m. Before reaching Chaung U, a group assembled for protest against Daw Suu near Yeposar Village was seen by the security scout car. It tried to turn back so as to inform the convoy about the matter. However, as the crowd prevented it from turning back, the scout car had to go on to Monywa. When the scout car, on reaching Chaung U, related about the incident at Yeposar to a crowd of students and people from Monywa, who had come to welcome Daw Suu, the crowd riding on about 3,000 motorcycles rushed to Yeposar village. As there were about 6,000 supporters, the protesters were not able to do any mischief, and Daw Suu and the party was able to reach Monywa safely at 6 p.m..The town's people of Monywa and the local population warmly welcomed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD members. Though the government authorities had cut off power to the whole town, there was a rousing candle-lit welcome by the people, with shouts of " Long live Daw Suu; Long live Ba Ba U Tin Oo!" Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addressed the welcoming crowd in Monywa Town for about 40 minutes. After that, she retired for the night at the house of a former military officer and owner of Sein Hmyar Store of Monywa, U Kyi Soe.
On the morning of May 30, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi presided over the installation of signboard and reopening of Monywa Township NLD office, and then the formation of Monywa Township NLD Youths. Though Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her party members later went to Zawtika monastery of Monywa to pay respect to the abbot, they did not have a chance to do so, as the abbot had been invited away by the Army Northwest Command headquarters. After that, Daw Suu and the party went to Okkan Tawya monastery briefly. At about 10: a.m., departure was made for Butalin Town through the Circular Road of Monywa. When Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and party arrived near Zeedaw Village, military authorities from the Northwest Command headquarters stopped the convoy including cars of the people of Monywa, who came along to send off Daw Suu and party. When Daw Suu and party arrived at Butalin, the ceremonies of installing the signboard and opening of Butalin Township NLD office, and formation of Butalin Township NLD Youths were performed. After that, the supporters from Monywa who came along with the party returned to Monywa. When they arrived at Zeedaw, which was near the Army Northwest Command headquarters, the police waiting in readiness beat them up and put them under arrest. At about 4:30 p.m., the entourage left Butalin for Depayin Town.
When it arrived at Saingpyin Village, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi went to the house of U Win Myint Aung, who was an MP-elect and who had been in prison, and gave a word of encouragement to the family members of U Win Myint Aung and NLD members of the village. On the way to Depayin, as the scout car for our convoy did not return, motorcycle riders were sent to find out about the situation. However, they also did not return. Then, the entourage continued the journey, and reached Kyi Village at about 7:30 - 8:00 p.m., where the massacre took place. From there, Depayin was only about 2 miles away. At Kyi Village, the villagers and local population came out to welcome Daw Suu and the NLD members. After passing Kyi Village for about 100 yards, the car with registration number Ar/5415 in which Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was riding, was at the forefront of the convoy, and behind that was the car in which U Tun Win (from Zaygyo) and U Khin Maung Thaung were riding. The third car (Hilux model, green color) was that of members of Mandalay Township Youths, who had the duty of providing close security. Behind that was the car of Sagaing Township MP-elect, Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt (Sunny, white color). Behind Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt's car was the car of members of Rangoon Division, NLD Central Youths security detail (Hilux model, white color) and behind the car of the Central Youths was the car of NLD Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo (Town Ace model, micro-bus) and behind U Tin Oo's car were cars of the NLD members, all in a line.
After passing Kyee village for about a hundred yards, by blocking the way in the front, two monks stopped Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's car. When Central Youths security officer Ko Tun Zaw Zaw got off the car and asked about the reason, the two monks said, "We have been waiting for a long time. Ask Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to give a speech." In reply, Ko Tun Zaw Zaw explained that it was not possible because of lack of time. At that moment, attackers on 2 Dyna trucks and 2 Torlagi cars, altogether 4 vehicles, which had been tailing the convoy, repeatedly shouted "Relying on external forces, axe handles; people with negative views, we don't want!" So shouting, they alighted from their vehicles. In response to that, Kyi villagers, who had come out to welcome Daw Suu and the NLD members, shouted, "We the people, in turn, don't want you!" At that, the USDA members, their mercenaries, and the faked monks, who had got off from the Dyna and Torlagi asked, "What are you saying?" So asking, they started to attack the Kyi villagers with pointed iron rods, iron bars, bamboo sticks and wooden bats, which they had brought in advance with them.
As one of the attackers' Dyna trucks attempted to run over the people seen in the light of the cars, the villagers had to run in disorder. Then they gradually approached the convoy of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. At the mean time, about three thousand thugs holding the similar lethal weapons, who were laying in wait to attack beside the road appeared immediately. They joined the previous perpetrators and attacked the people in the cars of the convoy, including that of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD supporters who were taking motorbikes, and the people who came along to send off the NLD, systematically. The killing field could be seen in the light of some Dyna trucks numbered at least four, that had been tailing the convoy.
The faked monks with red arm band and people in civilian clothes with white arm band while beating the women, they shouted, "Race destroying women; You want to be wives of Kala (A derogatory word for Indians and Westerners.) ; Before you make yourselves wives of Kala, become our wives." Shouting such unspeakable abuses, they beat on violently without ceasing. From the women victims who had fallen to the ground, they pulled their NLD uniform jackets and sarongs, and they wrapped the hair around their hands and bumped the faces against the tar road.
They rudely and savagely attacked until causing fatal injuries. They looted ornaments and cash from the victims. The attackers concentrated their savage assault on the right side of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's car, where members of the Youths responsible for security stood, with linked hands, in tiers. Many members of the youth security detail were seriously injured. As they hit violently and repeatedly on the head, NLD photographer Tin Maung Oo and Ko Thein Toe was killed on the spot.
To terrorize the victims, the attackers violently struck the cars with iron bars and broke car windows by stabbing with pointed iron rods. In the vehicle, with registration number Ar/5415, were Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Ko Tun Zaw Zaw, the NLD Central Youths security officer, and car driver Kyaw Soe Lin, member of Mandalay Division NLD. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's car had to rush out while members of youth security detail, giving close protection to Daw Suu's car, came under intense and violent attack. At the same time, the attackers launched a violent assault on the car of NLD Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo and then they seized U Tin Oo at the place of attack and took him away.
The victims who escaped from the first killing field near Kyi Village and fled towards Depayin were attacked again by more than 1,000 attackers, who were waiting ready on the left and right sides of the road, at a place near the compound of local Irrigation Department. It was a second killing field. It could also be seen with the spot lights already installed in the big rain trees beside the road and in the light of many Dyna Trucks that had been positioned by the authorities. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt narrowly escaped attack at the second killing field, because their cars rushed through the waiting crowd at high speed.
The reliable sources indicate that the authorities gathered and trained these terrorist attackers numbered about 5,000 comprising the USDA members and other criminals from the prison. [ New Light of Myanmar, June 1, 2003 (SPDC, May 31 press conference)]
They attacked Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and party, as well as the local population, who came out to welcome her and the accompanying NLD members, using violence and terror, with the intention of causing grievous injuries and death to a large number of the innocent, defenseless and the unsuspecting civilians. It was learned that on the night of attack, after 11:00 p.m. about 80 riot policemen, with shields and sticks, in 4 Dyna trucks and 2 cars, that looked like Pajero jeeps, arrived at the scene of the attack. Two officers got off from the 2 smaller cars and inspected the scene of the attack. The policemen threw the bodies of the dead and the injured, as if they were garbage, into the trucks. The two Hilux pickup trucks left at the scene were pushed down into the rice field and then they set them up as if they had overturned. The other two Hilux pickup trucks were set up to look like as if they had had a head-on collision. Then they took pictures of them with video and still cameras, for the record. On the morning of May 31, an emergency police station was set up near the compound of the Irrigation Department not far from the place of the incident. In order to eliminate all the evidence, water was brought in with municipal trucks and bloodstains and other marks were washed away by the policemen, using brooms.
Affidavit of Wunna Maung
I, Wunna Maung, hearby swear under oath that:
1. I am a citizen of Burma, holding National Identification Card No-9/MCS- (N) 003840. I was born on March 16, 1977. My parents are U Kyaw Maung and Daw Tin Win. I live in Htundone Myo Thit, Chan Mya Thar Zi township, Mandalay. I make this affidavit in support of my statement on Depayin Massacre, Burma, took place on May 30, 2003.
2. I had applied for a membership in the Mandalay National League for Democracy (NLD) Youths. The NLD Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo himself said that we had been accepted as members. He continued to say that membership cards had not been issued to anyone due to prevailing situation and told us to continue to implement the Party's programs. As I had been elected by youths of Htundone Ward, I had to serve as Htundone Township Youth Organizer.
3. For the organizing trip of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to Upper Burma, I had to serve as a youth security officer, according to the duty entrusted to me by Mandalay Division NLD. By security duty, it was meant that, the ones holding the duty had to take the responsibility of keeping a close watch on the travelling party during the whole journey in order to guard against any danger that might befall. Daw Suu entrusted security duty for the organizing trips within Mandalay Division to Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt, an elected MP of Sagaing Township Constituency No.2 in Mandalay Division.
Accordingly, Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt, in turn, entrusted Youths of Mandalay Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest Townships, the duty to serve as reserve security units. For the security of Daw Suu, there were 17 members of Central Headquarters Youths who had accompanied Daw Suu from Rangoon. Whenever there was a break in the journey for rest, the Central Youths members took up position as the inner tier of security while Mandalay Township Youths members took up position as the outer tier.
4. Even before we started on the journey, we had learned that bamboo clubs troops units had been formed at the township USDA offices and training was being given with Ya-Ya-Ka chairmen serving as battalion commanders. We also learned that villagers were ordered, under a different pretext, to furnish meal packets for these trainees. For that reason, before departure on the journey, Daw Suu advised us to absolutely avoid any words or behavior that might lead to confrontation with the dictators.
5. On May 29, at about 9 am, the long line of cars and motorcycles started out in a convoy from the back of 38th Street and drove along the 84th Street. In the car I was riding in, there were Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt, Ko Aye Win, Ko Wunna, Mandalay Northwest Township Secretary U Hla Than, Ko Aung Ko, Daw Khin Aye Myint, Daw Nyunt Nyunt, and Ko Thein Zaw. To serve as a scout, a car drove at a distance ahead of the main party. The party arrived at Sagaing, at about 10: 30 am.
6. At a bend before entering Sagaing Town and after passing over Sagaing Bridge, we saw, on both sides of the road, a group of about 600 people, holding placards with slogans, "We don't want people, who don't support USDA," and they were also chanting the slogans. At a moderate distance behind the group was a large crowd of people who were welcoming Daw Suu. When we saw the people in strength welcoming and supporting us enthusiastically, we also joyously responded to their greetings. To the shouts of " Long live Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Ba Ba U Tin Oo," we shouted in response, "Long live the people," and so on. The party did not take time to enter Sagaing Town and went on straight to Myinmu Town. The party reached Myinmu at about 12 noon and Daw Suu presided over the ceremony of installing the signboard and opening of Myinmu Township NLD office. After that, the Upper Burma Youth Organizer, Ko Tin Tun, presided over formation of Myinmu Township NLD Youths.
7. At about 3 pm, the party started to leave for Monywa Town. On the way we found more and more people in cars and on motorcycles coming to meet us. The party drove on in an orderly way and started to reach the entrance to Monywa at about 6 pm. As the crowd of people, coming to meet Daw Su in the town was so big that we could not reach the clock tower in the center of town, until 9:30 pm. In Monywa Daw Su addressed to the town elders and people for about 45 minutes and then the party retired for the night in Monywa Town. Daw Su slept in the house of one of the MP elects and the rest of the party found other places to retire.
8. On May 30, the party started to leave from Monywa for Butalin Town at 10:30 am. At the beginning of the journey, 10 cars and about 150 motorcycles from Monya escorted the party. On reaching Butalin, the ceremony for installing the signboard and opening Butalin NLD Township office was held and Butalin NLD Youths was formed. At about 4:30 pm, the party started to leave Butalin for Depayin Town. On the way at Saing-pyin, Daw Su stopped to meet local NLD members and family members of U Win Myint Aung, an MP-elect, who had been held in prison, to give a word of encouragement and comfort. Before reaching Depayin, as the scout car going ahead of the party failed to return, motorcycle riders were sent to find out about the situation. However, the motorcycle riders also did not return.
9. At the exit of Monywa, our group, including Chairman U Tin Oo and Daw Su, went in to Zawti-ka Monastery of Monywa for paying respect to the abbot. However, the abbot was away and we continued our journey to Budalin. As we continued our journey, it was about 8:30 pm when we reached a place, near Kyi Village, between Saingpyin and Depayin, where the incident took place. At that time, there was only a car between the car we were in and Daw Suu's car. Daw Suu's car was at the forefront and in the middle was a car in which U Tun Win (from Zaygyo) and U Khin Maung Thaung were riding. Ours was the third car, which was (Hilux model, green color). Behind our car was that of MP-elect, Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt's (Sunny, white color). Behind that was the car of Central Youths (Hilux, white color) and behind the Central Youths' car was that of Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo's (micro-bus), and then cars of the NLD members, all in a line. After passing Kyee Village for about 300 feet, two Buddhist monks blocked the way stopping the vehicle in which Daw Suu was riding. At that moment, Ko Tun Zaw Zaw got off from the car and, when he inquired about the reason, the two monks said, "We have been waiting for a long time. Ask Daw Suu to give a speech." In response, Ko Tun Zaw Zaw explained that the "request could not be complied with as there was no time." While he was still explaining, two Dyna and two Torlagi trucks, altogether 4 trucks, full of people, came towards us from Monywa side. The people in the trucks, shouting over and over, the slogan, "Oppose those Relying on external forces, act as stooges; holders of negative views," alighted from the vehicles. At that moment, villagers from Kyi shouted, "We, the people in return don't want you!" At that, the USDA members and their cohorts from the trucks shouted, "What are you saying?" And with that, they started attack on the villagers with irons spike, iron bars, bamboo clubs and wooden clubs, which they had brought with them, and we had to witness the incident helplessly with a bleeding heart. At that time, as a Dyna truck also was trying to run over anyone in sight, the Kyi villagers who had come to receive us, had to run in disorder. When the two monks, who blocked Daw Suu's car for a speech, were asked to stop what was happening, they said, "We won't be able to do anything," and "You may also drive on." Just at that moment, our cars started to come under attack. I took responsibility for security on the right side of Daw Suu's car. The disposition for security was that I was close to the right side of the body of Daw Suu's car. There was no one behind me. We were standing in a line side by side. As the cars were parked close to the right side of the road, there were only one or two of us on that side. Two monks, with red cloth wrapped around the arm down to the elbow, were standing close to us. They were not the initial two monks who had blocked the way. At that moment, we saw that all the cars behind were being battered by packs of attackers. We, members of security unit, were standing from two to three tiers on the left side to cover Daw Suu's car. All the USDA members and their hired hands, attacking our cars were drunk. We learned later that from the time of departure from Monywa, a half-drum, full of liquor, was put on their car, and anyone in the car was allowed to drink as much liquor as he wished.
10. For that reason, when they attacked our cars they did it inhumanly and they shouted also, "Are you death-defying force for Kala1 woman? If so die!" So shouting, they brutally struck down the youths. As there were few people on the right side of the car, the attackers concentrated their attack on the left side, and thus I escaped from the beating. When people on the other side of Daw Suu's car fell, the attackers struck down glass windows of the car. When the glasses were broken, they jabbed into the cars with the rods they were carrying. At that time we who remained shouted, "Daw Su, do run, run!" In the car, there were the driver, Kyaw Soe Lin, Ko Tun Zaw Zaw and Daw Su, only three. In the rear also, they attacked U Tin Oo's car in a pack, and I saw them seizing and taking away U Tin Oo. At that time, U Tin Oo was wounded on the head. Daw Suu escaped beating, because she did not get out of the car. If she did, the attackers would beat her to death, because the Sketch of the scene of the first killing field near Kyi village. attackers were totally drunk. They did not look like they were drunk on liquor but they looked like as if they were high on drugs. While the situation was in confusion, the attackers arrived near our car and in a pack, they rushed on to attack Daw Suu's car. They knew that we would not resist and I think, for that reason, they beat up with greater force and killed more.
11. They also beat up women in the third car (Hilux, green color), after pulling off their blouses and sarongs. When the victims covered in blood fell to the ground, I saw the attackers jumped on to them and wrapped the hair around their hands and pounded the heads against stone surface of the road, with all the force. I saw them behaving most inhumanly. I saw with my own eyes, earrings being forcibly taken from a woman who had fallen to the ground (Thanda Soe, second year student). The attackers uttered such base and sordid words like "You woman, wanting to be Kalas' wives, go ahead die! Before Kala, we will make you our wives. We have to build roads, repair roads, repair bridges and you want to be wives to Kala - die, die!" and went on brutally beating and attacking until the victims were dead. As the cars in the back kept their full headlights on, we saw all that happened. From my mind, I still cannot get rid of the sight of people, covered in blood, being beaten mercilessly and inhumanly.
12. After Daw Suu's car left, we also ran away. There were people fleeing on motorcycles and on foot. We were three, including a young monk. After running for a considerable distance, we could no longer continue to run. At that time, as we saw a car coming from behind and flagged it down. It happened to be a car from our group. All the three of us climbed onto the bonnet of the car.
Before we drove for long, we saw a group of USDA members and their henchmen waiting for us on the way. We also saw about 40-50 motorcycles being beaten. Hence, we had to turn around and run back. It was only about 10-minute drive from the place we were first beaten and to the place where they were waiting. We also saw traffic police from a distance. As there was no escape for us going forward or backward, we wheeled down to the side of the road at a place that seemed to be a branch road. However, it turned out to be a ditch. The car got stuck in the mud. All the people got off and gave a push. At first, it moved a bit. After moving forward for a while, the car got stuck entirely in a ditch. No amount of pushing moved the car. As we had not had our meal and as we had to run from the killing, we became completely exhausted and could no longer push the car. There were about 18 of us who had been in the car. We were members of Youths from Mandalay who had taken responsibility for security, including the Upper Burma Youth Affairs Officer Ko Tin Tun Oo, Deputy Officer Ko Myo Naing, Joint Officer Ko Hla Oo and Central Youth Ko Thein Soe. We could no longer cared about the car and all of us tried to flee, away from the danger. Fortunately, the place we came to turned out to be a big bush. In our flight, Ko Tin Htut Oo and Ko Myo Naing failed to come with us. We saw there the people, who had fled before us. We find ourselves to be a total of 97 persons and 49 motorcycles. The ones we met were girl and boy students from Monywa and Sagaing, who had come with our convoy. The counting was done, of course, only in the morning. Two among the group turned out to be members of the gang that had attacked us, supposedly on the bidding of the USDA. They told us about themselves not because we asked them. They revealed their identity on their own volition. They explained, "We had never done such a thing in our life and since we could not bear to do such a thing, we came fleeing with you."
13. After counting all the persons and motorcycles, on the morning of May 31, we all went towards the main road at 5:00 am. At first, the motorcycles were forbidden from getting on to the main road but without success. They stubbornly went on to the main road. Ko Chit Yin and I remained behind. Among those who went on to the road was Ko Hla Oo. His head was fractured and his hand was broken. The police from their car fired guns to stop the motorcycles, which got on to the road. We could see from a distance the motorcycles that ran on to the road. At that time, we heard 7 gunshots. The one who saw all the happenings was Thanda Soe, as she had been on a tree near the road, in the flight from danger, starting from the previous night. From her place in the tree, she was able to see all that happened on that morning. Three novice monks and Thanda Soe were about to get on to the road, but as I called out to them, they turned around and returned to us. Ma Thanda Soe was from Mandalay and we had been in the same car. She was a second-year student. There were about 20 women who came all the way from Mandalay. At the time of reassembling, we found that the car, in which Pone Pone and Khin Ma Ma Tun were riding, was missing. We did not know where the rest of the women were.
14. As we did not get on to the road and just walked across the paddy fields, we reached a village called Yin-dwai. As the villagers fed us, we ate and took rest for a while. At that moment, as a child who came back from outside said to us that the village headman was asking about us, we started to set out from the village. After leaving the village and walking in the fields for about 30 minutes in time, we met six other villagers. Those people took us to their field huts and looked after us for a night.
15. On June 1, at 5:00 am, we started out from a villager's field. I put on clothes of the farmers I met on the way, with which I exchanged my Kachin sarong and white shirt. A villager showed us the way, until we reached Hsin Inn Village in Shwebo Township. That villager had sent us for about 15 miles, and until we got to Hsin Inn, we had to walk through villages. We rode in a car from Hsin Inn to Shwebo. At Shwebo, I put up at a friend's house, temporarily. While in Shwebo, I met 8 persons who had come back from Depayin attack. They said, "While we were looking for jobs, a person took us to the USDA office. We were told that we would get 800 Kyat as daily wages, meals and liquor, and the job was to gang up and beat up a group of people." "As we were afraid of the officers in that office, we said 'Yes,' and gave our promise," explained the participants in the attack.
16. With regard to furnishing liquor, we saw about it from the time we got to Saingpyin. I left Shwebo at about 1:00 pm by bus to Mandalay, and reached Mandalay at about 3:30 pm.
Dated - July 4, 2003
Sworn to before me on
this 4th of July, 2003
Affidavit of U Khin Zaw on Depayin Massacre
I, U Khin Zaw, hearby swears under oath that:
1. I am a citizen of Burma. I was born in Min Hla Town of Tharawaddy District, Pegu Division in the year of 1315 B.E., and now I am 50 years old. I am the third child among seven brothers and sisters of us. My father was Artist U Khin Soe and my mother is Daw Sein Than. In 1968, I appeared in the eighth standard school examination. In 1969, I moved to Rangoon. In Rangoon, I learned about gems from my uncle and I made a living as a gem trader and broker. I had never been in politics and had never been to jail. During the BSPP Era also, I never did anything in connection with government. I had been only a simple gem dealer.
2. I joined the NLD in 1998. The reason for joining the NLD was that after voting in the 1990 election, the whole family moved to Mandalay. There I met U Hla Win (AKA) Bo Mee Khae, who was related to me. U Hla Win was a native of Moenyo and he was with Gen. Aung San in the struggle for independence, during the British and Japanese times. He was working as a patron of the Mandalay Division NLD. We lived in the same compound and, through inquiry about each other's backgrounds, we came to learn that we were related. As a result of inspiration gained through this uncle U Hla Win's persuasion and my discontent with the military regime in power, there was a welling up of political courage in me and in 1998, I became a member of the NLD in the Southwest Township of Mandalay. Now, I am a full member of the NLD.
3. Responsibility in the Mandalay Division NLD: In September 2002, I started to perform my duty as Southwest Township Organizer. I had to attend regularly the township meetings. I attended without fail the ceremonies for special days such as the Martyrs' Day, the Union Day, the Resistance Day etc. I also participated in literary functions. I had also participated in stage plays for raising social and political awareness. At ceremonies on such days as Union Day, I had the experience of reciting limericks. As there were difficulties, relating to our party in the domestic situation, even members who had joined the party before me did not have membership cards. I am included in that.
4. Our leader Daw Suu1 was released from house arrest on May 6, 2002 and her first trip after the release was to Mandalay. When she came to Mandalay, the Mandalay Division NLD gathered the Township branches and we were given the responsibility for the security of our leader. The person supervising security arrangement was Chief of Mandalay Division NLD as well as MP elect, Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt, and we joined hands with him in taking responsibility for security. How did I have to perform my responsibility? ---Well we had to clear the way for our leader. We have to walk in front of the leader's car and clear people from the way. When our leader went to pay respect to Masoeyein Abbot, I had to personally assist her in alighting from the car. There were such little acts of responsibility constantly. At the lecture meeting held at the house of Ko Par Par Lay, I had to hold the footstool on which Daw Suu stood and gave a speech, to kept it steady from the beginning to end. If Daw Suu walked among the people, we had to link up our hands or arms and give protection. Of course, all the members who were on duty, had to stand on the sides, about two yards from the path of U Tin Oo and Daw Suu, and link up our hands or arms for giving protection. If some thing happened, if there was some one attempting assassination on Daw Suu, we had to give protection so that the danger might not to reach Daw Suu. In giving protection, we did not mean to use violence against a suspect as our leader did not like it and our party rules also banned the use of violence. For that reason, we had to find a way to prevent danger in advance as soon as there were signs of it, in conformity with the laws laid down by the military regime in power.
5. Due to the health situation of my wife, I could not participate in the earlier trips of our leader to Mogok and Maddaya, in the last Upper Burma organizing trip. As there had been no problem during the first Mandalay trip, I thought that there could not be any problem in Maddaya trip. When I heard that there were problems during Mogoke-Maddaya trip, I became worried. I decided to go on the next trip, which was the trip to Monywa. So, I was on the trip that started out from Mandalay on the 29th. According to what I had heard about the Maddaya trip, I decided not to go on the trip as part of the Northwest Township security detail but as a person in the guise of a civilian, in order to be able to size up the situation of the trip and so, I went riding on a youth's motorcycle, remaining at a distance behind the car-motorcycle convoy. I started out from Mandalay office on the 29th at 9 am.
6. On the day the trip started, there were quite a number of Mandalay Division top NLD leaders, going with Daw Suu. As far as I remember, there were Myingyan MP-elect U Paw Khin, Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt, who took responsibility for security together with me during the first Madalay trip, as to the women, there were Daw Win Mya Mya, Upper Burma Youth Affairs officer as well as Division-level leader Ko Myo Naing, and then Division-level leader who drove the car for Ba Ba U Tin Oo, U Aung Soe, Laeway MP-elect U Tin Htut Oo who was also Upper Burma Youth Affairs officer, and Joint Upper Burma Youth Affairs officer Ko Hla Oo. From Rangoon NLD, the central level leaders were Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Ba Ba U Tin Oo. These two were the main figures. There were also members of the Central Youths, who took responsibility for security. I do not know their names. There were people I know among members of the Youths, who were close to Daw Suu and responsible for security. From the Southwest Township, there were Ko Min Lwin, Ko Khin Oo from the central headquarters, who had recited limericks with me, and photographer of central headquarters Ko Thein Soe. There were also women, but I do not know where they came from. I knew Ko Wunna Maung. When I went on an organizing trip to their township, he was on the list of 58 persons. I initially did not know that Wunna Maung was among members of the Youths who were responsible for the security during this trip of Daw Suu.
7. When we started out from Mandalay, there were a little more than 10 cars, including the cars of Daw Suu, U Tin Oo, ours, those of Mandalay Division and the cars of the ordinary people. There were a little more than 10 motorcycles. There were some Mandalay Sanghas2 and some ordinary people. The strength was only about 400, when the travelling party started to leave from Mandalay. There was a Dyna truck-full of Snaghas, - about 40-50 monks. They were hired cars. I was on a motorcycle. When the party was about to depart from the Division office, Daw Suu talked for about 15 minutes. As I was at a distance, I could not hear clearly and did not know what was spoken about. After departure, the party crossed over the Sagaing Bridge at 10:00 am. At a bend near the entrance to Sagaing Town, there were about 600-700 people standing on the left and right sides of the road and holding placards. On the placards were slogans saying, "We don't want people who don't support USDA." The people were also chanting the slogans. I realized that they had started to provoke us with harassment and disruption. But there was no problem. After departure from Sagaing, we reached Myinmu at about 11:00, 12:00 am. In Myinmu, there were ceremony for installing NLD office signboard and other activities relating to the party. Daw Suu herself supervised the activities. The Sanghas of Mandalay had made arrangements with Sanghas of Myinmu, to protect Daw Suu's trip to Monywa. The Myinmu Sanghas came with the convoy, while Mandalay Sanghas returned toMandalay.
8. As far as I know, we started to meet sizable number of people from Monywa at Chaung U. The party reached the entrance of Monywa after 3:00 p.m. At that time, the size of the party had increased considerably, because the people from Chaung U, Monyin Thanbodday etc., including people on motorcycles and in cars, had joined the party, on the way from Myinmu. It was 9: 00 p.m., when the party arrived at the center of Monywa. As the electricity had been cut off, the whole town was in darkness. When people started to light the candles, the size of the crowd was astonishing. I estimated it to be 3-4 hundred thousand. If we combined the people from Mandalay and about 400-500 people who came to meet us, after setting out from Myinmu, there would be about 700-800 people. There were people coming to join us in cars and on motorcycles on the way and the strength of the party gradually increased. When the party was headed for Monywa, our leaders' cars, cars of the security details, and the cars and motorcycles which came to send the party off, kept well to one side of the road and drove systematically.
When there was overtaking, of course, the whole road became full. There was no problem for the cars coming from the opposite direction. Sometimes, cars coming from the opposite direction even stopped to give way to the convoy. When we arrived at Monywa, hundreds of thousands of people gave us a candle-lit reception. We were given candles. Of course, we were among those who lighted the candles. The people, unceasingly shouted, "Long live Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo." I heard that in Monywa, Daw Suu slept in the house of an retired Col. U Kyi Soe I do As I was separate, I went to sleep at a monastery.
9. Next day, in the morning, I got into town at 9:00 am. There, I heard that Daw Suu herself presided over formation of Youths in Monywa, and some pro-SPDC elements attempted to disrupt the ceremony. At about 10:00 a.m., Daw Suu went to two monasteries in Monywa, to pay respects to the senior monks. After that, we started the journey for Butalin. Something unusual after the departure from Monywa was that when we arrived at Zeedaw Village, which was near Army Northwest Command headquarters, army personnel from the Command stopped the convoy. About 14-15 cars and 20-25 motorcycles carrying Sanghas, ordinary people and students, who had accompanied us, were not allowed to proceed with the convoy. The 10 plus cars and 20 plus motorcycles that had come from Mandalay were allowed to proceed. As a result, the cars and motorcycles which were not allowed to go further had to return to Monywa and the remaining strength of our party continuing the journey, including the leaders, was about 3-4 hundred persons.
10. On arrival at Butalin, we installed the signboard of Butalin Township NLD office and Leway MP-elect Ko Tin Htut Oo, who was the Upper Burma Youth Affairs officer as well as Division level leader, presided over the formation of the Butalin Township NLD Youths. Daw Suu had allocated four Youth Affairs officers for Upper Burma and four for Lower Burma. The four for Upper Burma were Ko Tin Tun Oo, U Myo Naing, Ko Tayza Naing from Sagaing Division and Ko Hla Oo from Mandalay Northeast Township. I had heard that U Tin Tun Oo and Ko Kyaw Soe Lin, who drove Daw Suu's car, were arrested.
11. After leaving Butalin, we reached Kyi Village at bout 7:30 - 8:00 p.m.. To reach Depayin from Kyi Village, we still had to cover a distance of about 2 - 2 1/2 miles. The place we had arrived at was a jungle. However, it was not a jungle like those of Pegu Yoma. In the upper land, jungle meant clumps of bushes and thickets. The bushes were good for hiding. About 20- 25 persons could hide in a bush. Even a standing man in the bush could not be seen, as it was so thick. The motor road was on a flat land and the road was wide enough for two cars to easily pass each other. As it was about 8:00 p.m. when we arrived at the place where the incident took place, the surrounding was in pitch darkness. We could see in the headlights of our cars about 1,000 Kyi villagers, who had assembled to welcome us near the junction where the village road met the main road. At that time, the car in which Daw Suu was riding and about 10 other cars had already gone passed the village. The motorcycle I was riding on was at the end of the convoy. There were Dyna and Torlagi trucks following behind my motorcycle. While our motorcycle was passing the villagers by, cars in the convoy suddenly stopped.
12. At the time the cars stopped, I noticed that the group, which was going to disrupt Daw Suu's trip, was behind us. The people in the group held up iron bars, pointed iron rods, bamboo sticks and wooden bats, which they had brought with them and shouted, "You, destroyers of race, whores, who want to have Kala3 as husbands; Don't become Kalas' wives, become my wife!" etc. At the same time, I heard Kyee villagers countering by shouting, "You are the real destroyers of race, wreckers, act as stooges!" Then the people with weapons jumped down from their trucks and started attacking the villagers, who were welcoming Daw Suu. I did not notice exactly when the attackers started to tail the convoy. I think, these Buddhist monks were faked monks who had followed us from the Army Northwest Command, because most of the Sanghas who were accompanying us had been sent back to Monywa, as I have mentioned earlier, by personnel of the Army Northwest Command headquarters, based near Zeedaw Village. At first, we thought the monks on the Dyna and Torlagi trucks were the ones who had been accompanying us. However, we saw them taking out red cloths and wrapped them around their arms down to the elbow level. Accordingly, it was clear that they had planned in advance for the attack. I think, wrapping red cloth around the arm was an arrangement to prevent mistaken attack and to make them distinct from the monks who had accompanied us. While the commotion was thus taking place, the thugs, who had hidden in the bushes in advance, came to join forces with those who had come in the trucks. They were also armed with iron bars, pointed iron rods, bamboo sticks and wooden bats. They numbered about three thousand and the weapons they were carrying were the same as the ones carried by those who had come in the trucks. As the cars in the rear kept their headlights on, we were able to see the actions going on and the sounds and voices. We could not see the people clearly, as we were looking from a distance of about 100 yards. It was a gigantic mass of people. Kyi villagers were near the scene and they were the first who had to bear the beating, as they were the ones who exchanged hostile words with the attackers coming down from the Dyna and Torlagi trucks. For that reason, the USDA members beat them up with malice. The place where Daw Suu car was parked was quite a distance from where I was.
13. While the attack was taking place, those who came on motorcycles took flight after abandoning their bikes. Some were struck down in their attempt to flee. At that time, no one could care about his motorcycle any longer. It was a time when everyone had to run for his life. At first, I did think about helping our leaders and our NLD members. On second thought, I realized that I would surely die before I got to my leaders and my NLD members, because I had first to pass through the killing ground. It was frightening even to imagine. Before my own eyes, people were being beaten savagely. I was hearing the wounded, dying victims moaning and wailing in pain, shrieking in agony, and crying out for help. At that time, as the attackers from the Dyna trucks were shouting unspeakable abuses, it was just like the hell boiling over. I saw with my own eyes the attackers striking down the victims with all the force and stabbing viciously with pointed iron rods. Truly, it was a murderous attack. The beating was done until the victims died.
14. I heard that U Tin Maung Oo of Southwest Township, Mandalay, was suffering from bleeding in the ears, as a result of the beating. Now, his name is on the list of those who died. He was Organizer for our Southwest Township as well as Mandalay Division headquarters photographer. Another one was Ko Thein Toe Aye, who was Candidate Organizer for our Township. His name also is on the list of those who died. It appeared that the attackers were systematically trained. They mainly aimed and struck on the head. Even when I was at a hundred yards, I heard with anguishing pain, the popping sounds of heads being broken by savage blows.
15. At about 9:00 p.m. on that night, two elders from Kyee Village came to me and one of them said, "My lad, you'd better come with me. You should not remain here." So saying they took me to the village, and from there I was sent, stage by stage, to Monywa. I had to sleep 2 nights on the way. I avoided going into Monywa and instead, I stayed in Kyaukka, a village outside of the town. From there, on June 4, I traveled back to Mandalay by bus. When I reached home in Mandalay, I saw my wife laid up in bed, as she became debilitated with illness, after hearing the news of us being beaten and slaughtered. For that reason, I took my sick wife and left urgently on the same night for Rangoon by 8:30 p.m., mail train. When I reached Rangoon, I stayed in hiding at a friend's house.
16. On the morning of June 13, my friends informed me that my father U Khin Soe, aged 76, passed away at 11 p.m., on the night of June 12. After deciding to send off my father on his last journey, even if I got arrested, I left Rangoon in the evening of June 13, by 5:00 p.m., express train, for Mandalay. I reached Mandalay on the morning of June 14, at 9:00 am, well in time for the funeral of my father. My relatives told me that my father died of grief caused by the arrest of his brother and the uncertainty as to whether I was dead or alive.
17. As soon as I arrived in Mandalay, my close relatives and friends told me that the military intelligence men had the intention to arrest me and they had subjected some of my friends to interrogation. At 2:00 p.m., the remain of my father was taken from Htundone Ward to Dagundaing Taung Myint cemetery for cremation. On return to Htundone, as I learned on the way that the military intelligence men were waiting for me at my house, I went and hid in a friend's house. From there, I arrived at a place in the liberated area, on the Thai-Burma border, on June 16.
Dated - July 4, 2003
U Khin Zaw
Sworn to before me of
this 4th of July, 2003
Affidavit of Maung Po Zaw on Depayin Massacre
I, Maung Po Zaw, hearby swear under oath that
1. I, son of U Than Maung and Daw Mya Kyin, am a citizen of Burma, holding National Identification Card No Ma Ma Na (Naing) 139877. I am 23 years old residing at Ba Ba Lay Ward, Mya-yi-nanda Myothit Town, Mandalay, Burma.
2. I had never been involved in politics. I applied for membership in the NLD only two weeks before Daw Aung |San Suu Kyi's trip to Mandalay. While Daw Suu1 was staying in Mandalay, I was given nighttime security duty for two nights. Daw Suu came to Mandalay on May 26. On the next day on May 27, she went to Dada U. During Dada U trip, persons who took security duty with me included Ko Win Kyi, Ko Pone Myint Zaw, Ko Wunna Maung, Ko Aye Win, Ko Yeh Min San, U Myint and Ko Soe. I went together with Zaw Zaw Aung, Ko Tin Aung Myint and U Tway from Southwest Township on May 29 for Mandalay-Monywa trip. On that trip, I did not take security duty for Daw Suu. Due to shortage of vehicle, only two from each township were allowed to come for security duty. However, responsible persons explained that some could come on their own expenses. Accordingly, some went with the traveling party on their own arrangement. On the Mandalay-Monywa trip, the main responsibility for Daw Suu's security was taken by members of the NLD Central Youths.
3. The Mandalay NLD members and the people who went with Daw Suu on the trip were transported in a total of about 20-30 cars and motorcycles. The car I rode in was a 'Sunny', pickup truck. In the journey from Mandalay to Sagaing, there was nothing particular, initially. However, after passing Sagaing Bridge, we started to see a crowd of about 100 people and heard them shouting, "We don't want Daw Aung San Suu Kyi." We continued to travel from Sagaing to Myinmu. We reached Myinmu after 12:00 noon. In Myinmu, the activities of installing the signboard and opening of Myinmu Township NLD office, and formation of Youths were made. We continued our journey from Myinmu at about 3:00 p.m. Before reaching Chaung U, we saw a crowd of about 170 to 180 people, holding placards, near Ye Bu Sun Village. That crowd started to hurl abuses and provoke by poking placards into the cars. On the placards were the slogans saying, "Relying on external elements, acting as stooges, NLD we don't want" etc. Consequently, the people from Myinmu who had come with the party and the Sanghas2 from Monywa who had come to welcome us, requested them not to do like that. However, the placard bearers did not listen. They even started to increase their behaviors of provocation. At that time, there were police cars and authorities were among he bushes on the left side of the road. They did not try to settle the squabble between the Sanghas and the placard bearers, and just kept on watching. When the Sanghas could not prevent the acts of provocation, they started punching the placard bearers, who then turned around and departed. At the place of that incident, there were no villagers or other people. As we continued on our journey, the noisy protesters followed behind us in their own cars. At a village (name unknown) on the way between Myinmu and Monywa, we learned from the villagers that the authorities had ordered the local population not to go out and welcome Daw Suu, when she came. At that village, we saw a number of people who were systematically lined up for protest against Daw Suu. Behind the line of people, there were two policemen in uniform, keeping watch. On the village entrance road, we saw a number of traffic policemen. Though the villagers were ordered not to come out to the road and welcome Daw Suu, they ignored the order and the entire village came out to welcome her. At that time, when the protesters saw the villagers and Sanghas in force, they remained silent, put down their placards and kept their heads bowed. I saw that, persons in the cars tailing behind our convoy were taking, with video and still cameras, pictures of the villagers clapping their hands and greeting us.
4. From Chaung U to the entrance of Monywa, I saw people on 200-300 motorcycles from Monywa coming out to welcome Daw Suu. Those cars and motorcycles drove systematically keeping to their own lanes. In Monywa, as the authorities had cut off power for the whole town, the people gave our party a candle-lit welcome. We reached Monywa at about 6:00 p.m. At about 10:30 – 11 p.m. ceremony for installing the signboard and opening of Monywa Township NLD office was performed. At about 9:00 am on May 30, the party went to Zawtika monastery of Monywa to pay respect to the abbot, but as the abbot was away, we failed to see him. Therefore, we left for Butalin Town. Before our cars left Monywa, I saw on the left of our car, a police inspector and people with meal packs, in a Mandalay-Monywa bus (converted Dyna truck), who were going to hold protest against Daw Suu. According to a schoolteacher of Monywa, people who offered themselves to protest against Daw Suu were given free meals and 500 Kyat3 per day. At the time of departure from Monywa, there were about 12 cars of Daw Suu and NLD members. Behind our car was the car, in which the women NLD members were riding, and in the front seat of it was Daw Win Mya Mya and about 12 men and women were in the back. Monks and novices were in the last car.
5. When we left Monywa, there was still nothing unusual. On arrival in Butalin, the ceremonies for installing signboard, opening Butalin Township NLD office and formation of NLD Youths were performed. From there, we left for Saingpyin at about 6:00 p.m. In Saingpyin, Daw Suu give a speech for about 30 minutes. Then, we left for Depehyin. At that time, there were 9 cars in front of our car and 2 behind. When we arrived near Pyankya Village, I saw about 20 busses, each of which could carry 40 persons, trailing at a moderate distance behind our convoy. When we arrived near Kyi Village, 2 monks stopped the car in which Daw Suu was riding and advised Daw Suu to give a speech. Then I saw Central Youths security detail leader appealing for pardon, as no speech could be given due to lack of time. Then, the cars moved on a little. At that time, protesters trailing at a distance behind us got off their cars and started to attack the local people with wooden bats, pointed iron rods, iron bars and bamboo sticks which they had brought with them. Daw Suu told our cars to stop. While the attack was in progress, 3-4 villagers shouted, " Daw Suu please help us!" and arrived at the place where our cars were. At that time, when Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt asked help from the two monks, they replied that it was impossible. On that day, the local authorities had come in advance and forbidden, with threats or with a promise to make offerings, all monks of the monasteries near Kyi village, to go out and welcome Daw Suu and NLD members when they arrived, give assistance or come out even if any problem arose. The monk explained that as they were forbidden like that help could not be obtained and that all communication lines had been sealed.
6. In order to document the beating of villagers on the video, attempt was made to line up the motorcycles and light up the area with their headlights. In the light from the motorcycles, we saw the attackers holding up wooden bats, iron bars, pointed iron rods bamboo sticks and shouting. At that moment, the sound of a whistle was heard, and led by monks in red armbands, they shouted and charged towards us. While we were still dumbstruck on seeing the charge, they started attacking the last pickup truck, in which the monks and novices were.
7. After that, I saw them attacked almost simultaneously the car in which Daw Win Mya Mya and the women were riding. As things were happening like that, some got off from the cars and ran into the fields and some along the road. As people were running in all directions, our convoy of cars, including the car of Daw Suu, remained behind. At the same time, there was shouting that Daw Suu's car was under attack, and the crowd of people, which was in the front turned around and came back. While the crowd reached near Daw Suu's car, I saw the car dash out from the pack attacking it. On the car, I saw 8-9 members of Central Youths standing on steps on the sides of the car, facing one another with linked hands, and giving protection. As others cars started to follow Daw Suu's car immediately, those running jumped on to the nearest car. As the car was full, I climbed on to the roof. As we drove on for about 10 minutes, because of the sound of our cars, the cars systematically parked in the fields on the left and right sides of the roads, turned on their headlights simultaneously. As I was on the roof of the car, I could see in the light from the headlights people with bats, iron bars, bamboo sticks and pointed iron rods, waiting ready for us. When Daw Suu's car reached among the waiting attackers, they fling at the car with sticks, brickbats and iron bars they were holding in their hands and shot at it with catapults. In a pack, the ones in range also hit at it.
8. At the time when Daw Suu's car passed through the attacking crowd, our car started to enter it. Just as our car tried to rush through the crowd, a Dyna truck parked on the side of the road for the purpose of blocking charged in to hit our car. While trying to avoid collision, our car fell off the side of the road and arrived at the front of the crowd. While our car was veering, I jumped off from the roof on to the ground. While our car veered round to get back on the road, I managed to get in at the back of the car, after catching the rails on the sides. While I was trying to get back in the car, a stick thrown at me hit me in my back. The canvas sheets covering the sides of the car were taken down while the car was driving on. We were beaten for about 2 minutes by the attacking crowd. As people in the back of the car were lying flat on the floor, only persons on top got most of the beating. After driving for a few minutes, we reached Depayin hospital. The members of the NLD Youths did not respond in kind the terrorist attack made by the crowd waiting in readiness. Daw Suu had told us that if we were wearing the NLD uniform of white shirt and Kachin Sarong, we had to bear with a bowed head, whatever was done to us, and must not retaliate.
9. When we arrived at Depayin hospital, from our group Ko Soe (arm, knee, foot), Ko Myint U(head fractured), A student from Monywa, name unknown, (head fractured), Rev. Ashinpyinnya Depa, a monk from Yankin monastery (fractured head and elbow), 2 women NLD members from Monywa, names unknown (wounds in the head), Ko Myint Soe of Saingpyin Village, who had run away from the incident, and a person from Mandalay Southwest Township. All had to be treated as in-patients as the injuries were serious, except the one from Mandalay Southwest Township, whose injuries were light. On the second day of having treatment at the hospital, May 31, 2 traffic policemen came and took away the car driver. Then a police inspector and a policeman arrived on a motorcycle. They came to get the list of in-patients at the hospital from township hospital doctor. The patients were checked against the list and addresses of the patients were noted down.
10. After the list of patients was taken, Ko Soe said to me, "They've taken the patient list, but your name is not on it. So, you'd better leave and inform responsible persons." At about 5:00 p.m., the police inspector and 5 policemen came again to the hospital, in a car. All the people on the list were taken for detention. After sleeping 2 nights and staying 3 days, on June 1 at 3:00 in the morning, I left the hospital, with a friend, for Depayin railway station. On arrival at the station, my friend and I bought train tickets and took the train to Monywa. We arrived at Monya at 10:00 a.m. After arriving in Monywa, I went round and inquired about the bus to go on to Mandalay. I found out that busses were banned for 10 days from going to Mandalay starting from May 30, and there was night time curfew in Monywa. I arrived back Mandalay on June 1 at 6:00 p.m.
Dated - July 4, 2003
Sworn to before me on
this 4th of July, 2003
Affidavit of Ko Chit San on Depayin Massacre
I, Ko Chit San, hereby swear under oath that:
1. I, son of U Kyaw Hla and Daw Thein Tin, am a citizen of Burma, holding National Identification Card No Ma-Ya-Ta (Naing) 084649. I am 36 years old residing at Yatanabonmi Quarter, Maha Aungmyay township Mandalay. I am a car driver.
2. On May - 28 about (8) a.m. in the morning car owner Ko Myint came and asked me to help drive his car No B/5671. He has applied NLD membership for 4 months already but was not issued membership card as yet due to security reason. I accepted his request.
3. On May – 29 about 8 am in the morning, I arrived at the Mandalay Division NLD office which is situated at the corner of 38 and 79 street and reported myself. I then went to the car which I was to drive. At 9 am we left by the Mandalay-Sagaing Road. When we left Mandalay, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi' car, NLD Central Youth's car, NLD V/Chairman U Tin Oo's car and cars from Mandalay came along as security, 5 cars were in front of me. Altogether there were about 20 cars and many motorcycles. Before reaching Sagaing there was no disturbance.
4. After crossing the Sagaing Bridge and on entering the town, there was about (50) people on either side of the road standing with posters, “We don't want Daw Aung San Suu Kyi – We don't want Kalar's wife". As there were monks in the motorcade the protestors did not cause trouble.
5. We resumed our journey from Sagaing and arrived at Myinmu town at 11: 45 am. In front of the Myinmu NLD office by the roadside under a tree I saw USDA leader sitting in seats waiting and (50) USDA members with loud speaker in a Dyna car. They wore USDA uniforms, green sarongs and white shirts. As there were monks who came along from Mandalay and monks from Myinmu, they could do nothing. The opening of Myinmu office and the putting up of NLD signboard ceremony was held. I was in my car and did not know about the ceremony in detail.
6. We left Myinmu about 3 pm and arrived Chaung U about 4:30 pm. We took rest for a while and then continued our Journey to Monywa. On reaching Chaung U, I began to see people from Monywa came to greet us with about (70) or (80) cars and motorbikes. As there were cars in front of me, I did not know for certain. We entered Monywa at about 6 pm. As there was a black out in the town, I could see the welcoming people had lighted candles with them. After reaching the Monywa NLD office, those who were with me in my car went to put up for the night at a monastery. As I had taken the duty of a driver, I had to be with my car all the time.
7. On May 30 at about 9 am, we resumed our journey from Monywa to Butalin. In reaching Saingpyin village, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gave a speech to the villagers, who came to welcome us and then continued the journey to Depayin at about 6 pm. We arrived at Kyi village, the place of the incident about 8 pm. After a few moments in passing Kyi village, the cars going in front stopped. Then from behind the motorcade shouting and swearing voices could be heard. “You walked on the road we built, you crossed the bridge we built, wives of Kalar, we will kill you with clubs. We have watched Chinese martial arts movies”. With these barbarous words, they began to beat the people in the motorcades. They also beat our car. I witnessed through the rear view mirror in my car that the two victims, who were in my car, fell down to the ground as they were stabbed with iron spikes. The thugs were those who were rather tall. They were wearing gray-headed clothes. Their eyes were red in colour.
8. I did not know that the person sitting at my left side was attacked with which weapon. Yelling loudly, he fell on me. At the mean time, the thugs attacked the right side of my car in which I was sitting. They also struck down the window and front mirrors of my car. Then, I attempted to leave my car. As I energetically kicked the door of my car with my two legs, the attacker who was beating my car fell down to the ground. Then, I got off the car and attempted to drag the injured out. Unfortunately, it failed. The body of that victim could not respond anything. At that time, the attacker, who fell down to the ground, beat my right leg. As such, I could not continue my efforts to take the body of that victim out. At the time of the attack, I saw the killing field manifestly in the light of Dyna trucks. Then, I had to run away through the fields, where car spot lights could not reach. Subsequently, I wondered whether I had to continue running or get back to see the killing field again. After that, I decided to get back to that incident area. I watched the scene of crime from a distance. The thugs repeatedly beat the victims until they died. I also heard shouting, swearing, crying and asking for assistance. It took for such a long time. I could not estimate how long it was as I did not have my watch.
9. Then, about 80 policemen, holding shields and wooden clubs, got to that area in four Dyna cars. After that, the two cars, that were rather similar to Pajero Mitsubishi, chased the previous convoy, and arrived at that areas. The two officers got off the car and checked the killing field. Hiding under cover of night, I witnessed that the 80 policemen threw the bodies of the dead and the injured, as if they were garbage, into the trucks. I could clearly see view in the lights of trucks, that had been to that area before, and others that got to there later, although I could not discriminate the persons who is who. The two Hilux pickup trucks left at the scene were pushed down into the rice field and then they set them up as if they had overturned. The other two Hilux pickup trucks were set up to look like as if they had had a head-on collision. Then they took pictures of them with video and still cameras, for the record. After that, I left that area so that I could find a venue to hide for a night.
10. After three hours walk, I reached Shwe-ku-ni monastery in Kyaukka village. With the permission of abbot, I slept there. In the morning of the next day, May 31, 2003, I returned to the killing field again. I saw that an emergency police station No 2 was opened near the campus of irrigation department, that was closed to the killing field. In order to eliminate all the evidence, water was brought in with municipal trucks and bloodstains and other marks were washed away by the policemen, using brooms. At the mean time, except those official cars, I did not see any vehicle passing through the tar road. I took a walk from Kyaukka to Monya town. After that, I got to Mandalay from Monywa on June 5.
11. I provide the abovementioned statements from paragraph (1) to (8), based on my personal experience at the scene of crime. I did it on my own free will, without being forced, threaten or persuaded by any influential person or persons.
Dated - July 4, 2003
Ko Chit San
Sworn to before me on
this 4th of July, 2003
Translation of interview with Zaw Zaw Aung, head of NLD Youth Wing , Mandalay Division about the brutal attack on May 30, 2003
He was together with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi when they were attacked.
If you would like to listen the interview in Burmese, please visit (http://www.nldla—australia.org)
Q. You were in the midst of the attack on Daw Suu's motorcade at Depayin township in Sagaing Division and escaped luckily. What time did you leave Butalin for Depayin?
A. Round about 5 pm.
Q. At about what time did you reach Kyi Ywa village?
A. About 8 pm.
Q. Where there people on the road to greet Daw Aung San Suu Kyi?
A. Yes, We responded and spoke to the people.
Q. Were people who shouted and opposed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi there?
A. I heard on such shouting.
Q. It was 8 pm. when you arrived at KyiYwa [Kyi village]. How large a number of people were there to greet and welcome you all?
A. I estimated about 3000. Could be 4 or 5 thousand.
Q. Is it a big village?
A.Yes, it is.
Q. Aer there jungles surrounding Kyi Ywa?
A. There are paddy fields.
Q. Did you hear any opposing voices in the crowd that was out there to welcome you all?
A. No, I did not hear any opposing voice.
Q. Were there any posters etc. of dissent?
Q. For how long did Daw Suu address the people?
A. Nearly 10 minutes.
Q. Again, all went on from there?
A. We had not gone very far. About 200 yards from the villagers – the car behind had not caught up with us as yet. We were not far from the villagers. They had not yet dispersed. Then, two monks and three laymen stood in front of Daw Suu's car stopping it from proceeding. They asked Daw Suu to speak to the people.
Q. Instead of coming to place where the people had already assembled?
A. They could have joined the people, instead they stood and waited at a distance.
Q. Stood and waited, then asked for a speech?
A. Yes, they asked her to step out and speak. It was getting late. We had to go on to Depayin also. So, the NLD member who was in Daw Suu's car said " Revered monk, it is very late and there is no time. Please excuse your disciples." But the monks did not leave. They were looking back and said. "The people in our group are worthless." We got out of the car and stood around to protect Daw Suu. Then the monk said, "My people will be following up. Listen to a monk's words. "Give your speech to them". We requested them to let us pass through but they insisted that we stay. Then, the place was lit up by light from car head light and we saw about 7 cars.
Q. For how long did they do this?
A. It could have been not less than two hours. They went around all the cars and vehicles and watched to see if there were any movement and looked on at those with injuries.
Q. What about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's car?
A. Very soon after all this started five cars, including Daw Su's and U Tin Oo's car drove off to them front. The Youth Wing Security car and our Mandalay Division car too.
Q. So they escaped from Kyi Ywa and you were left behind? So the beating took place for about two hours after they had driven off?
A. Yes, it was more than two hours.
Q. Can you estimate how many died or wounded as a result of that attack?
A. More than 20 persons. I am talking about what happened at Kyi Ywa. What happened after that I am not sure.
Q. So, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's car got away. Then again at Depayin the same thing happened?
A. Yes, the young people from there fled and I met them. They were attacked with spears, wooden, bamboo clubs and irons rods. They saw students with hands tied up being led away and their cycles confiscated. This person's cycle was taken but he managed to escape.
Q. Information had been received that gunshots were heard there.
A. Yes, we heard the gun shots. It was between midnight and 1 am. We were deeply worried for our Aunty Suu and Uncle U Tin Oo. Without any shooting here about 20 or so died and sustained injuries. With shooting it could be worse. More could die.
Q. Did these attackers go forward or did they retreat?
A. It appears to be a separate group. They turned and dispersed.
Q. When was that?
A. After 10 pm.
Q. Then, how did you escape?
A. I was lucky. I escaped without any injury. I fled and crossed the paddy fields to Monywa.
Q. When you escaped what did the USDA do after they retreated?
A. Even though I was not hurt, I was shaken and very distressed. It was about 10:30. I saw person on a cycle. Likely he came to see the spectacle. He stood and looked at the dead and after some time he departed. Then about 10:45, three Hino buses arrived without any passengers. They saw the injured and the dead, the line of cars. They turned back and left.
Q. So, those injured and the dead were left lying there?
A. Yes, I saw some being taken away on cars.
Q. In the end what happened?
A. I was not steady on my feet. I looked on. At about 12:45 (I had my watch on so I knew the time) members of the police force, the fire brigade, local authorities put the injured and dead bodies onto the motor vehicles. Then what astonished me most was that our car that was heading west for Depayin was pushed so that it appeared to be heading south and shoved down the ditch. Another car was pushed into the ditch. This was a deliberate act to create a different scene. I witnessed this with my own eyes.
Q. To look like two cars collided?
A. Yes, to appear that away. I couldn't believe my eyes. I remember this very clearly. Then some cars with injured people drove off towards Depayin. Some cars went in the other direction. About 30 persons remained. I couldn't say definitely if they were the police or the USDA because they all wore the same uniform. They pushed the cars towards Ye U side.
Q. Were these cars in which NLD members traveled?
A. Yes, They pushed them. Then we could hear them removing steel parts from them.
Q. All these happened in Kyi Ywa? You don't know what happened in Depayin?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Earlier you said that you heard gun shots from the place towards which the cars were heading after this incident. Some did not say so. Some said they saw. It looked like there was another party of attackers.
A. Yes, that is definite. Because we heard those shots and eyewitnesses had spoken about it.
Q. Thank you for giving us this information.
A. It is an account of what we know. If they fired guns many would have died. It must be worse than what happened here.
Q. Later even must have been worse.
A. Yes, we have experienced a very serious attack.
Name …Daw Nyunt Nyunt
Race … Burmese
Native of … Maymyo
Name of spouse …U Aung Naing U (Mandalay)
I became a member of the National League for Democracy in 1989 and a member of the organizing committee of Mandalay North West township.
During Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent political tour of Northern Burma, I was with the group that joined her entourage from Mandalay on her return from Mogok.
Daw Nyunt Nyunt’s evidence relating to the Depayin episode.
1. We started to leave Monywa at about 10 a.m. There was a big crowd at the place where Daw Suu paused so she gave a short address and departed. She paused at Gyobyukyaung monastery to do obeisance to the monk. A lot of people had followed her. We all call Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Ahma (big sister). So that we would not have such a big crowd with us we decided to split. We were with Daw Suu in one group. Uncle U Tin U formed the other group. We went towards Butalin junction. We had to run through the crowd. We had to run because if we had the crowd following us, we could be delayed. That is where we split up and traveled separately. At Butalin junction I saw (USDA) cars with loud speakers. I saw posters. We had a lot of cyclists and people behind us so they did not give us trouble. They (USDA) watched us from the side of the road. It was about 1:30 or 2 when we arrived at Butalin.
2. At Butalin, Ahma established the Youth Wing. We had food and rest for about two hours. The cyclist groups also rested in the vicinity. The area was small so we went to the cemetery area and rested. That was the place where U Thein Pe Myint was buried. It could have been about 4:30 or 5.00 p.m. when we left that place. On every road we saw those SPDC cars. Every one of those cars had two or three mobile phones. Wherever those cars were there were traffic police. Those cars were DYNA truck cars. I saw about 10, 11, 12 such cars. We left that place and arrived at Saipyin village. Arrests had been made because the residents were planning to welcome Daw Aung San Su Kyi. So we stopped at “Heart’s Desire Teashop” which was in the vicinity.
3. They said that this teashop was operated by brothers. While resting there, the crowd became bigger so Daw Suu’s speech took a little longer. We left only at 7:00 pm. We had also noticed those saloon cars at the junction. Between Butalin and Depayin there was no other vehicle on the road. We traveled from 7:00 non stop. This is the order in which we traveled. There was a SUNNY car in front. Next was Uncle U Tin U’s car and the car behind him was driven by U Tun Win. I don’t know the make of those cars. After that was the car from our North West Aung Myethazan township. The driver was Ko San Myint. We all call him Kalarlay. Behind that was a SUNNY car in which were the video cameras and operators. Behind that was Daw Suu’s car. After that there were two or three cars with Monywa people who joined the party at Sagaing. Behind that was the car in which there were the monks (3 or 4 monks and about 8 novice monks). All these cars traveled in one group.
4. All these folks from Saipyin village and other distant villages gathered there. They were poor starving people. I saw amongst them old grandmothers quivering and waving neem tree sprigs to welcome us. I saw about 150 cyclists by the side of us. When we went to Saipyin those 150 cyclist were in front and on the side. I even told them to move to the side because they could be scraped and run down. There were so many young people, both boys and girls. When we arrived at the little village of Kyiywa after leaving Saipyin the crowd greeting us was getting bigger. The cars slowed down and Daw Suu put out her hand and waved to the people. We had traveled about one and a half to two miles from there. We could see the people in the dim light. At that point we saw that the people in that crowd were being beaten up. Bright car head lights lit up the place. I saw from the distance that the villagers were being beaten up.
5. These were big cars with glass on all sides. Not small HINOs. Then a cycle came near me and asked if we could do anything for them. The villagers were being beaten up. The I saw three cycles pass us. There was a driver and a monk with yellow head bands. Just before they overtook us, Daw Suu's car drove past our car. It was a dark place and they said they had better speed away. So our car which was in the front was left behind. After they had passed us I saw that cycles block the road in front of Daw Suu's car. I saw from a distance Uncle U Tin Oo get out of the car. Our cars stopped. We could see the villagers shouting out because they were being beaten. The young people and cyclists did not know whether they should go on or retreat. Their spirits were being aroused and they were confused. They were told not to get involved and that they could be mistaken for the villagers.
6. At that time U Tin Htut U (leader of the Youth Wing in the office) came near me and told me not to loose my temper and say bad things. Be patient; don’t say things to make them angry no matter what. Every time we go out we are reminded this way. Then we were told to get into the car so all those who went out to see what was happening came back into the car. We crouched. I looked into the distance. Those big cars had their lights beaming on to us. They had changed positions around us – 3 to 4 cars. During that time some of our cars had passed us, some were running. Our car could not get away because those cars were blocking us. Each car had four lights and there were 3 or 4 cars. Suddenly we had been beaten up. I thought we were just being threatened because it happened the same way, there was much confusion when we were going to Madaya. The uncle who was beside me was U Chit Aye. He threw his body across us three women and he was hurt the most. There were three females in our car.
7. The name of one was Daw Khin Aye Myint and the other was the daughter of U Ko Gyi. We called her A-thay-lay. Altogether there were 14 of us as far as I recall. We were from different wards so I do not know their names. We met here for the first time so I only know the names of 2 or 3. While we were being beaten up, those in the front car were also being assaulted. That car had no roof. I could see them being beaten up, there could have been about 15 in that car. Since I was underneath the others, I could look into the distance. I saw that they were shouting and the more they shouted, the more beatings were given. Every one of us was moaning. U Chit Tin from our car was dragged out and they knocked his body against the car. Then they held my back and pounded it with a brick. They slammed the brick full face on my back. If they did it edgewise my hip would be disjointed.
8. Only then I realized that we were really being attacked. My body was soaking with blood, blood that flowed from Uncle and the youth who were all crouching. My whole sarong was soaking. My head was not injured at that point. Then from the back I heard them say, “These female creatures parading around with their pinni jacket- take off these pinni – look at your mugs!” They pulled off our jackets, tore them off. Then one person came up and snatched our sling bags which contained our money. Not satisfied, they snatched the chains we were wearing, and tugged at our legs and backs. I was dragged by the hair out of the car to the ground. When I fell to the ground they went on beating me. I looked up and saw two monks; one man had his sarong slung across one shoulder. He wore a shirt, and knee length pants. His cap was back to front.
9. They pulled me and pushed me. Then one voice said “ hpoun, hpoun (Monk) catch her quickly, this creature will run away. What has your Indian’s wife, Aung San Suu Kyi done for you? We have built bridges and roads on which you all can walk.” Then they uttered some obscene words I cannot mention. Then again we were beaten up. I was struck on my ribcage and my ears. I felt like my ears had burst open. The three of them struck me on the buttocks and my back one after the other. Then they struck me on the head. One blow cut open my head. The other blow struck the back of my ear and my neck was covered with blood. They beat me up to their hearts content while abusing me. Then one of them said that should be enough beating for a woman. After that they called out " " Fire, Water, Fire, Water, Backing, Backing " – as a symbol and boarded the car and left in the direction of Saingpyin.
10. I lost consciousness then. Two monks and about 5 people were asking all of us what happened. Was there a collision? No, there was a beat up. If that is so, who is responsible? Is it the USDA or anyone else? Behind me I could hear them taking off Athaylay’s clothes. All I know is that she was lost. I do not know where she was taken to. No one was left in the car. I was about the second last to be dragged out. After the monks arrived and I regained consciousness I asked them to take me away. I had no jacket on. I wore my sarong tucked around under the arms. Even in that state those animals wanted to lift up my sarong. My sarong and shirt were caked in blood and they could not lift it or take it off. As for my jacket they had ripped it off from the back and it remained hanging at the top. They demanded that I take all that off so I did so. I was left with the sarong wrapped around and tucked under my arms. After that I fainted.
11. When I regained consciousness, I asked the monks I spoke about just now to save me. While the men were trying to save me I again lost consciousness so they left me behind. They had been talking about sending for a car and a doctor. I did not know when the monks left. I was unconscious again. When I regained consciousness, I was embarrassed because I did not have a jacket on. I thought I was about 10 feet away from the car so tried to get there. Then I saw one monk in a sitting posture not moving, Aung Ko who was on the car with me was on his back, another novice monk was on his back and another person unknown to me on his back. I crossed over all of them and collected the pile of clothes. I had brought my glasses which I put down and put on an under sarong. I could not button the jacket and lost consciousness again. After quite some time, five people arrived.
12. Maung Min Thein Lay and Ma Kyi Kyi Myint who were passengers in the car that was in front of us were asking to be taken away or for a Burmese Traditional medic to be brought here. Ma Kyi Kyi Myint then said, “Young brother, just take us to the village monastery”. I said “I will also come along, I will also come along” and I crossed over everything and lost consciousness when I came down from the car. There was one stout person who had his sarong slung across one shoulder. The man with a torch held me and I regained consciousness. I told that boy “let me call the others - please wait – I want to call the women”. Then I called out to them by name. “Ma Tin Myint, Ma Aye Myint, come, come. We are going along with these villagers”. Not one of them could be found. While calling out I saw blood spilling out of the three big cuts on U Chit Tin’s head. It was like a burst water pipe. Never seen anything like it in my life. He was also vomiting blood. Uncle U Chit Tin then said “My duties have been fulfilled. Tell them at my office. I have fulfilled my obligations.” I saw him vomiting blood.
13. When I got to the front of the car I saw the driver Ko San Myint’s body half fallen out. He was dead. His left eye was protruding. That car was from our North West region. I lost consciousness here. The boy who was with me put my hand on his shoulder with one arm around me. With a torch in the other hand he showed me the way. I looked out and again went blank. He said Ahma to me and then I became aware and told him that I was aware and when I looked around I saw so many people, cannot say how many. I broke out in a clammy clammy sweat, with blood from my head. I did not know what. I was terrified. I did not feel the pain in my body. I was very giddy and went blank off and on.
14. When I looked I saw our car, then the car which U Htun Win drove, then at this side there was a small SUNNY car which had plunged down. On one side there was a yellow car that had been pushed down. When I was conscious I heard them say something about the keys of the car and whether it was pushed or burnt I am not sure. I was loosing consciousness off and on. When I went and looked there was no person on the cars. But on the cart track, there were bodies in an indescribable state. In some places, there were groans and mutterings. I went to call them but there was no response. Ma Kyi Kyi Myint told me not to be calling them because another bunch could be arriving. So I clung to her and arrived at the village entrance. (I thought it was the entrance to the village. At this point there was the beginning of a road). That youth pulled me and brought me from there. I had forgotten to take the bundle of clothes. From there on I lost consciousness. They said the distance was about a mile. Of the five people who had accompanied us from monastery, one stayed with us and the other four disappeared into the village.
15. There was a youth behind me. He said he had lost his cycle, and was afraid to return. He asked if he could follow me. He was a stout youth. Then there were two students. We were five altogether. When we arrived at the monastery junction, there was a small bridge about one and a half feet wide which crossed a stream. When they told me there was a bridge, I was blacking out off and on. I had no slippers or anything. Someone had slipped a pair on to my feet to avoid stepping on glass. My legs were not responding. All this was hurting badly. When we entered the monastery, the monk was in a sitting posture. He said he did not know what to do. He could not hire a car, the villagers were not to give any assistance, medics could not be sent for. “Come, come” he said to me and took me to a building at the back of the monastery where guests are housed. I was kept in one room. There I was sweating and loosing consciousness off and on. I did not hear anything at that time. It was about 8 or 8:30. The monk spoke to us and gave us healing water to drink. I was going blank off and on.
16. They said it was 2 O’clock when we heard the sound of motor vehicles. The monk was afraid they would be set their lights in this direction so he made me hold on to a small bag and took me outside to hide in the thicket that was between a small pond and the monastery. I think those were custard apple trees. He forced me hide there. He was afraid because I had on a white jacket and would be easily detected. The monk, the three youths and another monk went to see what was happening. I heard them saying how many were in which car. When I regained consciousness, some cars went towards the east; some went back towards the west. By this I mean towards Saipyin. In these cars there were dead people and those who had lost consciousness and those who needed blood. Our car, four other cars and one that was burnt were left. The monk’s car was burnt. I was not too far away and could hear some words and could not hear other words that were being shouted out. I cannot remember the car number or the number of cars.
17. When they were transporting the people, the monk came back and told us to sleep awhile. Just before that I heard the departing cars shout out “Mandalay Hill, Yankin Hill, Backing, Backing ”. This is their battle cry/symbol just like “Water, Fire, Water Fire” which they were yelling out while we were being beaten up. When the monk came to fetch me back, I could hardly move. Blood was sticky. One lady there brought two sets of clothes. She helped me to change into another sarong. I came out of the thicket with that on. It was very dark. I could not see if my clothes were wet or not. The candle was flickering and the light was not enough. Then at 3:30 the monk said we could not stay there. We better run. I told him to send us to a suitable place because my whole body was stiff, my hip was hurting very badly and my legs could not walk. But he insisted saying that he was anxious and this was not a safe place. He sent one monk to see us off. Of the three youths who were with me, only the boy who has asked me to let him follow me remained. I found the other two had left while I had a little sleep.
18. I said “Hpoun Hpoun (monk), all our money was stolen. Please assist us with some travel costs”. I don’t know if that monk belongs to the sect that will not handle money but he went and looked into the boxes in the monastery and produced about 1700 or 2000 Kyats and gave it to me. A young monk was told to see us off. When we got to the middle of the road, I asked and was told that I looked disheveled. My hair was all matted with dried blood. It could not be combed or tied. I put a clip into it. I was given a small scarf which I wrapped around my head. She also had a scarf around her head. Though she had no head injuries, the scarf was stained with another’s blood. My blue jacket was stained with blood. There was no blood on my sarong because I had changed it earlier. The blood on my jacket was from my head injuries. So I took off my jacket and threw it in the ditch near by and wore the shirt with a small collar that was given to me.
19. The youth who said he wanted to follow me pulled me along. We arrived at the train station at about 5 am. He said that we would not go into the station but sit in the bush nearby. I said that we could be recognized easily so let us mingle with the others in the station. We went to the vicinity of the station. We were hungry because we had not eaten from 2 pm the day before. we had not had a drink of water. “Sister, will you have tea?” he asked. I said our appearance was so dishelmed, I won’t drink. I asked him to buy me a banana. It was so hard to eat. I was choking. Our mouths smelled of blood and our bodies smeared with stale blood. It was not comfortable. I was in pain. To sit down, two youths had to assist. To stand up it was the same. I could walk. But to stand up or sit down I could not without help because of the pounding on my hip with the red brick. My head was spinning when I was sitting on the road and I blacked out often.
20. I told my companion " Little sister. I cannot manage anymore. I will move over to that hut over there." She did not want me to go. If I remained here and collapsed, it would be damaging. When I reached the hut, the people there could have been from the USDA. I am not sure. They were staring at me. I said I was sick and wanted to rest a while. I sat on a reclining chair... At that time these women were staring at me and I pretended not to see them. If this is the case these women might interfere. Last night there was an episode at Kyiywa. So I got up from there and went and sat on the road. The sun was getting hot, and I was still bleeding from the head wound. Flies were all over the place. My head was dizzy. The youths were talking to keep me aware and awake. Only at 8 the train arrived. It was a goods train. People around us were carrying bananas to put on the train. They came in carts. The door into the carriage is very high. It was as high as my chest.
21. They did not know how to get me into the train. My hand was alright so I clung to the door with my hand and young boy pushed me from my buttocks. That youth hugged me and helped me in. I could not sit like them on the floor. There was a seat at the side of me. Aunty is not well I said and placed myself on the seat. I was covered with flies all over my head. They were commenting about the smell. I was really unwell though I was not sick. I went blank - off and on. This train that left after 8 arrived at Monywa after noon. These youths said that they would go to the office. It will not be wise to do so. At the front of the office they will arrest us. We will go to the monastery; we said and hired 2 trishaws. One youth and I rode in one trishaw and the other two (let’s say, brother and sister) rode in the other. We arrived there.
22. When we arrived I said I would go. When I asked if the monk was in, they said no. The resident monk was not in. So I asked to see the monk that was in charge. We had not seen the monk from last night. They took us to a place in the monastery precincts and we had to go into the building straight away. We did not see the monk. When I met the monk I addressed him “Hpoun Hpoun (monk), please rescue your disciples. We were beaten up last night. Many of our party members have been killed.” the monk was shocked to see us. Then he said “Wait, wait”. The building where we were housed can be seen from the entrance gate. It is in a straight line. So it can be seen from the road. I was limping badly so we were taken into the monastery and concealed. The door was also locked.
23. We were in there, the four of us like brothers and insisters. We asked for food. The monk asked us what we wanted. Two of us had on large and damaged slippers, not our own. Don’t know how we got them. The other two also had no change of clothes and asked for help. A doctor was brought to us and we were also given clothes and food. The doctor attended to me that evening.
24. They all thought I must be very tough to be able to survive all this. I was beaten up by 3 people, two monks and 1 other person. I was not only beaten. My flesh was broken because I was poked with a stick. The joints in my hands were aching. In my ear, something burst. When I lifted my clothes and showed the doctor all the injuries, he was shocked and surprised at my stamina to have made it back so far. I was given two injections. He did not stitch the wounds in my head because it happened last night and it was now the evening after. He gave me medicine. Then a female career was sent to help us. We did not need that much attention and thanked them all and they went back. The doctor came on two days. We were 6 days at the monastery. After four days two others who escaped arrived.
25. We fled towards the north while they fled in this direction. But it was not a good thing. So they took shelter in one village after another and finally arrived at this monastery. They took about 3 to 4 days. They were also given medical treatment. After 7 days of our stay, the monk said not to come back, that Razali would come to Burma. If he should come here there will be lots of arrests and interrogations. Will we go back or we could return only after all that is finished... Monk would take responsibility. Our stay here would be too long. We did not know how many days Razali would stay. We said we would leave. So the monk said to take the last evening bus. After we had the daybreak meal one policeman came to the monk and told him that there was an interrogating team coming . There is a wanted woman and they will be searching for her till they find her. If you have her here, quietly remove her. The monk then told us to leave straight away and gave us 3000 Kyats.
26. One of the monks fetched a trishaw and instructed the driver how to get to the bus. It was raining so I was even given an umbrella and taken to the wicket gate to depart. The monk was anxious so he followed us in another cycle and helped us. From there we were taken to another place. At this time I thought about our plight. We were the victims who had been assaulted, and now facing arrest. We had no information about the cars that went ahead. Now we are afraid to return to our homes.
27. “This is something I have to say”. When we were at Madaya, our cars were stoned and the youth blood was spilt. Daw Suu reported it at the police station to open a case. Daw Suu gave a speech. She said that in one murder case, the offender is punished, but in another murder case, the offender gets away Scot free. She said she would pursue this matter in Rangoon and consult the lawyers. Now I look back at what she said. Here we did not commit any offence, our lives were at risk, some died and now I have to run like an absconder from justice, this is very distressing. Up to now they have taken no action against the culprit gangs but only picking on us. This is really astonishing. This is all I have to say.
28. Question –From where do you think were the people who beat you up?
I forgot to tell you this. When we were being beaten they said " we are building the bridges, and the roads on which you all are walking. Do you want to defy us the Soon Ah (Powerful and Strong). Is your Indian’s wife Aung San Suu Kyi making roads? What have you all done? You all walk on the roads that we built and do you want to challenge us." Soon Ah was among those who beat me. There could be some from USDA. I do not know. They said they were Soon Ah.
Then she showed us her wounds.
Lists of Victims in Depayin