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Civil Servant from Matupi Hospitalized After Attack by Tatmadaw Troops

10th May 2019, Matupi

 Civil Servant from Matupi Hospitalized After Attack by Tatmadaw Troops
Civil Servant from Matupi Hospitalized After Attack by Tatmadaw Troops



On 20th April 2019, 6 soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 140 under the Tactical Command 2 (based in Matupi, Chin State) beat a civil servant who cut the power mainline to the battalion camp due to low water pressure in the hydroelectricity plant in Matupi Town, Chin State. The incident took place on Saturday evening as 30-year-old Salai Boi, team leader at Bungtla hydropower plant, cut the power to the camp.

The soldiers arrived at the plant dressed in civilian clothes, burst into the workers quarters and brandishing teak bats, began beating Salai Boi around the head. During the assault, Salai Boi suffered a fractured skull, finger and lacerations to his hands as he tried to protect himself. One bat had a nail attached to it.

After the attack took place the troops took him to LIB 140 military hospital as he was bleeding and suffering from concussion. The next day his family arrived and he was transferred to Matupi Public General Hospital, he was not discharged until a week later on the 30th April, 2019: “I think (the attackers) are the rank of major and sergeant in the infantry camp. I remember their faces but I don’t know their names and ranks exactly. The military have offered an appeasement but my relatives want to set out a contract based on Matu customary practices. If the military side does not give any compensation, we will open the case and prosecute them. We will have a meeting this coming Saturday on 4th May with them”.

According to Salai Boi Ha, those who beat him are soldiers under the supervision of Major Sergeant Kyaw Kyaw, Battalion Commander of LIB 140. The Major Sergeant informed him that the soldiers who attacked him were being detained in the tactical operations command prison. According to Salai Boi, the practice of load shedding in times with low water pressure is well established:

“In the rainy season, when Bungtla Hydropower plant has enough water, we can only provide electricity once in two days each to Phaneng Village, Cang Bawng ward, LIB 140 and Light Battalion 304. In summer, especially during April and May, there is not enough water in the plant. Therefore, we do not provide electricity to Phaneng and Cang Bawng villages at all and provide power for around an hour and a half each day to the Infantry Camps LIB140 and Light Battalion 304. We have been doing the same for years. I wonder if think they own this hydropower plant? I will ask this question to the 6 soldiers who beat me when we have the meeting on 4th May.”

Salai Boi Ha, son of Pa Way Moi and Nu Ca Nu, lives in Boiring (B) Village, Matupi Township and started working at Bungtla hydropower plant in 2018. At present he is a team leader at the Department of Electricity based in Bungtla, near Matupi town in southern Chin state.

[1] Since this story was published in Burmese on 1st May 2019, CHRO has been informed that during the meeting the amount of 2 million MMK (Approx. 1,300 USD) was requested in order to provide enough to purchase a pig and a Mythun, in line with Chin customary practice on appeasement. The parties settled on 1.5 million MMK.

CHRO works to protect and promote the rights of Chin people and other oppressed and marginalized communities in Burma/Myanmar


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Chin Human Rights Org. who can be contacted at info(AT)chro(DOT)ca
This Press Release was posted on May 11 2019

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