Ethnic Kaman people jailed long term for self-defence

December 17,2014

Reported by Zarni


Ethnic Kaman Villagers, who looked for self-defence when the violence erupted in their villages in 2013, have been jailed for long terms.

Villagers from Thabuchaing and Linthi villages had no choice but to fight back when the Rakine Buddihist extremists invaded their villages and threatened their existence.

Even though they looked for their self-defence, judge from Thandwe court sentenced some of the villagers 10- to 30-year imprisonment each.

“They said the verdict would be made at 9 am. But we heard members of Ma Ba Tha (Buddihist extreme group) came to the court on that day and had a meeting with court officials. Although they made a plan for verdict at 9:30 a.m, hearing only started at 12:30 p.m. I think there was pressure from Ma Ba Tha”, a villager said to M-Media.

The ethnic Kaman defendants who were imprisoned are Khin Maung Lwin, Tin Hlaing Soe, Hla Myint@ Ko Tar (All of them are 30 years in prison), Zaw Min Htun @ Naing Sin (10 years), Ye Htut Aung @ Sayar Lay, Aung Thien, Thin Shwe, Kyaw Thu Lin @ Maung Lin (All of them are 7 years in prison), Tin Naung Htun (3 Years) and Ma Ni (1 year) respectively.
For those verdicts, the defendant will take a consultation from the lawyers and the appeal will be applied.

“Violence happened in our own village. Our villagers were terrorized and we just looked for our self-defence. We didn’t invade to other villages. But we have been sued with false sections and convictions were unjust”, a villager expressed his feeling to M-Media.

President of RNDP (Rakhine National Development Party) Thandwe Township, U Maung Pu who is supposed to be a leader of violence erupted in Thandwe was free with president’s amnesty. The cases sued him with Section 332/2013 and Section 186 were totally dismissed in February claiming that wrong prosecutions.

During the violence that erupted on 29th September in Thandwe Township, nearly 170 houses from ethnic Kaman villages and wards had set on fire and totally destroyed. Moreover nearly 800 ethnic Kaman have been displaced.

The video of Buddhist extremists marching and chanting the slogans to set on fire of ethnic Kaman’s homes can been seen online.

Although Kaman people are officially ethnic group of Myanmar, Thein Sien government didn’t take any proper actions for the violence targeting to the Kaman people based on the difference of faith.

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