Burma Military Investigates Alleged Rape of 13-Year Old Girl

Mon State, Myanmar, Burma, army, military, sexual violence, rape, human rights, reform

Burmese soldiers march during ceremonies on March 27, 2010, marking the 65th anniversary Armed Forces Day in Naypyidaw. Soldiers from the Burma Army have been accused of sexual violence in the country’s border areas. (Photo: The Associated Press)

RANGOON — The Burmese military has launched an investigation into allegations that a soldier raped a 13-year-old girl in the country’s southeast, amid continued reports by civilians that sexual abuse by armed forces remains a dire problem despite political reforms.

A soldier from the Burma Army’s Infantry Battalion 31 has been accused of raping the girl at her home in Kawzar sub-township, Mon State, while her parents were away. He was reportedly visiting the house to pick up dry vegetation to build thatched roofs for his battalion’s housing.

The girl was discovered by a community leader, who brought her to a local hospital. “The girl told me that her hands were tied and she was raped,” he told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case. He said a medical examination confirmed the rape.

The community leader added that the victim’s family reported the incident to their village head, but was threatened by the concerned battalion to keep quiet and given compensation of 500,000 kyats (US$500) in return for cooperation.

The New Mon State Party (NMSP), the main ethnic rebel organization in Mon State, sent a complaint letter about the case to the state’s highest government official, Chief Minister Ohn Myint.

Kyi San, an NMSP leader at the liaison office in the state capital Moulmein, said the southeast regional command of the government military had launched an investigation.

“We heard the colonel general staff officer is traveling to begin an investigation today in southern Ye, he said, referring to the township where the girl lives.

The government army and local authorities, including the police, have been accused of 127 cases of sexual abuse over the past 15 years in Kawzar sub-township alone, according to the Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM).

Only one former military colonel has been punished, the rights group said, citing a colonel who was notorious for crimes against ethnic Mon and Karen women and girls.

These allegations mirror similar reports of rape in many of Burma’s frontier areas, which saw decades of conflict between the government army and ethnic armed groups under the former military regime. Rights activists say women have been routinely raped by government soldiers, and less frequently by rebel soldiers.

Despite political reforms and ceasefires with most major rebel groups, the Mon human rights foundation said the military had failed to change its practices. Although the NMSP has signed a ceasefire and hostilities have largely died down, reports of sexual abuse continue in areas where troops are stationed to secure new development projects in the resource-rich state.

“Sexual abuse of underage children should warrant a major punishment,” said Aue Mon, coordinator of the human rights documentation program for HURFOM. “There should not be impunity for this type of crime, or it will set a precedent that allows more sexual abuse by the military.”

He added, “It will be difficult to build trust between the army and civilians if the military continues to act with impunity. It will be difficult to build trust between the army and ethnic people in the country.”

5 Responses to Burma Military Investigates Alleged Rape of 13-Year Old Girl

  1. “Only one former military colonel has been punished, the rights group said, citing a colonel who was notorious for crimes against ethnic Mon and Karen women and girls.”

    What is the name of this notorious colonel? Was this notorious colonel
    graduated from DSA or OTS? If he defensed himself from the clause of impunity of 2008 Nargic constitution, he could be set free easily.

  2. That’s why we the people hate USDP’s Thein Sein administration and we the people want to have the Union Military. Until now, military is still owned by one man who is Min Aung Hlaing. Chief of staffs must be under Defense Minister, and Defense Minister must be under the President. And Hlutdaw must have subcommittee for Defense Ministry whether military is abusing its power or not.

  3. President and the military is not for the country but for Than Shwe family only

  4. Maung Lu Aye ( Law ) R.A S.U 1976

    Medical Examination Confirmed that 13 year old girl was Rape . Not only in Burma , Such as Murder , Rape , Robbery, Abduction are Major Crimes and Happening Worldwide and Punishable up to Life in Prison , Even Death Sentences .
    Remote Areas of Mon State , Karen State , any other States, these Tragic Incidents/Cases were happening . Binding force of Law to the Victimizers were not Effective. Especially Soldiers , who were given Licence to kill anybody at the remote areas , they thought connection with the Rebels. Now, Ceasefire between So-called Govt & Mon , Karen Insurgents . Murders & Rapes are Still happening . People live far away from the Cities ( Villagers ) are becoming Victims like this Girl and Even, Eye Witnesses couldn’t dare to reveal this Incident . Ages of Fear to the Military by the People is No Strange under the Sun .
    So , Investigation by Powerful & Justified Investigators , should be made . No Exception , No Impunity to the Accused . Otherwise, Burma , the Golden Land is Still govern by Military Idiots.

  5. It is a test of authority of President Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Suu Kyo both said that ‘rule of laws’ is top priority in their ruling government.

    It is a test of Burma’s Army (Tadmadaw) who has claimed ‘iron of rules’ in the army is uncompromised.

    It is a test of Mon State’s Chief Minisger U Own Myint that has said, he will be the best leader of Mon State for all people.

    It is a test of NMSP’s leader that the party is an alternative to the ruling USDP in the post 2015 election.

    Above, it is a test of Burma’s legal profession how far they could challenge the Court or the hearing.

    In deed, the media had done their duty. The rest in at the hand of the legal unit.

    If other Shan, Karen, Mon, Chin,Karnni, Pa Oh, Pa Laung and Kachin etc girls whom are raped from 1970s are date to speak out, this case could be the ‘classical case’ to bring justice.

    If is also the voice of women to be heard. Mon Women Association and other Women organizations shall be sent a formal letter to the Tadmadaw Chief.

    If this case is not solved, the case of politics will not be solved in the next 10 years.

    Congratulation to Irrawaddy, Mon News and local journalist on this time news.

    Did Daw Suu said any on this news?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Comments with external links in the body text will be deleted by moderators.