YANGON — A waiter revealed sexual abuses carried out by his employer – the owner of the Mae Laint Lon restaurant in South Okkalapa Township in Yangon – who allegedly has HIV.
The victim filed a complaint against the owner with the South Okkalapa Township police on March 8. The victim is from Irrawaddy Region. He started working at the restaurant on Feb. 27, for a salary of 80,000 kyats per month.
The victim, who is 22 years old, told The Irrawaddy that he was abused three times last week and he asked for help from the manager after the third time, on March 7.
Ma Hanna, the manager of the restaurant, said: “He was only here for few days and we don’t know each other well. He dared not to say what had happened at first. I asked him to speak openly what happened, and then he told me.”
“He said there was no use of a condom. I could not believe that when I heard it, because we knew that the owner was on medication for HIV,” she added.
The victim said he was forced to have oral sex with his employer twice and that he was paid 5,000 kyats each time as hush money. He told of another instance when he was forced to have anal sex with his employer.
The victim is now on HIV preventative medication.
“After I learned from Ma Hanna that he had HIV, I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do. I was ashamed. I don’t want others to suffer like me. I want him to confess his crimes,” he said.
A friend of the victim who also previously worked at the restaurant confided in his friend about similar abuses. Ma Hanna also said others have shared stories of abuse but that they were all afraid to report them.
In Myanmar, women and girls who have faced sexual abuse have sought legal action. But this is the first publicized case brought by a man.
“This is a violation of morals. How could he do that?” asked Daw Swe Swe Nyunt, a community member who is helping with the case.
She told The Irrawaddy that it was a positive sign that the police took immediate action and arrested the owner after the complaint was filed.
The South Okkalapa Township police declined to comment other than to say that they had received the complaint, stating that were not allowed to talk about the case.
The Irrawaddy’s interview with the victim, his friend and those who are helping with his case can be found in Myanmar language here.
Nyein Nyein contributed to this report.