Military Releases Ta’ang Locals Arrested in Retaliation for Detainment of Captain

By Lawi Weng 23 November 2018

The Myanmar Army in Kutkai Township, northern Shan State, has released six Ta’ang locals which they arrested this week, while four others remain in detention following the Ta’ang National Liberation Army’s (TNLA’s) detaining of an army officer on Tuesday, according to local sources.

Myanmar Army Infantry Battalion 45, based in Kutkai, released five people yesterday evening and another this morning, according to the village head of Pan Ku in Kutkai Township where the incidents have been taking place.

“Those five people were released [on Thursday] at 8 p.m. local time,” said Aike Sam, village head of Pan Ku.

One of the detainees was a woman who gave birth just 10 days ago. She, along with her new born baby and her two-year-old daughter, were among the five released yesterday.

The army continues to detain four others, one of whom is said to be the girlfriend of the Myanmar army captain who is currently being detained by the TNLA.

The locals detained have no involvement with the TNLA, according to Aike Sam who negotiated with the Myanmar Army for their release.

After the Myanmar Army interrogated the six people, they found them to be innocent and therefore released them, he said.

Joint forces of Infantry Division 99 and Infantry Battalion 45 of the Myanmar Army detained 10 people in total from the area where their army officer was detained by the TNLA.

The TNLA reported that they detained a captain named Chan Myay Htun from the Myanmar Army’s Infantry Battalion 45, which is based in Kutkai Township, on Tuesday.

Members of the TNLA who stopped a car found the captain inside and seized two guns and bullets from him.

The TNLA have announced that they will take action against Capt. Chan Myay Htun under their own laws.

Capt. Chan Myay Htun’s girlfriend is ethnic Ta’ang and lives in Mang Pan Village, according to local villagers. He often traveled to the village to visit her and some members of the TNLA knew about their relationship. He was arrested by the TNLA while enroute to her village.

In retaliation to the arrest, the Myanmar Army detained Capt. Chan Myay Htun’s girlfriend along with her older brother who is the head of their village, Mang Pan, as well as the other villagers.