Burma

Myanmar's Rights Groups Call for Long-Delayed Justice for Kachin Teacher Murders

By San Yamin Aung 20 January 2021

YANGON — It has been six years since the rape and murder of two Kachin teachers in Kutkai Township, northern Shan State, but there has been no justice for the victims.

Two volunteer teachers, Maran Lu Ra, 20, and Tangbau Hkawn Nan Tsin, 21, of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) were raped and killed in their Kaung Kha village hut on Jan. 19, 2015. The investigation found no culprits and no charges have been brought.

On Tuesday, nearly 40 Kachin rights groups on the sixth anniversary of the incident prayed in Myitkyina for Myanmar’s government and military to bring justice.

The groups in a joint statement urged the military to take responsibility for uncovering the truth – as its forces were deployed in the area – and the government to identify the perpetrators. It also called on the KBC to continue to seek justice.

The KBC, which employed the victims, is still demanding answers from the authorities.

“We don’t know how to answer when asked whether the culprits of the case have been apprehended but we will continue to seek the truth,” Rev. Hkalam Sam Sun, the KBC’s chairman, said in a message to mourners on Tuesday.

Kaung Kha villagers and Myanmar’s Infantry Battalion 503, which was in the village at the time, should be under the spotlight, the chairman added. He said he was not accusing any troops of involvement but just that their presence should be recorded as a fact.

“We are not accusing anyone. We are praying for justice,” he said.

Members of the battalion were suspected of involvement in the double murder but the KBC earlier said the military’s Northern Command reported that DNA tests had been carried out on all the suspected soldiers and no match was found.

“We need transparency. It will not be difficult if the military, police, villagers and the rest of us collaborate to find the truth transparently,” the KBC chairman said.

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