YANGON — Two members of Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA)—an ethnic armed group often clashing with the Tatmadaw—raped a school headmistress in a village in Kyaukme Township, northern Shan State, according to the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services’ Office.
Two individuals wearing TNLA uniforms raped the 44-year-old headmistress in Mankauk village in Kyaukme Township outside her house around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, said the report.
Brig-Gen Tar Bong Kyaw, spokesperson of TNLA, confirmed the rape: “Yes, they are our soldiers. We’ve detained them in a cell.”
The TNLA military court will hand down penalties that fit their crime, he said, adding that he was not clear exactly how the two committed the crime.
“I don’t know the details. But the rape case has been confirmed. We’ve instructed that a speedy trial be held to punish them,” he said.
“We’ll open a case at the police station,” said deputy education officer of Kyaukme Township U Kyaw Win. “We’ve now brought the headmistress to Kyaukme.”
The township education department has also brought 13 other female teachers from Mankauk village school to Kyaukme as the rape case has thrown the teachers into a panic.
“The teachers will go back to their school when normalcy is restored there. We’ve brought them as they are a bit frightened now,” said U Kyaw Win.
The Kyaukme Township Education Department has also filed complaints with the township general administration department and the district education department, and the school in Mankauk village has been closed as teachers are sheltering in Kyaukme.
The Irrawaddy contacted the Kyaukme Township police station to inquire about the case, and police said that the case happened in the controlled area of Monglon police station which will be responsible for handling the case.
“Monglon is too far from us. It is difficult to contact them because they are a local police station. We only have contact with them through walkie-talkie. We don’t even have their phone numbers,” said the police officer of Kyaukme Township police station.
TNLA is active in a number of townships including Nawnghkio, Kyaukme, Hsipaw, Namhsan, Lashio, Kutkhaing, Namtu, Mantong, Manhsam, and Manpan in northern Shan State.