November 10, 2021, 0 Comments

Ṭaal: village burned four times by SAC troops

Introduction

Ṭaal village is located in Falam Township.  It is situated in Taal Village Tract and has 36 houses with a total population of about 150 to 160 people.  It is located on Falam-Hakha Road, 14 miles from Falam and about 28 miles from Hakha.

Time line of four incursions by the Myanmar troops

First incursion by the SAC troops

On July 20-22, the military council invaded Ṭaal village. More than 90 troops stormed the village, firing indiscriminately and looting 21 houses. Items in the households such as 50 domestic chickens; a TV; 4 mobile phones, blankets, rice, and food such as oil were stolen. In addition, the clothes in the house as well as many pieces of furniture were also destroyed. The value of the property stolen and destroyed by the military council amounts to nearly 15 million kyats.

The villagers have fled into the nearby forest and in the mountains for four nights and were only able to return to the village on the morning of July 24. However, due to the dangerous situation, approximately only 30 villagers were left to manage the situation and take care of the village. They fled to Mangkheng village, and during the travels, some were infected with Covid-19.

Ṭaal village houses after they were ransacked by the SAC troops

Second incursion by the SAC troops

The military council invaded Ṭaal village for the second time since August 9.  There were about 150 troops stationed in schools and the Ṭaal Baptist Church for five days.  During their encampment, all homes in Ṭaal village were ransacked; 36 houses were burglarized and about 380 domestic chickens and eight pigs were captured and killed.  The decomposed body of the animals was also dumped inside homes, and furniture; accessories, and food were destroyed and stolen.  While encamped at the church, the military council destroyed the Bible, Hymns, Church seats, and valuable religious items.

About 30 villagers who were left to guard the village during the first invasion of the junta military fled into the jungle after the second invasion.

On 15 August, two villagers, U Sui Cung (43) and Peter Van Thawng Hu (22), were arrested by the military council on their way to survey the situation in the village and to bring some supplies.  The two were taken to a farm in the village of Ramthlo and beaten.  They were released on August 16.

Damage value chart for August


Sr. No Item name Quantity Unit value Total value
1 TV 6 250,000 1,500,000
2 rice bag 27 55,000 1,485,000
3 blanket 70 12,000 840,000
4 small chicken 150 5,000 750,000
5 big chicken 230 10,000 2,300,000
6 egg 200 300 60,000
7 cooking oil 100 5,000 500,000
8 clothes 80 5,000 400,000
9 shop 2 750,000 1,500,000
10 metal roof 60 7,000 420,000
11 pig 8 300,000 2,400,000
12 motor cycle 3 500,000 1,500,000
13 slipper/other 22 5,000 110,000
14 carpenter tool 25 5,000 125,000
15 gasoline 10 6,000 60,000
16 mobile phone 6 120,000 720,000
17 cupboard 3 60,000 180,000
18 damaged door 350,000
19 others 300,000
Total 15,500,000
Damages from some of the homes and Church belongings after second incursion by the SAC troops

Third incursion by the SAC troops

The military council troops are stationed in Operation Anawrahta in Sagaing Division, prepared for offensive action against Magway Division and Chin State.  Since October, there has been a massive attack in Chin State.

On October 17, the military council troops entered Chin village and encamped for three days.  During their encampment, four houses were set on fire and three were destroyed by artillery fire.  Accessories from 6 houses; motorcycle, Pets; pots and pans were stolen.

Damages from third incursion by the SAC troops

Fouth incursion by the SAC troops

About 50 military vehicles returned to Falam from Hakha town on October 23 and stormed Ṭaal village once again.  On the morning of October 24th, eleven houses were set on fire, eight of which were completely destroyed and burned to the ground.  Thirty-four houses were burglarized and insults of threats on the entire village were written on the walls.

In October, the damage caused by the invasion and destruction by the military council was over 1.283 million Myanmar kyats.

Houses set on fire during 4th incursion
Expletive and threatening words written on the wall by SAC troops (2nd line reads “entire village will be burned”

 

Damage value chart for October

 

Sr.

 

Name of Household

Family members  

Lost value (MMK)

 

Remark

Male Female
1 U Tluang Lian Sum 1 3 1,230,000
2 U That Lian Hre 4 3 11,715,000 house burned
3 U Thang Tin Mang 2 1 150,000
4 U Van No Thang 1 2 150,000
5 U Sa Lian 1 2 835,000
6 U Thawng Nei Thang 2 2 215,000
7 Daw Men Cuai 2 2 440,000
8 U Sui Kulh 2 2 925,000
9 U Khuk Hre 2 1 470,000
10 U Ngun Kip Hre 2 5 990,000
11 Daw Ni Iang 1 500,000
12 U Dar Men 2 3 150,000
13 U Ram Hnok 2 2 220,000
14 U Sui Lawng Thang 1 1 1,630,000
15 U Thang Tin Khup 2 3 395,000
16 U Sui Hnok 1 5 3,950,000
17 U Lian Hup 4 3 1,900,000
18 Teacher’s House 2 2 3,900,000 house burned
19 Rev. Thawng Ir 2 4 4,935,000
20 Church 1,380,000
21 U Bual Tling 2 1 2,830,000
22 U Ngun Lian Uk 2 1 560,000
23 U Zu Lian 5 3 5,210,000
24 Daw Hlawn Tang 2 2 5,775,000 house burned
25 Daw Sui Dim 2 2 8,155,000 house burned
26 U Ngun Thuan 2 2 11,715,000 house burned
27 U Ceu Dun 3 1 8,815,000 house burned
28 Daw Doi Zing 1 2 6,555,000 house burned
29 U Sui Nei Tleu 2 2 13,865,000 house burned
30 U Sial Luai 2 2 900,000
31 U Sui Cung-A 2 2 7,650,000 house burned
32 Daw Sui Dong 1 1 6,605,000 house burned
33 U Sui Cung-B 3 2 11,995,000 house burned
34 U Sui Nawl Thang 3 1 100,000
35 Daw Hlawn Kip Cer 1,500,000 house burned
36 U Rem Dar 50,000
Total 128,360,000

 

Conclusion

The village of Ṭaal, which has only about 36 houses, were targeted four times by the military council, and the atrocities committed resulted in the near destruction of the entire village. Currently, only five villagers are left to take care of the village, while the rest have fled.  Some have taken refuge in villages near Falam, while others are still fleeing in the forest.

It is clear that the military junta’s acts of violence against Ṭaal village violate international law, including domestic law.  Systematic attacks targeting civilians, and heavy artillery shelling inside civilian homes make it evidently clear that crimes against humanity, such as arson, are widespread.

Some Ṭaal villagers fleeing from the SAC troops

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