Local residents’ accounts differ from fabricated media stories

P4 72Those who were involved in violent attacks on border guard police outposts are fabricating stories for foreign news agencies and destabilising the situation with the aim of scaring away local people who are beginning to return home and scapegoating security forces by setting houses on fire, according to the Myanmar News Agency.
Some border guard police force members were killed and a number of weapons and ammunition stolen during the violent assaults of 9 October on border guard police outposts.
The news agency interviewed local people who have returned to their homes in Kyetyoepyin, Pyaungpaik, Ngasakyu and Ngakhuya villages.
An elder from Pyaungpaik village said that he had never heard of women being raped by security forces.
“There are about 230 households in our village. We left our village because we were afraid of the situation without understanding the real situation. Now we have returned home. No one was raped by the security troops. We have never heard of such cases. We live peacefully here,” said U Nu Hussein of Pyaungpaik Village. Concerning the rumours that houses were burnt down by security forces, who were also accused of detaining local people, Village Administrator U Mammad Saulin said that security forces were just looking for those who were involved in violent attacks and some people misunderstood the situation and ran away from their homes. The security forces had neither raped nor forced anyone to work as porters for them. Local people felt worried only because of the violent attacks.”
U Shu Taw Shaung, an elder from Ngakhuya
Village, said that security forces did not burn down houses and in fact had to put out the arsons of others. It was just a fabrication,” he added.
Another native of Ngakhuya village said that two people who are accused of arson had taken suspicious steps before the fires occurred.
“They had already brought everything of value in their shops before the arson,” U Jaugi Aung of Ngakhuya Village said. —Myanmar News Agency

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