Day: July 20, 2009
For half a century, Burma’s jungles and mountains have hosted a conflict where conventional weaponry has been traded for tactics designed to forever scar the ethnic population of the country.
The byproducts of the world’s longest running internal conflict, grossly underreported, have been so severe that international lawyers and rights groups believe that the ruling junta in Burma could warrant investigation for war crimes. Perhaps most chillingly, young girls have been subject to appalling sexual violence at the hands of a military bent on creating a means of intimidation that will far outlast the brandishing of a gun.
System of Impunity, a 2004 report by the Women’s League of Burma (WLB), describes the case of a 13-year-old Shan girl, Nang Ung, who was detained by Burmese troops on false charges of being a rebel. “She was tied up in a tent and raped every day for 10 days [by five to six troops each day]. The injuries she sustained from the repeated rapes were so severe that she never recovered. She died a few weeks after her release.”
Naang Ung’s story has been echoed in every ethnic region of Burma for generations. Burmese rights organisations suggest that military rape of ethnic women has been rife in the country for the last five decades since the consolidation of military rule, and shows no signs of abating.
“It can happen in homes, in the villages, in the forests, in the paddy fields, whether the woman is working alone or whether they are going to their villages,” said Cheery Zahau, an activist from the India-based Women’s League of Chinland (WLC). “In some circumstances they just rape the women in front of the men.” Continue reading “For half a century, Burma’s jungles and mountains have hosted a conflict where conventional weaponry has been traded for tactics designed to forever scar the ethnic population of the country.”