Community searches for girl abducted by Burmese soldier

Mon 19 Oct 2009, IMNA
The residents of Tagundaing village in Mudon Township, Mon state, are distributing a public letter in an attempt to locate a 12-year-old Mon girl abducted from the village last Monday.

According to a community leader, the girl’s abductor has been identified as a defector from the Burmese army who had been hiding out in Tagundaing for a short time.

According to the village community leader that IMNA interviewed, the girl, named Ma Ei Phyu, was abducted on October 12 from the railway located next to Tagundaing, which runs between Moulemian Township and Ye Township. The victim’s father was reportedly fishing in a paddy field near the village railway station; the railway separates the edge of the village from the outlying rice paddy fields.

The village community leader from Tagundaing village told IMNA, “We distributed that letter everywhere, including to the Burmese authorities. In the letter we wrote that the Burmese soldier’s name is Yan Aung Myint, aged 23 years old, from the army’s supplies regiment, and his army number is 342817. He is running from the army. He and one of his friend were involved in abducting her.” A villager from Tagundaing claimed that currently, parents in Tagundaing village are extremely worried that their own children will be abducted like Ma Ei Phyu; parents in the village do not dare to let their children go anywhere unaccompanied. Community members are worried that Yan Aung Myint and his accomplice, who were well known as ne’er-do-wells within the community, will return to repeat their crime.

According to the community leader interviewed by IMNA, Ma Ei Phyu’ family has “nearly gone mad”, and been unable to eat or sleep; the family has only two children, Ma Ei Phyu and one young bother. The girl’s younger brother was with his sister at the time of her abduction, and was the individual who recognized and identified his sister’s attacker. The village leader claims that the local community suspects that Yan Aung Myint put his victim under the influence of a charm in order to abduct her.

“We need the communities at the border’ help us to find her”, the community leader said. He claims that the village has received at tip that Yan Aung Myint arrived in Mae Sot with Ma Ei Phyu after abducting her last Monday, where her reportedly sold her.

The community leader told IMNA that the villagers are worried that the soldier’s choice to abduct only Ma Ei Phyu, and not her 10 year-old brother (who was, as stated above, with her at the time of her abduction), means that Yan Aung Myint plans to sell her into prostitution.

The community leader reported to IMNA that Ma Ei Phyu’s family was so distraught following their daughter’s abduction that they were unable to even handle the task of properly informing the Burmese authorities of the crime, who remain silent about the incident; they also failed to inform Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association of the abduction. Consequently, the community leader interviewed by IMNA has taken on the duty of writing and distributing the public letter currently in circulation in Mon State; the community leader also managed to locate and publish photos of both the victim and her abductor.

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