Myanmar Burma army official admits interrogation of Rev. Ram Mai
Maj-Gen Tun Tun Naung, commander of Burma Army Northern Regional Military Command, conceded yesterday that government soldiers interrogated Rev. Ram Mai in early September, according to Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC). Rev. Ram Mai, a pastor in Kachin’s Putao district, was allegedly detained along with several other villagers and tortured during questioning.
The reverend is free now, said commander Tun Tun Naung in a conference call yesterday to KBC General Secretary Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samsun and Rev. Kum Awng, secretary of Myitkyina Kachin Baptist Association.
According to a KBA representative, Rev. Ram Mai suffered severe internal injuries and cannot leave his bed. A representative added that the pastor and 6 other men from the village were tied up inside the church and tortured by Burmese soldiers.
Among the other detainees were assistant pastor Salang Hkaw Dut, Yung Hka Khin and Dingra Min Seng.
Salang Hkaw Dut, a father of three, and the 20 year old Yung Hka Khin were allegedly killed and buried beside a nearby road, while the preacher Dingra Min Seng is still missing.
The incident occurred in Nhka Ga village in Machyangbaw township, where fighting broke out between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Army on August 28th after government forces joined by a local militia attacked a post of KIA Battalion 7. Skirmishes have been ongoing since late last month and local sources have reported a rapid increase in Burma Army deployment to the area.