On July 25, 2012 the Burmese military troops of ILB.501 base in Kyawkmae, loot local people’s ancestral inheritance and stole belongings from local households and shops in Pan Swe village, Manton Township, Northern Shan State, Burma.
The Military troops carried out random searches on U Nay Aung’s house and after they found traditional valuables in the house of gold and silver, they took everything they wanted by threating the house owner with their guns.
According to an eye witness “the reason the soldiers gave for searching the house was that they believed that house owner was connected with ethnic armed groups but there was no evidence linking him with the armed groups. They forced the house owner to open his jewelry box even though he begged them not to take his things as he explained things their traditional and sentimental value to him and his family. The soldiers ignored his pleas and broke the lock and took all of the contents of the box; a gold ring ($400), silver belt ($170) and silver necklaces”.
At the same time, another three families have also been subjected to having their belongings stolen by military troops as they set up camp in the same village. Over 90 soldiers entered local shops wielding their guns and took what they wanted from the shop without permission, pointing their weapons at the shop-owners.
“They separated into three groups to raid the three different shops at the same time. We were treated very badly and they swore and threatened us that if we said anything they would shoot us. The soldier that seemed to hold a high position gave boots that the shop was going to sell to each of his soldiers. Then they took several other things that they wanted such us expensive food, cigarettes, beer and dry rations. When we asked for money the leader took his gun and said “this is why we don’t we have to pay for it” and left from the village” said one of the shop owners.
The shop owner, U Kunahsin, lost over two hundred thousand Kyat ; U Kunpyo lost over three hundred thousand Kyat and U Nyein Chan lost over three hundred thousand Kyat from the goods stolen by the soldiers.
In Manton Township, most of the villagers rely on the local shops for all their needs due to bad transportation. As the result incidences like this happening whenever the military come through th e village, local people are very upset to lose their property again and again; now wen they hear of the soldiers coming to the village they leave their homes and go to the jungle or somewhere else to hide and avoid the soldiers persecution.