Community Groups Demand Justice for Murdered Karen Women Activist – and Her Killer Caught

A number of concerned civil society organizations have issued a statement demanding an investigation into the murder of a young Karen women activist, Naw Chit Pandaing, stabbed to death on November 19, in Dawei Town.

Naw Chit Pandaing was a human right activist and a former worker with the Takabaw civil society organization – at the time of her killing, she was working for the Mine Advisory Group (MAG). Prior to her death, Naw Chit Pandaing had been a strong advocate against human right violations, land confiscation and the negative impacts of mining in the area.

A total of 23 CSOs in Dawei, including the Dawei Women’s Union, Dawei Development Association, 88 Generation Open Society (Dawei), Tenasserim River& Indigenous people networks demanded in their statement issued on November 21 that they are concerned that Naw Chit Pandaing’s murderer is still at large.

The statement alleged that the murder case is linked to Naw Chit Pandaing’s work and this has become a threat to other activists working in the area.

Naw Elizabeth, the spokesperson for MAG, spoke to Karen News.

“We want justice. It’s a great loss for us to lose a young activist like her and her death is a huge loss.”

The CSOs statement said that the death of Naw Chit Pandaing has become a big threat to local CSOs workers and it is of great concern.

Naw Pithalaw from the Tarkapaw organization said that they want the authorities to treat the case seriously.

“As time passes, cases like this are usually forgotten. We want the police to tackle this case seriously. CSOs workers would only feel safe if this case is brought to justice. As long as the murderer hasn’t been arrested, we will feel threatened.”

Division Police Chief U Nay Myo of Tanitharyi Region told Karen News that they still at the stage of tracking the murderer.

“At present, we’re checking stage-by-stage who have had connection with the victim and are likely to be the murderer. We cannot say all the details. We can’t identify the culprit immediately. We know the demands of CSOs. We ‘re trying our best to find the culprit. The case is of interest to most people.”

Naw Chit Pandaing was a native of Dawei Town. She was stabbed to death near a stage as she was preparing to take part in a fundraising singing competition held on November 19 at Shwewethiri sports ground in Dawei.

Naw Chit Pandaing funeral was held on November, 22.

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