Burma Army Colonel beats up KNU member

Tensions are running high after a Burma Army officer beat up Karen National Union member and detained him in Southern Burma.

The incidence happened at a checkpoint located near Ka Saw Wah village in Tenasserim Division that is in the Karen National Union’s Brigade 4.

A Burma Army operation commander beat up and detained the KNU member, Saw Ah Pih at Ka Saw Wah village.

Captain Gyi No, the KNU Tee Mo Pwa area administration chairman spoke to Karen News.

“On January 20th, at the Ka Saw Wah village checkpoint, Saw Ah Pih, followed a motorbike that refused to stop. When Saw Ah Pih arrived at Wa Daw, he met with Burma Army No.8 Operation Commander Colonel Kyi Soe who beat him up, tied him and left him without food and water. On 21 January he was still in detention.”

The KNU’s Captain Gyi No said the Burma Army officer refused to cooperate or release Saw Ah Pih.

“We tried to negotiate with Kyi Soe and solve the problem and he refused to free the detainee. We’ve reported the incident to the KNU general secretary to resolve the issue.”

Captain Gyi No told Karen News that the situation is tense and both the Karen soldiers and Burma Army are on full alert.

Captain Gyi No said it was not the first incidence involving Colonel Kyi Soe and villagers. Colonel Kyi Soe banned the Ka Saw Wah from clearing land villagers for rice farming. The Ka Saw Wah village headman retaliated and forbid Thai businessmen from buying bamboo from the Burma Army that its soldiers had cut and were selling.

In a separate incidence, during Karen New Year celebrations in early January, Colonel Kyi Soe confiscated two private vehicles in Ka Saw Wah, accusing the villagers of driving too fast.

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