Nhka Ga villagers are being confined in their own village and held like hostages by government soldiers from Burmese army’s 137th Light Infantry Regiment and 138th
Light Infantry Regiment. 17 villagers, including the village’s
Christian minister, Pastor Ram Sai, and others who have been
interrogated and severely beaten by government soldiers, are in dire
need of immediate medical care but are not allowed to go outside Nhka Ga
Representatives from Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), Machanbaw’s
USDP members and Rawang Cultural Association members are allowed to
visit Nhka Ga village on Sept 26-27. They are the first outsiders to
ever reach Nhka Ga village since late August as government soldiers
built a fence around Nhka Ga and closed the area.
A Baptist minister who accompanied with the group said the villagers
are living in a constant state of fear and intimidation by government
soldiers. The soldiers are living in villagers’ houses and follow them
wherever they go. The villagers cannot go to their farms and even afraid
of going latrines, especially at night, said the minister.
The visiting representatives asked Burmese army battalion commander
to let them take Pastor Ram Sai and others who need medical attention to
Machanbaw. But the commander told them that he needs to report to
higher officers and gave no permission to let them go to hospitals, said
The next day, the villagers were gathered for a public meeting and
Burmese army officers asked them to tell if there was any rape case
committed by soldiers from 137th LIR and 138th LIR. The minister said, “All villagers were quiet, tears run down some faces, but nobody said a word.”
Several local sources reported that a 29-year-old mother of an infant baby was raped by Burmese army’s 137th LIR soldiers. And another group of soldiers from Burmese army’s 66th Light Infantry Division (LID) arrested and gang raped women and girls and left them without clothes in a nearby forest.
Another source in Machanbaw told KLN that Machabaw’s town
administrator U Tin Myo Aung is harassing Kachin IDPs who have fled
recent battle zone near Nhka Ga village. Those Kachin IDPs are from
surrounding villages and living in temporary shelters in a Church
compound in Naung Hkai village located across Machanbaw. There are 43
IDPs currently staying in Naung Hkai Baptist Church’s compound. Kachin
IDPs were asked several questions and scolded by government officials
under town administrator U Tin Myo Aung. “They are often asked to go
back to their home villages. They are constantly being watched by
authorities,” said the source.
Burmese army has transported more troops and ammunition to Nhka Ga
area since a series of battles took place late August between KIA’s 7th Battalion and a combined force of Burmese army’s 137th LIR and 138th LIR.
Kachin, tribal peoples occupying parts of northeastern Myanmar (Burma) and contiguous areas ofIndia (Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland) and China (Yunnan). The greatest number of Kachin live in Myanmar (roughly 790,000), but some 150,000 live in China and a few thousand in India. Numbering about 1012,000 in the late 20th century, they speak a variety of languages of the Tibeto-Burman group and are thereby distinguished as Jinghpaw, or Jingpo (Chingpaw [Ching-p’o], Singhpo), Atsi, Maru (Longvo), Lachid, Nung (Rawang), and Lisu .
The traditional Kachin religion is a form of animistic ancestor cult entailing animalsacrifice. As a result of the arrival of American and European missionaries in Burma beginning in the late 19th century, a majority of the Kachin are Christian, mainly Baptist and Roman Catholic. Among the Kachin in India, Buddhism predominates.