Saturday, September 26, 2009
AFFIDAVIT OF DAW NYUNT NYUNT
I became a member of the National League for Democracy in 1989 and a member of the organizing committee of Mandalay North West township.
During Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent political tour of Northern Burma, I was with the group that joined her entourage from Mandalay on her return from Mogok.
Daw Nyunt Nyunt’s evidence relating to the Depayin episode.
1. We started to leave Monywa at about 10 a.m. There was a big crowd at the place where Daw Suu paused so she gave a short address and departed. She paused at Gyobyukyaung monastery to do obeisance to the monk. A lot of people had followed her. We all call Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Ahma (big sister). So that we would not have such a big crowd with us we decided to split. We were with Daw Suu in one group. Uncle U Tin U formed the other group. We went towards Butalin junction. We had to run through the crowd. We had to run because if we had the crowd following us, we could be delayed. That is where we split up and traveled separately. At Butalin junction I saw (USDA) cars with loud speakers. I saw posters. We had a lot of cyclists and people behind us so they did not give us trouble. They (USDA) watched us from the side of the road. It was about 1:30 or 2 when we arrived at Butalin.
2. At Butalin, Ahma established the Youth Wing. We had food and rest for about two hours. The cyclist groups also rested in the vicinity. The area was small so we went to the cemetery area and rested. That was the place where U Thein Pe Myint was buried. It could have been about 4:30 or 5.00 p.m. when we left that place. On every road we saw those SPDC cars. Every one of those cars had two or three mobile phones. Wherever those cars were there were traffic police. Those cars were DYNA truck cars. I saw about 10, 11, 12 such cars. We left that place and arrived at Saipyin village. Arrests had been made because the residents were planning to welcome Daw Aung San Su Kyi. So we stopped at “Heart’s Desire Teashop” which was in the vicinity.
3. They said that this teashop was operated by brothers. While resting there, the crowd became bigger so Daw Suu’s speech took a little longer. We left only at 7:00 pm. We had also noticed those saloon cars at the junction. Between Butalin and Depayin there was no other vehicle on the road. We traveled from 7:00 non stop. This is the order in which we traveled. There was a SUNNY car in front. Next was Uncle U Tin U’s car and the car behind him was driven by U Tun Win. I don’t know the make of those cars. After that was the car from our North West Aung Myethazan township. The driver was Ko San Myint. We all call him Kalarlay. Behind that was a SUNNY car in which were the video cameras and operators. Behind that was Daw Suu’s car. After that there were two or three cars with Monywa people who joined the party at Sagaing. Behind that was the car in which there were the monks (3 or 4 monks and about 8 novice monks). All these cars traveled in one group.
4. All these folks from Saipyin village and other distant villages gathered there. They were poor starving people. I saw amongst them old grandmothers quivering and waving neem tree sprigs to welcome us. I saw about 150 cyclists by the side of us. When we went to Saipyin those 150 cyclist were in front and on the side. I even told them to move to the side because they could be scraped and run down. There were so many young people, both boys and girls. When we arrived at the little village of Kyiywa after leaving Saipyin the crowd greeting us was getting bigger. The cars slowed down and Daw Suu put out her hand and waved to the people. We had traveled about one and a half to two miles from there. We could see the people in the dim light. At that point we saw that the people in that crowd were being beaten up. Bright car head lights lit up the place. I saw from the distance that the villagers were being beaten up.
5. These were big cars with glass on all sides. Not small HINOs. Then a cycle came near me and asked if we could do anything for them. The villagers were being beaten up. The I saw three cycles pass us. There was a driver and a monk with yellow head bands. Just before they overtook us, Daw Suu's car drove past our car. It was a dark place and they said they had better speed away. So our car which was in the front was left behind. After they had passed us I saw that cycles block the road in front of Daw Suu's car. I saw from a distance Uncle U Tin Oo get out of the car. Our cars stopped. We could see the villagers shouting out because they were being beaten. The young people and cyclists did not know whether they should go on or retreat. Their spirits were being aroused and they were confused. They were told not to get involved and that they could be mistaken for the villagers.
6. At that time U Tin Htut U (leader of the Youth Wing in the office) came near me and told me not to loose my temper and say bad things. Be patient; don’t say things to make them angry no matter what. Every time we go out we are reminded this way. Then we were told to get into the car so all those who went out to see what was happening came back into the car. We crouched. I looked into the distance. Those big cars had their lights beaming on to us. They had changed positions around us – 3 to 4 cars. During that time some of our cars had passed us, some were running. Our car could not get away because those cars were blocking us. Each car had four lights and there were 3 or 4 cars. Suddenly we had been beaten up. I thought we were just being threatened because it happened the same way, there was much confusion when we were going to Madaya. The uncle who was beside me was U Chit Aye. He threw his body across us three women and he was hurt the most. There were three females in our car.
7. The name of one was Daw Khin Aye Myint and the other was the daughter of U Ko Gyi. We called her A-thay-lay. Altogether there were 14 of us as far as I recall. We were from different wards so I do not know their names. We met here for the first time so I only know the names of 2 or 3. While we were being beaten up, those in the front car were also being assaulted. That car had no roof. I could see them being beaten up, there could have been about 15 in that car. Since I was underneath the others, I could look into the distance. I saw that they were shouting and the more they shouted, the more beatings were given. Every one of us was moaning. U Chit Tin from our car was dragged out and they knocked his body against the car. Then they held my back and pounded it with a brick. They slammed the brick full face on my back. If they did it edgewise my hip would be disjointed.
8. Only then I realized that we were really being attacked. My body was soaking with blood, blood that flowed from Uncle and the youth who were all crouching. My whole sarong was soaking. My head was not injured at that point. Then from the back I heard them say, “These female creatures parading around with their pinni jacket- take off these pinni – look at your mugs!” They pulled off our jackets, tore them off. Then one person came up and snatched our sling bags which contained our money. Not satisfied, they snatched the chains we were wearing, and tugged at our legs and backs. I was dragged by the hair out of the car to the ground. When I fell to the ground they went on beating me. I looked up and saw two monks; one man had his sarong slung across one shoulder. He wore a shirt, and knee length pants. His cap was back to front.
9. They pulled me and pushed me. Then one voice said “ hpoun, hpoun (Monk) catch her quickly, this creature will run away. What has your Indian’s wife, Aung San Suu Kyi done for you? We have built bridges and roads on which you all can walk.” Then they uttered some obscene words I cannot mention. Then again we were beaten up. I was struck on my ribcage and my ears. I felt like my ears had burst open. The three of them struck me on the buttocks and my back one after the other. Then they struck me on the head. One blow cut open my head. The other blow struck the back of my ear and my neck was covered with blood. They beat me up to their hearts content while abusing me. Then one of them said that should be enough beating for a woman. After that they called out " " Fire, Water, Fire, Water, Backing, Backing " – as a symbol and boarded the car and left in the direction of Saingpyin.
10. I lost consciousness then. Two monks and about 5 people were asking all of us what happened. Was there a collision? No, there was a beat up. If that is so, who is responsible? Is it the USDA or anyone else? Behind me I could hear them taking off Athaylay’s clothes. All I know is that she was lost. I do not know where she was taken to. No one was left in the car. I was about the second last to be dragged out. After the monks arrived and I regained consciousness I asked them to take me away. I had no jacket on. I wore my sarong tucked around under the arms. Even in that state those animals wanted to lift up my sarong. My sarong and shirt were caked in blood and they could not lift it or take it off. As for my jacket they had ripped it off from the back and it remained hanging at the top. They demanded that I take all that off so I did so. I was left with the sarong wrapped around and tucked under my arms. After that I fainted.
11. When I regained consciousness, I asked the monks I spoke about just now to save me. While the men were trying to save me I again lost consciousness so they left me behind. They had been talking about sending for a car and a doctor. I did not know when the monks left. I was unconscious again. When I regained consciousness, I was embarrassed because I did not have a jacket on. I thought I was about 10 feet away from the car so tried to get there. Then I saw one monk in a sitting posture not moving, Aung Ko who was on the car with me was on his back, another novice monk was on his back and another person unknown to me on his back. I crossed over all of them and collected the pile of clothes. I had brought my glasses which I put down and put on an under sarong. I could not button the jacket and lost consciousness again. After quite some time, five people arrived.
12. Maung Min Thein Lay and Ma Kyi Kyi Myint who were passengers in the car that was in front of us were asking to be taken away or for a Burmese Traditional medic to be brought here. Ma Kyi Kyi Myint then said, “Young brother, just take us to the village monastery”. I said “I will also come along, I will also come along” and I crossed over everything and lost consciousness when I came down from the car. There was one stout person who had his sarong slung across one shoulder. The man with a torch held me and I regained consciousness. I told that boy “let me call the others - please wait – I want to call the women”. Then I called out to them by name. “Ma Tin Myint, Ma Aye Myint, come, come. We are going along with these villagers”. Not one of them could be found. While calling out I saw blood spilling out of the three big cuts on U Chit Tin’s head. It was like a burst water pipe. Never seen anything like it in my life. He was also vomiting blood. Uncle U Chit Tin then said “My duties have been fulfilled. Tell them at my office. I have fulfilled my obligations.” I saw him vomiting blood.
13. When I got to the front of the car I saw the driver Ko San Myint’s body half fallen out. He was dead. His left eye was protruding. That car was from our North West region. I lost consciousness here. The boy who was with me put my hand on his shoulder with one arm around me. With a torch in the other hand he showed me the way. I looked out and again went blank. He said Ahma to me and then I became aware and told him that I was aware and when I looked around I saw so many people, cannot say how many. I broke out in a clammy clammy sweat, with blood from my head. I did not know what. I was terrified. I did not feel the pain in my body. I was very giddy and went blank off and on.
14. When I looked I saw our car, then the car which U Htun Win drove, then at this side there was a small SUNNY car which had plunged down. On one side there was a yellow car that had been pushed down. When I was conscious I heard them say something about the keys of the car and whether it was pushed or burnt I am not sure. I was loosing consciousness off and on. When I went and looked there was no person on the cars. But on the cart track, there were bodies in an indescribable state. In some places, there were groans and mutterings. I went to call them but there was no response. Ma Kyi Kyi Myint told me not to be calling them because another bunch could be arriving. So I clung to her and arrived at the village entrance. (I thought it was the entrance to the village. At this point there was the beginning of a road). That youth pulled me and brought me from there. I had forgotten to take the bundle of clothes. From there on I lost consciousness. They said the distance was about a mile. Of the five people who had accompanied us from monastery, one stayed with us and the other four disappeared into the village.
15. There was a youth behind me. He said he had lost his cycle, and was afraid to return. He asked if he could follow me. He was a stout youth. Then there were two students. We were five altogether. When we arrived at the monastery junction, there was a small bridge about one and a half feet wide which crossed a stream. When they told me there was a bridge, I was blacking out off and on. I had no slippers or anything. Someone had slipped a pair on to my feet to avoid stepping on glass. My legs were not responding. All this was hurting badly. When we entered the monastery, the monk was in a sitting posture. He said he did not know what to do. He could not hire a car, the villagers were not to give any assistance, medics could not be sent for. “Come, come” he said to me and took me to a building at the back of the monastery where guests are housed. I was kept in one room. There I was sweating and loosing consciousness off and on. I did not hear anything at that time. It was about 8 or 8:30. The monk spoke to us and gave us healing water to drink. I was going blank off and on.
16. They said it was 2 O’clock when we heard the sound of motor vehicles. The monk was afraid they would be set their lights in this direction so he made me hold on to a small bag and took me outside to hide in the thicket that was between a small pond and the monastery. I think those were custard apple trees. He forced me hide there. He was afraid because I had on a white jacket and would be easily detected. The monk, the three youths and another monk went to see what was happening. I heard them saying how many were in which car. When I regained consciousness, some cars went towards the east; some went back towards the west. By this I mean towards Saipyin. In these cars there were dead people and those who had lost consciousness and those who needed blood. Our car, four other cars and one that was burnt were left. The monk’s car was burnt. I was not too far away and could hear some words and could not hear other words that were being shouted out. I cannot remember the car number or the number of cars.
17. When they were transporting the people, the monk came back and told us to sleep awhile. Just before that I heard the departing cars shout out “Mandalay Hill, Yankin Hill, Backing, Backing ”. This is their battle cry/symbol just like “Water, Fire, Water Fire” which they were yelling out while we were being beaten up. When the monk came to fetch me back, I could hardly move. Blood was sticky. One lady there brought two sets of clothes. She helped me to change into another sarong. I came out of the thicket with that on. It was very dark. I could not see if my clothes were wet or not. The candle was flickering and the light was not enough. Then at 3:30 the monk said we could not stay there. We better run. I told him to send us to a suitable place because my whole body was stiff, my hip was hurting very badly and my legs could not walk. But he insisted saying that he was anxious and this was not a safe place. He sent one monk to see us off. Of the three youths who were with me, only the boy who has asked me to let him follow me remained. I found the other two had left while I had a little sleep.
18. I said “Hpoun Hpoun (monk), all our money was stolen. Please assist us with some travel costs”. I don’t know if that monk belongs to the sect that will not handle money but he went and looked into the boxes in the monastery and produced about 1700 or 2000 Kyats and gave it to me. A young monk was told to see us off. When we got to the middle of the road, I asked and was told that I looked disheveled. My hair was all matted with dried blood. It could not be combed or tied. I put a clip into it. I was given a small scarf which I wrapped around my head. She also had a scarf around her head. Though she had no head injuries, the scarf was stained with another’s blood. My blue jacket was stained with blood. There was no blood on my sarong because I had changed it earlier. The blood on my jacket was from my head injuries. So I took off my jacket and threw it in the ditch near by and wore the shirt with a small collar that was given to me.
19. The youth who said he wanted to follow me pulled me along. We arrived at the train station at about 5 am. He said that we would not go into the station but sit in the bush nearby. I said that we could be recognized easily so let us mingle with the others in the station. We went to the vicinity of the station. We were hungry because we had not eaten from 2 pm the day before. we had not had a drink of water. “Sister, will you have tea?” he asked. I said our appearance was so dishelmed, I won’t drink. I asked him to buy me a banana. It was so hard to eat. I was choking. Our mouths smelled of blood and our bodies smeared with stale blood. It was not comfortable. I was in pain. To sit down, two youths had to assist. To stand up it was the same. I could walk. But to stand up or sit down I could not without help because of the pounding on my hip with the red brick. My head was spinning when I was sitting on the road and I blacked out often.
20. I told my companion " Little sister. I cannot manage anymore. I will move over to that hut over there." She did not want me to go. If I remained here and collapsed, it would be damaging. When I reached the hut, the people there could have been from the USDA. I am not sure. They were staring at me. I said I was sick and wanted to rest a while. I sat on a reclining chair... At that time these women were staring at me and I pretended not to see them. If this is the case these women might interfere. Last night there was an episode at Kyiywa. So I got up from there and went and sat on the road. The sun was getting hot, and I was still bleeding from the head wound. Flies were all over the place. My head was dizzy. The youths were talking to keep me aware and awake. Only at 8 the train arrived. It was a goods train. People around us were carrying bananas to put on the train. They came in carts. The door into the carriage is very high. It was as high as my chest.
21. They did not know how to get me into the train. My hand was alright so I clung to the door with my hand and young boy pushed me from my buttocks. That youth hugged me and helped me in. I could not sit like them on the floor. There was a seat at the side of me. Aunty is not well I said and placed myself on the seat. I was covered with flies all over my head. They were commenting about the smell. I was really unwell though I was not sick. I went blank - off and on. This train that left after 8 arrived at Monywa after noon. These youths said that they would go to the office. It will not be wise to do so. At the front of the office they will arrest us. We will go to the monastery; we said and hired 2 trishaws. One youth and I rode in one trishaw and the other two (let’s say, brother and sister) rode in the other. We arrived there.
22. When we arrived I said I would go. When I asked if the monk was in, they said no. The resident monk was not in. So I asked to see the monk that was in charge. We had not seen the monk from last night. They took us to a place in the monastery precincts and we had to go into the building straight away. We did not see the monk. When I met the monk I addressed him “Hpoun Hpoun (monk), please rescue your disciples. We were beaten up last night. Many of our party members have been killed.” the monk was shocked to see us. Then he said “Wait, wait”. The building where we were housed can be seen from the entrance gate. It is in a straight line. So it can be seen from the road. I was limping badly so we were taken into the monastery and concealed. The door was also locked.
23. We were in there, the four of us like brothers and insisters. We asked for food. The monk asked us what we wanted. Two of us had on large and damaged slippers, not our own. Don’t know how we got them. The other two also had no change of clothes and asked for help. A doctor was brought to us and we were also given clothes and food. The doctor attended to me that evening.
24. They all thought I must be very tough to be able to survive all this. I was beaten up by 3 people, two monks and 1 other person. I was not only beaten. My flesh was broken because I was poked with a stick. The joints in my hands were aching. In my ear, something burst. When I lifted my clothes and showed the doctor all the injuries, he was shocked and surprised at my stamina to have made it back so far. I was given two injections. He did not stitch the wounds in my head because it happened last night and it was now the evening after. He gave me medicine. Then a female career was sent to help us. We did not need that much attention and thanked them all and they went back. The doctor came on two days. We were 6 days at the monastery. After four days two others who escaped arrived.
25. We fled towards the north while they fled in this direction. But it was not a good thing. So they took shelter in one village after another and finally arrived at this monastery. They took about 3 to 4 days. They were also given medical treatment. After 7 days of our stay, the monk said not to come back, that Razali would come to Burma. If he should come here there will be lots of arrests and interrogations. Will we go back or we could return only after all that is finished... Monk would take responsibility. Our stay here would be too long. We did not know how many days Razali would stay. We said we would leave. So the monk said to take the last evening bus. After we had the daybreak meal one policeman came to the monk and told him that there was an interrogating team coming . There is a wanted woman and they will be searching for her till they find her. If you have her here, quietly remove her. The monk then told us to leave straight away and gave us 3000 Kyats.
26. One of the monks fetched a trishaw and instructed the driver how to get to the bus. It was raining so I was even given an umbrella and taken to the wicket gate to depart. The monk was anxious so he followed us in another cycle and helped us. From there we were taken to another place. At this time I thought about our plight. We were the victims who had been assaulted, and now facing arrest. We had no information about the cars that went ahead. Now we are afraid to return to our homes.
27. “This is something I have to say”. When we were at Madaya, our cars were stoned and the youth blood was spilt. Daw Suu reported it at the police station to open a case. Daw Suu gave a speech. She said that in one murder case, the offender is punished, but in another murder case, the offender gets away Scot free. She said she would pursue this matter in Rangoon and consult the lawyers. Now I look back at what she said. Here we did not commit any offence, our lives were at risk, some died and now I have to run like an absconder from justice, this is very distressing. Up to now they have taken no action against the culprit gangs but only picking on us. This is really astonishing. This is all I have to say.
28. Question –From where do you think were the people who beat you up?
I forgot to tell you this. When we were being beaten they said " we are building the bridges, and the roads on which you all are walking. Do you want to defy us the Soon Ah (Powerful and Strong). Is your Indian’s wife Aung San Suu Kyi making roads? What have you all done? You all walk on the roads that we built and do you want to challenge us." Soon Ah was among those who beat me. There could be some from USDA. I do not know. They said they were Soon Ah.
Then she showed us her wounds.