Saturday, September 26, 2009
AFFIDAVIT OF PO ZAW
I, Maung Po Zaw, hearby swear under oath that
1. I, son of U Than Maung and Daw Mya Kyin, am a citizen of Burma, holding National Identification Card No Ma Ma Na (Naing) 139877. I am 23 years old residing at Ba Ba Lay Ward, Mya-yi-nanda Myothit Town, Mandalay, Burma.
2. I had never been involved in politics. I applied for membership in the NLD only two weeks before Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's trip to Mandalay. While Daw Suu1 was staying in Mandalay, I was given nighttime security duty for two nights. Daw Suu came to Mandalay on May 26. On the next day on May 27, she went to Dada U. During Dada U trip, persons who took security duty with me included Ko Win Kyi, Ko Pone Myint Zaw, Ko Wunna Maung, Ko Aye Win, Ko Yeh Min San, U Myint and Ko Soe. I went together with Zaw Zaw Aung, Ko Tin Aung Myint and U Tway from Southwest Township on May 29 for Mandalay-Monywa trip. On that trip, I did not take security duty for Daw Suu. Due to shortage of vehicle, only two from each township were allowed to come for security duty. However, responsible persons explained that some could come on their own expenses. Accordingly, some went with the traveling party on their own arrangement. On the Mandalay-Monywa trip, the main responsibility for Daw Suu's security was taken by members of the NLD Central Youths.
3. The Mandalay NLD members and the people who went with Daw Suu on the trip were transported in a total of about 20-30 cars and motorcycles. The car I rode in was a 'Sunny', pickup truck. In the journey from Mandalay to Sagaing, there was nothing particular, initially. However, after passing Sagaing Bridge, we started to see a crowd of about 100 people and heard them shouting, "We don't want Daw Aung San Suu Kyi." We continued to travel from Sagaing to Myinmu. We reached Myinmu after 12:00 noon. In Myinmu, the activities of installing the signboard and opening of Myinmu Township NLD office, and formation of Youths were made. We continued our journey from Myinmu at about 3:00 p.m. Before reaching Chaung U, we saw a crowd of about 170 to 180 people, holding placards, near Ye Bu Sun Village. That crowd started to hurl abuses and provoke by poking placards into the cars. On the placards were the slogans saying, "Relying on external elements, acting as stooges, NLD we don't want" etc. Consequently, the people from Myinmu who had come with the party and the Sanghas2 from Monywa who had come to welcome us, requested them not to do like that. However, the placard bearers did not listen. They even started to increase their behaviors of provocation. At that time, there were police cars and authorities were among he bushes on the left side of the road. They did not try to settle the squabble between the Sanghas and the placard bearers, and just kept on watching. When the Sanghas could not prevent the acts of provocation, they started punching the placard bearers, who then turned around and departed. At the place of that incident, there were no villagers or other people. As we continued on our journey, the noisy protesters followed behind us in their own cars. At a village (name unknown) on the way between Myinmu and Monywa, we learned from the villagers that the authorities had ordered the local population not to go out and welcome Daw Suu, when she came. At that village, we saw a number of people who were systematically lined up for protest against Daw Suu. Behind the line of people, there were two policemen in uniform, keeping watch. On the village entrance road, we saw a number of traffic policemen. Though the villagers were ordered not to come out to the road and welcome Daw Suu, they ignored the order and the entire village came out to welcome her. At that time, when the protesters saw the villagers and Sanghas in force, they remained silent, put down their placards and kept their heads bowed. I saw that, persons in the cars tailing behind our convoy were taking, with video and still cameras, pictures of the villagers clapping their hands and greeting us.
4. From Chaung U to the entrance of Monywa, I saw people on 200-300 motorcycles from Monywa coming out to welcome Daw Suu. Those cars and motorcycles drove systematically keeping to their own lanes. In Monywa, as the authorities had cut off power for the whole town, the people gave our party a candle-lit welcome. We reached Monywa at about 6:00 p.m. At about 10:30 – 11 p.m. ceremony for installing the signboard and opening of Monywa Township NLD office was performed. At about 9:00 am on May 30, the party went to Zawtika monastery of Monywa to pay respect to the abbot, but as the abbot was away, we failed to see him. Therefore, we left for Butalin Town. Before our cars left Monywa, I saw on the left of our car, a police inspector and people with meal packs, in a Mandalay-Monywa bus (converted Dyna truck), who were going to hold protest against Daw Suu. According to a schoolteacher of Monywa, people who offered themselves to protest against Daw Suu were given free meals and 500 Kyat3 per day. At the time of departure from Monywa, there were about 12 cars of Daw Suu and NLD members. Behind our car was the car, in which the women NLD members were riding, and in the front seat of it was Daw Win Mya Mya and about 12 men and women were in the back. Monks and novices were in the last car.
5. When we left Monywa, there was still nothing unusual. On arrival in Butalin, the ceremonies for installing signboard, opening Butalin Township NLD office and formation of NLD Youths were performed. From there, we left for Saingpyin at about 6:00 p.m. In Saingpyin, Daw Suu give a speech for about 30 minutes. Then, we left for Depehyin. At that time, there were 9 cars in front of our car and 2 behind. When we arrived near Pyankya Village, I saw about 20 busses, each of which could carry 40 persons, trailing at a moderate distance behind our convoy. When we arrived near Kyi Village, 2 monks stopped the car in which Daw Suu was riding and advised Daw Suu to give a speech. Then I saw Central Youths security detail leader appealing for pardon, as no speech could be given due to lack of time. Then, the cars moved on a little. At that time, protesters trailing at a distance behind us got off their cars and started to attack the local people with wooden bats, pointed iron rods, iron bars and bamboo sticks which they had brought with them. Daw Suu told our cars to stop. While the attack was in progress, 3-4 villagers shouted, " Daw Suu please help us!" and arrived at the place where our cars were. At that time, when Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt asked help from the two monks, they replied that it was impossible. On that day, the local authorities had come in advance and forbidden, with threats or with a promise to make offerings, all monks of the monasteries near Kyi village, to go out and welcome Daw Suu and NLD members when they arrived, give assistance or come out even if any problem arose. The monk explained that as they were forbidden like that help could not be obtained and that all communication lines had been sealed.
6. In order to document the beating of villagers on the video, attempt was made to line up the motorcycles and light up the area with their headlights. In the light from the motorcycles, we saw the attackers holding up wooden bats, iron bars, pointed iron rods bamboo sticks and shouting. At that moment, the sound of a whistle was heard, and led by monks in red armbands, they shouted and charged towards us. While we were still dumbstruck on seeing the charge, they started attacking the last pickup truck, in which the monks and novices were.
7. After that, I saw them attacked almost simultaneously the car in which Daw Win Mya Mya and the women were riding. As things were happening like that, some got off from the cars and ran into the fields and some along the road. As people were running in all directions, our convoy of cars, including the car of Daw Suu, remained behind. At the same time, there was shouting that Daw Suu's car was under attack, and the crowd of people, which was in the front turned around and came back. While the crowd reached near Daw Suu's car, I saw the car dash out from the pack attacking it. On the car, I saw 8-9 members of Central Youths standing on steps on the sides of the car, facing one another with linked hands, and giving protection. As others cars started to follow Daw Suu's car immediately, those running jumped on to the nearest car. As the car was full, I climbed on to the roof. As we drove on for about 10 minutes, because of the sound of our cars, the cars systematically parked in the fields on the left and right sides of the roads, turned on their headlights simultaneously. As I was on the roof of the car, I could see in the light from the headlights people with bats, iron bars, bamboo sticks and pointed iron rods, waiting ready for us. When Daw Suu's car reached among the waiting attackers, they fling at the car with sticks, brickbats and iron bars they were holding in their hands and shot at it with catapults. In a pack, the ones in range also hit at it.
8. At the time when Daw Suu's car passed through the attacking crowd, our car started to enter it. Just as our car tried to rush through the crowd, a Dyna truck parked on the side of the road for the purpose of blocking charged in to hit our car. While trying to avoid collision, our car fell off the side of the road and arrived at the front of the crowd. While our car was veering, I jumped off from the roof on to the ground. While our car veered round to get back on the road, I managed to get in at the back of the car, after catching the rails on the sides. While I was trying to get back in the car, a stick thrown at me hit me in my back. The canvas sheets covering the sides of the car were taken down while the car was driving on. We were beaten for about 2 minutes by the attacking crowd. As people in the back of the car were lying flat on the floor, only persons on top got most of the beating. After driving for a few minutes, we reached Depayin hospital. The members of the NLD Youths did not respond in kind the terrorist attack made by the crowd waiting in readiness. Daw Suu had told us that if we were wearing the NLD uniform of white shirt and Kachin Sarong, we had to bear with a bowed head, whatever was done to us, and must not retaliate.
9. When we arrived at Depayin hospital, from our group Ko Soe (arm, knee, foot), Ko Myint U(head fractured), A student from Monywa, name unknown, (head fractured), Rev. Ashinpyinnya Depa, a monk from Yankin monastery (fractured head and elbow), 2 women NLD members from Monywa, names unknown (wounds in the head), Ko Myint Soe of Saingpyin Village, who had run away from the incident, and a person from Mandalay Southwest Township. All had to be treated as in-patients as the injuries were serious, except the one from Mandalay Southwest Township, whose injuries were light. On the second day of having treatment at the hospital, May 31, 2 traffic policemen came and took away the car driver. Then a police inspector and a policeman arrived on a motorcycle. They came to get the list of in-patients at the hospital from township hospital doctor. The patients were checked against the list and addresses of the patients were noted down.
10. After the list of patients was taken, Ko Soe said to me, "They've taken the patient list, but your name is not on it. So, you'd better leave and inform responsible persons." At about 5:00 p.m., the police inspector and 5 policemen came again to the hospital, in a car. All the people on the list were taken for detention. After sleeping 2 nights and staying 3 days, on June 1 at 3:00 in the morning, I left the hospital, with a friend, for Depayin railway station. On arrival at the station, my friend and I bought train tickets and took the train to Monywa. We arrived at Monya at 10:00 a.m. After arriving in Monywa, I went round and inquired about the bus to go on to Mandalay. I found out that busses were banned for 10 days from going to Mandalay starting from May 30, and there was night time curfew in Monywa. I arrived back Mandalay on June 1 at 6:00 p.m.
Dated - July 4, 2003
Sworn to before me on
this 4th of July, 2003