Saturday, September 26, 2009
AFFIDAVIT OF WUNNA MAUNG
, Wunna Maung, hearby swear under oath that:
1. I am a citizen of Burma, holding National Identification Card No-9/MCS- (N) 003840. I was born on March 16, 1977. My parents are U Kyaw Maung and Daw Tin Win. I live in Htundone Myo Thit, Chan Mya Thar Zi township, Mandalay. I make this affidavit in support of my statement on Depayin Massacre, Burma, took place on May 30, 2003.
2. I had applied for a membership in the Mandalay National League for Democracy (NLD) Youths. The NLD Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo himself said that we had been accepted as members. He continued to say that membership cards had not been issued to anyone due to prevailing situation and told us to continue to implement the Party's programs. As I had been elected by youths of Htundone Ward, I had to serve as Htundone Township Youth Organizer.
3. For the organizing trip of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to Upper Burma, I had to serve as a youth security officer, according to the duty entrusted to me by Mandalay Division NLD. By security duty, it was meant that, the ones holding the duty had to take the responsibility of keeping a close watch on the travelling party during the whole journey in order to guard against any danger that might befall. Daw Suu entrusted security duty for the organizing trips within Mandalay Division to Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt, an elected MP of Sagaing Township Constituency No.2 in Mandalay Division.
Accordingly, Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt, in turn, entrusted Youths of Mandalay Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest Townships, the duty to serve as reserve security units. For the security of Daw Suu, there were 17 members of Central Headquarters Youths who had accompanied Daw Suu from Rangoon. Whenever there was a break in the journey for rest, the Central Youths members took up position as the inner tier of security while Mandalay Township Youths members took up position as the outer tier.
4. Even before we started on the journey, we had learned that bamboo clubs troops units had been formed at the township USDA offices and training was being given with Ya-Ya-Ka chairmen serving as battalion commanders. We also learned that villagers were ordered, under a different pretext, to furnish meal packets for these trainees. For that reason, before departure on the journey, Daw Suu advised us to absolutely avoid any words or behavior that might lead to confrontation with the dictators.
5. On May 29, at about 9 am, the long line of cars and motorcycles started out in a convoy from the back of 38th Street and drove along the 84th Street. In the car I was riding in, there were Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt, Ko Aye Win, Ko Wunna, Mandalay Northwest Township Secretary U Hla Than, Ko Aung Ko, Daw Khin Aye Myint, Daw Nyunt Nyunt, and Ko Thein Zaw. To serve as a scout, a car drove at a distance ahead of the main party. The party arrived at Sagaing, at about 10: 30 am.
6. At a bend before entering Sagaing Town and after passing over Sagaing Bridge, we saw, on both sides of the road, a group of about 600 people, holding placards with slogans, "We don't want people, who don't support USDA," and they were also chanting the slogans. At a moderate distance behind the group was a large crowd of people who were welcoming Daw Suu. When we saw the people in strength welcoming and supporting us enthusiastically, we also joyously responded to their greetings. To the shouts of " Long live Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Ba Ba U Tin Oo," we shouted in response, "Long live the people," and so on. The party did not take time to enter Sagaing Town and went on straight to Myinmu Town. The party reached Myinmu at about 12 noon and Daw Suu presided over the ceremony of installing the signboard and opening of Myinmu Township NLD office. After that, the Upper Burma Youth Organizer, Ko Tin Tun, presided over formation of Myinmu Township NLD Youths.
7. At about 3 pm, the party started to leave for Monywa Town. On the way we found more and more people in cars and on motorcycles coming to meet us. The party drove on in an orderly way and started to reach the entrance to Monywa at about 6 pm. As the crowd of people, coming to meet Daw Su in the town was so big that we could not reach the clock tower in the center of town, until 9:30 pm. In Monywa Daw Su addressed to the town elders and people for about 45 minutes and then the party retired for the night in Monywa Town. Daw Su slept in the house of one of the MP elects and the rest of the party found other places to retire.
8. On May 30, the party started to leave from Monywa for Butalin Town at 10:30 am. At the beginning of the journey, 10 cars and about 150 motorcycles from Monya escorted the party. On reaching Butalin, the ceremony for installing the signboard and opening Butalin NLD Township office was held and Butalin NLD Youths was formed. At about 4:30 pm, the party started to leave Butalin for Depayin Town. On the way at Saing-pyin, Daw Su stopped to meet local NLD members and family members of U Win Myint Aung, an MP-elect, who had been held in prison, to give a word of encouragement and comfort. Before reaching Depayin, as the scout car going ahead of the party failed to return, motorcycle riders were sent to find out about the situation. However, the motorcycle riders also did not return.
9. At the exit of Monywa, our group, including Chairman U Tin Oo and Daw Su, went in to Zawti-ka Monastery of Monywa for paying respect to the abbot. However, the abbot was away and we continued our journey to Budalin. As we continued our journey, it was about 8:30 pm when we reached a place, near Kyi Village, between Saingpyin and Depayin, where the incident took place. At that time, there was only a car between the car we were in and Daw Suu's car. Daw Suu's car was at the forefront and in the middle was a car in which U Tun Win (from Zaygyo) and U Khin Maung Thaung were riding. Ours was the third car, which was (Hilux model, green color). Behind our car was that of MP-elect, Dr. Hla Soe Nyunt's (Sunny, white color). Behind that was the car of Central Youths (Hilux, white color) and behind the Central Youths' car was that of Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo's (micro-bus), and then cars of the NLD members, all in a line. After passing Kyee Village for about 300 feet, two Buddhist monks blocked the way stopping the vehicle in which Daw Suu was riding. At that moment, Ko Tun Zaw Zaw got off from the car and, when he inquired about the reason, the two monks said, "We have been waiting for a long time. Ask Daw Suu to give a speech." In response, Ko Tun Zaw Zaw explained that the "request could not be complied with as there was no time." While he was still explaining, two Dyna and two Torlagi trucks, altogether 4 trucks, full of people, came towards us from Monywa side. The people in the trucks, shouting over and over, the slogan, "Oppose those Relying on external forces, act as stooges; holders of negative views," alighted from the vehicles. At that moment, villagers from Kyi shouted, "We, the people in return don't want you!" At that, the USDA members and their cohorts from the trucks shouted, "What are you saying?" And with that, they started attack on the villagers with irons spike, iron bars, bamboo clubs and wooden clubs, which they had brought with them, and we had to witness the incident helplessly with a bleeding heart. At that time, as a Dyna truck also was trying to run over anyone in sight, the Kyi villagers who had come to receive us, had to run in disorder. When the two monks, who blocked Daw Suu's car for a speech, were asked to stop what was happening, they said, "We won't be able to do anything," and "You may also drive on." Just at that moment, our cars started to come under attack. I took responsibility for security on the right side of Daw Suu's car. The disposition for security was that I was close to the right side of the body of Daw Suu's car. There was no one behind me. We were standing in a line side by side. As the cars were parked close to the right side of the road, there were only one or two of us on that side. Two monks, with red cloth wrapped around the arm down to the elbow, were standing close to us. They were not the initial two monks who had blocked the way. At that moment, we saw that all the cars behind were being battered by packs of attackers. We, members of security unit, were standing from two to three tiers on the left side to cover Daw Suu's car. All the USDA members and their hired hands, attacking our cars were drunk. We learned later that from the time of departure from Monywa, a half-drum, full of liquor, was put on their car, and anyone in the car was allowed to drink as much liquor as he wished.
10. For that reason, when they attacked our cars they did it inhumanly and they shouted also, "Are you death-defying force for Kala1 woman? If so die!" So shouting, they brutally struck down the youths. As there were few people on the right side of the car, the attackers concentrated their attack on the left side, and thus I escaped from the beating. When people on the other side of Daw Suu's car fell, the attackers struck down glass windows of the car. When the glasses were broken, they jabbed into the cars with the rods they were carrying. At that time we who remained shouted, "Daw Su, do run, run!" In the car, there were the driver, Kyaw Soe Lin, Ko Tun Zaw Zaw and Daw Su, only three. In the rear also, they attacked U Tin Oo's car in a pack, and I saw them seizing and taking away U Tin Oo. At that time, U Tin Oo was wounded on the head. Daw Suu escaped beating, because she did not get out of the car. If she did, the attackers would beat her to death, because the Sketch of the scene of the first killing field near Kyi village. attackers were totally drunk. They did not look like they were drunk on liquor but they looked like as if they were high on drugs. While the situation was in confusion, the attackers arrived near our car and in a pack, they rushed on to attack Daw Suu's car. They knew that we would not resist and I think, for that reason, they beat up with greater force and killed more.
11. They also beat up women in the third car (Hilux, green color), after pulling off their blouses and sarongs. When the victims covered in blood fell to the ground, I saw the attackers jumped on to them and wrapped the hair around their hands and pounded the heads against stone surface of the road, with all the force. I saw them behaving most inhumanly. I saw with my own eyes, earrings being forcibly taken from a woman who had fallen to the ground (Thanda Soe, second year student). The attackers uttered such base and sordid words like "You woman, wanting to be Kalas' wives, go ahead die! Before Kala, we will make you our wives. We have to build roads, repair roads, repair bridges and you want to be wives to Kala - die, die!" and went on brutally beating and attacking until the victims were dead. As the cars in the back kept their full headlights on, we saw all that happened. From my mind, I still cannot get rid of the sight of people, covered in blood, being beaten mercilessly and inhumanly.
12. After Daw Suu's car left, we also ran away. There were people fleeing on motorcycles and on foot. We were three, including a young monk. After running for a considerable distance, we could no longer continue to run. At that time, as we saw a car coming from behind and flagged it down. It happened to be a car from our group. All the three of us climbed onto the bonnet of the car.
Before we drove for long, we saw a group of USDA members and their henchmen waiting for us on the way. We also saw about 40-50 motorcycles being beaten. Hence, we had to turn around and run back. It was only about 10-minute drive from the place we were first beaten and to the place where they were waiting. We also saw traffic police from a distance. As there was no escape for us going forward or backward, we wheeled down to the side of the road at a place that seemed to be a branch road. However, it turned out to be a ditch. The car got stuck in the mud. All the people got off and gave a push. At first, it moved a bit. After moving forward for a while, the car got stuck entirely in a ditch. No amount of pushing moved the car. As we had not had our meal and as we had to run from the killing, we became completely exhausted and could no longer push the car. There were about 18 of us who had been in the car. We were members of Youths from Mandalay who had taken responsibility for security, including the Upper Burma Youth Affairs Officer Ko Tin Tun Oo, Deputy Officer Ko Myo Naing, Joint Officer Ko Hla Oo and Central Youth Ko Thein Soe. We could no longer cared about the car and all of us tried to flee, away from the danger. Fortunately, the place we came to turned out to be a big bush. In our flight, Ko Tin Htut Oo and Ko Myo Naing failed to come with us. We saw there the people, who had fled before us. We find ourselves to be a total of 97 persons and 49 motorcycles. The ones we met were girl and boy students from Monywa and Sagaing, who had come with our convoy. The counting was done, of course, only in the morning. Two among the group turned out to be members of the gang that had attacked us, supposedly on the bidding of the USDA. They told us about themselves not because we asked them. They revealed their identity on their own volition. They explained, "We had never done such a thing in our life and since we could not bear to do such a thing, we came fleeing with you."
13. After counting all the persons and motorcycles, on the morning of May 31, we all went towards the main road at 5:00 am. At first, the motorcycles were forbidden from getting on to the main road but without success. They stubbornly went on to the main road. Ko Chit Yin and I remained behind. Among those who went on to the road was Ko Hla Oo. His head was fractured and his hand was broken. The police from their car fired guns to stop the motorcycles, which got on to the road. We could see from a distance the motorcycles that ran on to the road. At that time, we heard 7 gunshots. The one who saw all the happenings was Thanda Soe, as she had been on a tree near the road, in the flight from danger, starting from the previous night. From her place in the tree, she was able to see all that happened on that morning. Three novice monks and Thanda Soe were about to get on to the road, but as I called out to them, they turned around and returned to us. Ma Thanda Soe was from Mandalay and we had been in the same car. She was a second-year student. There were about 20 women who came all the way from Mandalay. At the time of reassembling, we found that the car, in which Pone Pone and Khin Ma Ma Tun were riding, was missing. We did not know where the rest of the women were.
14. As we did not get on to the road and just walked across the paddy fields, we reached a village called Yin-dwai. As the villagers fed us, we ate and took rest for a while. At that moment, as a child who came back from outside said to us that the village headman was asking about us, we started to set out from the village. After leaving the village and walking in the fields for about 30 minutes in time, we met six other villagers. Those people took us to their field huts and looked after us for a night.
15. On June 1, at 5:00 am, we started out from a villager's field. I put on clothes of the farmers I met on the way, with which I exchanged my Kachin sarong and white shirt. A villager showed us the way, until we reached Hsin Inn Village in Shwebo Township. That villager had sent us for about 15 miles, and until we got to Hsin Inn, we had to walk through villages. We rode in a car from Hsin Inn to Shwebo. At Shwebo, I put up at a friend's house, temporarily. While in Shwebo, I met 8 persons who had come back from Depayin attack. They said, "While we were looking for jobs, a person took us to the USDA office. We were told that we would get 800 Kyat as daily wages, meals and liquor, and the job was to gang up and beat up a group of people." "As we were afraid of the officers in that office, we said 'Yes,' and gave our promise," explained the participants in the attack.
16. With regard to furnishing liquor, we saw about it from the time we got to Saingpyin. I left Shwebo at about 1:00 pm by bus to Mandalay, and reached Mandalay at about 3:30 pm.
Dated - July 4, 2003
Sworn to before me on
this 4th of July, 2003