Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Matupi

 

By MSU News

“Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of Noble Peace prize arriving into Matupi”

(The clash between Authority and Matupi pro-democracy supporter) 

 

Ms Aung San Suu Kyi visited Matupi Distict of Chin State in April 2003 and the Matupi people everywhere warmly welcomed her despite the fact that authorities had threatened them with severe consequences if they participated in welcoming Aung San Suu Kyi. Below is an interview of 10 members from Matupi town who participated in preparing the arrival of Aung San Suu Kyi to their town. Due to their roles in preparing for Suu Kyi’s visit in Matupi, they were sought for arrest by the Burmese army.

They are now seeking for asylum. 

(1) Name:              B.L Thang
Age :                     37 years old
Birth place :            Matupi
Religion :                Christian
Sex :                     Male
Ethnic group :          Chin
Marital status :        Married
Occupation :     Assistant Secretary ( National League For Democracy )

(2) Name:          Ling Ma
Age :                47 years
Birth place :      Matupi
Religion :          Christian
Sex :                Male
Ethnic group :   Chin
Marital status : Married
Occupation :     Member ( NLD )

3) Name:           Mai Hei
Age :                39
Birth Place:       Matupi
Religion:           Christian
Sex:                 Male
Ethnic group:    Chin
Marital status:   Married
Occupation:      NLD member

4) Name:           David Luai
Age:                 33 years
Birth Place:       Matupi
Religion:           Christian
Sex:                 Male
Ethnic group:    Chin
Marital status:   Married
Occupation:      Member ( NLD )

5) Name:           Pu Lawng Pan
Age:                 68 years
Birth Place:       Matupi
Religion:           Christian
Sex:                 Male
Ethnic group:    Chin
Occupation:      NLD Member

6) Name:           Khing Sai
Age:                 35
Birth Place:       Matupi
Religion:           Christian
Sex:                 Male
Ethnic group:    Chin
Marital status:   Married
Occupation:      In charge of Culture Department ( NLD )

7) Name :          Ba Hu ( Myo Chit )
Age:                 28 years
Place of Birth:   Matupi
Religion:           Christian
Sex:                 Male
Marital status:   Single
Occupation:      Student ( University of Mandalay )

8.) Name:           Mang Luan
Age:                 25 years
Place of Birth:   Matupi
Religion:           Christian
Sex:                 Male
Marital status:   Single
Occupation:      Student

9) Name:           Nga La
Age:                 30 years
Place of Birth:   Matupi
Religion:           Christian
Sex:                 Male
Marital status:   Single
Occupation:      Student

10) Name:         U Thang Ceu
Age:                 60 years
Place of Birth:   Matupi
Religion:           Christian
Sex:                 Male
Marital status:   Married
Occupation:      EC Member ( NLD )

            They leave Burma because of the story as; The opposition leader, Daw Aung San Su Kyi was scheduled to come to Matupi on 9th April, 2003 and the NLD party together with Matupi Students announced the forthcoming arrival of Daw Aung San Su Kyi to the public and told them to welcome her and listen to the speech made by her. The NLD party and Matupi Students were the two parties that should made avail of everything needed by Aung San Suu Kyi and her group during their stay in Matupi.

            She was to come on 9th of April but because of the disturbance of the military government, she could not come on that day and had to stay at Thilin for one day and on the next day, she arrived to Matupi at 1: 30 PM on 10th April, 2003. There were 6 people along with her and they came by two cars.

            At the instant, the government also organized a group that would destroy whatever plans we made for her arrival. The people that were included in a group by the government are:

1. U Min Zaw (Member of Block Peace and Development Council)

2. U Za Thi (Secretary, Township Peace and Development Council)

3. U Cang Va (Immigration Officer)

4. U Tun Sein (Township Law and Justice Officer)

5. Dr.Ro Uk (Township Health Officer)

6. Name (unknown) (Education officer)

            Above group always investigated what we did, where we lived and what we planned and reported back to Military Intelligence. The government also gave the warning notice that no one would welcome Daw Aung San Su Kyi.

            Just before the arrival of Aung San Suu Kyi, the military Government sent Thura Aye Myint, the Sport Minister of SPDC to Matupi. He gathered the representatives from various groups, organizations and Churches except NLD party and Matupi Students and gave them Ks.50, 000 each and the second-hand clothing. At the mean time, he told them that no one would welcome Daw Aung San Su Kyi and her party. When the NLD party and Matupi students came to know about this, they persuaded the public to welcome her no matter what. When the government knew about our effort, they collected the names of the members of NLD and Matupi students secretly.

            Daw Aung San Su Kyi got Matupi on 10th April and on the very same day the deputy Minister of Religion Thura Aung Ko arrived too. There were only 28 people to welcome him as all the people went to welcome Daw Aung San Su Kyi. As per the plan, they told the public to welcome Thura Aung Ko and when they saw only very few people they were greatly annoyed and they made a plan to arrest the members of NLD and Matupi Students who were involved in persuading the public to welcome Daw Aung San Su Kyi. As soon as she arrived in Matupi, all the pastors made the mass prayer and they went to NLD office and made the ceremony of re-opening of NLD office. Then she gave the speech to the public. While she was giving the speech, the military junta cut all the power and telephone lines.

          At first, we announced that no one would take video and photos the occasion as it would later make harm to the people seen in the video by the junta. When we saw three people taking the video of the event, the steward duty snatched that video camera and kept the video camera at the NLD office. Later, the Military Intelligence claimed that the cameras were of them and accused us of stealing their cameras. Regarding about this there is big problem between us and they did not give chance to explain the fact.  After the speech Daw Aung San Su Kyi continued her trip to Mindat at 4:30 Pm on the same day.

            After the skirmish between the pro-junta and the followers of Daw Aung San Su Kyi at Depeyin on May 30, the sixth people group organized by the junta called eight EC members of NLD on June 2 and threatened us to close down the NLD office in Matupi. After that threat, we closed the NLD office.

            Then on 4th June 2003 at 12:00 pm the military government issued the order to arrest those who were involved in arranging the welcoming of Daw Aung San Su Kyi and her party. On that night the secretary of NLD, Pu Aung Thang, youth security president of NLD, U Thla Mu and the president of Chin students, Salai Pa Thang were arrested. On the next morning, they were sent to Mandalay. On June 17th 2003, they were given the 10 years sentence each. Nobody knows about them since then.

            Secondly, they know they will arrested and have to manage to flee from Burma. After we knew that the above three people were arrested, all the people who were involved in the welcoming activities of Daw Aung San Su Kyi hided in the forest. On the next night, the soldiers and police came to our respective houses to arrest us. The police and soldiers who came were Hung Thang (Police Officer), Van Kung (Police), U Ki Tung (Police Officer) and the rest were other five Burmese soldiers. They took all the national identification cards and ration cards and our wives were told to come and sign at the police office on every one month since we were not there when they came to arrest us. And they also told our wives that they could arrest and send them to jail instead of us whenever they like. They took advantage of our absence and asked money frequently and if they didn’t have to give, they got them to borrow from others.

            Thirdly, they fled to India. As India is the nearest neighboring country from Burma and the largest democracy country in the world and we took that it would be the safest place for us. We set forth from Matupi to Lehring, then Sakhing, then Bava, then Darling and then Sapi . Sapi is the Mizoram state of India. Then we again went to Tuipang and then to Lawngtlai. Then, from Lawngtlai to Aizawl. From Aizawl to Gawahati and the last destination is New Delhi. All of us who fled to New Delhi are ten altogether.

            Fourthly, the situation of survival in New Delhi, NLD (LA) (Exile) gives us Rs.500 each and we get Rs.5000 from them. We give Rs.2000 for renting a room and Rs.800 for water and electricity bill and the remaining Rs 2200 for food. It is not enough for us to survive and we collected the unwanted vegetables thrown in the market place at nights. Now we are applying refugee status from UNHCR in New Delhi.

Note:  The credit of this article should be given to CHRO for able to reached Matupi people who involved during ASSK trip to Matupi.

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