June 15 2021
Regarding Military Council’s announcement in its newspaper of the murder in Wawlay, Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) Military Chief explained that those murdered bridge-construction workers Military Council is talking about were not civilians but the soldiers, and they were killed due to their intelligence in ethnic-controlled areas.
KNDO Military Chief Colonel Nerdah Mya replied as mentioned above upon KIC’s question with respect to Military Council’s announcement that KNDO killed 25 innocent civilians working in Uhu Bridge construction site (as a Myawaddy District Development Project) on Kanellay-Mawkhee Road within Wawlay on May 31.
“Military Council stated all of them are civilians. This is totally false. They all are soldiers. Aiming to avoid unnecessary disturbance, these soldiers were sent along with their families. We told them not to build the bridge during this period. They replied that they were constructing in accord with superior instruction. Actually, they were reporting what we were doing. In fact, we don’t want to arrest them. But if not, we would no longer be safe. Shortly after the arrest, the military troops started their shooting. Their attack caused their people hurt as well. Therefore, we had to keep their children safe,” KNDO Military Chief told KIC on June 14.
Although KNDO frequently warns of not performing such kind of Regional Development Projects during this unstable period, Military Council is constantly sending their forces as the construction workers for territorial control and local information transmission.
KNDO arrested the military personnel and also seized military uniforms, military symbolic badges, position badges, flags and reporting phones.
He added that as a matter of fact, these bridge construction workers are military engineers. Since after the arrest, military troops had attacked KNDO Base with artilleries and the BGF members were also helping military troops.
“They could make deals with us upon their arrested personnel. We were okay to discuss for release. They really got the chance to ask for release through sound evidences that such personnel were innocent civilians. However, before such personnel had not given the given the chance to be questioned yet, military troops started constant shooting with heavy weapons for two days,” told Colonel Saw Nerdah Mya.
Since Military Council started shooting during interrogation, two arrested personnel ran away and later KNDO released the others, including women and children. There were also casualties on KNDO side during the fighting.
However, Military Council stated in its media that the innocent 47 civilians had been working in Uhu bridge construction site on Kanellay-Mawkhee Road of Wawlay aiming to improve regional development and transportation within Myawaddy District, Kayin State, and then a group with KNDO members, led by Captain Saw Phar Wah, arrested these 47 workers for no reason and killed some in a cruel way. Moreover, it stated that a total of 22 arrested personnel, including 6 men, 6 women and 10 children, were released and another 25 were found dead so the military troops had been trying to investigate the cruel murder upon the innocent civilians and to make necessary security arrangements.
Wawlay of Myawaddy District is located in Duplaya District, Brigade 6 of Karen National Union (KNU). “Since is the military affairs, we have ordered the Brigade to collect the data and report to GHQ and GOC. On the other hand, our District also has already reported to the headquarter,” a responsible person of KNU Duplaya District told KIC.
Out of a total 14 departments of KNU, Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) are military organizations and therefore the responsible persons from headquarters and respective district office are still investigating the happenings.