I shut down the social networking site and sat back in my wheelchair. I put the telephone in my hand on my chest for a moment.
The thought came to me, “Every ethnic group in the world has struggled to survive on its own.” In a statement issued by the Chin National Advisory Council on Chin National Day on 20 February, the message urging the Chin people to work for the establishment of a united Chin state made me think again. My thoughts are back to 1993. I hurried back to Kyon Sein village near Donthami creek in Hpa-an Township, Kayin State.
The water in the stream at the bottom of the hill was very cold.
I sat and talked with some Kyon Sein villagers last night and got up late in the morning because it was late at night. As I descended the hill to freshen up in Sanchaung, DKBA Brigade Commander Bo Thein Soe followed me.
Bo Thein Soe (fallen) was a Karen military officer in his 30s. Brigade 1 Brigade Commander Brigadier General Kyaw Lin was a Karen Revolutionary Army officer who provided me with security and road support when I visited villages across the area. He was accompanied by a Karen soldier called Wae Sa (Fallen). I am a field correspondent for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) in Hpa-an, Thaton and Hpapun townships known as Brigade 1.
While I was getting a new face in Chaungsap, Bo Thein Soe was getting a new face with Sanchaung water next to me. At that moment, two loud explosions were heard from Kyon Sein village.
Bo Thein Soe pulled out a carbine from a bamboo grove and ran up the hill. When we reached the top of the hill, we looked at Kyon Sein village and heard screams and dogs barking. Smoke is also rising.
“These men fired heavy weapons into the village,” he said. We will go down, Ko Nyein. ”
When the three of us reached the footpath at the foot of the hill, we were confronted by a crowd fleeing the village about 20 yards away. The crowd was still standing when they saw us on the street. Only after Bo Thein Soe shouted like a Karen did people run ahead. At the same time, gunfire could be heard in the village, and the villagers ran ahead. The three of us had to run with the villagers.
I noticed a villager in his thirties fleeing. He is not wearing a shirt. On the bare back is an old Madeleine handkerchief. There is also an old scarf. Inside the scarlet, I could clearly see the puppy’s protruding head.
Ever since I saw this scene, I have been fascinated by this unique Kyon Sein villager. Unlike other people, he did not bring any food, blankets, or clothes, and ran away carrying only a puppy with a single hand.
Villagers fleeing artillery shelling in Kyon Sein village (1993)
Our fleeing crowd stopped by a small stream that began to dry up in the Kyon Sein Reserve. Bo Thein Soe, also a resident of Kyon Sein village, housed the villagers near Chaung Kale. Before sunset, look for a place where there is water. He explained that the villagers should share dinner with each other and spend the night here. Comrade Lay Wae Sa and I conducted a census. All the people were sitting in groups under the bamboo trees.
This morning, Bo Thein Soe told me that he had received a bone-collecting funeral in Kyon Sein village. There is an army battalion camp on the other side of Donthami creek next to the village. The army demanded that three pounds of pork be delivered to the base at 8 a.m. this morning. Due to the funeral, the army could not deliver the three pounds of pork requested for more than eight hours. The army fired two 60 mm artillery shells into the village, prompting villagers to flee to a nearby forest.
He said the area was safe because enemy government troops could not suddenly arrive. Bo Thein Soe explained to me that it was not yet known what the casualties would be.
It is a place where the enemy can not come, so people prepare their place. Comrade Wae Sa and I spread dried leaves under a bamboo tree. As the house was being prepared, the sun’s rays quickly receded and the moon began to set on the forest.
I fell asleep with my head on my backpack and woke up from something. When I shook my body a little, the moonlight on my body jumped down and down. The moonlight falls on a stream in the forest. When everyone is asleep and the moon is shining, I hear a medallion