(News) Myanmar Army Accused AA Fired the Houses While Villagers Witnessing LIB 44 Soldiers Setting Fire Lakka Village in Rakhine State

60 Myanmar soldiers from LIB 44 set fire 192 houses in Lakka village at 1.45 PM on May 16. 
Sittway. My 18, 2020
Myanmar army’s ‘true news and information team’ issued a statement on May 17 and accused Arakan Army set fire houses and burnt down 20 houses and then ran away.

The witnessing villagers told Arakan Student Union and Radio Free Asian 60 soldiers from Light Infantry Division 44 set fire Lakka village at 1.45 PM on May 16. They said 194 houses including a middle school were burned down out of 302 houses. 

Lakka village is located at 7 miles to the northward from Maruk U town. 

The villager said, “Soldiers from LIB 44 are entering into the village about 2 PM and set fire the houses; they open all gasolines and set fire with it; these gasolines are reserved to use for (the machines) for farming in the raining season. No house will be left  now.”

AA Spokesperson Khin Thukha denied the army accusation and said Tatmadaw is covering up the war crimes they commit. He urges media to speak directly to the villagers for the true facts who set fire the village. 

Lakka village is full of tragedy. Myanmar army has arrested 27 villagers and charged with terrorist laws since last April. Three villagers including Thein Tun Sein, the causal laborer and husband of Ma Ahla, were tortured and killed in the military custody. The villagers are still trying for terrorist charges in the court in Sittway. 

All villagers took shelters in Murak U Buddhist temples aftermath of the arrest and killing last year. Beginning of this year, some villagers retuned back to the village and tried to rebuild the community. But the army fired hundred of houses again in the village.

Myanmar army set fire a half dozen of the villages in Kyauktaw and Minbya townships in this summer including Tin Ma and Pha Pyo villages. 

UN Security Council discussed last week on the increase of violent civilian causalities and massive displacements in Rakhine State. British and EU nations also called for an immediate, comprehensive and nationwide ceasefire during the UN-SC session. But Myanmar government lashed out the calls. 

Violence of Myanmar army are increasing in Rakhine State after State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi praised the military men who were fighting in Rakhine State against AA were brave and honorable. 

Villagers in Lakka are forced in position of helpless after the Tatmadaw statement. They cannot complain for the damages anywhere at all. 

Aches and ruin of Lakka village after the fire, and this photo was taken by the villager on April 17, 2020. 

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