Burmese Military Unit Arrests Pastor

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

RANGOON, BURMA (Worthy News)-- A government military unit assigned to clear a road assaulted and then arrested five men including a pastor of the Catholic Association.

Pastor Jan Ma Aung Li and the others were from Nam San Yang village in the Bhamo District of Kachin State, located about 15 miles from Laiza, the home of the Kachin Independence Organization headquarters. Because Li's village was close to enemy headquarters, the government soldiers accused them of being militiamen and KIO staff; when Li and the others couldn't answer questions about hidden militia weapons cashes, the soldiers beat them with their rifle butts.

After the improptu interogation, the soldiers tied the hands of the men with wire and took them with them along the route, but after several hours, the soldiers decided to untie them so that they could carry their rucksacks.

When Li and the others arrived at Lawkathama Monastery, a firefight broke out between the KIO and government troops; after the battle was over, the men were released, but returned home to their village via a jungle path.

When Li and the others arrived back in their village, they discovered that their homes had been set on fire, so they fled to Laiza.