By Dr. Maung Zarni
Myanmar Government-backed 969 – now “Defence of Buddhism and Race League” – manufactured “Buddhist-woman-raped-by-a-Muslim” story to incite religious violence in Mandalay
“I am not ashamed of having been raped by a fellow Bama and Justice Department staff, but I am ashamed that monks and other (anti-Muslim) groups are distorting and using my rape story to create religious conflicts in my hometown of Mandalay.”
Ma Hae Mar Kyaw (17), a Mandalay rape victim, Press Conference in Mandalay, 3 July 2014.
The gist of the story according to this news report about her press conference:
Back in 2013, her older brother was approached by some elements to sell drugs. When her brother refused to cooperate they went ahead and farmed him with possession of illegal drug charges for which the brother was arrested. She and her family began attending his court hearings in Mandalay and became well acquainted with one court staff named Mr Tin Maung Win, Myanmar Government staff with Justice Department, Home Affairs Ministry.
(Earlier this year), the court official offered her and her family to help with the brother’s case, and asked Ma Hae Mar Kyaw to come to Pyin Oo Lwin (forrmely May Myo famous colonial hill station 42 miles from Mandalay) a few months ago (this year) where she was promised a meeting with a judge important for her brother’s case.
At a teashop, Tin Maung Win spiked her CocaCola, took her to a nearby Pearl Guest House and subsequently raped this young woman.
The rape victim explained that on 19 May 2014 the doctor who conducted pregnancy test informed her that she is pregnant and she tried to communicate with the above-named rapist, who refused to discuss the matter.
Subsequently, she and her family reported him to the local police. But the Court officials under whose supervision the rapist works refused to issue any arrest warrant which the police needed to take legal actions.
Then she and her family got in touch with social activist networks to go to public with her story. It was at this point 969 monks and other anti-Muslim agitators got involve: they manufactured this ‘a Muslim man raped a Buddhist story’ and used this lie to incite anti-Muslim communal violence.