ေရာ္နယ္ေအာင္ႏိုင္ Excerpts from the “All Wars Are Dirty”


Thursday, December 29, 2011
ေရာ္နယ္ေအာင္ႏိုင္
နယ္စပ္မွာ ဂ်ာနယ္လစ္သင္တန္းေပးေတာ့ ဗမာ၊ကရင္စကားျပန္ေတြနဲ ့အလုပ္လုပ္ရပါတယ္။ ဘာသာျပန္ တေယာက္က ေအာင္ႏိုင္ပါ။ သူက ဂ်ာနယ္လစ္ တေယာက္ျဖစ္ျပီး ႏိုင္ငံေရးအျမင္ရွိသူ၊ ဟာသ ဥာဏ္ရႊင္ သူပါ။သူနဲ ့အလုပ္လုပ္ရတာအဆင္ေျပပါတယ္။ဒါေပမယ့္သူ ့ မွာအင္မတန္စိတ္၀င္ စားဖို ့ေကာင္းတဲ ့ဇတ္ လမ္းတခု ရွိျပီး က်ေနာ္ဒါကိုပိုသိခ်င္ေနပါတယ္။

သူ ့မ်က္ႏွာသြင္ျပင္က ရိုးသားတဲ့ပံုပန္းသ႑ာန္ေတာ့ မဟုတ္ပါဘူး။ ၀တ္စားဆင္ယင္ထားတာေတာ့ ဆရာ ၀န္တေယာက္လိုပါပဲ။  အျပာေရာင္ရွပ္အကၤ် ီ ကိုအ ညိဳေရာင္ေဘာင္းဘီနဲ ့သပ္သပ္ ယပ္ယပ္ ၀တ္ဆင္ လို ့ ။  အဂၤလိပ္စကားေျပာကေတာ့ သိပ္ေကာင္း ပါ  တ ယ္။ သူ ့ဘ၀ရဲ ့ ေၾကကြဲစရာ ဇတ္လမ္းေတြ ကို ေအးေအးေဆး ေဆးျပက္ လံုးထုတ္ ရယ္ေမာသူပါ။ တခ်ိန္က သူ ဟာ ေက်ာင္းသားတပ္ မေတာ္ေျမာက္ ပိုင္းရဲ ့ ဥကၠဌတဦး ျဖစ္ခဲ့ သလို  ေက်ာင္း သား တပ္မေတာ္ရဲ ့ႏွလံုးသည္းပြတ္ကို ထိမွန္ခဲ့တဲ့ အၾကီး မားဆံုး နာမည္ပ်က္မွဳမွာ အဓိက ေနရာက ပါ၀င္ခဲ့ သူတဦးပါ။
၁၉၉၂ ေဖေဖာ္၀ါရီ ၁၂ ရက္ မွာ ေက်ာင္းသား စစ္သားေတြ ဟာ သူတို ့ရဲ ့ရဲေဘာ္ရဲဘက္ ၁၅ ေယာက္ကို အစိုး ရရဲ ့သူ လွ်ိဳ လို ့စြပ္ စြဲျပီး သုတ္ သင္ခဲ့ ပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္က ဒီ ကိစၥေအာင္ႏိုင္ ကို အင္တာ ဗ်ဴး လုပ္ခ်င္ေနပါတယ္။
ဘာလို ့လည္းဆိုေတာ့ သူက ဒီသုတ္သင္မွဳကို အ မိန္ ့ေပးခဲ့ တဲ ့ေခါင္းေဆာင္ေတြ ထဲက တေယာက္ျဖစ္ေန လို ့ပါ။ ဒီအင္တာဗ်ဴးက သူ ့ ကို အက်ပ္ အတည္းထဲပို ့သလိုပါပဲ။ ဒီကိစၥကိုအရင္ ကတေယာက္မွ အင္တာ ဗ်ဴး သူမရွိခဲ့ လို ့သူ အံ့ၾသ သြားပံုပါ။ အင္တာ ဗ်ဴး ဖို ့သူသေဘာတူပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို ့မဲေဟာင္ေဆာင္မွာ ေတြ ့ ၾကတယ္။ သူ ့အတန္းကအဖြဲ  ့ေတြအဲဒီမွာရွိၾကတ ယ္။ ျမန္မာေဒါက္ တာေတြေန တဲ ့အိမ္ေပါ့။ အဲဒီမွာ က် ေနာ္လညး္ေနတယ္။ က်ေနာ့္ မွတ္စုစာအုပ္နဲ ့ တိပ္ရီေကာ္ဒါကိုစားပြဲေပၚျပင္လိုက္တဲ ့အခ်ိန္မွာ ေအာင္ႏိုင္က ဒီညေတာ့ ညတာရွည္ ဦးေတာ့ မွာပဲ လို ့ဆိုတယ္။ ၀ီစကီနဲ ့ေရခဲနဲ ့ ။၀ီစကီေသာက္ရင္း က်ေနာ့္   ေမးခြန္းေတြကိုသူေျဖပါတယ္။  သူ ့ထြက္ဆိုခ်က္ေတြ အတြက္ တိပ္ရီေကာ္ဒါကို က်ေနာ္ စဖြင့္ လိုက္ ပါ တယ္။

၁၉၈၈ မွာက်ေနာ္က မႏၱေလးေဆးေက်ာင္းမွာ တက္ေနပါတယ္။ ဆႏၵျပပြဲေတြျဖစ္ေတာ့ က်ေနာ္ က ေက်ာင္းသားေခါင္းေဆာင္တေယာက္ပါ။ အစိုးရက ႏိုင္ငံေ၇းလွဳပ္ရွားမွဳေတြေၾကာင့္ စြပ္စြဲဖမ္းဆီးမွဳေတြ လုပ္တဲ့အခါ ၁၉၈၉ မွာ မႏၱေလးကေန ေျမာက္ပိုင္းကို ေက်ာင္းသားတပ္မေတာ္ ကိုေရာက္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။
ေတာ္ေတာ္ခက္ခဲၾကမ္းတမ္းပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို ့က ျမိဳ ့ေက်ာင္းသားေတြပါ။အမ်ားစုက ေတာထဲမွာေနဖူးတဲ့အေတြ ့ အၾကံဳ မရွိၾကပါဘူး။ က်ေနာ္ တုိ ့ေန ဖို ့၀ါးတဲေတြေဆာက္ၾကတယ္။ ေကအိုင္အိုက ရိကၡာ ေထာက္ပါတယ္။ ရပ္တည္ဖို ့ခက္ပါ တယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို ့ကဗမာေတြဆိုေတာ့ ကခ်င္ေတြ အျပည့္အ၀ မယံုပါ ဘူး။ ေငြရဖို ့အတြက္ ေက်ာက္စိမ္းရွာ ဖို ့မိုင္း ကြင္းတခုေပးပါတယ္။ ေပ၈၀၀၀ ေထာင္ေလာက္ျမင့္ ပါတယ္။ ေက်ာက္ေတာင္ေတြျဖစ္လို ့ပါးေကာက္ပဲသီးႏွံ စိုက္ဖို ့ခက္ ပါတယ္။ ေထာက္ပံ့တာနဲ ့မွီခိုရပါတယ္။ မိုးေရာက္ေတာ့ ဗမာစစ္တပ္က လာတိုက္ျပီး က်ေနာ္တို ့စတိုကို ဖ်က္ဆီးလိုက္ပါတယ္။ ဆားမရွိစားစရာ မရွ ိဆယ္ရက္ေလာက္ျဖစ္သြား တယ္။ အားျပတ္ျပီး ငွက္ဖ်ားေတြလည္းျဖစ္လုိ ့တခ်ိဳ ့လည္းေသကုန္ၾကတယ္။ သူငယ္ခ်င္းေတာ္ေတာ္မ်ားမ်ား ဆံုးရွံဳးခဲ့ရတယ္။ တခ်ိဳ ့ ဆယ့္ရွစ္ႏွစ္ေလာက္ပဲရွိေသးတယ္။တေယာက္ကိုတလမွ ၅၀က်ပ္သံုး ဖို ့ရ တယ္။က်ေနာ္တုိ ့ေမ်ာက္ေတြေထာင္တယ္။ေမ်ာက္၊ၾကြက္၊ျဖဴေကာင္ ...ရတာ အကုန္စားတယ္။

လူေတြေသၾကတာၾကည့္ျပီးေရွာ ့ရတယ္။ က်ေနာ့္မွွာစစ္ပြဲအေတြ ့အၾကံဳမရွိဘူး။ဒါေပမယ့္ က်ေနာ္တိုက္  တယ္။ ၁၉၉၀ မွာ ရက္ေလးဆယ္ေလာက္ စစ္တိုက္ရတယ္။ အဲဒီတိုက္ပြဲမွာ ေခါင္းေဆာင္ ဒဏ္ရာရ ေတာ့က်ေနာ္ကအမိန္ ့ေပးရတယ္။ ေကအိုင္အိုဆီကလက္နက္တခ်ိဳ ့ရတယ္။ ေသသြားတဲ ့ရန္သူစစ္သား ဆီကလည္းလက္နက္ရတယ္။

အဲဒီအခ်ိန္က က်ေနာ္ကေရြးေကာက္ခံရတဲ့ အေထြေထြအတြင္းေရးမွဴးပါ။ ေျမေအာက္လွဳပ္ရွားမွဳေတြ မွာတာ၀န္ခံပါ။ ဗမာျပည္ထဲမွာ တပ္သားသစ္စုေဆာင္းပါတယ္။ တခုသတိျပဳလာမိတာကရန္သူ ့လို္င္းေတြ ၾကားထဲမွာ ျပႆနာတစံုတရာမရွိပဲသြားလို ့ျပန္လို ့ရေနတာ ပါ။စစ္ေထာက္လွမ္းေရးမိသား စုနဲ ့ ဆက္ႏြယ္  ေနတဲ ့ေက်ာင္းသားတခ်ိဳ ့တပ္သားသစ္စုေဆာင္းေရးထဲမွာပါလာတာပါ။ အခ်ိန္ခဏေလးအတြင္းမွာ တပ္သားအေရအတြက္ ၈၀၀ ေက်ာ္ အထိ တိုးလာ ပါတယ္။  စစ္ေထာက္ လွမ္းေရး နဲ ့ခ်ိတ္ဆက္ေနသလားသံသယျဖစ္လာပါတယ္။ ေရွ ့တန္းကရတဲ့သတင္းေတြအရလည္းက်ေနာ္တို ့ဘက္က က်ဆံုးေနပါတယ္။ အေျခအေနက သံသယျဖစ္စရာအေျခအေနပါ။ နအဖစစ္သားေတြကို က်ေနာ္တို ့တည္ေနရာကိုလမ္းညႊန္ေပးေနတဲ ့အမွတ္အသားေတြကို သစ္ပင္ေတြမွာ ရဲေဘာ္ေတြကသတိျပဳမိပါတယ္။ဒါနဲ ့တခ်ိဳ ့ကိုေစာင့္ၾကည့္ပါတယ္။ ေလးငါးေယာက္ေလာက္ကိုဖမ္းျပီး စစ္ ေၾကာေရး လုပ္ေတာ့  ေထာက္လွမ္းေရး စာရင္းတခ်ိဳ ့ရပါတယ္။အဲဒီစာရင္းထဲမွာဗဟုိေကာ္မတီ အဖြဲ  ့၀င္ ေတြပါပါေနတယ္ဗ်။ တခ်ိဳ ့ကေထာက္လွမ္းေရး ေလ့က်င့္ေပးထားတဲ ့စပိုင္ေတြျဖစ္ျပီး တခ်ိဳ ့က အင္ေဖာ္မာသတင္းေပးေတြပါ။တခ်ိဳ ့ဗမာလူမ်ိဳးၾကီး၀ါဒအျမင္နဲ ့လွဳပ္ရွားေနတယ္လို ့ထင္ပါတယ္။  ဘာလုပ္ရမလဲ ဆိုတာစဥ္းစားရေတာ္ေတာ္ခက္ပါတယ္။  I panicked.လူ ့အခြင့္ အေရးတို ့ဘာ တို ့ဆိုတာလည္းက်ေနာ္တို ့ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္ကနားမလည္ခဲ့ပါဘူး။ စပိုင္စာရင္းက အေယာက္ရွစ္ ဆယ္ေက်ာ္ ျဖစ္ေနတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို ့ကို မယုံမွာစိုး လို ့ရိုက္ထား တဲ့ဗီြဒီယိုေခြပါရွိပါတယ္။ ဒီစပိုင္ေတြကို  သံေျခက်င္းေတြ ခတ္ျပီး ဘားတိုက္ထဲမွာပိတ္ထားပါတယ္။ေနာက္ ဆံုး ေျမာက္ပိုင္းေက်ာင္း သားတပ္ မေတာ္ဗဟိုေကာ္မတီက စပိုင္ ၁၅ေယာက္ကို ေသဒဏ္ခ်ဖို ့ဆံုးျဖတ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။က်ေနာ္ တို ့စစ္ျဖစ္ေန တာပါ။ စစ္တပ္နဲ ့လက္နက္ ကိုင္စစ္ပြဲဆင္ႏႊဲေနတာပါ။ စပိုင္ကို ေသဒဏ္ေပးရမယ္လို ့က်ေနာ္ တို ့ဖြဲ ့စည္းပံုနဲ ့ဥပေဒမွာေရးသား ထားပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို ့ရဲေဘာ္ေတြဟာ ဒီစပိုင္ေတြေၾကာင့္ အသတ္ခံခဲ့ၾကရပါတယ္။  တခ်ိဳ ့အဖြဲ ့၀င္ေတြ က စပိုင္အေယာက္ရွစ္ဆယ္လံုး ကို ေသဒဏ္ေပး ဖို ့ေတာင္းဆို ပါတယ္။ ျငင္းရင္းခုန္ရင္း နဲ ့ေနာက္ဆံုးမွာ ၁၅ ေယာက္ နဲ ့သေဘာတူညီခ်က္ရပါတယ္။ ဒီေသဒဏ္စီရင္ခ်က္က စပိုင္ေတြလုပ္ ခဲ့တဲ့လုပ္ရပ္ေတြ နဲ ့ စစ္အစိုးရအတြက္ သူတို ့ဘယ္ေလာက္ အေရးပါသလဲဆိုတဲ့ အခ်က္အေပၚမူတည္ျပီး ဆံုးျဖတ္ ခ်က္ခ်ခဲ့ တာျဖစ္ ပါတယ္။

သတ္ပြဲျဖစ္ခဲ့တဲ့အေၾကာင္းရင္းေတြကိုေျပာေနတဲ့ေအာင္ႏိုင္ဟာအျဖစ္အပ်က္ေတြကိုေတြး စိတ္ဆင္းရဲ ေန ပံုပါပဲ။ဘယ္လိုဘယ္ပံု  ေသဒဏ္ေပးခဲ့သလဲလုိ ့ေမးၾကည့္တဲ့အခါ သူ ့ကိုၾကည့္ုျပီး ပိုလို ့စိတ္မသက္မ သာျဖစ္ရပါတယ္။

တခ်ိဳ ့ကိုပစ္သတ္တယ္။ တခ်ိဳ ့ကိုေခါင္းျဖတ္သတ္တယ္။ က်ေနာ္တုိ ့အရာရွိေတြကသူတို ့ကို အနီးကပ္ ပစၥ တိုနဲ ့ပစ္သတ္တယ္။ ေသနတ္နဲ ့ပစ္သတ္တာ ပိုျပီးေ၀ဒနာခံစားရတယ္ လို ့က်ေနာ္တို ့ထင္ပါတယ္။ ဓားကို ေျပာင္းသံုးရင္  သူတုိ ့ေ၀ဒနာခံစားရနည္းနည္းသက္သာမယ္လို ့ထင္တဲ့အတြက္ဓားကိုေျပာင္းသံုးပါ တယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္ ေခါင္းက တိတိရိရိမျပတ္ဘူးဗ်။ But they were not cleanly beheaded, even though the spinal cords were severed.သတ္တာကို က်ေနာ္ ေစာင့္ၾကည့္တယ္။ ဒါဟာ ေက်ာင္းသားတပ္မေတာ္စစ္သားေတြေရွ ့မွာျဖစ္ခဲ့တာပါ။

က်ေနာ္တို ့သူတို ့အားလံုးကို လႊတ္လိုက္ခ်င္ပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္ လႊတ္လိုက္ရင္ က်ေနာ္တို ့သူလွ်ိဳေတြကို ၾကိဳဆိုသလုိျဖစ္ေနမယ္။ ဒီဆံုးျဖတ္ခ်က္ခ်ရတာ ေတာ္ေတာ္ခက္ခဲပါတယ္။  ဒီလိုမကြက္မ်က္ခင္မွာ ေကအိုင္ အိုကေန ႏိုင္ငံတကာလြတ္ျငိမး္ခ်မ္းသာခြင့္အဖြဲ ့၊ကမၻာ့ၾကက္ေျခနီတို ့ကို ခ်ဥ္းကပ္ပါေသးတယ္။ အက်ဥ္းသားေတြကို သူတို ့ဆီကိုလႊဲဖို ့က်ေနာ္တို ့အကူအညီလိုပါတယ္ လို ့။ သူတို ့ေျပာတာက သူတို ့ တရုတ္ျမန္မာနယ္စပ္ကို မေရာက္ႏိုင္တဲ့အတြက္ သူတို ့မကူညီႏိုင္ပါဘူးတဲ့။ ဒီကိစၥဟာ က်ေနာ္အတြက္ အခက္ခဲဆံုးကိစၥတခုပါပဲ။ ဒါေပမယ့္ က်ေနာ္တို ့မွွာ ေရြးစရာလမ္းမရွိဘူးလို ့ခံစားရတယ္။

သူလွ်ိဳေတြကို သတ္ပစ္တာ ဗမာျပည္မွာသိပ္ ေတာ့ မဆန္းလွပါဘူး။  ဗမာစစ္တပ္က သူလွ်ိဳမိရင္ တရား ရံုး ေတြတင္မေနပဲေနရာမွာတင္ သတ္ပစ္ပါတယ္။

ေအာင္ႏိုင္အခန္းျပင္ကိုထြက္သြားပါတယ္။ ျပန္၀င္လာေတာ့ စကားမဆက္ခင္ ေလကိုခပ္ျပင္းျပင္းရွဴသြင္း လိုက္ပါတယ္။
ဘ၀ေတြက ျငိမ္းခ်မ္းေနရင္ေတာ့ စံခ်ိန္စံႏွဳန္းေတြနဲ ့သြားဖို ့လြယ္ပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္ စစ္တိုက္ေနတဲ့အခ်ိန္ ကေတာ့ မတူပါဘူး။ ေတာထဲမွာ ႏိုင္ငံေရးလုပ္ဖို ့တခုတည္းေသာလမ္းက လက္နက္နဲ ့ပါ။  ဒီလုိသတ္ လိုက္လို ့ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအရ ေရွ ့ကိုတိုးတက္သြားတယ္လုို ့ဆိုတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္ တေယာက္မွ ႏိုင္ ငံ ေရး အက်ိဳးအျမတ္မရခဲ့ဘူး။ က်ေနာ္တို ့ထဲမွာ အကြဲအျပဲမရွိခဲ့ပါဘူး။ တေယာက္မွ ဘာတခုမွ မရခဲ့ဘူး။ ဒီသတ္ပြဲ မတိုင္ခင္က ငပိနဲ ့စားတယ္။ သတ္ပြဲျပီးေတာ့လည္း ငပိနဲ ့ပဲ။ ၁၅ေယာက္ အစားအ ေယာက္ ရွစ္ဆယ္ျဖစ္သြားႏိုင္တာပါ။ မိသားစုေတြက စိတ္ဆိုးၾကမယ္၊စိတ္ထိခိုက္ၾကမယ္ဆိုတာ နားလည္ ေပးႏိုင္ ပါတယ္။ မိဘေတြကို လာဖို ့က်ေနာ္တို ့နဲ ့စကားလာေျပာဖို ့က်ေနာ္တို ့ဖိတ္ေခၚပါတယ္။

က်ေနာ္တို ့ကိုသစၥာေဖာက္သူေတြဟာ က်ေနာ္တို ့ရဲ ့ သူငယ္ခ်င္းေတြပါပဲ။ က်ေနာ့္သူငယ္ခ်င္း ထြန္းေအာင္ ေက်ာ္(အဲဒီအခ်ိန္က ေက်ာင္းသားတပ္မေတာ္ရဲ ့ဥကၠဌပါ) အသတ္ခံခဲ့ရပါတယ္။ သူက က်ေနာ့္ အကိုၾကီးလိုပါပဲ။ က်ေနာ္တို ့အရမ္းကို ရင္းႏွီးပါတယ္။  သူက သူလွိ်ဳ လို ့၀န္မခံပါဘူး။ ဒါေပမယ့္ သက္ေသ အေထာက္အထားေတြအရ သူကသူလွ်ိဳပါ။

တိုက္ပြဲက ျပင္းထန္ပါတယ္။ စစ္ဆိုတာဟာ ကြဲျပားျခားနားတဲ့အမွန္တရားတခုပါ။ က်ေနာ္တို ့က သီးျခားျဖစ္ေနျပီး ေတာ့ လူ ့အခြင့္အေရးအဖြဲ ့ေတြနဲ ့လည္း အဆက္အသြယ္မရွိပါဘူး။ ဒီမိုကေရစီ၊လူ ့အခြင့္ အေရးေတြကိုသင္ၾကားဖို ့လည္း အခြင့္အလမ္းမရွိပါဘူး။ တကယ္လို ့မ်ားရွိခဲ့ရင္ အေျခအေနက တမ်ိဳးျဖစ္ သြားႏိုင္ပါတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တာ၀န္ယူျပီး ျပႆနာကိုေျဖရွင္းဖို ့လိုအပ္တယ္လို ့က်ေနာ္ယံုၾကည္ပါတယ္။ ေတာင္အာဖရိက က အမွန္တရားေကာ္မရွင္လိုမ်ိဳး စံုစမ္းစစ္ေဆးေရးတခု ျဖစ္သင့္ ပါတယ္။ ဘာေတြျဖစ္ခဲ့သလဲဆိုတာ လူေတြ သိဖို ့လိုအပ္ပါတယ္။The problem will be to get MI to hand over their files.
 
က်ေနာ္တို ့ရဲ ့သူရဲေကာင္းေအာင္ဆန္း ကိုအတုခိုးျပီး က်ေနာ္တို ့ႏိုင္ငံလြတ္ေျမာက္ေရးအတြက္ ေတာခိုခဲ့ ၾကတယ္လို ့ထင္ခဲ့ၾကတာပါ။ ဒါေပမယ့္  ဒုတိယကမၻာစစ္ၾကီးေၾကာင့္ ဗမာျပည္လြတ္လပ္ေရးရခဲ့တယ္ ဆိုတာေတာင္ မသိခဲ့ ပါဘူး။
အဲဒီတုန္းကက်ေနာ့္အသက္ ၂၄ ႏွစ္ပါ။ က်ေနာ့္ကိုယ္က်ေနာ္ လူၾကီးျဖစ္ျပီလို ့ထင္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္ ဒီအေတြ ့အၾကံဳျပီး တဲ့ေနာက္ပိုင္းမွာ ေခါင္းေဆာင္တေယာက္ျဖစ္ဖို ့က်ေနာ္အရမ္းငယ္ပါေသး လားဆိုတာသေဘာေပါက္သြားပါတယ္။ ႏိုင္ငံေရးအျပင္ဖက္ကိုေရာက္လာတဲ့အတြက္ က်ေနာ္၀မ္းသာ တယ္။

အင္တာဗ်ဴးအျပီးရက္အနည္းငယ္အၾကာမွာ မဲေဟာင္ေဆာင္မွာ ေအာင္ႏိုင္နဲ က်ေ ေနာ္ေန ့လည္ စာစားပါတယ္။က်ေနာ္ကအနံ ့ျပင္းျပင္းနဲ ့ဟင္းခြက္ကိုဘာလဲလို ့ေမးၾကည့္ေတာ့သူကရီပါတယ္။ ျပီးေတာ့ မွေျပာတာ ကေမ်ာက္အူေတြပါ တဲ ့။

ေအာက္ကမူရင္းအင္တာဗ်ဴးပါ။ ယွဥ္ဖတ္ၾကည့္ျပီး အမွားအယြင္းရွိရင္ ျပင္ေပးေစခ်င္ပါတယ္။

Posted on August 26, 2009 by sanooaung
Excerpts from the “All Wars Are Dirty” by PHIL THORNTON
(Page 161, 162 and 163)
When I ran the journalism-training workshops on the border, I worked with either a Burmese or Karen translator, depending on the group. One of these translators was Aung Naing, the former Burmese student leader I had interviewed about NGOs. He was now a journalist, politically aware and with a sharp sense of humour. I particularly enjoyed working with him, and he had a very interesting history I was curious to find out more about.
Aung Naing had the face of a choirboy, and he dressed like the doctor he should have become: neat blue shirt tucked into charcoal trousers. His English was excellent. He laughed easily as he joked around the edges of the tragedy that was his life. He was a former chairman of the All-Burma Students’ Democratic Front [ABSDF) for northern Burma, and had played a central role in one of the biggest scandals to hit at the heart of the Burmese student army.
On February 12,1992, student soldiers executed fifteen of their comrades accused of spying for the regime. I wanted to interview Aung Naing about it, as he was one of the leaders who ordered the executions. It was a tough place to put him in, although he was surprised that no one had ever interviewed him about the incident before. He agreed, and we met in Mae Hong Son—where his group's classes were held—at the house of a Burmese doctor, where I was staying. Aung Naing judged it would be a long night as I placed my notebook and tape recorder on the table. He responded by getting a bottle of whiskey and a cooler of ice. He drank heavily as we talked. I let the tape recorder capture his testimony.
"In 1988 I was studying medicine in Mandalay. I was a student leader during the pro-democracy demonstrations. The regime accused me of illegal political activities, so in 19891 left Mandalay to join the northern ABSDF in the Kachin State, close to the Chinese "It was tough, most of us were city kids with no experience of living in the jungle. We built and lived in basic bamboo huts. The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) supplied us with food, but it was difficult to survive, and many died. The Kachin didn't completely trust us, as we were Burmans. They gave us a region to make money from jade mining and tax. It was 8,000 feet high, rocky, and difficult to grow rice or crops. We depended on supplies "In the rainy season the Burmese army attacked our positions, destroying our stores. We went without rice and salt for ten days. We became weak and those who got malaria died. I lost many friends, some only eighteen years old. Each of us got fifty kyat a month to live on. We existed by trapping and eating monkeys, rats, and porcupines . . . anything.
"I was shocked to see people blown up and dead bodies. I had no battle experience, but I did fight. In 1990 we fought for forty days. I took command after our chief-of-staff was injured. We got weapons from the KIO and what we took from dead enemy soldiers.
"At this time I was elected general secretary. I was in charge of our underground network. We used it to recruit students inside Burma. We began to notice we were able to go back and forth through enemy lines without problems, but we found we had recruited  students who had family connections with Military Intelligence. Our numbers quickly grew to more than 800. We suspected our network had been infiltrated by MI. Reports from the front line indicated we were losing battles in suspicious circumstances. Our soldiers noticed knife marks had been cut in trees that could have led Burmese soldiers to our positions.
"We started to watch some people. We arrested four or five and, after interrogation, we had a small list. The list included members of our central committee. We found out the National Intelligence Bureau had trained some of these as spies, and others were just used as informers. I think some were motivated by ultra-nationalistic visions of a Burman master race.
"It was very difficult for us to know what to do. I panicked. We knew nothing about human rights, or, more to the point, we didn't understand. We asked the KIO to help us to interrogate. By now we had a list of eighty spies. We made videotapes in case no one believed us. We chained the spies and locked them in the barracks.
A Northern ABSDF central committee decided fifteen spies would be given the death penalty. We were at war, in armed struggle with the Burmese regime. Our constitution and law said we could give spies the death penalty. Many of our comrades had been killed because of these spies. Some members called for the death penalty for the entire eighty. We debated, argued, and finally agreed to fifteen. The sentences were determined by what the spies had done and how important they were to the [Burmese] military.”
Aung Naing was distressed by his memories and having to replay the events leading up to the executions. I upset him further when I asked him how the death sentences were carried out.
“Some of them were shot and some were beheaded. They were shot at close range by pistol by our officers. We thought the guns caused more suffering, so we thought if we switched to machetes it would be less. But they were not cleanly beheaded, even though the spinal cords were severed. I watched . . . it was done in front of all ABSDF soldiers.
“We would have liked to free all of them—but if we had, it would have sent a message that we welcomed spies. It was a hard decision to make, and before we made it we approached, through the KIO, Amnesty International and the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross]. We needed help; we wanted to hand the prisoners
164
over to them. They said they couldn’t do anything, as they could not reach us on the Burma-China border. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But we felt we had no choice. It was not uncommon for armed opposition groups in Burma to execute spies. The Burmese army just killed anyone they caught on the spot without a trial.”
Aung Naing left the room to throw up. He came back and swallowed hard before he continued. “When life is peaceful, it’s easy to draw moral lines, but in war it’s different. In the jungle the only way to conduct politics is with armed struggle. It was said that the killings were politically motivated, but nobody gained any political advantage. We had no internal splits, none of us gained anything. Before the executions we ate fish paste, and after the executions we ate fish paste. It could have been eighty instead of fifteen. It is understandable the families are upset. We asked the parents to come and talk with us.
The people who betrayed us were our friends. My friend, Htun Aung Kyaw [ABSDF chairman at the time], was executed. He was like my older brother. We were very close. He didn’t admit he was involved, but evidence showed that he was.
“The fighting was hard. War is a different reality. We were isolated and had no connection with human rights groups. We had no opportunity to learn about democracy or human rights. If we had, it may have been different. I believed I needed to take responsibility and resolve the problem. There should be an investigation like South Africa’s Truth Commission. People need to know what really happened. The problem will be to get MI to hand over their files.
We thought we were emulating our hero Aung San by going to the jungle to fight to free our country. We didn’t even know Burma was freed because of the Second World War.
“I was 24. I thought I was old enough, but after this experience I knew I was too young to be a leader. I’m glad I’m out of politics.”
During lunch with Aung Naing in Mae Hong Son a few days after the interview, I pointed my spoon at a pungent dish in a wok. Aung Naing laughed and said that it was monkey intestine.

Aung Naing had admitted to the executions and killings

of young ABSDF students  in the book,

 “All Wars Are Dirty” by PHIL THORNTON

He had given lame excuses of not knowing or understanding the Human Rights and democracy. He also wrongly claimed that the killings were not politically motivated and nobody gained any political advantage.  
The worst part was that he never mentioned the tortures and the actual number of executions was much more than he admitted.
He claimed and blamed the KIO, Amnesty International and the ICRC with the following statement, “before we made it we approached, through the KIO, Amnesty International and the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross]. We needed help; we wanted to hand the prisoners over to them. They said they couldn’t do anything, as they could not reach us on the Burma-China border.”
We need to investigate whether AI and ICRC actually got the news and refused to accept the student rebel prisoners. If they really get the message but acted irresponsibly they should be condemned because it is not very difficult to reach the ABSDF Camp through Burma, as many parents and relatives had really done that after informing the Burmese government and the Foreign Embassies like USA, British and Japan. We knew that the remaining students were released by the help of KIO/KIA without the knowledge of Aung Naing and new ABSDF leaders.
Aung Naing, we need a War Crime Tribunal but not merely an investigation like South Africa’s Truth Commission. Sorry, we could see your cunning wits of wishing to be free or off the hook even before you were caught.
To be fair to you, we wish to know why some of your partners in crime who were caught by Myanmar Military were not tried with the war crimes. May be they don’t wish to open their secret MI files but even if few of them were actually spies you have no right to torture hundreds and killed about fifty of them.
Just because MI’s “Myet Khin Thit” put a propaganda wedge by claiming that their spies had successfully infiltrated the ABSDF, your group led by ‘Shanis’ staged a coup, arrested, tortured and killed the fellow student rebels. If you had a sound and reasonable mind, you should understand or see through that propaganda warfare. No government nor any enemy would just easily declare that their spies had successfully infiltrated the opposing enemy and risks the exposures of their valued informants.
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