The army of Myanmar tortured, raped and killed Maran Lu Ra (20 years old) and Tangbau Hkawn Nan Tsin (21 years old), volunteer Christian teachers who belonged to the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC). The violence occurred on 19 January in the village of Shabuk-Kaunghka, Mungbaw Township, north-eastern Myanmar. The two women, who came from the northern State of Kachin where there is an ongoing exodus of thousands fleeing violence, were the target of the attack because of their ethnicity. The soldiers tortured and gang-raped the two Christian teachers before killing them. The girls, wrote Francis Khoo Thwe of AsiaNews, had been sent by senior members of the KBC to this remote zone to teach village children. Indeed, in many areas inhabited by ethnic minorities there is a shortage of state teachers and they are replaced by volunteers with their tireless work who often belong to Christian associations. Hundreds of people gathered in prayer for a final farewell to the two victims. Eye witnesses reported that the army had threatened the inhabitants, warning them not to spread the news. On condition of anonymity the Kachin Christian sources questioned by AsiaNews recalled the work in education of Burmese Christian denominations since the 19th century: Christian volunteers “have never refused to go into remote areas among the most marginalized people”, even places involved in civil war. “Many sacrificed their lives for the mission”, the sources said, “but never before had two teachers been raped and killed”. Myanmar is home to more than 135 ethnic groups which have always striven for a peaceful coexistence, especially with the Central Government and its ethnic Burmese majority.
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