Speak the truth and you die
Speak the truth and you die, says commander to people
As tongues start wagging following surprise invitation by Rangoon to Amnesty International, the UK-based human rights organization, reports have arrived that people in southern Shan State were already warned of the expected visit and instructed to "cooperate with the Army" or risk being punished fatally.
According to several sources coming to the border, village headmen in southern townships were summoned to township administrative offices towards the end of December when they were informed to "keep quiet" about the oft-reported excesses committed by the Army to the visiting "foreigners".
"We will slice your tongues and cut your necks, if it becomes known to us that you have failed to cooperate by informing against us," said an officer representing Col San Htun, the area commander of Kunhing, 130 miles east of Taunggyi.
He was later identified by a visiting headman as Captain Pyay Hpyo Way, Commander of the "commando unit" that was implicated in the killings of ten lent observers on 22 September 2002 in the neighboring Namzang Township, a day after one Burmese soldier was killed in a clash with the Shan State Army "South" of Col Yawdserk. (Lent-observing villagers pay for rebel attack, S.H.A.N., 27 September 2002.)