CHRO reiterates the need for urgent action by the U.N. Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to address the situation in Chin State, Myanmar. This afternoon, the Tatmadaw began launching incendiary rockets into Thantlang town. Lt. Col. Thaung Hlaing, as the Chief Military Commander has ordered this wanton destruction of the town.
After multiple explosions, as of this evening, over 100 houses are on fire which continues to spread. Several religious buildings, including Church on the Rock, Presbyterian Church, and a building attached to the Thantlang Baptist Church, the largest congregation in the town, have also caught fire. The first rockets to be fired into the town landed at the entrances to the Thantlang Baptist Church. There are also reports that soldiers have come out on the streets and deliberately torched houses in different locations in town.
Given the town is largely evacuated and any attempt by surrounding villages to extinguish the blaze will be a risk to life, the capital of the township which is home to over 10,000 people will continue to burn. CHRO has been informed that there is an orphanage, located at the entrance of the town, where over 20 children and their teachers remain, unable to flee in safety. In the fire, the offices of the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), Save the Children, and Gret have been set ablaze.
The burning of Thantlang town follows four villages in Falam township including Thlanrawn, Taal and Rialte that were torched as troops passed through this week. Previously a spokesperson for the Tatmadaw, Brigadier Gen. Zo Myint Tun was quoted in an interview with DVB on September 25 saying that the SAC had the capability to “obliterate Chin in two weeks’ time”.
In further updates, fresh reinforcements are arriving in the area. Sources informed CHRO that 15 trucks carrying soldiers had passed through Falam Town this morning.
“The extensive destruction of civilian property, carried out wantonly and not justified by any military necessity represent war crimes and grave breaches of international humanitarian law,” said Salai Za Uk Ling of the Chin Human Rights Organisation.