CHIANG RAI, Thailand — Cake, ice cream and poetry production district, the latter may have killed him.
He died in police custody in Myanmar earlier this month. Officials said the cause was heart failure. His widow said he was beaten to death.
A civil engineer by training, the 43-year-old quit his government job in central Myanmar’s Shwebo City in 2012 and opened a cake and ice cream shop to support his poetry work.
“Before the coup He wrote poems about love. about life,” said his friend Nyein Chan, another poet. “But after What he wrote about the revolution was”
The revolution was what Nyein Chan called an anti-February 1 coup, which abruptly ended Myanmar’s trial of civilian rule. four months later That resistance continues to grow. So is the list of civilians killed by the security forces.
Association for the aid of political prisoners in Myanmar which is a support group It said there were more than 850 numbers, including the well-known district in Sagaing. He may have written his most famous poem after security forces killed a close friend — another poet — with a bullet in the head in March.
“The district went to K Sa Win’s funeral and read his poems at the fair,” Nian Chan said. “Many people posted poems on social media afterwards. It said, ‘They shot in the head. But they don’t know that revolution is in the heart.’”
Nyein Chan said that his friend’s spirit and determination against resistance were strong. “For this revolution I have decided to sacrifice my life,” he said of the district. “Those words showed us his determination. Now I feel sad when I think of what he said.”
Khet Thi’s poetry and his presence on social media could make him a target for a dictatorial government prone to hunting, imprisoning and killing artists and activists, his widow, Chaw Su, recounts the terrible night. that they came to him
“Around 10 p.m., soldiers and police surrounded the house, with more than 100 people,” she said. “He tried to escape but was caught. They took him, me and my brother-in-law to the police station. and accused us of making bombs Then we interrogated separately.”
Eleven hours later Police told her the district was at a hospital 60 miles away in Monywa. “If the region of death depends on his karma,” she said, they told her. She learned that her husband had died after she arrived at the hospital.
She had to ask them to release the body at the hospital, she said.
“In the morning I tried to comb his long hair and found that his head was seriously injured,” she said, her tone hoarse. “His ribs were severely damaged and his nose was broken as well. They said he died of heart disease. But they just hit him on the head.”
When she got her husband’s body back, Chaw Su said that there was a long incision on his chest that was roughly sewn together. “There is no justice,” she declared. “They catch and kill people like animals like cows or buffaloes, but at least I got their bodies back. Other families don’t even know if their loved ones are alive or not.”
Bo Ky, secretary-general of the Political Prisoners Aid Association, said at least 20 Myanmar families had a similar experience.
“Actually, they sent the body back to create an atmosphere of fear,” he said. “They want people to know that if you really resist them, you will be tortured to death.”
It is a strategy the Myanmar military has mastered over decades of fighting ethnic minority armed forces. and most recently in the central area of most people Citizen journalists have posted gruesome photos and videos on social media of soldiers or police dragging bodies into cars.
Australian National University student Nick Cheesman calls this a “Terrorism and State Torture”
“The manner in which corpses are used is part of the dramatic violence,” Chesman said, “the beautiful violence that characterizes state terrorism in Myanmar under military dictatorship.”
State terrorism, Cheesman writes, degenerates people. The goal is not to eliminate it completely. which includes the widows of the district
“They were watching me,” Chaw Su said, “at night after curfew. They came around my house and I was scared, not just me but my family members.”
Yet his resistance to the coup did not diminish, and Chaw Su’s husband continued to challenge it to the end. He also suggested that poetry might no longer be enough. In his last poem he wrote:
I can’t shoot a gun I can only make beautiful cakes.
My people are being shot now. But I can only turn back with poetry
Now I am sure that word of mouth is not enough.
We have to choose a weapon. I’ll shoot.