Arakan housemaid escapes mistreatment

Sep 8, 2008 (DVB), An Arakan housemaid who worked for the family of an SPDC officer has been taken in by the Arakan Women's Association after being mistreated by her employers and abandoned at a Rangoon bus terminal.

Ma Khin Saw Phyu, a native of Yathaytaung, was sent to colonel Aung Thant's home in Rangoon's South Okkalapa township two months ago by an agent.

Khin Saw Phyu said the officer's wife mistreated her because she could not speak Burmese properly and because her boss was unhappy with the way she worked, and she was forced to survive on a cup of rice the size of a tin of condensed milk each day.

Just over ten days ago, Khin Saw Phyu was taken to Shwe Pyi Khaing bus stop at the Rangoon long-distance bus terminal, and was given to a bus driver who was told to hand her over to any army officer who could use her services.

Arakan Women's Association member Ma Ni Ni Win found Khin Saw Phyu crying at the bus stop and asked the bus driver to return the former maid's national identity card and took her in.

"I found a woman crying at the Shwe Pyi Khaing bus terminal," Ni Ni Win said.

"She is poor, so she was working as a housemaid and was mistreated, she told me. She didn't have a single pya with her," she said.

"As she was to be given over to another army officer, her future prospects were quite worrying."

Khin Saw Phyu said she had been lucky to find the organisation and now felt safe.

Arakan Women's Association chairperson Saw Mra Yarzar Lin praised the group for taking the woman in.

"I am happy and proud of the Arakan Women's Association for rescuing an Arakan girl from the hands of the enemy," Saw Mra Yarzar Lin said.

"The Arakan Women's Association has been trying to help in these kinds of difficult situations, and we will continue to do so," she said.

"We are also considering how to continue to help this woman and the association has decided to give her protection."

Reporting by Yee May Aung

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