Army officers lash out in karaoke bar

Jan 14, 2009 (DVB), Two army officers from Light Infantry Battalion 15 based in Myin Chan, Mandalay division, lashed out at customers in a karaoke bar in ward 19 on 8 January after the owner refused their demand to hand over female singers.

A Myin Chan resident said police officers were present during the incident but did not intervene to stop the two men.

"LIB-15 sergeant Ko Tun Win and an unidentified army captain arrived at the New Life karaoke bar owned by a man named Ko Kyaw Htoo and said they wanted to have some of the girls who were working there as singers," the resident said.

"Kyaw Htoo refused their demand and said it would not be possible. The army officers went berserk after the argument and started breaking bottles and held people in the bar up at gunpoint," he said.

"Police corporal Than Myaing from Myin Chan police station 1 was on the scene with a group when it happened but did not try to stop them," he went on.

"Finally the two army officers left the place after loudly cursing the whole ward."

The Myin Chan resident said the police officers could have been afraid to intervene because a police private had previously been sacked after intervening in a fight between army personnel and locals at a pagoda festival.

"We want the police to do something. We don't feel safe with these young army officials being able to do whatever they want in our community just because they have weapons," he said.

"Now it’s like the army can commit any crime they want and get away with it."

LIB-15 and the police station were unavailable for comment.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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