Weeks after his funeral, Myanmar man shot at protest returns home

Man Sun Khaing, at left, before he vanished at a protest earlier this month. His mother, at right, cries at his funeral several days later in photos from his family circulating on social media.
Man Sun Khaing, at left, before he vanished at a protest earlier this month. His mother, at right, cries at his funeral several days later in photos from his family circulating on social media.

Man Sun Khaing was 27 when he was shot in the thigh by a rubber bullet and vanished March 3 while protesting in eastern Yangon against the military dictatorship.

Four days after he disappeared, his ethnic Chin family, which had searched police jails and prisons without any information about what had happened, held a Christian funeral for him on March 7.

“When he was arrested, we went to look for him at hospitals, police stations and Insein Prison. But we didn’t find him anywhere,” his father told reporters.

So it was a shocking moment for his mourning family when he showed up Wednesday. It turned out that he’d been held incommunicado the whole time and was among several hundred released by the junta from Insein Prison the same day a nationwide “Silent Strike” took place.

He told his family that, after being injured by state security forces, he was taken to Mingaladon Military Hospital and then jailed at Insein Prison.

Yangon streets quiet as Myanmar goes on ‘Silent Strike’

“I was treated at the hospital. I was given food and then sent to Insein Prison. I spent more time in the hospital than in prison,” he told reporters.

His family was overjoyed.

“Earlier we had thought he was dead. Now it’s like a dream. Surprisingly, it was his fate. He was treated at the military hospital. In fact, he could have died from his injuries,” his father said Wednesday, bursting into tears.

Messages seeking additional comment from the family went unreturned.

Man Sun Khaing, who’s also known as Wai Yan Maung Maung, is still recovering from his injury and can only walk a short distance.

It was happy news not just to his family, but a rare moment of joy for others as the estimated death toll since the Feb. 1 coup climbs to top 320.

“We looked at your picture and cried even though the body was not found. Now we have tears of joy again, may you have a happy family life, kid,” Facebooker Ma Ma Su responded to the news.

“Congratulations. How happy his parents must be!” user Thet Sanday wrote. “Let every family be free from the torment of the dictators!”

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CITY: YANGONCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: WEIRD

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