BURMESE (AFP) “I’m not going to let it go to waste.”
That’s what a friend of mine told me when I was at my lowest point.
She’s a journalist and we’re both in Myanmar.
We were sitting on the edge of a small village in Myanmar’s border state of Kachin, a little more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the border.
The village is a little bigger than a football pitch, and it’s packed with students and teachers.
There’s an enormous crowd gathered outside the main mosque, which is run by a church.
There are the usual numbers of people in the surrounding hills, in the hills surrounding Kachina.
But I was in the back, in a quiet village, surrounded by families who were just starting to settle down, who were very welcoming and very friendly.
The atmosphere was relaxed.
I sat with my friends, and we just ate our food and enjoyed our time together.
But then one day, suddenly the mood turned.
It felt like the entire village was going crazy.
People were screaming.
We could hear people throwing bricks and rocks at the police.
People started shouting that they were going to burn down the village, the police told us.
We were scared and scared.
What if someone was hurt?
We were all terrified.
Then, one of the girls told me that her sister had been shot and she was bleeding badly.
She was just standing there, crying.
I asked her why she was crying, she told me.
I said, “Because you are not allowed to talk to anyone”.
That was the first time I’d seen someone crying like that, I said.
The police told me there were a lot of people there who had been hit by rocks.
I saw people lying on the ground, blood pouring out of their eyes.
They were just lying there, people were saying, “They killed my sister”.
I asked what they were saying.
They said they were talking about the police, and the police said, ”Don’t worry, we are not going anywhere until the people are quiet”.
My friend said she had been in the same village a year before, and she had never seen such violence.
I said, ‘I can’t imagine how this happened.
It’s so unbelievable’.
I had no idea what was happening.
I saw people standing up, saying, ‘It’s a war’, they were running towards the police to run towards the people.
They were all running towards us.
The next day, the people in that village came out to the police station and told the police they were all innocent.
They didn’t even have the right to be in that area.
They had been waiting to go to school, so they had nothing to do with the violence.
I was so scared, I cried.
I had a terrible day.
The villagers told me to come back the next day.
It took me three days to get back home.
I came back and they had me arrested.
I didn’t have a lawyer, and I was handcuffed to a chair.
My friend was also handcuffed to the chair.
I was in so much pain.
I couldn’t walk.
I cried so much.
The next day I had to go back to the village to get medical help.
I was crying all the time.
The girl told me about how they were waiting for me to be transferred to a hospital in the town of Gannung.
I told her I had nothing, and that I needed to go and talk to my father.
I went to the hospital and got treatment, but they couldn’t even give me a phone call.
I called my dad again, and he said that I was arrested.
When I called him, he didn’t answer.
He told me, “We’re waiting for you to come here and tell us what happened”.
I said I needed help, and when I said I was an American, he said, “That’s not possible”.
I have a lot to learn, he told me and told me I had been arrested because of the video that was circulating on the internet.
The following day, I came to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York.
They gave me a letter, and said that they had given me the name of the person who shot my sister.
The letter said the woman, who was not named, had been caught and brought to the Burmese border city of Maungdaw.
The name of this person has not been released.
The Burmis have been very hostile towards foreigners and refugees in Myanmar, and this is a common theme, according to the UN, and there are cases where refugees have been killed by Burmites.
I spoke to the person at the Burmy Embassy in New Zealand and told her what happened, she said.
I had no money, so I begged for money, and they said I could not pay them because they were not allowed in.