During May 2019, a two-year-old girl in Nay Pyi Taw (given the name Victoria to hide her real identity) went to a nursery and was raped in the school compound. Although she was not able to speak very well yet, she managed to point out the man who assaulted her in the CCTV footage. However, judges from our country somehow decided that there was not enough evidence and considered the case closed while the real criminal was very much at large. So, Myanmar people decided to take this injustice upon themselves and vowed to fight for Victoria. Here are stories of some of them.
There was one writer who vowed to never write anything again until little Victoria found justice. When he declared that promise on Facebook, his post received 7680 love reactions, 2109 sad reactions and 12 haha reactions (assholes!). So, instead of writing, he went out with friends, drank beer every night, went clubbing and had the best time of his life. But he still hasn’t written anything because he wants to keep that promise for little Victoria.
A nightmare woke a lawyer up at the middle of the night. In his dream, Victoria was crying for his help. She was explaining how the crime took place, asking for his help because she wasn’t able to speak for herself in the real life. And towards the end of the nightmare, Victoria’s face gradually turned into his own daughter which woke him up all sweating. He couldn’t immediately try to forget the tragic image he just saw and went into sobbing uncontrollably. He had to wake his wife up and retell the dream to at least get it off his chest. They began sympathizing with Victoria’s parents for a little while over the incident. And about 10 minutes later, they both breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn’t their daughter after all.
And they went back to sleep.
A Prominent Activist
And there was one prominent activist who, regardless of his age, race and gender, had protested for every possible cause you could possibly name in Myanmar such as student affairs, ethnic affairs, land disputes, constitution issues and LGBTQ etc. One day when he was running out of ideas to protest, the case of little Victoria came into his mind. He started thinking seriously about a campaign because he of all people knew how to find justice and this case could really help build up his portfolio of making the world a better place. Later he got a call from a friend that students from a certain university were not happy with the authorities on the relocation of a chicken rice shop in the school compound. So, he had to rush to the scenes to make sure the students got what they wanted. And he forgot about Victoria when everybody was happy.
At the end of the day, it’s a simple mathematical equation that getting justice for a large number of people is greater than getting justice for a person (especially if it’s a two-year-old).
Random Guy from Pansodan
There was this one guy who had a regular job in Pansodan and biked to work every morning. He couldn’t help himself thinking about little Victoria on his way to work. He was inspired by the movie “Three Billboards outside ebbing Missouri” so he wondered if it was possible to print out “Justice for Victoria” pamphlets and hand out them everywhere in downtown so people would not forget. He made a promise to himself that it was his project for the following weekend.
And during the weekend, he slept nearly all day, played video games and watched movies. But come Monday, he couldn’t concentrate on work because he was sad about little Victoria and always wondered what he could do for the little girl.
There was a policeman who had seen so much in his life. He had encountered murders without culprits. He had encountered people who had to go to prisons for crimes they did not commit. He had encountered people who did not have to go to prisons for crimes they did commit. And there was one time where he found a container full of narcotic drugs in the middle of the road with no person on board so while he could seize the whole thing, he wasn’t able to charge anybody. And it’s not his fault that nobody came to the station to confess that these illegal drugs actually belonged to them. Now, similarly with Victoria, nobody came to confess it was he who committed this unthinkable act to a two-year-old. And it’s not his fault either. But he kept thinking about all these evidences and why it was so difficult to lock the real culprit. At one point, he happened to say it out loud, “It shouldn’t be this hard, it shouldn’t be this hard”. His superior officer overheard him and responded “That’s what she said” with a cheeky smile.
The policeman was taken aback for a little while before he finally laughed along. And then he moved on.
And we all moved on.
Zwe Oak Soe