Myanmar 'exorcist' in court over deaths of three children

2016-11-18 16:11


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Yangon - A self-proclaimed sorcerer who allegedly beat three children to death in an exorcism ritual appeared in a Yangon court on Friday, telling reporters he was possessed by a "dark spirit" at the time of the killings.

Police say the black magic practitioner, Tun Naing, punched and kicked two toddlers and an 8-month-old baby to death last month in a tiny village outside Myanmar's commercial capital.

According to witnesses he told villagers the children were possessed by evil spirits and then killed them over two days as their families watched.

Speaking as police led him away from the court hearing, Tun Naing told reporters he had been possessed when he attacked the children.

"I did it because I lost control of my mind at that time as the dark spirit took over me," he said.

The uncle of the dead boy, also named Tun Naing, said the villagers lost their senses after he fed them "blessed" water and made them stand in a circle as he recited incantations.

"Because of what he did everyone was out of their mind," he told AFP reporters who visited him in Twante, south of Yangon several days after the killings.

Punched, kicked, stamped on

A police report on the incident said the bodies of the children - a 3-year-old boy, 2-year-old girl and a baby - showed evidence of being punched, kicked and stamped on.

Hospital workers alerted authorities after the father of another little girl who had been beaten brought her to hospital covered in bruises.

While the majority of people in Myanmar are Buddhist, many also believe in spirits, astrology and "yadaya" - magic used to ward off evil or misfortune.

Former military ruler Ne Win was famously superstitious and caused economic chaos in the late 1980s when he changed the denominations of the currency to add up to his lucky number nine.

Despite the onslaught of smartphones, Western brands and luxury hotels that have arrived since the junta ceded power in 2011, many people still consult fortune tellers and mystics for guidance.

Read more on:    myanmar  |  religion

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.