YANGON, Myanmar/COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh – In early August last year, a young lieutenant named Kyi Nyan Lynn flew to Rakhine State, with hundreds of other Myanmar soldiers. They were about to launch a campaign that would drive hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from their homes and leave the region in flames.
First, however, Lieutenant Kyi Nyan Lynn of the 33rd Light Infantry Division did what any young man might do: He wrote a Facebook post.
"In our plane, we got to eat cake," read the Aug. 10 post.
"Are you going to eat Bengali meat?" commented a friend. Many Burmese refer to Rohingya as "Bengali" or use the pejorative term "kalar."
"Whatever, man," replied the lieutenant.
"Crush the kalar, buddy," urged another friend.
"Will do," he replied.
Kyi Nyan Lynn was part of what some Western military analysts refer to as Myanmar's "tip of the spear:" hundreds of battle-hardened soldiers from two light infantry divisions – the 33rd and 99th – famed for their brutal counter-insurgency campaigns against this nation's many ethnic minorities.