NLD ‘insider’ blamed for fake docs
U Win Htein claims a fellow member of the National League for Democracy is responsible for forging documents that purportedly announced his resignation, and has filed a police complaint.
A SENIOR National League for Democracy official who was the subject of an online hoax purporting to reveal his resignation has claimed that the individual who perpetrated the ruse is an “insider”.
“I know who did it,” U Win Htein told The Myanmar Times. “The person is from our party, not an outsider. I don’t want to reveal a name. The police will find out who did it.”
He said the party member – who created and circulated online forged documents containing the official party seal and supposedly detailing the resignation – was not a central executive committee member like himself, but rather someone who is involved in the party’s office operations.
U Win Htein said he filed a complaint with police on September 27.
“[I filed the complaint] since my colleagues asked me to do something about it, as the fake statements used the party’s official seal. I have asked police to investigate the person responsible. The cyber department will soon investigate,” he told reporters.
U Win Htein said involving law enforcement was the most appropriate channel through which to handle the case, adding that although he could have taken action on his own, doing so would not have been in line with the law.
Two fake documents stamped with the party’s official seal were circulated on social media this week: One claimed that U Win Htein had decided to retire from the party on health grounds, while the other statement, supposedly a personal missive from the central executive committee member, described his controversial recent handling of a leadership change at the party’s Shan State branch office.
U Win Htein denied that he is in poor health.
In the other forged statement, the NLD official purportedly offers a mea culpa for the leadership dust-up in Shan State, where he travelled personally this month to terminate the Taunggyi district branch chair’s party membership after the local leader posted criticism online about an earlier reshuffling of the state’s southern executive committee.
The statement also quotes U Win Htein apologising “for the misuse of the name of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi while resolving the problem in Shan State”. He had initially said the district chair’s expulsion had been at the order of the state counsellor, who is constitutionally barred from issuing such party edicts due to her positions in the cabinet.
Critics of U Win Htein’s handling of the Shan State leadership dispute said he had not followed party protocol, with some calling his conduct “tyranny”.
Founded under the military junta, when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her pro-democracy cause inspired near-unquestioned devotion to the NLD leadership, the party has seen growing dissent from within its ranks in recent years as the party has gradually accumulated power. A minor uproar last year over perceived top-down selection of candidates for the November general election led to several resignations and sackings.
U Win Htein acknowledged this week that some NLD members were unhappy, but denied any deeper rift existed among senior members of the party.
“Although we are working according to the principles set out by party chair Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, there are still some dissenters regarding what we are doing. However, the party members are united,” he said.
In recent years, a number of cases in which forged documents masquerading as NLD communiqués have gained traction among social media users, with the party often forced to issue public clarifications denying any official NLD provenance.
U Win Htein spoke to The Myanmar Times yesterday.