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.

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­times.com LUN MIN MANG lun­min­mang@mm­times.com

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.

Photo: Swan Ye Htut

U Win Htein spoke to The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day.

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