After delay, NLD tribunal to question dismissals
The National League for Democracy will next week launch an internal probe into the dismissal of five Shan State members by veteran party member U Win Htein.
AN internal probe into the controversial dismissal of five members of the Shan State National League for Democracy leadership by senior party figure U Win Htein is set to begin next week.
The investigation into the circumstances of their dismissal was due to start yesterday, but NLD central executive committee member U Win Htein, who is to be questioned over his conduct, was away on travel.
A three-member tribunal will grill U Win Htein and others on October 24 and 25. Mandalay Region NLD chair U Tin Htut Oo will be joined by lawyer U Kyaw Moe and CEC member Daw Lei Lei in looking into the matter.
“Today no investigation took place. U Win Htein will be investigated first and after that, me and the other four [dismissed members] will face investigation,” said U Tin Maung Toe, the former NLD chair for southern Shan State’s Taunggyi district, who was expelled from that post via a verbal order from U Win Htein on September 4.
U Win Htein travelled last month to Taunggyi to personally dismiss the five members, who were accused of not cooperating with the party’s campaign efforts or even openly encouraging constituents not to vote for the NLD during last year’s general election.
“U Win Htein should be questioned first and then we can explain based on what he says,” said Daw Khin Moe Moe, who was removed from her post as Shan State NLD chair in the purge.
She said it would not be fair for the accused to give their account of events before hearing their accuser’s testimony.
“The main matter is the event that happened on September 4 in Shan State, with the removal of four people including the [NLD] head of the Shan State, and me,” said U Tin Maung Toe. “We have appealed this because we think it is not in accordance with the party’s rules and regulations. That’s why an investigative team has been formed to examine it.”
U Tin Maung Toe said he was confident the tribunal would find the dismissed Shan State leadership to be in the right, given their longstanding affiliation with the NLD.
“We have been with the party since [its founding in] 1988. We can tell them [party rules and regulations] by heart. I have never heard of dismissing [by way of] verbal order in the party,” he said.
“The party is the ruling party. It is the political party that has formed the government. So I’d like them to go forward in accordance with the rules and regulations. I’d like to see the party be a role-model political party for Myanmar,” he added. Daw Yu Me Zaw, ex-secretary of the Taunggyi district NLD, who was also ousted from her position, said she was penalised because she was not involved in the election campaign team during the 2015 election.
“He [U Win Htein] told us that we did not participate in the election campaign team in the 2015 election ... He also alleged that we urged [people] not to vote NLD because we were not candidates. We will defend these accusations depending on his words at the tribunal,” she said.
U Tin Maung Toe, who in addition to being stripped of his district chairship was expelled from the party, said he would also call witnesses to defend him against the accusations of U Win Htein. Ahead of the September 4 incident, a post on U Tin Maung Toe’s Facebook account appeared to suggest that NLD leadership positions could be bought.