Af­ter de­lay, NLD tri­bunal to ques­tion dis­missals

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­ – Trans­la­tion by Zar Zar Soe, Win Thaw Tar and Thiri Min Htun

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.

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