Tribunal gets under way with short tempers
Senior NLD figure U Win Htein butted heads with former members of the party’s Shan State leadership at a tribunal yesterday to determine whether he was justified in dismissing them from their posts last month.
BOTH sides of an intra-party spat pointed fingers at the first day of a tribunal for National League for Democracy central executive committee member U Win Htein, who is being questioned in relation to the ouster of five members of the NLD’s Shan State party leadership.
U Win Htein travelled to Taunggyi on September 4 to personally dismiss the five members, who were accused of not cooperating with the party’s campaign efforts or even openly encouraging voters not to support the NLD during last year’s general election.
The accused members opted to appeal their dismissals, resulting in yesterday’s hearing before a threemember tribunal.
Yesterday the NLD members got a chance to put questions to the man who dismissed them.
“It is not easy to ask him questions because he has a very short temper,” said Daw Khin Moe Moe, who was removed from her position as Shan State NLD chair. “If we asked whether there was evidence, he replied that evidence was not necessary. Then he said the case was clear but that we were winding things up by settling the case through a legal channel.”
She said although she did not like U Win Htein’s responses, she felt the tribunal was hearing the case fairly.
“We could have decided the case at once but we gave the other side the opportunity to show evidence,” said U Kyaw Hoe, a lawyer and member of the tribunal.
“What I told them was that Daw Khin Moe Moe was not loyal to the party,” U Win Htein said. “She breached the rules and regulations of the party. Although she was assigned as chair of the NLD in Shan State, she was not dutiful. So, I took action against her.”
Daw Khin Moe Moe objected to U Win Htein’s responses during the hearing because, she said, they amounted to hearsay. The tribunal accepted her objection.
U Tin Maung Toe, the former NLD chair for southern Shan State’s Taunggyi district, was dismissed on September 4 and also stripped of his party membership. Ahead of the purge, a post on his Facebook account appeared to suggest that NLD leadership positions could be bought.
Today, U Win Htein is scheduled to defend his conduct and call additional witnesses in the case. The roster includes five officeholders in Shan State and one of the party’s losing candidates.
U Win Htein speaks to press after yesterday’s National League for Democracy tribunal hearing in the capital.