Tri­bunal gets un­der way with short tem­pers

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - SWAN YE HTUT swanye­htut@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Thiri Min Htun

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.

Photo: Swan Ye Htut

U Win Htein speaks to press af­ter yes­ter­day’s Na­tional League for Democ­racy tri­bunal hear­ing in the cap­i­tal.

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