Wit­nesses un­der fire as tri­bunal for NLD’s U Win Htein con­tin­ues

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

ON the sec­ond day of a tri­bunal ex­am­in­ing the role of Na­tional League for Democ­racy of­fi­cial U Win Htein in oust­ing mem­bers of the party’s Shan State lead­er­ship, one of the dis­missed said tes­ti­mony dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion showed in­con­sis­ten­cies. An­other crit­i­cised U Win Htein’s wit­nesses as lack­ing the party al­le­giance bona fides of those who were given their march­ing or­ders last month.

U Win Htein trav­elled to Taung­gyi on Septem­ber 4 to per­son­ally dis­miss five mem­bers, who were ac­cused of not co­op­er­at­ing with the party’s cam­paign ef­forts and in some cases even openly en­cour­ag­ing vot­ers not to sup­port the NLD dur­ing last year’s gen­eral elec­tion.

The ac­cused mem­bers opted to ap­peal their dis­missals and, as a re­sult, a three-mem­ber tri­bunal was con­vened on Oc­to­ber 24 in Nay Pyi Taw and con­tin­ued yes­ter­day.

Five wit­nesses back­ing U Win Htein’s ver­sion of events were sched­uled to speak yes­ter­day, but he said they would now speak on Oc­to­ber 28. He told the me­dia that he be­lieved the tri­bunal would be fair.

“The NLD al­ways op­er­ates sys­tem­at­i­cally,” U Win Htein said.

The tri­bunal con­sists of Man­dalay NLD chair U Tin Htut Oo, lawyer U Kyaw Hoe and CEC mem­ber Daw Lae Lae. The next hear­ing is sched­uled for 1pm on Oc­to­ber 28.

“Our de­ci­sion is not be­ing made un­der pres­sure,” U Kyaw Hoe said. “The CEC will de­cide on pun­ish­ment or amnesty. If our de­ci­sion is not sat­is­fac­tory, they can ap­peal to the NLD’s nationwide con­fer­ence. The great­est pun­ish­ment is that they are ex­pelled from the party. The small­est pun­ish­ment is that they are warned or fined.”

For­mer NLD Taung­gyi district chair U Tin Maung Toe, one of the dis­missed mem­bers, framed his ar­gu­ment yes­ter­day in terms of ten­ure. He noted that those ac­cused by U Win Htein of lack­ing fealty have been mem­bers of the party since 1988, the year of the NLD’s found­ing, while the wit­nesses be­ing asked to prove their dis­loy­alty joined less than a year ago. “He [U Win Htein] can­not make spe­cific ac­cu­sa­tions,” said Shan State NLD chair Daw Khin Moe Moe, who was also dis­missed. “When we asked him ques­tions, he could not an­swer in specifics. He made his de­ci­sion based on hearsay. He can­not show an of­fi­cial com­plaint. I asked him if [State Coun­sel­lor] Daw Aung San Suu Kyi asked him to ex­pel the NLD mem­bers ... He said that he would not say yes or no.”

Dur­ing cross ex­am­i­na­tion, U Win Htein did not re­spond with anger, she said, a de­par­ture from the pre­vi­ous hear­ing. But his answers did not add up, she said, with the dates in his state­ment be­ing in­cor­rect.

If the dis­pute were lit­i­gated in a court of law, it would be clear that there were in­con­sis­ten­cies in his state­ment, she said.

Daw Khin Moe Moe re­it­er­ated her claim to in­no­cence, say­ing she did not be­tray the NLD and be­lieved the truth would win out.

“Such a case could im­pact the NLD in the by-elec­tion,” she said.

“The time to hold the by-elec­tion is draw­ing near. But we can­not re­lease a state­ment for the elec­tion be­cause we have to set­tle this in­tra-party case of U Win Htein’s dis­missals. We can­not spend time work­ing on the by­elec­tion. These are fac­tors that could im­pact the NLD.”

Photo: Swan Ye Htut

U Win Htein.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.