Govt Ignoring Complaint About Arrest of Party Member: SNLD

SNLD, Shan, ethnic issues, ethnic conflict, Tatmadaw, Myanmar military

SNLD leader Khun Htun Oo speaks at a SNLD branch office opening in Yatsaut Township, Shan State on March 8, 2014 (Photo: Facebook / Shan Nationalities League for Democracy)

The Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD) has said it has been waiting for more than a week for a government response regarding the arrest and alleged beating of a party member by the Burma Army.

SNLD spokesman Sai Nyunt Lwin said his party contacted the government’s Union Peace Making Committee (UPWC) on May 12 to request its help in resolving the case of Ai Kyein, a chairman of a village-level SNLD branch in Kengtung Township, Shan State, who was arrested on May 5 and allegedly beaten by the Burma Army.

“We have informed the UPWC, which is led by the President’s Office Minister U Aung Min last Monday, but received no response from them,” he said. “The military’s detention of our member is against the law as the area is not under conflict.”

The military accused Ai Kyein of possessing a gun and communicating with the Shan State Army-South, a military wing of the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), although no weapon was found, according to the SNLD.

An official at the government-affiliated Myanmar Peace Center said the arrest of the SNLD member was discussed in the UPWC and Aung Min was aware of the complaint. “We have been in contact with the SNLD leader Khun Htun Oo,” he said. “The issue is still under discussion and I can’t tell you more right now. Wait a few days.”

The army handed Ai Kyein over to Kengtung police after several days and the police said they were investigating whether he will be charged with the Unlawful Associations Act Article 17.1, which sets a minimum prison sentence of 2 years for aiding or having contact with “an unlawful association.”

His 14-day remand is due to end Friday and police will then have to decide whether or not to officially charge him.

Due to the alleged beatings Ai Kyein’s health has deteriorated, said Sai Lone, a local SNLD leader in Mai Kham, who met him at the Kengtung Prison on Monday.

The SNLD has said the arrest threatens to undermine trust-building efforts between the government and ethnic armed groups, such as the RCSS, during the current nationwide ceasefire negotiations.

The party also said it was inappropriate to arrest ethnic politicians for supposed contact with the RCSS, since it has a bilateral ceasefire with the government for more than two years. Sai Lone noted that the RCSS Liaison Office in Kengtung had also been raided by the Burma Army in the same week as they arrest of Ai Kyein.

“We are worried that these actions could lead to a collapse of the peace process,” added Sai Lone.

2 Responses to Govt Ignoring Complaint About Arrest of Party Member: SNLD

  1. Khun Htun Oo,
    Myanmar regime is is betraying us. I mean all of us. They betray Shans. They betray Kachins. They betray Karens. They Betray Rakhines. They betray Chins. They betray Kayahs. They betray Mons. They even betray the Myanmars. British Premier Winston Churchill knew what would happen if he let the ethnics go along with Burmese independence. Exactly. His prediction comes true as we the ethnics are subjects to the Burmese. They have been cheating us again and agaun and again and agin and again and — never end. I am so sorry that even the Burmese are slaves to this evil regime. All of us fall into the slavery of regime at gunpoint. This time, our Shan brothers and sisters are insulted on their own land and at their home. I wish I can kill these evil people for the sake of many.

  2. SNLD leaders should be ashamed of themselves for their naive assumption – launching such complaints assuming that the Burmese junta will listen to such complaint. The Shan leaders should know by now that the Burmese junta leaders have thick face and skin which are immune to even international pressure.

    SNLD has no strength to challenge the Burmese junta, so why should the Burmese junta pays attention to SNLD’s complaint?

    Shan leaders WAKE UP!!!!!

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