Lower House Dismisses NLD Lawmakers from Committee Posts

By Htet Naing Zaw 28 November 2016

NAYPYIDAW — Five lawmakers from the National League for Democracy (NLD) were dismissed from their posts in Lower House parliamentary committees, announced Speaker U Win Myint on Monday.

Among them are chairman U Sein Win and member Dr. Soe Moe Thu from the Farmer and Labor Affairs Committee, secretary Dr. Aung Khin of the Health and Sports Development Committee, Bill Committee member U Nyan Linn and member of the Economic and Financial Development Committee U Aung Hlaing Win.

U Sein Win told the media that he was dismissed from the chairmanship of Lower House Farmers and Labor Affairs Committee because he had sued fellow party members for defamation and fraudulence against the will of the party’s senior leaders.

He filed a complaint in October with Maubin Township police station against his fellow party members, including a divisional parliament lawmaker as well as a company owner, for alleged misuse of his book of guidelines on farmland dispute settlement.

“I was relieved of party duties, according to the rules and regulations of the party. I would say I am not wrong. It is a criminal case and I had no choice, but had to report it to the police as it can’t be solved internally,” U Sein Win told The Irrawaddy.

He defended the prosecution he initiated, quoting State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in saying, “we won’t be different from the previous government if we forgive the faults of our own [NLD] members.”

Meanwhile, Bill Committee member U Nyan Linn was relieved after an alleged drunken brawl at a motel in Rangoon’s Shwepyithar Township. He was then sued by the motel and is facing trespassing charges.

Dr. Soe Moe Thu was dismissed in connection with a reported extramarital affair.

U Aung Hlaing Win told The Irrawaddy that he was dismissed because he criticized the government for constructing a new bridge across Rangoon River to Thanlyin Township with Japanese loans and called for equal distribution of international development loans to ethnic regions, in a parliamentary session on Nov. 22.

“The next day, U Win Htein summoned me to his room, and said my discussion had caused trouble for the government,” said U Aung Hlaing Win, referring to the NLD spokesperson. “He asked me, ‘what if the ethnicities had made those demands?’”

“I don’t oppose building a new bridge with Japanese loans. But I only suggested the equal sharing of future international loans with ethnic regions,” he added.

Several NLD lawmakers told The Irrawaddy that U Aung Hlaing Win’s previous questions and discussions in the Parliament had also posed troubles to the government.

According to sources within the legislature, Dr. Aung Khin was dismissed from his post so that he could be moved to another parliamentary committee for the same secretary post. The Lower House also reshuffled the parliamentary committees to fill vacant positions.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.