Magwe Govt Sues Individual over Mob Recruitment

By Tin Htet Paing 2 October 2017

YANGON —Magwe regional government filed a lawsuit at the Magwe District Court last week against the alleged recruiter of mobs to instigate unrest in Rakhine State’s Ann Township, according to the regional General Administration Department (GAD).

Regional GAD director and plaintiff U Than Swe told The Irrawaddy on Monday he filed the lawsuit against a man named U Aung Kyaw Myint on Friday and that the court accepted the case, but is yet to charge the man.

Magwe Region’s Chief Minister Dr. Aung Moe Nyo told press members last week there had been an attempt to recruit people in his region to form anti-government mobs in Ann Township.

According to the chief minister, the recruiter offered people an incentive of 500,000 kyats (approximately US$370) for completing the job in Ann Township.

He did not mention why perpetrators wanted to create instability in Ann Township, why they tried to recruit people in Magwe Region or how many people had been recruited.

Since his allegations, there have been rumors on social media that U Han Maung, a member of the main opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP)’s Magwe regional office, was behind the recruitment and was the one who hired U Aung Kyaw Myint.

Secretary of the party’s regional office U Sann Nyunt Maung has denied any association with the alleged recruitment.

“Our party has no history of [creating] such unrest. We won’t do it in the future and we won’t accept [attempts to create unrest],” U Sann Nyunt Maung told The Irrawaddy on Monday.

Regarding the rumors specifically naming U Han Maung, U Sann Nyunt Maung said there was no need to respond to rumors since the party sees no evidence, adding he was aware of the lawsuit but didn’t know of the accused person.

The Irrawaddy was unable to independently verify the association between U Han Maung and the accused U Aung Kyaw Myint.

Earlier this month, a group of 400 people—some armed with swords and bamboo rods—attacked a mosque and property owned by Muslims in Magwe Region’s Taungdwingyi Township. The mob was later dispersed by riot police with rubber bullets and 30-year-old Ko Hnin Ko Ko Lin was arrested for taking part in the attack.

According to the government’s Information Committee, he was acting because of the “disappointing situation in Rakhine State.”