Myanmar Junta Arrests NLD Lawmaker and His Wife in Yangon

By The Irrawaddy 16 July 2021

Myanmar’s military junta last Saturday arrested a Lower House lawmaker from the National League for Democracy (NLD), accusing him of leading a township civilian defense force.

U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo, a member of Parliament who was re-elected in the November 2020 election representing Yangon’s Hlaing Township, was detained on July 10, a junta-controlled newspaper reported on Friday.

“NLD former Lower House lawmaker U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo from Hlaing Township is a leader of the People’s Security Committee (PSC), which focuses on sabotage activities and killing in Yangon Region and the key supporter of bomb blasts and killings in Hlaing and explosions in Mingaladon.”

Following the military coup in February, and junta forces’ brutal crackdowns on peaceful anti-regime protesters, people have taken up armed resistance against military rule. Civilian defense forces have been formed in various townships since April, and are growing in numbers.

His arrest came after an NLD youth member from Hlaing Township was arrested in Mingaladon; the man was accused of being a People’s Defense Force (PDF) member from Hlaing on July 10.

On the same day, the junta detained a total of seven people from Hlaing, including U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo and his wife, Daw Khin Moe Myint Hlaing, and seven others from Mingaladon. It detained a resident of Thaketa Township on July 12.

The junta said it arrested U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo and his wife with a 9mm pistol, a magazine and 25 bullets, as well as a fake ID card. He is also accused of ordering others to acquire pistols and magazines.

U Aung Kyaw Kyaw Oo (top) and his wife (bottom) after being detained.

The Hlaing Township PDF is accused of staging six attacks in the township since last month, including blasts at the electricity office and attacks on two ward administrators. It is also accused of killing a civilian alleged to have been an informant.

The junta accused the men from Mingaladon of using handmade mines to cause blasts at a school and the township electricity distribution office, and of attacking a ward administrator.

The junta also arrested seven youths with a 9mm pistol and bullets, two drones and materials to make explosive devices on June 26 and 28 in Karen State’s Myawaddy, a border town across from Thailand’s Mae Sot.

Junta crackdowns linking NLD members and former lawmakers with “destructive actions” led by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and the civilian National Unity Government are not new.

On July 7, the junta also arrested 10 men in Myingyan Township, Mandalay Region with two plastic grenades and 9mm bullets, and accused former NLD Upper House lawmaker U Aung Myo Latt of Myingyan constituency of supporting the men.

Since the military’s takeover on Feb. 1, the junta has killed 912 people and arrested nearly 6,800 people, including the ousted civilian government’s ministers, activists, NLD members and lawmakers.

More than 5,000 people including State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint are still detained, according to the advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

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