U Win Htein Stands by Controversial Dismissals and Demotions in Shan State NLD

By Kyaw Phyo Tha 6 September 2016

RANGOON — A senior leader of Burma’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), said he has a clear mandate from State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to take decisive action on issues within Shan State’s NLD chapter, in response to public criticism for expelling a senior member and demoting three others.

U Win Htein, a Central Executive Committee (CEC) member of the National League for Democracy (NLD), told The Irrawaddy he gave verbal instructions to sack the party chairman of Taunggyi District’s NLD chapter, U Tin Maung Toe, on Sunday.

“He wrote on his Facebook page, ‘CEC [member positions] can be bought, but history can’t be,’” U Win Htein said.

“It’s an insult to say ‘you can be a CEC member if you have money.’ Our party members can make complaints openly at the office. Instead, he posted on Facebook. It’s not in accordance with party regulations. That’s why I sacked him,” Win Htein told The Irrawaddy.

He also said three other senior members—including Daw Khin Moe Moe, the NLD chairman for Shan State—have been demoted because they did not contribute to the election campaign last year.

“They weren’t happy with our rejections of their candidate submissions. They didn’t make any contribution during the whole campaign period. It’s against our party rules and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s guidelines,” he explained.

Win Htein said he was told by the State Counselor to act decisively on these issues.

“I have reported back to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi about what I have done in Shan State and she didn’t make any comments,” he added.

Daw Khin Moe Moe, the demoted chairwoman of Shan State’s NLD chapter, told The Irrawaddy that the decision to expel a party member could only be made through a CEC meeting.

“If the decision was made by an individual, it would mean the party is authoritarian,” she said.

But Win Htein said: “They are insulting the party. We need to be authoritarian if necessary.”