Woman Beaten in Mon State After Partisan Dispute Escalates

By Lawi Weng 14 January 2016

RANGOON — A female member of an ethnic Mon political party was assaulted by 10 other women from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in Chaungzon Township, Mon State, in a dispute that reportedly erupted on Wednesday over the result of a local election held last week.

Mi Aye was beaten during a morning visit to the Kon Yeik village market, according to a monk who lives in the village, Zaw Latt. He said the altercation began when one of the women with USDP loyalties taunted the victim, a member of the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMDP), which saw its candidate for village administrator lose to a USDP rival in a Jan. 8 election.

Zaw Latt, who is also known as Ashin Oak-kan-sa, said the dispute then escalated and the two women began slapping each other, which prompted the other USDP women to join in the confrontation.

Aung Naing Oo, an incumbent AMDP lawmaker representing a Chaungzon Township constituency in the state legislature, confirmed the incident.

“She has many wounds on her body,” he said of Mi Aye. “Ten people dragged her and beat her at the market. First, we sent her to the township hospital, but she was transferred to Moulmein hospital.”

Tension between two parties’ members have remained since the local election, according to Aung Naing Oo, who said he had told party cadres to adopt tolerant mindsets and refrain from retaliating if verbally or physically attacked.

The state lawmaker said he went to police on Wednesday and urged them to take action against the 10 women accused of beating the victim.

“I opened a criminal case at the police station yesterday,” Aung Naing Oo said on Thursday. “The police told me they will take action on those 10 people within the law. We will do our best to help our member [Mi Aye].”

Zaw Latt, the monk, said the AMDP planned to hold a meeting on Thursday to address tension between the two parties that has lingered locally.

Police in Chaungzon Township declined to speak when contacted by The Irrawaddy on Thursday.