NLD to Investigate Controversial Shan State ‘Purge’

By Htet Naing Zaw 13 October 2016

RANGOON – The National League for Democracy (NLD) Central Executive Committee (CEC) will launch an internal investigation into the controversial expulsion and demotions of senior Shan State NLD leaders, party spokesperson U Win Htein told The Irrawaddy.

U Win Htein, who is also a CEC member, expelled NLD Taunggyi District chairman U Tin Maung Toe and demoted Shan State NLD chairwoman Daw Khin Moe Moe and two others during his visit to Shan State in September.

The expelled and demoted members filed an appeal and the CEC decided to launch an internal investigation.

U Win Htein dismissed Taunggyi District NLD chairman U Tin Maung Toe by verbal order for posting the phrase “CEC can be bought, but not history” on social media. He demoted Daw Khin Moe Moe and two others for failure to work for the party’s electoral campaign ahead of the November election.

U Win Htein told The Irrawaddy that Daw Khin Moe Moe “voted for the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy [SNLD] and did nothing to help the party achieve electoral victory.”

“These things will be found out when the investigation is carried out,” he said.

Shan State NLD chairperson Daw Khin Moe Moe has welcomed the internal investigation, but stressed the need for impartiality.

“If an investigation is to be made, it must be made by two sides,” Daw Khin Moe Moe told The Irrawaddy. “U Win Htein must also be questioned. I received a Viber message from the party [CEC] saying the investigation would be made within one month after the appeal is submitted.”

The investigation committee will include auxiliary CEC member U Kyaw Ho, Mandalay Division NLD chairman U Tin Htut Oo, and NLD CEC member Daw Lei Lei.

It is also alleged that Daw Khin Moe Moe allowed Security Branch personnel to enter party meetings, cooperated with other organizations, and failed to conduct campaign activities.

“I didn’t let any Special Branch members into party meetings. And I have explained about my NGO which cooperates with other organizations. And I can explain it again. I even went to Langkho to campaign,” Daw Khin Moe Moe replied when questioned about the accusations.

There are different views among senior NLD leaders about the Shan State “purge” according to NLD sources.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko