Win Tin Summoned for Questioning
Win Tin, a senior leader of the Burma’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), was taken into custody by special police intelligence officers at around 10 a.m. On Saturday, according to his close friends.
The sources reported that he was summoned for questioning while visiting a colleague at his home in Kyauk Kone, in Rangoon’s Yankin Township.
“U Win Tin was taken by four police intelligence officers who said they had to ask him something,” said a close friend who requested anonymity.
“He went with them carrying only enough medicine for one day,” the friend added.
Nyan Win, a spokesperson for the NLD, confirmed that Win Tin was taken away this morning, but could not provide any further details.
Eighty-year-old Win Tin spent 19 years in Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison until his release last year. Since then, he has spoken frequently to international and Burmese exiled media, often criticizing the ruling regime’s plans to create a military-backed civilian government.
In an opinion piece that appeared in The Washington Post on Wednesday, Win Tin denounced the Burmese regime’s planned election in 2010 as a sham, and strongly rebuked US Senator James Webb, who recently visited Burma, for his uncritical pro-engagement stance.
“Some international observers view next year’s planned elections as an opportunity. But under the circumstances imposed by the military’s constitution, the election will be a sham,” he wrote.
Although he said he could understand Webb’s desire to seek a meaningful dialogue with the Burmese ruling authorities, Win Tin rejected the senator’s calls to participate in a political process designed to keep the military in power.
“Unfortunately, [Webb’s] efforts have been damaging to our democracy movement and focus on the wrong issue—the potential for an ‘election’ that Webb wants us to consider participating in next year as part of a long-term political strategy. But the showcase election planned by the military regime makes a mockery of the freedom sought by our people and would make military dictatorship permanent,” he wrote.