Election laws, challenge to NLD: Suu Kyi

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The Burmese junta’s electoral laws for the 2010 polls, poses a direct challenge to her party the National League for Democracy (NLD) and it is a shame, said Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest in Rangoon.

She conveyed her feelings through her two lawyers, Kyi Win and Nyan Win, who met her at her residence from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. today.

“She said the laws are a great challenge to the NLD. But she is ready to face the challenge. She said we should think of how to face the challenges unitedly,” Nyan Win told Mizzima quoting her.

“She said, looking at the laws, everyone can see that they are aimed at one particular person and against an individual’s interests. It is a shame to even see it that way. The law should be for everyone and it should not be directed at an individual, ” Nyan Win quoted Aung San Suu Kyi as saying.

The electoral laws promulgated on March 8 by the regime will force the NLD to expel her from the party or face deregistration. She also cannot contest the elections.

Her lawyers met her today to discuss the issue of appeal to be submitted to higher courts against the rejection of her appeal on February 26 by a Rangoon court. She is fighting against the court decision convicting her and sentencing her to a three-year jail term (later commuted to 18 months by the junta supremo Snr. Gen.Than Shwe’s executive order) for allowing an invited American John Yettaw in her house for two days in May last year. “We also discussed about her filing a case against U Khin Maung Aye (her relative) who had sold part of her land,” her other lawyer Kyi Win said.

Her lawyers said that Aung San Suu Kyi is in good health.

Meanwhile the junta has allowed reopening of more than 100 offices of the NLD throughout the country today. These were closed for years.

Junta tries to win over people with ethnic office

A day after the Burmese military regime announced its election law on 8 March, Prime Minister Thein Sein was reported to have taken some ethnic officials from the army with him on a journey to ethnic areas in Shan State North to help in winning votes for the upcoming elections, sources from the Sino-Burma border said.

The PM visited Namkham and Muse, on the Sino-Burma border on 9 March, to inspect progress on the gas pipeline, railroad projects and to lobby for the elections.

Accompanying in two helicopters were over 10 officials from other departments. Among them were the Burma Army’s Northeastern Region Command Commander Maj Gen Aung Than Tut, Electric Power #2 Minister Maj-Gen Khin Maung Myint and Auditor General Maj-Gen Lun Maung. The helicopters landed at the town’s Kawng Wan Kham village.
Maj-Gen Lun Maung
The generals held a meeting at Namkham’s Kyaphyu (White Tiger) Hall from 10:30 to 12:00 and continued to Muse.

Villagers were forcibly ordered by the Township Peace and Development Council to attend the meeting. There were over 200 participants in the meeting, said one of the meeting attendee. Continue reading “Junta tries to win over people with ethnic office”

Shan monks deny involvement in anti-government rallies

A Thai language radio, on Tuesday, 9 March, reported many Shan monks were believed to be participating in the planned anti-government rallies in Bangkok, but monks from living both in Bangkok and Chiangmai have rejected it as groundless.

Ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s supporters, better known as the ‘Red-Shirt’ group, will hold a mass protest against the government led by current Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva in Bangkok this weekend.

According to Shan monks from both Bangkok and Chiangmai, no information as to which monastery the monks were from have not been given by the authorities. No confirmation and evidence have been found either.

A monk studying in Bangkok said there is no reason for them to take part in the rally and no one from the Shan Sangha has involved in the rallies either in the past or present and will remain so in the future.

According to him, there are many Shan monks studying in Thailand, over 10 monks at Maha Chulalongkorn University alone.

“It is our host country’s internal affairs. They don’t concern us even though we are historical sisters and brothers,” the monk added, “Monastic law also prohibits monks from getting involved in political activities.” Continue reading “Shan monks deny involvement in anti-government rallies”

Burma’s state-run television announced today the names of the 17 appointed members of the newly created national Election Commission

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burma’s state-run television announced today the names of the 17 appointed members of the newly created national Election Commission. The commission will organize and oversee Burma’s upcoming and highly controversial national election.

The announcement signed by the ruling State Peace Development Council’s (SDPC) secretary #1, indicated that Thein Soe, Vice Chief justice of Burma’s Supreme Court will be Commission Chairman and that two other members Dr. Myint Kyi and Khin Hla Myint are women. The rest of the members are Zaw Naw, Khin Maung Nu, Soe Ba Hlaing, Dr. Ba Maung, Nyunt Tin, Maung Tha Hla, Dr. Sai Khum Hlaing, Aung Myint, Myint Naing, Dr. Tin Aung Aye, Tha Oo, Dr. Maung Htoo, Tha Htay and Win Kyi.

Before becoming a civilian judge Thein Soe served in Burma’s armed forces as a Major General and was a military Judge Advocate General. Little is known about any of the other new nominees except that Dr. Tin Aung Aye is also a judge. Recent media reports indicate that both Thein Soe and Dr. Tin Aung Aye are still serving as judges and not yet retired.

Last week Burma’s Supreme Court turned down Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal of her conviction for violating the terms of house arrest. The “violation” occurred after a deranged American tourist secretly swam to Suu Kyi’s place of house arrest and tried to meet with the Nobel Peace Prize winner. Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team is again appealing the sentence and it is expected that Thein Soe will head the panel of judges in Naypyidaw who will rule on the case.

This week Burma’s military regime issued several new election related laws that give election authorities broad and sweeping powers that severely restrict the opposition parties ability to compete.

Fresh charge against jailed Kyaw Ko Ko, an ABFSU leader

Thursday, 11 March 2010 18:12 Myint Maung

New Delhi (Mizzima) – An All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) leader, serving a three year sentence, is facing trial for a fresh charge, his mother, who visited him in jail last week said.

The trail date is for March 19.

Kyaw Ko Ko, an ABFSU leader, was brought to Rangoon and produced before the Kyauktada Township court today on an additional charge but the trial was shifted to March 19 because the witness did not turn up today, said law consultant Aung Thein who is monitoring the case. The exact nature of the fresh charge is not known yet.

Kyaw Ko Ko was arrested along with Nyan Lin Aung on 15 March 2008 for participating in the 2007 saffron revolution. He was charged under the Video Act and sentenced to three years and was subsequently transferred to Taunggyi jail in Shan State.